Software Giants Lead Retail Ranking

In any rating of the biggest and the best in retail, it is tempting to go for sales volume and ignore other, less obvious factors. One ranking that does account for uncommon attributes is Leaderboard 2002, an RIS News report that evaluates how retail software vendors measure up in ten important areas: strategic value, overall performance, total cost of operation, return on investment, ease of upgrades, ease of installation, ease of administration, quality of support, quality of service, and price/licensing.

To rank the top 50 retail software vendors, RIS News surveyed both providers and customers of retail applications. Vendors completed a survey of their retail offerings, and were asked to name users who could verify them; if they didn’t list customers, the researchers did their own analysis to confirm application users. RIS News readers were required to rank at least three software companies on a five-point scale — with 5 representing the best possible score — in each of the ten assessment categories. Each company then received a composite score.

The top five finishers overall were Retek, JDA, IBM, STS/NSB, and CRS Retail Systems. However, other companies performed better in individual categories: Microsoft, for instance, showed up among the top five in total cost of operations, ROI, and ease of installation; CRS led in support and service; and Manugistics and TCI posted high scores for total cost of operations (the latter was No. 1 in this area) and ease of installation and upgrades. For more information, visit

Top 10 in Total Cost of Operations
(Scale of 1 to 5; 5 = best)
1. TCI 4.33
2. IBM 4.25
JDA 4.25
Manugistics 4.25
3. NCR 4.20
4. Microsoft 4.16
5. CRS Retail Systems 4.00
PeopleSoft 4.00
ProfitLogic 4.00
ACA Retail 4.00
Source: RIS News, December 2002
Note: TCO considers the initial cost of an application and what it takes to run it, including hardware and staffing, on a daily basis.