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Supply Chain Management Software


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3PL Warehouse Manager by 3PL Central logo
 
3PL warehouse manager is a cloud-based warehouse management system designed for third-party logistics companies to manage multiple customers, processes and billing schedules. The system enables access to real-time information and provides... Read More
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3PL warehouse manager is a cloud-based warehouse management system designed for third-party logistics companies to manage multiple customers, processes and billing schedules. The system enables access to real-time information and provides... Read More
 
WISE logo
 
For companies looking for a warehouse management solution, WISE by Royal 4 Systems is a rules-based WMS system that is configurable to suit the unique needs of each business. The rules are in English and are user defined. This system... Read More
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For companies looking for a warehouse management solution, WISE by Royal 4 Systems is a rules-based WMS system that is configurable to suit the unique needs of each business. The rules are in English and are user defined. This system... Read More
 
3PLink by Camelot 3PL logo
 
3PLink provides a fully automated, truly comprehensive Warehouse Management System specifically designed for the third party logistics industry (multi-client, client-owned inventory). A market leader since 1987, Camelot 3PL Software... Read More
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3PLink provides a fully automated, truly comprehensive Warehouse Management System specifically designed for the third party logistics industry (multi-client, client-owned inventory). A market leader since 1987, Camelot 3PL Software... Read More
 
Infoplus logo
 
Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
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Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
 
Conga Novatus Contract Management logo
 
Conga Novatus Contract Management software is a solution designed to help businesses generate, track, maintain and report on important business contracts. Conga Novatus Contract Management solution automates the CLM process from creation... Read More
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Conga Novatus Contract Management software is a solution designed to help businesses generate, track, maintain and report on important business contracts. Conga Novatus Contract Management solution automates the CLM process from creation... Read More

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Contract Insight Contract Management logo
 
Contract Insight is a contract lifecycle management solution developed by CobbleStone Systems. It can be deployed either on the customer’s premises (with perpetual licensing) or in the cloud (with monthly subscription licensing). Contract... Read More
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Contract Insight is a contract lifecycle management solution developed by CobbleStone Systems. It can be deployed either on the customer’s premises (with perpetual licensing) or in the cloud (with monthly subscription licensing). Contract... Read More
 
SAP - SCM logo
 
Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management. Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business Suite,... Read More
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Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management. Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business Suite,... Read More
 
Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI logo
 
Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI by Ramp Systems is a warehouse management system (WMS) that provides tools for both asset-based and non-asset-based 3rd party logistics (3PL) companies. The software has a report writer feature that... Read More
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Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI by Ramp Systems is a warehouse management system (WMS) that provides tools for both asset-based and non-asset-based 3rd party logistics (3PL) companies. The software has a report writer feature that... Read More
 
ShippersEdge logo
 
For companies looking for a simple, budget-friendly TMS solution, ShippersEdge is a web-based, highly scalable route optimization system that manages shipping logistics from beginning to end across the entire enterprise. ShippersEdge... Read More
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For companies looking for a simple, budget-friendly TMS solution, ShippersEdge is a web-based, highly scalable route optimization system that manages shipping logistics from beginning to end across the entire enterprise. ShippersEdge... Read More
 
Rose Rocket logo
 
Rose Rocket is a cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include supply chain planning, demand planning, supplier management, order fulfillment and transportation management. Rose... Read More
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Rose Rocket is a cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include supply chain planning, demand planning, supplier management, order fulfillment and transportation management. Rose... Read More

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Fishbowl Inventory logo
 
Fishbowl is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to midsize companies. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting. Fishbowl offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop floor... Read More
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Fishbowl is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to midsize companies. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting. Fishbowl offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop floor... Read More
 
Coupa Cloud Spend Management logo
 
Coupa Cloud Spend Management combines deep knowledge of e-procurement and expense management with a cutting-edge cloud computing architecture to help businesses spend smarter and save more. It brings industry leading innovations in... Read More
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Coupa Cloud Spend Management combines deep knowledge of e-procurement and expense management with a cutting-edge cloud computing architecture to help businesses spend smarter and save more. It brings industry leading innovations in... Read More
 
