Last updated: May 07, 2018
TOP 10 Supply Chain Products
A Buyer's Guide to Supply Chain SolutionsSupply Chain Management Software Buyer’s Guide
Innovations in the global supply chain in the last five years have been bringing enormous benefits to the SMEs, large enterprises, and even governments. Technology such as GPS, RFID, and cloud-computing are all contributing factors to the positive trends happening in the global supply chain such as improving inventory management, decreasing transportation time and costs, and increasing overall customer satisfaction. As a whole, the SCM industry today is outperforming other industries in terms of market revenue and advancements in technology.
Many businesses are reinventing their wheel by moving from tactical to a more strategic SCM approach. Investing in Supply Chain Management software solution is now becoming a top priority of many organizations. It is because SCM software solution has been known for executing supply chain transactions, managing supplier relationships and controlling associated business processes. Warehouse management and transportation management are the key areas of business where SCM software solution does its biggest role.
We from ITQlick.com believe that despite of these positive trends, there is more to learn about SCM software solutions. So here is a Buyer’s Guide which we from ITQlick.com would like to share with you as a preliminary approach in getting the right SCM software solution for your business.
Supply Chain Management software solution can be broken down into two major categories: Supply Chain Planning and Supply Chain Execution. Under each category are sub-components or application modules that are focusing on more specific areas of the supply chain network.
Supply Chain Planning (SCP) Module
This module focuses on the areas of demand, supply and the consolidation of demand and supply.
- Strategic Network Planning
- Sales and Operational Planning
- Demand Management
· Demand Forecasting
· Sales Forecasting
· Demand Shaping
· Demand Fulfilment
- Supply Management
· Distribution Planning
· Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)
Supply Chain Execution (SCE) Module
This includes planning, scheduling, optimizing, tracking and performance monitoring.
- Warehouse Management Systems
- Transportation Management Systems
- Relationship Management
- Product Lifecycle Management
- Collaborative Response Management
- Supply Chain Analytics
- Track & Trace
- Service Parts Management
Base from the above categories, SCM solutions are then categorized into these two types of solution.
- Business Suite Applications (Best-In-Class)
- Single Integrated Applications (Best-of-Breed)
From the different categories of SCM solutions come these tons of features and benefits. Among of the benefits that an SCM software solution can provide are:
- Anticipate and manage sudden changes in supply and demand
- Provide vital business information to key stakeholders across your network
- Improve collaboration across multiple lines of business
- Centrally manage and optimize inventory, shipping, and order fulfilment
- Make decisions in real time and execute them across your supply chain
- Ensure your supply chain’s integrity and manage supply chain disruptions
- Simplify the user experience on any device
On the other hand, these are the features available in almost all types of SCM software solution today.
- Advanced Analytics
- Value Chain Collaboration
- Demand Optimization
- Inventory Optimization
- Supply Optimization
- Transportation and Logistics Optimization
- Cloud Services
- Retail Optimization
Solutions per Business Size, per Vendor
The choice between Best-in-Class and Best-of-Breed is definitely in most buyers’ mind. The buyer’s experience and expertise in the supply chain is an important aspect when selecting an SCM solution. In this regard, every buyer has the responsibility of answering this question accurately: What type of buyer are you? So if you were given this task, here are the important points for you to consider when choosing your SCM solution provider.
- Determine your business requirements. This includes the identification of your business size (small, mid-size, enterprise), the current challenges your supply chain team is facing, and the requirements of your stakeholders (ex. speed of delivery, cost-effective transport, on-time forecast of materials, etc.).
- Consider the budget and resources available. This is more on weighing your investment risk factor against the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of an SCM solution. Keep in mind that acquiring a software solution is not only about installation and utilization. It’s about implementation and it involves the processes of deployment, customization, training, maintenance and upgrade.
- Evaluate your potential solution vendors. Do you prefer on-premise solution or cloud-based package? Each has its own price tag, degree of implementation, and considerable number of providers to choose from. An excellent way of narrowing down your search for the right solution is by really knowing the deployment model you want for your business.
