Adexa, Optiant Ally on Inventory Management

Combined offering targets supply chain forecasting, planning and improved inventory optimization

Tempe, AZ  January 23, 2003  Software companies Adexa and Optiant are partnering to combine their core supply chain offerings, producing what the providers claim to be the first end-to-end sales, inventory and operations planning solution that optimizes the primary building block of the supply chain: inventory management.

Adexa has traditionally played in the supply chain planning space, while Optiant offers supply chain design and optimization software.

Optiant's inventory optimization software, PowerChain Inventory, will be incorporated into Adexa's Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning (SIOP) offering. SIOP solution is part of Adexa's Enterprise Global Planning System (eGPS), a suite of 11 solutions that synchronizes strategic supply chain planning and financial objectives for manufacturers.

PowerChain Inventory is part of Optiant's PowerChain suite of solutions for strategic and tactical planning of complex supply chains. Optiant said these solutions enable manufacturers to collaboratively design supply chains from procurement to store shelf, helping stakeholders to assess the impact of business decisions on total supply chain cost, time-to-market and customer satisfaction.

Integrating both companies' offerings provides customers with a unified, end-to-end collaborative environment for forecasting, planning and now, improved inventory optimization, the two providers said.

The new solution provides support for collaborative demand and supply planning. Its strategic inventory management capabilities are designed to let users set inventory levels based on service-level commitments, identify imbalances and capacity bottlenecks, and deliver on their own time-varying business rules, such as sourcing across multiple plants and multiple suppliers with qualifications and postponement strategies .

"This partnership enables us to elevate our existing solution and provide deeper capabilities to manufacturers," said Kameron Hadavi, vice president of technology partners at Adexa. Hadavi suggested that the unified offering could potentially help companies reduce customer lead times, increase order fill rates, and avoid capacity and materials shortages.

Michael Braatz, co-founder and vice president of business development at Optiant, said inventory optimization provides manufacturers the ability to maximize supply chain responsiveness while minimizing inventory risk, and represents a logical extension to the sales and operations planning process. "That's our premise: a start-to-finish solution that begins with forecasting and planning, and extends to address strategic inventory planning and all phases of execution," Braatz said.

Optiant and Adexa recently completed a large-scale supply chain solution for a major heavy equipment manufacturer. This application is intended to help the manufacturer to more effectively manage hundreds of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and complex configurations with dealers nationwide, and to shorten lead-times in a time-sensitive market.

In other Adexa news, the company this week released the latest component of its device relationship management (DRM) system, an application called Usage that Adexa says will enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their service providers to leverage the Internet to automatically retrieve usage data from large populations of devices deployed at their customers, with the payoff coming in the form of reduced costs and increased accuracy over manual methods.

Axeda said that Usage makes device-related data instantly available to other enterprise business applications and offers data analysis and reporting tools for management and service personnel, allowing companies to automate a range of revenue-generating business processes, such as pay-per-use billing, preventative maintenance, up-selling, consumable re-supply and verification of service-level agreements.

"For OEMs in every industry, knowing how the devices they sell are used throughout their lifecycle is the key to transforming their business into a real-time enterprise that anticipates customer needs and operates at peak efficiency" said Richard MacKeen, senior vice president of research and development, Axeda Systems. "With Axeda Usage, company executives are now able to implement innovative new business models that were previously constrained by people and technology".