As companies require quicker ROI for projects, smaller companies with targeted solutions will have an increasing impact on inventory management practices. These companies offer products at a cost (usually less than $100,000) that bigger supply chain and ERP vendors can’t match. “Value-based pricing has not always been the forte of the large vendors,” says Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research analyst Navi Radjou. “New vendors can build from scratch an application with an open architecture that can have rapid integration with the back end. They also offer configurable solutions, rather than customizable, so you don’t have to hire an army of consultants.”
Since quick-hit software provides a focused solution to a specific problem, it usually falls into one of two categories.
Combines data mining and complex algorithms that let companies reduce inventory by getting a better read on market demand. Companies can use these tools to figure out what the best inventory level is to meet a given demand and can perform what-if studies that show how different inventory levels would affect service levels.
Vendors: Baxter, Hyperion, Logility, Nonstop Solutions, Servigistics, Xelus
Compiles inventory and event information from suppliers and combines it with a company’s own inventory and production status. Resultant increased visibility allows for better collaboration between business partners and better event management.
Vendors: Exemplary, PipeChain, Powermarket, Valdero, WorldChain