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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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 implement manufacturing system


How to Choose a Manufacturing System
If you’ve worked for more than one manufacturing company, you know that each one is different. Different processes, systems, problems—all these variations mean

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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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What Are Manufacturing Execution Systems?


A manufacturing execution system (MES) can be defined as a collection of business processes providing event-by-event, real-time execution of planned production requirements. However, market ambiguity and functional overlap with enterprise resource planning systems obscure what an MES can bring to an enterprise.

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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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A Manufacturing Imperative: Enterprise SOA


In the past, full efficiency was almost impossible for most manufacturing sites thanks to lack of integration between plant systems and business systems. But that’s changing now, with the advent of enterprise service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA allows you to change and improve your processes without expensive IT integration projects. Learn about the business opportunities SOA can create for you.

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The 2007 Microsoft® Office System in Manufacturing


This white paper highlights the key challenges facing the manufacturing industry, and discusses how the 2007 Microsoft® Office system can help maximize employee contributions and enhance business performance with innovative and powerful enterprise capabilities.

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Manufacturing and Distribution Overview


Distribution and manufacturing solutions can help improve customer satisfaction, lower costs, and respond to the changing market. The MAS 500 distribution solution is a suite of modules that provides capabilities for tracking, managing, and replenishing. The MAS 500 manufacturing suite provides streamlined integration of routings and bills of material.

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Common Phone System Buying Problems


There are so many choices out there on phone systems that it can be very difficult to make an educated decision without dedicating days or weeks researching all of the vendors and options available. Rather than learning the hard way, know some of the common problems that people often run into when buying a new business phone system so you understand the obstacles you will face in your buying decision and how to get around them.

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Driving Growth in Manufacturing with CPQ


Manufacturing leads other industries in using configure, price, quote (CPQ) software in selling and fulfillment processes. This paper examines the key challenges confronting manufacturers today and how modern CPQ solutions can support growth strategies through improvements to sales processes and sales effectiveness. We also highlight key capabilities and next steps for manufacturers pursuing CPQ initiatives.

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Plex Manufacturing Cloud


The Plex Manufacturing Cloud (formerly known as Plex Online) offers more than 350 functional modules that give manufacturers instant access to vital information and management functions via a simple Web browser. Plex Manufacturing Cloud offers features for virtually every department within a manufacturing operation, including manufacturing operations management (MOM) and quality management systems (QMS) for the shop floor; customer relationship management (CRM) for sales and marketing; supply chain management (SCM) for procurement; and enterprise resource planning (ERP) for finance and management. The on-demand solution features product life cycle management (PLM) functions such as program and change management; ERP functions such as accounting and finance modules; CRM features such as order entry and tracking; manufacturing execution systems (MES) functions such as production scheduling and machine integration; and SCM functions such as supplier quality and traceability.

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IQMS EnterpriseIQ ERP for Discrete Manufacturing Certification Report


The IQMS product EnterpriseIQ is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for discrete manufacturing in the Enterprise Resource Planning 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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Open System, Inc


Open Systems was founded in 1976 on the premise of delivering powerful accounting software solutions to small and mid-market customers. Throughout its 25+ years, Open Systems has partnered with thousands of independent resellers, consultants and developers in order to deliver accounting software solutions to over 250,000 small, growing, and mid-market software users.

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