Rich Becks, senior vice president, product management, E2open (www.e2open.com), created a roadmap for the industry's first multi-enterprise platform that manages external, supplier- and customer-facing processes — it is a key enabling technology to help enterprises and their supply networks evolve to a 21st century supply chain. According to Becks, "Today's competitive landscape is defined by companies that are best-in-class in managing their extended end-to-end supply networks. Enterprises that have successfully implemented ERP platforms are recognizing that increasing reliance on external trading partners drives need for a strategic multi-enterprise platform that complements their ERP, extending and integrating it to trading partners."
George Klaus, chairman and CEO, Epicor Software (www.epicor.com), sees companies leveraging the use of technologies that employ a service-oriented architecture (SOA) to deliver ease of integration and flexibility. "Technology-enabled supply chain collaboration is fast becoming a business necessity, especially for companies that are expanding operations globally," Klaus says, asserting that Web services technology is the key to successfully orchestrating global manufacturing and distribution operations.
Vijay Takanti, vice president and security program director, Exostar (www.exostar.com), envisions creating security that can be applied consistently across an entire supply chain. Secure, multi-enterprise collaboration requires a scalable approach to identity assurance. Takanti has led organizations to integrate technology and business processes to overcome reliance on obsolete security safeguards that leave companies and individuals open to risk and liability related to their critical information. His approach is built on a central theme of identity federation, where each employer acts as a source of authority for employees.
Steve Keifer, vice president of product and industry marketing, GXS (www.gxs.com), believes that although business process outsourcing has become more popular, most enterprises under-invest in B2B technologies and don't take such a strategic view towards B2B e-commerce. He spends almost every week on the road visiting with customers in nearly every vertical, helping them gain better insight into their supply chain challenges and the solutions available to solve them — be they from GXS or not.
Eric Musser, president and CEO, CDC Software (www.cdcsoftware.com), has taken a focus on the unique business needs of customers' vertical markets, overhauling the direction his company was taking with regard to creating solutions. Because of his idea many of the company's customers have greatly benefited. He also led the creation of a first-of-its-kind SaaS suite of applications for life sciences companies, currently in use with hundreds of life sciences manufacturers and research organizations around the world.
RFID & Auto-ID Technologies
Mitch Medford, CEO, RF Code (www.rfcode.com), believes that automating the inventory process for critical enterprise assets will free up time, enhance security, strengthen maintenance programs and optimize asset lifecycle management for companies in the competitive 21st century. Medford has led the charge for active RFID to combat theft in retail stores, and has also led "open architecture" and "mobile asset management" initiatives at his company.
Dean Frew, president and CEO, Xterprise Incorporated (www.xterprise.com), envisions the 21st century supply chain as a "movie" of what is happening real time — and RFID applications are what make that "movie" possible. Frew is not only an avid speaker at national and international supply chain, asset management and RFID technology events, he also creates RFID tools that move his clients, like Wal-Mart, Toyota and ExxonMobil, toward a real-time supply chain complete with increased productivity, reduced costs and visibility improvements.
Anders Gustafsson, CEO, Zebra Technologies (www.zebra.com), has focused his 21st century supply chain vision on digital printing and automatic identification. He is leading his company's pursuit of vertical market applications, as well as further development of RFID and mobile printing technologies, to help companies obtain more efficient, secure supply chains.
Anurag Mendhekar, president, Blue Vector (www.bluevector.com), believes that the 21st century supply chain is going to be defined by efficiency that will be achieved in large measure by improving visibility of goods as they travel through the supply chain. To that end, Mendhekar has found a way to create highly distributed, large-footprint sensing networks to improve visibility. Additionally, the network-based paradigms lay the groundwork for extending these benefits across many more sectors of customers' supply chains.