Syncra Systems Helps Kimberly-Clark Clean Up

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Syncra Systems Helps Kimberly-Clark Clean Up
S. McVey - October 9, 2000

Event Summary

Cambridge, Massachusetts based Syncra Systems will help consumer goods manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Corporation develop collaborative sales forecasts with its leading trading partners. Syncra Systems will deploy its Syncra Ct software for CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment) in an effort to improve the way Kimberly-Clark collaborates with its retail customers. Syncra Ct is a vendor-neutral CPFR application that forms the inter-enterprise "hub" around which customers are linked as spokes.

Kimberly-Clark has already identified some specific areas that Syncra Ct will address. "Kimberly-Clark will use Syncra Ct to automatically compare forecasts for specific stock codes and individual retail locations with its customers' volume forecasts. This automated comparison will greatly increase supply chain efficiency," said Larry Roth, Senior Consultant at Kimberly-Clark.

"There are far too many codes to compare manually. What used to take more than two days of an employee's time each week will now take only 15 minutes," he said. "Syncra Ct gives us the opportunity to maintain a tighter customer inventory so we can increase inventory turns and achieve a double-digit increase in in-stock percentages."

Market Impact

Syncra Systems traces its origins to a prototype application developed by Benchmarking Partners (recently renamed Surgency) for Wal-Mart and Warner Lambert, which were two early proponents of CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment). Benchmarking, deciding in 1997 that software fell outside its business model, spun off the prototype under a separate company chartered to develop and market the application. Since its launch in March 1998, Syncra has received $40 million in private funding, primarily from Internet Capital Group.

Though other software vendors market CPFR tools, Syncra's vendor neutrality makes it stand apart. Better-known enterprise application vendors that offer CPFR like SAP, i2, and Logility originated as intra-enterprise software companies. These vendors designed their CPFR modules as attachments to an enterprise-centric architecture that work best with their other core SCM modules for forecasting and replenishment. By contrast, Syncra is not encumbered by a similar legacy and has developed its CPFR application to inhabit the network between trading partners. This provides Syncra Ct ultimate flexibility to work with any third-party applications in use by network partners.

User Recommendations

Manufacturers who already possess solutions for demand planning and inventory management will hardly find a better candidate CPFR solution than Syncra Ct. Its vendor neutrality also makes it a good choice for companies whose suppliers and/or customers use disparate forecasting and replenishment systems. Users should remember that Syncra Ct implementations usually involve one-off integration of applications to the central hub, which makes use of third-party enterprise application integration (EAI) tools at additional cost.

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