B-TO-B EXCHANGE PUSHING CPFR

NAPLES, Fla. -- CPFR is becoming a high priority for business-to-business trading exchanges.In the last few weeks, Transora, Chicago; GlobalNetXchange, San Francisco; and WorldWide Retail Exchange, Alexandria, Va., have each announced technology partnerships to enable them to pursue collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment initiatives.CPFR is much desired by manufacturers, but retailers

NAPLES, Fla. -- CPFR is becoming a high priority for business-to-business trading exchanges.

In the last few weeks, Transora, Chicago; GlobalNetXchange, San Francisco; and WorldWide Retail Exchange, Alexandria, Va., have each announced technology partnerships to enable them to pursue collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment initiatives.

CPFR is much desired by manufacturers, but retailers have been slow to adopt it despite some successful tests. Some observers believe the acceptance of B-to-B exchanges might hasten the development of CPFR.

During the Global Exchange Summit here last month, Transora said it would use Syncra Systems, Waltham, Mass., while GNX chose the NetWorks system of Manugistics, Rockville, Md., and WWRE went with a CPFR solution from i2 Technologies, Dallas.

CPFR users hope to integrate demand- and supply-side processes, and improve efficiencies, increase sales, reduce fixed assets and working capital, and reduce inventory for the entire supply chain, according to the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards association, Lawrence-ville, N.J.

"Companies in the CPG [consumer packaged goods] industry that are pursuing the CPFR vision have seen the payoff in reduced inventories, production costs and improved sales from a better matching of actual supply to actual demand," said Judy Sprieser, chief executive officer, Transora.

"With the advent of exchanges, we are now bringing this vision much closer to reality. Trading partners, through a simple exchange, now have access to a CPFR application. The provides the ability to aggregate demand or supply data."

With the interoperability between exchanges that Transora is attempting to establish through the recent megahub project GNX, CPFR will become easier.

"Those who have engaged in CPFR know that there is a considerable amount of time and effort that is required to learn and maintain even a single application. What we are providing through this single linkage capability is much less complexity in how you conduct your demand planning applications," Sprieser said.

"CPFR is one of the most powerful tools we can provide to the retail industry because it provides end-to-end visibility across the supply chain," said Joe Laughlin, CEO of GNX. "This collaboration is beneficial to both the retailer and the supplier."