RedPrairie, which makes supply chain optimization technology, is launching its E2e supply chain execution suite.
The company announced the suite May 7 at its RedShift annual user conference.
Tom Kozenski, vice president of product strategy for RedPrairie, said the traditional warehouse management systems market has matured in terms of technical functionality and is now focused on adding nodes to the supply chain network.
"We've stepped over the line into manufacturing as well as warehousing [with E2e]," Kozenski said. "We have added order management and inventory management sophistication that includes recall capability and a pull methodology based on demand signals. These are new and interesting ways to approach warehouse management problems and workflows."
Kozenski said E2e stands for "end to end," and that the solution can manage the flow of inventory through the complete supply chain.
"We can track a product from raw materials through assembly, manufacturing, warehousing, all the way to the store or a customer's house, wherever the consumer gets their hands on it," he said.
Because the solution can synchronize inventory movements through all the nodes in the supply chain, Kozenski said, it facilitates the fast movement of goods.
"Static inventory is not good," he said. "You don't want inventory sitting in your warehouse forever."
Kozenski also said the solution's pull methodology allows retailers to react to demand signals, which can be from the POS (point of sale) or the point of manufacture.
"That way you don't stockpile goods at each point in the supply chain based on forecasts," he said. "There are sophisticated notions of the supply chain integrated in the suite that allow one plus one to equal three."
Steve Banker, service director of supply chain management for manufacturing and supply chain research company Arc Advisory Group, said the basic technology supporting E2e has been in place for more than a year, but he sees some new extensions and improvements in this suite.
"The new offering features business process management, which is a nice little piece if you've got different vendors for your merchandising, ERP [enterprise resource planning] and warehouse management systems," Banker said. "You can snap it on top and create new business workflows between applications."
In addition to offering warehouse management applications, Kozenski said the E2e suite offers applications for comprehensive labor and transportation management. He said the suite can be deployed using a hosted SAAS (software as a service) or traditional in-house model.
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.