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Yantra - Leader in Distributed Order Management, But Wait There’s More

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: July 17 2002

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Introduction

We recently visited with Yantra (www.yantra.com) and found that their reputation as the leader in Distributed Order Management is deserved. But we also found that they have other tools that shine.

Distributed Order Management

When a complex, distributed distribution system is in place, managing the complexity can be daunting and that is the environment where Yantra has built its reputation. Yantra is known for its core product, a Distributed Order Management application that coordinates the lifecycle of an order across an extended supply chain. It works with companies' existing systems to aggregate and manage orders across multiple channels, divisions, distribution centers and fulfillment partners. It enables companies to incorporate new sales channels with their existing systems, providing them an integrated view of customer purchases across divisions and channels.

The system uses configurable business rules and workflow to automate the manual activities often associated with managing orders in a complex, distributed environment. Each order line can follow a unique set of processes driven by any order related information. The system also automatically creates and tracks orders that result from, or depend on, the original customer order. Key attributes of the Distributed Order Management system are:

  • Sourcing of orders across divisions & partners

  • Granular management of complex order processes

  • Aggregation of orders across multiple channels

Companies like Target, Best Buy, Eastman Chemicals, DHL/Allogis, APL Logistics and UK based Argos are all customers using Yantra's Distributed Order Management. For example, Target had a different order management system to support each of its six direct-to-customer sales channels. Now Yantra's product manages orders across all six channels. The orders range from standard pick-pack-ship fulfillment to complex, multi-step fulfillment and delivery processes.

Other Tools for Other Needs

In addition to Distributed Order Management, Yantra provides other applications specifically designed to manage business processes across an extended supply chain.

Each is based on the premise that companies must more flexibly manage supply chain activity and require real-time visibility and control of operations both inside and outside of their enterprise.

Yantra's complete product suite includes:

Logistics Management Logistics Management is an Internet based application that manages multi-modal inbound and outbound shipments. It integrates relevant shipment information from suppliers, carriers and ship nodes into a single transportation execution system, providing real-time visibility and control of the entire process. Configurable business rules and transportation workflow enable companies to executive complex transportation plans.

Reverse Logistics Yantra provides reverse logistics capability that manages returns from the moment the Return Material (or Merchandize) Authorization (RMA) is created or a replacement order is submitted, throughout the reverse logistics and repair cycle until the item is returned to stock or discarded. A key differentiator for this product is its ability to automate the processing of different types of returns, giving companies the flexibility to modify the reverse logistics cycle to meet specific needs.

Warehouse Management WMS was Yantra's original product offering and they continue to add clients in this area. WMS is integrated with its core platform (see below) so customers can more effectively manage warehouse operations based on activities that take place across the supply chain.

Supply Collaboration Yantra offers supply collaboration capability forecasts and schedules, negotiating orders and monitoring inventory levels. Companies can then execute and manage purchase orders. Companies can effectively work with large vendors using EDI connections, as well as small and medium size suppliers by collaborating over the web.

Supply Chain Event Management Yantra provides an infrastructure for managing critical events across the extended supply chain. Using this capability companies can receive advanced notification and proactively resolve problems with orders, inventory and shipments. Alerts can be sent via wireless device, email, fax or through a web-based alert management console.

Inventory Synchronization Yantra manages and coordinates inventory stored at multiple internal and external locations, consolidating inventory data from multiple systems and providing global inventory visibility. It includes the ability to manage products stored by suppliers and outsourced logistics providers and offers global ATP capability.

The Power of the Platform

A key component of Yantra's applications is the technology platform upon which they are deployed. A critical component of the platform is a business process-modeling tool that enables companies to flexibly define supply chain processes within their organization and across the extended supply chain. This is how Yantra manages and monitors external transactions and identifies potential problems. It also includes a participant model that provides the flexibility to define the roles and responsibilities of supply chain participants. Yantra's Platform is a standards' based, J2EE compliant product that leverages open, web services technologies such as XML and SOAP.

Recommendations

User Recommendations Retail, High Tech, Distribution and Third Party Logistics companies with complex, distributed order management and execution needs should place Yantra on their short list. Those companies with existing ERP or Supply Chain vendors in-house should evaluate Yantra in addition to their incumbent vendors due to Yantra's success in co-existing situation where customers have found that Yantra often complements and improves upon the solutions offered by the existing vendors. Existing Yantra customers should evaluate the remaining portions of their product suite in search for additional value.

Yantra Recommendations Yantra appears to be ahead of the pack in applications for distributed order processing and related needs. In many markets, it is far from a household name. In most markets, it is known only as a distributed order management solutions. These two marketing gaps must be addressed for Yantra to progress to the position in the market justified by its product offerings.

About the Authors

Olin Thompson is a principal of Process ERP Partners, LLC. He has over 25 years experience as an executive in the software industry with the last 17 focused on the process industries including the ERP, SCP, and e-business related segments. Olin has been called "the Father of Process ERP." He is a frequent author and an award-winning speaker on topics of gaining value from ERP, SCP, e-commerce and the impact of technology on industry.

He can be reached at Olin@processerp.com.

Predrag Jakovljevic is a TEC research director with a focus on the enterprise applications market. He has over 14 years of manufacturing industry experience, including several years as a power user of IT/ERP, as well as being a consultant/implementer and market analyst. He has been certified in production and inventory management (CPIM) and in integrated resources management (CIRM) by APICS.

 
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