A new class of software is emerging to join the ranks of supply chain execution (SCE) and supply chain planning (SCP) applications. Supply chain coordination (SCC) software will become more important in the near future, according to a report from the research firm Frost and Sullivan.
Until recently, supply chain applications dealt with either execution or planning. Examples of execution applications are warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. Planning applications handle such tasks as balancing demand with inventory. Now the market is seeing the emergence of supply chain coordination applications, which manage complex chains by reducing lead time and cost. These applications help companies detect, diagnose, and resolve performance exceptions. This segment is expected to grow at a faster rate than the planning and execution segment through 2013.
To achieve supply chain optimization, SCC packages will have to work together with planning and execution programs. "There is an increasing preference for supply chain solutions that integrate collaboration between planning, execution, and coordination of the entire supply chain network," the report says. "By using technology to decide on the appropriate courses of action and then acting rapidly on these decisions, businesses can satisfy their customers' requirements better and deliver the product at the appropriate place and time."
[Source: "World Supply Chain Management Software and Services Markets," Frost & Sullivan, 2007, www.frost.com]