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i2 Technologies Review

 

Founded in 1988, i2 was one of the first software companies to focus exclusively on Supply Chain Management software. JDA had plans to acquire i2 in 2008. The acquisition was called off, because of the 2008 credit crunch. However, JDA later acquired i2 Technologies in January 2010. The scope of this i2 Technologies review is specific to the core i2 software.

Vertical Markets

i2 is a cross industry supply chain software solution supporting customers in automotive, apparel, retail, high tech, consumer goods, food & beverage and life sciences.

Supply Chain Software Products

i2 develops SCM systems. Their products include a broad base of general and industry specific SCM applications, and are steadily integrating with the rest of the JDA software stack.

SCM Features

Software Architecture and Cross Application Solutions — i2 Agile Business Process Platform provides support for standardized software components such as data models, business rules, user interfaces and workflows. The platform also serves as an integration platform for data, messaging and web services.

Sales and Operation Planning — i2’s solution was developed for the automotive industry and is called Sales and Operational Management (S&OM). Features include process setup, demand and supply planning, what if analysis, and an audit of plan versus actual performance. i2 focuses their S&OP solution in largest part to automotive companies.

Demand Management — Demand planning and forecasting includes segmentation, demand optimization and analysis, new product planning and what if analysis for demand shaping. Order fulfillment supports allocations based on available-to-promise (ATP) and capable-to- promise (CTP). A demand shaping solution called Promotion Optimizer is available for the retail industry.

Supply Management —

Strategic Network Planning – i2’s solution for SNP is i2 Supply Chain Planners. The network design component models locations, transportation modes and production capacity for planning mid-term and long term sourcing decisions. Optimization features support allocations and distribution planning.

Distribution Planning – i2 planning features include: Analyzing Product Mix Constraints, Planning Alternative Sources, Setting Demand Priorities and Analyzing Resource Constraints.

Replenishment – Demand fulfillment supports flexible allocation modeling based on manufacturing constraints. Also, replenishment has the ability to auto-generate POs from demand, sales orders, and sourcing agreements.

Vendor Managed Inventory – VMI replenishes customer inventories based on stock and sales data sent to the vendor.

Procurement Management – Purchase orders are generated and tracked through invoicing. Features include forecast orders, change orders, receipts, ASN matching, invoices matching, and alert notification of milestones and exceptions.

Warehouse Management — Not Supported

Transportation Management —

Planning – i2’s software features include a modeling tool for:

  • Least Cost Options
  • Multi-Modal Options
  • Zone Routing and Multi Drops Analysis
  • Carrier Selection Analysis
  • Cross Dock Options
  • Merge In Transit Options

Dispatch – Based on load, modes of transportation, and routes, the dispatcher performs the following:

  • Assigns carriers to routes
  • Produces Shipment Documents
  • Generates EDI transactions

Visibility is provided throughout the shipment lifecycle.

Freight Charges and Settlements – i2’s freight settlements supports automated freight audits, payments and cost allocation.

Fleet Management – A key feature of fleet management is optimizing the mix of private assets and common carriers.

Supplier Relationship Management —

Catalog Management – A key feature of catalog management is search capabilities on internal and supplier databases, based on keywords and attribute values. Also, catalog management supports the functionality to categorize search results.

Sourcing – i2 sourcing strategy focuses on spend analysis (keeping cost down) and providing the tools to evaluate categories, supplier selection and supplier performance.

Contract Management – Supplier contracts are monitored to identify and resolve performance compliance issues.

Supplier Compliance – Qualitative and quantitative data is collected and updated to supplier scorecards. The scorecards are integrated with sourcing spend analysis.

Customer Relationship Management — Not Supported.

Supply Chain Software Strengths and Weaknesses

i2 was considered a leader and innovator in SCM systems and brings that leadership to JDA. Their SCM planning products are considered best in class caliber solutions. The TMS solution has been ranked as the top rated transportation solution in a Gartner study. The Software Architecture has been recognized as a top tier SOA platform for SCM.

i2’s weakness is the absence of WMS and CRM, some of which is now compensated with JDA software. Without an integrated suite of products, i2 is at a disadvantage when competing against vendors with a full suite of integrated solutions.

Without the full support for demand shaping functionality i2’s demand management solution is limited in gathering and managing planning data for causal forecasts. Causal forecast is a key component of S&OP. The S&OP solution was designed for the automotive industry and lacks a full set of features to support the S&OP process at the executive level.

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