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Companies faced with collaboration challenges brought on by multiple supply networks of different sizes and geographical locations can now turn to i2 Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITWO), for next-generation supply chain solutions designed to address these critical business issues. Key to solving these issues is i2 Supply Collaboration/Lean Replenishment, a solution designed to help companies manage all supplier interactions irrespective of supplier size, relationship or technical sophistication.
We are pleased to offer supply collaboration/lean replenishment capabilities as a part of our next-generation supply chain management solutions. We believe that i2 Supply Collaboration/Lean Replenishment offers companies greater flexibility, scalability, enhanced functional capabilities and a lower total cost of ownership, said i2 Chief Executive Officer Michael McGrath. As a result, more companies may find it easier to realize their goals of reduced costs, improved productivity, and more efficient collaboration with suppliers.
The Business Challenge
Globalization has spawned many challenges for companies using suppliers from around the world. These suppliers can range from multi-national corporations to smaller regional vendors, and may be located in a variety of geographical locations. As a result, companies find that they are facing a multitude of difficulties, including:
poor inbound supply visibility
inability to match demand and supply
incomplete or nonexistent supplier performance data
inability to support multiple replenishment programs and execution processes
high inventory and stock-outs
constantly having to expedite freight without a clear idea of liability
spending an inordinate amount of time in conflict resolution
dealing with multiple communication channels with suppliers.
These difficulties can translate into high inventory costs and poor customer service level performance. The problems become magnified when companies face pressure to go lean in their supply strategies. To help sort through the confusion and increase efficiency and effectiveness, companies need one system that can help them manage all of their supplier interactions.
Thats where i2 can help. i2 Supply Collaboration/Lean Replenishment is designed to help companies manage multiple replenishment modes including lean supply strategies across their supplier base. The solution can allow companies to enable long-term (6-24 months) to mid-term (1-6 months) collaboration of supply chain plans, primarily around forecast and capacity coordination, as well as short-term (0-30 days) order execution, shipment and inventory tracking. It is designed to help companies implement and automate lean supply processes such as vendor managed inventory (VMI), pull-based (Kanban) replenishment, and other just-in-time (JIT) programs. The solution is designed to allow companies to transition to a demand-driven approach within their supply base. It can enforce process discipline through business rules and allow visibility to complete purchase order lifecycle management.
Early adopters of the i2 solution for supply collaboration/lean replenishment have reported reduced conflict resolution costs and expedited freight, reduced stock-outs and order processing errors, and better supplier negotiation through supplier performance score-carding. They have also reported productivity improvements through the establishment of a single view to all procurement, automated processing of large portions of the workflow through business rules, and implementation of exception driven workflows.
Synchronizing supply collaboration at leading industrial manufacturer
One of the world's leading industrial manufacturers uses i2 solutions in one of its divisions to streamline the value chain through the integration and optimization of the order-to-deliver process.
During the implementation process, the i2 customer identified a number of improvement opportunities for both the company and its suppliers. It found that it needed better inbound supply visibility, quicker detection of problems and lower execution costs. Its suppliers sought more timely visibility of the company's production schedules, reduced schedule variability and more automated processes.
Through the deployment of the i2 solution focused on supply collaboration/lean management the customer was able to establish a single method for material planning and delivery for all of the division's suppliers, provide a complete and accurate picture of material availability, access unbiased supplier delivery measurements, assign premium freight responsibility prior to material shipment, more accurately measure schedule volatility, and lead time elements such as transportation time and supplier response time, and reduce inventory across the supply chain.
i2 Next Generation Solutions and the i2 Agile Business Process Platform
Todays announcement is the second in a planned series featuring i2 Next-Generation Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions and the business challenges they address. i2 Next-Generation SCM solutions are built on the i2 Agile Business Process Platform, a unique service-oriented architecture (SOA) that includes a layer of technology services and a business process workflow engine. The platform is business process management (BPM) compliant and interoperates with legacy, ERP and other enterprise architectures.
i2 Next-Generation SCM solutions feature a series of workflows based on i2s industry and supply chain expertise combined with easy-to-use visual programming capabilities designed to enable companies to automate solutions. Using i2 Studio, these workflows can be modified. As business processes change, capabilities can be expanded, and changes can be delivered to users through a common integrated user interface.
i2 Supplier Collaboration/Lean Replenishment is one of three next-generation solutions that make up the i2 Collaborative Supply Execution (CSE) suite. i2 CSE is tailored for companies with multi-divisional organizations where lines of business have a high degree of autonomy, as well as organizations with multi-tier supply networks with decentralized procurement processes. Designed to be sold as single solutions or deployed sequentially, these strategic offerings are designed to solve specific business problems. i2 CSE can allow companies in a variety of industries to better leverage the power of the i2 Agile Business Process Platform to synchronize their procurement, materials management, and supplier interactions and processes with changing demand across organizations and systems.