The SCT User Conference, held in Toronto featured industry analysts from
Gartner Group, AMR Research and Meta
Group each sharing their vision for the future of enterprise systems
with the audience. Customers, in special interest groups and in presentations
discussed their success with SCT's products. SCT showed both their existing
product set plus their vision for the future with a series of product
announcements and prototypes of future products.
the opening session of each day's conference, SCT invited key industry
analysts to present their vision of the future of enterprise systems.
This gave the SCT customers a view of the future from the point of view
of the analyst. Each focused on a different aspect of systems, with the
overall message blending to give a comprehensive picture of what will
be required to compete in the not so distant future. The key message was
collaboration with trading partners and how the ERP market and vendors
will evolve to meet these challenges.
concurred with the collaboration message, painting a picture of its vision
of the future for process companies with a series of collaboration announcements.
For example, the iOrder product is being enhanced to permit live,
interactive customer assistance. Central to the SCT vision is further
evolution of its component vision that allows its products to co-exist
with products from other vendors. All three analysts voiced an endorsement
of SCT's direction.
prototype of SCT's upcoming entry into relationship network management
revealed a partner network modeling capability that is absent from alternative
products. More importantly, the approach allows the modeling of the complex,
multi-tiered relationships faced by many of the companies in SCT's target
markets, for example food and CPG. These relationships include distributors,
brokers, agents, channel partners, logistics providers and retailers.
The product in question will be later this year.
array of customers presented their experience with SCT products, including
Coca Cola, Safeway, Miller Brewing,
Cargill, Basic American Foods and others.
These presentations covered ERP, SCM and e-business success stories. Some
customers use the entire SCT product suite, but many use portions, coexisting
with other solutions. For example, SCT has shown success with integrating
its SCM products with the SAP backbone.
example, Coca Cola uses SAP for many functions and SCT's iProcess.sct
Supply Chain Planning (the product "Fygir")
for supply chain management within its fountain syrup business unit. In
a series of sessions, Coca Cola presented how they manage the fountain
syrup business' complex, worldwide, multi-plant supply chain with Fygir.
At headquarters, Coca Cola does multi-plant strategic sourcing, production,
capacity and distribution decisions. At each plant, optimal production
sequences are determined considering production constraints, operational
efficiencies, manufacturing preferences, run rates, change over/setup
times, as well as labor and space utilization.
Latin America discussed the management of multiple business units in grains,
flour, oils, citrus and other agricultural areas. The complexity of its
management challenges included dynamic freight rates, grain elevator movements,
variable quality, customer blending requirements, etc. Cargill uses the
Fygir product and claimed significant gains.
presentation by New Balance Shoes on its success
in forecasting, production, and capacity planning was especially interesting
given the recent press on competitor Nike's difficulties in a similar
area. The New Balance presentation demonstrated key functional elements
required for success by the consumer packaged goods company.
customer speakers demonstrate that SCT continues to show great customer
success. However, the company is not fully exploiting its name brand customers
to its marketing benefit.
Interest Groups by company type (food, chemical, etc.) and functional
area (supply chain, etc.) allowed customers and SCT field and product
management to share experiences. The tone of these sessions revealed that
the user community is attacking in-depth business issues and getting results.
The users also identified additional requirements that remain to be addressed.
For example, the CPG and food customers need additional functionality
from SCT to deal with deals, promotions and the associated collection
user conference points out a consistent problem with SCT's marketing.
The conference combined all SCT divisions (education, government plus
process manufacturing) and therefore, the messages became very confusing.
Under the SCT approach of lumping together all its business segments under
one name, user conference, etc, each suffers in the competition for mind
share within its individual target market.