Here are some of the solution providers which we from ITQlick.com would like you to consider evaluating. One them could be the right solution provider for your organization.
- Ariba Inc.
- JDA Software Group Inc.
- Oracle Corp.
- SAP AG
- Manhattan Associates Inc.
- RedPrairie Corp.
- IBS, Lawson Software Inc.
- Descartes Systems Group Inc.
- Kewill Systems
- Retalix Ltd.
- Servigistics Inc.
- Infor Global Solutions
The price of SCM software solutions can range from thousands up to million of dollars. Because of the significant investment required, it is uncommon that most solution providers will disclose their pricing model on their websites. Best-in-Class and Best-of-Breed solutions are both applicable to any kind of industries and their price varies depending on many aspects.
More or less, you will be directed into the “Request for Quotation” page whenever you attempt searching for the price. We from ITQlick.com would want to help you on your pricing concerns by providing you these important points to consider when evaluating your potential solution provider.
- Conduct more background research of the provider’s competency in providing a robust solution. Among of the items to look for in a vendor’s website are:
- product availability and delivery options
- detailed description of the products and their features
- organize segmentation of the solutions base on different categories
- Read and analyze industry surveys, product reviews, and comparative reports. They are excellent sources of information that will give you a clear idea about cost versus benefits.
- Directly contact the solution provider by sending RFQ or starting a phone conversation with their sales manager. Many solution providers give honest advice on pricing when contacted.
- And since your objective is to find a solution that can offer your business better gains such as higher gross margins, less inventory, and shorter cost-to-cycle times, seek the advice of SCM consultants. They’ve been into this industry for years and if it’s about pricing, there is a higher chance that they have the figures to share with you.
You can also ask our consultants at ITQlick.com for more advice related to pricing, features, trends, and more about SCM solutions. Visit our website and you will definitely find the answers to your SCM solution concerns.
The global Supply Chain Management software market is now estimated to be around $9B and is projected to grow until 2015. Many ERP vendors are expanding their capabilities into SCM. The demand for intelligent software gives many niche players the opportunity to address the growing demand of specialized industries.
The challenges of globalization keep on pushing SCM solution vendors to enhance the capability of their systems by integrating new breeds of technology. This includes GPS, RFID and other types of integrated tracking and identification systems.
Collaborative SCM relationships are being enhanced by tightly integrating SCM systems with Customer Relationship Management software and Supplier Relationship Management applications.
Many companies are already shifting into the cloud-based technology. The SCM industry has never been late in this trend.
With these on-going trends and with the help of this Buyer’s Guide, you could have already been convinced that an SCM solution is one of the keys to your business success. SCM software solution is truly powerful and if you haven’t upgrade your system yet or totally acquire one, then today is the right time to do it.
ITQlick chart - 2018 best Supply Chain Software
Finding the right Supply Chain software for your business
Proper Supply Chain software selections are the precursor to successful deployment and business growth. Finding the right Supply Chain solutions doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to take days or weeks of your time.
After researching over 2,000 systems, we can identify the best solution for companies of all shapes and sizes. ITQlick.com is 100% free for software buyers.
Most Popular Supply Chain software Comparison
TECSYS Distribution Management System Specifications
|Name:||TECSYS Distribution Management System|
|Company:||TECSYS Distribution Management System|
|Address||TECSYS, Inc. - Canada, Montreal, QC, Canada|
|Software Type:||Standalone, Cloud, SaaS|
|Typical Customers:||Medium business, Large business|
|Business Area:||Information technology, Service management|
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25 MUST Ask Questions Before Buying Supply Chain Software
The prime purpose behind investing in the software solution is to boost efficiency and growth. Ask the software vendor (Lenoir Technologies, Inc.) how their business app would improve efficiency of your enterprise.
