Are You Listening to Your Signal Chain?

Rootstock Briefing Note

Axendia was recently briefed by the executive team at Rootstock, a cloud ERP solution natively built on the Salesforce Platform for companies that manufacture, distribute, service and/or repair goods. The company serves emerging growth, midsized and enterprise companies including those that are replacing legacy and entry level ERP systems.  

Since our last briefing, Rootstock has added the following personnel to its executive leadership team: Geoff Brannon as CFO, Joe Massa as SVP Sales and promoted Caroline Santander to SVP Professional Services and Enablement.   

Stu Johnson, VP, Product Marketing at Rootstock also discussed the continued development of The Root Group, which is the official user group of Rootstock  “I’m very proud of the ongoing maturity of our customer user group, which includes a new customer advisory board that represents all the key personas we interact with including medium-sized and enterprise customers,” said Johnson. And to better serve customers, Rootstock continues to enhance professional services, customer support, the Learning Center, and its customer success organization.   Rootstock’s second annual manufacturing conference, “Rooted-In Manufacturing,” will be held November 6- 8, 2023 in New Orleans, LA.

Also noteworthy is Deloitte Digital announcing plans to grow its Rootstock consulting team by 250%. “We already have some joint customers such as Boston Dynamics and a large US government entity.  This will help us grow the upper end of our market with the breadth and depth of Deloitte,” explained Johnson.

Listen to the Signal Chain

Rootstock’s goal is making capacity planning easier with predictable demand and supply planning using signals coming from the market.  “We have built these capabilities into the model, such as MRP, which gives us a unique opportunity to solve this problem because of the breadth of the platform and how interconnected the main dimensions of it are. Obviously, CRM is intertwined with our ERP not only by being on the platform, but by design with Salesforce. We see the need to ‘signalify’ the supply side of the business,” continued Johnson.

Rootstock’s value proposition is focused on three key areas: business transformation, future-proofing IT, and accelerated success. “We’re the latest entry in a mature ERP market and want to differentiate ourselves with this go-forward vision.  We’ve all seen trends like continuous monetization of product as a service and smart connected products that can phone home and say, ‘I need service’ but we’ve observed that the manufacturing value chain is bifurcated on the demand side.  We’re getting signals from the market in terms of demand via online sales.  Yet, the world is still taking those signals and cramming them into a spreadsheet or what have you, but it’s not balanced because of lack of supply chain signals,” said Johnson.

Rootstock ERP provides visibility up and down the value chain by streaming real-time data it calls the signal chain.  In Johnson’s opinion, most digital transformation initiatives revolve around digitizing processes and data.  Once companies have data, they use their analytics to consume the data, however that’s yesterday’s data.

Image Courtesy of Rootstock

“We would call that business intelligence (BI), but what we really need, is to see into the future and we can do that by adding AI to this mix… you really need visibility from end to end in the operations, throughout the value chain. I always talk about inventory as the golden thread of a manufacturer. And then there is this concept of control, which is juggling those signals on a continuously changing basis, with a continuous calculation of what’s the best outcome expected. And humans aren’t particularly good at those kinds of juggling matches, whereas AI is,” explained Johnson. 

Rootstock calls this the signal chain, and it will culminate into what it calls a “decisioning platform”.   There are thousands of decisions that demand planners, supply planners and capacity planners must make. Rootstock wants to automate these processes and leverage AI to make 80% of those decisions for them. “Then they’re just managing by exception. They’re presented with the 20% that a human has to make a judgment on, of which humans are very good at making judgment calls versus juggling the entire process. So, we’re super excited about this opportunity,” continued Johnson.

According to the Rootstock team, one of the biggest problems with throwing out a signal vision is how to secure those signals.  IoT signals are internal, and usually kept inside the plant.  Big security breaches often come from opening up the OT network with the IT network and feeding data back and forth.  “Well, we have that solved. Salesforce spends $4 billion on this platform every year, so we can focus on innovation without worrying about the platform. We see this as an opportunity for the mid-market to simplify and automate critical problems,” said Johnson.

Spring 2023 Release

The Spring ‘23 Release includes Enterprise Insights for executive decision making.  “We’re going to market with a set of individual apps for each of the key personas in manufacturing, operations, inventory, finance, sales and procurement,” noted Johnson.  Rather than just a set of dashboards or a BI tool, Rootstock has taken the next step of bringing the two together, allowing for out-of-the-box actionable, enterprise insights. In the future, this will become the foundation for Enterprise Insights AI.

Enhancements to Rootstock Financials are also in the Spring ’23 release. These updates are geared towards assisting CFOs who may be facing substantial and frequently conflicting demands related to revenue, cost and budgets while meeting the need for transparency and decision support.

Finally, Rootstock made significant investments in its Rootstock Lightning Toolkit, which offers customers greater usability and flexibility in tailoring user experiences without customization.

In Brief

By leveraging the power of Salesforce, Rootstock ERP offers seamless integration with CRM and provides powerful analytics, facilitating better decision-making and increased efficiency across the business.  The ERP is designed to serve manufacturers, distributors, and supply chain organizations, providing them with real-time control over their operations. Rootstock wants to enable the signal chain and feed those signals into a decisioning platform.  

While the details of Rootstock’s product roadmap past the Spring ’23 release are not publicly available, the team has its sight set on incorporating emerging technologies to support the future needs of highly regulated industries.

We will continue to monitor Rootstock and provide updates as they become available.

Contact to schedule an Analyst Inquiry on this topic.

The opinions and analysis expressed in this post reflect the judgment of Axendia at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this post is current as of publication date. Information cited is not warranted by Axendia but has been obtained through a valid research methodology. This post is not intended to endorse any company or product and should not be attributed as such.

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