At the National Manufacturing Week conference and expo in Chicago, enterprise software companies introduced new manufacturing products, services and architectures.
PeopleSoft Inc. on Monday outlined its vision for the demand-driven enterprise, which includes methodology and new software products designed to help manufacturers better utilize their capacity.
At the same time SAP AG announced new offerings for its two small and midsized business suites, mySAP All-in-One, and BusinessOne. Both offerings are designed to be implemented quickly and inexpensively.
To hone its demand flow approach, PeopleSoft is implementing JCIT Internationals Demand Flow Technology into its supply chain management software. The two companies will also provide consulting and education to help companies move toward being more demand-driven, officials said.
PeopleSoft also announced today new demand-driven components within its EnterpriseOne Supplier Relationship Management suite that help manufacturers synchronize requirements with suppliers.
Supplier Self Service is portal-based software that helps companies develop a more-efficient inbound supply chain. Features include the means to share supplier schedules and link multiple suppliers in the supply chain. A Buyer Workspace portal provides a single view of tasks to help users prioritize projects and manage suppliers.
In addition, an Order Promising to Configured tool, available in May, will let users look back in the supply chain and use that information to configure orders on the fly, officials said. An Advanced Forecasting Modeling module, part of PeopleSofts demand management software, will let users bring in outside factors like weather, promotions or the consumer price index for use in long range planning.
Ted Weinrich, MIS director at Larson Manufacturing Co. in Brookings, S.D., is looking to move his organization to a more demand-driven model.
“Were still very much a make-to-stock company,” said Weinrich, “Our goal is to work up and down the supply chain to get more efficiencies. Were working with vendor managed inventory and [trying to figure out] how do we keep high fill rates and services levels – how do we do that with less inventory?”
Weinrich, who runs a PeopleSoft shop, said he will look to his technology vendor help him deliver a demand-driven model.
“If you go to other folks, sometimes you deal so much in theory,” said Weinrich. “I can find a lot of theory. I want someone who can get down in the trenches with us and make it work. Thats where the technology vendor is the best choice, if they can handle it.”
Also in May, PeopleSoft will offer full support for RFID (radio frequency identification) technology that will allow manufacturers to label outbound products with electronic product code. The company expects to provide inbound RFID capabilities by the end of the year.
Separately SAPs FastTrack, a mySAP All-in-One package that can be implemented in 16 weeks, has modules for managing specific business processes within finance, engineering, quality, and sales and service within small- and mid-sized companies.
SAP also announced a partnership with SoftBrands Inc., which makes manufacturing-management systems, to integrate its Fourth Shift Manufacturing Edition product with its BusinessOne software geared for small and mid-sized companies.
The combination of both products is aimed at enhancing BusinessOnes capability with batch, make-to-order, discrete and mixed-mode manufacturing processes. SAP is also adding SoftBrands Lean Enterprise Automation module for those companies on the road to implementing lean manufacturing principals.