The Epicor Retail division of global business software solution provider Epicor Software Corporation provides solutions for retailers seeking to streamline processes, integrate channels, and leverage intelligence in a variety of industries including apparel, footwear, discount, general merchandise, automotive aftermarket, lumber and building materials, nursery, and pharmacy. Epicor is the retail technology partner of choice for thousands of retailers—from Aeropostale, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, and Build-A-Bear Workshop, to General Nutrition Centers, True Value Company, and Under Armour ( more details here).
New Epicor Retail Strategy
Early in 2013, Epicor unveiled a multi-year strategic plan to grow its market share and expand its global footprint in the retail technology space. While Epicor is recognized as the No.1 provider of point of sale (POS) software among the top 250 largest specialty soft goods and hard goods retailers by IHL Group, the multi-year strategic plan was designed to enable Epicor to maintain and grow its leadership position. Initially, Epicor has been focused on the following four strategic priorities: global expansion, cross-channel execution, and continuing investments in both POS and enterprise cloud technology.
E2open, a provider of strategic cloud-based solutions for collaborative execution across global trading networks, seems to be on a roll of late. After its recent big wins at Yanfeng Visteon and HP, the company has announced that Konecranes, a provider of lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment and machine tools, has selected E2open as its collaborative execution platform, and that the program has gone live with Konecranes’ supply base.
NetSuite continues to round out its exacting capabilities for retailers and distributors. Having acquired the Retail Anywhere cloud point of sales (POS) system in early 2013, on the eve of the SuiteWorld 2013 conference NetSuite has acquired OrderMotion Inc., a provider of order management solutions based in Burlington, Massachusetts, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of OrderMotion’s cloud-based Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Order Management capabilities adds to NetSuite’s own cloud-based order management system, furthering NetSuite’s focus on this increasingly important and complex business challenge and critical functionality—omnichannel order fulfillment.
Similar to the Ariba LIVE conference last year, one of the main themes at the Ariba LIVE 2013 conference was again that Ariba, now an SAP company, is making it easier than ever for companies to connect to the Ariba Network and collaborate. Accordingly, Ariba and Dell Boomi announced that they are teaming up to deliver pre-packaged integration as a service offering for selling organizations.
Designed to simplify and speed up integration to the Ariba Network, the Ariba Integration Connector, powered by Dell Boomi Integration Packs, aims to enable companies to collaborate more efficiently. The first available connector, which integrates with Intuit QuickBooks, was officially unveiled at Ariba LIVE 2013. Additional connectors to enable sellers who own Microsoft Dynamics GP and Sage 50 (a.k.a., Sage Peachtree) to integrate with the Ariba Network are planned to be released later this year.
It’s a busy conference season and quarterly results reporting period. TEC is chugging down the coffee, keeping up with happenings in the supply chain space. Descartes has announced another acquisition this past week, and we share a few insights from our conversation with them. We also found ourselves on the phone recently with DCRA’s Jon Kirkegaard. TEC’s new Supply Chain Management (SCM) Market Survey Report is out, just before we head to AspenTech’s OPTIMIZE2013 this week. Lastly, the tragedy in Bangledesh should probably be a wake-up call to the importance of supply chain risk management. Where are you headed this week? What’s capturing your supply chain attention? Drop us a line.
Descartes has announced the acquisition of KSD Software Norway AS, a vendor of electronic customs filing solutions for countries in the EU, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Israel, the United States, and Canada. Descartes’ Chris Jones indicates that this is one of the larger of the half-dozen or so acquisitions that it has made in the past 3 years. Descartes obviously covets the additional users to the Descartes Global Logistics Network (adding 1,300 onto the currently cited >8,000 figure), as well as the $10 million in additional recurring revenue. Descartes also believes that, with this acquisition, it become the largest supply chain vendor in Scandinavia, and one of the largest in Europe. (Descartes’ presence in Europe has grown from perhaps a couple of dozen people in 2009 to more than 300 people today.) Descartes will have more to say about this acquisition in its next quarterly call scheduled for May 30. Read the rest of this entry »
The issue of forecasting intermittent demand has been one that has plagued companies forever. Many very smart people have tried to tackle it; many vendors like to say they focus on it. Few vendors make it as singular a focus as Massachusetts-based Smart Software. Principals Charles Smart, Nelson Hartunian (Ph.D.), and Thomas Willemain(Ph.D.) have been studying the issue for almost 30 years, have perfected their own proprietary forecasting method (the Smart-Willemain method), and won numerous grants to study the issue of intermittent demand.
Forecasting demand when the demand history has been a consistent level of X units per period of time is not particularly difficult; neither is forecasting demand when there has been a consistent and steady growth in the level of demand. This is not to say that forecasting is easy, but forecasting steady demand, or steadily growing demand, is relatively straightforward.
