Speed and efficiency in the supply chain are some of the most critical goals of leading manufacturers. As part of its strategy to improve interactions with its supply chain, Pitney Bowes selected Windchill ProjectLink, hosted by NetIDEAS for its Request for Quotation (RFQ) process. Before working with NetIDEAS, Pitney Bowes' RFQ process consisted of transmitting data electronically via email attachments and ftp sites in addition to overnight mail delivery. "That practice led to significant schedule delays as our staff coordinated the RFQ documentation delivery and then spent immeasurable time maintaining 'the latest' between our internal organization and our suppliers," said Ken Coppola, manager of configuration management at Pitney Bowes. "Now, the creation of quote packages for supplier access is easy and has saved a considerable amount of time and money. As soon as the packages are posted suppliers can see the data."
Since adopting Windchill ProjectLink in the summer of 2004, Pitney Bowes has created a template that standardizes the project creation for each new supplier RFQ initiative. "This helps our internal resources easily organize data and insure that each supplier is seeing the latest information," said Coppola. "By having a single project for each of our suppliers to find the requisite data, our ability to communicate to multiple suppliers at one time has been greatly streamlined."
For supplier responses and proposals to the RFQ, Pitney Bowes provides a dedicated Windchill ProjectLink project for each of its key suppliers. This ensures that each supplier only has access to its own proposals in order to avoid fair competition problems. These projects are configured to have an RFQ Project specific folder and corresponding folder structure to upload and manage their RFQ responses. "By utilizing supplier-specific projects, procurement specialists have a finite number of projects in which to participate on a continual basis, which simplifies their work. By having the folder structure organized by RFQ, this gives the supplier a clear and easy way to submit their quotations. No new training is required because they are already very familiar with that Windchill ProjectLink project from earlier submissions," said Coppola.
"The first benefit is to upload Pitney Bowes' standard documentation consistently with each RFQ and then have the confidence that the RFQ specific documents are also complete before inviting suppliers," said Steve Bruneau, vice president of NetIDEAS. "A secondary benefit to the Pitney Bowes procurement specialists is the easy access within a Supplier Project to other RFQ responses by that given Supplier. Rather than having dozens of projects to maintain for each supplier, the ongoing lifespan of the Supplier Project allows for a knowledge retention and negotiation platform on new submissions."
To date, the key suppliers for Pitney Bowes have found the use of the system to be very straightforward and like the idea of having one place to find the correct information needed to create their proposals. "The collaboration and data management capabilities of Windchill ProjectLink are having an impact at Pitney Bowes in both shortening the business process timeframes and helping our staff be more efficient," said Coppola.
By having NetIDEAS host the application, Pitney Bowes eliminated the need to maintain another application for its RFQ process above and beyond its present systems. "We have found the NetIDEAS service to be more cost effective. NetIDEAS initially trained the Pitney Bowes users at our site and then has been able to help train our supplier base using webinars. NetIDEAS has been very responsive to questions and/or issues and a pleasure to partner with," said Coppola.
About Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Pitney Bowes provides the world's most comprehensive suite of mailstream software, hardware, services and solutions to help companies manage their flow of mail, documents and packages to improve communication. Pitney Bowes, with $5.6 billion in annual revenue, takes an all-inclusive view of its customers' operations, helping organizations of all sizes enjoy the competitive advantage that comes from an optimized mailstream. The company's 86 years of technological leadership have produced many major mailstream innovations, and it is consistently on the Intellectual Property Owners Association's list of top U.S. patent holders. With approximately 34,000 employees worldwide, Pitney Bowes serves more than 2 million businesses through direct and dealer operations. More information about the company can be found at www.pb.com
About NetIDEAS, Inc.
NetIDEAS Inc. specializes in delivering on demand Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions. Providing software as a service, our solutions are targeted for product and project based organizations needing to implement turnkey on demand applications that support their complex, dynamic product development and life cycle requirements internally and with their suppliers and customers. Further information on NetIDEAS is available at www.netideasinc.com or by calling 1-856-914-9426.
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Joe Iannacone NetIDEAS, Inc. 856 914 9425 Email Contact