Manugistics upgrades suite and buys Western Data Systems

Manugistics Group Inc. this week shared news about its updated supply chain software suite as well as its purchase of Western Data Systems Inc., a software maker with expertise in service and parts management and a roster of customers in the aerospace and defense industries.

Rockville, Md. Manugistics announced the news at its enVISION 2002 customer conference in San Diego.

Enhancements to Manugistics 7 center around tighter integration among the several supply chain planning and execution modules that comprise the company’s flagship suite. Last year, Manugistics announced plans to bundle its supply chain management (SCM) functionality with pricing and revenue optimization modules to create what it calls its “enterprise profit optimization” suite.

This pricing and revenue functionality is unique and gives Manugistics a competitive advantage over other SCM vendors, says Jill Jenkins, senior analyst for e-business applications at Current Analysis inc. “The company’s focus on further integrating its supply chain planning and execution products gives Manugistics an advantage over the other best-of-breed vendors that focus solely on either the planning or execution markets but cannot leverage the advantages of optimization across the entire supply chain,” she says in a recent Current Analysis research brief.

Manugistics 7 also features a new portal infrastructure so internal users and business partners can access a common interface. Built-in standards support, which Manugistics says will ease data integration, includes XML, Simple Object Access Protocol, and Web Services Description Language.

Manugistics 7 will be available this month.

Separately, Manugistics announced that it has acquired the assets and business of privately held Western Data Systems (WDS), headquartered in Calabasas, Calif. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal, but said it involves a combination of cash and Manugistics stock.

WDS, with revenue last year of US$28 million, provides application software and services primarily to aerospace and defense organizations. Among its 135 clients are Boeing, GKN Aerospace, Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and Smith’s Industries Aerospace Inc.

The acquisition will allow Manugistics to strengthen its offering of service and parts management software to clients in asset-intensive industries such as the aerospace, defense and government sectors, the company says. The combined product sets will encompass features including predictive system failure forecasting; parts optimization; labor resource scheduling; maintenance, repair and overhaul shop planning and execution; and direct materials purchase management.