PeopleSoft Supply Chain Is Music To Mid Market Ears

  • Written By: Steve McVey
  • Published: July 24 2001

PeopleSoft Supply Chain Is Music To Mid Market Ears
S. McVey - July 24, 2001

Event Summary

PeopleSoft recently announced that O-Cedar Brands has licensed PeopleSoft Accelerated Supply Chain Management (SCM). This mid market solution offers a full suite of Supply Chain Management applications, a rapid implementation methodology and flexible deployment options that give users a predictable implementation timeframe. Accelerated SCM automates core e-business functionality, including general ledger, payables, receivables, billing, purchasing, order management, inventory, production management, bills and routings, cost management, and production planning.

O-Cedar, a consumer products company based in Springfield, Ohio, makes a variety of bathroom and kitchen-cleaning supplies at facilities across the Midwest. The company selected the internet-hosted Accelerated Supply Chain Management solution to link critical business processes such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay and plan-to-procure. By linking these key business processes, O-Cedar hopes to achieve a dramatic reduction in operating costs.

Says Bob French, PeopleSoft project leader and CIO at O-Cedar, "PeopleSoft's Supply Chain Management solutions will help us meet our continued growth initiatives by improving operations efficiency and managing customer profitability. Driving bottom-line cost savings into the supply chain has become an imperative for companies our size. We found this fixed-price solution to be a very strategic investment."

The solution will be hosted by PeopleSoft eCenter, PeopleSoft's application service provider. PeopleSoft eCenter provides single-vendor accountability for the Accelerated Supply Chain Management solution. PeopleSoft eCenter will implement the solution, manage operations, and provide on-going customer support.

Designed for businesses ranging from start-ups to companies with $500 million in annual revenue, PeopleSoft's fixed-price Accelerated eBusiness Solutions allow companies to extend business processes to include their customers, suppliers and employees. "In shopping for software vendors, we found that other mid-market Supply Chain solutions couldn't compete," French said. "PeopleSoft is committed to our success."

Market Impact

PeopleSoft has long endured criticism from competitors and analysts at what they have portrayed as a lightweight supply chain product unable to compete effectively with applications from pure-play vendors like i2 Technologies and ERP rivals like Oracle and SAP. The win at O-Cedar Brands proves otherwise and is not merely a fluke. PeopleSoft has a distinct advantage over the pure-plays by its ability to offer a broader range of applications in conjunction with its supply chain solution.

The components of Accelerated SCM that offer the most differentiation are certainly the financials, such as general ledger, payables, and receivables. These represent critical areas in any organization that usually are not well integrated to manufacturing and distribution functions. Pure-play vendors focused solely on supply chain planning do not have the expertise or inclination to provide financial capabilities in spite of some half-hearted attempts in response to customers. As time goes by, ERP vendors like PeopleSoft are sure to gain ground on the pure-plays in offering solutions that address enterprise-wide needs with comparable depth of functionality.

Accelerated Supply Chain Management is deployed around specific industry verticals, including consumer products, technology, discrete manufacturing, and wholesale distribution. Vertical deployment is a strategy that most vendors attempt to pursue although many do not succeed. PeopleSoft has targeted segments that have been profitable in the past, such as consumer products, but others, like technology and discrete manufacturing are hotly contested in the supply chain management space and may prove to be an uphill battle.

User Recommendations

Among the more alluring selling points of Accelerated SCM is the guarantee of "on-time and under budget" delivery, something that PeopleSoft implies can be accomplished in as little as 12 weeks. We generally frown on bold promises of speedy, trouble-free implementations and recommend that users conduct detailed interviews with PeopleSoft and ask for sample timelines and references from past clients who have achieved quick return on investment.

PeopleSoft delivers Accelerated Supply Chain Management in three ways. For users who want the security of an in-house application with implementation assistance, PeopleSoft will work with IS departments onsite to integrate the suite with existing legacy systems. Users with more resources may want to opt to have PeopleSoft perform the set-up, quality check and installation, but let internal resources make desired customizations and enhancements. Finally, for users interested in a truly "hands-off" deployment, PeopleSoft hosts Accelerated SCM through its eCenter. Whatever the option, users will find PeopleSoft's graphical interface to be intuitive and easy to use. As always, prospective clients should choose the option that best suits their business environments and IT skill base.

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