RealTime IT News

Hampton Signs On for On-Demand SCM

Mitrix has lined up a new customer for its on-demand supply chain management application.

Hampton will use Mitrix's SCM Live 3.1 to establish a private trading community, where partners can receive updates and information in close to real time, the companies said on Tuesday.

Mitrix rolled out SCM Live, its hosted supply chain management offering for small to mid-sized enterprises, in June 2005. SCM Live is targeted at companies handling $75 million to $750 million worth of goods, with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Edward Lewis, CEO of Mitrix, said the product also is suited for larger companies that have multiple business units with separate supply-chain operations.

Privately held Hampton Products International makes door locks, padlocks, lighting and hardware for buildings and autos under several brands, including Brinks and Mountain Security.

Its customers include major retailers, such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart , that have sophisticated, global inventory management systems.

"They are a small to midsize business with a global supply chain that's increasingly complex, and very demanding customers," said Lewis.

"They've been trying to use their back-end ERP system, but it doesn't extend out into their trading community or provide for collaboration and synchronization. They've been doing it with spreadsheets and e-mail, but that's not a scalable model."

The global supply chain for each brand involves overseas suppliers, multiple production and assembly facilities, and a large network of North American distributors.

"Our customers are major retailers who are always challenging us to provide more value, which SCM Live will allow us to do through increased efficiency," said Charles Anderson, vice president of global supply chain management at Hampton.

"Hampton will be able to more effectively manage our supply and demand with SCM Live."

Hampton said the application would let it synchronize its supplier chain, including planning, sourcing, collaboration, inbound shipment and inventory management.

Mitrix said SCM Live can help the littler guys compete with the big ones.

"Everyone is competing with larger companies with multi-million-dollar IT budgets," said Mitrix vice president of business development George Mulling.

"This application is robust enough and nimble enough that a smaller business can compete very effectively with much larger competitors who have many more resources on the project."

The Hampton win is only Mitrix's second in the six months since SCM Live went live. (Kawasaki also is using it to manage North American distribution.) Mulling denied that potential customers were nervous about using a hosted application.

Some industry watchers wondered if the multi-hour outage that Salesforce.com experienced in December might make enterprises leery of trusting their core operations to a third party.

"We have hundreds of prospects, and not once did we encounter a situation where they would buy if it was premises-based but not hosted," Mulling said. "We considered it might be an issue early on, but it has not been."

He said Mitrix had plenty of proposals on the table and contracts waiting to be signed.