At its Envision 2001 user conference in Orlando, Florida, Manugistics
Group announced entry into the Supplier Relationship Management
(SRM) market with solutions targeted at six key issues critical to maintaining
strategic supplier relationships: design, sourcing, collaborative planning,
purchasing, delivery, and efficiency monitoring. The company cites as
additional benefits improved parts and supplier base rationalization,
reduced part redundancies, a better ability to leverage volume discounts
with preferred suppliers, streamlined purchasing processes, and reduced
development, material, and inventory costs.
shrinking product life cycles, it has become critical to design, source,
plan, buy and deliver component materials right the first time," said
Greg Owens, Manugistics chairman and CEO. "Manugistics SRM solutions focus
on high-impact upstream material life cycle processes to help enterprises,
and their raw material suppliers, finished goods suppliers, outsourced
manufacturers and transportation and logistics providers improve visibility
to supply conditions, reduce inefficiencies and shrink cycle times."
believes its SRM offerings will strongly complement the company's supply
chain management and pricing and revenue optimization solutions, enabling
it to extend its EPO offering to the material life cycle. According to
Owens, "SRM extends Manugistics' Enterprise Profit Optimization capabilities
- creating strategic, operational and tactical Manugistics EPO solutions
that can fully optimize, and improve execution across, the entire supply-
and demand-side value chain, from supplier discovery, to order fulfillment,
product life cycles are nowhere more prevalent than in the electronics
and high tech industry. For example, PC manufacturers are caught in an
endless cycle of design, assemble, sell, and ship, in the hope of exhausting
inventories so that they can do it all over again from the beginning.
Supplier Relationship Management offers manufacturers a way to visualize
and to some extent control the things happening inside the cycle.
launch of SRM is clear evidence that it intends to stake a larger claim
in the E&HT market, the near-exclusive domain of its arch-nemesis i2
Technologies. Manugistics will need to be aggressive if it is to
lure customers away from i2, which launched its own SRM solution several
months ago. In addition to being faster to market, i2 owns the part and
supplier content it offers through i2 SRM (for more information see i2
Technologies Lives Life In The Fast Lane). Manugistics relies on PartMiner,
an online electronic marketplace provider whose database covers over 15
million part numbers from over 2,000 manufacturers of high tech equipment.
Although PartMiner offers a wealth of data in an area where Manugistics
is perceived as lacking, i2's content (derived primarily from the Aspect
Development acquisition) covers a broader range of industries and
can be delivered to customers at potentially lower cost.
The economic downturn presents an excellent opportunity to acquire SRM
for those companies whose IT budgets have survived cost reduction initiatives.
Vendors are eager to jumpstart revenues and gain an early lead in the
post-downturn market likely to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
Buyers in PC, telecommunications, consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace,
and other consumer goods industries stand to gain the most from improved
management of supplier relationships and should place Manugistics on a
shortlist if only due to its high visibility and commitment to customers
it has demonstrated over the past three decades. Although Manugistics
contends that it can deliver SRM now, it concedes that some work still
needs to be accomplished, particularly around the Frictionless Commerce
integration. Fall to early winter is a more reasonable timeframe to expect
to see new customer announcements for Manugistics SRM.