Industry Experts Recognize Response Management as Critical to Success

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Leading analyst firms advocate response management capability as a strategic necessity in successfully managing volatile global supply networks.

Response Management: Next Wave of Supply Chain Innovation?

According to recent analyst reports, experts agree that a company's responsiveness is vital to its success in today's volatile business environment. Leading industry analysts from AMR Research, Aberdeen Group, Technology Forecasters Inc. and Ventana Research all advocate the merits of Response Management - the ability to quickly and effectively respond to change.

When it comes to managing volatile global supply and fulfillment networks, visibility and planning alone - no matter how sophisticated - are insufficient. In a business environment of increasing complexity and risk, companies must look beyond supply chain visibility and planning, to complementary competencies that enable rapid, collaborative resolution to ever-present change. The point of power has shifted from the manufacturer to the customer, and demand responsiveness is the new basis of competition. This customer-centric mindset acknowledges that companies can no longer effectively "plan" their customers' needs; rather they must focus on responding to them. As such, Response Management has emerged as a business imperative for demand-driven leaders.

This is largely the subject of AMR Research's May 2007 report, "Response Management: Next Wave of Supply Chain Innovation?" Its primary author, AMR Research Director Stephen Hochman, recently participated in podcast interviews with IndustryWeek and Supply and Demand Chain Executive. These podcasts explore the fundamental concepts of Response Management and the industry trends that are driving the need for this distinct class of capabilities. Podcasts can be found at http://www.industryweek.com/podcasts/ and http://www.sdcexec.com/interactive/.

Nari Viswanathan, Research Director, Supply Chain and Logistics, of fact-based research company Aberdeen Group, issued a research brief entitled "Beyond Supply Chain Visibility: Response Management is the Key", August 2007, which outlines the key characteristics of solutions that go beyond visibility toward enabling a flexible Response Management capability, noting that the ability to respond to change rapidly is emerging as critical to a company's success. This research report identified that companies using visibility technology within the context of Response Management are three times as likely to have faster order to delivery cycles.

Other analyst whitepapers are making similar assessments about Response Management:

"Success depends on how fast and how effectively brand owners and manufacturers can respond to change." - Managing Demand Volatility: Improving operational responsiveness and performance with information technology. Ventana Research, August 2007.

"Responsiveness is key to success for both OEMs and EMS organizations: everyone in the 'value chain' needs to be responsive to change.... That means that those on the front lines making decisions must be empowered with accurate information.… Response Management allows front-line decision-makers to proactively manage inventory and supply exposure and material costs." - Response Management for the Next Wave of Outsourced Manufacturing, Technology Forecasters Inc., August 2007.

"We are pleased that Response Management is receiving broad analyst recognition," says Randy Littleson, vice president of marketing at Kinaxis. "These industry reports attest to the necessity for companies to adopt a strategic solution for managing change. The validation we are witnessing from both the growing Kinaxis customer base and such esteemed industry experts clearly confirms the market need for our RapidResponse solution."

For a full listing of analyst reports on Response Management and to download complimentary copies of the above mentioned whitepapers, please visit http://www.responsemanagement.com . To join in on the discussion of Response Management, please visit the Kinaxis blog at blog.kinaxis.com.

About Kinaxis:
Kinaxis delivers an on-demand Response Management service for visibility and coordination to drive rapid response to constant change across global supply and fulfillment networks, resulting in breakthroughs in customer service and operating performance. Kinaxis RapidResponse combines multi-enterprise visibility, collaborative "what-if" analysis and rapid decision support to empower front-line manufacturing and fulfillment teams to take quick and effective action when faced with constant changes in demand, supply and product. Global leaders such as Casio, Honeywell, Jabil, Raytheon, Solectron and Benchmark Electronics use Kinaxis RapidResponse to empower their supply networks with superior responsiveness and gain competitive advantage.

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LORI SMITH
Kinaxis
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