Bellcore's PDSS Streamlines Purchasing with LINDO

Bellcore, the research and engineering firm owned by the regional Bell Telephone companies, is now offering Release 3.0 of their PDSS system. PDSS uses the LINDO optimizer to let managers make least cost purchasing decisions among many vendors, while still allowing individual requirements, such as supplier capacity and dollar award limits, to be satisfied.

PDSS was built using LINDO's linkable object code, offered with all Hyper and larger versions of LINDO. The interface takes the user through a well-defined and clear progression of steps, from entering vendor data to defining constraints and printing reports. The user can also perform "what-if" analysis to determine the effect of projected changes in a purchasing strategy.

In a telephone interview, Bellcore's Dr. Amir Sadrian explained the genesis of the PDSS program. Originally, LINDO was used simply to deliver the lowest-cost mix of purchases. Then the developers realized that all aspects of the complicated purchasing process could be incorporated into the system. Since Bellcore's client firms work in a complex environment, in which additional costs result from delays, and purchases are spread among multiple vendors with differing prices, various production capacities, and limits on dollar award, it formerly took several weeks to evaluate a new purchase contract. Now with PDSS and LINDO, the time is reduced to several hours. Aside from the reduction in error rate, paperwork and time, optimization takes the guesswork out of the process. The best combination of purchases is found quickly and automatically. "Purchasing managers have realized savings up to 15 percent over the previous manual method," Dr. Sadrian said.

In 1993, PDSS received the finalist award in the prestigious Franz Edelman Competition for Management Science Achievement. PDSS is currently in use at a number of regional Bell operating companies, where it has already been used in over $600 million in purchasing decisions. It's also being used by several major telecommunications suppliers as well as companies outside of telecommunications. PDSS is available for purchase by firms outside of the regional Bell operating companies.

The package is PC-based, and features pull-down menus and context sensitive on-line help. Data can be exchanged with many other packages, and PDSS features sophisticated report generation. For more information, contact Bellcore Technology Licensing at 1-800-527-1080. For more information on LINDO, see our products pages. You can also download a trial version from the download page or order a version directly from our order page.

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