Cisco team up for all-in-one supply chain services

Von Geoff Long

Cisco Systems has teamed up with supply chain and logistics consulting specialist DW Morgan to offer a networking package aimed at the manufacturing sector and provide "visibility into the supply chain."

Launched at SCM Logistics World in Singapore recently, the Cisco Demand Driven Supply Chain (DDSC) solution makes use of the company?s ISR routers and some other standard networking equipment, but optimized for the manufacturing sector, according to Victor Szczerba, global lead, supply chain solutions, Cisco.

DW Morgan will partner with the networking giant to offer consulting and logistics planning in conjunction with the DDSC offering.

Grant Opperman, Morgan president and chief strategy officer, said Asia was a prime market for supply chain management solutions because it allowed companies to move up the value chain. He also suggested that manufacturers could save 20-30 percent of their total costs.

Cisco and Morgan will offer the DDSC as a combined solution. According to Opperman, one of the advantages is the simplicity that the ISR router provides. "In the past it took a team of engineers to put in the end points. Now it?s what I call an ?office in a box?. I can drop it in a factory and it?s got all of the services pre-configured," he said.

"If you?re a core manufacturer there?s so much to be gained from gaining visibility into the supply chain," Opperman added.

Steve Banker, service director, supply chain management, ARC Advisory Group, said in the past supply chain managers had focused on process and software but rarely on hardware. "I don?t believe I?ve ever had a discussion with a supply-chain professional about networking hardware. That may be about to change," he said, noting that Cisco?s solution also offered a platform ready for the integration of RFID and IP telephony.