Supply chain technology industry analyst and Supply Chain Matters Founder Bob Ferrari provides added perspectives and highlights to last week’s announced acquisition of Starboard Solutions by Logility.
In our most recent Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Tech column, we highlighted the announcement from supply chain technology provider Logility, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Software, regarding this provider’s completion of the acquisition of supply chain network design technology provider Starboard Solutions.
Traverse City, Michigan based provider Starboard provides an innovative and interactive digital twin of a physical supply chain network leveraging gaming technology to allow users to explore what-if supply chain and business scenarios. The technology additionally provides a unique and novel data visualization capability that can optimize for unknown locations that might not be physical in nature.
The company launched its Starboard Navigator technology in 2016 on the basis on decades of experience in methods, techniques, and technologies used to re-design of supply chains among multi-industry settings. Starboard now has over 1400 users across 70 customers representing Auto, Consumer Goods, Retail, Industrial Products, Consulting, and Real Estate. Noted customers include Porsche, Deloitte, CBRE, Flexe, Geodis, Miele, One Network, and Topco, among others. Reportedly, three customer are currently shared with Logility.
In conjunction with the announcement, this supply chain technology industry analyst had the opportunity to speak directly with Allan Dow, President of Logility.
In our conversation, Dow stressed that the ongoing environment of continual supply chain disruptions has compelled businesses to heed greater attention to existing supply network business relationships and process connections in the light of needing to instill increased agility and resilience. Dow declined to comment whether other market providers were also interested in Starboard, but this analyst has heard that other were approached.
We specifically discussed our Supply Chain Matters December 2021 commentary that outlined a renaissance in the application and technology advancements in the area of supply chain network technology. That commentary described the advent of technology that can support faster and more responsive supply chain network modeling which can be complementary to and an extension of existing integrated business or sales and operations planning processes, multi-echelon inventory deployment and optimization analysis, or demand and supply network scenario and simulation modeling.
The Logility team apparently shared in that perception and initiated conversations with Starboard. Dow indicated in our discussion that the more his team’s dived into Starboard’s digital twin and supply chain data visualization technology and analysis capabilities, the more they were impressed. As noted in his statement in the press release: “Starboard gives Logility clients the confidence to make the right multibillion dollar investment decisions based on sustainability profile, risk, cost and service.”
Dow described a non-traditional acquisition, one that he expects to move faster.
Existing Starboard staff will be organizationally integrated into Logility’s existing management structures. Starboard Founder and President, Steve Johanson will lead a newly formed Center of Excellence within Logility.
The outlined overall integration of both company’s technology is very aggressive with bi-directional data modeling of supply chain network design and planning anticipated in a period described as 3-4 months.
Dow further described that supply chain planning tied to business and supply chain sustainability and ESG timeline needs will be a further key emphasis of the Starboard technology integration. There are further opportunities for Starboard technology to enhance American Software’s product traceability capabilities.
Plans currently call for Logility to be positioned to target specific industry verticals with a joint continuous network design and planning capability such as food and beverage, consumer durables, distribution and other verticals.
This was not the first acquisition of a promising supply chain network design technology provider. In November of 2020, procurement and spend analysis tech provider Coupa Software announced its acquisition of supply chain design and analytics technology provider Llamasoft for a purchase price of approximately $1.5 billion. The news served as one of the top in the supply chain technology landscape for that year.
Addition or assimilation of more advanced supply chain network design tech anchored in digital twin and advanced data visualization will be a continued area to watch over the coming months, one that would likely lead to further supply chain tech industry moves.
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