With all the talk and activity going on to improve the supply chain, few companies have any method in place to measure how well -- or how badly -- they are doing. Now companies that use SAP will have a chance to insert a "thermometer" in the mouth of their supply chain and see if it's healthy or not. Under a recently announced alliance with The Performance Measurement Group LLC (PMG), SAP will offer companies the ability to measure the effectiveness of their enterprise and extended supply-chain operations compared with other firms in their industry. "By focusing on standard metrics and key performance indicators, SAP has created a powerful new tool on which to base strategic organizational and operational improvement decisions," says Werner Dilzer, program director of ValueSAP at SAP AG in Walldorf, Germany. He says the alliance with PMG quantifies "how the SAP extended supply-chain software affects their companies' supply-chain performance." Adds Keith Belton, CEO of PMG, "Using metrics is necessary for manufacturers to achieve continuous improvements in their supply-chain management processes."