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evaluation of the Signum Demand Driven Supply Chain product. At the end of the evaluation, Power Partners selected this SaaS (software as a solution) technology. “Datacraft Solutions had most of the features that we looked for in a system. Signum was user friendly to both the buyer and to the supplier. It enabled us to put in place an electronic communication back to our supplier, and at the same time was transparent to shop floor personnel. They provided a team on site that developed the interface to our ERP system, and trained both Power Partners personnel and our suppliers.” Ehmcke was confident that with a demand driven supply chain system, Power Partners would realize immediate benefits by reducing inventory and cutting supplier lead time. “We knew that with this type of system we could reduce our on-hand inventories, and by offering our suppliers consistency we would reduce our supplier lead time. Within the first three months, we cut the inventory levels of the first two suppliers in half, and reduced lead times from four weeks to ten calendar days. Subsequently, we have achieved similar results with the other suppliers. In addition, because this solution is interfaced with our ERP system, we have improved our transaction accuracy.” The company started out with three key suppliers on the new system and during the last year added five others; by the end of the project the company expects to have all suppliers using Signum. Power Partner suppliers regularly communicate that the flow of information is far greater than they have received from any of their other customers and that Power Partners is way ahead of its competitors as far as ease of doing business. Ehmcke has some advice for other companies that are considering a demand driven supply chain system. “There are several things that any company must consider before they start down the road to a demand based system. Is your own house in order? Are you looking at this to solve all your problems? Do you have the backing of the upper level management, or is this something that was handed to you to implement? Without the commitment from everyone involved in the project, you will not get off first base. In our case, we made sure that we started in an area where we had complete control. By doing this, we established an instant success story so that other areas would come to us to find out what we did.” January 08 Businessexcellence Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based manufacturing marketing firm 15 TR Cutler, Inc: Supplychain “We were astounded to find out there were up to thirty-eight different people from just one department that touched the material”