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Manhattan Supply Chain Software Review


Manhattan Associates Software Strengths and Weaknesses

With the addition of WMoS to the SCOPE software portfolio, Manhattan Associates is positioned to advance its supply chain execution (SCE) convergence vision. The SCOPE underlying SCPP architecture simplifies supply chain software deployments and provides strong system integration options. SCOPE also allows Manhattan Associates to develop new complementary software components to fulfill its SCE vision cheaper and faster. Manhattan Associates appears committed to pushing the SCE envelope and is well positioned to do so. In the near future, expect better tactical planning and decision making support systems, with the ability to expand and contract SCE infrastructure as demand fluctuates – an example of this is popup distribution centers.

Because the TLM software has a small customer base and WMoS was recently added to the SCOPE suite, SCOPE, as a complete full featured SCE solution, doesn't yet have the large number of deployments when compared to SAP and Oracle. However, Manhattan Associates has worked closely with many customers that are committed to SCOPE and is in position to grow market share.

The WMoS software is positioned by Gartner as one of two WMS offerings with the highest quadrant ranking. Gartner is echoed by other research and analyst firms that also give WMoS top positioning. TLM is not far behind its sibling WMoS, although TLM still needs more depth and breadth in software capabilities, and more customers when compared to Oracle and i2's TMS products. The other SCOPE solutions (Forecasting and Planning, Inventory Optimization and Order Lifecycle Management) don't yet have the market presence of WMoS and TLM, thus limiting them to being niche players in the supply chain planning software space.

Manhattan Associates WMoS Strengths

The breadth and depth of Warehouse Management Open Systems industry leading core and extended capabilities makes it an industry leader in the Warehouse Management System market. WMoS strengths include:

  • Without software modifications, WMoS easily integrates with leading warehouse technologies, including MHE Control Systems, Sort Directors, Put to Light, Barcode Scanners and RFI auto identification.
  • Warehouse Management Open Systems is adept at supporting 24 by 7 operations.
  • Being a part of the SCOPE software portfolio improves deployment strategies in large or complex operations.
  • WMoS has the ability to expand its capabilities with other features from the SCOPE portfolio, such as returns, appointments, yard management, slotting and labor management.

Warehouse Management Open Systems is broadly used in a variety of environments and applications—from moderately to extremely complex—and is used for cross dock, direct to consumer and traditional warehouse applications.

Manhattan Associates WMoS Weaknesses

Supply chain software weaknesses tend to be limited when reviewing a best of class solution. But there are a handful of concerns and risks to be aware of, such as:

  • Warehouse Management Open Systems lacks a software as a service (SaaS) or cloud deployment option.
  • In the short term, there are questions about the maturity, reliability and performance of WMoS recent adoption into the SCOPE suite. This will require new vendor and user skills during software implementations.
  • WMoS is optimized for high performance operations, so it does not readily accept bad or incomplete information from other systems. If you are replacing an existing WMS that allows the warehouse associates to correct problems generated from downstream systems, you had better fix your downstream systems first.
  • As with any large or complex business software system, the skill sets to implement, support, and maintain WMoS can be daunting, requiring a range of specialized IT professionals with above average skills. Professionals/skills needed include, but are not limited to:
    - IT infrastructure and System Administration
    - WMoS Support Services
    - WMoS Technical and Business Analysts
    - WMoS Functional Analysts
    - SCE Business Planners
    - Project Managers
    - MHE Engineers
    - WMS Operational Support
  • A common supply chain software deployment challenge when taking on a WMoS project is finding consultants with appropriate skill sets and knowledge.

Transportation Lifecycle Management Software Strengths

With Manhattan's market momentum in TMS software, TLM is soon to be a market leader in operational planning, settlement (audit and payment), bid-optimization, sourcing, procurement and fleet management. TLM software strengths include:

  • TLM is a full featured, multimodal transportation management system that is capable of handling many of the complex transportation requirements of large and highly sophisticated customers.
  • The transportation software is validated by hundreds of customers and parcel-manifesting can be implemented as part of TLM, WMoS, both TLM and WMoS, or stand-alone.
  • Manhattan Associates has deep historical roots in building software specifically designed for truckload and less-than-truckload carriers.
  • More than 100 LTL and TL carriers depend on TLM for their core operations and many more clients for their day to day transportation needs.

Transportation Lifecycle Management Software Weaknesses

Transportation Lifecycle Management sales and customer deployments remain modest compared with other TMS software solutions. Manhattan Associates does not have enough customers to be considered a dominant force, although new account sales have increased since the latter part of 2009.

Globally, TLM has largely been sold in the Asia-Pacific region, and not so much in Europe. Although TLM's breadth and depth continues to improve in its core TMS areas, it lacks international strategic and tactical planning capabilities.

Manhattan Associates recently added parcel to multimodal shipments. The company has supported multicarrier parcel manifesting solutions for years.

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