Apriso Announces Operations Execution Solution For Global Manufacturing

LONG BEACH, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—June 26, 2006— Manufacturers with distributed enterprises have a powerful new way to integrate and standardize operations across multiple plants and geographies, Apriso(R) Corporation announced today. The company has released FlexNet(R) Global Manufacturing Suite(TM), making FlexNet the first complete operations execution solution for deploying, managing and monitoring manufacturing processes and performance within a single plant or across the enterprise or extended supplier network.

Best-in-class manufacturers have learned to manage their global manufacturing operations as a single cohesive supply network, which requires integrating product supply processes across locations. The Suite acts as an integration layer across "siloed" operations and systems, empowering manufacturers to synchronize activities throughout their operations and extended enterprises so they work as a cohesive whole.

Since its inception in 1992, Apriso has deployed multi-site, global software implementations for many of the world's leading manufacturers. Apriso has leveraged that expertise in creating the Global Manufacturing Suite, three separate but fully integrated modules that support the key requirements of global manufacturers for plant control and data reporting:

-- Global Process Manager -- Facilitates fast, reliable deployment and management of process flows within a facility, an enterprise, and a supply network; manages FlexNet configurations to ensure system synchronization across distributed manufacturing computing environments.

-- Global Production Manager -- Tracks and traces materials and products across the manufacturer's enterprise and those of suppliers and contract manufacturers;

-- Global Performance Manager -- Built on a robust KPI analytics engine, provides detailed visibility into production status, product attributes, SPC and quality for resources, material, labor and machines, both locally and across multiple locations.

"Manufacturers with distributed enterprises need two things to operate efficiently and remain competitive: a single platform flexible enough to coordinate activity across multiple plants and geographies; and the technology infrastructure to manage multiple, disparate deployments with agility," says Jane Biddle, vice president of manufacturing research, Aberdeen Group. "The Apriso platform is flexible for local implementation, yet global in its ability to provide visibility into, and drive decisions down to, the individual plant floor, whether the plant is in Chicago or Shanghai."

Key Features of This Release

Apriso has deployed wide scale implementations for such global manufacturers L'Oreal, Essilor, International Paper, GM and Becton Dickinson, which typically include multiple instances of FlexNet for 24x7 availability. Deploying processes, products and performance KPIs across locations, to accelerate adoption of "best practices" and sustain Lean or Six Sigma initiatives, has required manufacturing IT staffs to ensure the appropriate configuration of each instance of FlexNet.

Based on that experience, Apriso has enhanced FlexNet to include a configuration management and deployment application that supports real-time deployments of full FlexNet solutions, regardless of customization levels, with support for single- and multi-production server environments. Updating configurations network-wide is now faster, more manageable and more reliable. The new capability:

-- automates the identification of configuration entities needed to be deployed to external systems; identifies all dependencies across entities; and provides wizards for manual intervention;

-- automatically builds and transports a deployment package for distribution within a plant or across firewalls;

-- deploys the package on the destination server automatically, according to defined schedules or manually, as appropriate;

-- manages a full FlexNet implementation, including processes, products, configuration data, dictionary data, software fixes, data access components, SQL Scripts & Stored Procedures, business components and product data.

The current release also expands FlexNet's visualization capabilities with easier distribution of KPI data, helping ensure consistency of performance monitoring enterprise-wide. The release also includes significant process-authoring improvements, such as traceability of execution activity, sub-operation drill-downs, and the option to test processes before they are deployed.

Define Best Practices Locally, Deploy Globally

Powered by Global Process Manager, FlexNet provides the ability to actively manage processes and best practices on a global scale, ensuring consistency across an evolving manufacturing base. Using the application, supervisory personnel can define and perfect processes in one location and deploy them instantly to multiple sites and geographies throughout their operations, and those of suppliers and customers. The system has full revision control and accelerates new product introduction and time-to-volume production by integrating with third-party PLM/PDM systems, and managing operational data across the supply network.

Global KPIs Provide "A Single Version of the Truth"

A key difference between the Apriso platform and competing solutions is the ability to not only view KPIs and plant activity, but to actively manage the definition, deployment and calculation of KPIs and, therefore, performance across facilities and suppliers.

The key to this capability is Apriso's unified data model, which enables -- and enforces -- uniform material flow and "a single version of the truth" in all operational areas. Global Performance Manager creates consistent KPI standards for every location, so every plant measures information accurately and the same way. Then, the software rolls the real-time information up to the business level where executives can make real decisions, based on real information, and take immediate action.

A Complete View into Product History

Global Production Manager provides a global, real-time view into manufacturing operations and those of suppliers. The software gives complete work-in-progress production visibility and traceability across sites and multiple companies, with full material synchronization and manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM). The configurable visual controls make driving business process improvement and aligning global organizations easy.

The FlexNet platform features complete genealogy and traceability across the entire manufacturing operation where needed, and offers a multi-level "as built" history for products several layers deep into the assembly process. The system has full alert and dashboard features and can record and manage deviations and exceptions across the supply chain.

Enterprise Operations Execution in Action

Apriso is a pioneer in enterprise operations execution solutions for global manufacturing, the next generation of manufacturing execution systems. The company has deployed more multi-site rollouts than any other software vendor in its class -- some consisting of more than 80 sites. Forward-looking organizations have turned to Apriso for the system flexibility, global process management capabilities, and tight ERP integration needed to support a broad range of operational activity and coordinate that activity on a global basis:

-- Valeo (top 10 Tier I automotive supplier in Europe) -- 77 sites for shop floor and warehouse, in multiple languages;

-- Microsoft Corp. -- operations standardization and control for 85 plants in 24 countries; a single solution that tracks more than 200 million certificates of authenticity to better than 99.9 percent accuracy in near-real time;

-- Saint-Gobain (world's largest supplier of automotive glass) -- machine utilization, labor and other resources across more than 45 sites;

-- GM Powertrain (supplier of engines, transmissions, castings and components for GM vehicles) -- traceability (spill containment) across more than 29 facilities;

-- International Paper (one of the world's largest providers of paper products) -- 80 sites across manufacturing, logistics, and maintenance execution (including a comprehensive deployment of RFID)

"We continue to see more customers demanding a solution that manages activity not only within the four walls of their local operations, but also coordinates product supply across multiple sites of their extended supply chains so the enterprise works together," says Jim Henderson, president and chief executive officer, Apriso. "With implementation and support centers on five continents, Apriso is well equipped to implement and deploy solutions that go beyond multiple 'siloed' systems, to a tightly synchronized network of locations whose processes work in synergy."

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