SynQuest goes holistic with latest supply chain suite

Synquest next week is poised to roll out a new suite of its flagship collaborative supply chain planning software to allow customers to boost profits and customer satisfaction.

Each product in the SynQuest 7.0 suite is designed to address a specific supply chain planning process, as opposed to competing solutions that tackle point functions such as inventory or transportation planning, company officials said Friday.

This type of an approach is critical for enterprises because point solutions often can present conflicting objectives when deployed together, said Chris Jones, executive vice president of marketing. For example, software may suggest that a company can drive down inventory costs but it will be the expense of higher transportation costs, he said. As a result, other solutions often end as "academic exercises" leaving customers with little tangible plans to cut costs in the supply chain, he added.

The new SynQuest approach is designed to allow companies to address common business goals like profitability and customer service levels across multiple functions such as sourcing, manufacturing and logistics.

"It's more than balancing supply and demand," Jones said. "It's saying what is the best return for the enterprise? It's the whole notion of designing around the business processes. How do you look at the mix of products that you produce ...and understand where you are making money? What we're doing is giving people a very granular view of their income and expense statement."

The suite includes new features such as Product Line Profitability Analysis, which is designed to allow companies to analyze the profit and loss trade-offs that exist between supply chain capabilities, customer service policies and revenue potential for every brand, product, channel and customer region. A new calibration feature also has been added to allow companies to baseline their existing supply chain operational and financial performance. Companies can then quantify and track the benefits received through optimization technology to make changes within the supply chain.

Contingency planning also has been added to the entire SynQuest suite as a feature designed to allow companies to react quickly to disruptions or shifts in the within the supply chain, Jones said.

"We have the ability to maintain multiple plan scenarios at the same time," Jones said. "A plan might take into account the impact of all the borders to Canada shutting down. What that allows people to do is look at and address potential impacts to the business in advance, for instance if I could not put anything on a plane."

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