Transparency Comes to Supply Chain

May 14, 2021

MBX Systems was founded in 1995 as a company providing computer hardware to consumers. By 2000, MBX had evolved into offering OEM solutions to help software companies integrate their technology into the newly-forming server appliance model. Today, they offer full service supply chain management to enterprise hardware and technology companies and create transparency by offering collaboration and integration capabilities through their technology platform. Per Justin Formella, Chief Strategy Officer, MBX Systems, “We help our customers manage their supply chain and ensure resiliency of the individual components and necessary raw materials they need for their fully-integrated hardware systems, basically becoming the entire back end operating arm.”

MBX’s platform is a combination of software, toolsets, and services that provides view and capture of real time information on components, stocking, supplier management, and inventory through a modern RESTful API. It allows MBX’s customers to easily integrate supply chain and inventory management processes by submitting and pulling data for manufacturing. Per Formella, “A lot of companies are dealing with manual back and forth interactions in the supply chain. Our API allows them to integrate this into their workflow.” To create transparency across physical locations, MBX technology ensures all applications are consistent, the data is real time and the infrastructure is basically accessible from anywhere in the world.”

One of MBX’s primary differentiators is the ability to help customers minimize supply chain disruptions by leveraging their global partner network. Through strong relationships with partners like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Seagate and Supermicro, MBX receives notice of product changes or potential disruptions that it then shares with customers so that they can accelerate inventory stocking or reconfigure system components to avoid problems. These details from their partner network also integrate into the MBX platform for seamless, real-time data and reporting.

MBX services also include a strong engineering bench to help customers arrive at the right components and raw materials for the problem they are trying to solve and test the results. The engineering team provides services including compliance, acoustic testing, thermal testing, security testing, penetration testing, even rugged potentially harsh environment testing. MBX’s work with Scale Computing is an example of their attention to detail and their collaborative relationship with customers. Originally using a competitor for their hardware partner, Scale experienced several supply chain issues including lengthy customization cycles, hard drive failures, and missing accessories in shipments. By shifting to MBX, Scale corrected these issues and accessed more robust engineering, customization and support services. The change helped Scale consistently deliver a quality product.

In their quest to be a market leader, MBX’s roadmap includes a plan to release a product called Hatch (a name to signify a new idea). Hatch is designed to help companies manage the process of bringing a highly variable product to market. One of its core features is a “configurable bill of materials” that allows a single bill of materials to represent a product with any number of possible variations. The same software will also provide transparency and relationships in supply chain management. MBX’s goal is to deliver tools and software that help companies manage a complex, resilient supply chain through a collaborative, transparent platform that enables companies to share specific information with customers or suppliers. Per Formella, “It’s the sharing of information upstream and downstream that really is a differentiator.”

This article was originally featured in CIO Review.

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