Need For Supply Chain Management Service Is Growing, IDC Notes

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 15, 2000 — To stay alive and competitive, organizations will increasingly face the need to integrate their supply chains, according to IDC. As a result, supply chain management (SCM), which used to be an optional way for companies to improve their performance, is now becoming mandatory at many companies.

"In the past, supply chain management projects were undertaken by companies that wanted to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and achieve operational excellence," said Nelly Zaharinov, senior research analyst with IDC's Supply Chain Services research program. "Today, however, these projects are becoming a necessity for many of the big, middle-market and dot- com organizations due to their growing need for collaboration and integration."

SCM is the continuous process of integrating suppliers and trading partners into an organization's operations to optimize resources and streamline the flow of information, goods, and services from the point of origination to the point of sale. According to IDC, current market conditions are creating lucrative opportunities for firms that provide supply chain consulting, implementation, operations management, training support, and esupply chain services.

"The increasing complexity and variety of the available software solutions, the demands of the new ebusiness paradigm, and the need for ever- shortening implementation time frames are just some of the factors causing companies to seek the help of supply chain management service vendors in strategizing, planning, enhancing, integrating, and even managing their supply chains," Zaharinov said.

Players from a variety of backgrounds are all vying to get in on the SCM opportunity, including consulting firms, systems integrators, systems vendors, and business process outsourcers.

"The supply chain management market is emerging as one of the most important opportunities for service providers to capture the increasingly important business-to-business projects that will enable both new and old economy firms with advanced Web-based supply chain capability," Zaharinov said.

IDC's new report, Supply Chain Innovators: Market Analysis and Competitive Review of the Top 10 Service Providers (IDC #B22123), analyzes the supply chain services market and the Internet's impact on it. The report discusses opportunities and challenges facing vendors that deliver consulting, implementations, operations management, training, support, and esupply chain services. It includes recommendations for vendors and end users positioning and deploying supply chain service initiatives. The report also outlines the leading vendors' strategies, portfolio offerings, and delivery models and profiles Andersen Consulting, Arthur Andersen, Cap Gemini, CSC, Deloitte Consulting, EDS, Ernst & Young, IBM Global Services, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. To order a copy of the report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at ctoffel@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.