DataPortal Eases Data Sharing Burden for Supply Chain Management

DataPortal Eases Data Sharing Burden for Supply Chain Management

When a major aerospace manufacturer needed help bringing new suppliers on board, it turned to DataPortal.

This manufacturer works with hundreds of suppliers sourcing specialized components ranging from custom fasteners to sophisticated avionics.  In the fast-changing aviation industry, recruiting a cadre of suppliers who can meet demand quality specifications while ramping production quickly at the right price is critical for success.

Yet this manufacturer was finding it difficult to even evaluate prospective suppliers, much less start doing business with them. Just sharing information about the details of future production plans and designs required each potential supplier to go through the lengthy and expensive process of implementing an electronic data interchange (EDI) system.

As an attempt at more agile data sharing, the manufacturer started providing order data that could be viewed on Web pages. However, many orders involved thousands of items and Web page data could not readily be processed by business applications. The order data really needed to be delivered where it could be directly accessed by business applications – through sharing a relational database.

The manufacturer, and we, thought there had to be an easier way for the supply chain to be managed. Our solution was an easy-to-use Web portal that would allow a potential or actual supplier to log in and easily see the manufacturer’s future orders. This portal provided data on both short-term needs as well as future, six-month forecasts to give all potential suppliers the widest view into the manufacturer’s needs.

Our work with this customer was one of the first uses of DataPortal technology for sharing relational databases over the Web. Across industries, more and more trading partners are sharing more and more information – everything from production plans to engineering change orders to media files – outside of traditional EDI or ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems. In these days of just-in-time inventory, short product cycles and relentless cost pressures, they must share this data quickly and efficiently.

Our DataPortal software enables secure, instant and effortless sharing of relational databases in their original, relational form across the Web. It’s as easy as sharing a URL, with no programming, configuration, firewall modification, data conversion or even client software installation required.

The need to recruit new suppliers is only one of the use cases  DataPortal fills. It is, of course, just as useful for a specialized supplier who can meet a custom need for a global manufacturer, but needs insight into its production needs without deploying an EDI or ERP system. It is also a far more agile alternative to traditional EDI, reducing time, effort and cost.

In fact, DataPortal makes it easier to do business wherever two partners use relational databases to either share actual data, or as a metadata catalog making it easier for either partner to find what they need out of hundreds of thousands of engineering change orders, legal filings, video clips or medical research reports. It is also an excellent choice for trading partners in developing economies who need to share data in relational form, but have not yet invested in EDI or ERP software.

This streamlined database sharing is available as software for purchase or as a scalable SaaS solution. If you are having trouble with your supply chain management work flow, or simply want to learn more about DataPortal, request a quick demo here or, if you’d like to get started today, contact us.

*image courtesy of kurafire on Flickr.com

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