Baan's inroad to auto industry

Compact 3000, a British consulting firm specializing in supply chain systems for the auto industry, is the latest of Baan's buys.

The Baan Company's buying binge continued today with the purchase of Compact 3000, a British consulting firm specializing in supply chain systems for the automotive industry, particularly lean manufacturing.

"This acquisition is an attractive opportunity to add to our existing consulting resources," said Joachim Tonassi, general manager of Baan's automotive solution center. "During the past six years, Baan and Compact have worked well together serving several mutual customers on a global basis. Now we will be able to serve the automotive industry even more extensively."

Compact is privately held and details of the purchase were not released other than part of the deal for the share capital of Compact is the issuance of 40,000 shares to Compact shareholders.

The Dutch firm with U.S. headquarters in Reston, Virginia, has adopted a buy instead of build policy to supplement its software. It bought British financial software maker the Coda Group earlier this year and sales force automation software company Aurum last year.

With the addition of Compact, Baan gains an additional inroad to first and second tier automotive suppliers. The automotive industry is one of eight industries in which Baan has limited its focus. It already has Ford Motor Company and Mercedes-Benz among its customers.

Baan also gets a staff experienced in the concepts of lean manufacturing, a technique that allows production facilities to make products with minimal inventory on hand. The idea behind it is to keep inventory levels low which translates to more cash on the books.