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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.
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Compare Software Solutions
Visit the TEC store to compare leading software solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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 hi top chemical industry company


Ambitious Plans and Promises: An Enterprise Software Vendor’s Open Course of Action
Infor has met several of its objectives with Infor Open SOA. The vendor has managed to resolve inherited customer retention issues, move forward with “green

hi top chemical industry company  and Evergreen —Environmental Regulations for High-tech and Electronics, Chemical, and Oil and Gas Industries ). While individuals have been recycling and trying to reduce gas or electric power consumption in their homes for years now, these efforts at being more green are only beginning to be mirrored at their places of work. Yet many manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses, particularly those that are asset-intensive and that have a mobile field force, can play an important role in

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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail

We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.

Get free sample report
Compare Software Solutions

Visit the TEC store to compare leading software by functionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.

Compare Now

Process Manufacturing (ERP)

The simplified definition of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a set of applications that automate finance and human resources departments and help manufacturers handle jobs such as order processing and production scheduling. ERP began as a term used to describe a sophisticated and integrated software system used for manufacturing. In its simplest sense, ERP systems create interactive environments designed to help companies manage and analyze the business processes associated with manufacturing goods, such as inventory control, order taking, accounting, and much more. Although this basic definition still holds true for ERP systems, today its definition is expanding. Today's leading ERP systems group all traditional company management functions (finance, sales, manufacturing, human resources) and include, with varying degrees of acceptance and skill, many solutions that were formerly considered peripheral (product data management (PDM), warehouse management, manufacturing execution system (MES), reporting, etc.). While during the last few years the functional perimeter of ERP systems began an expansion into its adjacent markets, such as supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence/data warehousing, and e-Business, the focus of this knowledge base is mainly on the traditional ERP realms of finance, materials planning, and human resources. The old adage is "Such a beginning, such an end", and, consequently, many ERP systems' failures could be traced back to a bad software selection. The foundation of any ERP implementation must be a proper exercise of aligning customers' IT technology with their business strategy, and subsequent software selection. This is the perfect time to create the business case and energize the entire organization towards the vision sharing and a buy in, both being the Key Success Factors (KSFs). Yet, these steps are very often neglected despite the amount of expert literature and articles that emphasize their importance.    

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TEC's Mid-market ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide


Midsize manufacturers and distributors now have access to an array of powerful software solutions that simply weren’t available before. But with so many choices, you need accurate and unbiased information. This comprehensive guide from TEC and SupplyChainBrain provides a state-of-the-market analysis, success stories from your peers, in-depth information on solutions, and a directory of the leading vendors in the field.

This guide features information on vendors offering dedicated ERP-distribution solutions for the midmarket. These solutions are all designed to address the logistical, financial, and workflow issues facing the distribution industry today.

Inside, you’ll find a chart highlighting 10 featured vendor solutions by installed base and business components, ranging from warehouse, transportation, and inventory management, to international trade logistics, Web commerce, and human resources (HR) and financials.

As well, you’ll find an analysis of the state of the market by the editor of Supply Chain Brain. Customer success stories have been included to illustrate how ERP-distribution solutions have helped companies like yours solve distribution and business logistics problems.

For your convenience, there’s also a vendor directory to assist companies looking for either full ERP-distribution systems, add-ons, or third-party solutions for the following: demand management (DM), retail systems, supply chain management (SCM), transportation management systems (TMSs), and warehouse management systems (WMSs).

We hope you’ll find this guide a useful tool in determining which ERP-distribution solutions are best suited for your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Introduction

State of the Midsize ERP-Distribution Marketplace

Methodology

Vendor Capabilities

Business Components

Customer Profile

Spotlight on ERP-Distribution

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Spotlight on Inventory and Accounting

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Spotlight on Supply Chain Management

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Vendor Directory

Profiles

Demand Management

ERP-Distribution

Retail

Supply Change Management

Transportation Management System

Warehouse Management System


Download the full copy of the TEC ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide for the Mid-market.


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Inventory Management and Accounting Conundrum


The challenges of inventory management and the notion of inventory as a “necessary evil” (or the “asset versus liability” dilemma) have long been haunting operations and financial and accounting managers. It is a well-known fact that managing inventory risk is about managing the cost of maintaining unnecessarily high levels of inventory against the risk of running out of stock at a crucial moment of truth when a customer actually wants something. In a variety of aspects, inventory management is at the heart of the supply chain management (SCM) realm. Supply chain organizations are responsible for all the processes from sales and operations planning to customer fulfillment, inventory optimization, and new product delivery and introduction—all of which involve the planning and movement of inventory. Profit margins are also directly proportional to operational excellence in each of the above processes.
While cherished by material management folks as supply chain “grease,” inventory is not that beloved by financial managers.

