11th Annual Supply Chain Management Software Users Survey: Caution remains

Logistics professionals appear to be enthused by the gradual economic recovery and see the need for improved visibility to better meet new supply chain demands, but they’re still not ready to make the big investments necessary to fully realize those goals.
By Bridget McCrea, Contributing Editor
June 01, 2013 - LM Editorial

Pinpointing buying habits
When it comes to shippers’ software buying habits, this year’s survey turned up somewhat of a mixed bag. According to our findings, 33 percent of logistics professionals say they plan to buy supply chain software in the next 12 months, while 68 percent are not.

Primary packages that those buyers are looking to acquire include WMS (44 percent), TMS (41 percent), ERP (28 percent), inventory optimization (31 percent), and supply chain planning (27 percent). About 79 percent of respondents say that their ERPs will include a WMS module, and 35 percent say their ERPs will include a TMS module. Fifty-six percent of shippers say they’re using the same number of software vendors that they were using two years ago, 27 percent say they’re using more, and 17 percent are using fewer.

Belinda Griffin-Cryan, global supply chain executive program manager at Capgemini Consulting, says that her firm’s research shows that supply chain visibility remains a top priority for all companies—particularly with those that are investing in new or upgraded WMS and TMS.

On the other hand, Griffin-Cryan says that she was surprised to see that a large percentage of companies are using more software packages than they did just two years ago. “It’s somewhat counterintuitive given all of the vendor consolidation that we’ve seen over the last 10 years,” she explains. “It’s interesting to see that shippers continue to reflect that they are getting more applications from more vendors when that consolidation is taking place.”

Griffin-Cryan adds that in certain cases, the move to incorporate more software packages could be a result of smaller firms shifting from manual to automated systems. “It may be that some companies are saying: ‘We just can’t operate off spreadsheets anymore,’” she adds, noting that for the most part, larger organizations tend to work with fewer software vendors, on average.

About the Author

Bridget McCrea
Contributing Editor

Bridget McCrea is a Contributing Editor for Logistics Management based in Clearwater, Fla. She has covered the transportation and supply chain space since 1996, and has covered all aspects of the industry for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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