|At a Glance: Timberland Co.
Company: Based in Stratham, N.H., Timberline manufactures footwear, hiking gear and related goods.
Feeling the pinch: Timberland's manual process of producing forecast and replenishment plans with key retailers via e-mail, fax and voice mail was not flexible enough to support the company's anticipated growth. The process was fraught with unnecessary delays, not to mention a lot of rekeying of data, which often led to mistakes.
Comfortable fit: By deploying Manugistics Group Inc.'s NetWorks S/Collaborate Web-based collaborative planning tool to internal planners and key retail accounts, Timberland will be able to cut its planning cycle from 4 to 6 weeks down to 10 days. And because the process is now iterative and more interactive via the Web, Timberland is assured of more accurate forecasts, which it expects will lead to higher sales.
Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Rouen, France, Global Provisioning Center also anticipates substantial cost savings by deploying the SupplyIT component of WebPlan's eSupply Chain suite with its key suppliers, according to Raimund Elsen, the plant's manager of program management. The maker of optical and wireless networking products expects over time to replace EDI links with key suppliers with SupplyIT's browser-based tool set. "It brings more flexibility and interactivity than EDI and saves the traditional EDI link cost," which can be very high, Elsen says.Another way companies are using the Internet to achieve supply-chain efficiencies is through Web-based logistics and fulfillment packages. ShopLink Inc., a $14 million upscale online grocery delivery service covering metropolitan Boston, knows that on-time and accurate delivery as well as a personalized shopping experience are just as important to encouraging repeat business as is its eclectic selection of specialty foods, choice meats and produce. To keep it competitive on that score, ShopLink is installing an Internet-based logistics and routing tool from Descartes Systems Group Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario, to bring efficiencies and knowledge sharing capabilities to its supply chain.