Waukesha, WI February 13, 2003 Software company RedPrairie this week rolled out a pair of offerings, including a new technology platform to give companies greater flexibility in customizing the provider's supply chain execution suite, as well as a real-time optimization engine for its transportation management solution.
The new technology platform, RedPrairie Agent, is intended to give companies greater flexibility in personalizing the provider's supply chain execution suite, DigitaLogistix, to their specific supply chain requirements without custom code, according to RedPrairie (formerly McHugh Software).
Companies can also use Agent to reconfigure DigitaLogistix over time to respond to changing business requirements, with the potential to reduce the total cost of system ownership for the solution. DigitaLogistix includes integrated solutions for warehouse, transportation and productivity management, supply chain visibility and collaboration.
Key elements of the Agent technology include a library of individual agents representing different logistics actions or processes that can be linked to meet unique logistics process requirements. These adaptive agents are loosely coupled, but dynamically linked during the execution process.
The technology also provides a configurable rules-engine and intelligent workflow; the ability to configure individual applications and auto-configure screens with the specific fields, naming conventions or local languages required for processing; application "wizards" that guide users through specific set-up and configuration tasks, either initially or when requirements change; and a native event management system (EMS) that monitors the environment for events or exceptions and proactively notifies appropriate personnel via multiple media types, such as e-mail, voice mail or pager.
Brad Moszkiewicz, manager of operations for Panasonic's National Parts Center, said the RedPrairie technology platform has allowed Panasonic to quickly adjust its distribution processes based on changing business requirements. "We can easily configure the system to provide the new capabilities by utilizing RedPrairie's agent library," Moszkiewicz said.
In addition to the Agent technology, RedPrairie this week also highlighted the real-time optimization engine built into its DLx Transportation 6.0 release. The engine, called COPLEX, uses proprietary algorithms to handle real-time changes in order fulfillment requirements and is capable of managing a continuous flow of changes in orders, capacities and constraints dynamically, according to the solution provider.
RedPrairie said that COPLEX can generate savings by continuously consolidating shipments into larger, more cost-effective loads, considering optimal routing, mode selection, and carrier/facility constraints, and by looking for opportunities to route via consolidation and distribution hubs. The provider contrasts this "real-time" approach to batch systems producing plans that may become obsolete as orders, capacities or constraints change.
In addition, DLx Transportation 6.0 contains enhanced Web portals for collaboration between shippers, carriers and customers, allowing companies to extend visibility, communications and transportation functionality across their internal networks and out to customers, carriers and trading partners with the goal of reducing transportation costs and improving performance. It also contains integrated real-time event management to help companies respond to transportation exceptions and problems as they occur in their extended supply networks.
In January, RedPrairie released version 2.0 of DLx Integrator, enterprise applications integration framework for logistics, with a graphical network monitor and embedded event management. This solution featured new capabilities intended to help companies improve network performance through real-time, graphical visibility to transaction flows and problems, enabling them to react faster to problems that impede fulfillment.