The company rolls out a Sales and Operations Management solution for retailers and manufacturers.
i2 Technologies is releasing its Sales and Operations Management, a solution
designed to allow retailers and manufacturers to bring together financial
planning and analysis with supply chain operations.
i2 announced the release of the solution April 28.
"Sales and Operations Management sits on top of supply chain and ERP
[enterprise resource planning] systems, and allows reporting on the entire
sales and operations process," said Amarnath Thombre, director of
manufacturing solutions for i2. "You can orchestrate the entire process in
Thombre said the sales and operations process typically involves a series of
meetings and reviews, ending with a final executive meeting where decisions are
made. Because typically sales and operations are managed with an array of
disparate systems, he said gathering data for review requires significant
manual effort and becomes a "data collection exercise."
"It stops people from doing meaningful analysis on the data, and the
data quality is poor," Thombre said.
Terra Technology brings supply chain data to CPG forecasts. Click here to read more.
Utilizing the Sales and Operations Management built-in constraint engine, he
said, companies can perform impact analysis, run multiple scenarios to
determine potential benefits and risks resulting from different decisions, and
select options to solve problems from a built-in library.
In addition, Thombre said the solution serves as an accountability tool.
"One big problem is that people keep making changes to plans, and then
it's hard to find out who is responsible when problems occur," he said. "Sales
and Operations Management serves as a corporate memory and enforces
accountability for plans that everybody signed up for."
Thombre said the solution measures and monitors compliance with sales and
operations plans and also serves as a repository and tracking device for KPIs
(key performance indicators) associated with different supply chain activities.
In a 2008 benchmark report that analyzed more than 250 manufacturers, the
Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class manufacturers are leveraging automated
decision-making, investing in cross-functional capabilities and creating
real-time interoperability across disparate cross-functional systems. Report
results indicate that best-in-class manufacturers realize 17 percent higher
on-time deliveries and a 26 percent higher level of raw material use than their
i2 Sales and Operations Management features a complete interface with Excel
2003 and 2007, with added functionality to allow process management within
Excel and automated, editable tables that display aggregated data at any level.
The system runs on an Excel/.Net framework built on an i2 ABP
(agile business process) platform and Oracle database with built-in i2 data
schema. i2 offers process and strategy consulting and services around the
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For
more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.