Supply chain tech vendor Manhattan Associates is betting on the resilience of consumers to keep shopping despite economic waves of turmoil, announcing new capabilities for its cloud-based, omnichannel software platforms for retailers, manufacturers, and distributors at its annual user conference, held in Phoenix this week.
The company says it can solve the disconnect between legacy transportation management system (TMS) and warehouse management system (WMS) products, which have traditionally traded iterations back and forth every day to plan fulfillment for the day’s retail orders. Instead, Manhattan Associates President and CEO Eddie Capel says that his approach of using a “unified portfolio architecture” removes the need to build data bridges between those products.
In a keynote address at the show, Capel said that Manhattan relies on application programming interfaces (APIs) to support a web of “composable microservice APIs” that enable users to choose whichever supply chain execution tools they need. The resulting “evergreen” software needs no periodic upgrades, but rather Manhattan rolls out new features automatically every 90 days. That allows customers to use the latest modules whenever they need to launch a new capability, he said.
For example, Manhattan showcased innovations using “fourth industrial revolution technologies” like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in unified supply chain commerce. Specifically, the company showed its Manhattan Active-brand solutions in areas such as point of sale, order management, warehouse management, transportation management, and the newly launched yard management.
In remarks at the show, Manhattan’s SVP for product strategy, Brian Kinsella, described how the vendor’s new yard management system (YMS) tool can boost efficiency through its tight integration to the WMS.
Because the YMS and WMS leverage the same data in real time, they can coordinate plans such as orchestrating specific truck trailers with warehouse doors so DC employees can minimize the distance needed to move inventory into each truckload. They can also switch nimbly between warehouse doors dedicated to live loading or drop-off trailers, allowing each DC to handle more trailers each day based on live tracking data supplied by visibility providers such as FourKites and Project44, Kinsella said.
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