Optiant to Release PowerChain Upgrade

New features include network-modeling and time-phasing tools.

Supply-chain optimization software maker Optiant will announce tomorrow the next iteration of its PowerChain suite.

PowerChain 4.0 sits on top of a companys existing Advanced Planning System and is geared to help optimize inventory based on sales and operations planning while balancing supply-chain needs.

PowerChain 4.0 helps companies to support complex manufacturing environments with fluctuations in business arrangements by providing Web-based software for modeling the various stages in a supply chain, optimizing the configuration based on their unique parameters and evaluating decisions based on needs.

There are three major new functionalities added to 4.0: General Networks, Time Phasing and Multi-Stage Sensitivity Analysis.

General Networks Modeling is a tool that enables the modeling of real-world networks by allowing users to click and drop the structure of their supply chain into a graphic user interface and optimize for optimal amounts of inventory, for example, or where inventory should be stored.

PowerChains time-phasing templates allow users to implement precise inventory strategies that address distinctive performance requirements of each phase of a products lifecycle, as well as during transition phases.

Integration with the underlying APS system allows time phasing in any time bucket, be that daily, weekly or monthly. The time-phasing tool also features built-in intelligence that allows for logical recommendations—in other words, the system will not recommend a plant be open in February, closed in March and re-opened in April, Optiant officials said, in Boston, Mass.

The multi-stage sensitivity analysis allows for service-time or cycle-time optimizations by letting users determine the effect of service or cycle-time reduction strategies like changing internal manufacturing practices or shortening supplier lead-times.

PowerChain 4.0 software ships this week and is available through Optiant and its strategic alliance partners, including PRTM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The St. Onge Company and Accenture.

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