Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped thousands of businesses choose the right supply chain planning software so they can forecast demand and predict capacity.

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3PL Warehouse Manager

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 ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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Shipedge

Shipedge is a cloud-based warehouse management solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. It caters to e-commerce warehouses, fulfillment service providers, third-party logistics companies (3PL/4PL), omni/multi-channel ret... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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Rose Rocket

Rose Rocket’s transportation management software (TMS) platform helps companies improve communications with systems, customers, and the people who move freight. Its open platform makes it easy to connect to the software that ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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Conga Contracts

Conga Contracts is a hybrid contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution that helps organizations to generate, track, maintain and report on different business contracts. The solution can either be deployed on-premise or hosted in... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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iM3 SCM Suite

iM3 SCM’s Smart Warehouse Management (smartWMS) is a cloud-based software offered to its customers as a SaaS Application. iM3 SCM helps clients reduce their implementation costs to help increase ROI and productivity. From mul... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Kechie

Kechie Distribution Management efficiently manages internal and external resources. Suited for businesses with $1M+ in revenue, the management tools provide control of replenishment, warehouse management, picking, packing, and shi... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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NetSuite

NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive rang... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Omnna

Omnna is a cloud-based ERP that allows businesses of all sizes to manage processes for the supply chain lifecycle, point of sale, warehousing, customer relationship management and more. Omnna's complete B2B and B2C warehouse manag... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Suuchi GRID

Suuchi Inc. is a next-generation supply chain management platform for innovative businesses of all sizes. Using its cloud-based technology, the Suuchi GRID connects companies with real-time supply chain visibility from product con... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Vanguard Predictive Planning

Vanguard Predictive Planning is a supply chain management tool developed for scaling enterprise companies. Retailers, distributors, engineering firms, pharmaceutical manufacturers, energy companies, software companies, and various... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Warehouse Management System

Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) is a cloud-based ERP application with the aspects of a desktop application giving small to midsize businesses the tools they need in order to manage the business environment. Geneva S... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Atlas Planning

Atlas Planning Platform, is an AI-driven, cloud-based end-to-end supply chain planning solution. Companies in food and beverage, consumer goods, electronics, industrial manufacturing, wholesale distribution, retail, apparel, life ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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JAGGAER ONE Supplier Management

JAGGAER ONE is a cloud-based solution that enables businesses to manage processes related to eProcurement, sourcing, supply chain collaboration, invoicing and contract management. It helps supply chain teams collaborate with respe... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Dynamics TMS

With over 30 years of domain expertise in the transportation industry, this application is a "Best-Of-Breed" solution intended for shippers that need easy access to carrier freight rates utilizing tariff based as well as real-time... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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TreasuryPay

TreasuryPay is a worldwide leader in global revenue life cycle management information. The solution’s patent-pending technologies and unique integrations enable a cognitive approach to payment acceptance and previously inaccessibl... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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StockIQ

StockIQ is a supply chain management (SCM) suite for 3PL's and distributors of all sizes. The solution is available in cloud-based or on-premise deployments. Key features include supply chain planning, demand planning, supplier ma... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Chondrion

Chondrion’s cloud-based selling and fulfillment suite is designed with a focus on automation instead of manual intervention. Integrated modules include Inventory Management, supply-chain optimization, Customer Service, Point-of-Sa... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Blue Ridge Platform

Blue Ridge is a cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) and inventory planning solution for businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include demand forecasting and planning, aggregate forecasting, replenishment optimi... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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QAD DynaSys Cloud DSCP

QAD DynaSys DSCP (Demand & Supply Chain Planning) is a cloud web based and integrated end-to-end supply chain planning solution that helps midsize and large enterprises to plan, simulate impacts in real time and optimize their glo... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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S2K Warehouse Management

S2K Enterprise Management solution by VAI is a cloud-based, integrated ERP system designed to manage midsize and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vert... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 8, 2021

We’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you better understand supply chain planning and optimization software. This guide is intended to help you to evaluate the right solution for your business.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Supply Chain Planning and Optimization Software?
Common Features of Supply Chain Planning & Optimization
Evaluating Supply Chain Planning & Optimization Software
Benefits of Supply Chain Planning and Optimization Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Deployment Models and Pricing

What Is Supply Chain Planning and Optimization Software?

Supply chain planning software helps organizations manage and replenish their inventory through sales and demand forecasting. As part of a supply chain management (SCM) system, planning solutions, such as sales and operations planning (S&OP), serve an important function in the ongoing effort to reduce waste and increase profitability.

