Optiant Launches PowerChain 4.5

Aims to give manufacturers better visibility into impact of supply chain decisions on revenues

Aims to give manufacturers better visibility into impact of supply chain decisions on revenues

Boston — June 25, 2003 — Supply chain optimization specialist Optiant this week rolled out the latest version of its PowerChain solution, adding features to help give manufacturers better visibility into the connection between supply chain decisions and revenues, among other new capabilities.

Optiant says that version 4.5 of the optimization solution expands the ability to tie supply chain decisions to financial impact, meeting the needs of executives and financial officers, while solving a more comprehensive list of issues and challenges for those more directly involved in day-to-day supply chain management and execution.

The objective of the suite is to help manufacturers meet the real-world challenges of today's uncertain and constantly evolving business environment, the solution provider says.

Features in Powerchain 4.5 include cash-to-cash cycle time, which measures the time from which materials are purchased and when that money is recouped through the sale of a product, helping CFOs and financial executives gauge the impact supply chain decisions have on capital requirements and cash flow.

Enhanced import/export integration with Microsoft Excel, advanced planning and scheduling (APS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems allows users to import and export large volumes of data from APS and ERP systems. This flexibility can allow for scenario-specific data manipulation between strategic planning, execution and financial models.

Optimized inventory planning with varying review periods can help reduce the need for high levels of buffer stock by accommodating the materials order and replenishment schedules throughout the entire process. Optiant says that PowerChain 4.5's approach eliminates lag times between stages for orders and ensures that decisions at one stage do not negatively impact stages up or downstream.

And in what may be viewed as scalability and performance overkill, the solution gives users the ability to optimize as many as 10,000 stages — well beyond the needs of perhaps even the most complex chains — in a matter of minutes.

"Supply chain managers and inventory planners are often handicapped by the 'bullwhip effect', as decisions and policies made at one stage have an unintended ripple effect up and down the supply chain," said Dan Ross, CEO of Optiant. "By taking holistic approach and easing collaboration, PowerChain has the potential to relieve one of the biggest drains on overall supply chain efficiency and profitability."

The PowerChain 4.5 suite includes:

  • PowerChain Inventory, which establishes optimal inventory targets and policies in order to reduce overall inventory cost, while increasing service levels and profits;

  • PowerChain Architect, which designs optimal supply chain configurations, material sourcing, manufacturing processes and distribution methods to minimize total supply chain cost and maximize product profitability; and,

  • PowerChain Echelon, which allocates production and warehouse capacity across many products, striking a balance between production efficiencies and inventory targets to help drive significant cost savings without sacrificing customer service levels.