Category Archives: Supply chain

Achieving Business Transformation by Aligning i-SCM with a Robust IT Strategy

Can adapting to the new best practices actually help you gain the business benefits that you are looking for? With the implementation of tools such as the Intelligent Supply Chain Management (iSCM), there are possibilities of ensuring the realization of business goals that reduce the risk of time and costs, overrunning. So, when it comes to the iSCM approach, there are several ways in which companies can succeed with its implementation:

i-SCM

How does iSCM impact overall business benefits?

As a business owner, there may be several instances when meeting customer demands, overcoming uncertainties and reducing costs for manufacturing is virtually impossible. The inclusion of better practices such as the iSCM would help improve the overall situation such as improving real-time visibility of supply chain extensions and the manufacturing operations. Regardless, of the time and effort taken to implement these management system, one can see that it is possible to implement seamless synchrony between the demand and its actual fulfillment. All this will be immediately implementable with the help of real-time analytics and rapid decision-making.

Facilitating your own iSCM solutions can only be done with the help of external advisors such as technological consultants like HCL Tech amongst others offer the following solutions:

  • Offering an opportunity assessment within the iSCM solutions offerings

  • Touchstone, an HCL Tech trademark offers KPI measurement and better benchmarking solution

  • iVision, an HCL Tech trademark offers solutions towards supply chain visibility and collaboration

How can functionalities improve the solution?

Here’s a look at the way in which functionalities can improve the following:

  • Capturing customer demand with the ability to accurately forecast demands

  • Incorporating operations such as collaborative supply chain planning and execution

  • Ensuring supply chain operations are monitored in real-time and highlighting bottlenecks with the supply chain impact

  • Creating visibility on end-to-end supply chain data and its processes

  • Collaborating with the various stakeholders through various communication platforms such as e-mail, text, portal alerts and other forms

  • Improving visibility of partners involved across multi-tiers of supply chain and cloud platforms

What remains to be seen, is whether the implementation of the iSCM systems will improve the overall business performance in the form of successfully integrating with business goals with the expected outcome of the performance.

To know more about the article you can read the case study written by experts at HCL Technologies.

JDA Releases Customer Engagement Cloud Solution for Retail

JDA Software Group, Inc. today announced the release of JDA Customer Engagement Cloud, a single solution that addresses omni-channel commerce and optimization logic in real time. It not only helps retailers deliver goods to customers, but also aligns real-time supply processes and inventory to profitably source those goods.

“The retail industry is at a critical juncture in its history. Consumers today — empowered with mobile technology — have instant access to information that shapes what they buy, when and where they buy it, and at what price,” said Hamish Brewer, President and CEO, JDA Software. “These connected consumers determine which retail enterprises succeed and which fail. With JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud we have developed a comprehensive approach to address this challenge now, helping retailers to avoid becoming a victim in this rapidly changing retail environment.”

JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud is designed to help retailers profitably achieve customer-centricity in every interaction through the following key capabilities:

JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud enables enterprise visibility to critical information like inventory levels, product information, customer history – including access to a customer’s universal online shopping cart – and customer preferences to associates who interact with the omni-channel customer. Providing this type of customer information in real-time enables in-store associates to better convert in-store visits into sales.

More and more, commerce is happening not just in the checkout lines, but in the aisles of today’s retail stores. Empowering associates with full access to enterprise data and point-of-sale (POS) capabilities in the aisle is critical to creating the ultimate in-store customer experience. Store associates can maximize their ability to help customers by using the JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud associate app on a mobile device. In addition to accessing information and standard POS capabilities, the associate app supports guided price negotiation and alternate delivery options.

MD Buyline Releases Tiered Solution to Tackle Healthcare PPI, Supply Chain Cost Containment

MD Buyline today released the next generation of Buyline Consumables, a comprehensive, evidence-based technology and services suite designed to help healthcare providers achieve greater predictability and data driven cost reductions across their Physician Preference Items (PPI) and supplies purchases.

With cost containment on PPI and supplies being a critical challenge facing healthcare institutions today, Buyline Consumables helps to bring clinical, finance, operational, and supply chain teams together to produce significant and measurable financial results. By utilizing data from thousands of hospital systems nationwide, MD Buyline provides rich insight and analysis to uncover financial savings opportunities. The result is a flexible, cost effective, subscription based solution that significantly improves the financial performance of a critical area of the hospital, while positively impacting both physician and patient satisfaction.

