The PeopleSoft suite of supply chain management applications is based on a technology framework developed by the Supply-Chain Council that addresses five key functions: plan, source, make, deliver and return.The offering targets both manufacturing- and service-based enterprises.
“We are the only vendor in the market that manages spend for both goods and services,” asserted Steve Roop, PeopleSoft vice president of SCM marketing. “Ariba, SAP and Oracle just do goods today.”
Something for Everyone
Roop said the supplier relationship management (SRM) modules of the PeopleSoft SCM product line are designed as broad horizontal applications.
“All companies need to buy goods and services,” he said, noting that enterprises need not necessarily manufacture or assemble products to have SRM business process requirements.
PeopleSoft is marketing its supply chain modules to its historically strong customer base in education, government, financial services, healthcare, utilities and life sciences, as well asmanufacturers of high-tech electronics, consumer products and industrial products.
Mix and Match
PeopleSoft’s SCM offering includes a wide range of modules that can be integrated as a suite or plugged into existing supply chain infrastructures to fill specific functional holes, Roop told CRM Buyer Magazine. The list includes the following apps:
- Activity-Based Management
- Bills and Routings
- Catalog Management
- Collaborative Supply Management
- Cost Management
- Demand Planning
- eBill Payment
- Enterprise Planning
- eProduct Management
- eSupplier Connection
- Flow Production
- Inventory Planning
- Order Management
- Order Promising
- Product Configurator
- Production Management
- Production Planning
- Promotions Management
- SCM Portal Pack
- Services Procurement
- Strategic Sourcing
- Supply Chain Warehouse
- Trading Partner Management
A mid-size company licensing only the SRM portions of the suite would be looking at fees of about US$100 to $200, Roop said. PeopleSoft SCM purchases range from this low end to a high end of $800,000 and above for the largest enterprises implementing both SCM and SRM modules.
Look Ma, No Code
Like all PeopleSoft applications, the supply chain modules are entirely Web-based, Roop said, with no program code resident in the client PC.
“Pure Internet architecture is important in the supply chain market,” he stressed, “because companies worried about optimization of their supply chain have to look beyond their four walls.” This makes the integration challenges faced by enterprises trying to link various business packages together even more complex, he added, especially as companies look to outsource their procurement and manufacturing activities.
View from the Cockpit
The three key differentiators of PeopleSoft’s SCM apps, according to Roop, are Internet-based architecture, industry-specific business processes, and analytics made accessible to decision makers through “executive cockpits” or role-based portals.
“The ERP systems of the ’90s were built for clerks,” Roop said, noting that the primary users of such systems were employees in accounts payable and a host of other financial departments. He said that the future of supply chain management software is not only about automating business processes but also delivering information to the executives who manage those processes.
Like many of its competitors, including Baan, PeopleSoft is blurring the lines between what traditionally have been front- and back-office functions. For instance, earlier this year, PeopleSoft announced an alliance with privately held Agile Software to integrate its supply chain management and CRM modules with Agile’s product chain management applications.
The emphasis on capturing customer feedback and other sources of product flaw and potential design information is an important one, according to Gartner Dataquest analyst Lewis Clark, who recently authored a report on supply chain management priorities. After a period of looking only outward for process improvement and cost savings opportunities, companies are once again turning their focus inward, Clark told CRM Buyer.