It is my sincere pleasure to introduce my readers to our first 2009 sponsor of Supply Chain Matters, Kinaxis. I’ve had the opportunity to follow this company since its inception as a software vendor named Webplan in the late nineties.  At the time, the company founders recognized a glaring need in supply chain planning, namely that as more and more high tech manufacturers were outsourcing production to globally-based contract manufacturers, traditional MRP planning cycles could not quickly and adequately plan external planning requirements.  The fact that its original customer base resided in the high tech industry brought a set of application design principles reflecting supply chain performance predicated on how fast and how effective these companies could respond to a rapidly changing set of demand or supply events. A remarkable set of success stories and a prestigious customer base have occurred since that time.

A testament to its technology is that Kinaxis has now grown its customer base beyond  just its high tech vertical roots.  Named customers such as Avaya, Cisco, Jabil, Research In Motion (RIM), and Teradyne, are now joined by other industry players including Casio, Cannodale Bicycle, General Electric Aviation, MTD, Nikon, and Raytheon, among others.

The Kinaxis RapidResponse technology  that is available today is the result of many years of functional improvements, but still relies on a core principle of rapid planning and ease-of-use among the many functional groups that need to collaboratively perform supply chain planning and response activities.  The application is available either in a traditional on-premise or on-demand hosting alternative. Its strengths lie in concurrently planning supply chain wide production operations among globally sourced operations.  RapidResponse elegantly integrates data from existing ERP or supply chain systems, monitors real-time customer demand, and enables key individuals with the ability to run various scenarios of appropriate response.  Users are alerted to unexpected events much sooner, and can respond to exceptions in a much more timely manner. Earlier this year, Kinaxis augmented its capabilities with the release of new demand management functionality to support the challenges faced in near-term operational  changes that typically occur in a sales and operations planning (S&OP) planning process.

I am very pleased to have Kinaxis included as a sponsor of Supply Chain Matters and look forward to a continued joint collaboration of thought leadership and commentary. If your organization is in need of extended supply chain visibility and response capability that can be implemented in a very timely manner, I would recommend that you place Kinaxis on your short list.

 Bob Ferrari