18 April 2002 Baan has provided more information on its future supply chain software strategy at its inForum user conference in Rome.
The manufacturing software company – part of the production management group of engineering company Invensys – also named Ed Daihl, formerly president of its Caps Logistics supply chain software unit, as president of Baan Supply Chain Management (SCM).
Speaking at the conference, Daihl announced the launch of two new components of iBaan for SCM, the company’s supply chain suite, which also incorporates technologies acquired by Baan in 1997 and 1998 through its purchases of Berclain and Caps Logistics.
The new components are a collaborative dispatch product, which enables partners to track event management in networked supply chains and is already being implemented by a major automotive vendor, and a collaborative planning product, which enables manufacturers to share supply chain data with sub-contractors.
Baan is still looking for a launch customer for the collaborative planning product, said Daihl. “Our aim is to deliver real-time visibility and a focus on supply chain event management to our customers,” said Daihl. “It’s all about getting the right information in the right context to the right person at the right time.”
The collaborative capabilities of iBaan for SCM set the product apart from competing suites, said Daihl. The technology behind these capabilities is the C-commerce Application Framework (CAF) product from Canadian collaborative commerce specialist Sockeye Solutions. Sockeye was spun-off from Baan and Invensys in February 2001. Baan resells it under the name iBaan Collaborate.
Responding to criticisms that Baan’s current warehouse management system does not meet the sophisticated needs of many Baan customers, Daihl said that Baan is in discussions to establish a partnership with a specialist warehouse management system supplier.
“We had hoped to announce the partnership at this event, but we have not signed off on the deal yet,” he said. Although Baan has not named the prospective partner, analysts attending the inForum event speculated that US-based EXE Technologies and UK-based LIS were the two most likely candidates.
Daihl acknowledges that Baan’s performance in the supply chain market has historically been poor, but said that he was optimistic about the prospects for iBaan for SCM. “We bought much of our supply chain capabilities as standalone companies and tried to manage them as standalone products. It is only in the last two years that they have been closely integrated with the iBaan suite. We’ve always had great technology and great applications. We just haven’t been very good at expressing it,” he said.