September 15, 2015

Logility launches data-visibility platform for business analytics

Company also announces mobile supply chain planning application.

By Ben Ames

In an effort to help logistics firms streamline their supply chains, business optimization software firm Logility Inc. today released a data-visibility and analytics platform called Voyager Integrated Business Planning.

The new platform allows logistics planners to perform sales and operations planning (S&OP), strategic planning, rapid simulation, multiscenario analysis, and enhanced visualization. The system is founded on a holistic view of business planning that spans the enterprise to include finance, manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing, suppliers, and customers, the company says.

Logility, of Atlanta, says this capability is sorely lacking in the industry, citing an August 2015 report from consultants Gartner Inc. titled "Keys to Solving the Top S&OP Challenges." That report finds that lack of visibility across the supply chain is one of the top obstacles to achieving supply chain goals and objectives. "Today's supply chains are becoming increasingly more complex as companies expand into new markets, increase the rate of new product introductions, and manage growing supplier and customer bases," Logility president Allan Dow said in a release. "We have designed Voyager Integrated Business Planning to cut through the noise and deliver a real-time view of the end-to-end integrated planning process."

The release is significant because it allows logistics leaders to gain a holistic view of their entire operation, combining data from disparate sources such as transportation, supply, inventory, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, said James A. Cooke, principal analyst at Nucleus Research Inc., a research firm.

The new Voyager platform backs up that combined data with business analytics and simulation capabilities, allowing users to run "what-if" scenarios for long-range planning changes, Cooke said.

By equipping this data-visibility platform with drill-down analytics, the system allows users to explore what the impact on their finances would be if they made business changes such as switching suppliers, entering a new market, or finding new sourcing.

The basic technology is not unique, Cooke says; other providers such as Tableau Software Inc. of Seattle provide similar data-visualization and analytics platforms. But Logility adds a specialization in supply chain operations such as demand and supply planning, production, global sourcing, warehousing, and transportation operations.

"In the past, information has been stuck in silos, such as transportation management or warehouse management," Cooke said. "But if your problem is that a carrier is not showing up on time, maybe the problem is that your warehouse has been packing the items in the wrong configuration for efficient shipping. So you need a holistic view and centralized data to see how all the parts work together."

Also Tuesday, Logility launched a mobile supply chain planning application for Android and iOS devices, called Voyager Thumbprint.

Designed to allow on-the-go executives to access critical information, Voyager Thumbprint lets users gain rapid access to supply chain insights, quickly update information, and collaborate with key trading partners, the company said.

"Business happens in the office, at the coffee shop, at a customer site, even while on an airplane," Dow said. "Today's supply chain teams need immediate access to relevant information regardless of where they are located."

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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