Optiant Optimizes the Supply Chain

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2002-09-23

Optiant Inc. last week made available PowerChain 4.0, software that works with a companys advanced planning system to optimize inventory based on sales and operations balanced with supply chain needs.

PowerChain 4.0 provides a Web-based interface for modeling the stages in a supply chain, optimizing the configuration based on its unique parameters and evaluating decisions based on needs.

The General Networks Modeling tool in Version 4.0 enables users to model real-world networks by clicking and dropping the structure of their supply chain into a GUI and determining the optimal amounts of inventory, for example. PowerChain 4.0s time-phasing templates allow users to implement precise inventory strategies that address distinctive performance requirements of each phase of a products life cycle, said Optiant officials, in Boston.

The new multistage sensitivity analysis feature lets users determine the effect of service or cycle-time reduction strategies such as changing internal manufacturing practices or shortening supplier lead times.

Dana Smith, project manager of the supply chain organization at Imation Corp., in Oakdale, Minn., is testing PowerChain 4.0s modeling platform to determine how to implement a postponement strategy.

The company uses Manugistics Group Inc. supply chain planning software and Oracle Corp.s namesake enterprise software. "But we didnt have anything that allowed us to do what if planning," said Smith. PowerChain 4.0 "looks very encouraging and definitely fills a gap in our tool set," he said.

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