Webplan Corp. has developed software that promises to help manufacturers anticipate supply chain problems, review alternatives when problems arise and realign operations accordingly.
RapidResponse 7.3, which the Ottawa-based company announced last week, enables users to connect to front- and back-end systems to support the flow of information across multiple sites. The upgrade includes three new modules to further help users respond to supply chain issues.
The Active Spreadsheets module provides a live data feed into ERP (enterprise resource planning), product lifecycle management and warehouse management systems. The module also has an AlwaysOn Analytics feature that enables users to analyze data based on real-time information and ERP algorithms, officials said.
The Resolution Engine module provides what Webplan refers to as iterative modeling capabilities that enable users to share supply chain planning alternatives. The Live Scorecard module, on the other hand, enables users to compare alternative "what-if" scenarios, based on up-to-the-minute information.
RapidResponse user Agilent Technologies Inc. takes advantage of Live Scorecard to connect its back-office supply chain data to its contract manufacturers back-end systems, said Brent Hunter, California Semiconductor Test Division materials manager at Agilent.
"In the past, Webplan was rolled into our back-end Oracle [Corp.] system [for demand forecasting]. Now our outsourcer does all the planning," said Hunter in Loveland, Colo. "We disconnected from Oracle and integrated into our manufacturers back-end system, and we use Webplan as a bridge. Now we have direct visibility into what our contract manufacturer is driving with our supply base."