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Supply-Chain Boost

PeopleSoft adds features to flagship suite and equips applications with RFID capabilities
PeopleSoft Inc. this week is scheduled to roll out new features within its supply-chain-management suite as well as introduce radio-frequency identification capabilities in its Enterprise, EnterpriseOne, and World applications.

The offerings are in response to customers asking for multiple products from one software supplier as more of them look to consolidate platforms. The products also give small suppliers a way to access critical data at manufacturing sites and to help them reduce inventory and meet RFID mandates from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Department of Defense.

The RFID capabilities in Enterprise, EnterpriseOne, and World applications will let companies take information captured by readers and magnetic scanners and process the data within supply-chain apps. "Visibility without action is voyeurism, because if you don't connect the RFID data to a supply-chain event manager—something that triggers an action—what's the point?" says Bruce Hudson, analyst and program director of enterprise applications at Meta Group.

New offerings in PeopleSoft's supply-chain-management suite also include collaborative tools such as PeopleSoft Buyer Workspace and PeopleSoft Supplier Self Service. These tools help manufacturers reduce inventory stockpiles by using a demand-pull system, where a replenishment signal is sent to a supplier when a part is pulled from inventory. This lets the manufacturer react better to sudden fluctuations in demand.

Buyer Workspace consolidates and prioritizes daily activities and alerts buyers, while Supplier Self Service is geared toward helping suppliers monitor forecasts and shipment schedules.

PeopleSoft Order Promising for Configurable Products, a tool within PeopleSoft Supply Chain Planning, is intended for customers with complex manufacturing environments. As more companies move toward a demand-driven or configure-to-order manufacturing model, this tool is designed to give greater visibility into supplier-owned or raw inventories to make more-accurate delivery promises.

PeopleSoft has built advanced forecast modeling into Supply Chain Planning. Companies can go beyond historical internal data patterns and integrate into forecasts information such as consumer-price-index data, weather and seasonal patterns, and currency-exchange predictions that could affect demand.

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