Cincinnati Innovates Featured Entry: xRP and xRP Agented Network

Is manufacturing dead? Not if the creators of xRP and xRP Agented Network have anything to say about it. With the manufacturing industry down to 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the US, local author and innovator Ben Moore sees an opportunity to help reverse that trend.

The project's unique name: xRP, comes from Wood's book, The Consumer's Workshop: The Future of American Manufacturing.  In it, Wood concludes that in order to remobilize the manufacturing sector, a next generation of Enterprise Resource Planning (eRP) systems would need to be implemented to connect manufacturing resources and capabilities, hence xRP. 

The xRP Agented Network is a network of Intelligent Software Agents representing the capabilities and capacity of companies; these agents communicate and self organize with each other to meet the needs of companies on the network. The xRP Agented Network combines the capabilities of individual manufacturers to bid on and win work that none of these companies could do alone. The Cincinnati region is home to multiple manufacturing capabilities and excess capacity. Due to size, many are limited by their sales and marketing ability. The xRP Agented Network should help level the playing field by putting these manufacturers in front of potential sale opportunities.

The xRP Agented Network originated with a Department of Defense project the group was involved with in the late '90s. Using intelligent software, also known as agents, programmed to represent each machine, tool, fixture and employee in the factory, the software could negotiate with each other to determine the best and most profitable schedule for the factory.

Moore says he never planned on building his own CRM/ERP system, but as he continued to build systems for clients, the framework for xRP began to take shape.

"I hope xRP and the xRP Agented Network will help the manufacturing sector grow again in the US."

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