The Supply Chain Matters blog features a This Week in Supply Chain Tech update, specifically an announcement by concurrent planning technology provider Kinaxis regarding a new partnership with cognitive procurement supply chain platform provider LevaData.

 

Background

Prediction Eight of our 2021 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains which published at the beginning of this year, predicted in-part that that supply chain management technology focused teams should anticipate more active investment, IPO and key partnership activities among sectors of the supply chain technology landscape. Our belief was the activity would be fueled for both increased needs for supply chain digital transformation as well for synchronization of connected planning and enhanced decision-making capabilities.

Indeed, as the first-half this year ends, this column has featured a flurry of activity, some blockbuster, and some strategic in scope.

In 2020, Kinaxis enhanced its prior announced PartnerLink, program to help empower global partners to augment and extend services, sales, marketing and product capabilities to better support Kinaxis’ RapidResponse customers and foster mutual growth. The program was designed to enable augmented ways for prospects and customers to engage with Kinaxis and its partner ecosystem, leverage a broader range of strategic, transformative and implementation services, and gain more value from their Kinaxis RapidResponse® investments.

 

The Announcement

On June 15 Kinaxis announced a partnership with LevaData that was categorized as part of the PartnerLink program.

According to the Kinaxis announcement, this partnership will bring together LevaData’s Supply Risk Navigator™ and the Kinaxis RapidResponse® platform in an effort to help companies assess the impact of supplier risk, provide mitigation recommendations, and engage suppliers to execute an updated plan.  When combined with RapidResponse generated what-if scenarios, companies can identify issues before they even emerge and accelerate response times before they impact the business. The announcement does indeed indicate that LevaData will join as an Extension Solution Partner under the PartnerLink program.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Rajesh Kalidindi, LevaData provides a SaaS platform purpose-built for procurement and sourcing functions. The tech provider’s innovative artificial intelligence platform leverages provides recommendations on when to act and how to optimize supplier negotiations. The SaaS technology platform provides three major solution components, Supply Risk Navigator, Cost Optimizer and New Product Accelerator. The technology aims to allow supply management teams to identify hard dollar savings, and transform supply management into a competitive advantage for companies. The Executive Chairman of LevaData is Angel Mendez who’s background included serving as Executive Vice President and COO of HERE Technologies, along with executive leadership roles at Cisco Systems, where he was responsible for the company’s enterprise transformation program as well as its global supply chain.

This Editor spoke with Andrew Bell, Director of Product Management for Kinaxis who indicated that the announcement has added significance in that it has the opportunity for RapidResponse customers to be able to actually utilize LevaData algorithms and electronic workflow focused on known or potential supplier risk. Under the program, partners contribute their own solution extensions which must undergo a certification process that ensures that there are no effects to existing data and information security. The extension will be sold by Kinaxis, under a joint revenue sharing arrangement with the partner. Kinaxis will also hold responsibility for first-level support once the extension is certified and made available.

Bell further indicated that this particular partnership emerged as a response to Kinaxis’s high tech and semiconductor installed base of customers who continue to deal with various challenges related to supply network risk. Additionally, noted is that this partnership has the potential to be a part of Kinaxis’s announced Command and Control and Supply Chain Control Tower which premiered at the last annual Kinexions customer conference.

Final Note

As a final note, another example of the extension of supply chain planning capability, but from a different context, was provided in the announced acquisition of supply chain planning and analytics provider Llamasoft by procurement Cloud technology provider Coupa Software for an estimated $1.5 billion in 2020. The aim of this acquisition was characterized as integrating Llamasoft’s supply chain network design and scenario analysis capabilities to augment community intelligence within the Coupa BSM platform. Llamasoft’s Supply Chain Guru suite has been rebranded to Coupa Design to Procurement Bid and thus the approach is to augment strategic sourcing and procurement with extended supply chain capabilities.

 

Bob Ferrari

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Disclosure: Kinaxis is both a sponsor of the Supply Chain Matters blog and a client to The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group.