2008 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100

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

Silvon Software Inc.

Silvon Software, Inc.
Westmont, IL/USA
Decision Support

A number of external demands have changed the basic nature of the way that consumer goods manufacturers (CGMs) manage their businesses. Today, mass merchant retailers like Wal-Mart and The Home Depot dominate the customer bases of most CGMs and expect their suppliers to accept more responsibility for quality, on-time delivery, product availability and performance reporting regardless of their size. Should nonperformance occur, CGMs face consequences, including the loss of customers and/or the imposition of vendor-compliance fees.

In addition, CGM manufacturing operations are increasingly dispersed and reliant on third-party trading partners, whether moved offshore or outsourced completely. This has led to longer and more complex supply chains for them, longer manufacturing lead times and less visibility across their supply chains.

As a result of these market forces, according to Silvon Software, CGMs are moving to adopt a "Demand-Driven Supply Network" strategy for sensing and responding to real-time demand across a network of suppliers, employees and customers. Key demand information such as syndicated and point-of-sale data must be analyzed to create a demand signal from which more accurate forecasts can be driven to meet retailer requirements and more efficient operational plans can be generated to better balance supply with demand.

Historically, though, companies have cobbled together spreadsheets and reports to help a select few within the organization (like business analysts and IT staff) better manage their customer data. Silvon believes the business intelligence (BI) software space is evolving from an industry of labor-intensive and custom-built processes and reports constructed with software tools to a model of Web-enabled, pre-built applications wherein procedures, reports, event management and workflow are based on best management practices encompassing the entire organization. Silvon developed its Stratum suite of applications to capitalize on this next wave of the BI analytics industry by providing a server-based, Web-enabled system that controls and manages the full lifecycle of decision-making across all operational areas of the business.

Stratum integrates with and leverages data from a company's existing systems to provide a single data analysis and reporting platform for management. The brand's packaged applications for planning and performance management run on top of this platform and are designed to provide enterprise-wide visibility to our customers by addressing the key operational areas of manufacturing and distribution within their organizations.

To further support this next wave of planning and performance management, Silvon will soon be announcing the availability of a new point-of-sale data connector that will allow CGM companies to import, cleanse and analyze the consumption-based data that they receive from their retailers with greater ease and flexibility. Plus, the company said it will be adding two more strategic planning applications to the product suite, both of which are critical to the success of CGM businesses and represent a natural extension to the planning and performance analysis capabilities currently inherent in Stratum.

Source One Management Services, LLC
Willow Grove, PA/USA
Sourcing, Procurement, Decision Support

How much are you willing to pay for a procurement tool? How about free? Does free work for you? Source One Management Services offers free procurement tools and contingency-based services as a way of providing low-risk solutions to businesses of varying sizes. Source One has developed WhyAbe.com, a free sourcing toolset available on the Web with access to RFP and RFQ management tools, reverse auctions and a contract management repository system. In addition, Source One provides services on a pay-for-performance basis, so clients can gain access to professional resources without any out of pocket cost – payment is made to Source One only upon the realization of measurable and tangible bottom line savings.

Sourcing Interests Group
Truckee, CA/USA
Sourcing, Procurement, Integration & Infrastructure/ERP, Decision Support

Sourcing Interests Group (SIG) is a membership-driven organization comprised of sourcing and outsourcing professionals. Members are focused on improving bottom-line performance, quality and customer service through strategic sourcing/procurement and outsourcing initiatives. SIG is acknowledged by many as a world leader in providing an ongoing forum and services to assist companies in strategy development, the improvement of goods and services sourcing, and the implementation and management of corporate services through outsourcing, offshoring, insourcing and shared services. SIG services like the Semi-Annual SIG Sourcing Summit/Conference and SIG Peer2Peer Network Program help sourcing professionals share best practices and meet requirements of the "next wave" of supply chain innovation.

SPS Commerce
Minneapolis, MN/USA
Order/Demand Capture, Fulfillment/Logistics, Integration & Infrastructure/ERP, Decision Support

Today businesses of all shapes and sizes are expanding operations to all points on the globe – particularly to Asia. Suppliers range from huge multinational corporations with facilities on several different continents to tiny one-person shops located in the owner's garage. With this increasingly global business environment comes new challenges for suppliers of any size: collaborating with trading partners and customers, minimizing the cost of conducting business and providing real-time operating capabilities.

B2B integration through EDI remains, for many enterprises, the backbone of the automated supply chain, yet until recently remote trading partners had no practical means to access the enormous amounts of data in these systems to help them to perform functions on the supplier's behalf such as logistics and sourcing. As such, EDI has become one of the first software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to gain industry wide acceptance and, SPS Commerce believes, represents the "next wave" of supply chain innovation.

Last October SPS Commerce unveiled the latest update to its Web-based B2B integration service, with a focus on easing the exchange of information with third-party or remote factories and warehouses across the global supply chain. This outsourced EDI service offers a browser-based interface for suppliers and 3PLs to exchange business documents electronically with their customers. With the 2007 update, SPS Commerce's outsourced service now enables remote factories to receive packing instructions online and print and affix barcode labels onsite for faster and more accurate shipping.

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