March 25, 2002
eConnections tool speeds Sparton's RFQs
By Jenifer Baljko Shah
For many years Sparton Corp.'s system of choice for sending
out requests for quotes (RFQs) was EDI. But with customers
demanding quotes back quicker and more efficiently, the Jackson,
Mich., midtier EMS provider last year began searching for
a web-based tool that would offer better reporting capabilities,
improve supplier tracking, and shorten quote turnaround time,
said Stephanie Martin, vice president of corporate material
acquisition and logistics.
Stephanie Martin, Sparton
The company opted for eConnections Inc.'s Quote
Manager 2.0 solution. eConnections, Pasadena, Calif., today
will formally release Quote Manager, an upgrade of its Quotility
Quote Manager features include a real-time dashboard
that allows users to monitor supplier quoting responses, analyze
quote information, and manage by exception, said Steve Flagg,
eConnections' director of strategic sourcing products.
"Previously, companies didn't have visibility
into how suppliers were responding to an RFQ," Flagg
said. "Now buyers can see if suppliers have picked up
the RFQ and can track the progress."
Before selecting eConnections in December, Martin
looked at tools from several other software vendors. The eConnections
monitoring feature, the overall ease of use, and the smoother
connectivity to the company's major distribution partners
and critical component suppliers are what won Martin over.
"The old system we had didn't interface
with [our partners'] systems," she said. "It was
a very cumbersome process to get the data back and forth.
We were looking for tools that our partners would find as
easy to use as we did."
While Sparton is in the process of benchmarking
savings, Martin said she has noticed a reduction in the amount
of time it takes to process quotes and upload and download
data. For instance, turning around a budget request would
traditionally take 10 days; now it takes three, she said.
Sparton is also saving money on EDI transaction fees by using
the Internet instead, Martin added.