No. 1: Click Commerce

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-09-29 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the past two years, Click Commerce acquired seven smaller supply chain management software companies; this was the primary contributor to its growth. Then, in September, it was bought itself: Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a $12.8 billion diversified manuf

Annual growth: 128.2%
Category: Supply chain management
Employees: 250
CEO: Michael Ferro Jr.
Competitors: Ariba, i2 Technologies, Sterling Commerce

In the past two years, Click Commerce acquired seven smaller supply chain management software companies; this was the primary contributor to its growth. Then, in September, it was bought itself: Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a $12.8 billion diversified manufacturer of industrial parts, offered to buy Click Commerce for $292 million.

Click Commerce's CEO, Michael Ferro Jr., says his company will be an independent subsidiary of ITW. Now, though, he says it has access to greater pool of funds to roll up even more software providers.

Ferro, 40, says Click Commerce's strategy is to identify "white spaces," areas of functionality that are more specialized than what SAP or Oracle can deliver. One example: service parts planning, which forecasts which parts are needed in specific locations.

Click Commerce is profitable, with net income of $19.5 million for 2005. Major customers include Bank of America, FedEx, Motorola, the U.S. Air Force, EDS, IBM and Microsoft. But Gartner's Andrew White cautions that so far it hasn't exhibited a strategy of merging the software of its acquisitions into a cohesive system. "Click Commerce is like a tapestry," he says. "They're buying up distressed vendors who have bits and pieces of software."

Ferro, for his part, says integration is in the works. Under ITW's stewardship, he says, "Now we have the resources to be one of the world's largest software companies."



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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