Microsoft Great Plains Expands Supply Chain Functionality

FARGO, N.D., Aug. 7, 2001 — Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions today announced the availability of four integrated modules in its Microsoft® Great Plains® Supply Chain Series powered by Logility Inc. These applications include warehouse management, demand planning, inventory planning and replenishment planning. Tightly integrated with Microsoft Great Plains eEnterprise, a global business solution for midmarket companies, these modules bring greater efficiencies to the coordination of planning, forecasting and delivery of goods throughout the supply chain.

Microsoft Great Plains Supply Chain Series provides an out-of-the-box integration to eEnterprise, an important differentiator for midmarket companies looking more closely at their bottom line. This integration can dramatically reduce the implementation time frame and costs associated with disparate systems. The Supply Chain Series solution provides customers with cost-saving measures throughout their organizations, including automation of paper-based processes, improved inventory accuracy through real-time inventory control, as well as forecasting capabilities that help predict demand. These measures all lead to improved customer service levels. Through tight integration with and within eEnterprise, companies can make better, more informed decisions across the organization and throughout their entire supply chain.

“In growing our business, we were looking to rapidly scale our software solutions. We needed the flexibility to add and integrate modules, as well as tap local technical support,”
said Jack Hahn, development director of Kar Products, a full-service distributor of high-quality maintenance and repair products to fleet, industrial and automotive markets.
“We chose Microsoft Great Plains and its reseller LANAC Technology Corp. because of their expertise in integration and implementation.”

Warehouse Management

The warehouse management application brings greater efficiency to daily warehouse operations and the delivery of goods throughout the supply chain. The warehouse management application utilizes radio frequency (RF) technology to direct warehouse activities in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The system guides workers to optimal pathing routes within the warehouse, optimizes space through several configurations rules, and utilizes flexible workflows to direct activities such as the selecting, packing and shipping of goods.

Demand Planning

The demand planning module utilizes self-selecting, self-correcting algorithms to transform up to 36 months of historical data into forecasts. Users can override the forecast if needed for special events or promotions and can leverage the extensive drill-down capabilities within the module to analyze and forecast based on key variables such as product group, item, location or customer.

Inventory Planning

The inventory planning module enables companies to intelligently control inventory costs. The solution generates recommendations on how much of which products to keep in inventory to meet desired customer service levels economically. In addition, the inventory planning module can run what-if scenarios to determine how changing variables can affect inventory goals and balance between service level and inventory investment.

Replenishment Planning

Replenishment planning provides a time-phase view of inventories and guides midmarket companies through reorder of supplies and products to ensure proper levels of inventory are carried to meet specific demand. Tolerance levels within the solution enable companies to automate purchase-order and work-order generation for improved responsiveness.

“Midmarket customers are looking for solutions that minimize costs and better manage their supply chain activities,”
said Jeff Edwards, director of e-commerce and supply chain management (SCM) at Microsoft Great Plains.
“With these new applications, companies can optimize the entire supply chain workflow across inventory and distribution functions, from the warehouse to the back office and out to suppliers and customers.”

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft Great Plains Supply Chain Series applications, warehouse management, demand planning, inventory planning and replenishment planning, are available immediately in North America from authorized Microsoft Great Plains reselling channel partners. Pricing begins at $22,500 and ranges to $60,000 (U.S.) and includes integration with eEnterprise.

About Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions

Microsoft Great Plains provides business applications that help small and midmarket companies become more agile in today’s interconnected economy by extending specific information and procedures to employees, customers, vendors and partners. The business applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about the solutions offered by Microsoft Great Plains can be found at or at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Great Plains is a registered trademark of Great Plains Software Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Great Plains Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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