Volatile, intermittent demand is another matter altogether. Read the rest of this entry »
ToolsGroup continues to carve out a space for itself in supply chain. Not satisfied with being the last remaining independent multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) vendor, ToolsGroup is pushing forward with broader supply chain capabilities centered around a core statistics-focused demand forecasting capability. While many will argue the virtues of “top down” vs. “middle out” vs. “bottom up” forecasting (or a mix of these approaches), ToolsGroup has maintained a focus on bottom-up forecasting, particularly suited for fast, slow, erratic, and intermittent demand. Read the rest of this entry »
Based on a recent slew of announcements by Epicor, both in terms of customer wins and product releases (across the original Epicor business as well as in the former Activant and Solarsoft businesses), I expect the upcoming Epicor Insights 2013 conference will be an interesting multiday event. Most recently, Epicor announced the general availability of version 12.11 of the Epicor Prophet 21 wholesale distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Prophet 21, which came from former Activant, is a broad solution for wholesale distributors, particularly in the electrical, fastener, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), industrial, plumbing, and janitorial industries. Read the rest of this entry »
After being recently selected by Yanfeng Visteon, E2open continues to prove that supply chain management (SCM) solutions lend themselves well to cloud deployment with its most recent win. Namely, HP has just selected the E2open Business Network as one of its platforms for consolidated global procurement. The cloud-based platform for collaborative execution across global trading networks will be used across all major HP product lines.
LLamasoft, long known for strong supply chain design expertise, says that “supply chain design, modeling and analytics” is the more appropriate way to think about this Ann Arbor, Michigan-based firm. Now the last independent supply chain network design firm, LLamasoft focuses on the supply chain execution (that is to say, not planning) side of things. Toby Brzoznowski (co-founder and executive vice president) reports that the company is continuing to grow very fast, broaden its product lines, and invest heavily in R&D. Which is, after all, what you would expect from a vendor promising to deliver a full end-to-end view of all supply chain activities down to the last operational detail. Read the rest of this entry »
In this week’s Shorts, we talk about JDA’s release of JDA eight; Retails Solutions’ value proposition; and a recent visit to Oz Development. What have you been up to this week, supply chain-wise? Wandered off the beaten path and happened upon something interesting? Drop us a line or give us a call.
JDA has released JDA eight, as expected, which should be a terrific new platform—product, and marketing—for JDA. With its several acquisitions, and storied history, JDA has become a conglomeration of technologies. With this announcement (which TEC will have more to say about in the near future), JDA brings 30 different solutions onto a common, cloud-based platform. JDA has certainly had the breadth of supply chain capabilities to make it a leader; now it potentially has the underlying platform to make its solutions—and its marketing message—a more integrated one.
JDA’s John Kopcke, executive vice president and chief technology officer, who had been RedPrairie’s (first ever) CTO from 2011–2012, seemingly jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire, going from tackling the rationalization of RedPrairie’s architecture to being the face for the platformization of JDA Software, to integrating the RedPrairie-JDA solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
In its early days in the 1990s during the first wave of trading exchanges (anyone still remember the crash and burn of Commerce One?), SciQuest used to help manage procurement and inventory management for reagents, those substances or compounds that are added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction (or are added to see if a reaction occurs). SciQuest’s Enterprise Reagent Manager (ERM) is a procurement-focused chemical inventory solution used by seven of the world’s top ten life science organizations and leading higher education institutions.
SciQuest has since quite expanded its industry savvy and spend management functional footprint to now be a leading provider of cloud-based business automation solutions. Staying true to its roots, SciQuest and eMolecules just announced a partnership to make eMolecules’ catalog of in-stock molecular building blocks available within SciQuest’s ERM platform. As a result, ERM users can now directly purchase in-stock molecular building blocks via eMolecules’ market-leading database.
The companies that managed this week to take our minds off of our broken NCAA brackets and the only slightly less broken Red Sox were Epicor, Logility, ProcessWeaver, Quintiq, and Security Engineered Machinery. We also tell you about a few events on our calendar that you might want on your calendar.
About the only thing that gets us more excited than analytics is predictive analytics, and so when we saw an IBM press release entitled “IBM Introduces Predictive Analytics Software and Services that Forecast Asset Failure,” we knew we had to ask some questions about a new IBM offering called Predictive Analytics Optimization (PAO). TEC went right to the source, and spoke with IBM’s director of business analytics strategy, Erick Brethenoux, to find out more. Read the rest of this entry »
SciQuest, a leading public provider of cloud-based business automation solutions, has announced the next major version of its spend management product suite. The latest version includes a redesigned user interface (UI) with consumer-like features and experiences similar to popular Web sites such as Amazon, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In short, SciQuest is bringing a consumer-like experience to business-to-business (B2B) shopping. Read the rest of this entry »