DETROIT - Even as Ford Motor Co. helped create Covisint, Ford went its own way beginning in 2000 with a complex and costly Internet purchasing software system designed to consolidate Ford's nearly 30 different systems worldwide.
Within Ford, some information technology people argued that Ford didn't need to create the Everest software system. They maintained that the Big 3-founded Covisint would do the job.
Now, after four years of development and hundreds of millions in investment, Ford is quietly scrapping the Everest system.
Everest was conceived in the dot-com era to increase dramatically the speed at which Ford exchanges information with suppliers by automating purchasing processes. A key benefit was that it would allow for the quick exchange of common standard documents such as invoices.
But Everest was fraught with problems as Ford undertook the expensive integration of the purchasing software from Oracle Corp. into Ford's own systems.
One Tier 1 supplier source who frequently used the system called Everest "very time-consuming." The source complained that Everest took five times longer than the system it was replacing. Everest required users to navigate through multiple screens for even simple functions.
Another supplier nicknamed the system "Neverest."