WebMethods Links the Supply Chain with Demand-Driven Solutions

Leverages industry-leading service-oriented architecture and business activity monitoring capabilities to bring new levels of adaptability and predictability to demand fulfillment and sales and operations planning

ATLANTA -- Nov. 14, 2005 -- webMethods, Inc., a leading business integration and optimization software company, today unveiled the company's first series of solutions exclusively designed to help enterprises become demand driven by fully leveraging the unrealized potential of their current supply chain infrastructure.

Building upon the proven performance of webMethods Fabric(TM), the company's flagship solution for process-based, service-oriented, total business integration, the webMethods for the Demand Driven Enterprise solutions help enterprises bridge the gaps that exist within their current supply chains that prevent them from responding most effectively to changes in demand.

These solutions are also the industry's first for the demand-driven enterprise to deliver the added agility and adaptability enabled by a comprehensive service-oriented architecture (SOA) along with the increased predictability and responsiveness offered by webMethods' patent-pending business activity monitoring (BAM) technologies. This allows enterprises to more readily anticipate and more quickly fulfill customer requirements while significantly enhancing such processes as order-to-cash and order-to-book. Initial webMethods for the Demand Driven Enterprise solutions will target specific business requirements around demand fulfillment and Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP).

"Demand-driven enterprises are those that closely monitor shifts in demand with this insight being transformed into action as quickly as these opportunities are uncovered," said David Mitchell, president and CEO, webMethods, Inc. "However, the highly fragmented nature of their supply chains, which often creates a series of operational disconnects throughout the enterprise, makes it impossible for most organizations to achieve this objective. By leveraging our unmatched heritage, experience, and leadership in both B2B and enterprise application integration, webMethods is able to offer a standards-based approach for bringing the people, processes, and systems of supply chain planning and execution together within a single network. With real-time access to demand triggers and end-to-end process visibility, enterprises can better predict and more effectively counter changes in demand."

Each of these new solutions employs webMethods' industry-leading business integration and process automation platform to provide enterprises with the ability to fully integrate and unify their end-to-end supply/demand chains. At the same time, webMethods' BAM capabilities offer businesses real-time process visibility spanning all of these operations with performance metrics correlated to a variety of user-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and automated alerts proactively issued to notify users of unanticipated changes in demand. Predefined business processes, embedded industry rules and role-based planning templates and user interfaces are used to capture and deliver the industry best practices needed to better orchestrate, synchronize and optimize an enterprise's planning and fulfillment resources to help ensure a more profitable response to any change in demand.

webMethods Demand Fulfillment Monitoring

The webMethods Demand Fulfillment Monitoring solution helps manufacturers significantly enhance one of their most critical metrics, which is their "perfect order" score, by helping them to more effectively and consistently match supply with demand throughout their operations. This is achieved by continually synchronizing various internal and external systems and processes used throughout these operations to further minimize operational latency and improve data accuracy while simultaneously working to extend real-time, end-to-end process monitoring across all of these supply and demand chain processes.

According to Tony Friscia, president and CEO of AMR Research [Innovative IT and The New Economy (Sept. 27, 2005)], "The ability to use technology to manage demand better than competitors, mastering what AMR Research calls Demand-Driven Supply Networks (DDSNs), is another differentiator. For example, our benchmarking studies in the Consumer Products industry show that companies that are best at demand forecasting average 15 percent less inventory, 17 percent stronger perfect order fulfillment and 35 percent shorter cash-to-cash cycle times. These leaders dwarf their competitors in earnings per share."

With this enhanced ability to readily adjust execution parameters in response to real-time market insight, enterprises are better equipped to ensure that the appropriate levels of the right inventory are continually available at the right place to meet customer needs. As a result, enterprises can speed inventory turns, better comply with customer service level agreements (SLA), and minimize safety-stock requirements. Already, a global manufacturer is using this approach to eliminate exception orders, which has resulted in a 75 percent improvement in on-time fulfillment rates with a reduction of similar magnitude being recorded in the number of manually processed orders as well.

