Supply chain systems take huge amounts of coordination to ensure all the different components are operating safely and properly. It is costly, time-consuming and requires diligent and well-trained staff to conduct all the maintenance to keep the chain operational. Jobs like keeping the bar code data collection running smoothly and without interruption or making sure the data capture system doesn't break down mean employing a large staff and using lots of man hours. A Gartner report showed that because of all the work required to operate the supply chain, some 43 percent of management personnel surveyed have said they will be purchasing single underlying technology platforms to streamline operations.
Single Platforms Gaining In Popularity
The Gartner report also indicated that by 2018, 70 percent of businesses surveyed will be deploying single platform technology looking to improve the visibility of the supply chain. Chad Eschinger is Gartner's VP of Research and said unification is an idea that is catching on.
"This trend toward a unifying application platform is growing and will further drive sales of supply chain solutions as more companies adhere to a platform strategy," Eschinger explained.
Software Revenue On The Rise
According to the Gartner report, software sales for 2014 are projected to be in the $10 billion range and that's up 12.2 percent over last year and is the largest growth rate since 2011. Only 16 percent of the market were first-time buyers, noted the report, and that is projected to drop to 10 percent by 2018.
A story in Modern Materials Handling said the most significant reason companies are moving to the single platform architecture is that processes that were once stand-alone are now being integrated to multi-discipline roles like procurement. Supply Management added that most companies will still be looking at host-based solutions because of the limited functionality with on-demand platforms.
So the news is good for companies who are thinking of using unified software platforms to enhance and control their supply chains. Software platforms are getting better all the time, and supply chain management is becoming easier and more cost-effective to manage with the new technology. Because companies see the new software platforms can save money they are opting to purchase and deploy the architecture and that's great news for manufacturing concerns looking into the not-too-distant-future.