Ford returns to legacy procurement system

Ford is dropping a four-year-old Oracle-based online procurement system before it has been fully rolled out to suppliers and...

Ford is dropping a four-year-old Oracle-based online procurement system before it has been fully rolled out to suppliers and partners. It will instead use an existing 12-year-old legacy mainframe system.

The multimillion-pound Everest system, based on Oracle's 11i E-Business suite, was chosen and specified at the height of the dotcom boom, when firms were keen to cut costs by using online purchasing to streamline their supply chains.

But like many similar systems in the car industry, the Ford system failed to win widespread support among dealers and suppliers, who were expected to invest some of their own cash in new technology and training to be able to use it.

While attempting to roll out Everest to an estimated 100,000 users in 25 countries, the legacy Ford Supplier Network was being operated in tandem, and this proprietary mainframe-powered system will now be the main procurement system used.

Both Ford and Oracle refused to answer questions about the performance of the Everest system.

A Ford UK spokesman said, "This was a worldwide project still in the testing phase and many suppliers had not yet used the system.

"As part of a group-wide evaluation of our production and non-production systems, it was decided that Everest was no longer required."

The spokesman did not reveal how much had been spent on Everest. The company said existing Everest users would continue to use the system for some months, as the company gradually moves back to relying on the legacy system.

Oracle remains a major supplier of other corporate systems to Ford.

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