The Early Adopters' Edge

Adoption of logistics information systems surprisingly low, but increasingly viewed as critical, study finds

Tempe, AZ  January 14, 2003  Adoption rates of basic logistics information systems are still low, but the early adopters are quickly coming to view these technologies as critical systems necessary to remain competitive, according to the results of a recent survey.

The survey of supply chain managers and executives from among iSource Business readers and Council of Logistics Management members revealed that a surprising number of companies have yet to fully adopt transportation and warehouse management systems (TMS and WMS) and advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems, and that these systems are only now becoming more broadly accepted as basic, necessary order-fulfillment technologies.

However, because many companies are still early on the adoption curve with these technologies, interest in TMS, WMS and APS solutions remains high among a cross-section of enterprises despite the anti-hype around B2B technologies since the Internet bubble burst almost three years ago and continued sluggish spending on new information technologies.

"We were surprised by how interested people are in those fundamentals  systems that help in the warehouse or that help in the transportation function, for instance," said Thomas Goldsby, assistant professor of marketing and logistics at Ohio State University, who conducted the survey along with John Caltagirone, vice president of supply chain strategy for The Revere Group consultancy, and Maj. Stanley E. Griffis, assistant professor of logistics management at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Goldsby said that the researchers were surprised that these three types of systems  which he referred to as the fundamental "blocking and tackling" technologies of logistics  had not seen broader adoption and longer records of use given the IT spending spree of the late 1990s and the widespread buzz about supply chain collaboration in recent years.

iSource Business will present a more detailed report on the survey results in the Featured Column section of on Monday, January 20.