Compiled By Deborah Austin Johnson Controls Inc. has launched eCounterline, a new electronic procurement system expected to eliminate 500,000 manual transactions each year and speed up purchasing/approval processes. eCounterline, to be used throughout Johnson's Controls business office and plants, marks the first step in a planned complete electronic supply chain. All goods for the Controls business will be purchased online by the end of 2001, anticipates the firm. "This greatly simplifies the supply chain because data enters the system only once," says director of procurement John Pierson. "Procurement becomes an instantaneous 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operation." Key suppliers can better manage inventories, with goods pulled through the supply chain on an as-needed basis. Milwaukee-headquartered $17.2 billion Johnson Controls is a leading provider in automotive systems and facility management and control.