About a year ago, QAD made the wise and relatively inexpensive acquisition of DynaSys in France for sales and operations planning (S&OP), procurement planning, production planning, distribution planning, demand planning, strategic network planning, and inventory optimization capabilities. Strasbourg is now a supply chain management (SCM) competence center for QAD, as DynaSys has 27 years of experience and several million (USD) in revenues. About 20 percent of its customers are joint with QAD.
QAD can now vicariously tackle some other industries where it hasn’t had much success in light of its traditional focus on manufacturing. Most recently, DynaSys, a supply chain planning (SCP) division of QAD, announced it has signed a new contract with Sodebo, a European producer of fresh food including pizza, sandwiches, pasta, and salads. The company’s products are distributed to supermarkets and caterers and exported within the European Union.
The issue of forecasting intermittent demand has been one that has plagued companies forever. Many very smart people have tried to tackle it; many vendors like to say they focus on it. Few vendors make it as singular a focus as Massachusetts-based Smart Software. Principals Charles Smart, Nelson Hartunian (Ph.D.), and Thomas Willemain(Ph.D.) have been studying the issue for almost 30 years, have perfected their own proprietary forecasting method (the Smart-Willemain method), and won numerous grants to study the issue of intermittent demand.
Forecasting demand when the demand history has been a consistent level of X units per period of time is not particularly difficult; neither is forecasting demand when there has been a consistent and steady growth in the level of demand. This is not to say that forecasting is easy, but forecasting steady demand, or steadily growing demand, is relatively straightforward.
Volatile, intermittent demand is another matter altogether. Read the rest of this entry »
ToolsGroup continues to carve out a space for itself in supply chain. Not satisfied with being the last remaining independent multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) vendor, ToolsGroup is pushing forward with broader supply chain capabilities centered around a core statistics-focused demand forecasting capability. While many will argue the virtues of “top down” vs. “middle out” vs. “bottom up” forecasting (or a mix of these approaches), ToolsGroup has maintained a focus on bottom-up forecasting, particularly suited for fast, slow, erratic, and intermittent demand. Read the rest of this entry »
QAD Inc. continues to gain new customers via its relatively autonomous divisions, such as Precision Software for transportation management, and the recently acquired DynaSys for supply chain management (SCM) and CEBOS for quality management. QAD expects all of those products to carry their own weight and continue to sell to non-QAD enterprise resource planning (ERP) customers (in addition to cross-selling to QAD ERP customers).
Most recently, DynaSys, a division that provides solutions for demand and supply chain planning, announced that the RAJA Group has implemented DynaSys n.SKEP Retail Planning to help its growth strategy. The European distributor of packaging, business supplies, and consumables deployed DynaSys n.SKEP Retail Planning “Ready To Plan” (RTP) solution as part of its plan to upgrade its IT systems.
TEC’s decision-support engine, robust feature/function models, and rich database of vendor capabilities enable TEC clients to realize faster time-to-value in software decisions. Watching the evolution of how clients use software advisory firms, and, then, starting up my own analyst firm, has persuaded me more strongly than ever of the value of such an online capability for software evaluation. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series analyzed the late-March acquisition of long-struggling inventory optimization (IO) provider Optiant by long well-performing supply chain management (SCM) provider Logility. I then discussed Logility’s acquisition history to set the stage for the current offerings that Optiant will join.The 2004 acquisition of Demand Management, Inc. (DMI) and its Demand Solutions brand was especially valuable as it provided more than 800 active customers in the growing small and midsize enterprise (SME) market for Logility. Today, Logility’s customer base encompasses about 1,250 companies located in more than 70 countries, which gives Logility the largest installed base of supply chain planning (SCP) customers among application software vendors. Moreover, Logility is possibly the only SCP vendor that can meet the needs of SMEs, large companies (i.e., from US $200 million to US $1 billion in revenues), and Fortune 1000 markets (with over US$1 billion in revenues).
Part 2 thus first analyzed the Demand Solutions product line [evaluate this product] to the SME market through DMI’s global value added resellers (VAR) network. The article then started to analyze the Logility Voyager Solutions suite [evaluate this product], which is a broader SCM offering for the upper end of the market. The final part of this blog series now continues with the analysis of the Logility Voyager Solutions suite and analyzes how Optiant might fit in.
Part 1 of this series analyzed the late-March acquisition of long struggling inventory optimization (IO) provider Optiant by long well-performing supply chain management (SCM) provider Logility. The blog post then discussed Logility’s acquisition history to set the stage for the current offerings that Optiant will join.
The 2004 acquisition of Demand Management, Inc. (DMI) and its Demand Solutions brand was particularly valuable as it provided more than 800 active customers in the growing small and midsize enterprise (SME) market for Logility. Today, Logility’s customer base encompasses about 1,250 companies located in more than 70 countries.
These facts give Logility the largest installed base of supply chain planning (SCP) customers among application software vendors. Logility is possibly the only SCP vendor that can meet the needs of SMEs, large companies (i.e., from US $200 million to US $1 billion in revenues), and Fortune 1000 markets (with over US$1 billion in revenues).
Last week, I attended a supply chain management (SCM) user conference in Florida.
The main objective of the user conference was to help users learn and share experiences to eliminate business pains faced either due to lack of technology or business processes. MS Excel, was proudly mentioned in many of the conversations I had with supply chain professionals. It felt like SCM professionals were married to Excel, and their supply chain and operational activities cannot function without it. Read the rest of this entry »
The mergers and acquisition (M&A) market seems to be coming back slowly. One evidence of this could be the late-March acquisition of long-struggling inventory optimization (IO) provider Optiant by long well-performing supply chain management (SCM) provider Logility.
Now, I certainly wasn’t surprised by Optiant’s acquisition per se. After all, it was only a matter of time before Optiant would be acquired (or simply go out of business).
Many CFOs, CTOs, supply chain managers, and logistics managers struggle to decide which supply chain management (SCM) software is best-suited to their organizational needs. It doesn’t help that there is an abundance (literally hundreds) of SCM solutions available on the market. Today, I’ll help you understand key SCM modules, and look at some key players with well established SCM solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Part II of this blog series explained ToolsGroup’s value proposition for achieving service level excellence in distribution environments. The point of the Service Optimizer 99+ (SO99+) suite’s name is that a “99+ percentage” represents the gold standard in customer service levels, and it takes a product purposely built to achieve service level excellence and to support such a high standard.
ToolsGroup’s latest version of software continues to build on the functionality needed to reach this goal.
Back to Mitigating Long Tails
Having put the necessary pieces in place, over the past year ToolsGroup has turned a particularly keen eye toward how to succeed in environments with a “long tail” demand. The long tail theory originally held that in an environment such as the Internet-based retailers (so called “e-tailers”), which is less affected by physical manufacturing, product and distribution constraints than so-called “brick-and-mortar” retailers, demand will spread across a huge array of items (a.k.a., stock-keeping units or SKUs). Read the rest of this entry »