At Kinaxis' conference, users showed how they had employed the company’s software to adapt and improve planning for their changing supply chains, as well as new ways to monitor and analyze execution and respond better.
On 24 to 26 October 2013, Kinaxis — a supply chain planning software and services vendor — hosted its annual training and user conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Client companies at the conference demonstrated several ways in which they are adapting and improving their supply chains. These included speeding up time to value from deploying new software, and using embedded analytics and master data management (MDM). In doing so they showed how they were redefining their supply chain planning (SCP) application portfolios to support an adaptable and capable planning system of record (SOR).
Gartner sees companies having to redefine their mix of SCP capabilities to be less optimize-oriented and more design- and respond-oriented, to meet the challenges of planning in today’s supply chain environments. As companies mature their planning through Stage 3 and beyond, they need to deploy a capable planning SOR. This SOR needs functional breadth, access to the right mix of design, optimize and respond capabilities, and a host of nonfunctional capabilities (such as MDM, business process management, collaboration, integration and a single data model), to scale and perform well. Kinaxis’ supply chain solution, RapidResponse, will increasingly be able to perform the role of an adaptable SCP SOR, with an increasing number of more advanced capabilities (like systems of differentiation) available when users require them.
Several client companies showed how they were using RapidResponse as a planning SOR. Some are now decommissioning their other SCP solutions and even moving material requirements planning (MRP) out of their ERP systems. This indicates Stage 3+ IT maturity for planning, whereby a planning SOR is in place and ERP systems are seen solely as transactional SORs.
Another example of how the SCP market is evolving is Kinaxis’ recent partnership with GT Nexus, a provider of transaction collaboration and visibility solutions. Gartner expects transactional execution visibility and short-term planning (respond planning) to converge, and to be oriented toward multienterprise situations, to provide an end-to-end view of the extended supply chain. GT Nexus can provide transactional data capture in an extended partner network, while Kinaxis can help work out a profitable response to deviations in execution. The Kinaxis/GT Nexus partnership has yet to deliver a joint implementation, but is developing prototypes. Other vendors are attempting the same thing, such as E2open (with its recent acquisition of icon-scm) and One Network Enterprises.
Continue to monitor the Kinaxis/GT Nexus partnership and the vendors’ road maps if you aim to converge planning and execution.
Consider RapidResponse if you are looking to deploy a planning SOR. But be aware that while it has strong respond capabilities, and is developing optimize capabilities, it is light in the design category.
Watch for upcoming announcements and client success stories on the Kinaxis/GT Nexus collaboration.
Evaluate RapidResponse’s newer capabilities such as analytics and MDM, especially if you have a complex ERP application landscape.