Collaborative Supply Chain Management: Enabling Visibility

If you’ve tried working with suppliers in multiple locations and different time zones, you know that email is an improvement over voice and fax, but it still falls short of what you need.

Demand Solutions Collaboration provides a collaborative framework to create a supply network that includes credible demand and replenishment signals; shared business processes with customers and suppliers; exception-based management of key performance indicators; coordinated workflow and activity among all trading partners; and a common view of business performance via a secure Internet-based solution. A fourth generation collaborative planning solution, Collaboration works seamlessly across disparate applications and organizations.

Enhanced forecast management and inventory planning through collaboration

Item forecast numbers are based on empirical data. A flexible and hierarchical statistical forecasting engine is essential, but a true collaborative forecast will take into account factors outside the four walls of your company. Accurate and collaborative forecasts improve customer service, enhance inventory planning and optimization and ultimately increase net sales. Demand Solutions Collaboration extends beyond the core forecasting activity to include your external trading partners and internal departments - in real time with a Web-based solution. With Collaboration, you get a more accurate forecast. Your trading partners and customers have visibility into their account plans in your system and are able to enhance the plan. With collaborative plans, everyone can focus on value-added analysis versus data collection.

What do you do when things “go bump” in the supply chain?

Let’s face it - changes happen. You know better than anyone that your business is dynamic. Collaboration manages not only your ever-changing supply chain, but also the supply chains of your trading partners and customers.

How do you achieve visibility to all of your customers’ plans? A familiar scenario is simplified with Demand Solutions Collaboration:

- Customer A cancelled promotion
- Customer B added a campaign
- Customer C added a promotion
- Customer A decided to add the promotion two days later

With the implementation of Collaboration, you know all of this. As it happens. With our product, you choose the rules and thresholds that will alert you in real time when a plan deviates from them. An old adage says, “A problem recognized is a problem half solved.” Collaboration empowers your staff to take action on the problem as soon as it happens. Each individual’s contribution to the total can be managed more efficiently. It gives you real-time visibility into exception management. Problem solved.

Collaboration process

Whether you follow CPFR, have your own internal collaboration methodology or don’t have one established yet, Collaboration is flexible and dynamic to tailor the process to support your business. Using Demand Solutions Collaboration tools, you can improve sales and order forecast accuracy, employ automatic exception management and alert notifications, simplify promotion planning and easily analyze business trends. The results:

- Increased supply chain visibility
- Optimized inventories
- Reduced stock outs
- Lower costs
- Satisfied customers
- Increased revenue

Demand Solutions Collaboration provides a powerful collaborative platform

Using the flexibility of Collaboration, manufacturers can now share their planned order forecasts with key suppliers. Business alerts, prioritized lists of critical events and automatic resolutions help focus valuable resources on urgent issues. Trading partners can work together to address exception conditions proactively.

Customer demand is synchronized with supplier capabilities for optimized inventory and production. Dynamic views support flexible aggregation and disaggregation of items at various levels of detail, making collaboration much easier. Companies that collaboratively manage their supply chain gain a real competitive advantage.

Dashboards for better response

Demand Solutions Dashboards provide a way to visually present critical data in summary form. The Dashboard functionality can be customized by job function so planners can see the views they need and everyone can make quick decisions and respond to management’s every-changing desire to see forecasting information in multiple formats.

Additional features

- Quickly delivers business value and ROIthrough inventory optimization and improved forecasting accuracy

- Includes collaborative calendar capabilities to display inter-company promotions

- Integrates easily with existing supply chain, CRM and ERP systems

- Simplifies complex planning processes with closed-loop demand forecasting capabilities

- Accelerates Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), improves communications and generates alerts for key exceptions

- Browser based, which means zero client deployment

- Supports XML and EDI for easy exchange of data with trading partners

- Provides visibility into the entire supply chain

- Exception management(configurable by trading partner)

- Ability to define work flows

- View data as information to help optimize inventory and maximize profits with Demand Solutions Dashboards
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