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NetSuite

Originally designed as an accounting system, NetSuite has gradually grown into a full-suite ERP with CRM, HR and business intelligence functionality. A leader in Cloud ERP, NetSuite currently supports more than 20,000 companies.
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POOL4TOOL

POOL4TOOL is a robust Supply Chain Management system that streamlines the movement of information between clients and suppliers, smoothing all processes from purchase orders to inventory management. The creators of POOL4TOOL pride... Read More
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S2K Warehouse Management Software

S2K Enterprise Management Software by VAI is a fully integrated ERP system designed to manage mid-sized and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vertical markets... Read More
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Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS)

Geneva Business Managements Systems (GBMS) is an ERP suite that we recommend to organizations looking to improve supply chain management. GMBS includes modules to improve labor management, warehouse control and planning.
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WISE

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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SCP 4.0

Over the past decade, companies have reported up to 65% inventory reduction and savings of over $2 million by adopting SCP 4.0 by Jada Management Systems. This vendor management inventory and demand planning system is ideal for businesses... Read More
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Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite

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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Fishbowl Inventory

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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SphereWMS

SphereWMS warehouse management software optimizes workflow, direction, and processes at an operational level to increase efficiency and drive down costs for 3PL's, distribution, fulfillment, e-commerce, and retail operations. Inventory... Read More
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Coupa Cloud Spend Management

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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ShippersEdge

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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Datalliance VMI

Delivering a full range of Vendor Managed Inventory capabilities, Datalliance VMI increases profits by streamlining operations, increasing sales and reducing inventory. Through its intuitive, flexible solution, Datalliance VMI provides... Read More
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3PLink by Camelot 3PL

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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Basware Procurement

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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FlexRFP

Strategic Sourcing efforts can often be time-consuming, complex and ineffective. Whether companies currently utilize a cumbersome e-sourcing solution or a labor-intensive combination of spreadsheets, emails and misunderstandings, FlexRFP... Read More
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Kenandy Cloud ERP

Kenandy cloud-based ERP is an enterprise resource planning solution built on Salesforce platform and created to help companies manage designing, manufacturing and product distribution workflows. It enables businesses to manage core... Read More
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3PL Warehouse Manager by 3PL Central

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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Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite

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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Cadence WMS

Consistently listed as on of the Top 100 Logistics Companies, Cadre Technologies utilized more than 10 years of industry experience to develop Cadence WMS, a comprehensive Warehouse Management System that offers improved inventory... Read More
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U Route

U Route is a transportation management system that was designed to tighten the link between shippers and their core carriers. Offering a host of features in a scalable web-based environment, U Route is a suitable option for companies... Read More
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Snapfulfil

Snapfulfil by Synergy North America is a full-featured cloud-based/Software as a Service (SaaS) warehouse management system (WMS) designed to meet the needs of a variety of businesses in a multitude of industries, including manufacturing,... Read More
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Conga Novatus Contract Management

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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ViewPoint Logistics

For over four decades, Maves has been delivering solutions that manage the storage, handling and distribution of materials in the Supply Chain. Maves' flagship product, ViewPoint Logistics, was designed specifically for third-party... Read More
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Infor Supply Chain Management

Infor Supply Chain Management is a powerful tool designed to help organizations optimize their supply chain from end-to-end. With analytics at its core, Infor SCM helps you gain greater visibility into every facet of your supply... Read More
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BluJay Solutions Procurement

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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Procurify

Procurify is a web-based procurement platform that allows users to make requests, approvals, and purchases from any Internet-connected device. This real-time platform helps users can create, track, and report on all requisitions,... Read More
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Enterprise WMS and Interchange EDI

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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Latitude WMS

PathGuide Technologies delivers comprehensive warehouse management systems to optimize productivity and key processes across a distribution enterprise. Their flagship product, Latitude WMS, is engineered to embrace the system’s... Read More
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Aptean Warehouse Management System

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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BPM

