Transora Tackles CPFR

Seeks to encourage buyer-supplier links through collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment

Chicago  April 26, 2002  Consumer products industry-sponsored e-marketplace Transora this week completed the industry's first link between registered product information and collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR).

The new capability automatically recognizes products that a manufacturer has agreed to collaboratively forecast with its retailer customers and sends that data into the trading partners' CPFR systems, whether they are housed internally or based on a trading exchange platform.

Transora said that because this capability makes use of item information already stored in Transora's Data Catalogue, it eliminates the need to enter item data in multiple locations, saving time, reducing errors and paving the way for more rapid adoption of collaborative services between manufacturers and retailers.

"Linking our Data Catalogue and CPFR offerings is a logical and strategic step toward Transora's original vision of an integrated supply chain," said Rick Herbst, Transora's chief business officer. "The Transora Data Catalogue will serve as the foundation for linking multiple industry offerings. Enabling this functionality in-house  rather than requiring customers to find a way to populate CPFR records on their own  brings two of Transora's flagship services together and simplifies the process of engaging in true collaboration through CPFR.

"This can significantly assist in supporting new product introductions," added Herbst. "By comparing early sales feedback with inventory and production capabilities, the manufacturer and retailer can react quickly to the market."

Transora said its CPFR service enables suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers to share value-chain information in real time via the Internet. CPFR enables trading partners to jointly coordinate forecasts and promotion plans, with the potential to eliminate costly excess inventory levels while assuring product availability on the store shelf and paving the way for collaboration across the value chain.

The Data Catalogue/CPFR Integration capability uses the catalog's publish/subscribe functionality. Once a manufacturer and retailer agree on the products for which they will use CPFR, item information is published from the Data Catalogue directly into the CPFR solution. Transora's proprietary, Java-based CPFR Integrator Module reads the XML-based item synchronization messages, identifies which items are designated for collaboration using CPFR and routes the item data to the CPFR application via AS-2 messaging software. Items are automatically entered into the CPFR application for both sides of the collaboration (buyer and seller). The collaborating trading partners can immediately begin sending item sales forecasts, point-of-sale information, and other data that supports supply chain collaboration.