I’m excited to announce today that Steelwedge has launched the latest version of our sales and operations planning (S&OP) platform. This new release addresses the growing complexity and volatility that manufacturers are facing, and is designed to help them respond to these challenges with greater agility and intelligence.
Here are a few examples from our customer base that crystallize the kind of planning complexity that we are working to help address with our solution:
• The VP of Sales at a leading European automotive manufacturer needs to respond to a sudden devaluation of the Japanese Yen and regular fluctuations in the Euro.
What will the impact of these changes be on your margin? Should you adjust pricing or re-orient your sales force? How do you sift through the explosion of information to make a decision?
• The VP of Operations for a North American consumer electronics company is confronted by the rapid increase in the cost of components from China and disruptions in key parts sourced from Japan.
How do you respond? What is the impact on the bottom line?
Our new release works to solve these kinds of challenges in three ways:
Manage enormous data sets effectively. Making the right decisions for your business requires the processing of data at a scale not imaginable just a few years ago. Steelwedge has made major investments in new, disruptive technologies that enable us to leverage the unique scalability of the cloud to support Big Data requirements—and faster performance—like never before.
Support rapidly changing business conditions. Our new S&OP Open Apps Architecture enables you to develop your own applications while leveraging Steelwedge planning data. Furthermore, it gives you access to great S&OP Apps created by others. Also, Steelwedge is the only company in the industry to now offer automatic upgrades. Once you have implemented Steelwedge, you will receive the benefits of every new technological development, feature and function without ever disrupting your ongoing operations.
Access insight on exceptions in your plans. The Steelwedge S&OP Insight planning analytics engine delivers fast analysis of your changing business—on an iPad, the web or through Excel. Changes in a plan don’t wait for days, or even hours. Neither should you. The Steelwedge planning analytics engine delivers insights and identifies exceptions in minutes.
Click here for a full set of resources on today’s news. I’m proud of the Steelwedge team that put tremendous thought leadership and thousands of man hours into this new product release. We’re committed to continue to deliver powerful cloud-based solutions for better agility in your business.
Like it or not, doing business well is about ensuring you have “shock absorbers” to deal with inevitable disruption to your sales and operations plans.
At Steelwedge, we are laser focused on how we can deploy disruptive technologies and leverage them through our cloud solution, to make supply/demand decision-making remarkably faster with more insightful scenario planning options. We put disruptive technologies to work so that we can help our customers handle the disruption that is part of doing business in a complex, interdependent work.
This week, JMP Securities announced its annual Top 100 best privately held software companies. We’re delighted that Steelwedge was included in this list—not only for the honor of the award, but also for how JMP framed its key criteria for inclusion: the ability to drive displacement and growth in the market.
JMP analysts looked at a new generation of SaaS software companies that are opposing and supplanting the older generation of technologies. They highlighted Plex for manufacturing/ERP, Box for content management, BigMachines for configuring price quotes, and Steelwedge for supply chain. What we all have in common, the passion for changing the status quo and delivering better agility in a disruptable world.
How well does your business handle distruption? We’d love to hear from you.
We live in a more complex and interdependent business environment than ever before. Companies large and small must navigate a sea of economic, political and environmental change, and respond to that change without compromising the delicate balance among supply, demand and profitability.
We know that customers work with Steelwedge because our cloud-based integrated business planning (IBP) solutions enable them to plan, perform and profit in a volatile, ever-changing business environment. We also know they work with us because of our people. We recognize that technology is one part of the equation for success, but people and process play a significant role in enabling that technology.
This is precisely why we’ve built a team of the most experienced, capable S&OP professionals and partner with the industry’s best.
A State of Flux
Consolidation, continuous changes in technology, shrinking IT budgets and a host of other forces have left customers, vendors and partners alike in a state of flux. We are seeing rapid adoption and transition to the cloud-based technology with software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and more. As a result, customers demand faster time to value, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and “cloud ready” partners.
As CRN recently reported, channel partners must reinvent themselves as the market shifts from traditional on-premise enterprise software to cloud solutions and services. In the article, Gartner’s Tiffany Bova says, “Innovation by the channel is a must… If you don’t innovate, you probably won’t survive, not because you did anything wrong, but because the market doesn’t need you anymore.”
So the days of simply offering a product to customers are long gone. Customers expect partners to be solution providers who deliver the right technology solution, best practices and ongoing support.
In the cloud.
The message is simple: Partners who don’t adapt will be left behind.
The Steelwedge Partner Program is built on our 100% cloud-based Integrated Business Planning Platform. Organizations that partner with Steelwedge have the tools, resources and support to expand their footprint, assemble the RIGHT solution for their customers and offer a faster time to value delivery model—all through the cloud.
In the coming weeks and months, you’ll hear a lot more about the new Steelwedge Partner Program and our ecosystem of Alliance, Channel and Technology partners. In the meantime, please click here to learn more.
Is part of your company’s competitive advantage captured in unique processes and KPIs that you can’t manage in your planning systems? Like your smartphone, your business’s planning system should enable business planners, partners, and others to build simple “apps” on top of it. These apps should enable you to embed and scale your unique capabilities and processes, and rapidly evolve them as your business and its needs change.
To learn about the possibilities that apps can bring to the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, join Steelwedge on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 9:00 am PDT for the webinar “Got a Unique S&OP Process? There’s an App for That.” Dr. Blake Johnson, Stanford educator and supply chain innovator, will discuss the growing imperative to implement and scale differentiating planning capabilities. Dr. Johnson will share the benefits of an S&OP foundation that can be easily augmented – and automated – with emerging best-practice processes for your company’s otherwise unique “off-line” processes.
Register and attend the webinar to learn:
- How to identify opportunities to leverage a planning system to accommodate inevitable changes in your business
- How to connect and scale your company’s “secret sauce” processes with your planning system
- Examples of emerging best-practice planning apps: range forecasting, segmentation, demand policy and stocking strategy
- How to implement iPhone-like apps on your S&OP platform to not only support, but flex with your company’s processes
We hope to “see” you at the webinar! In the meantime, let us know in the comments what unique processes you want to capture in your S&OP process.
The requirements for successfully conducting business today are not unlike the qualities that a football team needs to be triumphant on the gridiron. Both face diverse and aggressive competition. Both require the agility to make adjustments mid-stream, in response to changing requirements and environmental dynamics. And both must use historical information to make decisions while also anticipating what will happen in the future.
Applying what we know about winning on the football field to find success in the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process served as the topic of a recent Supply Chain Digest article authored by Steelwedge CEO Glen Margolis. In the article, Glen outlines five strategies that both S&OP and football teams must take to win:
- You have to know—and play—your role
- Establish a common goal—and communicate regularly about it
- Have a plan—and a contingency plan
- Ensure your equipment employs state-of-the-art technology
- Manage by the metrics
Ultimately, on the football field or in S&OP, winning requires leadership, visibility, teamwork, accountability, and agility. Click here to learn more about the best-practice parallels that Glen draws between S&OP and football. Do you have any other comparisons that you can add to the list? Let us know in the comments!