This past weekend, I read in Managing Automation that TrueDemand, a supply chain analytics vendor, scored a second round of funding. While playing on the fringes of what we could traditionally describe as Spend Management, the fact that TrueDemand Software was able to raise a substantial round ($8 million) in a somewhat challenging environment bodes well for such early stage analytics providers such as aPriori and Akoya (I'd lump Apexon in with that list as well, but the vendor is really in its second iteration -- it's not really an early stage play anymore). According to Managing Automation, TrueDemand's "Forecasting and Replenishment Suite includes analytical products that use RFID, point-of-sale, and other demand-signal information to quickly produce forecasts down to the location and SKU level." In the retail sector, this type of pinpoint visibility and analytics capability is critical given the fast turns and short lifecycles of most of what sits on the shelf in a typical Big Box environment. But it appears as if manufacturers -- especially in high tech -- such IBM and Intel have been the vendor's early adopter customers so far.