Supply chain management software providers have been adapting to a changing market. Many of their customers are managing a supply chain that has become global. Their customers are also likely to outsource some or all of their manufacturing. This puts new demands on supply chain management solutions. But vendors in this niche are keeping up by providing supply chain management software that can provide visibility across the globe and across numerous supply chain partners. In this guide to you’ll learn: How to determine what supply chain software you need. The benefits of integrating SCM software with ERP systems. Whether to buy a supply chain management solution from your enterprise vendor or choose a best-of-breed SCM software provider. How to take globalization into account with your supply chain management solutions How to manage the supply chain software in an outsourced environment. Determine whether your ERP vendor is your best source for supply chain software If you use SAP, Oracle or QAD ERP software, you can now buy SCM software from your ERP provider. According to AMR Research, software from ERP vendors is closing the gap with best-of-breed providers that still have the technology jump on supply chain management solutions. Are best-of-breed supply chain management software providers your best choice? For more than a decade, the leaders in supply chain management solutions have been independent companies that forged the technology outside the confines of large software enterprises. These companies still have the lead in technology, but the supply chain management solutions developed in recent years by ERP vendors have been catching up. Find a supply chain management solution that takes outsourcing into account Companies often manage a supply chain that incorporates outsourced manufacturing and distribution. Many supply chain management software providers are well equipped to deal with complex supply chains that need to track goods as they move from suppliers to contract manufacturers, then on to customers without ever touching the company’s own facilities. Find a global supply chain management solution Companies increasingly have a global reach, both in their supply base and their customers. Many supply chain management software providers have kept pace with globalization, so their tools are well-adapted to a global trading environment. This includes integration into logistics and transportation management systems. Find a supply chain management solution that integrates into ERP and distribution systems For the best optimization of a supply chain management solution, it helps if the supply chain software integrates into related business and distribution systems. Some view the ERP vendors as having superior integration since their tools lie within the ERP environment, but the best-of-breed supply chain software companies have worked to keep their integration to ERP, warehouse management and distribution tools in good shape. ERP solutions to help with your SCM software search. Use a consultant to help find the right SCM software Each industry has its individual supply chain software needs. For instance, the consumer packaged goods industry needs to comply with customer mandates and is turning to supply chain management solutions that include track and trace capabilities to follow goods. Using a consultant within your industry can keep you on track to getting the right supply chain management solution. supply chain management software consultants at Business.com to begin your search. Make a list of functions that you need before shopping. Include in the list the type of integration you need from your supply chain management solution, whether you need to connect to a warehouse management system, transportation system or an ERP system. Keep in mind that best-of-breed supply chain management software providers are developing new functionality continually in their attempt to stay technologically ahead of ERP vendors. This means that some of the SCM software tools you seek may offer greater advantages than you expect. Keep in mind that different supply chain management software providers have strengths in different industries. The needs of retail are significantly different than the needs of pharmaceuticals. Identify the providers that are strongest in your industry.