The reason behind the European subway map of IT vendors in supply chain

Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are often looking for the right supply chain applications to support their critical processes, but the supply chain software vendor market is complex and lacks transparency. With vendors claiming to deliver all kinds of solutions, often with similar names, plus a steady stream of mergers and acquisitions (and the inevitable associated rebranding), the marketplace is continuously changing.

When they need software solutions, some companies make use of the often expensive services from IT analyst firms with their quadrants and waves. But rather than being designed to help potential users select which software suits them best, such overviews of software vendors have usually been developed so that vendors can benchmark their market performance against one another. Another obstacle for end users is that they often don’t know which quadrant or wave they should look at, because they haven’t yet identified the right software solution for their specific problem or challenge.

To create a comprehensive and total overview of the European market of supply chain software vendors, Supply Chain Media published the first version of its SCM IT Subway Map Europe in 2010, and it has been updated regularly ever since. All the well-established vendors of supply chain software are analysed in terms of their implementations of specific software types, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Warehouse Management (WMS), Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) and so on. Original software vendors are allocated positions on the map based on the number of implementations and their share of revenue for each software type in Europe. A vendor is indicated by a subway station on a specific software line when the number of implementations in Europe is above a certain minimum threshold (related to the company size).

Software vendors that often come up against one another when pitching to the same potential clients are clustered together on the IT Subway Map to show their competitive relationship. The relevance of this has been underlined several times in the past decade by various acquisitions of ‘adjacent’ vendors. The acquired vendors are still recognizable on the map, so users can see the heritage of growing software suppliers. To be listed, European vendors must have their own offices in more than one country, and vendors from outside Europe must have a physical presence in at least one European country so that they can provide the necessary on-site customer support quickly if necessary.

Supply Chain Media is closely monitoring the developments in the supply chain software market. Besides conducting research into the vendors, we survey the need for specific supply chain solutions on a regular basis. Whenever a new type of software solution emerges into the mainstream, such as the recent rise of Real-Time Transport Visibility, a new subway line will be added to the map accordingly. The SCM IT Subway Map helps companies to determine what kind of solution they should look for and which vendors they should consider as part of their supply chain software selection process.

Simply follow a line on the IT Subway Map to reach the right software vendor!