Honda Trading America Corporation
Capitalizing on Opportunities
Jointly-owned by Honda Trading Corporation and American Honda
Motor Co., Inc. (AHM), HTA is a full-service, international
import/export organization. From logistics and regulatory
requirements, to marketing and finance, HTA provides the management
that capitalizes on opportunities in an international trade
and global sourcing environment.
HTA is responsible for consolidating the
purchasing requirements for Honda of America Manufacturing,
Inc. (HAM), its tier-one parts suppliers and processors. HTA
is the major supplier of steel, aluminum, plastic raw materials
and automotive parts to HAM. In its role as a front-line sourcing
facility, HTA must balance its supply positions with the manufacturing,
assembly and processing requirements of its partners.
HTA sources competitively priced, high
quality raw materials and parts, manages long production and
replenishment lead times, and supplies its domestic and international
customers in a "just-in-time" environment. In concert
with AHM, HTA has the additional responsibility of supplying
Honda's global assembly and manufacturing facilities with
automotive parts and supplies. As part of its responsibilities,
HTA must coordinate the processing of global sales orders
from AHM with the physical shipments from HAM.
In 1993, HTA recognized that to support
its growth opportunities and meet its strategic objective
to become a complete global supply chain organization, it
had to gain better control and access to its information and
become more effective in its business operations. To achieve
its objectives, HTA required an enterprise-wide, state of
the art, global sourcing, execution and distribution information
solution. The solution had to support all its current business
activities and provide it with flexibility to meet unforeseen
future demands while meeting its aggressive corporate growth
HTA's enterprise solution had to:
HTA required a solution's partner able
to fully support and maintain its system post-implementation
and who would work as an ongoing, integral part of its operation
by continuously adapting the chosen information solution to
its constantly changing need. HTA wanted a partner who could
identify ways to improve its own business processes, through
practical and effective information solutions.
- match HTA purchases and inventory
to the production requirements of HAM's processing partners
and tier-one suppliers;
- fully support export, import
processes, documentation and compliance;
- support time-sensitive accounting
and financial reporting in a multi-currency environment;
- be completely integrated to
provide accurate data to users and decision-makers in a
1993, after an in-depth search, HTA decided to partner with
Blinco Systems Inc. (BSI), a developer of enterprise global
sourcing/distribution software, and chose BSI's 3rdwave Enterprise
Suite Solution. BSI demonstrated significant expertise in
international supply chain and logistics solutions. It exhibited
quick and comprehensive understanding of HTA's current requirements
and future vision. BSI was viewed as a partner that would
provide practical and workable solutions to meet HTA's demanding
and varied business process needs.
Collaborating for Results
From the initial meeting with BSI and review
of 3rdwave Enterprise, HTA believed that BSI's software model
was adaptable to the rigors of their environment. For the
implementation to be successful, HTA had to have 3rdwave support
its steel procurement and inventory management group; its
Metals, Plastics and Recycling group; its import and export
departments, and provide complete cost control throughout
3rdwave provided solutions for each of
HTA department's idiosyncratic business processes while maintaining
multi-department and multi-site (six locations; nin subsidiaries)
and overall corporate accounting integrity.
3rdwave's fully-integrated core solution
provided a comprehensive foundation that could be customized
to meet HTA's specific needs. The core solution of Purchase
Order Management, Traffic Control, Inventory Management, Sales
Order Processing and Accounting touched on the main HTA business
processes, and provided gateways for HTA to automate communications
with its suppliers, customers and other corporate systems.
HTA's most pressing issue, management of
the entire steel and aluminum supply chain, was initially
beyond 3rdwave's standard application capabilities. HTA buys
a wide range of steel and aluminum products from approved
mills in the United States and delivers them to HAM or its
approved suppliers for further processing. For coils delivered
to its approved processors, HTA maintains title over the inventory.
The following events were crucial for HTA's
steel and aluminum supply chain program to be a success:
- Inventory had to be completely visible
throughout the system. Steel or aluminum is received directly
at HAM, or as many as five different processing centers,
for slitting, cutting, or stamping and furtherance on to
- Operating in a tight, usually 10 minute
JIT delivery environment, HTA must be assured that inventory
is always available to meet demand throughout the supply
chain while maintaining minimal floor inventory.
