Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation will expand its implementation of Open Ratings' solution for supplier risk management as part of a supply network initiative to monitor financial and quality issues.

This decision reflects Eaton's successful introduction of Open Ratings' SBManager program in its automotive and truck divisions. Now, Eaton is working with Open Ratings to create a company-wide monitoring system that will give advance notice of potential supplier instability in time to put safeguards in place.

With 2005 sales of $11.1 billion, Eaton is a global provider of fluid power, electrical, automotive and truck components and segments. Its move to an enterprise-level risk management strategy reflects growing recognition among manufacturers that an aggressive, proactive approach to reducing risk in all forms in the supply network is a critical element in achieving operational excellence.

"We are pleased to expand the use of Open Ratings' solution as part of a comprehensive supply chain strategy," said Richard B. Jacobs, vice president of supply chain management at Cleveland-based Eaton. "Open Ratings will help us gain critical visibility and actionable insight into any potential issues before a disruption occurs."

With Open Ratings, Eaton gains insight into thousands of suppliers worldwide as well as the new ability to identify challenged suppliers, quantify spending with at-risk suppliers and evaluate risks.

"Production threats can come from limitless sources: Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers, transportation carriers, government action and more," said Jim Lawton, vice president of marketing for Open Ratings. "Today's global economy, increased dependence on outsourcing strategies, supplier rationalization and lean manufacturing initiatives have created this new imperative for deep, predictive supplier intelligence. We look forward to helping Eaton bring the art of supplier risk management to a new level."

Open Ratings' SBManager captures critical information on lawsuits, quality issues and other indicators creating a complete, forward-looking measure of supplier stability. Using machine-learning technology, SBManager combines third-party data from financial, legal and government compliance organizations with an organization's own experiences with supplier quality and reliability to profile, monitor and alert managers of potential problems in the supply base. This gives customers deep supplier insight into financial and operational performance, parent company associations and linkages, and most importantly, warning as much as six months in advance that a supplier is facing crisis.

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