Schneider Electric Introduces Unified Supply Chain Management Software

By Peter Reynolds

Category:
Company and Product News

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, reportedly is first to introduce a unified supply chain management solution for the hydrocarbon processing industry. Built on its Spiral Suite platform, the new offering closes the value gaps left by poorly integrated legacy tools. By improving collaboration across the refinery, Spiral Suite software helps traders, planners and schedulers make reliable decisions, manage risks and ultimately increase profitability.

Spiral Suite users can contribute to and add value to one another's decision making without the risk of overwriting data or causing downstream processing issues at the plant. Combined with powerful, intuitive visualizations, everyone is able to view, understand and respond to incidents. All refinery activities are supported within a single, highly intuitive environment, and accurate, up-to-date information is available across the business. Planners can see future scheduling constraints; schedulers can assess their decisions against commercial impact and operational feasibility. Users from different disciplines and locations are now able to work together effectively to create the most flexible, optimal plan for any set of circumstances, unlocking potential cost savings and margin improvements that could total millions of dollars each year.

Spiral Suite's SaaS deployment model, off-the-shelf integration and exceptional ease of use mean the application can be learned within days. According to the press release, legacy point solutions can be replaced quickly and simply, without incurring the high cost of implementing or maintaining data transfer. Inadequate, unsupported integration bridges are removed, as is the need for application experts and extensive training courses, which lowers total cost of ownership. Data from in-house and external systems can be made available automatically within workflows, and people from across the business can work in parallel to build the supply chain model within weeks, without needing to know matrix math.

Spiral Suite takes advantage of the advanced features of modern processors, fully exploiting multi-core and cloud environments to generate results in seconds and then presenting them in a way everyone can understand. Users can explore the business and operational implications of millions of scenarios and receive real-time feedback on how their changes would impact the rest of the supply chain. Integral cargo tracking and assay management mean crude oil quality variations can be analyzed within minutes, rather than weeks, to swiftly assess their financial impact on the business, as well as any potential operational and reliability issues prior to purchase. The software also automatically reconciles all available data and performs backcasting to understand how and why there are deviations to the plan.

Peter Reynolds, ARC Advisory Group, commented, "With Spiral Suite, even novice planners can be up and running within a week, rather than after a year of training it would normally take with heritage products. In an industry where challenges are coming from every direction, companies risk losing out if they continue to apply outdated work processes that rely on experts. In some cases, optimized production planning is only achieved through knowledge held by a small number of people and naturally collaborative working relationships. As these experts retire, more companies are looking to invest in a sustainable solution that supports the younger, more mobile workforce. Spiral Suite offers exceptional ease-of-use, meaning users can perform all the necessary analytics and backcasting to make profitable, risk-adjusted feedstock purchasing and refinery planning decisions within weeks of licensing."

 

Keywords: Unified Supply Chain Management, Hydrocarbon, Refinery, Cloud Environments, Backcasting, SaaS, ARC Advisory Group.

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