HK Systems Gives Birth To Software Company, irista™

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HK Systems Gives Birth To Software Company, irista
S. McVey - June 21, 2000

Event Summary

On June 1, HK Systems announced the formation of irista, a separate company that will assume its supply chain management software business. As a wholly-owned subsidiary, irista will inherit all of HK Systems' software products and client services, including software acquired from Endura Software Corporation and Kitimat Systems in 1998. The launch of irista also marks the introduction of its Application Service Provider (ASP) hosting services, through which the subsidiary seeks to expand the reach of its products.

Market Impact

HK Systems hopes irista will achieve better publicity for its SCM/Enterprise supply chain management suite that is built around applications for advanced order management, warehouse management, and transportation management. With its deep roots as a material handling systems vendor, HK Systems has had difficulty in educating the broader market about its Supply Chain Execution (SCE) solutions since supplementing its warehouse management software with Endura's order management and Kitimat's transportation management software. Part of the problem lies in the false perception among many users that HK Systems software only works with its material handling systems. The new company will make use of sales and marketing resources from HK Systems, which last year increased its staff by 40% in these areas.

The launch of irista mimics a trend among supply chain management vendors to achieve a higher profile for their products amid a multitude of competitive offerings. One-word name adoption seems to be popular as evidenced by Essentus (Richter Systems), Provia (Haushahn Systems & Engineers), Intrepa (The Summit Group), Demantra (Eventus Logistics) and others. In addition to being easy to remember, small novel names produce few if any unrelated Internet search results, making it easy for corporate IT buyers to locate the right company. With the proliferation of such monikers, however, irista will need to work hard to differentiate itself and distance itself from parent HK.

User Recommendations

In addition to its OMS, WMS and TMS products, HK Systems/irista offers applications for replenishment management, financial management, equipment management, and supply chain visibility as part of its distribution suite. Users who are interested in irista's hosted applications should consider the distribution products to be the most stable as these have been available through HK's Java-based browser-accessible portal for over twelve months. The logistics products including transportation management have been available in hosted form for less than a year, although all irista's products use the same Java technology, HK System's former e.SCM/Enterprise.

HK Systems/irista's WMS is well-suited to companies with automated material handling operations and should be a contender in selections for automotive parts and other hard goods, publishing, and third party logistics industry applications.

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