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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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 comparison guide for scm and crm


Finance and Accounting Solutions Buyer’s Guide for Small to Medium Enterprises
For large organizations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems promise big gains by helping grow revenue and increase productivity. But can ERP benefit

comparison guide for scm and crm  erp business | erp comparison | erp evaluation | erp implementation | erp integration | erp management | erp market | erp methodology | erp mid market | erp modules | erp overview | erp package | erp planning | erp products | erp provider | erp review software | erp selection | erp small business | erp software | erp software applications | erp software comparison | erp software development | erp software evaluation | erp software package | erp software selection | erp software solution | erp software

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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

CRM for Financial and Insurance Markets

Customer relationship management (CRM) focuses on the retention of customers by collecting data from all customer interactions with a company from all access points (by phone, mail, or Web, or in the field). The company can then use this data for specific business purposes by taking a customer-centric rather than a product-centric approach. CRM applications are front-end tools designed to facilitate the capture, consolidation, analysis, and enterprise-wide dissemination of data from existing and potential customers. This process occurs throughout the marketing, sales, and service stages, with the objective of better understanding one’s customers and anticipating their interest in an enterprise’s products or services.  

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SaaS Buyer's Guide for Wholesale and Distribution


SaaS, despite its phenomenal popularity, is certainly not one-size-fits-all. You need to consider decision criteria such as fit, return on investment, and risk. Learn how SaaS works, who the major vendors are, how SaaS can help your business grow, and how to find the SaaS solution that’s right for you. It’s all in this comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Guide for Wholesale and Distribution from TEC and SupplyChainBrain.

From a business requirements perspective, the defining characteristic of wholesale and distribution (W&D) organizations is that they operate as intermediate agents between manufacturers and retailers. Their top business needs thus focus on requirements for:

  • processing high volumes of transactions,
  • maintaining constant communication between upstream and downstream collaborators (manufacturers and retailers/customers, respectively), and
  • managing products for multiple competitors within the same warehouse or distribution center

In this guide we will explore considerations for W&D organizations that are considering adoption of the SaaS delivery model, and examine the particular business issues that arise from this change.Specifically, we will address the following considerations:

  • the differences between SaaS and on-premise delivery models
  • SaaS architectures
  • SaaS pros, cons, and other considerations
  • selection criteria for SaaS-based applications
  • viable wholesale and distribution SaaS vendors

Later in this guide, we’ll provide examples of SaaS delivery model success stories, as well as a SaaS IT directory, segmented according to business area.


Table of Contents


Preface

Software as a Service: A Buyer’s Guide


Spotlight on Adaptability and Agility

Thought Leadership from SAP
SAP’s Perspective on Software as a Service

SAP Case Study
Johnson Products Capitalizing on New Sales after 30-day SAP Deployment


Spotlight on Manufacturing and Distribution

Thought Leadership from Epicor
SaaS ERP for Small Manufacturers and Distributors

TECSYS Case Study
LifeScience Logistics Achieves 99.97% Inventory Accuracy with TECYS’ EliteSeries for Healthcare


Spotlight on Growing Your Company with SaaS

Thought Leadership from NetSuite
The Benefits of a Business Management Software Suite for High-growth and Midsized Businesses: Overcoming the Barriers of Stand-alone Business Applications

NetSuite Case Study
Woodworking Machinery Maker Cuts Costs, Grows Efficiency with NetSuite

NetSuite Case Study
NetSuite Helps Manufacturer Take Advantage of Fast Market Growth


Spotlight on Distribution Centers

Thought Leadership from Bond International Software
Cloud Computing for Your Distribution Workforce

IBS Case Study
Konaflex Focuses on its Core Business with IBS Distribution Management Software


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.



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What Are the Differences between the SaaS and On-premise Delivery Models?



Defining the on-premise delivery model is relatively straightforward:

  • The software is acquired by the customer up-front.
  • The software is installed, deployed, managed, and maintained at the customer’s site, generally with a great degree of involvement by the customer.
  • The customer provides the in-house infrastructure (e.g., servers, hardware, networks) to support the software.


