Apps Target Manufacturers

J.D. Edwards & Co. rolled out a broad slate of upgraded software targeted at automating more of the business processes.

J.D. Edwards & Co. at its Quest Global user conference earlier this month rolled out a broad slate of upgraded software targeted at automating more of the business processes of its manufacturing customer base, including those that use the IBM iSeries server platform.

Key upgrades in J.D. Edwards 5, due next quarter, revolve around supply chain management and adding functionality for vertical industries, said company officials, in Denver.

An updated Engineering Project Management module aggregates information on products made to customer specifications in a way that J.D. Edwards officials said will maximize profits.

Among the dozens of other new features are capabilities for configuration management, production and distribution planning, demand forecasting, product variants management, and advanced cost accounting. The Logistics Management module in J.D. Edwards 5 features a new cross-docking functionality.

J.D. Edwards user Leah Hansen, application manager at Canwell Distribution Ltd., said the enhancements relating to managing pricing information for sales representatives would be helpful to her company, a building materials distributor. In addition, Hansen welcomed enhancements in the purchasing module that will automate the process of tracking supplier rebates.

The software sends supplier purchase information "right through to the [general ledger]," said Hansen, in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Right now, we are doing that manually."

For vertical industries, J.D. Edwards introduced such features as the ability for consumer-packaged-goods companies to better handle marketing promotions and to track goods by lot number.

Also at the show, J.D. Edwards announced the following:

  • an offering to help companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley financial reporting law;
  • a rapid implementation program for users of IBM iSeries and xSeries systems and Hewlett-Packard Co. ProLiant servers; and
  • a package of J.D. Edwards and IBM software targeted at small and medium-size businesses.