Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) brings you a roundup of recent news and happenings from around the supply chain realm. This is not your mother's supply chain news—we try to bring you some news, scoops, and tidbits that we think you may not have caught up with elsewhere. This week: news from Steelwedge, HighJump, TERADATA, Terra Technology, SAP, Camstar, Composite Apps, and, even the "Top 5 e-Commerce Concerns of Carriers." (Warning: We are no David Letterman.)
Steelwedge has announced the latest, spring release of its sales and operations planning (S&OP) technology platform. This latest release incorporates new capabilities to handle the large data sets endemic with big data; an apparently “New: Steelwedge S&OP Apps Architecture” and set of preconfigured apps; and the new Steelwedge “S&OP Insight,” which provides capabilities for aggregating and presenting data in new ways, including dashboards, devices (such as iPads and smartphones) as well as online. (You can listen to Steelwedge's chief executive officer [CEO] Glen Margolis talking about it here.)
Things seem to be happening at HighJump. Long known as one of the leading (or, is that last-standing?) independent warehouse management system (WMS) vendors, anyone who has not looked at HighJump in a while may be surprised to see what this WMS vendor is doing these days. Remember that this is the WMS vendor that 3M bought back in 2004 and then spit out barely 5 years later. HighJump does not seem to be shedding many tears over the separation, having gone on to acquire the TrueCommerce EDI solution (which has been integrated with a number of enterprise resource planning [ERP] solutions), introduce a cloud solution into the market (while others are still debating whether WMS on the cloud makes sense), and, more recently, announce a partnership with NetSuite. Oh, and HighJump just released the 12.0 version of their HighJump Supply Chain Advantage product suite.
TERADATA has announced the release of the latest version of its Demand Chain Management solution. Perhaps better known for its data analytics capabilities and solutions, TERADATA is now offering the new release of its Demand Chain Management solution (which came with the 2011 acquisition of Aprimo) with new capabilities around multi-echelon replenishment (time-phased automated replenishment and allocation for multiple distribution center order levels); flow-through distribution capabilities for replenishment and allocation; additional forecasting models; and improved user-interface performance.
TEC had the occasion recently to catch up with Terra Technology, and it is a good thing we did, as CEO Rob Byrne and John Lash, vice president marketing & strategy, provided a much-needed update on Terra’s focus and capabilities. While we had Terra (dare we say it) pigeonholed a bit more narrowly, Terra is quick to point to broad capabilities that encompass demand sensing, multi-enterprise inventory optimization, and transportation forecasting. Much of its value proposition and presentation is around better forecasting, and the dramatic impact this can have on service levels and inventories, with some very strong mathematical algorithms at the core. Long-Term Demand Sensing (LDS, released in May 2012) is the newest addition to Terra's Demand Sensing product suite. Expect to see more from us on Terra technology.
We enjoyed running into Frank Platt, formerly of Lighthammer, now with SAP (which acquired Lighthammer in 2005) during a recent 2-day visit to SAP for industry briefings. Frank talked about, among other things, how most of SAP’s manufacturing solution will be on HANA by the end of the year. We will have more to say about our SAP trip shortly on the TEC blog.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) vendor Camstar has announced its 2014 conference, which means it cannot be too early to put this onto our calendars. The Camstar Global Conference 2014 will be held April 27–30, 2014, at The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida, with a theme of “Global Readiness.” (In case you missed it, Fairchild Semiconductor recently made the decision to standardize on Camstar’s Semiconductor Suite, Camstar’s MES Platform for the semiconductor industry, across its assembly, test and packaging manufacturing, and failure analysis and quality laboratory operations.)
Top 5 e-Commerce Concerns of Carriers
Overheard at the Southern Motor Carriers Association Connections2013 conference: (with credit to Journal of Commerce’s William Cassidy, on twitter as @wbcassidy_joc): Top 5 e-commerce concerns of carriers and third-party logistics providers (3PLPs):
5) Exposure to liability—especially during home deliveries.
4) Inconsistency. Each order can be unique, and uniquely challenging.
3) Security at the delivery site.
2) How to make money-handling e-commerce shipments.
1) How to handle single-shipment deliveries.
We caught up very recently with a longtime friend, Norm Katz, now with Composite Apps. As the world has "gone mobile," at the same time that there are more dizzying amounts of more complex data to deal with, Composite Apps is seizing the day and using its roots in custom development, and a platform they call Project Cura, to focus in on the challenge of interpreting and presenting complex data in a way that delivers useful and executable information. Led by CEO Long Nguyen, Composite Apps is an 8-year-old firm with particular experience in aerospace and defense (A&D), and a small, young team that will focus first on the logistics function and project management functions in the SAP customer base. Question is, can they break through the noise?
Stay Tuned . . .
TEC is working on some new content and a special event around supply chain. While we are not quite ready to take the wraps off of it, we are right in the midst of a lot of planning and creating—and "aligning," "collaborating," and "optimizing"—and will be ready to tell you more soon.