The Internet has made life much easier for manufacturers in managing their supply chains. Choosing partners once up a time was a difficult process: simply finding them was one of the hardest parts. Today, the Internet connects companies all along the manufacturing supply chain in ways that couldn’t have been imagined just 20 years ago.
Today, manufacturers have another option.
ARC Advisory Group, a research and advisory firm for manufacturing, industry and infrastructure, is announcing the release of ARC STAR (Solutions That Accelerate Results), a domain-specific supplier selection service. This online, cloud-based and hosted solution was created to provide easy-to-use tools that define a process and selection criteria for making strategic supplier selections.
Ultimately, ARC STAR will be available for most key enterprise, automation and manufacturing software application areas. The ARC STAR service is currently available for advanced process control (APC), analytics for operational excellence, batch control systems, collaborative production management/MES (for discrete and process industries) and distributed control systems (DCS).
The service guides users through a step-by-step process selecting and evaluating suppliers and their products against specific application and cultural requirements, including project and team definition, reviewing and editing ARC-provided selection criteria and supplier questions, weighing selection criteria, developing a supplier request for information (RFI) list, evaluating supplier responses, and developing a final ranking of RFI results.
ARC STAR then fully documents the process and results for management review and approval. ARC STAR helps ensure inclusive, fact-based, impartial supplier evaluations and selections, free of the user bias issues that typically hamper these activities.
In addition, ARC estimates that ARC STAR can reduce the cost and effort of a supplier selection process by well over 50 percent.
"ARC STAR is a new area of value for ARC end user clients. We have been involved in many custom supplier selection processes over the past 25 years and have used this expertise to create a simple, cost-effective service, for others to use," ARC president Andy Chatha said in a statement announcing the new service. "The ARC STAR offering will expand from the current six domains to over a dozen in the coming months."