Logility Wants to Maximize Human Element of Supply Chain
by Alex Woodie
Logility recently announced an upgrade of Logility Voyager Solutions, its suite of supply chain software for OS/400, Unix, and Windows servers. Version 6.5 is the first major update of the suite since the software was ported to OS/400 two years ago. It features a new component, called Voyager Navigate, that's designed to give companies a real-time view into supply chain activities and help them apply their workers' efforts in the most effective manner.
The Advantage of OS/400
Because of the poor overall economy, the Atlanta, Georgia, company has not seen the interest in the iSeries version of its software that it had expected to see when it completed the port to OS/400 in 2001. However, the company does have several OS/400 installations under its belt (or is in the process of implementation), including Haverty's Furniture Companies, a chain of furniture showrooms based in Atlanta, and Mill's Pride, a cabinet maker based in Waverly, Ohio.
Having software that runs on OS/400 gives Logility a distinct advantage in sales situations, says Karin Bursa, Logility's vice president of marketing. "When it comes down to a couple of vendors, it gives us a significant advantage over other vendors," she says. "We're seeing the market picking up, and we're seeing our AS/400 offering become highly competitive with our Unix offering."
Nearly the entire suite of 17 Logility Voyager modules runs on OS/400 and uses DB2/400 as the database. Bursa makes a point of mentioning that Logility's implementation on the iSeries is native OS/400, a big plus over other high-profile supply chain software vendors that have taken a hybrid Windows-iSeries approach. The three modules that don't run natively on OS/400 are Voyager Collaborate, Voyager Navigate (which is new with Version 6.5), and WarehousePRO. All of those modules run on Windows NT, which continues to be the platform that drives most of Logility's sales. Logility uses Microsoft development tools and is a supporter of Microsoft .NET.
The Suite, in a Nutshell
The Logility Voyager Solutions suite is a collection of integrated modules for planning a supply chain strategy and then executing those strategies. Logility's forte has always been on the planning side, with the execution software being added more recently, in 1998 and 1999. Logility breaks down its suite into six functional areas: Value Chain Collaboration, Supply Chain Event Management, Value Chain Strategy, Demand Chain Planning, Supply Chain Planning, and Warehouse/Transportation Management.
The four Value Chain Collaboration modules--Voyager Collaborate, Voyager Fulfill, Voyager Select, and Logility i-Community--are focused on helping users with their collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR) activities, through either public markets on the Internet or private markets. The modules provide sales forecasting, exception handling, and the capability to interact with carriers and shippers over secure networks to optimize the movement of inventory.
Demand Chain Planning features five distinct modules: Life Cycle Planning, Demand Planning, Demand Chain Voyager, Event Planning, and Inventory Planning. Collectively, these modules help companies analyze the historical demand for their products and forecast demand. The software gives users the capability to collaborate with members of their supply chain to develop a strategy to manage demand, such as vendor-managed inventory, efficient consumer response, or just-in-time inventory strategies.
Supply Chain Planning is composed of the core Supply Planning, Replenishment Planning, Manufacturing Planning, and Transportation Planning modules. The goal of these modules is simple: to find the most profitable way to meet supply, manufacturing, and transportation requirements. The software supports several supply strategies, such as available-to-promise, capable-to-promise, and profitable-to-promise.
The Value Chain Strategy area includes one application, called Value Chain Designer. This module is designed to give users a big-picture look at the entire supply chain and give a better understanding of spending priorities. On the execution side, the Warehouse/Transportation Management area includes the Windows-based WarehousePRO warehouse management system, and Transportation Management. These applications integrate with their respective planning modules and execute the plans created with the planning modules.
What's New in Version 6.5
The newest addition to Logility's suite is a supply chain event management application, called Voyager Navigate. This Windows-based application, also called the "control tower," gives decision-makers information they can use to manage on an exception basis. The software is designed to give insight into the current state of supply chain operations by using key performance indicators and a color-coded "stoplight" (green, yellow, red) list with which to prioritize operations.
Bursa says Navigate helps companies make the most of their human resources. "Staffing hasn't been increasing. Companies have been laying off, and they've got to figure out a way to make them more productive," she says. "It sounds revolutionary, but it makes sense. [Navigate] can tangibly change employees' day-to-day activities."
Rather than being a human resources monitor that tells a companies where their employees' efforts are being wasted, Navigate shows where the application of human resources can have its greatest impact, Bursa says. The application is completely Web-based, leverages the .NET architecture, and is compatible with the entire Logility Voyager Solutions suite, including the older 6.0 releases.
Other enhancements in 6.5 include new alternate sourcing capabilities and increased synchronization between the planning and execution components of the suite. Logility Voyager Solutions can be deployed using Web browsers or full Windows clients in client/server mode.
Logility's primary customers are companies in the consumer goods industry with revenues between $200 million and $2 billion. The company was created in 1997, when its corporate parent, American Software, spun off its demand-planning and forecasting software business so it could focus on traditional ERP solutions. American Software still holds 85 percent of the shares in Logility, whose stock is traded on the NASDAQ stock market.
American Software's ownership of Logility nearly caused Logility to be delisted from NASDAQ's National Market late last year, because less than five million dollars' worth of Logility's stock was publicly held. However, earlier this month, Logility announced it would remain on the NASDAQ National Market for the time being. The event underscores the fact that times are tough for supply chain software companies, as they are for many enterprise software companies. Logility's revenues for fiscal year 2002, which ended April 30, 2002, were $29.4 million. Through the first half of its 2003 fiscal year, the company has brought in $11.2 million in revenues, down 25 percent from a year ago. For more information, go to www.logility.com.
Contact the Editors
|Copyright © 1996-2008 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.|