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Article
Who Owns the Supply Chain Market?

M&As, recent funding, and outright acquisitions make the supply chain market an interesting place to be. But unlike ERP, there are more public companies and still plenty of startups in supply chain. These are signs of innovation as well as future demand.


Full Article Below -
Untitled Document

M&A deals keep flowing. In this issue, we have written about several that went through in the last few weeks, representing a transformation of PLM to a broader scope in the value chain.1

From Demand to WMS/fulfillment to transportation systems, it’s time to take stock of who’s driving the investment in solutions. Of course, we hope it is the good judgment of product managers who are closely aligned with their customers’ needs. But we do know that some ‘slash and burn’ investors like the character Lawrence Garfield in Other People’s Money2 or James Salinger, the CEO in The Company Men3 do exist out there. Fortunately there are plenty of growth equity firms out there who want to support the best in the market.

In the table below, we have provided a list of current software firms and their investors. It is incomplete, but it gives you a flavor of the market and ownerships. There are still a lot of private companies (which generally means there is enough customer demand to sustain these companies on their own) and public companies. As a result, the supply chain market is not as dominated by private equity firms as the ERP market, for example.

Founder-led companies often demonstrate that the vision and drive to solve supply chain problems is a day-to-day preoccupation, not handed off. Also, the dynamics of the M&A market (which may mean employee defections from the new parent) provide an active market for talented people to work at leading companies. Customers, therefore, have real access to some of the brightest minds in the industry. Take advantage of that, say many of the end-users we talk to. Unlike the fields of big consulting or ERP, where access is limited, the advice and oversight that ensure customer value tend to be more sustainable in this market.

Examples of Companies in the Supply Chain Market

Software Firm

Investor(s)

Category

Comments

Acsis, Inc

Saints Capital

  • Visibility
  • Traceability
  • Brand Protection and Serialization

Though the Saints have now come marching in, the previous PE was Safeguard Scientific. Acsis has been a presence in the auto-ID and traceability market for over a decade, evolving from a service-based firm with mega- customers like DuPont, Coca-Cola and Big Pharma customers to a SaaS-based manager of Value Networks ensuring brand protection and visibility as products move through the chain.

Airclic

JMI Equity lead as well as others

Last Mile Logistics

More about Airclic’s evolution can be found in Wikipedia.

Ariba

SAP

Indirect Procurement

SAP’s recent acquisition of Ariba took it out of the public company domain; so far, though, SAP is content to allow Ariba to still operate as a separate unit, while leveraging Ariba’s capabilities within traditional SAP accounts.

Churchill Systems

Privately held by founders

  • Demand Planning
  • Pricing and Promotions

Pioneering founder Harve Light is still active in the company. Son Scott has assumed the company helm to enable growth.

Clear Demand

Founders

Pricing

Started in 2012 by veterans of firms like Revionics, JDA, Khimetrics and other high tech companies.

Dassault Systèmes/ Apriso

Public: symbol DASTY

  • PLM
  • CAD
  • Manufacturing

 

Though not considered strictly a supply chain provider, Dassault has made a push into manufacturing over the last few years with the acquisition of Apriso and now, Quintiq, both of which are part of its DELMIA/3D division. Read more in this issue about Dassault’s recent acquisitions.

Descartes

Public: symbol DSGX

  • Global Trade Management
  • TMS
  • Logistics Network
  • Logistics Social Community

The leader in transportation systems, Descartes continues with organic growth from innovative developments as well as acquisitions. Read about Gorilla in the transportation software market.

Digital Tempus

Privately held by founders

  • Demand Management
  • Analytics

Manugistics alums Paul Strzelec and Dirk Liebich founded the company, providing a unique managed service approach to understand demand patterns and improve forecast accuracy.

E2open

Public: symbol EOPN

Demand and Supply Network

Recent public offering of this firm that started during the internet boom. e2open’s initial focus was in the high-tech markets, but now includes industrial and consumer product companies.

First Insight

Founders +
Adams Capital Management

Pricing and analytics

First Insight uses a gamification approach to determine products and initial ticket pricing. Building on that success, they have expanded their solution to look across the product lifecycle to manage pricing and merchandise planning. http://www.crowdsourcing.org/document/the-black-ops-of-retail/13789

GT Nexus

Warburg Pincus

  • Trade Finance
  • Direct Procurement
  • Transportation Management Network
  • Visibility

Though taking the name GT Nexus, this was a marriage of equals: Tradecard and GT Nexus.  This powerful combination in global supply chain has some unique attributes fusing the physical and financial supply chains. Recent GT Nexus discussion here.

