Manugistics was recently named as a contender in PartBase.com's selection
for a best-of-breed Supply Chain Management package to power its Internet
marketplace, an online community where players in the aerospace, aviation,
and defense industries can buy and sell new and used airplane parts. Its
eMarketplace offers members access to parts inventories of 2,300 suppliers
constituting over 28 million line items, auctions for unloading excess
parts, aircraft sales, and job searching among other services. Powering
the site are best-of-breed software and content providers, of which Manugistics
NetWORKS may be the latest.
June, PartsBase chose From2.com to deliver software to support international
shipping activities, such as trade compliance support and customs brokerage,
for its 18,000 members in over 125 countries. More recently, PartsBase
announced it would use Mercata's We-Commerce Network as the platform for
its hosted group buying services, which it hopes will give buyers volume
discounts and make sellers more eager to sign up to capitalize on the
potential for increased sales and market share.
Give Manugistics high marks in self-confidence: some vendors are reluctant
to announce new client wins before successful completion of the implementation,
let alone before the deal is final. It is perhaps due to this confidence
that the "new" Manugistics continues to attract users to its supply chain
planning technology, NetWORKS. Few predicted that the veteran SCM vendor
would have been able to turn its business around after a turbulent 1999,
in which it suffered a 14% decline in revenue, record losses totaling
$96 million, and wholesale changes to its executive management team.
its last reported quarter ended May 31, 2000, Manugistics demonstrated
that it could still compete effectively for clients in the online trading
exchanges market, announcing the largest license revenue since it ran
neck-and neck with i2 Technologies. Though i2 has moved on to become a
force in e-commerce, both alone and in partnership with Ariba, IBM and
others, Manugistics clearly remains a contender, especially with wins
at established e-commerce companies like Amazon.com.
course, it may be that Manugistics simply wants to associate its name
as often as possible with electronic marketplaces. Regardless of whether
it wins the contract or not, the fact that it was in the running goes
some way toward keeping it current in the minds of the buying public.
When considering which of the myriad online marketplaces to join, companies
should thoroughly investigate the neutrality of participants in the exchange.
Neutrality is essential for the success of online marketplaces. Ventures
composed of large "anchor" suppliers with equally large equity stakes
discourage participation of competing suppliers, a phenomenon that translates
into limited selections of goods and higher prices for buyers.
aspires to deliver neutrality and bills itself as a true "butterfly" exchange,
in which multiple suppliers compete on an equal footing for the attention
of multiple buyers, with no one supplier having the advantage. PartsBase's
best-of-breed software strategy should also be a strong selling point
for prospective participants, since it demonstrates that the company is
wise enough to recognize that no one vendor can support the entirety of
tasks that Internet marketplaces are expected to provide.