Key components of webMethods Demand Fulfillment Monitoring include:

  • A robust and proven integration platform enabling real-time synchronization of disparate systems with a standards-based approach employed to simplify and speed the inclusion of third-party trading partners within a common supply chain framework. By linking together existing demand fulfillment processes, enterprises can create unified and up-to-date views of real-time inventory, customer orders, production status and shipment dates across various systems while also capturing critical information associated with key business events as they occur.

  • A rich set of business process management tools that enterprises can use to model, deploy and automate key processes spanning multiple systems, data stores, workflows and users. In addition to addressing reoccurring requirements like order-to-cash, procure-to-pay and return process exceptions with greater speed and consistency, enterprises can use these tools to secure greater visibility over their operations and to enhance collaboration and coordination around fulfillment by automatically communicating deviations in plan before they impact the business.

  • An executive dashboard accessing embedded BAM capabilities to deliver enhanced command and control over demand fulfillment operations. Enterprises can use these capabilities to automatically detect and resolve conflicts, to proactively alert users to potential exceptions based upon past occurrences, and to diagnosis and resolve systemic challenges.

webMethods S&OP Monitoring

A key component of helping retailers and manufacturers better predict and more quickly respond to changes in demand is the webMethods S&OP Monitoring solution, which provides supply chain executives with a consolidated, real-time view into their sales and operational planning environment. By improving data visibility across their operations and with trading partners, consolidating demand signals company-wide and linking together S&OP processes, enterprises can secure the level of collaboration needed to more quickly detect changes in demand and respond accordingly. This approach can be critical in getting new products to market faster and reacting to unexpected changes as it provides the means for orchestrating and aligning the various resources needed across sales & marketing and production & manufacturing.

Key components of webMethods S&OP Monitoring include:

  • The integration components of webMethods Fabric, including webMethods PIM (Product Information Management) as a centralized source for trusted product data, enable the real-time aggregation of demand signals, product, forecast, and inventory data between critical systems. This ensures that real-time views of point-of-sale and promotional information are available across the company, while synchronization with trading partners via the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) provides external suppliers with the quality data and demand insight that they require.

  • A business process management component that streamlines S&OP processes and new product introductions by automating the two-way flow of demand requirements and product availability information. A key feature is an automated, step-by-step event management process that users can employ to invoke the optimal response to a variety of scenarios, such as delays in product, component or order availability or out-of-stock/over-supply situations. As a result, they can more readily resolve the bottlenecks and disruption that often negatively impact customer service levels and forecasting accuracy.

  • Customer focused "scorecards" for monitoring the real-time interaction between sales activity, promotions, operational forecasts and business requirements with user-based views helping to transform this information into actionable insight. By continuously monitoring supply chain transactions and inventory status for both in-house and contract manufacturing, observed correlations with past occurrences can also be used to proactively alert users to pending violations of SLAs in time for appropriate action, such as replenishing or redirecting inventory, to be taken.

webMethods Demand Fulfillment Monitoring and webMethods S&OP Monitoring are both now available with pricing from webMethods.

About webMethods, Inc.

webMethods provides business integration software to integrate, assemble, and optimize available IT assets to drive business process productivity. More information about the company can be found at http://www.webMethods.com

The webMethods name and logo are registered trademarks of, and webMethods Fabric is a trademark of, webMethods, Inc. All other marks mentioned are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies.

This press release may contain various remarks about the future expectations, plans and prospects of webMethods that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of U.S. securities laws. Actual results of webMethods may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, risks and uncertainties, including those discussed under the heading "Factors That May Affect Future Operating Results" in the Business section of webMethods' Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2005 and Form 10-Q for the three months ended September 30, 2005 which are on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and may be accessed at http://www.sec.gov or webMethods' investor relations Web page at http://www.webMethods.com/investors