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.
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.
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
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.
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