Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Electronic Commerce
Electronic Commerce is an efficient business system that operates in an electronic environment. The system establishes electronic user relationships and authorizations; promotes electronic data interchange (EDI); uses security to protect proprietary data; employs modern search algorithms so products can be built faster and better; and saves time and money by reducing paperwork.
Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) heavily invested in the development of an extensive Electronic Commerce system. One of the company’s top requirements was that the system be in compliance with the Contractor Integrated Technical Information Service (CITIS). Many government programs are now requiring the use of CITIS on new programs. RMSC successfully met its CITIS requirement by implementing the Product Data Management (PDM) system.
The PDM system handles the authentication, encryption, and access to the Electronic Commerce system. What is unique is that RMSC personnel tailored this COTS product to suit the specific needs of the company, and then sent the code to the PDM vendor who put it under configuration control and released it as a new baseline. This achievement enables RMSC to use a standard commercial product, which is tailored to the company’s needs and does not need to be maintained by the company. The PDM system is accessible via MAC, PC, and UNIX, and allows users to access any data on the Electronic Commerce system, provided they have authorization. In this way, the company simultaneously has total flexibility and control of the system.
Web-based EDI capabilities are another component of the Electronic Commerce system. These capabilities have overcome many of the high costs and problems associated with earlier versions. As a result, RMSC improved inventory cycles; eliminated manual steps; and reduced errors, delivery times, and costs compared to similar paper- based systems. Security was also a major concern at RMSC since proprietary data would be accessed from outside the firewall. Typically, 128-bit PGP or SSL encryption is used with Netscape browsers to allow for smooth access to all approved users. RMSC’s Electronic Commerce system relies on the tailored PDM system for encryption. The PDM system has proven to be so successful at the Tucson facility that Raytheon has assigned the Tucson group to implement PDM as a CITIS solution throughout the corporation.
RMSC achieved a major milestone with one of its missile programs. Using the Electronic Commerce system, RMSC electronically submitted all of the ESSM program’s Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) items to the program office. This electronic delivery was the first of its kind at RMSC. The Electronic Commerce system’s IPT structure and sophisticated PDM tool set were integral to the success of this electronic CDRL delivery.
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