Entrepreneurs and business majors across the world know the importance of an effective supply chain. When a company has a collected supply chain — that is, it can handle both the production and distribution of its products or services — the company is in an even better position.
Encompass and Orchestra, two companies involved in the American beverage industry, have reached that goal.
Think of it as a combined supply chain of supply chain companies. The merger unites Encompass’s focus on warehouse automation, financial data tracking, and product management technology with Orchestra’s focus on inventory, production, and supply chain management. This, in theory, makes each company’s product offerings more accessible to the consumer, who no longer has to purchase the programs from both respective companies.
Brad Windecker, Founder and CEO of Orchestra Software, said the merger would provide the beverage industry a level of offering not previously possible.
"I've been trying to solve the demand planning and supply chain problem in our industry for over a decade, and now that we've joined forces with Encompass, we have all the pieces in place to truly connect our customers and our industry at a scale not possible before," he said.
The Global Supply Chain Management Market
The companies exist in a growing market. In 2019, the value of the global supply chain management market was estimated to be in excess of $15 billion and is expected to more than double by 2027.
According to research organization Gartner, Cisco Systems is leading the pack in this innovative market, followed by Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Schneider Electric, and Nestlé.
Innovations in cloud computing, blockchain technology, and transportation management systems software are driving advances and changes in this market. When Gartner released their top 25 supply chain management companies of 2020, Mike Griswold of the company’s Supply Chain practice said this year has been one of opportunity for the industry.
“With substantial amounts of the economy closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders need an agile strategy that allows the supply chain organization to sense and respond to changes in the business context as they happen,” he said. “Our ranking highlights companies that possess these strategies and other differentiating capabilities.”
Encompass, which was founded in 2001, and Orchestra, which was founded seven years later, together may carve out a sizable place in the beverage supply chain industry and others. Combined, the two serve some of the world’s largest companies like Apple, Dell, HP, Samsung, and Honeywell, as well as a slew of small breweries like Modern Times Beer.
Michael Christy, General Operations Manager of Modern Times Beer, expressed confidence in the technology and its impact on the business.
“Seeing the finance side, production, distribution, and logistics all in one, instead of opening up like 400 tabs on my computer every day, has been a game-changer,” he said.
Is Business Technology Becoming Too Complicated?
Encompass and Orchestra are joining forces in an industry that is becoming increasingly complex.
International industry and the necessity of catering to a more diverse customer base are driving business technologies that are equally detailed. And while testimonials for Encompass and Orchestra show that their consumers are satisfied with the companies’ offerings, other technologies can prove to be a headache for individuals that cannot effectively implement them.
Technology for accounting, data, product tracking, and more can be a huge asset for companies that need assistance. Still, technological glitches, environmental factors, and a lack of user know-how can throw a wrench in plans for their use.
“Data and legislation bring a myriad of complexities and headaches for businesses,” writes Tomas Turkovic in Computer Business Review. “Successful businesses are data led, and ones that are multi-national have to operate across multi-jurisdictions, which require varying data legislation compliance.”
What’s more, using these technologies is becoming even more necessary in a more globalized world. The internet has connected global economies in a way unimaginable mere decades ago and spawned several highly profitable industries that rely on international business to support their online offerings and vice versa. Despite the complexity of programs that aim to help professionals do this business, the necessity for them is likely not going anywhere soon.