A private web exchange hub that’s already enabling high speed automated collaboration between Fujitsu Hard Disk Division’s (HDD) customers and suppliers has gone live using e-marketplace IT developer i2’s TradeMatrix platform and its supply chain management software. Fujitsu HDD’s exchange is now able to synchronise some processes like demand changes, production planning, procurement and manufacturing. As a result, the firm has already shortened its production planning lead-time by 25% and improved inventory turns by a third, achieving cost reduction at the same time. Weekly production planning that considers constraints like procurement, factory schedules, manufacturing and delivery will, says i2, also give the firm the flexibility it needs to better keep up with customer demand changes and improve customer satisfaction. In brief detail, scheduling in particular considers multiple suppliers, parts sourcing capabilities and factory operation schedules. “The i2 solution gives us the ability to control production planning and procurement according to customer demand. [It] also gives us flexibility in responding to customer needs. This results in large cost savings to Fujitsu,” said Mr. Kawakami, general manager, Global SCM Planning and Promotion Division, Computer Products Business Group, Fujitsu. The system now facilitates collaboration of Fujitsu HDD’s extended supply chain, including customers, its HQ, multiple manufacturing sites (including domestic and overseas factories) and multiple suppliers. The firm says it can detect supply chain inefficiencies more quickly and take action to ensure delivery on time. “Our challenge is to synchronise all world-wide operations, which include sales, manufacture and supply, while improving time-to-market possibilities,” said Mr. Ichiro Komura, manager, Sales Department of Information Hardware system, Fujitsu. “Our goal is to manage the process consistently with speed and visibility to improve the quality of our products.”