Defining the SaaS model is slightly more complex, since different SaaS vendors offer different definitions. We’ll explore these variations in more detail shortly, but for now we’ll note the following SaaS characteristics:

  • The software vendor provides customers with access to the software via the Internet.
  • The customer pays for this service on a subscription basis (normally per user, per month, or per number of transactions).
  • The vendor is responsible for maintenance, upgrades, and software support, as well as the supporting infrastructure.

The major difference between the on-premise and SaaS delivery model lies in the ownership of the software. In the on-premise model, once the software is purchased, the customer owns it. In the SaaS delivery model, the software is not owned by the customer: it is provided to the customer in the same manner as any other service.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.

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CRM without Compromise: A Strategy for Profitable Growth


When implementing customer relationship management (CRM), organizations often lose sight of their customers and focus on efficiency gains instead of looking at the bigger picture from a customer perspective. But organizations that can build a business-centric system flexible enough to quickly respond to changing customer needs will have a sustainable competitive advantage and enjoy profitable growth for years to come.

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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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ERP Systems Buyer’s Guide


The implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to automate business processes is a strategic investment. Buying the right system and choosing the best vendor for you are critical to a successful ERP implementation. As a decision maker, you need to quickly identify your ERP requirements, effectively communicate these needs to vendors, and successfully compare various product alternatives. Learn how.

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RP Software Review: IFS Application version 8.0 for ERP for Services


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

  • Portfolio and Project Management
  • Resource Planning and Scheduling
  • Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management
  • Time and Expense Management
  • Budgeting, Costing, and Billing
  • Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis
  • Third-party Integration
  • Back-Office Functionality

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 services support 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 businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 for ERP for Mixed-mode Manufacturing Certification Report


Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of mixed-mode manufacturing solutions in the enterprise resource planning (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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An Opportunity for Change: 10 Recommendations for Advancing Your HR Technology Strategy


This report outlines 10 recommendations for companies to advance its human resources (HR) technology strategy. From conducting a global systems inventory and redeploying software to recalibrating talent strategies and targeting critical roles to focusing on end-user experience and tapping social collaboration, it offers easy-to-implement recommendations to help organizations d position themselves for long-term success.

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Dynamics CRM: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Competitor Analysis Report


This comprehensive, customer relationship management (CRM) knowledge base covers the full range of CRM functionality. Modeled especially to help clients requiring modern B2B or B2C solutions, it covers marketing automation, sales force automation, customer service and support, partner management, contract management and creation, project and team management, Internet sales, e-mail response management, analytics, and important technical criteria.

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Maximizer CRM: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Competitor Analysis Report


This comprehensive, customer relationship management (CRM) knowledge base covers the full range of CRM functionality. Modeled especially to help clients requiring modern B2B or B2C solutions, it covers marketing automation, sales force automation, customer service and support, partner management, contract management and creation, project and team management, Internet sales, e-mail response management, analytics, and important technical criteria.

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PPM for PSA Software Review: NetSuite OpenAir


This product portfolio management for professional services automation (PPM for PSA) software review report examines the PPM for PSA software by NetSuite and its support for business management processes against known benchmarks. It assesses NetSuite OpenAir for PPM for PSA functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Portfolio and Project Management
  • Resource Planning and Scheduling
  • Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management
  • Time and Expense Management
  • Budgeting, Costing, and Billing
  • Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis
  • Third-party Integration

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the PPM for PSA software based on a demonstration provided by NetSuite. The review identifies the features of NetSuite OpenAir that distinguishes it from other business process management solutions, including its integration capability with NetSuite’s SuiteApp.com application store, its multicurrency and multi-tax support feature, and its mobile compatibility for use over various device types. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

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

Based on a demonstration of NetSuite OpenAir, a TEC analyst has assessed the PPM for PSA software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that NetSuite OpenAir by Aptean is a strong manufacturing ERP system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how NetSuite OpenAir can help businesses achieve their PPM for PSA objectives.

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