JDE Extends Role of Collaboration in AP 4.0

Enterprise software provider J.D. Edwards & Co. has enhanced its supply chain management suite with new planning capabilities.

Enterprise software provider J.D. Edwards & Co. has enhanced its supply chain management suite with new planning capabilities.

Advanced Planning 4.0, which began shipping in December, enables manufacturers to optimize their supply chain networks by extending collaborative capabilities to trading partners, according to officials.

As part of the rollout of AP 4.0, Denver-based JDE in January will release an application called Demand Consensus that supports forward-looking collaborative forecasting processes.

AP 4.0 integrates JDEs supply chain planning technology with its OneWorld fulfillment software. New functionality in Version 4.0 includes the following: scenario simulation capabilities in the Strategic Network Optimization application, Profitable-to-Promise and Capable-to-Promise Order Promising, a real-time Microsoft Corp. Excel client, and Web enhancements for Production and Distribution Planning.

The Strategic Network Optimization module in AP 4.0 provides long-range strategic and tactical decision support for supply chain network configuration. Enhancements include a new scenario manager, multicurrency profit optimization, and several new views and reports. The scenario manager allows users to simulate the impact of adjusting supply chain variables and conditions.

The Order Promising module upgrade allows for multiple order-entry front ends, including Web storefronts. With this application, promises are made to customers based on user-defined business objectives such as maximizing customer service or minimizing costs. With those criteria, customer service representatives are able to quote accurate delivery dates to customers while they are placing an order. At the same time, with Order Promising integrated with OneWorlds execution system, the software takes into account all inventory-related transactions—including late purchase orders, scrapped material or canceled sales orders—when forecasting promises.

Lastly, the Production and Distribution Planning module upgrade allows customers to share supply chain planning information using Excel as an interactive reporting tool.

JDE will still have a tough road to hoe, according to Albert Pang, research manager at International Data Corp., in Mountain View, Calif. "Theyre beginning to get the right idea, but its a very tough market theyre competing in," Pang said. "Advanced planning systems are beginning to get very sophisticated, and JDE is competing against i2 [Technologies Inc.], Oracle [Corp.] and SAP [AG]."