2012 Supply Chain Software Users Survey
May 01, 2012 - LM Editorial
Monetary commitments to supply chain software have decreased when compared to 2011’s survey results. When asked if their firms were going to buy supply chain software in the next 12 months, 39 percent responded favorably compared to 48 percent in 2011. Budgets are up slightly, with 49 percent planning to spend less than $100,000 (compared to 48 percent in 2011) and 27 percent spending $100,000 to $499,000 (versus 25 percent the year prior).
Adrian Gonzalez, director of Logistics Viewpoints, says that this year’s respondents’ acquisition intentions indicate that companies are continuing to either buy new or upgrade existing systems. And while the numbers have flattened somewhat compared to 2011, Gonzalez says the “tighten up our belts” sentiment of 2009-2010 has clearly passed.
“A lot of shippers have come to grips with the fact that this is the business environment that they have to operate in now,” says Gonzalez. “It’s going to be dynamic and there are going to be ups and downs.”
Squeezing benefits from, TMS
Half of the logistics professionals surveyed say that their use of supply chain software has increased—only 38 percent answered positively to that question in 2011—and 46 percent say that usage stayed the same compared to 56 percent last year. When ranking the importance of individual software features, shippers have once again pinpointed the right features for their operations, configurability, compatibility with existing software, and service/support availability as their top “must haves.”
Digging down to the various software packages that comprise supply chain software as a whole, we learned that 56 percent of shippers are using warehouse management systems (WMS), a number that comes in about the same as 2011. Twenty-four percent are planning to buy or upgrade their WMS, while a net 67 percent are either using or planning to buy a WMS. From their WMS, these companies want real-time control, inventory deployment abilities, existing package upgrades, and labor management capabilities.
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