Distributer puts portal software to work on SCM

Sydney-based computer distributor Simms International is deploying a supply chain management module of B2B portal software to give its employees a central point of access to the company's Internet-based trading activities.

The software for the $200,000 project, Navision's Commerce Portal, was launched in beta form last year and can be integrated into Simms' existing financial and service management software from the same vendor.

The 32-person Simms is a Kingston computer memory products reseller and has an annual turnover of $28 million. The distributor chose the portal software as it wanted to implement a low-cost, user-friendly solution that would set up an electronic supply chain environment for its staff.

Simms finance director Danny Moore said the company scoured the market for a "mature, robust and affordable" solution before making its selection. The solution goes beyond providing a Web-based trading facility, he said, and gives Simms "B2B functionality straight through to the back-end" without investing millions of dollars.

Stage one of Simms Direct Portal project, which implemented the company's online supply chain management strategy, started in late May. This phase provided customers like hardware resellers with real-time access to Simms' procurement, inventory, accounts and warehousing systems, thus allowing resellers to focus on their core business and customers rather than on managing logistics, Moore said.

Stage two of the project - due to go live in early December - will integrate Simms' suppliers into the system, enabling them to track shipments online from manufacturers to end users.

Moore expects to achieve a return on the project in two years.

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