3G-TM logo
 
3G-TM is a comprehensive transportation management system suitable for shipping and third-party logistics companies. This system can be installed both on-premise and in the cloud. It can be bought as a suite, or its individual modules,... Read More
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3G-TM is a comprehensive transportation management system suitable for shipping and third-party logistics companies. This system can be installed both on-premise and in the cloud. It can be bought as a suite, or its individual modules,... Read More
 
Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite logo
 
Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for midsize to large businesses. The software offers an integrated suite with procurement and order fulfillment, supply chain planning,... Read More
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Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for midsize to large businesses. The software offers an integrated suite with procurement and order fulfillment, supply chain planning,... Read More
 
Aptean Warehouse Management System logo
 
Available in the cloud or on-premise, Aptean Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are built for single-site, multi-site or multi-national organizations that need a real-time, 360-degree view of their supply chain. Performance dashboards... Read More
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Available in the cloud or on-premise, Aptean Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are built for single-site, multi-site or multi-national organizations that need a real-time, 360-degree view of their supply chain. Performance dashboards... Read More

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Oracle SCM Cloud logo
 
Oracle SCM Cloud offers a full suite of applications for companies to manage their supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet.  Using product development, users can create a detailed bill of material... Read More
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Oracle SCM Cloud offers a full suite of applications for companies to manage their supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet.  Using product development, users can create a detailed bill of material... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics 365 logo
 
Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides integrated solutions that allow businesses to better track leads, automate field service, drive sales and improve operations using mobile, enterprise-ready business apps from the cloud. The system's... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides integrated solutions that allow businesses to better track leads, automate field service, drive sales and improve operations using mobile, enterprise-ready business apps from the cloud. The system's... Read More
 
Verian by Basware Procurement logo
 
Verian by Basware Procurement Software helps companies buy and pay for goods and services in a simplified, paperless, and cost efficient way. The solution allows companies to see everything that’s being ordered, purchased, and received, automate... Read More
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Verian by Basware Procurement Software helps companies buy and pay for goods and services in a simplified, paperless, and cost efficient way. The solution allows companies to see everything that’s being ordered, purchased, and received, automate... Read More
 
Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite logo
 
Wolin Design Group (WDG) helps companies of all sizes manage their supply chain by providing products that address the challenges found in today's competitive business environment. With WDG, organizations have access to both traditional... Read More
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Wolin Design Group (WDG) helps companies of all sizes manage their supply chain by providing products that address the challenges found in today's competitive business environment. With WDG, organizations have access to both traditional... Read More
 
BluJay Solutions Procurement logo
 
BluJay Solutions’ Transportation Management offers cloud-based procurement, supply chain planning, execution and settlement transportation. Users also have access to BluJay’s Global Trade Network with various connected partners.... Read More
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BluJay Solutions’ Transportation Management offers cloud-based procurement, supply chain planning, execution and settlement transportation. Users also have access to BluJay’s Global Trade Network with various connected partners.... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: September 18, 2017


While the supply chain management software market is relatively small (compared to many other markets), the vast disparity in functionality between different SCM programs makes buying decisions much more complicated. Some programs concentrate on business intelligence, others focus on inventory control or transportation management and there are full-suite systems that do all of the above and more. This buyer’s guide is designed to identify the features associated with supply chain management systems to help navigate the selection process.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is SCM Software?
Common Features of SCM Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand
Benefits of SCM Software
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is SCM Software?

Supply chain software refers to the range of tools that are designed to control business processes, execute value chain transactions and manage supplier relationships. While functionality in these systems varies tremendously, common features include:

Many supply chain management systems include forecasting, which helps companies manage the fluctuations in supply and demand by using complex algorithms and consumption analysis to evaluate buyer histories. Supply chain optimization software can be an invaluable tool in maximizing production efficiency and planning for the future.

