Senior supply chain analyst Bob Eastman was at the Epicor Customer Conference, Insights 2013, in Nashville last week.
Epicor invited Bob to share his insight into current technology trends in the supply chain space. Check out that conversation on YouTube.
In this almost 9-minute video, Bob talks about the acceleration of the business cycle and some of the enabling trends (such as cloud and mobility) that address the challenges the speed of business presents to the supply chain.
Bob also discusses the pursuit of supply chain excellence—how strategy and technology must go hand in hand—and identifies three key requirements for success today: visibility, sales and operations planning, and metrics.
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.
This could be the very first time as a market observer that my reaction to a merger announcement is not “Why?” but rather “Why now?” Namely, in late February 2013, SAP announced plans to acquire SmartOps, a leading provider of inventory and service-level optimization software solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Commodity value chain and supply chain planning (SCP) software apps merged yesterday when Triple Point Technology acquired WAM Systems. Triple Point is a global provider of cloud and on-premises commodity management software that delivers advanced analytics for optimizing end-to-end commodity and energy value chains. Its solutions manage volatile commodity trading, procurement, enterprise risk management, logistics, scheduling, storage/inventory, processing, settlement, and accounting. More than 400 customers in over 35 countries across industries including energy, metals, minerals, chemicals, agriculture, shipping, consumer products, food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing depend on Triple Point solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone waits, as we go to press, to see how domestic political forces will impact the U.S. business climate right from the 2013 get-go. If ever “waiting with bated breath” was a relevant turn of phrase, it is probably now.
While both the near-term U.S. fiscal policies and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe will strongly influence the outlook for 2013, the further removed we are from the depths of the 2008 recession, the more companies want, and need, to shift from defensive to more offensive market-focused supply chain strategies. Read the rest of this entry »
My recent article SAP SCM – Stepping Out of (Relative) Obscurity analyzed SAP’s revamped comprehensive supply chain management (SCM) suite, its major components, and its supply chain process bundles. In addition to receiving a number of public comments and ratings by TEC’s readers, I was recently roasted privately during a lunch meeting with a couple of peers.
Namely, they expressed their surprise at the quite positive tone of the article, and at the lack of my typical skepticism (and sometimes sarcasm). Well, perhaps I am a sucker for a good “big picture” vision, and it seemed to me that SAP had created a compelling strategic story. The ideas such as the “Visual Enterprise” sounded refreshing to me, especially after several years of SAP being quiet on the Line of Business (LOB) applications delivery front. At the end of the day, it was important to highlight that the solutions that SAP is offering for supply chain executives expand across the traditional TLA (three letter acronym) boundaries of SCM, product lifecycle management (PLM), customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution system (MES), etc.
Part 1 of this blog series articulated the acute need to bring supply chain planning and execution together so that enterprises can react quickly in an informed and confident fashion. The Boston Red Sox‘ September 2011 collapse was used as a poignant example of how even the best long-term planning can be rendered useless if there is no responsiveness during crunch time.
In general, if we know that our plans are inherently wrong to start with – because we can’t forecast and predict accurately – why do we still insist on religiously executing that plan? On the other hand, if you need to make a change, shouldn’t you be able to evaluate the holistic consequences of your decision, especially in these days of scarce credit and working capital?
My recent exhaustive series of articles on sales & operations planning (S&OP) entitled “APICS 2009 From the Expo Floor: Is S&OP Coming of Age?” and the related blog post entitled “Linking S&OP and CPFR (For Retailers and Manufacturers Sake): An Executive Panel Discussion” have drawn solid interest and valuable feedback. But even more, this prolonged exposure on the S&OP topic has resulted with an offer from Kinaxis to join the guest interview series on the Kinaxis blog on the same topic.
Prior to my participation, Kinaxis had published nearly a dozen blog posts from a series of expert guests (i.e., “a who’s who in S&OP”) including Lora Cecere of Altimeter Group, Coco Crum of Oliver Wight, Tom Wallace of TF Wallace & Co., Simon Ellis of IDC, Nari Viswanathan of Aberdeen, Steve Puricelli of Accenture, Bob Ferrari of the Supply Chain Matters blog, and Atul Pandey of Infosys, to name only a few. You can see all the posts here.
My recent blog series on the JDA FOCUS 2010 user conference focused primarily on JDA Software’s strategy and product roadmap on the heels of its recent acquisition of i2 Technologies. But FOCUS 2010 was reportedly the largest vendor’s conference ever, with more than 1,700 registered attendees, more than 100 customer presentations, and nearly 300 total sessions.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of the JDA FOCUS 2010 conference on the heels of the recent merger between JDA Software (NASDAQ: JDAS) and i2 Technologies. The article first discussed the different geneses and cultures of the two merging parties.
One major outcome of the conference was JDA’s unveiled plan to converge most of its existing and acquired product sets. To that end, JDA pledged several key commitments to its customers, starting with that the company would continue to support all of its products.
Last year I attended the JDA FOCUS 2009 conference to realize that Scottsdale, Arizona-based JDA Software (NASDAQ: JDAS) has become a force to be reckoned with in the vast supply chain management (SCM) space. Although far from being a vocal or touchy-feely company, throughout its history JDA has been run fairly effectively by applying basic principles of sound management. These principles of profits and prudently spending within its means have been rare in the software business, and JDA’s results have been impressive for a very long time.
Throughout most of its history, JDA has also acquired a number of companies that were often doing badly, typically because their management was long on strategy, vision, and ambition, but short on execution. JDA has been able to rectify the situation, time and again. The company’s acquisition criteria have been as follows: strategic fit, market leadership, and relatively modern software architecture of the acquired product.
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).
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).
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of the APICS 2009 international conference in Toronto, Canada in early October. I attended few education sessions, as my conference visit focused more on exploring the expo floor and talking to the exhibitors.
My overwhelming impression from the conference’s expo floor was that its main value proposition this year revolved around the flavors of demand management, most notably Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP). Part 2 analyzed the traditional shortcomings and the reasons for the S&OP concept’s (and accompanying software solutions’) current renaissance in light of its existence of a few decades.
Part 3 then analyzed the key success factors of deploying S&OP solutions and approaches, while Part 4 analyzed the role of top management in deploying S&OP solutions, as well as the strategic nature of S&OP. Part 5 will conclude by analyzing the S&OP solution from JDA Software as another product that arguably deserves to be in the S&OP Top 5.