RiverOne Takes on Environmental Compliance with 6.5 Release

Supply chain control specialist also tackles multi-tier planning in the electronics industry with functionality in latest version of INTERACTIVE

Supply chain control specialist also tackles multi-tier planning in the electronics industry with functionality in latest version of INTERACTIVE

Irvine, CA  September 19, 2005  Supply chain control specialist RiverOne has debuted the latest version of its INTERACTIVE solution, adding functionality focused on environmental compliance and multi-tier planning.

RiverOne, which targets the electronics industry, also announced that INTERACTIVE 6.5 has been designated a Powered by NetWeaver product, having completed certification by SAP.

Version 6.5 includes new functionality to address critical and strategic requirements of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers, their suppliers and partners, according to the solution provider.

Enabling Environmental Compliance

Specifically, with less than a year before Europe's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive goes into effect, this release provides functionality intended to help all participants in the electronics supply chain improve environmental compliance, according to RiverOne.

Recent directives, such as Europe's RoHS and Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), are forcing supply chain issues to the top of the management agenda. Environmental compliance impacts the entire product life-cycle, including design, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, service and product disposal or re-use. According to Technology Forecasters, electronics companies will spend $5-10 billion complying with environmental regulations.

According to RiverOne, INTERACTIVE 6.5 is among the first industry solutions to automate the cross-enterprise information exchange required to certify RoHS compliance, providing multi-enterprise processes to reduce the risk of compliance failure as well as the long term cost of compliance.

The solution now supports both the emerging IPC-1752 standard and proprietary processes, enabling OEMs and EMS providers to obtain and manage material composition declarations from suppliers, while also enabling suppliers to meet RoHS declaration requests. Based on the compliance status of component items, brand owners can quickly and easily assess the compliance status of finished goods based on detailed information from the end-item bills of material (BOMs).

By providing item-level visibility of data and transactions across the enterprise, OEMs can assess compliance status of finished goods based on detailed BOM information, including subassemblies, components and individual parts. The solution also integrates with enterprise data repositories for reporting purposes.

Making Planning Multi-Tier

Elsewhere, building on RiverOne's patented technology for multi-enterprise processes, Release 6.5 synchronizes planning across multiple tiers in the supply network, aligning supply with demand, and facilitating inventory reductions at various levels throughout the supply chain, according to the solution provider.

As RiverOne sees it, the highly-leveraged outsourced supply chain prevalent in the electronics industry invalidates traditional enterprise-focused planning, because no individual company has enough data to assemble a complete view of both demand and supply. Additionally, the latency introduced as each supply chain partner sequentially processes demand and forecasts through its own planning cycle means that information traversing the supply chain is distorted and outdated. Companies build inventory buffers in vendor-management inventory (VMI) hubs as safety stock to mitigate the lack of multi-tier synchronization, and as a result, across the industry, inventory levels continue to rise.

According to RiverOne, INTERACTIVE 6.5 Multi-Tier Planning leverages the provider's organizational hierarchy, program structures and configurability to solve planning issues across multiple tiers of the supply chain, allowing companies to plan globally and execute locally. The solution includes scenario-based, multi-company "what if" analysis functionality that allows users to adjust both planning parameters and actual transactional data included in the planning run. "Now all partners can share demand signals and collaborate to identify and resolve demand-supply imbalances on an exception basis," the enabler said in announcing Release 6.5.

RiverOne said it designed the solution to serve the unique needs of the electronics industry. For example, INTERACTIVE 6.5 includes the capability to manage component exceptions at multiple levels of aggregation, specify different component manufacturer splits for each finished goods product group and manage shared inventories. Managers can view information aggregated at daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual intervals across any user-selected horizon. Multi-Tier Planning can be used not only to support the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process but also to manage the inevitable changes that occur between planning cycles, the solution provider said.

SAP Certified

RiverOne said that INTERACTIVE 6.5 is undergoing testing at customer sites with planned general availability later this year. The release also includes support for the SAP NetWeaver platform. INTERACTIVE 6.5 has been certified as a Powered by NetWeaver product for use with the SAP Enterprise Portal and with SAP XI Exchange Integration technology for business process integration.

Customers may choose from various hosted or licensed software delivery models. Pricing is based on the scope of each deployment, including the number of supply chain programs supported and the number of partners connected.

Jim Wong, president of the IT Product Business Group at Acer Incorporated, which collaborated with RiverOne to design and implement the enhanced Multi-Tier Planning capability in INTERACTIVE 6.5, said that the solution would enable the company to plan and synchronize production with its partners. "In this way, even though our manufacturing is now shared with many partners we continue to operate as a single, cohesive team," Wong said.

Wong went on to note that Acer has structured its operations to leverage the capabilities of outsourced supply chain partners. "At the heart of this strategy is the smooth flow of information in response to customer demand," he said. "This cannot be achieved if each partner is operating at arm's length like a traditional supplier."

RiverOne said its customer base, which, in addition to Acer, includes such companies as Entrisphere, Flextronics, Solectron and Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), as well as other OEMs, EMS companies and component suppliers that account for more than 25 percent of global outsourced manufacturing. RiverOne is headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

Additional Articles of Interest

 For more information on the supply chain impact of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations, see these SDCExec.com articles.

 Learning the right things to say to your colleagues and your customers can help you win big for the Supply Chain. Read more in "The Price of Talk," the Final Thoughts column in the August/September 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

 Is it possible to preemptively address the business risks associated with product quality? One industry executive thinks so. Read more in "The Quality Risk," the Executive Memo column in the August/September 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

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