In addition, user needs and the technology portfolios they acquire to meet those needs are shifting, and therefore, new providers are entering the traditional market to address them. Many of the providers in this market were not considered part of a supply chain portfolio in the past.
Take, for example, social networking. This year will be a big one for social adoption. The shift will be to more inclusive architectures that combine social with an application. Transportation is another. Users are looking for and getting visibility in a whole new way, leveraging geospatial/location-based technologies, which often come from different solutions providers. TMS providers are reaching into inventory visibility if they have the architecture to get down to item level.
Speaking of visibility, the manufacturing sectors were low buyers of cloud and inter-enterprise connectivity in the past, but we have seen that market take off as well. Manufacturing quality systems and manufacturing execution systems have begun to be available in the cloud. And that will allow plant-to-plant visibility within a company or between customers and their contract manufacturers.
The tech providers' "space" or market segment definition becomes fuzzy as they move into an adjacent space and become competitors, whereas in the past they may have partnered. Solutions providers who were information service providers, for example, or partnered to provide a single module, now are expanding their footprint.
Keywords: supply chain management, supply chain IT, supply chain solutions, SCM, transportation management, TMS
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