Software management systems are increasing in capability to help manufacturers keep pace with the fast-changing global environment in which they have to work.
An innovation leader in management software is Saphran, which was founded in 2004. The company develops software products for the automotive, aerospace, defense, high-tech, electronics, construction, industrial and general manufacturing sector. It’s systems are designed for original equipment manufacturers with sales from $50 million up to $20 billion.
According to the company, some of the benefits suppliers and manufacturers have enjoyed using Saphran systems include over $10 million capital investment reduction within two months of launch, improved part level forecast accuracy 12 months in advance of actual orders, enterprise agility of less than one week to respond to disruptive events in the supply chain. Customers have also seen global customer portfolio management transformation in less than one year across 17 plants; merger and acquisition of multi-billion dollar global integration in less than three months; and business plans installed and functional in two weeks.
“Our systems narrow the gap between business planning and actual performance. We provide senior executives with comprehensive global business-management capabilities for forecasting, planning and quoting,” says Kenneth Bassey, founder and CEO of Saphran. The systems align multiple views of historical data, future sales, production outlooks, market analysis and internal metrics for quotes, forecasts, orders and shipments.
“The real innovation is the ability to integrate market intelligence and future forecasts real-time with internal operations data in order to model various business scenarios. Management has the ability to evaluate and track those optional scenarios including key predictive performance indicators (KPPI™’s) in order to address future changing business conditions and meet future opportunities with agility,” he says.
Saphran’s software programs can be implemented quickly, and typically pay for themselves within three to six months. They also help protect and increase profit margins. Key products include PartBase™ active demand forecasting, ConnectBase™ real-time integration, CostBase™ margin management, IntelligenceBase™ DW/Cube Analytics, the Saphran Dashboard powered by Qlikview, as well as various other “add-on tools” for specific customer needs. The Real-Time Management Dashboard provides drill down access to elements that impact a corporation’s business performance.
PartBase™ enables automotive suppliers and OEMS to optimize profitability and manage risk by improving the process of planning, and by forecasting throughout the entire life cycle of a supplier’s product portfolio. QuoteBase™ enables automotive suppliers and OEMS to reduce cycle time, decrease errors, and increase their ability to efficiently quote, manage change requests, and perform cost planning.
Saphran’s Closed-Loop Commercial Management (CLCM) strategic business planning software com¬bines the benefits of its PartBase™ forecasting and cost planning module with its QuoteBase™ job costing and quotation module, and then layers on a suite of additional control and integration modules to create the ultimate manufactur¬ing enterprise management tool to predict margins while reducing risks.
Another capability is the ability to produce a composite forecast which aligns market trends and market share coupled with current customer orders and actual sales to date. An interactive management dashboard powered by QlikView is created through Saphran’s Dynamic Intelligence Layer, which is built on a framework of external market share projections, internal operating data and proprietary algorithms.
This enables a company to achieve its profit plans and reduce risk through intelligent monitoring of key predictive performance indicators on the management dashboard. The management dashboard has drilldown capability, which allows deeper investigation into causal factors and forecasts by plant, product category, platform or part level.
Saphran prides itself on helping its clients gain significant advantages.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked Kenneth Q. Bassey, founder and CEO of Saphran Solutions, what is the secret of Saphran’s double digit growth over the past few years.
Bassey: Staying focused on the future with enhancements to meet our clients’ and the market needs.
AI: How do your products help automotive OEMs in managing their supply chains? Please give us some examples.
Bassey: With Saphran in place, automotive original equipment manufacturers OEMs have the unique ability to view market intelligence in an “active” vs. passive manner in parallel with their internal operations and planning data. They can develop working scenarios that allow them to be more reactive to dynamic business conditions and benefit from new opportunities.
AI: What are some of the challenges faced by automotive OEMs that Saphran has helped solve?
Bassey: Saphran’s clients continue to address margin and market share challenges. Our software allows the OEMs to view the current changes and sense future trends in order to actively adjust business course in order to meet the business plans and objectives.
AI: How do the issues faced by the automotive sector compare to those faced by other industries?
Bassey: Saphran finds that the other industry sectors have many of the same challenges.
Most sectors are in either a growth stage or are reformulating by merging or acquiring new businesses. Their systems are inflexible and costly to enhance. The organization becomes constrained based on the systems in place, and what it takes in time and resources to consolidate/synchronize.
AI: Tell us about your Dynamic Intelligence Layer™ and Closed Loop Integration & Predictive Analytics™ solutions. What makes them unique?
Bassey: The systems of record that are in place for running operations can be many different enterprise systems that do not communicate with each other. Saphran extracts key content out of those systems and reconciles and synchronizes it with forecasts and future orders. We call that aggregated view the new intelligence layer that enables managers to quickly adapt and manage new opportunities. Saphran’s solution helps companies to focus on making informed decisions without being bogged down by manual data manipulation.
AI: How can Saphran help in controlling supply chain disruptions?
Bassey: Disruptions are a new normal in our environment, and Saphran brings together the external market intelligence with the internal planning and operating plans to drive scenario analysis. Saphran allows those scenarios to provide pessimistic and optimistic views of business. The company experts monitor those business conditions for trends/shifts and quickly bring this to management for further decisions on adjustment. With external market intelligence of exchange rate changes, regional commodity prices, market data coupled with internal status our clients can quickly make better informed decisions.
AI: Please explain the concept of a ‘management dashboard’ – and what are some of the future improvements Saphran plans for this concept.
Bassey: The management dashboard is powered by an analytics cube representing data current to the operations and future plans of the company and the market. Saphran’s dashboard allows management to better understand the change in business conditions by providing an interactive drilldown for answers. This helps quickly to spotlight the elements of the business impacting business performance.
“Our systems narrow the gap between business planning and actual performance.”