JDA

Recently taken private by RedPrairie’s PE, New Mountain Capital

  • Demand and Supply Suite
  • WMS
  • Fulfillment
  • TMS

JDA’s path to the largest player in supply chain was through acquisition (Manugistics, i2, and others) and IPO. RedPrairie had several incarnations, but fundamentally was a WMS/fulfillment company. After New Mountain acquired RedPrairie, the next move, which many in the market often talked about, was marrying Planning and Execution; thus, New Mountain’s acquisition of JDA. This marriage is having its challenges, but fundamentals are excellent for some interesting moves in the future.

JustEnough

Founders and employees

  • Merchandise Planning
  • Assortment and Allocations
  • Promotion Management
  • Space Planning and Store Clustering
  • Social Analytics

 

To date, organically grown JustEnough is developing solutions such as Merchandise Planning and Replenishment for retailers, Demand Management for brand/CPG companies, and Social Media Marketing analytics.

HighJump

Accel-KKR

  • WMS
  • Fulfillment
  • B2B Communication

HighJump was founded in the 90s by Chris Heim. It was acquired by 3M and then Battery Ventures, which also then acquired TrueCommerce.
Accellos investors Accel-KKR help fund the recent merger.

LogFire

Founders/employees,
Fulcrum Equity Partners,
Edison Partners

  • WMS
  • Fulfillment

Founder Diego Pantoja-Navajas has taken a conservative approach toward investors, preferring to ensure a foundation and value before seeking outside funding. LogFire can boast a prime position as the leader in cloud WMS today.

Logility

Public: symbol LGTY
Founder Mike Edenfield very much at the helm today

Demand and Supply Suite

Logility spans the demand side. Customers are both consumer and B2B manufacturing. With the recent acquisition of MID Retail, which adds MFP functionality, their scope now extends into retailer merchandising.

MercuryGate

Privately held by founders

TMS

Founders Monica Wooden and Steve Blough have self-funded the growth of MercuryGate.  The market has responded to their approach, creating one of the fastest growing supply chain players out there right now.  

NeoGrid

A roll-up of Agentrix and Neogrid

  • Demand Management
  • S&OP

Networking demand/supply and collaborative processes between suppliers and their retail customers.

One Network Enterprises

Privately held by founders and key employees

Demand and Supply Network

The goal of ONE, when they launched, was to create a network that had planning and execution, a novel concept at a time when the market segmented these. ONE has purchased several other supply chain packages such as Elogex, Valdero, Egnyte, and others.

Orchestro

Founders and key employees +
CNF Investments,
New Markets Venture Partners,
Novak Biddle Venture Partners

  • Demand Management
  • Promotions
  • Inventory
  • Analytics

Initially founded as Vision Chain by a team with years of solving consumer supply chain and analytics problems, the company is experiencing a surge in growth due to its unique approach to solving planning and inventory problems not addressed by other solutions.

PTC

Public: symbol PTC

  • SLM
  • PLM
  • Internet of Things

Long known in PLM, with the acquisition of Servigistics PTC established themselves as a leader in the Service Lifecycle Management
(SLM) market

Predictix

Founders +
Lone Palm Investments

  • Merchandise Planning
  • Demand Forecasting
  •  Assortment, Allocation and Replenishment

Founders hail from Retek and other retail software firms. SaaS-based  and on-demand, still unusual for the planning market, Predictix is an international software firm that enables a more collaborative approach to planning between suppliers and retailers—unified planning.

Resilinc

Founder Bindiya Vakil +
Shasta Ventures,
Inventus Capital Partners

Supply Chain Risk

Founder Bindiya Vakil worked in supply chain in high tech and saw a better way to do supply chain planning. Resilinc has demonstrated resiliency, not only to survive in a challenging market, but provide resiliency to their worldwide customers who deal with risk on a daily basis.

Savi Technology

LaSalle Capital

  • Visibility
  • RFID
  • IoT/Sensor Network

Ah the incarnations of Savi! This company has been bought and sold a few times, but retains key customers. Recent spinout of Lockheed allows Savi to discover new markets outside Defense such as the IoT.