Screenshot of Freightview shipment overview dashboard

Screenshot of Freightview shipment overview dashboard

Common Features of SCM Software

Supply chain planning Planning systems are used to forecast customer demand and adjust the speed and flow of production accordingly. Simulated demand estimates are run using historical trend data and planned promotion schedules to determine how changes in market awareness will affect your organization's inventory requirements in the future. Example vendors include InStyle ERP, SCP 4.0, VISION SCM and Clever.
Demand planning Demand planning software improves the accuracy of potential demand forecasts by reducing biases in the data and providing that data to your organization in real-time. Multi-dimensional forecasting allows users to view information through a variety of different filters—by market, time or customer—and run a series of "what if" simulations to project future demand. Example vendors include Microsoft Dynamics, Geneva BMS, Fishbowl Inventory and SAP.
Vendor managed inventory Vendor managed inventory (VMI) systems give suppliers the ability to monitor and replenish the buyer's inventory themselves. Various communication options—such as XML, Web portals and email—help multiple business partners increase visibility. Buyers can automate sold inventory reports, and suppliers respond with new shipment notifications and invoices. Example vendors include Datalliance VMI, RedPrairie, SAP and Aravo.
Supplier management Buyers use supplier relationship solutions to monitor the performance of their suppliers. Users can assess supplier risk through user-defined risk categories. Performance analyses utilize key performance indicators (KPI) and audit trails to monitor spend and supplier performance. The software also helps users keep track of their suppliers' regulatory compliance. Example vendors include R.Portal, Geneva BMS, Fishbowl Inventory and S2K.
Procurement Procurement software carries out purchase orders and maintains the financial side of supplier/customer relationships. Purchasing terms are distributed electronically throughout the organization for instant approval, and expenses are logged for future reference in the next sourcing cycle. As the accounting segment of SCM systems, procurement also handles reporting and compliance issues. Example vendors include Coupa, SphereWMS, Microsoft Dynamics and WISE.
Strategic sourcing Sourcing software is used before the procurement process to establish cost-cutting goals and to pre-screen potential vendors. Spend analysis pinpoints unnecessary costly supplier relationships by comparing current spend to other market options. Buyers can submit e-RFx, electronic requests for x (quotes, proposals and other information), to potential vendors to gather data for making informed purchases. Example vendors include ShippersEdge, Aravo, Epicor and Lawson.
Warehouse management WMS systems monitor and control the movement of materials within the warehouse. Shipping and receiving events are controlled with advanced shipment notifications, and picking and putaway are tracked using tools like auto ID data capture (AIDC) and radio-frequency identification (RFID). WMS software also assists with the design of warehouse infrastructure. Third party logistics companies should review our 3PL software guide for a list of systems tailored for 3PL. Example vendors include SphereWMS, WISE, HighJump Warehouse Advantage, Manhattan Associates and RedPrairie.
Transportation management TMS software guides the movement of materials to and from the warehouse. Logistics software can suggest the most efficient delivery modalities (air, land, sea) and manages multiple delivery variations like heterogenous vehicle fleets and load splitting constraints. Deliveries are monitored using satcomm and other communication devices. Land-based fleets should review our fleet management software guide for the top trucking, dispatch and routing software as well as systems to manage overall operations.
Order fulfillment This software helps supply chain managers decrease lead times on production orders, resulting in smooth quote to cash processes. The system can determine whether build-to-order (BTO) or engineer-to-order (ETO) is the best solution for each product. After order completion, order fulfillment software keeps track of unpaid orders through revenue recognition processes.Order fulfillment applications are often bundled in to broader order management systems. Example vendors include SphereWMS, ShipppersEdge and ShipSoft. 

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Third party logistics. Companies that manage the ordering, warehousing and transportation of supplies for another business need a robust solution that can handle the data and processes for lots of different companies. These supply chain management tools will include lot tracking, customer profiling, supply management and order fulfillment.

Manufacturing. Manufacturing software needs to be able to track suppliers, costs and customers. This is where features like collaboration, demand planning and strategic sourcing are most likely to be used.

Distribution. Distributors sit in the middle, connecting manufacturers to retailers and/or consumers. Distributors need to track products and terms for multiple suppliers and customers, and have robust inventory and transportation capabilities in order to ensure the products get to the right person at the right time. Freight brokers and forwarders also fit into this category, and they typically rely on specialized software that facilitates daily freight operations.

