Although Dutch ERP vendor, Baan Company NV is promising that 1999 will be a better year, Wayne Webb, VP of Baan supply chain management EMEA admits that the year will be tough. Webb was talking at the European launch of Baan’s Operations Management suite – a modular system that combines elements of BaanERP with CAPS Logistics’ supply chain management (SCM) software. Webb characterized the restructuring of last year as necessary restructuring that other major ERP vendors had yet to undertake. He admitted that the CAPS Logistics acquisition was badly timed but professed confidence that it would prove good value in the long run. Baan’s delayed fourth quarter figures now will be released on the released on February 22. Webb said that Baan hoped to be much stronger by year end while admitting that Y2K stuff is still getting in the way. The Baan suite combines its ERP system with scheduling and planning, forecasting and SCM software. Webb says that many companies will not purchase the full suite as a single package but rather buy the ERP system with forecasting or SCM modules. He sees i2 Technologies Inc as major competitors in the SCM market place but says we beat them in the last quarter for sure. He admits that the i2 is perhaps the best of breed but says that customers that want a single point of contact, scalability and better price/performance will chose the Baan software. He didn’t dismiss the looming shadow of SAP AG with its SCOPE SCM software but claimed that it was merely moving forward with the product in comparison to Baan and i2.