Supply chain innovation: Response management technology gains favor in global supply networks

Experts now agree on this basic truth: A company's responsiveness is vital to its success in today's volatile business environment.


Experts now agree on this basic truth: A company's responsiveness is vital to its success in today's volatile business environment. Analysts from AMR Research, Aberdeen Group, Technology Forecasters, and Ventana Research all advocate the merits of Response Management—meaning the ability to quickly and effectively respond to change.

When it comes to managing volatile global supply and fulfillment networks, visibility and planning alone—no matter how sophisticated—are insufficient. In a business environment of increasing complexity and risk, companies must look beyond supply chain visibility and planning to complementary competencies that enable rapid, collaborative resolution to change.

The point of power has shifted from the manufacturer to the customer, and demand responsiveness is the new basis of competition. This customer-centric mind-set acknowledges that companies can no longer effectively "plan" their customers' needs; rather they must focus on responding to them. As such, response management has emerged as a business imperative for demand-driven leaders.

This is largely the subject of Boston-based AMR ' s May 2007 report, Response Management: Next Wave of Supply Chain Innovation? Additionally, Nari Viswanathan, research director for supply chain and logistics with Boston-based Aberdeen Group , recently authored Beyond Supply Chain Visibility: Response Management is the Key , which outlines the key characteristics of solutions that go beyond visibility toward enabling a flexible response management capability. Viswanathan notes that companies using visibility technology within the context of response management are three times as likely to have faster order to delivery cycles.

Other analyst white papers are making similar assessments about response management:
Managing Demand Volatility: Improving operational responsiveness and performance with information technology , issued by Ventana Research .

Response Management for the Next Wave of Outsourced Manufacturing , issued by Technology Forecasters .

"According to Randy Littleson, VP of marketing for response management solutions supplier Kinaxis , "These industry reports attest to the necessity for companies to adopt a strategic solution for managing change. The validation we are witnessing from both the growing Kinaxis customer base and such esteemed industry experts clearly confirms the market need for our RapidResponse solution."
For a full listing of analyst reports on Response Management, and to download complimentary copies of the above mentioned white papers, visit .

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