JRG Unveils Hosted Software for Supply Chain Planning

On-Demand Supply Chain Planning seeks to allow manufacturers to connect factories directly to retailers for daily production planning and scheduling on a real-time basis.

Supply chain planning software developer JRG Inc. announced Monday new hosted software for the Consumer Packaged Goods industry.

The suite, JRG On-Demand Supply Chain Planning, is geared toward helping manufacturers connect their factories directly to retailers for daily production planning and scheduling on a real-time basis.

Founded a year ago, JRG began offering its software to users in either a hosted or behind-the-firewall implementation.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead more here about JRGs initial push to meet supplier demands.

Given recent attitude changes among its customers, however, the company is honing its focus on hosted services, according to JRG CEO Jonathan Knight.

"Some of our customers went the (behind the firewall) route, but in the last six months theyve started to let us host," said Knight, in San Mateo, Calif.

"It prompted a shift in our thinking. Hosting is more accepted in the marketplace. With the success of salesforce.com—thats an accepted model thats safe—users feel comfortable going in that direction."

JRGs latest offering, On-Demand Supply Chain Planning, comes with three separate but integrated modules: Factory Scheduler, Enterprise Planner and Performance Manager.

Factory Scheduler is a production scheduling system that updates factory schedules weekly, daily or hourly using a graphical user interface.

The software uses demand as an input and then balances forecasts or orders against a number of factors including available material, labor and capacity, officials said.

The Enterprise Planner module manages manufacturing and distribution across different factories, while the Performance Manager tool helps users set factor performance objectives and monitor performance against those objectives.

The performance objectives in turn become input for the Factory Scheduler module.

"We provide an executive tool to make sure that day-to-day factory decisions are aligned with company goals," said JRG CTO George Roumeliotis.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about supply chains outlook for this year.

"The other important thing is anyone can slap applications in a hosting center, but you have to have a very high level of configurability (to make it work). We can do that through the user interface, versus the traditional way of writing code."

Moving forward, JRG is looking at adding new functionality to its software through two alpha phase projects in the works now. The first project looks to further enable the coordination and synchronization of activities between manufacturers and their partners.

The second project looks to build out existing functionality around planning that enables users to change a variable on their screen, have those changes reflected in other systems, and then be able to do "what if" scenarios around changes and publish the resulting schedules, Knight said.

JRG On-Demand Supply Chain Planning is available now.

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