Last Friday, Hyphen Solutions, LLC announced the launch of their new residential item master database, “SkuSphere.” The new SkuSphere catalog has been designed to easily integrate into existing bidding, sales, procurement, selections, CAD, and enterprise-planning systems. SkuSphere will automate the integration of product, takeoff, and SKU-level details on all appliances, equipment, materials, and product assemblies that are specifically utilized in the residential construction industry.
The idea for SkuSphere actually began ten years ago with the debut of SupplyPro, which Hyphen designed to integrate homebuilders’ back-office systems with their trade partners’. The two-way communication portal enabled suppliers and builders to collaborate regardless of the specific project management system a builder uses. The need for a coherent master item catalog shared by all parties in the supply chain became glaringly obvious within the first few months.
The integration of automated purchasing functionality with the other back-office functions was impeded by the lack of SKU-level information on system-generated purchase orders. In order to complete supply requisitions, builders and suppliers have had to reference and enter the data by hand for each form. The confusing plethora of SKUs available has left builders and suppliers struggling to keep their master master item lists current and consistent. SkuSphere solves this problem by providing coordinated master list data to all supply chain participants–free of charge.
According to Hyphen Solutions chair David B. Deniger, “this industry-wide, free catalog should help bridge the supply chain impediments which arise from conflicts in nomenclature among thousands of manufacturers, distributors, installers and builders.” The catalog, which will be shared across all parties in the supply chain, “will add clarity and reduce transaction costs for builders, installers, distributors and manufacturers, while providing specificity of items purchased and installed.”
“SkuSphere will enhance our SupplyPro Connect customers’ fulfillment,” said Felix Vasquez, President and CTO of Hyphen Solutions, LLC. Hyphen Solutions order fulfillment currently benefits from “direct integration [with] customer builders’ ERP into vendor order entry systems [featuring] enhanced mapping of PO line item detail,” and “as the residential supply chain adopts the data feeds from the new catalog, buyer and seller technologies will perfectly integrate to include mapped manufacturer, distributor, installer, and builder nomenclature into a shareable item master complete with retail or wholesale descriptions.”
Linking the product specifications to bidding, procurement, and fulfillment systems will eliminate manual processing, thus “allowing construction automation to take a giant step forward,” adds Vasquez, a move that is in keeping with the developments in other manufacturing sectors,” adds Vasquez.
SupplyPro’s 35,000 users enjoy real-time scheduling, collaboration, and purchasing functions that include bidding tools, change orders, inspection, document sharing, electronic payment, lein releases, and warranty tracking. In 2014, SupplyPro handled more than 200,000 tasks per day and distributed over 15 million purchase orders for residential construction totaling in excess of $15 billion.