SRM Application Leader Launches BlackHog Clearlink 2.0

BlackHog Announces Integration With Enterprise Applications to Let Complex

Product Manufacturers and Their Suppliers Share Business Processes Online



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from BlackHog, Inc.

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- BlackHog, Inc., developers of
 the first Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) application for buyers and
 suppliers in complex product manufacturing, today announced a new version of
 its BlackHog ClearLink(SM) application.  BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 manages the
 most difficult collaboration, communication and transactional aspects of
 direct materials procurement by bringing disparate business processes together
 under a single, easy-to-use shared application that addresses the full range
 of SRM issues -- design, sourcing, planning and procurement.
     BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 integrates with existing back-end systems,
 including ERP applications such as Oracle and SAP, scales to accommodate
 increasing demand, and comprises a complete SRM solution across enterprises
 for complex product manufacturing.  A redesigned browser-based user interface
 -- based on BlackHog's exhaustive research into how their customers actually
 work, and leveraging BlackHog's extensive interface design expertise -- gives
 version 2.0 version improved performance and ease of use.
     "BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 takes SRM to the next level," said Jeff Donnelly,
 president and CEO of BlackHog.  "Integration with back-end systems enables a
 true closed-loop system between manufacturers and their suppliers. The newly
 designed user interface results in improved performance and makes it even
 easier to get started, especially for smaller suppliers where IT resources are
 constrained.  With BlackHog ClearLink 2.0, we're greatly expanding the
 capabilities of our first product offering, while keeping the needs of both
 buyers and suppliers at the forefront of our development efforts."
 
     Issues in Complex Product Manufacturing
     Complex product manufacturing includes industries as diverse as
 semiconductor manufacturing equipment, analytical instruments, aerospace and
 industrial equipment.  In most cases, complex product manufacturing is
 characterized by a high percentage of custom parts, high change rates,
 relatively low volumes, large numbers of suppliers and increasing reliance on
 outsourcing.  These challenges mean that manufacturers can experience
 lower-than-standard productivity, higher-than-necessary materials costs,
 lengthy cycle times and missed shipment dates.
     The BlackHog ClearLink application addresses these challenges by
 providing:
 
     -- A shared database for common views of information.  Much of the
 communication between buyers and suppliers is of an interim, iterative nature.
 This information doesn't belong in enterprise systems since it is not
 transaction data.  Rather, it is the result of ongoing conversations and
 negotiations between buyers and suppliers.  Yet this data must be available in
 real-time to all concerned parties -- both inside and outside a given ERP
 environment.  BlackHog ClearLink provides an independent database that keeps
 interim data in a neutral location, separate from the system of record.
 BlackHog ClearLink updates the ERP system once negotiations and changes have
 been finalized.
     -- A shared application to standardize buyer-supplier business processes.
 Most enterprises spend a great deal of effort fine-tuning their internal
 processes, but few have addressed the shared processes they use to collaborate
 with their suppliers because it's difficult to manage such processes across
 enterprise lines.  For both parties to derive true benefit from an SRM system,
 the system must approach problems from the perspective of all concerned
 parties.  BlackHog ClearLink brings all stakeholders together to streamline
 communications and expedite the flow of direct materials through the entire
 supply chain.  A set of sophisticated collaboration, negotiation and change
 management tools supplements the core application and keeps both buyers and
 suppliers current throughout the entire cycle of design, sourcing, planning
 and procurement.
     -- Both human and machine interfaces to the application.  A browser
 interface is key to applying human intelligence and handling exception
 management, while the machine interface leverages investments in existing
 enterprise software, such as ERP systems.  The BlackHog ClearLink human
 interface, used by both buyers and suppliers, consists of a web browser
 available to even the smallest suppliers.  The machine interface provides an
 automatic link to a buyer's back-end system and facilitates the transfer of
 information to and from suppliers regarding parts requirements, purchase
 orders, change orders and goods receipt.
 
     Security and Technology Issues
     Security is paramount for an application designed to work across
 enterprises.  BlackHog ClearLink has an object-level security model that
 provides a unique, self-managing security architecture.  This means that users
 see only the information appropriate for their particular workflows.  It also
 means that there is no requirement for costly administration of a conventional
 centralized access control system.
     The BlackHog ClearLink architecture is based on J2EE standards to support
 growth and to leverage the company's partnerships with other industry leaders.
 The BlackHog integration framework is based on the Extensible Markup Language
 (XML) and leverages RosettaNet standards to ensure compatibility with
 enterprise back-end systems.
 
     About BlackHog
     BlackHog, Inc. provides the first web-based application for managing the
 most difficult collaboration and transactional aspects of Supplier
 Relationship Management (SRM).  Created for manufacturers of complex products,
 BlackHog's application facilitates clear, cooperative communication throughout
 the direct materials procurement process.  By accommodating manufacturers'
 high percentage of custom parts, high change rates, outsourcing practices and
 reliance on large numbers of suppliers, BlackHog's application solves the most
 difficult challenges facing buyers and suppliers.  Designed for fast, easy
 integration with legacy systems, BlackHog delivers sophisticated
 collaboration, negotiation and change management functionality, resulting in
 reduced cycle times, increased efficiency and lower material costs.  For more
 information about BlackHog, please visit the company's web site at
 www.blackhog.com.
 
