Just before Christmas, I had a briefing from Robert Nehme, Director of Corporate Marketing, and Bruno DuBreuil, Vice President WMS Product Marketing, of TECSYS, on one of the SCM products that I had reviewed in the mobile supply chain market review. TECSYS was founded some 32 years ago with their headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They have become a major player in the North American WMS market. The company is public, with 40% of the shares owned by the Brereton family, the original founders of the company. The company focuses on complex supply chain, particularly for 3PLs and Healthcare. They have some 650 customers, of which 4 are the top 5 healthcare supply chain organisations and 35% of Caterpillar Dealers. Over 50% of their customer base is in the USA with the rest mainly in Canada.
Figure 1: The TECSYS Supply Chain Platform (Source: TECSYS)
As DuBreuil explained, TECSYS leads with their Warehouse Management solution and because of the platform is able to provide out-of-the-box additional functionality to support demand planning, inventory management and transportation management. The solutions have been developed in Java and are based on a platform called EASE. Nehme added that all WMS products on the market offer the same functionality, so EASE is TECSYS' differential. EASE is an acronym that stands for:
- E = EXECUTE: this is best explained by a quote from one of TECSYS'customers, Jeffrey Pike, VP Operations, Aetrex Worldwide Inc, who stated, "we felt TECSYS' WMS is out of the box, fully-featured and a robust suite of applications that we could use with the absolute minimum amount of modifications". Figure 2 shows the features of TECSYS' WMS. One additional service that TECSYS provides is a Visual Metrics dashboard for executives that allows them to compare themselves against competitors, while also identifying areas for improvement. This is based on the partnership with the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) that leverages the key performance indicator data from the organisation's annual DC Measure industry study.
Figure 2: TECSYS Warehouse Management capabilities (Source: TECSYS)
- A = Adapt: TECSYS realised that to sell their product it would have to be able to integrate with existing applications, particularly ERP and web service coverage applications, and it would have to be done to provide a single view of the applications on any device. TECSYS also provides the ability for each user of the system to personalise their views. To support this adaptability and personalisation, there is at the heart of the EASE platform, a rules engine.
- Another great feature from TECSYS is the ability for non-technical users to take advantage of the "Dynamic Exception-Based Generator". With this capability, operators will be prompted through visual cues that they need to pay special attention to the transaction at hand. For example, some of TECSYS' customers are using this feature when errors occur often over a period of time; the operator is automatically alerted to pay special attention when handling this item again. TECSYS has termed this capability - Visual Logistics, and combines this capability with voice through a partnership with TopVox & Motorola.
- S = Scale: What I like here is that TECSYS sees scalability not just in terms of size of organisation, but also in terms of channels that need to be supported and also the technology the organisation uses. Figure 3 illustrates this approach.
Figure 3: TECSYS dimensions of scalability (Source: TECSYS)
- E = Expand: In addition to the WMS software that TECSYS offers, they have additional products built on the EASE platform that can be offered to their customers. These include:
o Demand Planning
o Business Intelligence & Analytics
o 3PL Billing Management
o Financial Management
o Transportation Management
o Distribution/Order Management
TECSYS is in expansion mode and is looking to open a UK support office; this was announced in the summer of 2015. The company is moving into operational consulting, where they will help their customers standardise operations to best practice, based on 80% of warehouse operations are the same and the other 20% are where differentiation occurs.
Bloor sees TECSYS as a very serious contender in the WMS market. The announcement of the UK support centre will aid their ability to increase international sales. This is a company worth considering on a shortlist if you are looking at a WMS.