Burlingame, CA January 22, 2002 Software company Softchain today rolled out version 2.0 of its collaborative planning solution for manufacturers, Collaborative Planner, which the company says will allow partners across a multi-tier supply chain to produce to a single demand signal, resulting in reduced inventory exposure and higher fulfillment rates.
Collaborative Planner v2.0 includes a Demand Collaborator module that lets customers, salespeople and demand planners work collectively in a controlled process to generate a single demand forecast. Users have access to information in the forecasting process, such as sales-to-forecast performance, previously committed supply and supplier capabilities. Such collaboration tools as online conferencing and data-linked messaging let supply chain partners work together to create consensus forecasts.
A Supply Collaborator module lets managers coordinate partners' supply plans with the goal of maintaining flexibility while minimizing exposure. Softchain says that all tiers of suppliers can share product information, capabilities, flexibility agreements and procurement plans, as well as update their information in real time, to align the extended supply to a demand signal.
Commenting on the solution, Joshua Clark, Softchain senior vice president of strategy and planning, said: "With the accelerating momentum toward outsourcing, we identified the need for manufacturing companies to have more active participation from all supply chain partners and to give them real time information. Softchain encourages supplier involvement and increases supply chain visibility by providing them with key information and collaboration tools to immediately see and react to changes in the marketplace."