Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


JDA FOCUS challenges attendees to think outside the silo

By Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
May 13, 2013

The 2,600 primarily customer attendees at this year’s JDA FOCUS were looking for lots of things. They wanted to know how JDA’s acquisition of RedPrairie is going, four months later, and what it will mean to them. They wanted to learn about JDA eight, a cloud-based bundle of more than 30 supply chain software products built on a single platform. And they wanted to know how any one of those products – WMS, TMS, SCMP—might improve their businesses.

But according to Hamish Brewer, JDA’s CEO, they would do well to think beyond the individual benefits of each product.

“For most of you, there is more potential value in connecting nodes in your supply chain than in drilling down into any one silo,” said Hamish during his opening address to the audience on Day 1. “The consequence of siloed thinking is that if you have a problem in any one of them it will be relatively easy to fix it in that silo. But if you have a problem across three, it gets difficult very quickly.”

This sentiment is not so subtly hidden behind the release of JDA eight, which emphasizes the notion of convergence of software applications. Common platforms make each of the traditional software silos work better with one another, but that can be accomplished to some extent with any mixture of software, middleware, and IT infrastructure investment.

The message at FOCUS this year is that there’s a better way to do business.

“We’re encouraging customers to stop talking about individual products at all, because that just reinforces the silos,” says Prashant Bhatia, vice president of industry strategy for JDA. “Instead, we should talk about roles and functions.”

For instance, what does a warehouse’s receiving supervisor need to know? He needs information from both the WMS and the TMS. What does an online commerce manager need to know?

Most best-of-breed WMS are ready out of the box to cater to a company’s siloed habits. The wealth of configuration options means customization, or one-off code written to suit a company’s homegrown processes, is rarely necessary or advisable. But that doesn’t mean the configuration options that have been standardized into core products are necessarily good for business either, says Tom Kozenski, vice president, marketing, JDA.

As software converges, it is more and more capable of being all things to all people. But a company might do well to shed some of the things it’s been doing. This is particularly evident in the multi-channel boom, says Kozenski, wherein a customer might have operated three distinct supply chains for each channel: wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer. The convergence of channels – the collapsing and combining of strategies for the movement of goods—is driving the convergence of software. A convergent TMS now needs to include long haul, fleet and parcel carrier options to serve all three, says Kozenski, in addition to relaying information smoothly to and from the WMS.

“Optimization is a funny word,” he says. “You can optimize a WMS. You can optimize a TMS. But if you optimize a platform that sits above them, it might be one plus one equals three. We love to pitch the platform approach [such as in JDA eight], but the customer buys by silo. They think the platform is interesting, but only as long as it solves the problem in the silo. For many of them, siloed behaviors, thinking and budgets are hard to get away from.”

About the Author

Josh Bond
Contributing Editor

Josh Bond is a contributing editor to Modern. In addition to working on Modern’s annual Casebook and being a member of the Show Daily team, Josh covers lift trucks for the magazine.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Intermodal volume was up 8.1 percent annually at 280,016 containers and trailers. This outpaced the week ending April 11 at 270,463 and the week ending April 4 at 271,127. AAR said this tally marks the second highest weekly output it has ever recorded as well as the first time container and trailer traffic was higher than carloads for a one-week period.

Ocean cargo carrier service reliability across the three core East-West trades hit a five-month peak in March with an aggregate on-time performance of 64 percent, according to Carrier Performance Insight, the online schedule reliability tool provided by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

The Airforwarders Association, which represents more than 360 companies that move air cargo through the supply chain, today applauded an agreement reached by Congressional leaders to advance legislation giving the President authority to conclude key global trade agreements.

Despite great opportunity for growth, the logistics market in Latin America is lagging behind other emerging markets thanks in part to its notoriety for corruption, violence, poor infrastructure and government bureaucracy.

Article Topics

News · RedPrairie · JDA · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA