Symix Launches eSyte Supply Chain

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Symix Launches eSyte Supply Chain
S. McVey - April 25th, 2000

Event Summary

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 customer expectations."

Symix 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.

Market Impact

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.

The 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 new offerings.

User Recommendations

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?

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