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replenishments. Every run generates changes to the existing demand while also creating new demands which results in inconsistencies across the supply chain, late shipments, costly expediting, and stock outs." As manufacturing spreads horizontally, the global supply chain is becoming the most critical factor in determining customer demands. Managing this chain is no longer a matter of reducing costs but of optimizing a key process that is fueled by integration, trust, common metrics, and aligned goals. SaaS lean solutions must support different forms of replenishment like kanban, MRP orders, VMI, and 3PL and integrate seamlessly with existing systems. Lean solutions like Ultriva offer a platform to improve collaboration between plants and suppliers so they can interact and perform in synergy to deliver the right parts at the right time. The result is a SaaS methodology which provides seamless integration between manufacturing plants and supply bases through order visibility, exception alerts, inventory health, performance metrics, and analytics for continuous improvement. Bottom- line impacts are increased productivity and profits. Laksham provided data that over three thousand suppliers are participating across nearly a hundred plants in nine countries using Ultriva Lean Supply. The customers report important benefits from improved on- time delivery by 20 percent to shortened lead times by 25 percent or more; reduced inventory levels more than 40 percent and reduced expediting fees by 50 percent. The scope and applications for SaaS solutions will only continue to grow. Wide demand for low up front implementation costs have made this model vital in an economy where the need for cost effective continued process improvement grows rapidly. claim such as pH levels, carbon footprint, origin/ terroir, or organic, is critical for product differentiation and pricing. The authenticated pedigree data mart, business can deliver proof to the marketplace about critical brand claims, and substantiate powerful marketing messages. Warehouse management systems BaxTek Solutions, based in Snellville, Georgia, is a leading systems integrator that specializes in SaaS solutions. Wayne Baxter, president of the firm noted: " The better cash flow appeal of expensing a system rather than the capital purchase is a major benefit for any size customer. Given the current economic climate, presenting SaaS as a WMS ( warehouse management system) option makes even more sense. This model is more affordable and can often fit into discretionary budgets and free up customer resources for more hardware, more services, or related supply chain applications. The idea of delivering software over the internet on a subscription fee basis is going to continue to gain market acceptance." BaxTek has found that SmartTurn often is most effective as an easy- to-use, quick- to- deploy inventory and warehouse management system that increases visibility and control of all inventory processes. Baxter suggested that because of the SaaS model, " customers benefit from increased accuracy, improved service levels and reduced cost of operations. This SaaS product is the first true on- demand warehouse management system to provide enterprise- class functionality for small- to- medium enterprises." The areas of WMS that are most impacted with this type of SaaS solution includes purchasing, receiving and put- away, inventory control, order fulfillment, shipping, integration, and mobile computing. SaaS enterprise class mobility solutions Baxtek Solutions has also found August 09 www. bus- ex. com 15 another winning SaaS solution in 2GO Software. This technology provides mobile software solutions for employees that require access to their company data while in the field. Applications are designed to be simple and easy to use yet still increase productivity while reducing the consumption of paper. Areas of focus include field force automation of work- orders, field sales automation and order management, proof of and direct store delivery, and field surveys. " We see clients that want to manage customer orders from start to finish without paper, and Orders2GO allows the business to create customer orders, pick and pack them in the warehouse, then deliver and capture the customers' signature all from a mobile device or smart phone," said Baxter. " The ability to view the status of work orders in real time and integrate with existing dispatch systems to reduce paper work orders is vital. Many clients use 2GO Software's online portal for work order creation and dispatching to their field technicians." SaaS: The ultimate lean, e- kanban The plant manager at the Bridgeton operation of IR- Hussmann Corporation commented that, " The Ultriva Electronic Kanban SaaS system has enabled us to successfully apply desirable lean techniques in the area of pull systems during the last two years. The tool enables key closed loop communications with external and internal suppliers. The loops have been quite successful in reducing inventory and eliminating stocks- outs in the areas where demand is stable, as well as where the orders are not accurate relative to actual requirements." According to Narayan Laksham, founder and president of Ultriva, " The supply chain is still largely controlled by MRP/ ERP systems which use forecasted or planned demand to set up supplier Infrastructure Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida- based, TR Cutler, Inc. ( www. trcutlerinc. com). He is also the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium of journalists and editors writing about trends in manufacturing.

16 www. bus- ex. com August 09