Software maker i2 Technologies will release by July an application that alerts companies to unforeseen inventory and delivery problems, the company said Tuesday. The new software, called i2 Inventory Visibility and Exception Management, gathers and analyzes data from a variety of software systems about incoming orders and inventory levels in factories, warehouses, distribution centers, and in-transit to customers and from suppliers.
If something out of the ordinary occurs, such as a truck breaking down in-route to a customer, the software alerts managers to the problem and prompts some kind of action, such as an overnight shipment to avoid a delay. The i2 software can be programmed to e-mail, page or send wireless text messages to inventory managers and their suppliers in urgent situations. AMR Research estimates the market for real-time inventory tracking could grow to as large as $1 billion, as companies seek to improve customer service and avoid inventory blunders that can lead to multimillion dollar write-offs.