When you think QAD, do you think SCM?

QAD is far better known for their manufacturing than supply chain solutions.  QAD provides full-featured manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, on premise or via the cloud, with very deep functionality for the Automotive, Food & Beverage/Consumer Goods, High Tech, Industrial, and Life Sciences industries.

But when I attended QAD Explore last week (May 4th – 6th), I found they were doing more in the area of supply chain management than I knew about.

I knew that QAD had acquired Precision Software several years ago.  Precision provides transportation management system (TMS) and global trade management (GTM) software. In the past, when I talked to Precision customers, they were more likely to be using Precision to support parcel and GTM.  I wrote a case study on one such customer, Future Electronics, a few years ago.

At the conference, I had a chance to sit down with Ariel Weil, the Managing Director of DynaSys a division of QAD; QAD acquired DynaSys in 2012.  DynaSys offers an in-memory supply chain planning solution that offers demand planning, production planning, distribution planning, and procurement of BOM materials all built into one database.  Other SCP suppliers are now leveraging a new generation of more powerful in-memory technologies to offer broader solutions based on a common model, but DynaSys was ahead of the pack in this area.

Once a DynaSys planner has a collaborative demand plan agreed to, with one click that planner can generate a plan that ripples back to plan distribution, manufacturing, and strategic procurement.  DynaSys also offers an S&OP solution.  This architecture then lets them run demand scenarios in S&OP meetings and quickly blow back to see the consequences in manufacturing and distribution. DynaSys made further enhancements to its solution suite, DSCP (Demand and Supply Chain Planning) early this year.

But what was most enlightening to me was a presentation by Terry Onica, the Director of the Automotive vertical at QAD, and April Dines, a Corporate Quality Engineer at Cascade Engineering.  Cascade is using a quality management solution (QMS) from QAD to drive their supply chain risk management program.  This solution is based on QAD’s acquisition of CEBOS.  That acquisition also occurred in 2012.

Supply chain risk management has been getting more and more attention in our discipline over the last several years.  When I think of supply chain risk management, I think of a broad array of things that could go wrong and adversely affect a supply chain.  How could a quality management system play a leading role in mitigating and controlling risk?

Well for Cascade Engineering, a Tier 1 automotive supplier, it does.  When you consider supply chain risks, the risks can be put in a hierarchy from known risks that are controllable to unknown risks that are very difficult to control.

SCRM

In the automotive supply chain, many of the high impact, high probability risks involve better control of suppliers and the upstream supply chain; the financial viability of suppliers, the quality of the parts they deliver, and their delivery performance are all examples of such risks.

In the automotive supply chain, the OEMs (Toyota, GM, Ford, Fiat, etc.) have asked their Tier 1 suppliers to put in place robust risk management processes.  Now, the OEMs are going one step further, they are asking their preferred suppliers to make sure that their key suppliers have the same sort of robust risk management processes in place as they do.

One key certification manufacturers like GM are looking for is the Management Operations Guideline Logistics Evaluation (MMOG/LE). This supply chain assessment of a company’s supply chain capabilities also includes a look at a company’s supply chain risk management capabilities.  Has a firm defined a risk assessment process?  For prioritized risks – high probability/high impact risks – are contingency plans in place?  Has there been training for affected employees on the contingency plans?  As companies respond to risks, are they documenting the lessons they’ve learned?  Are they communicating their contingency plans and to their suppliers?

Cascade Engineering is using the QAD QMS and a QAD Supplier Portal to communicate their expectations to their suppliers, track and communicate concerns, communicate their rankings and the reasons for those ranking to their suppliers, escalate concerns, and to perform audit suppliers against their requirements.

I had never thought of a QMS as a supply chain solution.  But clearly in certain verticals, it is a critical solution for supply chain risk management.

Precision, DynaSys, and CEBOS are all sold both into the QAD installed base, as well as externally to companies looking for a best of breed solution.  All of these solutions are available by the cloud or on premise.  When sold into QAD installed base the products are referred to as QAD TMS or QAD Cloud TMS, QAD DSCP or QAD Cloud DSCP and QAD QMS or QAD Cloud QMS respectively.