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Manhattan Associates Software Review


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Manhattan Associates Strengths and Weaknesses

With the recent addition of WMoS to the SCOPE software portfolio, Manhattan Associates is positioned to advance its supply chain execution (SCE) convergence vision. SCOPE's underlying SCPP architecture simplifies customer deployments and provides rich system integration options. SCOPE also allows Manhattan to develop new complementary software components that fulfill their SCE vision cheaper and faster. Manhattan is committed to pushing the SCE envelope and is well positioned to do so. In the near future, look for 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 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 Oracle and SAP. However, Manhattan has worked closely with many customers that are committed to SCOPE and is in position to increase market share.

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

WMoS Strengths

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

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

WMoS 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.

WMoS Weaknesses

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

  • WMoS lacks a software as a service (SaaS) deployment option.
  • In the short term, there are questions about the maturity, performance and reliability of WMoS recent adoption into the SCOPE portfolio. 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 enterprise software system, the skill sets to implement, support, and maintain WMoS can be daunting, requiring a broad range of 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 Analysts
    - WMoS Functional Analysts
    - SCE Business Planners
    - Project Managers
    - MHE Engineers
    - WMS Operational Support
  • A common challenge when taking on a WMoS project is finding consultants with appropriate skill sets and knowledge.

TLM Strengths

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

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

TLM Weaknesses

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

Internationally, TLM has largely been sold in the Asia/Pacific region, and not 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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