Oakland, Calif.—May 1, 2012—Through a joint agreement, cloud solution providers GT Nexus and Kinaxis will together deliver a cloud-based unified planning and execution platform for enterprise customers and business process outsourcing (BPO) service providers.
“One of the biggest challenges companies face today is responding quickly to market changes and risk while simultaneously managing cost as their supply chain becomes more global, more distributed, and more complex,” said Aaron Sasson, Chief Executive Officer, GT Nexus. “The new world of business networks demands tightly integrated supply chain planning and execution.”
While companies have invested heavily in enterprise software and B2B messaging “middleware” solutions to help them optimize inventory and fulfillment strategies, the vision of a fully integrated and responsive supply chain network has remained unfulfilled. This is because of the enormous information barrier that companies face when trying to make smart planning decisions in the context of highly dynamic and complex global supply chain structures.
“Traditional enterprise planning systems are starved of deep and detailed execution data from third parties—such as inventory positions, lead times, lead time variability, ETAs and accumulating product cost—that is needed to optimize operations,” said Doug Colbeth, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Kinaxis. “It’s like having a brain without a nervous system. You can’t unify planning and execution unless you can get beyond the boundaries of the single enterprise with a system designed to optimize both the flow of information and analysis of data across the entire multi-tier value chain.”
Getting beyond the single enterprise is critical because so much of the data required to make smart supply chain decisions resides with external partners, not within a company’s own internal systems. Aberdeen Research estimates that up to 85 percent of the data a company needs to gain control over its multi-partner, multi-tier supply chain relies on frequent data sharing among partners in the chain.
“Cloud is no longer just about great IT economics,” said Colbeth. “It’s about new information models for network-wide collaboration and information sharing. In the cloud, it’s finally possible to merge smart planning with hyper-responsive execution.”
To break through, a radically different approach is required. Cloud infrastructure designed specifically for multi-enterprise supply chain management and collaboration is the key enabler. This is not the domain of ERP providers.
Kinaxis provides a single product that powers the underlying capabilities essential to balancing demand and supply across an enterprise. RapidResponse Control Tower offers a standard foundation on which many strategic business applications—such as supply chain planning, demand management, S&OP, supplier collaboration—can be deployed.
GT Nexus provides real-time visibility into orders, inventory, shipments and commerce transactions from order point to final delivery and payment. Using advanced agent technology and business analytics to monitor supply chain execution flow, companies and their partners collaborate as business networks to reduce costs and improve performance across their entire value chains.
“This is a terrific match of capabilities and an ideal deployment model for companies with global, complex supply chain networks,” said Sasson.
The companies aim to support both enterprise customers seeking control tower solutions, as well as BPO practices that require an on-demand IT infrastructure to quickly deploy and manage integrated planning and execution processes for their largest, most strategic customers.