“Manufacturers contracted with offshore manufacturers for components, sub-assemblies and now even assemblies in order to take advantage of low labor costs,” said Chris Groves, president and chief executive officer of Centric Software. “Now they must manage the risk of losing capacity in those plants—especially in China, where domestic demand is growing.”
Centric Software, a San Jose, Calif.-based software supplier, has released Centric Product Sourcing, a Web-based application that allows retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers to manage all the aspects of new product sourcing—from concept to SKU (stock keeping unit), including supplier lifecycle management. Retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers can take advantage of low-cost country sourcing, while tightly managing global supplier performance, compliance and product delivery.
Groves likens the concept to product lifecycle management for contract manufacturing suppliers. The product allows retailers and manufacturers to identify and compare products and suppliers, collaborate globally through a secure, Web-based interface, track status through highly configurable interactive dashboards, and assess financial implications. The application delivers real-time product intelligence by automatically combining metrics entered directly into the system with live information collected from suppliers’ and in-house repositories such as product databases, enterprise resource planning systems, e-mail and documents.
The role-based views allow executives to view summary reports of schedules, costs and sales. Sourcing and procurement personnel can manage suppliers, factories, compliance and risk. Sourcing managers can select optimal products based on supplier qualifications, product costs and landed cost calculations. The net benefits are added profitability and risk reduction.