Symix Launches eSyte Supply Chain
McVey - April 25th, 2000
Columbus, Ohio-based ERP vendor Symix Systems recently announced an addition
to its e-business application suite, eSyte Supply Chain. Intended for
mid market manufacturers and distributors, eSyte Supply Chain promises
to "enable companies to synchronize supply chain activities and trading
partners, and dynamically promise, source, plan and execute to meet increasing
hopes the new application will appeal to companies that want to integrate
Web-based buying and selling with back-end fulfillment systems, such as
the company's SyteLine ERP suite, although it maintains that the new product
will also work with competitive systems. eSyte complements SyteLine APS
(Advanced Planning and Scheduling), software acquired from Pritsker Corporation
in 1999 but was developed in-house by Frontstep, Symix's independent subsidiary.
The advent of B2B collaboration has given new relevance to multi-site
capacity and material planning. Though many APS vendors developed these
types of applications years ago, they had only marginal impact in the
marketplace due largely to three factors: 1) multi-site planning algorithms
were rudimentary at best and offered little flexibility, 2) technologies
for sharing data beyond the four walls of an enterprise were still emerging,
and 3) companies had their hands full optimizing internal supply chain
processes and could scarcely hope to influence those of its trading partners.
recent drive to optimize interactions with suppliers and customers to
improve fulfillment has given companies a new directive to seek out information
technology that can support multi-site optimization. We expect other vendors
to begin showcasing existing multi-site functionality as well as launching
Although products such as eSyte Supply Chain are available today, users
should make sure they can truly optimize the critical manufacturing and
distribution processes across their business partners. The meaning of
the word "optimize" has been diluted thanks to misuse in corporate press
releases and marketing brochures. Often optimization is compromised by
performance constraints and lack of visibility to the latest planning
data, such as inventory, receipts, shipments, and work-in-process. When
evaluating Symix eSyte, users should ask the following questions:
- Does the real-time order promising functionality trigger a complete
replanning process with the proposed order? Often to improve response
time, vendors will place limitations on the preliminary plan such as
requiring it to ignore capacity or sequence-dependent setups on resources.
- At what level of time granularity are planned production quantities
available? Daily, Weekly, Monthly? For larger time buckets, on what
day are quantities made available for promising?
- Does the ATP check extend to multiple inventory locations within
each site that is part of the supply network? Can production orders
be scheduled automatically at a given location if inventory falls short
of the desired order quantity?
- What checks does the software provide to ensure that data from all
locations is up-to-date and accurate?