In a recent Computerworld article, former Oracle president Ray Lane said, “Supply chains of the future will ‘own’ the companies, not vice versa. Companies will be asking themselves: ‘What’s my role in that supply chain? What do I bring to it?’”

One of the demands of this vision of the supply chain is greater Web-based collaboration between trading partners and customers, increasing the importance of traditional supply chain management (SCM) software.

In an earlier TechRepublic article, “The push to e-business,” Wayne Janzen, manufacturing/enterprise resource planning [ERP] industry manager at Lotus Development Corp., said, “The rapidly evolving e-business market is prompting CIOs and ERP vendors alike to find new avenues to leverage ERP data in a manner that fosters collaboration within their organizations and across their supply chain. This collaboration is vital in an economy where entire enterprise value chains compete against other value chains, rather than through the traditional dynamic of a single company against another.”
Senior IT strategists can stay up-to-date on products from leading SCM vendors, such as i2, SAP, and Manugistics, with Gartner research from our Product Analysis center.
Download product analyses of these SCM solutions
Here are some recent research reports from Gartner exploring the specifics of the respective vendor’s supply-chain solution and what impact it will have on the market. (TechRepublic is an independent subsidiary of Gartner, a business technology advisor based in Stamford, CT.)

  • Oracle 11i’s SCM applications are a component of the large 11i e-business Suite, which also includes human resource, financial, and customer relationship management applications. The SCM component is geared toward e-business transactions, demand planning, and pricing.
  • Manugistics NetWORKS is the result of a revamped product line. The NetWORKS architecture expands beyond manufacturing scheduling and transportation planning and allows the dynamic exchange of information between trading partners to increase the speed of the supply chain.
  • i2 Technologies Rhythm Intelligent eBusiness Solutions extends the company’s strength in SCM to include other areas of e-business collaboration, such as procurement, product development, and order fulfillment. This Gartner report outlines the vendors’ TradeMatrix portal initiative and how this strategy matches up against J.D. Edwards, Commerce One, and BroadVision.
  • SAP Business-to-Business Procurement solution emerges as a codevelopment of SAPMarkets and Commerce One and will be part of a complete e-marketplace suite. This research analyzes the marriage of Commerce One’s MarketSite Portal Solution and SAP’s massive R/3 customer base and solid ERP foundation.

Do you think that a Web-enabled supply chain will increase the efficiency of the flow of goods and procurement, or is it just hype? Drop us a note or join the discussion below.