Symix Systems Inc. plans to acquire supply-chain-software firm Distribution Architects International Inc. (DAI), which focuses on the distribution industry. With more than 100 customers, DAI, based in Tempe, Ariz., offers several applications under its Visible Results product name, including supply-chain planning and execution, inventory and warehouse management, financial management, and e-business. "Acquisition of DAI will enable Symix to leverage our midmarket skills ... to distribution companies, and to deliver supply-chain management applications to our midmarket manufacturing customers," says Stephen A. Sasser, president and CEO of the Columbus, Ohio-based ERP-software firm. DAI management was equally positive about the combination and the effect it will have on its customers. "In our 20 years of experience with distribution markets, we are seeing the line between manufacturing and distribution start to fade," observes Thomas E. Cain, president and CEO of DAI. "Retail is becoming less inventory intensive, and manufacturers and distributors are under increasing pressure to deliver reliable, point-to-point distribution services."