2012 Supply Chain Software Users Survey

By Bridget McCrea, Contributing Editor
May 01, 2012 - LM Editorial

Thirty-seven percent of respondents are currently using transportation management systems (TMS), up from 32 percent in 2011. Twenty-five percent are planning to buy or upgrade—steady from last year’s numbers—and a net 50 percent are either using or planning to buy a TMS (versus 51 percent last year). Shippers most want routing and scheduling, routing and rating, shipment consolidation, carrier selection, and load tendering capabilities from their TMS.

Dwight Klappich, research vice president for research giant Gartner, says shippers’ keen interest in routing and scheduling falls in line with what his firm is seeing in the marketplace. “Three years ago the routing and scheduling market was dead, there just wasn’t a lot of energy there,” says Klappich. “That’s changed over the last three years as more shippers are finally turning to technology to streamline these vital activities.”

One area of the survey that surprised Klappich involved ERP systems, which are currently being used by 47 percent of companies. Fifty-four percent say they’re planning to buy ERP this year, while 54 percent of those buyers say their ERP will include a WMS module compared to 48 percent last year.

The fact that shippers see their ERP providers as capable of providing solid WMS caught Klappich’s eye. “This is a testament to the fact that ERP vendors have invested significantly in their WMS applications to the point where more than half of the companies feel that they could get their WMS from their ERP vendors,” he says, noting that 10 years ago most shippers would not have made that assumption, namely because at the time best-of-breed WMS vendors were thought to be the de facto source of such software.

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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