2008 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100

100 ways to innovate your supply chain with the providers of next-wave supply chain services and solutions


K2 Sourcing Inc.

K2 Sourcing, Inc
Belgium, WI/USA
www.k2sourcing.com
Small
2003
Sourcing

How much are you willing to pay for an e-sourcing tool? How about free? Does free work for you? K2 Sourcing is on a mission to educate companies on the benefits of e-sourcing by providing its proprietary Supplier I-Forms on-demand application free of charge.

As K2 Sourcing sees it, two issues are preventing companies from utilizing e-sourcing tools. First, due to subscription fees, small and midsize businesses can have difficulty understanding the payback of utilizing e-sourcing tools. Secondly, many buyers appear to believe e-sourcing is another term for reverse auctions. To help these companies remain competitive, technology providers need to solve both issues, and K2 Sourcing is taking the lead by providing access to a complete version of its Supplier I-Forms free of charge. Supplier I-Forms provides buyers a means of creating, capturing and comparing just about any type of supplier data. Examples of how companies can utilize Supplier I-Forms as an e-sourcing tool to streamline strategic sourcing include: pre-qualification and supplier surveys, agreements, terms, conditions, policies, and procedures, keeping up to date supplier profile information, tracking tooling maintenance and gaining C-TPAT compliance, among others.


Kinaxis

Kinaxis
Ottawa, Ontario/Canada
www.kinaxis.com
Private
1995
Order/Demand Capture, Fulfillment/Logistics, PLM, Integration & Infrastructure/ERP, Decision Support

Tap systems that allow you to be more responsive to rapid changes in demand/circumstances across the supply chain. As Kinaxis sees it, globalization has created a dynamic that fosters new competition, demands higher levels of efficiency to compete and requires true expertise in supply chain performance. For the first time, new competitors from regions around the world with new ideas and agile supply chains are effectively competing against established players with formidable brands, customer loyalty and deep resources. This business landscape has created more choices for customers and has increased pressures on brand owners to be even more responsive to ever-changing customer requirements or risk missed sales opportunities and, potentially, market-share. Responding to unexpected changes in a global supply chain often requires collaboration, judgment, and measured compromise. This is the need that Kinaxis seeks to meet with its on-demand RapidResponse service, providing access to continuously updated information that reflects MRP, ERP and enterprise system data from across the extended global supply chain.


Lawson Software
St. Paul, MN/USA
www.lawson.com
Medium
1975
Order / Demand Management, Sourcing, Procurement, Fulfillment / Logistics, Payment, Customer Relationship Management, Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Integration & Infrastructure / ERP, Decision Support / Business Intelligence / Consulting / Education

The rise in global trade and outsourcing continue to drive a need for business software that improves planning and execution while providing real-time visibility into inventory and supply movements across geographies. As global supply chains grow ever more complex, Lawson Software believes that it is increasingly important to have a single transactional system that can manage multiple sites, warehouses, currencies, languages and time zones.

In the past, finding the status of a customer order to change a delivery date or quantity often was a major challenge requiring manual processes due to data stored in disparate multi-level transactional environments that lacked a link between different order levels. To increase supply chain inefficiency and gain a competitive edge, organizations must automate the implementation of changes to customer order networks while giving companies the ability to check order status and whether or not current delivery terms can be met, Lawson asserts.

Production planning is critical, yet increasingly complex as organizations become more global, customer demand becomes more volatile with shorter response lead-times. Wrong decisions during the planning process can negatively impact on-time delivery performance and delivery lead-times. While companies often use multiple spreadsheets with built-in assumptions for some levels of planning, this lack of integration tends to cause confusion and slow down decision-making. This is particularly challenging in multi-site manufacturing environments.

To address these challenges, Lawson proposes that the "next wave" of supply chain innovation will include adoption of new open technologies, applications and standards that help integrate business processes in a global marketplace and give companies a competitive edge through improved business processes, greater agility and a lower total cost of ownership. Lawson says its M3 system supports customers' global supply chains and helps automate the financial reconciliation of material movements between sites. Global available-to-promise capabilities help distributors identify where stock is available to meet customer demand while manufacturers also require global capable-to-promise tools. These tools can make it possible for companies to look across their organization for existing stock before deciding to manufacture or source more thereby minimizing inventory. In addition, Lawson says that M3 provides a way to link all the constituent parts of a supply chain, providing visibility across order networks, automating the process of making changes to order networks, and enabling users to check the status of a linked order chain and whether current delivery terms can be met.

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