The supply chain software vendor JDA last week unveiled its latest release
, dubbed JDA eight
, the first release since it formally merged with fellow supply chain software provider Red Prairie in December.
The release aims to unify supply chain planning, optimization and business analytics functions for deployment in the cloud, building on the announcement last summer by JDA Chief Executive Officer Hamish Brewer that all new innovations by the company would be cloud-directed.
has impacts across the breadth of the provider’s customer base, but American Shipper
spoke to Fab Brasca, JDA’s vice president of global logistics about the impacts on transportation. He noted three specific focus areas.
“There are some big advances around global logistics, specifically around intercontinental capabilities,” Brasca said. “We’ve had a presence in the global logistics arena, but primarily more in the regional perspective.”
The advances in JDA eight
come specifically around how JDA merges the worlds of planning and execution for global routing, he said, getting at issues like how JDA customers look at end-to-end planning, from true origin to ultimate destination.
“How do I balance demand across multiple lanes?” he said. “Then, from a planning perspective, what do we bring from a level of agility? As goods are being executed, it’s the ability to dynamically re-plan to take advantage of longer lead times.
“In terms of bringing agility to the transportation domain, it might seem hard to apply that to lead times that last weeks or months, but when you think about it, there are opportunities to take advantage of that time to change things while goods are in transit.”
Brasca spoke about the topic of agility in a recent American Shipper
webinar on the benefits of visibility
“It’s really beneficial to larger shippers – not only looking at that whole continuum, but bringing those planning capabilities to the source point. When you think about imports from Asia, that’s not a region that has been sophisticated from a routing and optimization standpoint. So there’s a tremendous ability to leverage their scale. It’s not a new capability, but it’s tying it all together. That’s what the release will do.”
The second advance in JDA eight as it relates to transportation is the way the engines process so-called big data and present them to users in a usable way, Brasca said.
“It’s really an increase in sophistication of what our engines do,” he said. “We’ve re-architected that interaction.”
Brasca emphasized the improvements have not made things “easier,” so to speak, as that can sometimes connote a sense of a system being dumbed down. Rather, the new release is designed to enable a higher degree of configurability.
“Users can, to a higher degree, filter, segment, query, and layer different pieces of data in much more digestible chunks,” he said. “It’s not only a better approach to the solvers, but it allows you to be able to marry that up with the ability to interact with those plans.
“That becomes really important on the domestic realm when you’re dealing with fleets, availability of assets. It’s really giving users the ability to make those intelligent decisions,” he added.
Brasca said JDA also focused on providing a richer Internet interface, with layered views and widgets.
“Layer upon that the advanced analytics we introduced last year and you can insert those views into the TMS (transportation management systems) workflow,” he said. “It helps them interact not only with their own data, but external data. But the key here is it’s not about ease of use. You’re still dealing with advanced capabilities.
The last major area of transportation focus was on merging capabilities around core optimization and fleet routing.
“Those worlds needed to collapse into one,” Brasca said. “Particilarly industries that touch both areas. For example, if you have a distributor that does multiple stops in a dense area, then also goes to handle inbound pickups, now that can be handled within that same engine.” - Eric Johnson