Supply Chain Management Software
Supply Chain Management Software Overview
What is Supply Chain Management Software (SCMS)?
Supply chain management is a complex process that involves communication and collaboration between multiple parties - including trading partners, suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors.
SCMS is generally used to automate and optimize the range of activities required to plan, control and execute product flows. This encompasses:
Acquisition of raw materials
Delivery to the final customer
The goal of SCMS is to coordinate the flow of products in the most efficient and cost-effective way. However, the degree of supply chain management required varies between companies. A number of variables can influence a company’s SCMS needs:
Size of operations
Number of suppliers involved
Type of industry
Length of the supply chain
This amounts to the SCMS product space being very fragmented. Accordingly, there is a range of products available - including large SCMS suites, ERP suites, industry-specific software, and point solutions.
Supply Chain Software vs. ERP Software
Supply chain management software manages data concerning incoming raw materials from external suppliers. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software, by contrast, is more internally focused. It manages administrative tasks by tying front office and back office operations together. This includes assisting with product planning and the physical production of finished goods.
However, supply chain capabilities are often included as a component of ERP suites.
The features provided by ERP suites are usually more generic than supply chain point solutions or industry-specific software. SCMS point solutions may focus more on individual modules such as operations planning or inventory management.
Supply Chain Management Features & Capabilities
SCMS products may specialize in one area or offer a range of features across areas. Here are the traditional modules and features that SCMS products may include:
Supply Chain Planning
Reorientation of supply network around demand needs
Optimization of resources
Optimization of materials and employee allocation
Supply network coordination
Raw material sourcing
Supply market assessment
Order fulfillment optimization
Generating purchase orders
Tracking purchase orders
Scheduling supplier deliveries
Creating pricing and product configurations
Logistics and Transportation Management
Delivery planning across transportation channels
Automation of warehouse operations
Stock monitoring across warehouses
Inventory tracking (using barcodes, serial numbers, or RFIDs)
Future inventory and price forecasting
Demand signal sensing
Optimization of future inventory stock
Sales and operation planning
Pricing and promotion tracking (this may be used more by retailers)
Some vendors also include more complex features such as:
Supply chain analytics
Product lifecycle oversight
Internet of things (IoT)
Supply chain management software is often sold as a module of large enterprise ERP or SCM suites. Standalone supply chain software products are cheaper, but pricing still varies greatly by overall sophistication and feature set.
Most vendors offer free trial versions of their software and will provide pricing information on request.
Open Source Supply Chain Management Software
An alternative option is open source supply chain management software. There are a number of free open source versions of SCMS. However, they are typically either broken up into modules or industry-specific solutions. For example, Odoo offers free versions of its manufacturing and inventory management software.
One drawback to open source software is that it may not include as many features as the paid versions do.
Supply Chain Management Products
Anaplan aims to be the leader in Connected Planning. According to the vendor, the software—powered by their patented Hyperblock engine—enables dynamic, collaborative, and intelligent planning. Large and fast-growing companies worldwide use Anaplan to connect the people and data required for trust...
Software company RedPrairie merged with JDA Software Group in 2012; they offered a popular supply chain management platform.
EnterpriseIQ is an industry specific ERP from IQMS, developed for manufacturers in the aerospace, assembly, automotive, food, general manufacturing, medical devices, plastics, rubber, metal fabrication, packaging, stamping, and similar industries. According to the vendor, as EnterpriseIQ is an en...
Oracle PeopleSoft SCM is a family of supply chain management automation applications encompassing customer order management, inventory and fulfillment, and supply chain warehouse.
Oracle SCM Cloud is a broad suite of integrated applications for automating processes inherent to supply chain management.
SPS Commerce Fulfillment is a retail cloud services platform with features such as supplier onboarding, EDI compliance, ERP integration, product content management, and sales analytics.
SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a tightly integrated suite of applications that automate various processes inherent to the enterprise supply chain.
Logility Voyager Solutions is a complete supply chain management solution that features a performance monitoring architecture and provides supply chain visibility; demand, inventory and replenishment planning; Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP); supply and inventory optimization; manufactur...
JDA Software Group headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona offers their flagship JDA supply chain management (SCM) system. Presently the integrated SCM solution is billed as 'JDA eight,' a platform integrating over 30 different separable JDA applications to create an end-to-end supply chain solution.
LLamasoft headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan offers LLamasoft Supply Chain Guru, a supply chain management (SCM) platform.
The Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management (SCM) integrated suite of applications is recommended by the vendor for service-oriented verticals: healthcare, and the public sector.
TradeBeam GTM is a supply chain management software solution offered by Aptean. It is deployed on a highly secure, cloud-based platform.
Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS) Pro is a web and mobile application designed specifically to address the inventory management needs of SMEs moving up on the growth curve. Some key features include: Multiple Platform Compatibility, Real Time Synchronization and Currency, Themes and Timezone Se...
QR Inventory is a web based asset tracking and inventory management software that uses smartphones as scanners. Users can check assets and inventory in and out, look up item details by scanning QR codes with a smartphone. Users can also what they want to track via the web interface, and these fie...
Orderhive is a multi-channel order and inventory management system.
RightControl is a business management software range designed specifically to meet the needs of the small business user. The products in the range have been tailored to suit different size enterprises in terms of their inventory and user capacities. This comprehensive inventory management softwar...
Procurics is a cloud-based procurement and spend management platform. Some key features include: Requisitioning Workflow Management, Purchase Order Generation and Management and Vendor Management.
IMI Supply Chain is a supply chain management software solution offered by Aptean.
Optek is a supply chain management solution provided by Intrigo Systems. Some key features include: User Intuitive GUI, Mass Maintenance & MS Excel import and export options, and Version Management.
Catalyst is a supply chain management software solution offered by Aptean. It is built as an extended warehouse management supply chain solution for organizations with complex supply chains and distribution networks.
Event Management Framework is a data integration and monitoring software solution offered by Aptean.
Infor offers a suite of supply chain management (SCM) applications with industry-specific features.
Ramco Logistics Software is a unified cloud based software for Third Party Logistics, Freight forwarders and Courier service providers. Ramco’s Logistics offering is built to address the needs of 3PL, Freight Forwarders and Network Service Providers. According to the vendor, Ramco Logistics enabl...
Bideg is web based software that allows companies to create online auctions.Manufacturers bid against each other in real time to offer the best price, which will then be supplied. Suppliers compete with each for their goods or services in order to win the business being offered by the companies.