The supply-chain management market is worth about $23.5bn, larger than any traditional BPO market opportunity, according to IBM. The company's new practice includes consulting services and IBM automation software. And, of course, IBM's own expertise in how to squeeze value out of global logistics. Last year, the company's supply-chain efficiencies generated $285m in cash and drove inventories to their lowest level in 30 years. "Each year, roughly $3 trillion is spent globally on supply chains, and most CEO's recognize that a responsive, on demand supply chain is key to optimizing business performance," said Bill Ciemny, VP for supply chain BTO at IBM, in a statement. "Supply chain is anything but a commoditized, non-core competency," he said.