In December, this author had the opportunity to speak with NeoGrid, a cloud-based global provider of B2B network based supply chain applications.  Many of our readers might not be familiar with this provider and I must confess that I was one of them.  That has obviously changed. The origins of NeoGrid stem from Latin America.  However, after receiving an initial briefing, I believe our community, especially North American based, will continue to become more familiar with this provider in the months to come.

This B2B provider began operations within Brazil in 1999, focusing on the needs of retailers requiring broader supply chain information visibility. Since that time, the firm has grown through a series of acquisitions of other technology and services firms, including xPlan, Mercador and Agentrics. Today, the provider has a growing global presence including North America.  Our briefing was with Paulo Viola, NeoGrid’s CEO of North America, struck this author as being very much aware of current supply chain technology challenges.

B2B business processes supported include electronic transactions based exchange via EDI services, distribution planning and replenishment, supply chain wide inventory and other visibility. NeoGrid’s branded applications include:

NeoGrid Planning and Replenishment

NeoGrid Logistics and Financial Services

NeoGrid Retail and Distribution Intelligence

NeoGrid Strategic Sourcing

 

The cloud-based provider boasts that’s its network currently supports over 350,000 customers and includes the 10 largest retailers across Brazil along with 9 of the 10 most recognizable worldwide retail brands. We actually viewed an extensive listing of existing customer names and can attest to some very prominent and well recognized branded consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and logistics providers. It also includes prominent high tech and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The technology supporting the NeoGrid multi-tenant platform includes elements of SQL Server and Java.

That led us to probe on current expressed customer pain points and business challenges that retailers and CPG manufacturers are addressing. The indicators communicated were the need for having a single end-to-end platform for sharing supply chain planning and execution information as well as the desire to have accelerated time-to-value for technology investment.  In some of the customer cases communicated, firms became frustrated with existing supply chain applications in terms of cost to scale to broader aspects of the end-to-end supply chain.  In another communicated customer profile, a rather prominent pharmaceutical manufacturer elected to support a global-wide S&OP process leveraging the NeoGrid cloud-based platform.

We have heard similar updates from other cloud-based B2B providers and that led us to include in our Supply Chain Matters 2015 Predictions for Industry Supply Chains that certain industry S&OP processes we seek to initiate broader scope information, planning and execution connectivity and synchronization through utilization of cloud-based B2B platforms. The other clear trend is that supply chain technology decision-makers are clearly focused on more affordable technology options that will deliver more timely benefits.

The firm admittedly had not done a good job for investing in marketing and brand identity, but that effort is on the rise of late. We were certainly pleased to be contacted and made aware of capabilities.

We anticipate hearing more about NeoGrid in the months to come.

Bob Ferrari

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