Lenoir WMS has tremendous exposure to different companies. They offer the same type of software to different industries, so they are better aware of who is doing what with their technological product. This also helps them understand and foresee whatâ€™s really working. Allow them to share their observations so that you get an ideas about their experience, expertise, and intelligence. This will also be an opportunity to identify the service providers who come up with the most insightful suggestions.
Perhaps your business is growing, will expand in the future and your Supply Chain requirements with it. So you would be interested to know if Lenoir WMS is scalable and can grow with you. Itâ€™s no use investing in a solution that can be scaled.
Each business has different needs. Yours is no different. When it comes to selecting a software solution, you are looking for a tool that can be easily customized and configured to cater to your specific business needs. So you want to understand if Lenoir WMS you want to buy is easy to customize.
Such a community forum is the best way to engage users. Getting access to Lenoir WMS forums can help new or proposed users connect with product experts through peer-to-peer discussions.
Lenoir WMS should answer how their business software will improve your bottom line and ROI.Most service providers make tall claims, so you want to make sure you get your hands on the best solution.
Before choosing a business app, you want to understand that the implementation would be smooth. So you should be interested to find out about the person responsible for handling the implementation process. Do not hesitate to ask Lenoir WMS about their qualifications.
A good software vendor should be able to show you a positive track record with their implementation strategy.Try to find out if Lenoir WMS method is structured. Your purpose should be to look for one that is structured and flexible to adapt to unexpected situations.
The software vendor should give you a structured data conversion methodology that will enable smooth migration of your information to the new system.
A growing business is always in need for expansion and integration with thrid-party apps is a part of the growth model. When it comes to choosing software, make sure the business app provides an application programming interface for easy integration.
Ask the software product vendor if the tool will allow you to export data to an external file or import data from external sources.
Ask the software vendor (Lenoir Technologies, Inc.) if the software package includes consulting hours. Do not hesitate to ask if there are any hidden charges involved.
You do not want to be caught unawares when a software vendor sends a technician to resolve an issue that may crop up due to varied reasons. You want to make sure the charges are reasonable. Better still, you should be aware of what needs to be paid to the technician sent by the vendor to fix a problem.
You do not want to fall in love with the front end unless you are 100% sure that the software is compatible with your existing system. Ask the software vendor is you need any specific hardware to install the software. Will the business application run on your existing workstations. How much space will the software take on the disk drive? Is there a need for RAM upgrade to successfully run the software for optimum performance?
You should enquire about the cost of having more than one terminal in your store. While some software vendors charge on the basis of the number of store locations, others charge per terminal.
When you are looking for a software solution, make sure you know if the vendor charges any fee to get you started. You should also be interested to know if there are any software maintenance charges for you to pay.
Your business is accountable to customers, regulators, employees, and partners. So you should look for one software vendor who has adopted a comprehensive, technically sound security and compliance program. Does the vendor map your needs for security controls?
Data loss can prove extremely risky for any business. So you should always ask the vendor about their backup policy. How often is data backed up and what is the cost for the same?
What is the software vendor's policy on disaster recovery? Are any charges involved for disaster recovery support if a catastrophic hardware failure affects your system?
How easy is the software to work on? Is it user friendly for your end users? Does it involve any complexities that are difficult to understand for the team? Even a feature-rich solution is of no use if end users find it difficult to use.
Lenoir Technologies, Inc. should clearly mention whether the solution is complex or simple to use. If it is not an easy-to-use software solution, then do they provide training? What is the level of training your team requires to make the most of the solution?
You will be interested to know about the software updates. When is it updated? Does the service provider notify customers when the upgrades are scheduled? Does the software work when the upgrades are under way? How long does the process take?
You should be interested to enquire about how an issue is handled at the side of the software vendor. Do not hesitate to question about who will respond to your emergency calls. What is their experience in software industry?
If the software vendor is widely popular, chances are that they have a good product. So always check their client base to measure their product's competence in the market.
Testing is crucial to ensuring that the software runs as promised. So you should try to find out if the vendor offers any free trial runs or try before you buy the product. By testing the concept first, it gets easier to understand the software product's functionality and allay fears before signing a contract.