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ARC STAR Technology & Supplier Selection Service

New information technologies such as Internet of Things, predictive analytics, wireless, additive manufacturing, cloud computing, mobility, and 3D visualization are beginning to disrupt and radically change the way industrial enterprises do business. Departing from the characteristic industry conservatism, leading companies now recognize that they must embrace new information and automation technologies to maintain a competitive edge.

Information and automation technologies will play a greater role in the production process than in the past. The goal is to increase productivity, flexibility, and responsiveness by automating all industrial processes that don’t require human intervention and empowering humans with the timely, in-context information they need to improve performance on the plant or factory floor and manage the business.

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What technologies should you adopt and what suppliers should you work with to help position your company to take advantage of the latest round of technology changes while prioritizing your investments wisely? ARC STAR Technology & Supplier Selection Service can help you in many ways such as:

  1. You are looking for a proven evaluation process
  2. You have a process but are unaware of the best criteria to use
  3. You don't have the time, or you're looking for ways to save money
  4. You are looking for ways to avoid conflict among your team
  5. You need research information, a selection guide of sorts
  6. You want to re-evaluate your existing suppliers to make sure they meet your changing needs

STAR stands for "Solutions That Accelerate Results".  ARC STAR refers to a family of ARC offerings that will enable you to identify and select STAR solutions that perfectly fit your needs.  The ARC STAR tool for Supplier Evaluation and Selection is specifically designed for technology users and acts as a selection guide for evaluating alternatives.    Available for many technology domains, this comprehensive product will guide you through the complexities of a strategic decision in technology selection.  (See ARC STAR Available Solutions on the right.)

A major technology investment for any company will entail a total cost of ownership that can run into the millions of dollars over its product lifecycle. The goal of ARC STAR Service is to help ensure that you receive the maximum payback from this investment by guiding you to the solution that best meets your company's specific technical, commercial, and business requirements.

Download ARC STAR BrochureEven if you feel that you already have a good grasp of the available solution providers and have adequate supplier selection experience, the ARC STAR product can reduce the time and effort required to identify all the appropriate technologies and suppliers, interact with the right stakeholders, manage the process both internally (your teams) and externally (the solution providers), and – ultimately – make this a fact-based decision.  Often times, you are working in collaboration with another company.  In those cases, you'll want an independent and field proven process, like ARC's, to be your selection guide.

Working with ARC will ensure your selection process is impartial, fact based, expeditious, thorough, and fair for all involved.  The ARC STAR product, delivered as an annual service, is a scalable offering that can be tailored to meet your needs based on your knowledge, bandwidth, and time constraints.  We can deliver the toolset, and have our analysts as involved as you would like, to facilitate the process flow and management of information.  In the end, you'll have made the best possible decision, and will have documented the process fully for team records and management signoff.

ARC STAR Service - Easy as 1-2-3

The ARC STAR Service delivers the tool, and can deliver ARC expertise.  The combination delivers information and a methodology that guides you though the entire selection process, introducing you to one step of the project after another, progressively disclosing more information to ensure your learning curve is minimal.  As you complete one step, the next one opens up.  You can always revisit past steps, review and improve past inputs or alter or improve your selection strategies. 

Step 1: Define Your Project and Identify Your Team
The process begins with summarizing your project and defining your selection team.  This tool enables you to begin the process of sharing research, making sure your team in up to date with the latest industry and technology developments.  Every bit of information you enter into your custom ARC STAR Service will be saved on-line and available only to your team, and the ARC analysts assigned to assist you. 

Step 2: Identify Your Selection Criteria and Generate an RFI
This is where ARC domain experience begins to add value to your project.  ARC Analysts have been researching most technology topics for decades.  Based on this knowledge, ARC analysts have prepared comprehensive sets of criteria for many key topics to help you select the best solution available on the market. The selection criteria included with this service is a valuable starting point for your team.  You have the ability to review it, add to it or delete certain items that are not relevant to your project. 

Step 3: Weighting the Criteria and Rating the Supplier Results
The most challenging aspect of any Supplier Selection process is making sure their solutions ideally meet your needs.  This means your team needs intimately understand your needs, and agree to their relative importance in your current and future scenario.  That alone is a monumental task that is fraught with confrontation, opinion, and emotion.  So, how do you handle this scientifically?  The ARC STAR Service manages the criteria weighting separately from the supplier ranking, and combines the two for final review and reporting at the end of the process.  It also includes a tool based on the Analytic Hierarchy Product (AHP), that can be applied to both the criteria weighting as well as the supplier rating.  This tool takes the variability out of the process, replacing it with a sound methodology that is applied equally and consistently by each member of the team.

Once the weighting and supplier results have been reviewed and properly tabulated, ARC STAR Service will provide an analysis based on Kepner-Tregoe® (KT) techniques.  This combines the data into a final score, by supplier, that is then used to generate the supplier rating.  In addition, you have the ability to review data at any time, and revisit decisions, viewing their impacts on the final outcome. 

ARC STAR Service is both a business process and a toolset that we have developed based on our experience executing dozens of supplier selection projects over the past 25 years.  The ARC STAR Service combines in-depth ARC research with specific selection criteria for each category of solution technology domain, and a consistent selection methodology to help ensure that you make the most informed decision possible.

ARC STAR Service Benefits

ARC STAR Service is delivered as a customer hosted Excel Workbook.  This solution leverages expertise you and your team already have.  The Workbook is automated through macros and, at the click of a button, will step you through the process of performing a supplier or solution selection with maximized quality and minimized effort.

A small investment in the ARC STAR Service will pay for itself with the savings in time during the selection process alone.  However, the real return on investment comes from selecting the right solution for your company.  You'll maximize your company's performance, agility, and competitiveness.  In summary, ARC STAR Service provides you many benefits including:

  1. Standardized Business Process
  2. High Quality Solution Selection Criteria
  3. A Proven, Fact Based Analysis Tools
  4. Shorten Project Cycle Time & Save
  5. Create and Audit Trail

For more information, or to arrange a demo of this service, please contact us.

 Available Technology Selection Guides