26 August 2004 | Robin Parker
Global demand for supply chain management (SCM) software is growing for the first time in two years, a report from e-business analysts AMR Research suggests.
The Supply Chain Management Market Forecast 2003-2008 predicts the market will grow by 3 per cent this year, rising to as much as 5 per cent a year by 2008. It expects the growth to be driven by demand for radio frequency identification technology and inventory decision analysis and optimisation.
Last year, purchasers were cautious about buying new SCM software, focusing instead on procurement, sourcing, product life-cycle management and customer relationship management.
The report notes decision-makers still need to be convinced SCM technology will improve supply chain operations and cut costs. Consultants continue to fall out of favour as businesses deal with vendors directly.
SAP will continue to dominate the market despite suffering last year from what AMR calls buyers' "short-term thinking".
Oracle is expected to grow its SCM by 9 per cent and overtake i2 for second place as it expands.
PeopleSoft is expected to build on its strengthened SCM position following its purchase of JD Edwards. The report also notes several emerging European vendors. IBS grew its revenue by 7 per cent between 2002 and 2003, while Italian TXT e-solutions is set to reap the rewards of a new partnership with Microsoft Business Solutions.
The after vendor is particularly strong in its domestic fashion industry and took on 43 new clients last year.