i2 Next-Generation Supply Chain Management Solution Can Help Companies Respond Quickly to Demand and Supply Changes

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Companies looking to automate the material management process so they can respond quickly to changes in demand and supply can turn to i2 Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITWO), for a next-generation supply chain solution designed to help them meet that goal. Key to solving these issues is i2 Collaborative Material Management, a solution designed to help companies reduce inefficiencies in material planning and procurement processes so they can respond more quickly to changing business conditions.

Agility is key to success for so many businesses today. i2s next-generation solution for collaborative material management offers companies the tools to quickly respond when business conditions change, allowing them to make intelligent trade-off analysis and decisions about supply and demand, said i2 Chief Executive Officer Michael McGrath.

The Business Challenge
Many companies face inefficiencies due to system, process, and organizational barriers between the material planning and procurement functions. They are challenged by planning dilemmas where their once-reliable weekly plans are out-of-synch with current business situations. They are unable to re-plan based on execution changes and unable to determine the impact of supply changes on demand, and vice versa through rapid what-if analysis.

i2 Collaborative Material Management is designed to help companies meet those challenges by:
Synchronizing and automating the material planning and procurement process to help companies react much faster to changes in demand through rapid what-ifs and incremental planning exercises
Offering proactive visibility to supply changes on demand and vice-versa
Automating processing of material requirement plans to purchase orders and requisitions depending on business rules
Connecting with supply planning solutions to automatically execute on recommended schedules as well as expedite, de-expedite, and cancel recommendations, thereby removing latency, errors and disputes in synchronizing planning recommendations with actual execution.

In the August 23, 2004 AMR Research Report, The Supply Chain Technology Market Has Matured; Now It's the Vendors' Turn, Lora Cecere wrote, Supply chain planning and direct procurement are a natural marriage. Systems supporting true collaboration of demand, supply, and design data that together drive direct material procurement decisions are in high demand.

i2 Collaborative Material Management is designed to help make those material procurement decisions easier. The solution is designed to offer collaboration on gross forecast signals for VMI suppliers, and netted forecast signals for MRP suppliers, where these signals can be grouped and converted to purchase orders based on rules, and are either sent to suppliers or available as drafts for the buyers to review. Additional capabilities include the ability to review planning reschedule suggestions, and to drill down into detailed end-item demand pegging to review reasons for reschedules. Finally, as the execution picture changes due to supply de-commits, buyers can initiate rapid what-if analysis on supply events and understand the impact on the plan with plan-to-plan comparison.

i2 Next-Generation Solutions and the i2 Agile Business Process Platform
Todays announcement is the third in a planned series featuring i2 Next-Generation Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions and the business challenges they face. 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 Collaborative Material Management is one of three next-generation solutions that make up the i2 Collaborative Supply Execution (CSE) suite. i2 CSE is tailored for companies looking for solutions to optimize their material flow management, procurement and supplier collaboration 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.

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