Retailers. Brick and mortar retailers will want to consider dedicated retail software, but phone—and Internet—order retailers function more like distributors. These buyers will need warehouse and transportation solutions, inventory control and possibly additional strategic/planning modules, particularly for the larger/volume-based retailers.

Market Trends to Understand

Online purchases. Over the last decade, online retail sales have exploded, and with them the need for effective warehousing, inventory and transportation control. Suppliers, more often than not, are taking a product from manufacturing not to a store, but to a warehouse where it is stored and ultimately sent directly to the consumer. Ensuring an effective inventory control path is absolutely critical throughout this process.

Software as a service (SaaS). Cloud-based software—that is, software that’s hosted by the vendor and accessed through a Web browser rather than being installed on a local computer—has been adopted by most industries to a large extent. SCM technology has been a little slower to adopt this trend, with major players like Microsoft, Geneva Systems, WISE and Fishbowl yet to develop Web-based systems. But as the technology improves, more and more supply chain management software providers will offer Web-based applications, with its benefits of collaborative networks and online purchasing integration. Currently, S2K and SAP are the biggest SaaS contenders.

Eco-friendly logistics. With environmental consciousness at an all-time high, consumers are beginning to think about logistics when it comes to purchasing their products. This trend is most noticeable in the food industry, where grocery stores and restaurants are beginning to brand and market products under a banner of being “locally sourced.” As transportation from suppliers is the easiest place for a manufacturer to cut its carbon footprint, buyers may want to look out for a program’s ability to identify suppliers based on proximity or other green factors.

Improving business intelligence. More and more companies want to know how their business spends money, so sophistication of planning, demand planning and strategic sourcing capabilities will only grow in an effort to meet the demand.

Increased demand for labor management. Companies using SCM software to track their inventory are now turning their attention toward labor optimization and the ability to manage each worker more efficiently. These systems can create a list of tasks for a worker so he can complete multiple types of work in one trip.

Benefits of SCM Software

The benefits of supply management software are considerable:

Increased efficiency. First and foremost, SCM software is designed to improve the efficiency of your operation, from inventory check-in and storage to distribution and transportation. By making the processes electronic and/or automated, the time spent on these tasks drops considerably, which allows you to send more products out faster.

Reduced costs. The resulting efficiency reduces labor costs. In addition, many of the intelligence features are specifically designed to identify cost waste and eliminate it—for example, where commodities can be procured at lower rates, how to combine shipping to reduce to transportation costs or where to reduce inventory to maximize storage capacity.

Trend analysis and business intelligence. The intelligence features, in addition to helping control costs, can help improve revenues by identifying strongly performing products and guiding the user toward meeting market demand.

While these supply chain solutions do come at a price, proper implementation will usually lead to a calculable return on investment within a year.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Jabil Circuit enters supply-chain software business. In October 2016, Jabil Circuit, a manufacturer of electronic components for the likes of Apple and Cisco, announced that it is entering the supply chain management software business. Jabil’s move into software-as-a-service (SaaS) comes with growing demand for technology to help companies manage increasingly global and fast-paced supply chains. The move underscores how Jabil and other electronics manufacturers, including Flextronics International, are pushing beyond their core businesses to higher-margin products and services.

Infor introduces cloud-based supply chain planning suite. In November 2016, Infor launched Infor Integrated Business Planning (IBP), a comprehensive suite of tools for optimizing supply chain processes. The suite integrates core supply chain management (SCM) processes, such as sales & operations planning (S&OP), demand planning (DP) and supply planning (SP) processes, into a holistic, cloud-based solution.

IT firm Saksoft acquires 60 percent stake in DreamOrbit. In December 2016, India-based IT company Saksoft Ltd acquired a 60 percent stake in DreamOrbit Softech, a provider of software engineering services, for an undisclosed amount. DreamOrbit develops IoT-based solutions for logistics services providers including freight and supply chain management software. With the acquisition, Saksoft hopes to strengthen its IoT offerings.

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