Updated IT Subway Map: Major acquisitions in SC software

The supply chain software industry is in a considerable state of flux. Three large, international take-overs are changing the face of the market. as the advance of e-commerce continues, companies with an omnichannel approach are increasingly implementing specific order management systems. furthermore, because the continuing growth in outsourcing is making global businesses ever-more susceptible to disruptions, supply chain risk management software is also on the rise. These are the key developments that are visualised on the 2016 version of Supply Chain Movement’s SCM IT Subway Map.

By Martijn Lofvers

Companies have an ever-growing need for systems integration, not only internally but also externally with their chain partners. In light of that, Infor’s acquisition of GT Nexus in August 2015 is understandable. In addition to its administrative ERP software, Infor has a fairly complete portfolio of applications, including for planning. The GT Nexus trans-company platform makes it easy for connected companies to share their planning within the chain.

E2open offers a comparable cloud-based solution for network collaboration. This young, publicly listed American software vendor recently bought out Terra Technology, a specialist in demand sensing (short-term forecasting based on point-of-sale data). Terra Technology’s customers include large multinationals in the fastmoving consumer goods sector such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever. In the case of this acquisition, it remains to be seen how Terra Technology’s forecasting technique can be applied in a network like that of E2open; this could reduce the bullwhip effect in the chain. A third notable take-over is that of Barloworld by US software supplier Llamasoft in September 2015. This has enabled Llamasoft, which is specialised in supply chain network design and simulation, to strengthen its European base. It now has a number of complementary applications, in particular for replenishment and for planning last-mile delivery.

Risk and Order Management

Two new software categories on the SCM IT Subway Map Europe this year are Supply Chain Risk Management and Order Management Systems. Because companies are increasingly outsourcing their manufacturing and logistics activities around the world, they are also more exposed to disruptions in the supply chain. Software vendors such as Riskmethods, Achilles and MetricStream offer solutions which provide an overview of all suppliers in the end-to-end supply chain to indicate the possible impact of disruptions and suggest alternatives. This type of software goes a step further than supply chain visibility software by also considering the potential financial impact.

The advance of e-commerce in Europe is forcing companies with an omnichannel B2C and/or B2B approach to utilise a specific system for order management. Such a system enables those companies to fulfil orders flexibly by dispatching the goods from various inventory points (e.g. directly from their suppliers, from their own warehouse or even from a retail store). The rise in popularity of software for sales & operations planning is continuing unabated this year, and software suppliers are also increasingly offering their solutions in the cloud. In the case of Oracle, the complete portfolio will be cloud-based from the middle of this year.

Download: SCM IT Subway Map 2016 EU

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