BPM by Bellwether Software is a cloud-based procurement management solution. Along with a standalone procurement application, BPM also offers integrated applications for supplier management, vendor managed inventory, strategic sourcing... Read More
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Telogis Route

Established in 2001, Telogis Route provides a full, end-to-end Transportation Management platform for fleet-based companies of all sizes. This powerful solution includes features such as job scheduling, status tracking, a rules engine,... Read More
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TECSYS EliteSeries

EliteSeries is a user-friendly Supply Chain Management solution from TECSYS. In addition to flexible deployment options, open source architecture gives companies maximum flexibility to customize and integrate the system.
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QStrat QLM Sourcing

QStrat offers three integrated supply chain management (SCM) products: QLM Costing, QLM Sourcing and QLM Sales. These are flexible systems that are available as either web-based or on-premise.The complete suite offers essential SCM... Read More
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Kinaxis RapidResponse

Delivered as a set of configurable applications, Kinaxis RapidResponse is a supply chain management solution that helps large enterprises with planning. RapidResponse offers organizations the supply chain planning and analytics capabilities... Read More
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Tradogram

Tradogram is cloud-based procurement management software with six applications included one platform. Key features include supplier management, contract management, strategic sourcing, spend control and order management. Team managers... Read More
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HighJump Warehouse Advantage

HighJump Warehouse Advantage is an adaptable, process-based warehouse management system (WMS) designed to be tailored to companies’ unique business practices. Due to its modular design, users can pick and choose from a suite of applications... Read More
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Freightview

Freightview is a standalone transportation management system designed for small to midsize businesses that ship less-than-truckload (LTL) freight and work with multiple carriers or brokers. Their customers include manufacturers and... Read More
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TPSynergy

TPSynergy is a Web-based supply chain management (SCM) solution that offers users a suite of applications to that can help companies of many sizes and types manage their supply chain from beginning to end. Integrated supply chain planning,... Read More
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Pronto Xi

Pronto Xi by Pronto Software is a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite that provides core applications, such as financial accounting and business intelligence, alongside sales and marketing modules, supply chain... Read More
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ContractWorks

ContractWorks is a contract management solution designed to address the approval, tracking, and management of contracts.  ContractWorks features a centralized system for contracts, tracking and notifications for key milestone dates.... Read More
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Lead Commerce

Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read More
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Deltek Costpoint

Deltek Costpoint is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management solution designed to meet the requirements of midsize and large enterprise businesses. The solution primarily assists government contractors, professional service... Read More
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DocMinder Contract Management

Word-Tech’s DocMinder is a hosted or on-premise task management program that uses clients’ existing email systems to automate delegation and provide oversight with calendars and reporting. DocMinder manages the contract process... Read More
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Red Rock Warehouse Manager

Created specifically to enable 3PL providers to manage the unique challenges that face them every day, 3PL Warehouse Manager gives users the ability to manage multiple customers, processes and billing schedules. The system enables... Read More
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SMART by GEP

SMART by GEP is a unified procurement solution that offers spend analysis, savings tracking, strategic sourcing, contract management, supplier management and procure-to-pay order processing in a single cloud-based, mobile-enabled... Read More
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Wireless Warehouse in a Box™ by Systems Logic

Having mobility in mind, Wireless Warehouse In A Box™ offers turnkey WMS software with tier 1 capability with a multi-language, mobile solution. From blind receipts and directed put-away, to full pick, pack, ship and carrier compliance... Read More
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3G-TM

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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Contract Logix Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)

Contract Logix Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software is a modular contract management solution. It offers features such as workflow automation tools, electronic document repository, advanced search options, contract creation... Read More
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Synapse

Created by Zethcon, Synapse is an end-to-end Warehouse Management System for small to mid-sized businesses. This system is geared towards 3PLs and offers many 3PL-centric features. However, it also works well for a variety of other... Read More
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UltraShipTMS

UltraShipTMS is a web-based Transportation Management System platform with integrated private fleet management capabilities for in- and out-bound logistics across all modes and has been on the market since 2001. The core TMS module... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

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.