Leader in Plasma Manufacturing Saves $1.5M with New Supplier Portal

Advanced Energy pulls off key system integration.
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The Liferay Difference

Advanced Energy experienced:
  • Improved communication/collaboration with suppliers
  • Leveraged SAP transactions with immense flexibility
  • Reusable architecture for customer portals
  • Estimated savings of $1.5 million over client’s proprietary platform


Founded in 1981, Advanced Energy is a global leader in reliable power conversion solutions used in thin-film plasma manufacturing processes and solar energy generation. Advanced Energy has regional centers in three continents with 1400 employees and revenue over $400 million. 
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Moving from Silos to Efficient Communication

As a global manufacturer of highly complex products that include thousands of components, Advanced Energy had no centralized system in place to collaborate with its suppliers. They relied on a silo approach to communicate in which each method was independent of one another. Fax, email, and phone communications were each used separately to assure crucial workflow information such as forecast and purchase order commitments were relayed back and forth. 

Moreover, critical changes driven by material requirement planning were slowly communicated with very little collaboration between departments. This lowered the likelihood of meeting certain requirement deadlines, which resulted in manufacturing delays. High human touch point levels significantly reduced both client and client suppliers’ opportunity for efficiency and increased margin of error. 

In terms of technical challenges, Advanced Energy was looking for a product that could integrate with their legacy SAP Netweaver platform. The legacy systems did not have necessary functionality to solve the constraints placed on the current system and would have been very expensive to modify. As a result, the new solution would have to complement the underlying SAP functionality while keeping associated costs down.
Thanks to the Liferay and CIGNEX implementation, communication among our business units has been much more efficient and consistent.
Rajeev Ankireddypalli
Vice President of IT

Launching a Well-Integrated Collaboration

With the help of CIGNEX Datamatics, Advanced Energy decided to adopt and integrate Liferay Portal along with their legacy SAP ECC portal. The integration would be carried out via SAP’s Process Integration component.

After heavy development of the portal, Advanced Energy rolled out a solution that would improve communication between the parties. The collaboration between client and supplier was enhanced with message boards, upload and download of documents, and contact information enabled at the supplier level via permissions. New supplier users were granted registration upon approval.

The site also highlights enhanced user experience and better CMS functionality with segregated content, communities, and document libraries. The solutions include the following technical features:
  •  Scalable solution in various SAP functions (including ESS, CRM, MSS)
  • Support for EDI and XLS using SAP Netweaver PI
  • Rich user interface
  • SSO enabled for client LDAP users
  • Email capabilities for suppliers to request information or purchase order
  • Special alerts on forecast or purchase order lines where immediate action may be required
  • Excel download capabilities for both forecast and purchase order
  • Pop-up and hover information across forecast and purchase order as required

New Portal Results in Savings of $1.5 Million

The team at Advanced Energy saw the results and benefits of their new project soon after implementation. The collaborative portal enabled suppliers to forecast and procure purchase orders with estimated savings of over 1.5 million dollars. Moreover, communication within the organization was now much more effective, and critical information was no longer hampered by a lack of collaboration.