i2 Technologies is moving into the next phase of its supply chain management software with the announcement this week of its Collaborative Material Management module—the third installment of the companys Collaborative Supply Execution suite.
The first two CSE modules, Consolidated Procurement and Supply Collaboration/ Lean Replenishment, were announced in one-week intervals.
Although many of the suites capabilities are already available in various iterations at i2 (within its supplier collaboration and procurement modules), what makes the suite different is that it sits on i2s Agile Business Platform, according to officials.
The platform, based on an SOA (service-oriented architecture), allows users to customize and configure various components, from the data model and user interface to the server logic and business rules.
The Collaborative Material Management module combines the concepts and functionality of materials planning and procurement. Users can do "what-if" assessments to determine the effect of supply changes on customer orders and demand and vice versa. New functionality includes automatic processing of materials released into purchasing orders and automatic handling of EDC (expedite, de-expedite and cancel) orders, as well as the what-if scenario capabilities.
The Supply Collaboration/ Lean Replenishment module is designed to help companies better manage supplier interactions. Its also geared toward helping users manage replenishment across their supplier base. Companies can collaborate with suppliers on short- and long-term supply chain plans involving forecasts and capacity. Officials said the software helps users implement lean-supply processes such as vendor-managed inventory.
The Consolidated Procurement module is for customers that have done a lot of global sourcing or those that have grown through mergers and acquisitions that resulted in many different divisions, ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and product types.
While the CSE modules can be acquired as stand-alone products or implemented sequentially, the suite is really built to be used in conjunction with i2s Agile Business Platform that, most notably, includes a business process workflow engine that lets users model and manage processes.
The idea is that each SCM (supply chain management) module has a series of workflows that, when combined with the i2 Studio programming capabilities within the Agile Business Platform, can be modified as processes change.
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