IBM has released a new version of the IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus application for designing supply-chain networks. The tool provides optimization and scenario analytics to determine optimal supply-chain configurations, sourcing strategies and production plans. It accounts for all cost and constraint variables, including those related to manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, across multiple tiers. According to IBM, the new release includes the industry's first multi-objective optimization technology, allowing companies to gain a better understanding of the tradeoffs between conflicting objectives within their supply chains. For example, a company deciding on the right number of distribution centers can evaluate the optimal risk point between cost and service levels to understand the precise point of diminishing returns. The latest release of the design application also includes additional depth into landed-cost and lane-analysis reporting. In another company announcement, IBM has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Emptoris Inc., a provider of cloud and on-premise analytics software. Based in Burlington, Mass., Emptoris has more than 350 customers in 75 countries. The acquisition is the latest addition to IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, launched in March of 2011, which is aimed at helping companies to respond to shifting customer buying patterns. Emptoris will also complement IBM's Supply Chain Management Business Process Outsourcing capabilities within its Global Process Services organization, the company said.
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