     NOTE:  BlackHog(TM) is a trademark, BlackHog ClearLink(SM) is a service
 mark, of BlackHog, Inc.
     All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
 
 

SOURCE BlackHog, Inc.
    SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- BlackHog, Inc., developers of
 the first Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) application for buyers and
 suppliers in complex product manufacturing, today announced a new version of
 its BlackHog ClearLink(SM) application.  BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 manages the
 most difficult collaboration, communication and transactional aspects of
 direct materials procurement by bringing disparate business processes together
 under a single, easy-to-use shared application that addresses the full range
 of SRM issues -- design, sourcing, planning and procurement.
     BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 integrates with existing back-end systems,
 including ERP applications such as Oracle and SAP, scales to accommodate
 increasing demand, and comprises a complete SRM solution across enterprises
 for complex product manufacturing.  A redesigned browser-based user interface
 -- based on BlackHog's exhaustive research into how their customers actually
 work, and leveraging BlackHog's extensive interface design expertise -- gives
 version 2.0 version improved performance and ease of use.
     "BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 takes SRM to the next level," said Jeff Donnelly,
 president and CEO of BlackHog.  "Integration with back-end systems enables a
 true closed-loop system between manufacturers and their suppliers. The newly
 designed user interface results in improved performance and makes it even
 easier to get started, especially for smaller suppliers where IT resources are
 constrained.  With BlackHog ClearLink 2.0, we're greatly expanding the
 capabilities of our first product offering, while keeping the needs of both
 buyers and suppliers at the forefront of our development efforts."
 
     Issues in Complex Product Manufacturing
     Complex product manufacturing includes industries as diverse as
 semiconductor manufacturing equipment, analytical instruments, aerospace and
 industrial equipment.  In most cases, complex product manufacturing is
 characterized by a high percentage of custom parts, high change rates,
 relatively low volumes, large numbers of suppliers and increasing reliance on
 outsourcing.  These challenges mean that manufacturers can experience
 lower-than-standard productivity, higher-than-necessary materials costs,
 lengthy cycle times and missed shipment dates.
     The BlackHog ClearLink application addresses these challenges by
 providing:
 
     -- A shared database for common views of information.  Much of the
 communication between buyers and suppliers is of an interim, iterative nature.
 This information doesn't belong in enterprise systems since it is not
 transaction data.  Rather, it is the result of ongoing conversations and
 negotiations between buyers and suppliers.  Yet this data must be available in
 real-time to all concerned parties -- both inside and outside a given ERP
 environment.  BlackHog ClearLink provides an independent database that keeps
 interim data in a neutral location, separate from the system of record.
 BlackHog ClearLink updates the ERP system once negotiations and changes have
 been finalized.
     -- A shared application to standardize buyer-supplier business processes.
 Most enterprises spend a great deal of effort fine-tuning their internal
 processes, but few have addressed the shared processes they use to collaborate
 with their suppliers because it's difficult to manage such processes across
 enterprise lines.  For both parties to derive true benefit from an SRM system,
 the system must approach problems from the perspective of all concerned
 parties.  BlackHog ClearLink brings all stakeholders together to streamline
 communications and expedite the flow of direct materials through the entire
 supply chain.  A set of sophisticated collaboration, negotiation and change
 management tools supplements the core application and keeps both buyers and
 suppliers current throughout the entire cycle of design, sourcing, planning
 and procurement.
     -- Both human and machine interfaces to the application.  A browser
 interface is key to applying human intelligence and handling exception
 management, while the machine interface leverages investments in existing
 enterprise software, such as ERP systems.  The BlackHog ClearLink human
 interface, used by both buyers and suppliers, consists of a web browser
 available to even the smallest suppliers.  The machine interface provides an
 automatic link to a buyer's back-end system and facilitates the transfer of
 information to and from suppliers regarding parts requirements, purchase
 orders, change orders and goods receipt.
 
     Security and Technology Issues
     Security is paramount for an application designed to work across
 enterprises.  BlackHog ClearLink has an object-level security model that
 provides a unique, self-managing security architecture.  This means that users
 see only the information appropriate for their particular workflows.  It also
 means that there is no requirement for costly administration of a conventional
 centralized access control system.
     The BlackHog ClearLink architecture is based on J2EE standards to support
 growth and to leverage the company's partnerships with other industry leaders.
 The BlackHog integration framework is based on the Extensible Markup Language
 (XML) and leverages RosettaNet standards to ensure compatibility with
 enterprise back-end systems.
 
     About BlackHog
     BlackHog, Inc. provides the first web-based application for managing the
 most difficult collaboration and transactional aspects of Supplier
 Relationship Management (SRM).  Created for manufacturers of complex products,
 BlackHog's application facilitates clear, cooperative communication throughout
 the direct materials procurement process.  By accommodating manufacturers'
 high percentage of custom parts, high change rates, outsourcing practices and
 reliance on large numbers of suppliers, BlackHog's application solves the most
 difficult challenges facing buyers and suppliers.  Designed for fast, easy
 integration with legacy systems, BlackHog delivers sophisticated
 collaboration, negotiation and change management functionality, resulting in
 reduced cycle times, increased efficiency and lower material costs.  For more
 information about BlackHog, please visit the company's web site at
 www.blackhog.com.
 
     NOTE:  BlackHog(TM) is a trademark, BlackHog ClearLink(SM) is a service
 mark, of BlackHog, Inc.
     All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
 
 SOURCE  BlackHog, Inc.