RED PRAIRIE SOFTWARE REVIEW
Red Prairie was founded in 1975. During the 1990s and 2000s, Red Prairie acquired several WMS, TMS and manufacturing software vendors. In 2008, Red Prairie reported revenues of $300 million; 2007 revenues were $254 million. Red Prairie is owned by private equity firm Francisco Partners.
Red Prairie's supply chain management software customer base is generally composed of small to large companies in Aerospace, Automotive, Consumer Goods, Retail, Food and Beverage.
Red Prairie only develops and sells Supply Chain Management systems. SCM core capabilities include Performance Management, Warehouse Management Systems, Transportation Management Systems, Inventory Management and Workforce software.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FEATURES
SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE AND CROSS APPLICATION SOLUTIONS
E2 Business Process Platform is Red Prairie’s SOA (service oriented architecture) and platform software suite and includes the following features:
- IT Deployments and Upgrades
- Event Manager
- Application Integration (Application Program Interface and Web Services)
- Business Process Flows
- Common User Interfaces
SALES AND OPERATION PLANNING
Support is limited to forecasting replenishment levels and managing promotions for retailers, build-to-order for manufacturers and order fulfillment for distribution.
Order Fulfillment strategies incorporate:
- Sourcing from multiple warehouses and suppliers sites
- Expected vendor receipts
- User defined algorithms for services, inventory status, cost and constraints
Strategic Network Planning – Not supported.
Distribution Planning – Not supported.
Replenishment – Red Prairie’s WMS replenishment is by product, location and slotting.
Vendor Managed Inventory – Not supported.
Procurement Management – Not supported.
Yard Management - Key capabilities include Equipment Check-in and Out, Equipment Movement, Scheduling Dock Doors and Personal and Web-based Calendar for Appointment Scheduling.
Inbound Processing – Pallet and carton auto-identification is scanned and tied to supplier ASNs. Retail features support put-to-store and flow through processing. Put-a-ways are directed to bin locations based on user defined policies in the Warehouse Tasking application.
Outbound Processing – Out bound order features include Unlimited Number of User Defined Picking Methods, Appointment Scheduling and Dock Door Management and Shipment Documentation including Manifest and Bill of Lading.
Cross Docking – Inbound goods can be directed to outbound process. Unplanned opportunity cross docks can be evaluated and detected during the inbound process.
Value Added Services – Value Added Services are defined and managed by the Warehouse Tasking Application.
Storage – Red Prairie distribution software provides special handling requirements for tracking:
- Lot Numbers
- Serial Numbers
- Country of origin
- Hazardous Materials
Slotting features optimize the storage of goods and supports multiple user defined strategies.
Planning – Software features include what if analysis during the bidding process to help determine the optimal allocations of carriers. Shipments are evaluated and optimized for mode, routes and consolidation.
Dispatch – Key distribution software functionality is based on load, pickups, modes of transportation and route optimization. The dispatcher is empowered to perform and automate the following:
- Assigns carriers to routes
- Produces Shipment Documents
- Generates EDI transactions
Visibility is provided throughout the shipment lifecycle.
Freight Charges and Settlements – Freight invoices are matched before payments are made. Auditing features enable user defined limits and tolerances on charges. Freight cost is allocated down to the order SKU level through configurable algorithms.
Fleet Management – Not supported.
SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
SUMMARY OF STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Red Prairie’s supply chain software strengths are in WMS and TMS, along with a software architecture that supports critical functions for integrating third party systems and custom applications. The WMS and TMS applications are considered best in class distribution products and should be considered for any SCM software initiatives related to WMS and TMS.
Other than some very basic inventory management features, Red Prairie only supports supply chain execution functions. The inventory planning is for short-term horizons and lacks the structure of more full featured supply management solutions.
If a fully integrated SCM solution is high on the requirements, Red Prairie will be at a disadvantage, because of the cost and time to integrate and support a broader enterprise software solution.