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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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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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 calling managed code for erp system


Why .NET Technology Is Important for ERP
.NET technology is a wake-up call, and some people are sleeping through it! Remaining competitive means mission-critical software systems, such as enterprise

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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

Discrete 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, and human resources). Many systems include, with varying degrees of acceptance and skill, solutions that were formerly considered peripheral such as product data management (PDM), warehouse management, manufacturing execution system (MES), and reporting. 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 foundation of any ERP implementation must be a proper exercise of aligning customers'' IT technology with their business strategies, and subsequent software selection. 

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It’s About Process (or The Ability to Be Responsive)


Because business processes are often communicated in an ad hoc and unregulated manner, it can be difficult to standardize processes across organizations, particularly larger ones. TEC analyst PJ Jakovljevic takes you on a guided tour through workflow automation—or business process management (BPM)—and shows how these solutions can help ensure standardized adoption of processes, with highlights on several key BPM vendors.

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Service-oriented Architecture-Savior or Nemesis?


Managed well, service-oriented architecture (SOA) offers a tremendous opportunity to make positive changes and lay a foundation that will allow IT to become responsive and cost-effective. But SOA is also a potential minefield: hype is raising expectations beyond reality in an environment that is already stressed. In fact, managed poorly, SOA can be an expensive and spectacular failure.

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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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Do You Want Your Apps to Talk Back to You (as a Chatterbox)? - Part 1


Let me start this blog series with one disclaimer: I am not an early adopter and I do not easily fall for any vendor’s slick marketing. At a recent large user conference, a vendor’s staffer asked me why I wasn’t already using an iPad tablet computer. That question cracked me up, since I still use an Apple’s discontinued iBook notebook (besides the fact that I might only

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Compiere ERP & CRM


Compiere is an open source ERP software application with fully integrated CRM software solutions. The firm provides a comprehensive solution for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in distribution and service on a global basis and covers all areas from customer management and supply chain to accounting. Compiere Open Source ERP & CRM especially supports service and distribution (retail and wholesale) industries with an integrated web store, covering material management, purchasing sales, accounting, and customer relations management.

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Adeon Software House CXInsight for Electronics V5.2.0 for Product Lifecycle Management Certification Report


CXInsight for Electronics (v5.2.0) from Adeon Software House is now TEC Certified for online comparison of discrete product lifecycle management (PLM) software in TEC's Evaluation Centers. The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations relying on the integrity of TEC research for assistance with their software selection projects. Download this report for product highlights, competitive analysis, product analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary.

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SAP ERP: Discrete Manufacturing (ERP) Competitor Analysis Report


The discrete enterprise resource planning (ERP) knowledge base addresses discrete manufacturing (distinct items such as auto parts or chairs) as well as non-manufacturing industries. Research vendors that support a range of functionality for production planning, shop floor control, and product costing. The knowledge base also provides information on financials, human resources, and other enterprise management modules.

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SAP Eliminates Extra Clicks for End Users with SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM)


Today, at the HR Tech Europe Conference @ Expo 2012, SAP announced the availability of a package of user experience enhancements for the SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) solution. According to the press release the user experience capabilities of the product have been advanced. The SAP ERP HCM solution allows for automatic reminders, alerts, and key performance

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Sage 500 ERP Certification Report (ERP for Distribution)


Sage 500 ERP (formerly Sage ERP MAS 500) is TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) for distribution solutions in the ERP Evaluation Center. The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations relying on the integrity of TEC research for assistance with their software selection projects. Download this report for product highlights, competitive analysis, product analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary.

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ERP-II: Making ERP Deliver On Its Promise to the Enterprise


Conventional enterprise resource planning (ERP) falls short in a few areas: competitive pressures are making it clear that business is still in need of more effective solutions. ERP II, however, delivers on the original concept of ERP. No longer is corporate information isolated in departmental silos, but it is housed with all corporate information, used to benefit the entire organization.

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