DaimlerChrysler Invests In Supply-Chain Management Company - InformationWeek

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DaimlerChrysler Invests In Supply-Chain Management Company

DaimlerChrysler Corp. said today it has made a $25 million investment in Powerway Inc., a provider of online quality-planning software, to develop an automated supply-chain management system for the automaker's product development process.

Through http://www.powerway.com , DaimlerChrysler expects that all of its 900 automotive parts suppliers will be able to communicate directly with one another and be able to eliminate, or at least reduce, the tons of paper used to authorize the design and build of a new car model.

"When we make a last-minute change to a vehicle, that information will go out once to everyone at the same time," says Peter Rosenfeld, VP of procurement and sourcing for DaimlerChrysler. The efficiencies are expected to shave months off the production cycle, Rosenfeld says.

The system that Powerway is developing will reduce the complexity of qualifying automotive parts for production, which will allow DaimlerChrysler to focus on improving its product development and quality manufacturing, says Dennis Virag, president, The Automotive Consulting Group Inc. "Just locating the record of each step in the testing process is a difficult chore," Virag said. "Being able to access an electronic version makes it simpler."

DaimlerChrysler says it will establish a pilot program for its key suppliers, who will deploy the beta version of the Powerway supply-chain management system when it becomes available by early fall. The general release is expected to begin rolling out by year's end and continue through next year.

Powerway, based in Indianapolis, says it plans to hire an additional 210 employees to support the project.

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