- Steel and aluminum had to be tracked
and costed through slitting, cutting and stamping at the
processors. Waste from slitting and cutting at the processors
had to be visible.
- The system had to provide comprehensive
transformation audit trails with a history of the converted
product back to the parent item and mill.
- In order to efficiently control finished
costs through the entire transformation process, tracking
the costs related to the waste and recycling the scrap had
to be managed within the software.
- Maintaining integrity of inventory cost
at the SKU-level as the raw material moved through its various
transformations was a critical factor.
- With regard to its export needs, HTA
needed a system that allowed it to upload and track multi-line
orders, validate the information, and prepare all export
- Operating in a global trading environment,
HTA required a system that supported multi-language and
multi-currency accounting processes.
- A final key element was that the
solution had to have a solid fully-integrated accounting
system. The proper solution would provide HTA with the ability
to balance its accounts quickly so that accurate accounting
information could be passed to other enterprise wide systems
at its business partners.
Collaborating for Results
Collaborating with BSI's development team,
HTA has achieved all of the primary objectives of the initial
project with the 3rdwave applications.
Today, HTA closely matches its supply and
demand requirements. With 3rdwave providing complete inventory
status throughout its global supply pipeline, HTA immediately
determines availability of inventory to meet demand. Working
closely with its processors, HTA gathers demand data within
3rdwave, analyzes it, and drives its purchase orders to the
Mills insuring that the right product is produced and delivered
according to actual demand needs. EDI ASNs (856) from its
suppliers streamlines HTA's receiving processes, virtually
insuring the accuracy of inventory throughout the supply pipeline.
If delivered to a processor for further processing, 3rdwave
monitors the inventory derived from the parent, its waste
and its cost. Providing visibility into the status of inventory
through the transformation process, 3rdwave insures that delivery
to HAM and its tier-one suppliers are met according to its
tight JIT programs.
With 3rdwave's integrated purchase order
management, sales order management, documentation, traffic
and accounting modules, HTA has full visibility into the status
of its domestic, export and import orders.
For its export business, HTA has increased
the accuracy and dramatically streamline the time required
in documentation preparation. It is not uncommon for HTA to
process a +1000 line-item export order. A process that took
days to complete is now accomplished in several minutes and
will take only a few hours to print.
With 3rdwave, HTA generates the Pro-froma
Invoice, Commercial Invoice, Packing Lists/Manifests, SEDs,
and Bills of Lading in multiple languages, if required.
HTA has realized its accounting and finance
department objectives with 3rdwave. Maintaining accounts in
the currency of the transaction and being able to mediate
exchange rates against the U.S. dollar provides HTA with accurate
and up-to-the minute account statuses. 3rdwave also provides
complete exchange rate profit and loss analysis.
With the complete cost integration within
3rdwave, HTA balances inventory costs with the G/L and analyze
any variances quickly. HTA is able to accurately close its
books within 48 hours of period end and provide head office
and management with timely accounting month and year-end reporting.
3rdwave provides HTA with access to accurate
information in real-time thereby supporting the functional
needs of operators and the strategic requirements of management.
3rdwave insures that accounts are in balance
throughout the system with complete audit trails thereby insuring
that information reported across the system has total full
HTA and 3rdwave: Partnering into the
Finally, HTA and BSI have developed a true
partnership in its ongoing information technology needs and
infrastructure. Working closely with HTA, BSI provides valuable
and critical insight into how HTA's IT requirements can be
turned into practical solutions and positively and profitably
impact HTA's business processes. Working collaboratively with
BSI to use 3rdwave as not only an effective operating but
also a strategic tool, HTA continues to adapt 3rdwave to meet
its expansion plans, changing environment and the diverse
needs of its customers, suppliers and business partners.
Greg Norval of HTA, who has been
responsible for the 3rdwave project from its inception in
1993, says, "BSI is an integral member of our information
systems team. They provide much more than just software to
HTA. BSI assists us in affecting change and improvements in
our business processes. The senior management and programming
staff have all quickly come to understand our business and
have been able to apply that understanding into effective
3rdwave solutions. 3rdwave has grown with HTA, and together
we look forward to meeting HTA's future growth and business
challenges with continued success.