Demand Management, Inc.-Supply Chain Planning for the SMB

Demand Management Inc. has been very busy as of late, with a recent flurry of new products and features. In a series of press releases, Demand Management has recently announced the availability of the Demand Solutions platform as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering; configurable workflows that provide alerts for exceptions and escalations; a new predictive lead time capability; and new industry-specific business intelligence capabilities. With more press releases in the past five weeks than in all of 2012, TEC decided we should check in with Demand Management's president, Bill Harrison, to find out what this is all about.

Demand Management
Demand Management (repeat three times after me: “Demand Management is the vendor; Demand Solutions is the product) has always been a leading solution for the SMB (small- to medium-sized) business with $20 million to $2 billion (USD) in revenue in the apparel, food and beverage, wholesale distribution, general manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, service parts, and retail industries.

Demand Management was acquired by American Software’s Logility in late 2004. Now, with nearly 70 employees, Demand Management has come to be a not insignificant contributor to Logility’s revenues. (Logility reports having some 330+ employees; the vendors do not split out revenues.)

The original version of the Microsoft-based Demand Solutions, DS1, underwent a complete rewrite in 2010, and rebranded as DSX. The solution provides the core supply chain planning functions of forecasting, inventory planning, sales and operations planning, collaborative planning, advanced planning and scheduling, and retail planning (store-level inventory planning and replenishment).

The DSX solution is available in ten languages, and carries Level 1 support in nine countries, which is necessary given that some 60% of Demand Management's revenues come from outside of the United States.

Demand Management’s association with Microsoft goes beyond just being built on the Microsoft technology stack. Demand Management is a certified supply chain planning solution for customers on the Microsoft DynamicsMicrosoft Dynamics AX, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV platforms.

Now Available as SaaS
Responding to the increasing demand from the market for on-demand solutions, Demand Management has now introduced a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of DSX. Bill Harrison describes it as neither single tenant or multi-tenant, but, rather, as a hosted solution where each customer has their own database running on an ISS server in a Microsoft Azure cloud environment. Given the predilection of the SMB segment for cloud solutions, and Demand Management’s apparent reinvigorated focus on innovation, we would not be surprised to see continuing innovation by Demand Management on the cloud front.

Demand Management, and Business Intelligence
More recently, last week, Demand Management announced the availability of a new business intelligence (BI) engine for DSX. Developed by ZAP Technologies, this new BI offering will provide industry-specific multidimensional cubes called “Foundation Analytical Packs” for each of Demand Management’s vertical industries. Analytics cubes are available now for general manufacturing, consumer packaged goods (CPG), apparel, food and beverage, and wholesale distribution; cubes for pharmaceutical and biotech, service parts, and process and discrete manufacturing will be available within a couple of months.

The Web user interface of the ZAP solution means that clients will be able to drill down into the data wherever they are, although Bill Harrison says that most end users continue to use the thin-client solution in an on-premise mode.

Yammer for Real-time Collaboration
Bill really grabbed our attention, however, when he started to talk about how their Microsoft technology base means that Demand Management customers can take advantage of Yammer to collaborate in real-time in a multidimensional manner. Demand Management is clearly excited about this functionality, which, with Demand Management’s new workflow capabilities, embeds a good deal of real-time capability into the solution. It will be very interesting to see how these collaboration tools are adopted and used across Demand Management's customer base.

Demand Management is clearly asserting itself in the innovation area more seriously than it has for some time. Something tells us that this SMB-focused supply chain planning vendor will have a lot of interesting things to talk about at this year’s DSCover Summit 2013 event.

Recent Demand Management Press Releases:
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