Our just-published The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Systems, Q2 2023, illustrates a fractured market of eight order management system (OMS) vendors, all racing to match an unprecedented rate of change.

This fascinating evaluation showed that:

  1. New models are wildly successful. Newcomers to the 2023 evaluation (Blue Yonder and Fluent Commerce) performed well. They earned two of the top three strategy scores (with incumbent Manhattan Associates sliding into second place for strategy behind Fluent and Blue Yonder very close behind). These two companies have completely different approaches to the market, however. Blue Yonder is the augmentative player, often layered on top of legacy solutions to provide modular, cloud-based optimization features. By contrast, Fluent is replacing legacy systems for businesses opting for open, flexible architecture that enables technical users to customize without code.
  2. The functionality spread is vast. Manhattan Associates is the lone Leader in the OMS Wave once again, coming in heads above Kibo Commerce’s impressive second-place current-offering (functionality) score. Both solutions offer a single, modular platform with unified solutions beyond OMS (e.g., commerce for Kibo and warehouse management systems for Manhattan) that help to round out their non-OMS feature sets. IBM Sterling Order Management held on as the next most functionally robust solution, with a long history of comprehensive coverage, including rarer use cases such as B2B OMS. Of note: There is a 30% score difference for current offering from the first to third solution (compared to less than 10% across the top three in strategy). In one-third of current-offering criteria, only one vendor earned the highest score for each of those.
  3. This is an unstable market. We are past the love story for OMS in the post-2020 era of endless pickup options and massively increased consumer expectations for inventory visibility. Vendors such as Aptos are on a tech evolution track, working to modularize and unify its solution. Körber’s acquisition of enVista has the potential to vault that 2021 entrant forward. Newcomers are adding features faster than we’ve seen in the past, and an army of OMS vendors with varying specialties, regional coverage, and delivery models is marching in to challenge these elite eight.

Before You Review The Results, A Quick Primer On Forrester Wave Evaluations

  1. We score vendors across criteria in three areas: current offering (the solution’s functionality), strategy (the company’s vision and strategic direction for the product), and market presence (the market share and growth of the solution).
  2. The resulting scores indicate three things:
    • Each vendor’s position on the Wave graphic (current offering score on the Y axis, strategy on the X axis, and market presence by the size of the dot, with a gray dot for vendors that choose not to participate in the evaluation)
    • Overall results for each solution against market expectations in the form of totaled and weighted scores
    • Specific scores for the vendors in each criterion (the best thing you can do to guide your vendor selection is understand how a vendor scores in the criteria that are most crucial to you)
  3. Two crucial notes to remember:
    • Forrester analysts include all vendors in a market that meet the inclusion criteria for the Wave (we publish the inclusion criteria in the Wave findings report). Forrester analysts will not include a vendor unless they recommend the solution and/or the solution has a significant install base among Forrester clients.
    • These evaluations are complex and nuanced, and specific scores help you uncover the vendors that are a best fit for your company’s specific needs — across all vendors in the evaluation, not just the Leaders. We are here to help you navigate these important decisions!

So How Can You Determine Which OMS Solution(s) To Consider?

If you are one of the 44% of digital businesses currently evaluating a new OMS, please get in touch with me for an inquiry or guidance session so we can talk it through.

In the meantime, Forrester clients should download the full Wave scorecard (download the .xlsm file) and dig into the wealth of evaluative information in the scores and scales. This is an incredibly powerful tool — one you can also customize by adjusting the weighting of various criteria that are more or less important to your business. As you prioritize your needs, you can see how each vendor scored in the criteria that matter most to you. And of course, I am here to help you parse it!