in a Name for Supply Chain Vendors?
S. McVey - February 9th, 2000
Adexa/Paragon is the latest in a series of re-christenings to occur over the
past year among niche supply chain management vendors.
As explained in its recent press release, "within the name Adexa are implications
of 'adaptability' and 'dexterity'. Adexa's collaborative planning solution,
iCollaboration, helps companies adapt their operations to the new rules of e-business
while increasing the dexterity and responsiveness of their extended supply chains
through improved communication and collaboration with customers and trading
Of course, it also gains a certain alphabetical advantage in vendor directories
and search engines. The rest of the new faces:
Software: On July 12, 1999, warehouse management system (WMS) vendor Haushahn
Systems and Engineers became Provia Software. According to the company, "the
name Provia was chosen because of the word's combined Latin roots. The word
Provenio means 'proven'. The word Via means 'a way'. The combination of the
two reflect the notion of a proven way to success." Provia's VIAWARE suite
of supply chain execution products includes warehousing, transportation and
yard management solutions.
Formerly The Summit Group, Intrepa has a slightly more complicated origin. In
1998, The Summit Group merged with CIBER, Inc., a provider of management consulting
and IT services. Two of the original Summit founders, now of Intrepa, purchased
their product Logistics PRO back from CIBER in October 1999. Logistics PRO offers
warehouse management and transportation management capabilities for the AS/400
with an NT version due out in the first half 2000.
Essentus International: On January 17 of this year, Richter Systems changed
its name to Essentus, presumably to promote what it feels is the essential nature
of its solutions in providing the backend fulfillment infrastructure for web-based
retailers in the fashion industry. Essentus's supply chain execution products
are targeted for softgoods manufacturers and distributors .
For Intrepa, Essentus, and Adexa, the name change is part of a initiative for
positioning in the electronic fulfillment market. On the other hand, Provia
has taken a more conservative stance, hoping the new name communicates its good
track record of solution delivery to its 350 customers.
basic theme underlying all the moves is the desire for differentiation in a
crowded marketplace. There are at least ninety small and mid-sized supply chain
execution (SCE) vendors vying for attention and competing for growth in the
In addition to being shorter and easier to pronounce, the makeovers provide
each vendor a chance to make a new start, though it is difficult to say whether
more tangible changes will one day accompany the catchy names. Many of the smaller
supply chain execution vendors will not find success independently and will
ultimately choose to merge or drop out of this fragmented software market .
For most of these events, users need only make note of the new names, update
their bookmarks, and revise information in their supplier databases. Other than
that, little else will change in the short term.
the changes ultimately provide better market visibility, spark revenue growth,
improve chances for a strong IPO, or drive changes within the vendor organizations
is an question that will not be answered for at least 12 months.