Infor chief executive Philip Charles

Major shippers will get “unprecedented visibility into their supply chains” following Infor’s $675m acquisition of GT Nexus, according to Infor’s chief executive Charles Philip.

He said the deal – between Infor, which uses ERP software to give manufacturers in-house visibility into their components, and GT Nexus, the world’s largest cloud-based global commerce platform, which coordinates business across partners in the supply chain and manages some $100bn-worth of goods – will “redefine modern manufacturing” and is expected to close within 45 days if regulatory approval is given.

“Infor and GT Nexus will provide customers with unprecedented visibility into their supply chains to manage production and monitor goods in transit and at rest,” said Mr Phillips, formerly an Oracle executive.

“In a complex, high velocity supply chain, all partners need to know what was ordered, when it was built, where it is in transit, if the order has changed, and has it cleared customs. Specialisation and speed are moving the future of manufacturing into the commerce cloud.”

GT Nexus provides solutions for six of the top 10 logistics service providers, including Maersk, UPS and DHL, as well as major shippers such as Adidas, Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble and Levi Strauss. In April it won a contract with British American Tobacco to help the company automotate and standardise agreements with its ocean carriers. In ocean freight, some 90% of management and tenders use GT Nexus’ capabilities.

The GT Nexus system allows manufacturers and retailers to manage shipments between suppliers, forwarders, carriers and suppliers. It also coordinates payments and financing. Infor, meanwhile, specialises in fashion and retail customers – and combining the two technologies will allow companies to integrate merchandising, marketing and demand data as well as logistics.

The acquisition will help the pair compete with Oracle and SAP SE. Sales of supply chain software management grew 10.8% in 2014 to $9.9bn.

Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin wrote last month: “GT Nexus likes to think of itself as being different because it can handle cross-border trade, and cross-border trade typically involves buying and moving goods such as finished merchandise for retailers or components for manufacturers. It also addresses what for many firms is the largest of indirect spends – freight and logistics.”

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