E-comm Innovator Award honorable mentions
These five companies win kudos for undertaking interesting e-commerce projects that have enhanced their bottom lines and opened business opportunities.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield As part of an ambitious and ongoing e-commerce infrastructure project, Anthem BCBS has turned to a Lightweight Access Directory Protocol directory service to supply millions of users with secure access to applications, insurance services and claims information. The provider built this directory-based Web access control system on top of Microsoft’s Active Directory using OpenNetwork Technologies’ DirectorySmart, which will enable single sign-on internally and externally for what could eventually be more than 10 million users in eight states. In a pioneering move, Anthem created not just the directory service but also an e-business directory infrastructure. And it begins to blur the lines between managing internal and external users and resources without compromising security. So far, Anthem has spent nearly $5 million to build its e-commerce infrastructure, surround it with security defenses and buy applications. Savings of several million dollars per month are expected.
DaimlerChrysler’s Mopar Parts Group Two years ago, DaimlerChrysler’s Mopar Parts launched an ongoing supply-chain performance improvement project meant to reduce inventory costs and improve dealer order flow. This is no easy task, given that the group’s distribution process involves more than 3,000 suppliers that interact with third-party providers, four national parts distribution centers (PDC), 16 field PDCs, and more than 4,500 Dodge and Chrysler dealerships. The company selected SeeCommerce’s SeeChain Demand and SeeChain Inventory performance-management applications in order to accomplish its goals. The project already has netted the company huge gains. In the first six months, Mopar realized $7.2 million in cost savings from reduced safety stock; a 0.7% improvement in order fulfillment, which in turn resulted in $10 million in transportation savings; reduced decision cycles from months to days; and the establishment of collaboration among suppliers. By the close of 2001, the supply chain project yielded an estimated $20.2 million inventory reduction.
Honeywell International’s Business, Regional and General Aviation Division Honeywell’s Business, Regional and General Aviation unit turned a static Web site – www.BendixKing.com – into an interactive e-commerce portal that gives aircraft owners and pilots information on aircraft, parts and other general aviation information while allowing them to network among themselves. Honeywell dealers, in turn, get access to technical documentation on aircraft and parts they are certified to service. Previously, little electronic interaction existed among pilots and dealers. Rather, doing business with Honeywell was a manual, complicated process bogged down by factors such as different time zones, outdated catalogs, and a ton of paperwork, faxes and phone calls. Through the new site, powered by Entigo’s Catalog and Order applications, Honeywell has cut customer service calls by 30% while simultaneously increasing sales. Honeywell invested $1.2 million in site improvements and expects a return of 300%.
Owens & Minor This 120-year-old distributor of branded medical and surgical supplies has significantly improved the health of its complex supply chain through an extranet powered by Business Object’s WebIntelligence business intelligence tool. The company buys 140,000 products from 1,400 suppliers and sells them to more than 4,000 hospitals and healthcare providers. The supply-chain extranet allows suppliers, customers and partners to tap into product usage information stored in Owens & Minor’s data warehouse. Through the extranet, called WISDOM, they get up-to-the-minute reporting and analysis on customer sales, product inventory, contracts, pricing, and orders and shipment status. Since implementation, WISDOM has generated more than $500,000 per year in revenue, which includes a 10% increase in sales. It has also generated more than $1 million in incremental revenue through monthly subscriptions sold to customers and suppliers.
Welch Foods Welch Foods, a producer of grape juice, jam and jelly products, relies on trade promotions to drive growth and increase sales. But until the launch of a trade promotion extranet called Tradetopia, the company had a hard time tracking promotion performance, accounting for incentive expenditures and reimbursing retailers quickly. Tradetopia, which runs on IBM’s WebSphere application server, gives Welch’s retail sales brokers and field sales managers the opportunity to trade spending-related information and add trade promotion plans, revise spending allocations, resolve deductions and view their trade spending in real time. Since implementing the extranet, Welch’s sales have grown at about 8% annually. Now the company is adding new applications to the extranet platform. For example, it recently reused code developed for Tradetopia in a Web-based forecasting and inventory and order management system for its refrigerated product line. Welch’s realized a 100% return on investment for Tradetopia in less than one year, and develops and deploys applications up to 85% faster by reusing code developed for the extranet.