Steelwedge

Founders +
Mainsail Partners

Sales and Operations Planning

Founders believed that the spreadsheet would be here to stay. But over the years, Steelwedge has kept their edge by continuing to innovate.  Tackling S&OP seemed a long shot in the beginning, but was a smart move since today S&OP is one of the top drivers of SC software purchases.

Symphony EYC

Symphony Technology Group

Customer Insights, Fulfillment

Aldata, well know for WMS/Fulfillment, was acquired by Symphony. Seizing the growth of retail, Omni channel, and various fulfillment models such as click and collect, Symphony acquired other software companies such as EYC. This added customer analytics, so demand can drive the fulfillment strategy.  

TransVoyant

Voyant Partners

  • Visibility
  • Geospatial Event Processing

The power behind the throne, TransVoyant’s Continuous Decision Platform™ helps companies (and software partners who use TransVoyant as part of the visibility platform) to provide precision and context. TransVoyant has parlayed their scalability from major government solutions into a world-wide supply chain solution with the recent creation of a commercial division lead by alums from i2 and GT Nexus.

TSC- TAKE Supply Chain

TAKE Solutions Ltd
Pubic: symbol TAKEEQ

  • Direct Procurement
  • B2B Integration

Key shareholders are Indian founders whose major holding outside of the US focuses on consulting and integration services. In the US, TAKE has two divisions. In New Jersey, TAKE focuses on healthcare with an international customer base of big Pharma. The Austin Headquarters focuses their efforts on supply chain, with a recent launch of a SaaS-based direct procurement solution.

Terra Technology

Founder Robert Byrne + early round investors

Demand Sensing/Near-term Forecasting

Innovator in near-term/demand sensing SaaS solution, now imitated by others, Terra has a strong presence in major CPG brand companies. Pioneering SaaS demand sensing solution was the brainchild of Byrne, whose career included Numetrix and JD Edwards.

Tools Group

Privately held by founders +
key employees

  • Inventory Optimization
  • Demand Sensing
  • Promotional Forecasting

Beyond tools, the company offers deep demand analytics and is an innovator in machine learning which helps planners to sift through mountains of data and learn from past market events.

Vecco International

Privately held by
Jonathan Kall CEO, principal investor +
key employees

Supply Chain Network

Initially founded as Sockeye Solutions, winning the HP supply-base network. Kall assumed ownership a few years back and has invested significantly in transforming the product to scale and support other industry verticals.

Vistaar

Privately held by founders

Pricing Optimization

Founders hail from i2 alum (Sandy Tungare, Usha Iyer, MG Gupta) who wanted to tackle the challenge of pricing—not just at the point of purchase, but throughout the lifecycle of pricing: from concept, during the product design and introduction, through end-of-life. Most pricing applications focus on retail, so Vistaar also has an industrial side/B2B that allows for analytics of account/customer value.

3gtms

Founders +
investors

TMS

Another transportation technology company started by serial entrepreneur Mitch Weseley . Organically grown through development plus merger with Transite. 3gtms has hired a team of vets from across the transportation technology industry to power their growth.

Figure 1:  Who Owns the Supply Chain Market? --- Source: ChainLink Research

Figure 1 is not designed to position providers and functionality. In New Dimensions in Demand Management, we provide an overview of many of the providers and their focus areas. In Transportation Systems Redefined, we hope you will widen your perspective on what the TMS/Transportation market is today. These markets are developing broader solutions to include social, location-based, mobile, new analytics, broader definitions of ‘who the customer is’ and so on. Thus, not only is there plenty of development, but new companies are popping up to solve some of the problems that may have been too hard to solve before. By using the web, social networking and search, as well as building on decades of knowledge, enterprises can delve into these more difficult problems.

We are not placing any value judgments on the benefits or drawbacks of outside investments, either. In general, the supply chain market has attracted growth players who see innovation and expansion into new territory—functionality, industry requirements, new tools—as a good thing.

More investment stories are bound to emerge over the next few months, since a healthy end-user market means a healthy investor market in today’s hyperactive supply chain market.

____________________________

1 More on this in Who Owns the ERP Market? -- Return to article text above

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other_People's_Money -- Return to article text above

3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Company_Men -- Return to article text above


To view other articles from this issue of the brief, click here.




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