Daily Archives: April 22, 2008

Supply & Demand Chain Executive: Mapping the Global Enabled Supply & Demand Chain with One Eye Closed

A month or so ago, Supply & Demand Chain Executive released version 12 of its Global Enabled Supply & Demand Chain, accompanied by it’s interactive version, which for some reason has an accompanying version number of 14.

Since they are proclaiming themselves as the go-to-source for complete knowledge and information on end-to-end supply and demand chain solutions, I thought I should check it out. And if you don’t mind missing out on 95% of the space, they sure are!

At first glance, the map looks just as impressive as always, breaking companies down into procurement, sourcing, order demand capture (which is really part of procurement), decision support circles (which scares me … do you really want to be using circular logic in your souring and procurement decisions?), PLM, fulfillment & logistics, supply chain integration & technology, payment, and CRM (huh?). Each group (except for CRM) appears to have at least 10 companies. But looks can be deceiving, and in this case, they are! If you take the intersection of each of the groups, you find there are only 28 unique solution providers – and most of them DON’T offer as many solutions as the map would lead you to believe (or at least not to the depth that I think is required to qualify as a solution provider in a given category). Furthermore, there appears to be a one-to-one match between the 28 unique solution providers and the index of advertisers on the back. Disturbing to some, no doubt — including yours truly.

Needless to say I’m even less impressed than I was with the fact that their Pros-To-Know candidate list is largely based on self nomination. I completely understand their need to give their advertisers their due – they’re a traditional publication with traditional costs and they need large amount of traditional dollars to pay those costs.

But you can’t eliminate at least 95% of the supply chain (let’s face it – there are at least 540 companies out there that can help you: I’m currently tracking over 450 on the resource site, and I can guarantee that the consulting, logistics, PLM, SCM, and inventory & warehousing categories are only a sampling of what’s out there) and still be the go-to-source for complete knowledge and information on end-to-end supply and demand chain solutions. Either you’re there for the readership, or you’re there for the advertisers. There’s nothing wrong with the latter, but you should be 100% clear if you are.

But maybe I’m expecting too much.