13 March 2003 | Robin Parker
JD Edwards has launched the first part of its multi-application Supply Chain Management (SCM) 9.0 suite, to be released over the course of this year.
Demand Forecasting is designed to be used alongside the vendor's Demand Consensus tool to create a collaborative system to help users control inventory, plan production and balance supply and demand.
The complete SCM 9.0 package, which also includes new software for planning, order management, manufacturing and logistics, will be launched at the end of May, after further single modules are launched over the next two months.
Demand Forecasting allows users to scan historical sales patterns and consider potential risk scenarios to determine changes to product demand.
It contains an automated forecast engine, developed by US data-mining specialist SPSS, which devises an accurate base statistical format based on a range of criteria.
Demand Consensus aims to take a more forward-looking approach, encouraging different parts of the company, such as sales and marketing, to compare theories of future demand with customers and suppliers.
The applications, available as individual modules or together, are targeted at firms in the pulp and paper, utilities, energy, chemical, industrial manufacturing and electronics sectors.
Ed Stubbs, solutions consultant for JD Edwards UK, said the vendor was trying to address the needs of customers at small and medium-sized enterprises, which it had not met in the area of demand planning before.
"A lot of our customers don't need, and would not use, all the functionality of our other demanding planning software," he said.
"Demand Forecasting is geared up for the 90 per cent of companies that don't want to go into heavy causal analysis but just want to get a basic statistical forecast up and running."
JD Edwards has enlisted the help of global IT outsourcing company Covansys in the establishment of a development centre in Chennai, India.
In a six-year outsourcing deal, Covansys will provide development resources in the region and 60 of its staff will work full-time to help JD Edwards develop products faster and cut costs by up to 30 per cent.
The deal is expected to help JD Edwards provide a local service to its customers in the Asia-Pacific region.