J.D. Edwards Conference Finds Users a Mile High
At it's annual user conference, held this week in Denver, J.D. Edwards & Co. introduced an updated version of its family of products and services, new partnerships, and several customer wins and implementations.
Tuesday J.D. Edwards followed up its May announcement of J.D. Edwards 5, the company's suite of enterprise products and services with more details on its previously announced "OneMethodology." OneMethodology is a standardized approach enabling a tailored implementation of all J.D. Edwards 5 products according to each customer's unique requirements.
Hank Bonde, J.D. Edwards' executive vice president and chief operating officer , says OneMethodology is the key to unlocking the value of its software for users by delivering on-budget, on-time implementation, training, and support that is precisely tuned to the needs of each individual customer.
J.D. Edwards's officials said OneMethodology is a blend of implementation approaches that satisfies the needs of users who want both customized and cookie-cutter approaches. The methodology and tools, which are integrated across the entire family of J.D. Edwards' collaborative enterprise software products, facilitate business process and technology changes to accelerate time-to-benefit. The OneMethodology approach helps J.D. Edwards consultants deliver a solution that enhances business performance. The objective is to provide customers with maximum benefit from their software investment.
Speaking on a conference call on Tuesday, Bob Dutkowsky, chairman, president, and CEO said, "Our success in the marketplace tells us we're doing something right. As is our tradition, we're providing what our customers have asked for -- business software that's easy to deploy and easy to use, and that quickly delivers measurable value at a low cost of ownership."
In the win column, gift company Russ Berrie and Company Inc. announced it will be implementing J.D. Edwards software to provide front- and back-office solutions. Russ Berrie is attempting to drive new efficiencies through its entire supply chain by closely linking its offices and factories in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific to improve order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, currency exchange, and other business processes and better serve its more than 50,000 customers worldwide.
Michael Saunders, vice president and chief information officer for Russ Berrie, says the company will leverage the distribution module in J.D. Edwards' ERP suite to streamline and automate the purchasing of more than 6,000 gift items, which have unique properties that complicate the purchasing process.
The J.D. Edwards applications will also give Russ Berrie's retail customers an online portal to provide customer self-service functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Russ Berrie projects a positive net return on its multimillion-dollar software, hardware, and services investment in just three and a half years. The software will replace Russ Berrie's legacy systems in a five-phase implementation over the next 12 months.
J.D. Edwards also announced the completion of implementations at Otis Spunkmeyer and Wabash Alloys.
Baked goods company Otis Spunkmeyer has successfully implemented J.D. Edwards Demand Planning software to increase production forecasting accuracy, positively affect the bottom line, and give its sales force greater visibility into marketplace opportunities.
Kevin Tyschper, manager of production and demand planning at Otis Spunkmeyer says the new software gives the sales force a broader and deeper looking into the business by developing highly-targeted forecasts, while uncovering new customers and potential areas of business.
As a result, Otis Spunkmeyer has increased order fill rates to 99.2 percent up from 96 percent. It also decreased weeks of inventory to 3.8 weeks from 4.3 weeks.
Otis Spunkmeyer is using J.D. Edwards SNO and Demand Planning products to coordinate and forecast its production and distribution processes. The company ships from seven production facilities to four cold storage facilities, which then ship to 56 company-owned sales centers. From there the product is sent to customers, either through direct store delivery or through various distribution centers.
Jeanine Viani, director of network planning at Otis Spunkmeyer, says the company is seeing benefits to its bottom line by creating new efficiencies, and also creating more customer satisfaction by having the right inventory at the right time to meet customers' needs.
J.D. Edwards also used the conference to announce the completion of its integrated CRM offering at Wabash Alloys, a producer of recycled specification aluminum alloys. The implementation of the sales force automation module into Wabash's existing J.D. Edwards OneWorld ERP system took three months.
Wabash Alloys operates eight plants (five in the United States, two in Canada, one in Mexico) that produce specification aluminum alloys for foundry and die-cast customers and deoxidation products for the steel industry.
Bruce Warshauer, president of Wabash Alloys, says his company expects to see improved sales as a result of analyzing recent responses to proposal requests and current customer interactions. He adds that the company also expects to expand its customer visibility to include centralized contacts, account history and back-office linkages, including viewing account information, products and sales orders.
"We were looking for a broader view of our customers and a deeper understanding of how we approach our sales processes, but we also wanted to be cost-conscious in obtaining new solutions," Warshauer says.
J.D. Edwards also used the annual conference to talk about partnerships, including a new partnership with Aprimo Inc. The partnership will allow J.D. Edwards' customers to integrate the J.D. Edwards Financials solution with the Aprimo Marketing Financial Manager, and integrate the J.D. Edwards CRM solution with the Aprimo Marketing Lead Manager offering.
"This partnership is instrumental for J.D. Edwards as it continues to expand its CRM offerings," said Joel Reed, director of CRM marketing for J.D. Edwards. "Aprimo's applications will allow us to provide enterprises more in-depth marketing and customer management functions integrated into the back-end."
In addition to integrating to the J.D. Edwards CRM solution Aprimo Marketing's Financial Manager module will integrate to the J.D. Edwards ERP offering. Marketing budgets, invoices, committed funds, and forecast expenses can be shared between both solutions to ensure accurate and timely financial management of the marketing budget, one of the largest discretionary spends in the organization.