The motto “time is money” certainly holds true when it comes to inventory valuation. Well, maybe in a reverse (negative) manner, because typically neglected in the continuous battle for executives’ focus and priority is the management of at-risk, aging inventory—be it excess active, obsolete, returns, or refurbished inventory. Some refer to these items as “slobs,” which stands for “slow moving and obsolete” ones. In other words, most companies in the sectors of high-tech, consumer electronics, retail, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) are focused on new product introductions. Given that everybody is most excited in the early stages of product life cycles (that is, devising and delivering the brand new, “coolest” products), much less attention is paid to the languishing, “totally so not cool” older product lines, with millions of accompanying inventory asset recovery dollars slipping away annually as a consequence.

Excess inventory, which ties up working capital and whose value is declining by the day, does not necessarily come from new product introductions only. Nowadays the manufacture of most goods is largely carried out in the Far East, which comes with a nominal item price advantage, but also with many potential downsides. In addition to the inevitable quality, communication, and cultural issues, manufacturing product in such lower cost, remote locations means a sizeable lead time increase, as the goods will need to be transported from the Far East back to the company’s warehouse. This in turn means that a planner will have to forecast the demand before placing an order with a remote supplier far away.

Download the full copy of the TEC ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide for the Mid-market.

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Sybase an SAP Company


Founded in 1984 and acquired by SAP in 2010, Sybase manages, analyzes, and develops database and other enterprise technology. Its specialties include data management and warehousing, analytics, mobile messaging, and enterprise mobility.

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The F.J. Westcott Company


Sales at F.J. Westcott began to grow, placing a greater demand on its legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system’s inventory capabilities. Unrelieved inventory and other challenges led Westcott to seek a new ERP system—and a software evaluation and comparison methodology within the company’s budget. See how Technology Evaluation Centers’ Software Selection Services provided the resources for a confident decision.

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ERP Software Review: IFS Applications version 8.0 for the Mining Industry


This enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution software review report examines the ERP software by IFS and its support for mining industry processes against known benchmarks. It assesses IFS Application (v. 80) for ERP functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Financials
  • Human Resources
  • Process Manufacturing Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Purchasing Management
  • Quality Management
  • Sales Management
  • Project Management
  • Maintenance Management

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on a demonstration provided by IFS. The review identifies the features of IFS Applications that distinguishes it from other business process management solutions, including its compatibility with multiple sites and companies, its integrated document management feature, and its support for mobile operations across various devices. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

IFS Applications achieved TEC certification status for its ERP software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the ERP software’s support for specific real-world business process and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of IFS Applications, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that IFS Applications by IFS is a strong mining industry ERP system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how IFS Applications can help mining businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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5 Dirty Little Secrets of the WMS Industry


You can learn all about them in the revealing white paper, the five dirty little secrets of the WMS industry.

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Case Study: Holland Bulb Farms Online Flower Provider Manages Web Store to Support Company Growth


With over 25,000 customers, Holland Bulb Farms of Wisconsin (US) needed a more efficient way to sell and market its gardening items on the Web. The company wanted an integrated system to keep track of its growing number of transactions, expenses, and purchases. With Everest, the company found the all-in-one solution it needed—and within the first month of going live, saw a 300-percent return on investment. Learn more.

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E-Business Customer Service Success at H.B. Fuller Company


Chemical company H.B. Fuller has leveraged the Internet to improve their level of customer service.

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Wipro Point of View: Changing Nature of the Wealth Management Industry


The slump in the wealth management industry has its roots in the financial crisis in America and Europe. This has led to high-net-worth individuals (HNI) getting increasingly attracted to low risk, low management investments. Dr. Ashok Hegde, Global Head of Financial Services, Business Analyst Practice, Wipro, shares his expertise on the current challenges faced by and opportunities available to wealth managers. Read more.

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PLM for the Fashion Industry


Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for Fashion is an evaluation model containing tailored PLM criteria and extra functionalities that serve the specificities of this industry in order to help fashion goods (including apparel, footwear, accessory and home fashion) manufacturers and retailers to achieve more efficient product development, lower cost, and better collaboration and control throughout the whole supply chain.

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Ventyx, an ABB Company


Ventyx provides enterprise asset management and business software solutions to asset-intensive industries. For more than 30 years, it has served customers within the mining, oil and gas, utilities, transportation, defence, and government industries in over 40 countries. Ventyx' service offerings include business process consulting, implementation services, training, analytics and business intelligence, business-to-business integration, IT outsourcing, technology consulting, business process outsourcing, and application management services. Ventyx, an ABB company, acquired Mincom in 2011 and added Mincom's products, including Ellipse, to the Ventyx portfolio of products. Ventys products include Ellipse, Axis, Focal Point, Service Suite, Asset Suite, eSOMS, Performance Management, Equipment Reliability, LinkOne, Inventory Optimization, Managed Services, and the Intelligent Mining Suite: MineMarket, Mincom MineScape, CCLAS, Assay Management, and Production Accounting.

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