Heard in the Hall, Part 2: Crossgate to Manhattan Associates (AMR Research)


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by Bruce Richardson, Chief Research Officer

June 19, 2009 11:45:00 AM

Today's post is a continuation of snippets of ideas and news gathered from the hallways and gathering spots during our recent Supply Chain Executive Conference at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ. Part 1 covered companies whose names begin with an A, B, or C. We even flunked that elementary exam by forgetting to include Crossgate. We regret the error.

Crossgate AG has been teaming with SAP AG to develop a set of core service extensions to streamline and reduce the cost of enabling end-to-end business processes, such as order-to-cash and procure-to-pay. Each service extension includes all application interfaces, business processes, and a bundle of partner mappings to help companies optimize the deployment of SAP ERP, SAP Business All-in-One, SAP Supply Network Collaboration (SNC), and SAP Transportation Management (TM). These service extensions are provided at a fixed cost and include implementation. The next step is to include service extensions for Business Objects and SAP SCM and Event Management applications.

The big news at Descartes was the continuation of the financial turnaround that began five years ago. The company had recorded $55M in losses in fiscal 2005, and had gone six years without a profit. On May 28, Descartes announced that 1Q10 revenue was $17.4M, up 7% from the year earlier period. The company also reported that it had exceeded its adjusted net income for the 21st consecutive quarter.

Endeca used the conference to showcase its new Endeca Manufacturing Suite. Endeca has a clever system for managing data for a variety of different applications and databases and making it look as though all of the information resides locally in one database. AMR Research employees also showcased the beta version of our website, which is powered by Endeca's search applications.

Enginuity told us that its new Product Development/Formula Management System is being rolled out globally this month by one of the world's largest detergent companies. The release is based on the new Enginuity R4 platform that includes new, advanced detergent-specific calculations and functionality. This rollout brings the number of billion-dollar brands that rely on Enginuity to 15. It's hard to dispute the company's claim that it is "the leading Product Development/Formula Management System for the world's largest and most successful companies."

UK-based Eqos is best known for its hosted sourcing software for retail giants like Tesco, Lidl, and Edcon. The company is expanding into a new sector thanks to a recent deal with HMV, the leading provider of home entertainment in the UK. Eqos will be providing HMV with software for promotions and supplier deals. Rather than starting with the promotion and working backward, Eqos leverages its supplier management strengths to structure and audit complex deals-like making sure than all the Star Trek DVDs, games, and other paraphernalia are in your local store and on the web in time for the movie.

The big news at GXS was a recent win at Electrolux, the well-known appliance and vacuum cleaner manufacturer. Electrolux has implemented the GXS Logistics Network, part of the GXS Logistics Visibility service on GXS Trading Grid, and linked it into its U.S.-based transportation carrier network. The company has seven factories throughout North America and more than 200 carriers competing for its shipments. It needed a way to automate the shipment tender process. The GXS implementation includes the on-boarding of carriers representing more than 80 percent of Electrolux's shipment transactions.

InfinityQS' eSPC solution provides statistical analysis and visibility of defective lots while products are still at the supplier's site. If a problem occurs at a supplier's facility, eSPC will send out an alarm when the issue arises. Better to find the problem there instead of after inspection and receipt at the customer's site.

Infor is leveraging its expertise in supply chain and performance management along with a new SOA development framework to build a brand new "advanced S&OP" application that will be offered as a standalone product to compete with ERP and best-of-breed vendors.

LLamasoft, a supply chain strategic modeling company, has already surpassed its new-name client total from 2008, its previous record year. The biggest year-over-year jumps have come from the retail and industrial manufacturing sectors. Many companies are bringing supply chain modeling and network design initiatives in-house for the first time, acknowledging the need for faster and more frequent reaction to market or commodity price shifts.

Manhattan Associates is set to launch its Unified Forecasting Method™, a patented algorithm set that was specifically architected to optimize inventory for intermittent and seasonal demand items. According to insiders, early test cases in grocery, fashion, and consumer products have delivered precise fine tuning well beyond market available approaches, enabling companies to shave millions in inventory while improving customer service.

Bruce Richardson
Chief Research Officer Bruce Richardson's companion blog to the First Thing Monday newsletter. Here he scrutinizes the enterprise software market, including in-depth examination of the players and trends shaping the future of business technology.

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