2008 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100

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

River Logic Inc.

River Logic, Inc.
Dallas, TX/USA
Order/Demand Capture, Sourcing, Procurement, Fulfillment/Logistics, Payment, CRM, PLM, Integration & Infrastructure/ERP, Decision Support

As River Logic sees it, supply Chain executives have embraced and benefited from a host of supply chain technologies, but these systems have failed to link strategic decisions and operational planning to financial performance. While these systems sometimes connected select supply chain functions with the finance department, this connectivity was relegated to an "input" into the budgeting and forecasting process. Without better connectivity and a deeper understanding of how supply chain performance impacts other departments, as well as the collective enterprise, these systems cannot optimize performance.

In addition, at the strategic level, senior executives typically do not interact with supply chain systems. Therefore, they are forced to make key decisions with limited understanding of the financial ramifications and related risks associated with their decisions. Consequently, decisions around capital investment allocations, mergers and acquisitions, plant closures, distribution and logistics, product mix, go-to-market channels and organizational structure, require mountains of spreadsheets filled with assumptive, non-integrated data. The data, which is usually assembled from a number of systems including ERP, supply chain management, business intelligence and financial planning, do not provide a holistic and accurate understanding of the financial impact.

In response, River Logic offers its Integrated Business Planning (IBP) approach, based on its Enterprise Optimizer (EO) solution, aimed at bridging strategy and operations by simultaneously analyzing market, process and financial variables, then determining which actions provide the highest return for the enterprise. The goal is to provide a unified, holistic view of the business, offering a single model that can bring alignment to the supply chain and addresses the company's strategic goals within its operational framework.

Wayland, MA/USA
Order/Demand Capture, Sourcing, Procurement, Fulfillment/Logistics, PLM, Integration & Infrastructure/ERP, Decision Support

RockBlocks believes the most critical supply chain challenge facing organizations today is the need to implement and sustain an environmentally and socially responsible supply chain with flat or diminishing budgets. The company said the next wave of supply chain innovation includes both the technology needed to support an environmentally and social responsible supply chain, and the best practices critical to sustaining it.

The RockBlocks platform offers customers increased visibility throughout the entire supply chain, from product design and development to delivery. With RockBlocks, organizations have a framework in which they can aggregate all of the information about a product as it travels from raw materials to a finished good to a store shelf. Organizations can then use this information to identify areas of inefficiency, optimize resources, reduce waste and ensure compliance with the highest standards and best operational practices regarding child labor, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, use of sustainable, renewable or recyclable raw materials, production conditions and procedures, recalls and carbon emissions.

RollStream Inc.
Fairfax, VA/USA
Order/Demand Capture, Procurement, Fulfillment/Logistics, CRM, PLM, Integration & Infrastructure/ERP, Decision Support

People are now the "killer app" in the supply chain, says RollStream, which argues that supply chain investments in systems and infrastructure will fail without investment in "human networks." "People run the supply chain and the traditional interaction model has been phone, fax, email and spreadsheets. It's a mess," the company asserts. To address this mess, RollStream offers up what it calls Human-Centric Supply Chain management technology, Web-based applications to help businesses organize, communicate and control trading partner communities enterprise.

Ryder System, Inc.
Miami, FL/USA

Although Ryder System, Inc. is widely known for its supply chain and transportation solutions, recently the company has been delving into the areas of supply chain efficiency and environmental sustainability. Ryder is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay program to promote energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas, and it just opened its first energy efficient, "Energy Star" certified building in Novi, Mich. In February 2008, Ryder partnered with Florida International University to bring customers, partners, academics and other industry professionals together to discuss best practices in building and managing "green" supply chains.

From smarter transportation lane strategies to optimization of the reverse logistics process, Ryder's efforts are helping customers reduce their carbon footprints and improve asset utilization.

Cary, NC/USA
Order/Demand Capture, Sourcing, Procurement, CRM, Decision Support

The benefits of becoming "demand-driven" are multi-fold, such as higher forecasting accuracy leading to reduced stock-outs, reduced back-orders, better inventory control and overall better customer satisfaction. Another factor driving "demand-driven" initiatives is quantifiable ROI. Demand-driven supply chains deliver that return on investment. In fact, according to a recent study by AMR Research, companies that have better demand forecasting accuracy, have 15 percent less inventory, 17 percent stronger order fulfillment and 35 percent shorter cash-to-cash cycle times than typical companies.

SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting is designed to enable companies to profitably respond to demand by not only forecasting demand accurately, but also by enabling them to understand the financial impact of changes in product and marketing strategies on their bottom line using "what if analysis" and scenario modeling capabilities. The solution automatically creates a weighted consensus forecast by tracking variation between forecasted and actual to aid the S&OP process. With SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting, companies can translate their customer and other upstream data into a demand plan that maximizes profitability, market share and customer satisfaction.

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