JDA will use QRS data integration technology to make it easier for companies to obtain information instantaneouslytransaction or product data, for examplefrom third-party sources that business users need and, ultimately, to collaborate more effectively along the demand chain, Brewer said. At the same time, JDA will be working with QRS capabilities to design new products around data synchronization. "The final thing is how to integrate data from these products that JDA has and marry that, for example, to product data from point of sale," said Elizabeth Fetter, president and CEO of QRS. The first JDA offerings around data synchronization will be available in the second half of next year, Fetter said."Thats a disconnect between manufacturers and retailers," said Smith in Oakbrook, Ill. "As soon as some sort of characteristic about a product changes, it would be great to have that done computer-to-computer. Today, its done manually. A characteristic changes, a salesman e-mails or writes a letter, it gets key-punched, and [the change] gets keyed into our system. You can see the system is [ripe] for things to go wrong," he said. "The consolidation process [in the business software industry] is going to inevitably mean that companies will take on other entitiesthe question is, How broad do you take that?" asked JDAs Brewer. For his company, that means providing a full stack of offerings, including software, services, education and data integration, he said. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Ace Hardware Corp. is using JDAs Advanced Warehouse Replenishment module as the engine that drives the companys collaboration program. The CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment) program helps Ace drive down its supply chain costs with manufacturers and better respond to customer demand, said Scott Smith, department manager of inventory at Ace. JDAs data synchronization plans should make Smiths life easier, he said.