Manufacturing and CPG

Using APIs to deliver cost-saving insights and weather the global supply crunch

Using APIs to deliver cost-saving insights and weather the global supply crunch

In the world of construction and engineering, keeping costs low and processes efficient can help to manage the rising costs of raw materials. But there’s more to successful construction projects than just managing costs and running a tight operation.

Developing API services around your suite of products can accelerate development, boost security, and unlock valuable new efficiencies through digital transformation. Using an optimal API management solution can encourage construction and engineering businesses to develop, share, and govern APIs across its business system.

That’s exactly what one leading construction equipment manufacturer is doing with Axway’s help. This manufacturer offers a variety of products and services for the C & E industry, including tools, equipment, CAD software, data products, and IoT (internet-of-things) sensors.

To better service its customers with evolving tools, the manufacturer realized it needed to grow its digital business initiatives. It had some existing API capabilities via Amazon EC2, but its older IT architecture was causing delays in its manual API process.

“Managing the API lifecycle was still a manual process, and developers were heavily dependent on the global IT team to make changes,” said the firm’s spokesperson. “Each month we received around 50 requests to publish new services to the platform, causing a significant bottleneck for our developers.”

These internal challenges were also exacerbated by supply chain pressures. Having real-time data to help its clients use their assets more efficiently was a strong consideration in any work discussions. Executives understood that it needed a partner for a fully-integrated APIM solution to help integrate into its operations management.

Supply chain issues

In the past few years, global supply chains in many industries have been under pressure. Expectations were high that supply issues could normalize sometime in 2022, but the reality is these supply shortages continue, especially as geopolitical conditions drag on the effects of Covid-19. In the C & E worlds, sourcing equipment and shortages of key materials like aluminum, steel, paint and coatings, lumber, cements, and others are still causing delays.

An Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) survey found that over 90 percent of companies reported projects have been impacted by rising costs of materials. The firms surveyed reported profit margins are impacted, and a third of the companies noted they were unable to pass those added costs on to project owners.

Project delays are also high. About 88% of the companies surveyed experienced project delays. Of these, three-quarters of the firms said the delays resulted from longer lead times. Workforce shortages also contributed to the delays.

As Axway Catalyst Brian Otten points out, technology cannot solve all the complex issues causing supply chain woes. However, “those who were further along on their digital transformation journey have had an advantage in weathering the storm — without needing a sudden workforce surge.”

Supply chain volatility in the construction industry this year is also expected, and those who can are automating their processes will likely be in a better position to emerge stronger. Not only could this reduce downtime, reap better operational insights, and bolster asset utilization and efficiency, but it makes everyone work a little smarter.

In the C & E world, more construction firms, engineering firms, contractors, and related companies are realizing the promise of construction technologies connected onto one platform. Through this process, people, teams, assets, processes, and job sites for construction and engineering jobs can be measured and monitored on one platform.

Working with Axway to enable self-service for developers

Knowing this, the manufacturer wanted to get ahead of its technology challenges, and selected Axway’s Amplify API Management as the future foundation with self-service capabilities for its API developers.

The company’s due diligence revealed that Axway’s solution met its established requirements and more. It found that developers could publish, discover, and reuse APIs without internal assistance from the global IT team. Plus, Amplify supported the latest OAuth and OpenID Connect authentication protocols.

Working with Axway, the manufacturer deployed and configured Amplify API Management in the AWS cloud. The company uses a third-party web application firewall (WAF) as a first line of defense against cyber threats, combined with security policies in Amplify to ensure that only authorized users can make successful API calls.

The manufacturer began to develop reusable components with its move to a central API-powered platform. These components were used everything from handling checkout on its e-commerce site to registering customers for its various online services.

Benefits of Amplify

In using Amplify, the construction manufacturer realized savings almost immediately. It reduced its new API publishing requests from 50 requests to about three requests. Clearly, developers are taking advantage of the self-service capabilities to publish their open APIs.

Other results included:

  • Accelerated development, cutting time to market for new cost-saving services
  • Reduced API developers’ reliance on support from global IT team by 94 percent
  • Enabled over 700 million highly secure API calls per month
  • Offered a central portal to help developers discover and reuse services

The manufacturer now manages about 500 APIs that serve some 700 million monthly requests. The company expects that number to rise as it continues to explore the capabilities of the Amplify API Management Platform.

Using the right API management solution, similar C & E companies can start to reuse APIs to grow their businesses. Learn to develop and govern APIs throughout your entire digital ecosystem with an open API management platform. It can relieve some of the headaches with incompatible gateway vendors, misaligned architectures, and limits on deployment.

Axway’s Amplify API Management Platform provides the protection, assurance, and proven path to fast-track your digital business initiatives. Be the lead, not the barrier, to securely unlocking APIs and advancing your business.

Discover how the Amplify platform can help initiate and grow an API program for your organization securely using your current legacy systems and resources.