Baan Releases New Supply Chain Products

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Baan Releases New Supply Chain Products
S. McVey- November 4th, 1999

Event Summary

Baan Co. recently announced the release of two additional modules in its Supply Chain Solutions suite: BaanSCS Planner 2.0 for factory planning, and BaanSCS Order Promising 1.0 for order acceptance. Planner 2.0 is intended to help companies profitably fulfill customer orders by planning and streamlining all activities. Enhancements over the previous versions include dynamic evaluation of alternate sources of material suppliers, alternate sourcing decisions based on due date or financial objectives, and improved inventory and logistics planning functionality. A new module, Order Promising 1.0, features available-to-promise (ATP) and capable-to-promise (CTP) checking, so called "Profitable-to-Promise" checking, alternate order fulfillment, and order splitting. Both applications are designed to work with other Baan Supply Chain Solutions offerings including: Supply Chain Scheduler (Advanced Manufacturing Synchronization), Execution (Synchronized Manufacturing Execution), Demand Planner (Enterprise Demand Planning), Supply Chain Designer (Supply Chain Modeling & Optimization), and Supply Chain Coordinator (Tactical Supply Chain Planning), and the RoutePro (Vehicle Routing & Scheduling), and TransPro (Shipment Plan Optimization) families.

Market Impact

Baan's recent releases maintain the pressure on other ERP vendors to improve and expand their supply chain management capabilities. Of the two new releases, Baan stands to gain the most from the Order Promising module, although it is unlikely that this first 1.0 release can truly offer clients a stable solution. In addition, Order Promising includes features, such as order splitting, that have already been addressed in competitive packages like SAP APO and i2 Rhythm. While Baan's release is a necessary move to retain some visibility in the advanced order promising market, it remains to be seen whether the ERP vendor can generate customer acceptance for the new offering given an already crowded marketplace. At this point, the only top five ERP vendor behind Baan in SCM functionality is Geac, which still lacks a competitive advanced order promising offering and stands to fall further behind as it diverts attention to JBA integration activities.

User Recommendations

While Baan is moving in the right direction, users need to consider the maturity of the product in their evaluations and make comparisons to competitive offerings. In addition, users should not be lulled into thinking that new enhancements to a product are new for the rest of the market. For example, Baan may tout PTP (Profitable-to-Promise) as a significant step in the evolution of order promising functionality. However, any respectable supply chain planning module should enable users to define order and/or channel priorities such that the ATP engine seeks to satisfy higher priority orders before others.

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