SynQuest Ships Manufacturing Software for AS/400

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SynQuest Ships Manufacturing Software for AS/400
S. McVey - April 18th, 2000

Event Summary

SynQuest, Inc. recently shipped its supply chain management software for IBM AS/400e servers to a division of Chesapeake Corporation, a $1.2 billion provider of specialty packaging and merchandising services. Following a port begun last November, SynQuest Manufacturing Manager software for the AS/400 includes advanced planning and scheduling capabilities that are integrated with manufacturing execution. An existing SynQuest customer, Chesapeake is hoping to use the software to further reduce cycle times, inventory and work-in-process, as well as to link suppliers via the Internet for improved collaboration.

As a producer of specialty packaging, Chesapeake measures success by its ability to satisfy particular customer requirements. "At Chesapeake Display & Packaging, every order is 100 percent customized to the needs of our customers," said Gary Cheimis, vice president and chief technology officer, Chesapeake Display & Packaging. "SynQuest supply chain software, combined with the high performance of the AS/400 platform, will provide the infrastructure necessary to synchronize our complex order fulfillment activities to meet profitability and on-time delivery objectives."

Market Impact

IBM is finding several new allies in its mid-market AS/400 campaign. Both i2 Technologies and Logility have announced agreements with IBM to deploy selected parts of their suites on AS/400 servers, but the SynQuest effort involves a true porting of its software to AS/400 whereas the others will embed compiled executables in the IBM environment. All other things being equal, SynQuest Manufacturing Manager will have considerable performance advantages over the other applications. The downside for SynQuest is the additional burden of maintaining and upgrading releases of its software for another platform.

User Recommendations

SynQuest was one of the first vendors to integrate advanced planning and scheduling capabilities with manufacturing execution. SynQuest Manufacturing Manager is an attractive candidate for mid-market companies that rely on precise synchronization around production and distribution scheduling. SynQuest has found particular success in industries characterized by make-to-order manufacturing. Its solutions are best suited for discrete manufacturing, such as electronics, packaging, transportation, and industrial products.

Current AS/400 users who are evaluating advanced planning and scheduling products in discrete manufacturing industries should consider taking a look at SynQuest Manufacturing Manager, but should demand a site visit that allows a first hand look at the application in Chesapeake's live environment. Face-to-face meetings with users, IS personnel, and management are a crucial part of these visits, enabling prospective clients to learn about kinks and foibles of the new platform first hand.


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