March 24, 2015

Voxware pushes beyond the pick with new supply chain analytics, modeling program

By DC Velocity Staff

Voxware is taking its value proposition beyond the pick.

The Hamilton, N.J.-based company, which made its name as a voice application provider for picking at the warehouse and distribution center, said today that it would launch this summer a business analytics and predictive modeling solution across the supply chain.

The product, called Intellestra, is in the testing phase with food service and retailing firms and will be rolled out in early summer, said Keith Phillips, Voxware's president and CEO. The product takes Voxware beyond what had been its core competency of providing voice-enabled solutions for warehouses and DCs. It also caps an internal cultural change at Voxware that began about three and a half years ago when Phillips took over the helm.

Three years ago, Voxware launched a voice-picking dashboard for business analytics and real-time actionable data. According to the company, the next logical step was to offer analytics and modeling for the entire supply chain. The platform allows warehouse managers and supervisors to access a real-time aggregation view of all the data across the entire supply chain, from sales forecasting systems to transportation management systems, shipping manifests and proof of delivery, Voxware said. Supply chain leaders at every level of the retail operation will be able to manage every aspect of picking, shipping and distribution of products in real time.

The predictive modeling application will allow users to run various scenarios, weigh actions versus consequences, and make recommendations as to the best course of action to pursue, Phillips said in an interview. Phillips called Intellestra a "purpose-driven supply chain modeling" function, meaning that once a user's IT operation performs the initial setup, the supply chain operation can make adjustments without involving the IT department each time.

"In order to make smart decisions that power a customer-centric supply chain, warehouses need access to tools that paint a complete picture," Phillips said in a statement announcing the rollout. "With Intellestra, companies of all sizes will be able to remain competitive with deep insights into every aspect of the supply chain."

In the interview, Phillips said the platform reflects the broad mission of supply chain management practitioners to maintain high service levels—and if possible increase them—but to do so at the lowest possible cost. It also underscores that, in a world now dominated by digital commerce, the customer, not the supplier or provider, is in control of the transaction.

"Retailers have to figure out that the supply chain today starts at the customer's doorstep, and works back from there," he said in the interview.

Not surprisingly, Intellestra is being beta-tested in two industries where tolerance for failure is low and forgiveness of a delivery mishap is virtually nonexistent, Phillips said.

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