As the foundational layer of the Buyline Consumables solution suite, the Spend Analytics platform includes access to a real-time data platform that aggregates and synthesizes information from thousands of hospitals and vendors. Delivered as a cloud-based offering and accessible to anyone with a web browser, Consumables Spend Analytics enables clinical, operational, supply chain and financial departments to gain detailed line-item level visibility and drilldown views into robust national and cohort benchmarks for PPI and supply spend, resulting in greater fiscal sustainability and improved patient outcomes.

The premium service component of Buyline Consumables solution suite, aggregates Consumables Spend Analytics with a layer of diagnostic frameworks and custom research, to provide an end-to-end decision support service. Unlike open-ended PPI consulting engagements that have little or no cost predictability, Consumables Spend Management is designed to support value analysis processes “from kickoff to implementation” at a fixed cost.

In addition to all elements of Consumables Spend Analytics, the Spend Management services include:

  • Custom research for the specific supply category, complete with
    summaries of the latest clinical evidence
  • RFP reviews and insight on contract pricing, terms and conditions best
    practices
  • Custom financial impact and decision support calculators
  • Analyst insights, recommendations & negotiation support

According to Satin Mirchandani, CEO, MD Buyline, “The Buyline Consumables solution suite is designed to efficiently and effectively support cross-functional technology selection and acquisition processes, thus driving step-function improvements in PPI and supply spend reduction. The proven MD Buyline technology and services platform, in combination with our experienced analyst team, is well-equipped to deliver an integrated solution that drives improved predictability and financial performance across the healthcare supply chain.”

Airclic Helps Dock Workers Stage, Load Shipments from Multiple Suppliers

Airclic, a global provider of cloud-based software for mobile supply chain and logistics operations, today announced that it has released the latest version of Transport Perform® (version r12.4), its cloud-based 3PL transportation solution that improves order accuracy and operational efficiency. With this release, Airclic has expanded its support for high-volume cross-docking, allowing dock workers to receive, stage and load shipments from one or more suppliers in parallel and validate received items or shipments in real time against Advanced Shipment Notice data.

Transport Perform is a third-party logistics (3PL) mobile transportation management product that works with any device or carrier. It has been designed specifically to improve the efficiency and accuracy of cross-docking and delivery within a logistics operation by providing visibility into the mobile supply chain and giving an organization the features and functionality it needs to enable a more scalable and reliable workflow. Costly and time-consuming paper-based processing can be eliminated alongside received versus loaded versus delivered errors, reducing overall costs and increasing customer confidence that their shipments have been executed correctly. Transport Perform is intuitive and easy-to use, ensuring a seamless deployment and rapid ROI, as customers have reported saving an average of $400 per route, per month.

With Transport Perform r12.4, the full and accurate data required to process shipments from suppliers is captured, validated and assured from the first point of contact on the dock. Inbound shipments are validated in real-time against advanced shipment data (at item level, order level and supplier container level) and automatically direct the dock worker to the correct outbound container and route based on shipment details, such as end destination or customer location. It also boasts highly configurable workflows to ensure that dock worker activity is based on the requirements of the original supplier.

“Organizations that have automated their transportation logistics and delivery systems have improved customer satisfaction while reducing the cost of doing business,” said Pól Sweeney, CTO, Airclic. “Improved accuracy and better efficiency have increased customer confidence and given 3PL providers using Transport Perform an advantage over the competition. The new capabilities announced today will help them accurately record items received on the dock, staged and loaded all at the same time, in real-time.”

The key features of Transport Perform r12.4 include:

  • A graphical interface for administrators, enabling them to fully setup
    and configure workflow forms for dock workers and drivers to ensure
    the accuracy of information captured during receiving and staging
  • Data validation and post-processing behavior definition capabilities
  • Customizable Perform Reports designed to support cross-dock receiving
    and post-receiving reconciliation with supplier systems based upon the
    unique rules of each
  • Allowance for the upload of custom attributes as part of the customer,
    depot or supplier location bulk upload process


IBS Expands ERP Cloud Computing Solutions

ERP and supply chain provider International Business Systems today announced the expansion of its traditional on-premise applications into the cloud, making it the industry’s most secure offering available with service level agreements with guaranteed performance. IBS Cloud applications are scalable and designed specifically for the changing needs of distributors and manufacturers.

