New E2open solutions link demand and supply chains

After establishing a solid reputation for providing technology for managing suppliers, E2open has introduced two solutions that manufacturers can use to improve customer relationships by keeping tabs on actual product demand.
By Sidney Hill July 3, 2009

After establishing a solid reputation for providing technology for managing suppliers, E2open has introduced two solutions that manufacturers can use to improve customer relationships by keeping tabs on actual product demand.

The demand management solutions are components of E2open 7.0, the latest version of the company’s SaaS-based product suite.

E2open VP Rich Becks
Senior VP Rich Becks says E2open’s new solutions offer complete capabalities for managing processes beyond a company’s four walls.

"This latest release, E2open 7.0, is aimed at transforming linear supply chains into supply and demand networks," Rich Becks, an E2open senior VP said in a recent interview.

The E2open demand management solutions focus on two activities that Becks said have become critical in a fast-changing global economy:

• Tracking and responding to changes in customer demand in near real-time; and
• Managing relationships with contract manufacturers and other outsourcing partners.

"As companies outsource more functions . . . they need to do more collaboration and coordination with both customers and suppliers across multiple tiers," Becks said. "We’ve had the supply network solutions for a long time. With the new demand solutions, we now have an end-to-end approach to managing processes outside of a company’s four walls."

Becks said one of the new applications-called the Demand Network Solution -offers the ability to sense changes in demand in real-time and quickly respond to them. This is done, he said, by building an electronic information network that can monitor stocking levels at various points in the supply chain-retail outlets, distribution centers, etc.

"If a distribution center is pulling inventory faster than anticipated, we can project when a stock out will occur and take action to avoid it, such as re-routing shipments designated for other locations or sending expedite messages to manufacturing facilities," Becks explains.

The second new application, the E2open Outsourced Partner Network Solution , includes capabilities for sending those expedite signals to contract manufacturers.

E2open believes contract manufacturers will be agreeable to becoming part of this electronic network because "it gives them the ability to reduce inventory on their end and to keep their customers abreast of exactly when and how their orders are being executed."

While the demand-oriented applications are the focus of the E2open 7.0 release, Becks said enhancements to the Supply Network Solution make it easier to onboard suppliers and to manage multi-tier supplier networks.

"Modern day manufacturing requires consistent real-time data in order to enhance network visibility, connect networks to internal processes, reduce risk, and balance supply and demand‘on the fly,’" added Mark Woodward, president and CEO, E2open. "With E2open 7.0 we are delivering just that. This is the first and only solution that offers multi-enterprise manufacturers the ability to shape demand and supply simultaneously and truly thrive in the 21st century global marketplace."