Sterling Commerce Debuts Order, Warehouse Management Apps

Following Yantra acquisition, B2B integration specialists steps deeper into supply chain solutions space

Following Yantra acquisition, B2B integration specialists steps deeper into supply chain solutions space

Columbus, OH — August 8, 2005 — B2B connectivity specialist Sterling Commerce has released applications for order management and warehouse management, offering solutions intended to help companies accelerate revenue growth in multi-channel distribution environments.

The two new offerings, Customer Order Management and nWMS-Distribution, are Sterling's first packaged composite applications (PCAs), process-centric solutions that deliver preconfigured capabilities and that are designed to be easier and faster to deploy and integrate than traditional enterprise software.

The new apps follow Sterling's acquisition of Yantra, a provider of supply chain fulfillment solutions to the retail market, in December 2004. May saw the first result of that deal when Sterling rolled out what it described as the first end-to-end solution designed to holistically manage the entire retail fulfillment process, from source to sale (see story).

Order Management

In making its latest product announcements, Sterling said the first version of its Customer Order Management PCA allows enterprises to capture, manage and coordinate the fulfillment of customer orders across a multi-channel (Web, call center, store, etc.), multi-enterprise supply chain environment. "It provides a single point of visibility and a single solution to enable an 'order from anywhere, fulfill from anywhere' strategy for multi-channel customer management," Sterling said.

The Customer Order Management PCA is targeted at major retailers or distributors that are selling direct to consumers utilizing channels such as call centers, the Web or kiosks. It offers such enterprises a preconfigured solution for managing the various fulfillment processes associated with revenue-generating strategies, such as bundled products and services, in-store pick-up, vendor drop-ship and multi-stage fulfillment.

The solution is intended to help companies achieve greater customer satisfaction with on-time, accurate fulfillment, while improving operational efficiency, increasing order accuracy and on-time performance, and allowing more effective inventory sourcing and management.

Warehouse Management

In addition, the enabler said that its nWMS-Distribution PCA is geared toward manufacturers and distributors that sell finished goods to the retail market. With its network-centric warehouse management approach, the nWMS-Distribution PCA offers these enterprises a configurable solution intended to improve inventory management and distribution operations across multiple, varying facilities in demand-driven supply chain initiatives, Sterling said.

Based on a business-user context instead of a technology context, networked facilities allow distributors to introduce new functionality and technology to its business ecosystem faster and more cost effectively, Sterling asserted.

"Organizations with large-scale distribution centers can use the Sterling nWMS-Distribution PCA as a single solution to configure all of their facilities into a single environment but have the flexibility to only use the capabilities and components necessary for the specific operation of each facility," the enabler said. "This differs from most warehouse management solutions that require significant implementation each time a new warehouse is added making changes costly and time intensive."

"We are facilitating multi-enterprise collaboration by enabling participants across the retail value chain to effectively synchronize processes, information and systems across multiple facilities, channels, fulfillment and service partners," said Sam Starr, CEO of Sterling Commerce.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Working to improve demand visibility at your company but stumped on how to improve demand accuracy? For some tips to get you started, read "Overcoming Forecast Error with Real-time Forecasting," an In Depth article on

— The focus in the retail sector has shifted from managing the movement of goods to managing information about goods. Read more in "Ramping Up the Retail Supply Chain," in the February/March 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Bad packaging, poor handling and substandard shipping and receiving practices account for more than half the returns in the supermarket industry, and the use of folding cartonboard could significantly reduce unsaleables in the industry, one research project has found. Read about the GENCO study of frozen food manufacturers in the article "Bad Packaging, Poor Handling Seen Driving High Unsaleables."