Serus, FlowVision Launch Lean Inventory Optimization Network for High Tech Industries

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—October 1, 2008— Serus® Corporation, a global provider of Intelligent Operations Management (IOM) technology and managed services for companies with distributed or outsourced manufacturing operations, and FlowVision® LLC, a full service provider of Lean Business and Supply Chain Consulting Services, today announced their new joint offering, LION (Lean Inventory Optimization Network). This expanded, production-proven application suite is a key component of Serus award winning Intelligent Operations Management solution that provides improved visibility, decision making, and compliance monitoringall critical to improved operating and financial performancefor OEMs, IDMs, Contract Manufacturers, and distributors in the High Tech market.

LION helps customers achieve the benefits of Lean Manufacturing methodologies, including improved demand and supply chain visibility, optimized inventory levels, and improved product delivery times. LION contains embedded, proprietary, industry-leading Lean business rules and algorithms developed by FlowVision LLC, a leading consultant on Lean and Flow manufacturing. LION is part of a comprehensive suite of Lean solutionsencompassing on-demand software, and Lean business process consulting, education and implementation and other servicesoffered jointly through a Serus and FlowVision partnership.

Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company, estimates that the High Tech industries in total carry as much as $270 billion of waste within their global supply chains. Yet those same High Tech companies also average the lowest net profit marginsa mere 2.5%of any discrete manufacturing industry. Their remedy is to continuously innovate while lowering costs and improving efficiencies. Lean manufacturing methodologies deliver these and other benefits by focusing squarely on the removal of waste in the manufacturing process through enhanced demand- and supply-ecosystem visibility and collaborative practices, and reduced liability at every level.

If the first wave of lean efforts streamlined operations and helped capture share, the next wave will have to bring intelligence to operations management to help these [High Tech] companies deal with the inherent complexity of value chain activities and establish the same resilient profit potential of mature lean companies in other industries, wrote Bob Parker, vice president of research at IDC Manufacturing Insights in a recent report.

Continuing, Parker writes, Three things must be established to accomplish this intelligent approach visibility to process activity, analysis of operating options, and coordination of corrective or reinforcing actions based on that analysis. Serus has a comprehensive approach to enabling intelligent operations management and helping high tech OEMs, contract manufacturers, distributors, and others eliminate waste and improve profitability.

LION (Lean Inventory Optimization Network) delivers these key Intelligent Operations Management functionalities and enables operational improvements for customers in the High Tech industry who seek the benefits of Lean methodologies. LION provides OEMs, IDMs, Contract Manufacturers, and distributors the improved visibility and execution they need to eliminate waste, improve decision making, monitor compliance, and optimize inventory levels. OEMs profit through reduced inventory liability and a unified demand view. EMS, ODMs, and contract manufacturers profit through improved productivity and exceptions management, better on-time delivery and improved gross margins. And distributors profit from increased visibility and reduced inventory costs.

Avnet (NYSE:AVT) is one of the world's largest industrial distributors of electronic parts, enterprise computing, storage products and embedded subsystems, creating a vital link in the technology supply chain. LION enables us to employ Lean methodologies and coordinate inventory management with both Contract Manufacturers and OEMs, said Barbara Paulsen, director of global business management for Avnet Electronics. It makes possible a true win-win for us and our customers by enabling us to realize the financial advantages of reaching our inventory and cost targets while still delivering the 99.9% service levels weve committed to our customers.

The enormous amount of waste within the supply chain ecosystem represents tremendous opportunity, said Neil Mitchell, general manager and vice president of Serus High Tech Manufacturing Solutions business unit, but only after legacy systems built on spreadsheets and individual know-how are replaced by a complete, easy to use and integrate solution like LION. Knowledge-based operational excellence represents the next real frontier in collaborative improvement and profitability potential, and Serus is pleased to be leading the way in the High Tech market with LION.

LION offers the High Tech market a uniquely comprehensive solution suite that bring the benefits of Lean Manufacturing, including improved demand and supply chain visibility, optimized inventory levels, and improved product delivery times, said John Denzel, CEO at FlowVision. When LION is paired with the Lean business process consulting, expertise and education, and the rapid implementations offered by FlowVision, it delivers an unparalleled value proposition for High Tech customers seeking the benefits of Lean methodologies.

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