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Chemical Industry ERP Showdown: Infor vs. JD Edwards vs. Lawson vs. SAP vs. SSI

Written By: Larry Blitz
Published On: March 10 2008

Chemical Industry ERP Showdown:
Infor vs. JD Edwards vs. Lawson vs. SAP vs. SSI

Hi. I'm Larry Blitz, editor of Technology Evaluation Centers' (TEC) Vendor Showdown series. Today's Showdown is a little different from those we've run in the past. It is based on an industry-specific case study, and involves five enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors competing for the business. We hope you find this Vendor Showdown helpful and informative, and we invite your comments and questions at showdown@technologyevaluation.com.


Introduction

Today's Showdown looks at an evaluation conducted by a company in the chemical industry. This company produces specialized ingredients for the food industry, and it was interested in evaluating a new, full-blown process ERP system to replace an outdated legacy system that had been patched together over a period of years.

Five vendors were selected for the evaluation: Infor ERP LX, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Lawson M3 for Process Manufacturing, SAP's mySAP ERP, and SSI's TROPOS. All the results presented here were determined by TEC's eBestMatch decision support system, based on the latest request for information (RFI) supplied to us by the five vendors.

The priorities assigned to the various modules and submodules were selected by the client. (This is different from Showdowns we've run in the past, where all the priorities were set evenly.)

The chart below indicates how priorities were assigned across the main ERP modules:

Distribution of priorities by main ERP modules

As the chart above indicates, the client gave Process Manufacturing Management the highest priority, at 25%, followed by Inventory, Purchasing, and Sales Management, all at 15%. Financials, Quality Management, Human Resources, and Product Technology were given the lowest priorities.

In the chart below, you can see how the priorities were assigned within the client's key module of interest, Process Manufacturing Management.

Distribution of priorities within the Process Manufacturing Module

The two most important submodules within Process Manufacturing Management, as indicated above, were Formulas/Recipes, with a 28% priority, followed by Material Management at 17%.

Results

How, then, did the vendors rank? The overall results (factoring in all the modules) are shown in the chart below.

Overall Vendor Rankings

As this chart indicates, Lawson M3 for Process Manufacturing scored highest overall, followed by mySAP, Infor ERP LX, and JD Edwards EnterpriseONE—all closely grouped together—with TROPOS finishing last.

Below are the results within the Process Manufacturing Management module.

Vendor rankings — Process Manufacturing Management

Again, Lawson placed first. But Infor LX moved up to second place, displacing mySAP ERP. TROPOS came in third, moving up considerably from last place in the overall rankings. Slipping to fourth place was mySAP, with JD Edwards placing last.

Conclusion

Of the five vendors, Lawson was the most consistent performer. But as we've seen in this Showdown, rankings can change when different areas of functionality are looked at.

For example, although Lawson placed first overall and in the Process Manufacturing Management module, the vendor slips to third place in Human Resources, behind both Infor and mySAP (see chart below). And, as we saw in the chart above, with the exception of Lawson, all the vendors shifted rankings when the focus was changed from overall results to the Process Manufacturing Management module.

Vendor rankings — Human Resources

Given that the rankings can shift depending on what functional areas you look at and the priority you assign to them, how, then, can you determine which ERP solutions are best suited for your particular business needs?

The fastest, simplest way is to use TEC's ERP Evaluation Center.

TEC's ERP Evaluation Center allows you to set priorities that reflect your organization's business model and special needs, at every level of functionality. At the modular and submodular levels—even down to the individual criteria—you can tell the system which business processes are critical, important, or not important to your organization. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor responses to produce a shortlist of solutions. You get a custom comparison—one that ranks vendor solutions on how well each vendor's functionality matches the business requirements of your organization.

It's the best way we know of to evaluate ERP solutions, and we invite you to give it a run-through. Simply click on the link below to visit our ERP Evaluation Center, and conduct your fast, free custom ERP comparison. After all, there's no other organization quite like yours.

For a free custom comparison of ERP solutions, click below.

Find out which ERP solutions are best suited to your company's particular requirements and type of business.

 
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