By offering a tool such as demand planning software or S&OP, SCM software providers give organizations the ability to take a glimpse into a number of possible futures. Based on an analysis of historical market trends and an awareness of the organization’s upcoming promotions and product rollouts, demand planning systems enable simulating potential demand and adjusting an organization’s incoming inventories accordingly.

Common Feautres of Supply Chain Planning & Optimization Software

Optimization software handles capacity planning as well as sequencing and scheduling. Beyond simply providing demand estimation data, it allows organizations to act immediately on any pertinent information gathered from the data by altering delivery schedules, shifting stored inventory loads and adjusting revenue and expense projections. These actions ensure that the buyer does not purchase too many or too few supplies to meet demand.

Specific features of this software include:

Cost and capacity modeling This essential feature provides the quantitative tools to model future and anticipated supply and demand activities.
Customizable planning goals The right system will allow you to create plans based on your individual business priorities. This should include the ability to capture and compare multiple versions of a forecast based on different “what-if” scenarios.
Problem detection Ensure that the software will help you identify material shortages in any plan and suggest solutions to address those problems.
Data synchronization This describes the ability to connect to a data source, facilitating delivery schedules, inventory loads and expense/revenue projections.

Evaluating Supply Chain Planning and Optimization Software

Recent advances in networked solutions have brought about a series of collaborative solutions that allow buyers and suppliers to share the burden of planning and reduce the amount of nonproductive inventory. Vendor managed inventory software is one of the many planning systems that takes advantage of e-Kanban technologies, which alert the vendor when the buyer has run out of supplies so that they can send in new batches of products.

When selecting a software, cost will be an obvious concern, as will the features and functionality. You should also consider order consistency, hands-on management activity and inventory levels as important influencers in your decision-making process.

Benefits of Supply Chain Planning and Optimization Software

Businesses will see a variety of benefits that come with the successful implementation of planning and optimization software. The right system will enable you to:

Improve operational planning. Planning and optimization solutions are designed to improve and streamline your supply chain, from procurement to storage and transportation. They enable supply chain managers to redesign and optimize the supply chain by modeling complex logistic routes along with adding model constraints specific to their business. In addition, advanced systems provide analytics capabilities to create queries, maps and reports.

Ensure cost-effective operations. Supply chain planning and optimization is a complex process that involves data analysis, optimization algorithms and simulations to create optimum supply chains for businesses. Optimized supply chains enable companies to reduce transportation costs, manual effort and storage costs. In addition, it allows users to manage demand variation and business constraints.

Create accurate simulation models. Simulation techniques enable users to analyze relationships between relevant factors and their impacts on the supply chain to aid in decision-making. This helps when forecasting storage availability, scheduling production and managing inventory that makes logistics and supply chain operations move forward smoothly.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Third-party logistics provider. Organizations that manage the supply, storage and transportation of supplies for another business need an planning and optimization software to streamline and optimize their processes. A well-established supply chain planning process allows managers to proactively identify possible challenges and correct them in a timely manner. Logistics companies can also optimize their routes to save on costs by using machine learning and advanced algorithms.

Manufacturing vendor. Planning software lets manufacturers view storage space availability, predict product demand and collaborate with suppliers. The software also allows manufacturers to track and manage inventory levels to prevent stock shortages and the loss of production.

Distributor or supplier. Distributors are the backbone of any supply chain industry and serve as a bridge between manufacturers and retailers. Planning and optimization software enables distributors to manage products from different suppliers and maintain optimum inventory levels in their warehouses. In addition, the transportation of products to different retail or customer endpoints is carried out by these distributors.

Deployment Models and Pricing

Planning and optimization software is typically available in one of two deployment models, which tend to have different pricing structures:

Cloud-based. Cloud-based planning and optimization software is hosted on the vendor’s servers and is generally priced under a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which means that users typically pay a monthly or annual subscription fee based on the number of users. There is a gradual shift in the market as more software vendors are opting for cloud-based solutions. Also, customers are more inclined to adopt these solutions, as they offer added flexibility and don’t incur additional IT infrastructure cost. On the flip side, subscription-based solutions tend to be more expensive in the long term compared with solutions that follow a license-based pricing model.

On-premise. On-premise planning and optimization software is hosted on the user’s own servers. Users may need specialized IT infrastructure, such as servers, operating systems and a network configuration that are compatible with the software. Typically, on-premise deployment costs a flat, upfront fee to use the software indefinitely, though there may be recurring support and maintenance fees involved. The upfront fee is also generally based on the number of users on the system.