Supersub Work Supported With Supply-Chain Software - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
3/4/2003
02:07 PM
50%
50%

Supersub Work Supported With Supply-Chain Software

The builder of a new submarine wants to cut construction costs using an IBM supply-chain management app.

Construction of one of the U.S. Navy's most important next-generation weapons systems, the Virginia-class nuclear submarine, will be helped along by new supply-chain software that IBM is delivering to one of the project's primary contractors.

Under a multiyear contract, IBM will supply and operate its new Spars (Shipbuilding Partners and Suppliers) marine electronic supply-chain app for the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics Corp.

The deal--financial terms and the exact length of which were not disclosed--marks the first commercial implementation of Spars, which was developed using federal funds from the National Shipbuilding Research Program.

Spars embeds a number of IBM business-integration and middleware applications, including WebSphere and DB2, and numerous custom apps to facilitate electronic business-process integration for shipbuilders.

General Dynamics execs say Spars will speed up parts procurement and generally streamline the contractor's manufacturing and business processes. Right now, General Dynamics uses a mix of faxes, mail, and E-mail. "This is going to tie everything together in a secure, efficient environment," says a spokesman. It's too early to tell how much General Dynamics could save by using the system, he adds.

Spars is designed to automate a number of collaborative business processes, including bidding, invoicing and payment, and document management. In a pilot test with 52 suppliers, General Dynamics shortened its cycle time for parts procurement from 30 days to 10 days. Ultimately, it's expected that hundreds of General Dynamics' partners will link to Spars. IBM is hosting the application for the defense contractor from its e-Business On-Demand center in Secaucus, N.J. A T1 line connects the system to Electric Boat's shipyard in Groton, Conn.

The Navy plans to launch its first Virginia-class submarine, a 377-foot ship capable of carrying nuclear weapons--USS Virginia--next year, with one a year rolling out over the following three years. Spars will likely be applied to their construction, says General Dynamics' spokesman.

Virginia-class subs will be able to steam faster than 25 knots, launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, and dive to depths greater than 800 feet. General Dynamics' Electric Boat division is building the first four in partnership with Northrop Grumman Newport News under a $4.2 billion contract with the Navy. Ultimately, the Navy plans to order 30 Virginia-class ships. Northrop Grumman has not ordered the Spars system, but IBM business-development executive Paul Boulay says the company is "a target opportunity."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll