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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.