Top 20 Supply Chain Management Software Suppliers 2017

The market for supply chain management (SCM) software, maintenance and services continued its growth in 2016, generating more than $11.1 billion, a 9% increase over 2015 revenues, according to the research firm Gartner.

That total includes applications for supply chain execution (SCE), supply chain planning (SCP) and procurement software. Since the market’s 2% decline in 2009, the market has posted double-digit growth in four of the past six years, according to Gartner. The SCM market is expected to exceed $13 billion in total software revenue by the end of 2017 and exceed $19 billion by 2021, Gartner forecasts, with software as a service (SaaS) enabling new growth opportunities.

“It continues to be a good year for the supply chain overall,” says Chad Eschinger, managing vice president of Gartner. “The Cloud-based segment grew 20%, which is consistent with what we’ve seen in recent years.”

The push for Cloud capabilities also fueled some of the acquisition activity over the last year. Eschinger cites examples such as Infor’s acquisition of GT Nexus, Kewill’s acquisition of LeanLogistics, Oracle’s acquisitions of LogFire and NetSuite, and E2open’s acquisitions of Terra Technology and, more recently, Steelwedge.

“Broadly speaking, we’re seeing cyclical consolidation,” Eschinger says. “For some companies it’s a land grab, for others it’s an effort to add functional and technical underpinnings to go to the Cloud or provide a fuller complement of Cloud capabilities.”

Suite vendors are increasingly inclined to offer end-to-end solutions, Eschinger says, tying in customer relationship management capabilities, replenishment, network design, clienteling and more. In addition to supply chain efficiency, these solutions are also aimed at improving and standardizing the consumer’s experience.

“The Amazon effect continues to wreak havoc in retail and for manufacturers selling direct-to-consumer,” Eschinger says. “Everyone wants real-time visibility into inventory, so data and the associated analytics continue to be front and center for most organizations.”

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How Big Data And Analytics Are Transforming Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a field where Big Data and analytics have obvious applications. Until recently, however, businesses have been less quick to implement big data analytics in supply chain management than in other areas of operation such as marketing or manufacturing.

Of course supply chains have for a long time now been driven by statistics and quantifiable performance indicators. But the sort of analytics which are really revolutionizing industry today – real time analytics of huge, rapidly growing and very messy unstructured datasets – were largely absent.

This was clearly a situation that couldn’t last. Many factors can clearly impact on supply chain management – from weather to the condition of vehicles and machinery, and so recently executives in the field have thought long and hard about how this could be harnessed to drive efficiencies.

In 2013 the Journal of Business Logistics published a white paper calling for “crucial” research into the possible applications of Big Data within supply chain management. Since then, significant steps have been taken, and it now appears many of the concepts are being embraced wholeheartedly.

Applications for analysis of unstructured data has already been found in inventory management, forecasting, and transportation logistics. In warehouses, digital cameras are routinely used to monitor stock levels and the messy, unstructured data provides alerts when restocking is needed.

Read more at How Big Data And Analytics Are Transforming Supply Chain Management

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Cloud-Based Supply Chain Faces Scrutiny

Cloud-Based Supply Chain Faces Scrutiny

As the supply chain looks for new tools to manage increasing complexity, as well as a need to manage risk and other variables quickly and proactively, cloud-based solutions, which are relatively underutilized today, will become more common.

What are some of the common misconceptions around cloud computing and supply chain applications?

Supply chain has generally been a very slow adaptor to new technologies, and cloud computing is no exception. Besides data security and ownership, other factors come into play around how the infrastructure would behave in terms of excess volumes and concerns the in-house IT team may have with feeling helpless when it comes to issues around performance, managing downtime, and handling end customer pressures.

Often, lack of management support is cited as a reason for not adopting cloud technology. Why do you think the corner office is reluctant to support these sorts of initiatives?

Not all senior managers have yet to fully understand the implications of moving into cloud. They still look it as a pure cost saving initiative vis a vis the risks and the litigations they may end up facing in case they encounter issues around their data. Managers would like to hear success stories that [demonstrate that the concerns about] data security are all addressed by big product vendors, which are now moving over to cloud.

What are the best ways that supply chain managers can “speak the language” of business leaders to quantify the potential benefit of cloud-based apps for the supply chain?

The ROI of moving to a cloud-based service is very fast. Customers need not invest in capex for their expensive infrastructure, licenses, and upgrades. This can be very easily worked out. Another factor is that often, companies invest in large IT teams and have to constantly manage them – thereby deviating and investing in a division that is not their core business. By moving to the cloud, they can overcome this by maintaining a lean IT team.

Do you have any personal views about utilizing cloud-based system? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages?

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