IBS Cloud applications combine the expertise of 3,000 implementations across 40 countries to enable faster deployment of critical IBS applications like IBS Business Intelligence, Mobility, Sales, Service, Warehouse and Supply Chain Management.

“IBS has a history and proven track record of delivering cloud solutions, said Tapio Voutilainen, Director, Business Processes and Tools, Evac Oy. “This evolution of the IBS cloud solutions provide distributors and manufacturers with a secure choice and a variety of options to meet their business requirements to give clients the peace of mind they need.”


GXS Ups Retail Supply Chain Efficiency with Catalogue-Based Web Ordering

GXS, a  provider of B2B integration services, today announced that GXS Intelligent Web Forms (IWF) allows manufacturers to quickly and easily enable their smaller retail customers to issue purchase orders electronically. IWF creates forms to digitise the full lifecycle of supply chain transactions with the customer community from purchase orders and order changes to electronic invoices and remittance advices. By integrating directly with GXS Catalogue, the retail industry’s leading data synchronisation application that supports product, price and image information, web forms ensure that retail buyers can only select valid, preauthorised SKUs for inclusion on purchase orders.

Most large retail chains issue purchase orders to their suppliers electronically using EDI (Electronic Document Interchange) but smaller, independent store owners often lack the budget, resources and expertise to support these B2B integration technologies.  As a result, a high percentage of the purchase orders issued from smaller retailers are transmitted via fax, email or spreadsheet, creating an efficiency drag on the operations of large suppliers.  Using GXS web forms, suppliers of food and beverage, apparel and footwear and other consumer products can offer their customers the option to issue purchase orders online. As a SaaS offering, GXS IWF does not require small retailers to license, install or maintain software. The web-based forms mimic the paper equivalents making the application easy to use without training or technical expertise.

By integrating with GXS Catalogue, the web forms can present users with a preloaded list of available and authorised items for each customer.  Catalogue integration ensures that users do not mistakenly request SKUs that are unauthorised, discontinued or non-existent.  Retail SKUs consist of long alphanumeric strings which can easily be transposed or mistyped in an electronic ordering system.  Some SKUs have special characters such as hyphens or spaces which further complicate the order entry process. Catalogue-based web forms reduce the amount of exception processing and order handling expenses for suppliers.  Higher quality purchase order data also reduces the likelihood of shipping delays and out-of-stocks for the retailers.

“Leading suppliers of consumer products and general merchandise have automated many of the order-to-cash and demand planning processes with their larger retail customers. These large suppliers have struggled to gain the same efficiencies with smaller retail chains and independent stores,” said Melanie Nuce, director of retail industry marketing for GXS.  “Catalogue-based web ordering offers a cost-effective approach to quickly achieving supply chain efficiencies with small retailers and opens up the opportunity for better customer service.”


SYSPRO ERP Software Able to Facilitate Medical Device Unit Recalls

SYSPRO today announced that SYSPRO ERP software offers manufacturers extensive traceability capabilities to facilitate the ability of manufacturers to trace products from origin, through the manufacturing process, to their ultimate destination, fully maintaining assurance certification and tracking expiration dates. The reaffirmation of the extensive traceability functionalities inherent in SYSPRO ERP software was in reaction to the announcement that “over 123 million medical device units were recalled in the second quarter of 2012, reaching an eight-quarter high,” according to the quarterly ExpertRECALL Index released August 22, 2012.

SYSPRO lot traceability and serial tracking functionality afford extensive visibility up or down the supply chain, as well as providing specific component to parent tracking, thereby providing the means to expedite recalls, should the need arise. SYSPRO optionally allows specific traceable components to be reserved for specific work-orders, as well as providing the flexibility of specifying the parent traceable numbers at the beginning, during or the end of the manufacturing process.

The Associated Press article reporting the record number of recalls contains the following statement by Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls at Stericycle ExpertRECALL, “The growing importance of this product category means that companies need to have a comprehensive recall plan in place that can be deployed within the blink of an eye and can effectively protect their customers…”

According to SYSPRO USA President Joey Benadretti, “The implementation of cost- effective SYSPRO software helps medical device manufacturers streamline their supply chains and also to employ extensive ‘backwards and forwards’ component and product traceability for speedy recalls.