PeopleSoft Rolls out RFID Solutions

Provider also announces updated relationship management solution, new planning solutions for complex manufacturing

Provider also announces updated relationship management solution, new planning solutions for complex manufacturing

Chicago — March 1, 2004 — Software company PeopleSoft took advantage of National Manufacturing Week 2004 to issue a slew of announcements last week, including a new partnership with a lean practices specialist, an updated supplier relationship management solution, new planning solutions for complex manufacturing and new radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions.

Here's a roundup of the latest news from this solution provider:

New Partnership

PeopleSoft entered a partnership with JCIT International, a specialist in lean practices and methodologies. PeopleSoft is incorporating JCIT International's Demand Flow Technology into its supply chain management solutions to address the increasingly complex manufacturing environment. Together, PeopleSoft and JCIT International will deliver technology, consulting and education services intended to help manufacturers transform into demand-driven organizations.

"The holistic approach delivered by PeopleSoft and JCIT embeds lean techniques in a broader context," said Tony Gorski, chief operating officer of JCIT International. "Traditional approaches to improvements aimed at reducing inventories and improving efficiencies are not enough. Improvements in processes must tie to the ultimate goal of speed and response to customer demand, and utilize minimal working capital."

Updated Supplier Relationship Management Solution

PeopleSoft announced Buyer Workspace, a new component of the provider's EnterpriseOne Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) suite, as well as an update of its Supplier Self Service solution.

The Buyer Workspace is a new portal that offers a single view of key tasks, helping buyers to streamline the inbound supply chain and more effectively manage and prioritize multiple suppliers.

Key features of the Workspace include real-time tracking, allowing buyers to track purchase orders and receipts online; real-time alerts, which are intended to help buyers identify and proactively address potential supplier inventory issues on an exception-driven basis; and supplier performance histories, new functionality that measure suppliers on such key metrics as on-time delivery and fulfillment, helping buyers to identify their most preferred suppliers and to take corrective action to improve supplier performance.

The updated Supplier Self Service application is designed to provide suppliers with the tools they need to be more effective in meeting manufacturers' requirements. New enhancements include supplier schedule sharing, which enables suppliers to commit to a forecast by sharing their capabilities to respond to demand, thereby helping manufacturers to lower their inventory requirements, decrease lead times, seek alternative suppliers if necessary and ultimately improve response to customer demand.

In addition, the solution now provides support for pull processes, giving manufacturers the ability to link multiple suppliers within the supply chain by utilizing a variety of pull-based business processes from simple Kanban signaling to vendor managed inventory. Tight integration with suppliers can result in minimal disruption to production when there is a significant shift in demand, PeopleSoft argues.

Finally, PeopleSoft says that the updated version of the solution offers improved supplier collaboration. With a newly enhanced interface, suppliers can gain visibility into manufacturers' operations, including purchase order, inventory, back order and delivery information, helping them to better align their operations with manufacturers' needs.

New Planning Solutions for Complex Manufacturing

PeopleSoft rolled out Order Promising for Configurable Products and new functionality for its Advanced Forecast Modeling solution. The applications are intended to enable manufacturers with complex products and volatile demand patterns to quickly respond to customer needs and realize the benefits of a demand-driven business model.

Order Promising for Configurable Products enables configure-to-order (CTO) manufacturers to gain visibility into supplier commitments, materials in transit and shipments, PeopleSoft says. As a result, manufacturers can make more accurate promises to avoid holding expensive subassemblies or semi-finished goods. In addition, the solution enables CTO manufacturers to determine the profitability of their order promising decisions and protect profit margins at the time of sale.

The solution provider says that Advanced Forecast Modeling enables complex, multifaceted forecasting by incorporating external demand drivers such as promotions, the consumer price index and currency exchange predictions into a statistically based forecast. These external demand drivers enable manufacturers to go beyond historical demand patterns to gain a more accurate, reliable demand picture over the long term, PeopleSoft argues. As a result, manufacturers can better align production with demand and drive down inventory levels.

New RFID Applications

Finally, PeopleSoft showcased its radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions for its Enterprise and EnterpriseOne product families, and the provider touted its new RFID solutions' ability to help organizations comply with recent mandates announced by Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense for outbound shipments.

Addressing the mandates, PeopleSoft's RFID solutions create identification tags that are attached to outbound shipments. The tags can include product, place, time and transaction data, which can help companies receiving shipments to more efficiently route, track and distribute materials. PeopleSoft says its RFID solutions will enable suppliers to meet their customers' RFID requirements as dictated for each ship-to location.