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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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 edi supply chain guide


Supply Chain Network Visibility and Analytics
The complexity of the global economy is a powerful motivation for companies to look for new ways to increase efficiency and productivity. That’s why companies

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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

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply chain management (SCM) solutions include applications for managing supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and customer business processes. Addressing demand management, warehouse management, international trade logistics, transportation execution, and many other issues for a complete solution, this knowledge base will support your evaluation of an SCM suite. 

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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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TEC Lean and Green Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide


While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line.

While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line.

In this lean and green buyer’s guide, we’ll discuss some of the challenges that companies are facing in light of the changes to the economy as well as the pressures of “going green.” We’ll talk about some of the highlevel changes your business can make, with a focus on operational efficiency and on how lean and green practices can both lead to the same result: efficiency equals sustainable business. We will also feature information about some of the vendor offerings targeted at companies looking to adopt or improve their “green business strategies.” The products covered in this guide address various areas within the scopes of both “lean” and “green,” including lean manufacturing, environmental management, operations management, compliance regulations, and more.

We’ve included customer success stories to illustrate how product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise asset management (EAM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions have helped companies like yours deal with their environmental concerns. For your convenience, there is also a vendor directory to assist companies that are looking for a “sustainability enabling” solution.

We hope this report will provide you with enough insight about the current state of the market—with respect to both lean and green—to help you start making a few decisions about how your company can make a change for the better. We think you’ll find this guide a useful tool for determining which type of solution is best suited to your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Executive Overview
Lean, Green, and Everything in Between

Thought Leadership
Corporate Social Responsibility: Using Technology to Become More Lean and Green

Case Study
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Increases Scheduling Efficiency with Asprova

Case Study
Lean in Action: Manufacturer Cuts Lead Time from Four Weeks to Four Days

Case Study
InkCycle Makes Green Ink, While Staying in the Black

Case Study
A Pragmatic Approach to Gaining Business Efficiencies

Case Studies at a Glance
TEC Analyst Perspective



Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 Lean and Green Buyer’s Guide for manufacturers.



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State of the Market: Lean and Green


Today’s need for sustainable development (economic, social, and environmental) is increasingly affecting how organizations do business. But the areas of environmental and corporate responsibility are still relatively new to businesses as concepts that drive value. And even though these concepts are rapidly growing in importance, many organizations are still in the early phases of adopting an approach that provides measured results.

The state of market in “green” is improving—albeit at a very slow pace—as organizations learn the value of integrating environmental thinking into their operations, and find more and more ways to align green thinking with their business strategies and goals.

This need for change affects businesses, municipalities, government, and resource-extractive industries like manufacturing. Some of the major influences affecting these organization’s environmental sustainability decisions are regulations and standards, competitive position, and public confidence. In fact, there is a great deal of reputation at stake, since public consciousness towards environmental issues is growing.

Today’s stakeholders (customers, investors, etc.) want to put their money into companies that are sustainable. If businesses don’t take an interest in the environment—and their impact on it—it reflects very poorly on their interest in their bottom line. The current economic situation being what it is, companies cannot afford “bad press,” and it’s in their best interest to realign their business strategies to include environmental awareness. Equally (if not more) important is the fact that green initiatives have a high return on investment (ROI) and end up paying for themselves through cost savings on resources, energy, carbon taxes, etc.

Today’s environmental challenges in business are vast, and range from financial burdens (such as rising energy, input, and transportation costs), to waste disposal and regulatory issues (minimizing/reducing waste), to accountability and sustainability—which can make the decision to go green both complex and convoluted.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 Lean and Green Buyer’s Guide for manufacturers.

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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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The Retail Industry: Improving Supply Chain Efficiency Through Vendor Compliance - Part 2 An Andersen Point Of View


A vendor compliance database can range from a complex system built within the retailer's existing architecture to a smaller, stand-alone desktop database application. Find out what's Andersen's take on vendor compliance programs.

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Focus Experts Guide to IT Security: Unified Threat Management


Find out in Focus Experts Guide to IT Security: Unified Threat Management.

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Optimizing The Supply Chain Network And Reducing Distribution Costs - An Andersen Point Of View


The objective of supply chain logistics - to provide goods to the right place at the right time in the right quantity - is easy to understand, but achieving this objective while minimizing costs is not an easy task.

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2011 Business Intelligence Guide: BI for Everyone


Learn all about BI and how it can help your company thrive in TEC's 2011 Business Intelligence Guide: BI for Everyone.

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Managing Risk in the Global Supply Chain


Global fashion supply chains face a “perfect storm” of risk factors, ranging from volatile materials prices and skyrocketing shipping costs, to uncertainty about the outcome of legislative trade initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Download this white paper to find out how NGC’s Web-based Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Global Sourcing system can help.

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Supply Chain Apptricity: Supply Chain Management (SCM) Competitor Analysis Report


Criteria in this knowledge base pertain to managing supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and customer business processes. Addressing demand management, warehouse management, international trade logistics, transportation execution, and many other issues for a complete solution, this knowledge base will support your evaluation of an SCM suite.

edi supply chain guide   Read More

Supply Chain Visibility Excellence: Fostering Security, Resiliency, and Efficiency


The increased complexity of global supply chains has led to longer lead time, more pipeline inventory, and the need to control downstream and upstream logistics. Growing supply chain complexity is a top business pressure, contributing to increased supply chain management costs. This report focuses on gaining visibility into critical elements across the end-to-end logistics network for improving cost and service.

edi supply chain guide   Read More