CAF Business Benefits Overview
Rapid Application Deployment and Redeployment
Veccoʼs CAF enables you to develop collaborative solutions through configuration as opposed to coding which significantly reduces the time to build, deploy and change applications. It was designed from the ground up with a robust service-oriented architecture and hundreds of prebuilt supply chain business objects, policies, services, workflows and processes that are readily configured through graphical business modeling tools. This unique flexibility and configurability places business users in control, allowing them to quickly and cost effectively meet rapidly changing business requirements on the fly. Non-programmers can modify existing processes or configure completely new systems, including business objects, workflows, alerts, profiles, key performance metrics, and business views.
Collaborative processes are traditionally complex; with its component-based approach, CAF minimizes project risk and provides you with fast quantifiable benefits, by encouraging flexible incremental deployments.
Adaptive Process Modeling Provides Continuous Improvement
Adaptive Supply Chain Collaboration is all about managing complex fulfillment processes and making them more efficient. The applications must involve more than just the simple sharing of information. They must be able to sense problems; filter, aggregate and process information; apply business rules to the results; and allow negotiation and fast execution to resolve day-to-day problems.
CAF supports business process modeling, providing tools to model business objects, users, roles, workflow, business rules and secure visibility. Generic process templates can be created and reused, allowing for quick deployment and ease of maintenance. CAFʼs business process engine orchestrates a rich set of components and services that support flexible, multiparty negotiation workflow for a wide range of business processes.
Incremental Business Process Optimization
A business process is incomplete without a feedback loop that allows you to monitor the process and improve it, where possible. CAF supports the generation of various supply chain performance metrics based on business activities to help you continuously improve processes and operational performance.
Intelligent Agent-Based Business Process Automation
Vecco’s Intelligent Agents are designed for extending business logic, business policies and supply chain constraints, as well as for trading protocols and agreements between business partners. This enables fast changes, without having to bring the collaborative process down to implement them. It also facilitates nondeterministic, event-driven workflow, while preserving the context and rules of the trading relationships.
CAF’s component-based architecture and Agent Framework enable powerful agents to be easily deployed – without coding to fully or partially automate your business processes. Agents accelerate the execution of business processes by removing delays and errors introduced when human intervention is required. Since agents can be plugged into the solution at any time, automation of business processes can be achieved incrementally.
The CAF Agent Framework also provides a lightweight runtime environment – the Allegro Adapter, which can be deployed at business partner sites. Therefore, agents can be securely distributed and managed by local sites and still participate fully within other collaborative processes.
Adaptive Supply Chain Collaboration is based on a dynamic set of buyers, suppliers, partners, and customers, interacting to achieve common business objectives. The software must be able to flexibly support many-to-many business interactions, without requiring high maintenance. CAF supports a federated environment in which business partners can participate, assuming multiple roles across different business scenarios.
Loosely Coupled, Dynamic Collaboration and Web 2.0 Communication
Due to the complexity and sheer number of interactions in a many-to-many environment, software that powers collaboration must support loosely coupled dynamic collaboration between users, applications, solvers, servers and agents. CAF supports this by decoupling the “who, how, when, and where” of the solution using role templates, intelligent messaging, and plug-and-play software agents.
In addition, CAFʼs messaging and collaboration platform utilizes Web 2.0 / collaboration tools such as Skype, web-conferencing and instant messaging for unstructured communication to accelerate collaborative decision-making. Since collaboration is about building trust and relationships to share information and make joint decisions, we have found that the use of social network tools can help foster interpersonal relationships and evolve the trust factor, which opens the door to increasingly strategic levels of collaboration.
Management by Exception
Managing complex business networks traditionally requires sorting through large volumes of data and reports to detect problems that would disrupt operations. This is a time- and resource-intensive effort as well as being error-prone. CAF provides real-time events and alerts where users are notified of urgent events or problems, and alerts are escalated based on user-configured rules. These services provide smart supply chain event management capability to all CAF applications.