It seems acquisition discussions have been heating up in the supply chain market of late. But the latest deal that has come to fruition is Optiant's acquisition of SLIM Technologies, a provider of network design and optimization. According to Mark Hillman's write up on the news, "Optiant has always focused on its core domain of inventory optimization aimed at helping manufacturers determine risk scenarios related to business events, inventory, demand uncertainty, service levels, or capacity needs while also understanding the two-way impact between network decisions and inventory strategies ... [Now] Optiant is acquiring fellow Boston-based firm SLIM Technologies in a move that adds network design and optimization to Optiant's core multi-echelon inventory optimization system."
As optimization becomes part of the vernacular of sourcing professionals -- and as advanced decision support solutions from vendors like CombineNet continue to head more into the mainstream -- it will be interesting to see the meeting point and overlap for network design and sourcing solutions that take into account inventory requirements, make/buy analysis, transportation planning and other variables and constraints. While there are few touch points today from a technology perspective between these two market sectors, methinks that it won't remain this way for long.