View from the vendors

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View from the vendors

“Food & beverage companies, more than any other industry sectors, have to streamline their supply chain and take out time,” says Susan Rider, executive vice president of RedPrairie (www.red-prairie.com), a provider of warehouse management systems (WMS). “Real-time information is critical for them. They have to ship their product in a certain time frame or it will spoil.”

The most recent version of RedPrairie’s WMS offers voice picking, native event management, inventory control, wave management, and expanded inbound and outbound distribution services. The product is aimed at consumer packaged goods manufacturers, food and beverage shippers, and retail companies.

Real time metrics within the software are tied in to an event management system. A scorecard component tracks all major Key Performance Indicators inside and outside the warehouse. The WMS tracks the velocity of every SKU and includes a slotting capability for increased warehouse efficiency.

Where RedPrairie works as an integrated end-to-end solution, Finmatica’s (www.finmatica.com) software functions in a complimentary fashion with a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

“We can forecast and do distribution planning for companies from a few hundred up to a million SKUs,” says Tony Perri, Finmatica’s director of marketing.
With the food & beverage industry, Finmatica’s forecasting solution tends to work better for the longer shelf-life products, such as beer and soft drinks.

Forecasts and distribution requirements are retained centrally, making them available to an entire distribution network. Clients have visibility into other organizational distribution networks, a central factory, and centralized or subordinate distribution centers (DCs).

“Just because you have great visibility doesn’t necessarily mean you can avoid problems,” Perri points out. “You need to know well in advance if you’re going to run out of something or run below safety stock. You also need to know where a product might be located in another DC.” The Finmatica solution helps the user determine if it would be cheaper to get the product from another DC, or to order it from a supplier.

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October, 2003

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