Valdero Takes on Multi-Tier Inventory Visibility, Execution

Version 4.0 of provider's solution offers long-range inventory simulation, integration with desktop apps, data quality management features

Version 4.0 of provider's solution offers long-range inventory simulation, integration with desktop apps, data quality management features

Palo Alto, CA — October 26, 2004 — Supply chain software provider Valdero this week released the latest version of its flagship solution for multi-enterprise inventory visibility and execution, adding long-range simulation capabilities, integration with Microsoft Office and data quality management features to the application.

According to the solution provider, the new Valdero 4.0 is the industry's first set of applications that combines real-time visibility across enterprises with capabilities to simulate multiple long-range inventory scenarios due to sudden shifts in demand or supply.

This capability is designed to work with various enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other planning applications and is intended to let companies manage inventory across a multi-enterprise network through processes like product end-of-life and long-term-buy analysis. The results can include lowered inventory levels, lower write-offs and lower operating costs, Valdero said.

Multi-Enterprise Inventory Visibility and Execution

As Valdero sees it, until now manufacturers have not had the tools that provide visibility to critical supply chain information across enterprises, along with the ability to respond to actual changes in demand when they occur. "It's great to know what's happening in the world today, which is what we call 'as-is' visibility, but what companies really want to be able to do is control and manage the future," explained S. Singh Mecker, president and CEO of Valdero.

With version 4.0 of its application suite, Valdero said it is offering tools that it said can help move companies toward "what if" visibility that empowers enterprises to proactively model the future and take actions to prevent problems before they become nightmares. For example, managers could model multiple "what-if" scenarios to simulate the impact on inventory of product end-of-life, long-term-buy decisions as well as forecast changes.

The Multi-Enterprise Inventory Visibility application, for example, provides manufacturers visibility into supply and demand within their supply chain, as well as into the supply chains of their strategic partners (for example, contract manufacturers) and upstream suppliers. The goal is to provide an understanding of how inventory positions across the network are affected by fluctuations in demand, painting a clearer picture of a company's total inventory exposure. Using this application, managers can track and mitigate build-ups in excess inventory before they turn into write-offs and shortages before they become missed revenue opportunities, Valdero said.

In addition, the Dynamic Order Fulfillment application is intended to let companies proactively balance supply with unplanned changes in demand across a multi-tier supply chain. Valdero said the application allows users to quickly understand the impact of shortages on orders, intelligently allocate material to the most important orders and determine reliable commit dates, thereby preventing shortages, increasing fill rates and decreasing fulfillment cycle times. Additionally, users can model and run closed-loop channel replenishment programs that can generate replenishment signals from multiple sales channels, allocate inventory and track shipments back into the channel, allowing the deployment of demand-driven supply chains.

Desktop Integration

Elsewhere, the latest version of the Valdero offering adds integration with Microsoft Office to bring the application to the desktop user. "We've seen that Valdero is being used by a select set of people within the organization, and some of the information that's coming from it is really valuable to senior management to use in their day-to-day decision-making," Mecker said. "And what better way to utilize that than to use the existing front office or desktop tools like Microsoft Office."

To accomplish this, Valdero added the ability to have an Excel front-end to the application, so reports can be run directly from Excel using live data from Valdero, or the application can be used to output information straight into Excel for formatting, tweaking or otherwise using elsewhere.

Finally, Valdero has beefed up data quality management capabilities in the new version to help accelerate partner integration and speed time to value. "With analytically oriented solutions, data quality is really key," Mecker said. "We have focused on reducing the time to on-board suppliers and speeding the time to value by providing tools and templates that can quickly identify where the data issues are during the course of on-boarding and provide the ability to fix that data."

Managing Inventory in the Extended Supply Chain at Motorola

Version 4.0 of the Valdero applications is targeted at the high-technology, consumer electronics/durables and industrial/automotive markets where Valdero has traditionally focused. In fact, in announcing the latest version, Valdero also reported that Motorola has selected its applications for deployment in its Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector (CGISS) and will be a flagship customer of the Valdero 4.0 suite.

CGISS is a $4.5 billion division of Motorola that provides two-way radio devices and communication infrastructure for its namesake verticals. The potential challenges that the company faces include high inventory obsolescence with significant financial impact, including difficulty in actively managing end-of-life (EOL) inventory due to unique product life-cycle requirements, and significant latency in assessing forecast impact. In addition, the company faces high latency in its extended supply chain, with global, distributed operations and outsourcing relationships with major electronic manufacturing service (EMS) providers.

Before getting involved with Valdero, Motorola was using manual processes and Excel spreadsheets. But by adopting the Valdero solution, Mecker said that the company will be gaining the ability to model multiple EOL scenarios and make long-term buy decisions based on this "what if" visibility, combined with the "as-is" visibility into current orders and inventory levels throughout its supply chain. Valdero will be implemented globally throughout this unit as the standard to manage CGISS' supply chain. Mecker said that the potential benefits for Motorola could include reduced inventory carrying costs, lowered material expedite cost, reduced variances and lowered obsolescence. The first phase of the implementation will go live at the end of December or the beginning of January in two facilities, with three facilities to follow thereafter and, subsequently, additional divisions.