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SECTOR REPORTS SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY

BY JOHN R. YUVA, AMY WUNDERLIN

VENDOR INSIGHTS ON SUPPLY CHAIN

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE I

The latest trends in SCM software are shared by the sector’s leading providers.

n today’s world where supply chains are churning out vast amounts of data, the reliance on software solutions to process and interpret that input has never been greater. According to Gartner, adoption of supply chain management (SCM) software accelerated significantly in 2017, with total worldwide market revenue growing 13.9 percent to reach a total of $12.2 billion in 2017. The flow of data among supply partners, coupled with Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, makes implementing the right solution more critical. Food Logistics reached out to the leading SCM software providers for their insights on this changing landscape. Their responses are as diverse as the markets they serve.

BluJay Solutions Along with a continued move toward SaaS offerings, BluJay Solutions sees visibility, agility and integration as the leading SCM software trends to watch. SCM software is helping to provide visibility into not only a single shipper’s supply chain, but to supply chains in smaller verticals through data and analytics, says Dan Grimm, senior vice president, global solutions consulting for BluJay Solutions. In addition, notifications of exceptions are now more important. “The ability to react to operational challenges faster and more effectively also is increasingly important in supply chain, making flexible, nimble technology a must,” says Bill Madden, vice president, logistics as a service for BluJay. “Furthermore, SCM software integration with external systems is becoming more

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API-driven. This means shippers are getting more real-time information fed from and to WMS, YMS, ERPs and mobility solutions in order to more proactively manage their supply chains.” BluJay is also seeing a focus on the overall expansion of breadth of technologies offered on a single platform or from a single organization. Grimm says an emphasis on the entire supply chain becomes stronger by the year, and with rapid market change, there’s pressure to offer solutions in multiple areas of supply chain execution, rather than being a leader in only a particular area. “These technologies need to be integrated and provide expansive data solutions,” says Madden.

Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network Now that more companies have become comfortable with the cloud, Infor is seeing real progress in innovations such as machine learning, AI, blockchain and IoT. “What were buzzwords a few years ago, are now powering the next wave of automation and supply chain orchestration, further turning the massive amount of

data about the supply chain into insights businesses can dynamically act upon to ensure the continuous flow of goods from source to store,” says Matt Gunn, senior manager of industry marketing at Infor. In the coming months, he expects to see more software that’s intuitively designed, user-friendly, and that leverages underlying technologies like machine learning and AI to give businesses enhanced visibility and more control over their supply chains. Within the food and beverage industry specifically, blockchain, machine learning and IoT have the potential to enhance visibility and traceability in the supply chain, but also help reduce waste, increase sustainability and help identify ways to improve on the industry’s historically tight margins. “Because of its distributed infrastructure and immutable record keeping, blockchain remains one of the more promising technologies for authenticating transactions and tracing goods. However, until blockchain technology proves itself as a viable option at scale, businesses should continue to invest in technologies that help connect across multiple enterprises to enhance visibility and collaboration, while www.foodlogistics.com

9/5/18 2:45 PM

Food Logistics September 2018  

Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food and beverage supply...

Food Logistics September 2018  

Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food and beverage supply...