JDA Focus 2015 Day 1 Review by Supply Chain Station

Jjda-focusDA software is one of the world’s leading suppliers of end to end software solutions for integrating retail and supply chain planning and execution. Supply Chain Station recently attended JDA Focus 2015 event that was hosted at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. JDA Focus 2015 was a 4-day event hosted from 26th to 29th of April. For the Supply Chain Station readership, we summarize the best of the action during Day 1.

The new “Plan to Deliver” theme

There was a good attendance totaling approximately 2,000 supply chain professionals for the opening day hosted by JDA’s new CEO, Bal Dail, who opened his address by saying that we are now seeing a new JDA that is joining forces behind their new “Plan to Deliver” theme; a theme that was also to figure in many of JDA’s customers’ presentations too.

As Dail’s opening address unfolded, he explained that the old JDA, had become somewhat arrogant in its approach, whereas the new JDA is much more about listening to customers, analyzing their feedback and acting on it in a more positive way. To underline their proactive and positive attitude, JDA announced they would be investing $25 million on a new innovation and user experience project, much of which will be diverted into making their software more user-friendly.

Another key aspect of their “Plan to Deliver” program is the new Innovation Lab (IL) that JDA have put into place under the leadership of John François Gagne, who will be heading up a team of 50 members of staff. 10% of this staff will be concentrating on total, new R&D work. They will look at things such as software that integrates new themes such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and image recognition.

They are also working on software that will allow existing video feeds in retail stores to record items running out of stock on the shelves, and something called “RetailMe;” an individual, supply chain segmentation tool that monitors the reactions of customers, and uses it in order to create specific offerings, messages, and content for that specific type of customer.

Most of these new innovations will be designed and created in JDA’s new IL, leaving their Product Development Department (PDD) to be able to concentrate on the improvements and enhancements to existing software. But the PDD will also be tasked with taking the IL’s new creations, and polishing them off; turning them into commercially viable products that are user-friendly, and that take into account all of the other client feedback JDA gather during the “Plan to Deliver” process.

Red Prairie WMS and Supply Chain Software Promotion

JDA will also be focusing more on Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Supply Chain in a more prominent role. They will be promoting the Red Prairie developments they acquired during the take-over, and putting a lot more emphasis on so called “Flowcasting” for forecasting at store level. Flowcasting is in essence a collaborative tool that has been created to empower the supply chain, using demand at shelf level; making it the very essence of a true demand-driven supply chain scenario.

Loblaw set Benchmark in Demand Driven Retailing with JDA Software

Another important keynote speech on day one came from a company called Loblaw; a Canadian company who have been a customer of JDA Software for 6 or 7 years, and who have used the JDA software to upgrade their technology in order to become a much more efficient and demand driven retail chain.

Loblaw have introduced a wide variety of different products in order to interact on a one-to-one basis with their shoppers via their Smartphones. Bearing in mind that Loblaw runs its own loyalty card; it also owns a pharmacy chain that sells products to half of the Canadian shopping population, and a virtual bank; so the amount of data they can accumulate can be used in terms of “big data” to forecast and predict customer behavior, and become a truly demand driven retailer.

Intelligent Baxter Robots

A number of “break-out” sessions convened during the day and one of the hot topics was the fact that a company called Genco had integrated “Baxter Robots” alongside their human workforce. These robots complement the human workers in a totally safe and productive way, working alongside them and learning as they go through their innovative inbuilt vision systems. These new robots, with their vision systems and smart software technology, can be taught by a line-worker and shown what to do. They will then replicate the task in a very precise way. This could be a really significant development in the pick, package and redistribution industry.

Distribution Center Tier Modeling

A company called Pepsico presented their tier theory for distribution centers. Centers of various shapes and sizes can be specified as belonging to one of 5-tiers. Each tier comes complete with a “blueprint” which incorporates various types of layouts, software packages, etc. It’s an innovation that companies could find really useful when considering setting up a new distribution center. What Pepsico have done is to create a number of templates that businesses can access.

Call for Nimbler Supply Chains

There was also a discussion about the way that supply chains may change in coming years, as many organizations have built large supply chain’s that are solid, and totally volume driven. Now perhaps, these organizations should be looking at building more adaptable supply chains, coming away from the cost driven models, and instead becoming making them more nimble.

Test and Learn

In another presentation, Josh White of CVS posited his theory about incorporating “test and learn” methodology whilst also building Omni-channel capabilities at the same time. The main premise of this attack was that without the ability to be able to change course midstream immediately, the result at the end of any project can already be out of date before it’s even begun. This inbuilt flexibility is therefore going to be of prime importance for companies staying current, and not getting left behind, or sent off running too far in the wrong direction.

JDA Shipping and Freight Bid Control Software 

KImberley Clark (KC) also did a presentation on JDA software that automates the Carrier/Procurement/Bid process for things such as TL, LTL, and Ocean Freight. Until recently KC (who spend approximately $7 million per annum of shipping and freight forwarding) were using spreadsheets to try and manage the process, with all of the clumsiness, and data errors that are often associated with this type of process. They are now in the second year of using the JDA software which simplifies and streamline the whole process allowing them full accessibility online to carry out and control the entire ongoing bidding process in a much more efficient and user friendly way.

KC volunteered the fact that they don’t use the JDA tool to its fullest effect. They stop 2% short of the lowest price they can achieve for each shipment on the basis that if they did squeeze the last ounce out, they might damage the sustainability and well-being of the supply market. What KC does not do however, use is to indicate where each supplier stands in their ratings, although this is something that the tool can do if enabled.

The other thing that the JDA tool can do is to calculate the real cost savings, which, given the inflationary situation that shipping is in right now, is not easy to do in real terms.

Look out for Supply Chains Station’s Day 2 Summary

That about wraps it up for what we checked out during Day 1. Look out for our summary shortly, on Day 2.


Have you been to JDA Focus? Share you experience at the feedback section below

 

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