Daily Archives: March 19, 2007

Sourcing 2007: Part V

In parts I, II, III, and IV, I summarized a number of predictions made from a number of bloggers, analysts, and media publications. About the only thing I missed was Supply Chain Digest‘s First Thoughts piece by Dan Gilmore, Editor-In Chief, who predicted the following top 10 supply chain technologies and strategies:

  1. E-Auctions
  2. Labor Management Systems in Distribution
  3. Spend Management Visibility
  4. Demand Management / S&OP
  5. Supplier Portals
  6. Network Optimization
  7. Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
  8. Strategic Sourcing
  9. Wireless in the Warehouse
  10. Yard Management Systems (YMS) and Dock Door Scheduling

But the time for predictions in over. This post is to review which predictions appear to be on the money based upon recent movements in the space. Specifically, the following predictions appear to be right on track.

  • Spend Visibility
    Not only has there been a slew of activity from the vendors, recent discussions with Iasta, Ketera, and Procuri, as well as rumblings from the behemoth, Emptoris, indicate that there is considerable uptake.
  • Optimization
    The prediction here was that it will gain more traction. Although it’s probably not going to take off for another year or two (despite the fact that it could skyrocket savings for many organizations), it appears that a number of best-in-class companies are now beginning to seriously consider optimization, and a number of vendors with offerings are considering beefing up their capabilities in different areas, Best of Breed and Platform Optimization Engine vendors alike. CombineNet is starting to capitalize on this opportunity with industry specific offerings like CombineNet Energy, Iasta is extending their platform solution to include freight, more constraints, and better reporting, and I hear Emptoris is doing some major usability enhancements on their solution as well.
  • Should Cost Modeling
    The prediction here was that models that broke down total cost of ownership, and techniques that allowed a buyer to model expected costs, would start to gain traction. Based upon the recent traction that modeling firms like Akoya and Apriori are getting in the market, I think this is a sure bet as well.
  • Sustainable Supply Strategies
    With Walmart leading the charge, energy prices spiking, and raw material supplies being stretched to the limit in some categories, this prediction was definitely on the money.
  • Major Supply Chain Disruptions
  • Imperial Oil already won my bet. And I’m sure more companies will in the months ahead. Too much focus on low cost country sourcing. Not enough focus on risk.

However, although this wasn’t really touched upon in the blog entries or media, it looks like one more prediction could come true this year as well:

  • Supply Chain Community

    Procuri just launched Top Supply Tips, Iasta just launched the eSourcing WikiSpend Matters just let slip that it is working on something far bigger than creating a cross-blog meta-index for procurement, another major vendor is currently putting the final touches on a community offering, and a couple of other vendors are working on some spectacular ideas for later this year. That’s a lot of individuals focusing a lot of effort on community – either they’ve identified a burgeoning desire, or a new drug from South America has hit the streets and they’re all on it. I’m betting on the first option.

Am I wrong? Let me know. (Just be sure to let me know why!)