About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies' "control tower” - an information hub linking the instrument maker with its suppliers to provide inventory visibility - has helped the company deftly model parts availability, manage order promising, and counteract parts shortages during a natural disaster.
The Challenge and Benefit
The whereabouts and availability of inventory in Agilent's extended global supply chain became a concern in 2009. That's when the economic downturn subsided and business began to pick up again. Cutbacks in production and the demise of some suppliers during the recession had led to parts shortages throughout the electronics industry. As a result, when Agilent needed to ramp up production, it had some challenges locating parts that were in short supply.
To solve this problem, Agilent decided to construct a control tower that would give the instrument maker visibility into inventory holdings down to the supplier level in as many nodes in its supply chain as possible. For this vertical supply chain integration project, it bought RapidResponse software from Kinaxis, a vendor of enterprise supply chain software solutions. Besides facilitating supply chain visibility, the software handles demand, supply, and inventory planning as well as what-if analyses, among other functions.
This will help the company perform proactive and effective collaboration with suppliers and also enable speed in decision making in the shortest turnaround time."