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ERP - Distribution Showdown! Microsoft Dynamics NAV vs. Retalix vs. Epicor Enterprise

Written By: Dylan Persaud
Published On: June 22 2007

ERP - Distribution Showdown:
Microsoft Dynamics NAV vs. Retalix vs. Epicor Enterprise

I'm Dylan Persaud, senior analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers. I'd like to welcome you to another in our ongoing series of enterprise software Showdowns. Today's Showdown compares enterprise resource planning (ERP) - Distribution solutions Microsoft Dynamics, Retalix, and Epicor Enterprise head-to-head. We hope you find these Showdowns helpful and informative, and invite your comments and questions at showdown@technologyevaluation.com.


Introduction

ERP - Distribution solutions help companies manage internal and external resources more efficiently. This includes everything from order processing and inventory control, to accounting, purchasing, customer service, supply chain management (SCM), sales, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory, warehouse, and finance management.

We selected two integrated ERP - distribution solutions, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Epicor Enterprise, and one best-of-breed solution, Retalix, which specializes in retail and distribution solutions. Integrated solutions combine core ERP - distribution functionality with human resources (HR) and financials (back office), thereby providing a complete solution. Best-of-breed, on the other hand, provides only core ERP - distribution functionality, allowing an organization to retain its installed HR and financials software, as many organizations prefer.

Using our ERP - Distribution Evaluation Center , we compared Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Epicor Enterprise, and Retalix head-on. For the overall rankings, we looked at the vendors in the two basic configurations mentioned above: with and without back-office functionality (HR and financials).

To eliminate any chance of bias, and to ensure a level playing field, all 3,416 criteria comprising all the modules and submodules in the ERP - distribution request for information (RFI) were given equal weight and priority. In other words, no area of functionality was treated as being more important than any other.

Please note that all the results in this report are based on the most recent RFI data supplied to us by the three vendors, indicating their level of support for each of the 3,416 functional criteria in our ERP - distribution evaluation center.


Results

ERP - distribution overall rankings with HR and financials (back office)

ERP - distribution overall rankings without HR and financials (back office)

The two charts above show the overall rankings.

With back-office functionality included, Microsoft finishes first, barely edging past Epicor in the number two slot, with Retalix placing third. Without back-office functionality, Epicor places first, just nudging out Retalix and Microsoft, but the results are so close as to make it virtually a three-way tie.

Clearly Retalix, the best-of-breed solution, shows weaker in the rankings that include back-office functionality, since this vendor offers only rudimentary HR and financials. However, for many organizations, this is desirable, as they prefer to retain their current back-office system when implementing a new ERP - distribution solution. The rankings without back office constitute a true apples-to-apples comparison of pure ERP - distribution functionality, and as you've seen, the results are almost dead even.

Let's take a look at the main module rankings.

Erp-distribution main module rankings

As indicated above, Microsoft has three first-place finishes Retalix has two, and Epicor has one.

It's worth noting that Microsoft is particularly strong in back-office and distribution process management, while Retalix is the clear winner in SCM with a strong retail and commerce component. Epicor has particular strength in financials as well as retail and commerce.

But given that we're looking at enterprise software solutions, it's not that simple or clear-cut. Rankings, either overall or by module, do not tell you everything you need to know. What they do provide is a basic, high-level view of vendors' general strengths and weaknesses. However, the fact is, typically no two businesses will use an ERP - distribution solution in the exact same way. Businesses have unique requirements that need to be supported by the ERP - distribution solution they are implementing.

For example, although Microsoft placed first overall, if SCM is key to your business, as would be the case for consumer packaged goods, third party logistics, and product assembly, Retalix may be a better choice than Microsoft, as the chart above indicates. Taking a closer look at SCM below, it becomes more apparent why.

SCM module

The same applies within individual modules, where the top-ranking vendor may not necessarily be the right one for your organization's needs. As can be seen above, although Retalix placed first in SCM overall, Epicor was stronger in supplier relationship management. If your organization deals with a large number of suppliers, Epicor may therefore be a better choice.

Conclusion

Given that straight "out of the box" rankings generally don't reflect the real-world needs of an organization, and that the rankings can shift depending on what areas of functionality you look at, how do you determine which ERP - distribution solution is best suited for your business?

The fastest, simplest way is to do what we did to produce the results you see here: use TEC's ERP- Distribution Evaluation Center . We got our results in twenty minutes, versus weeks or even months of struggling with huge Excel spreadsheets.

TEC's ERP - Distribution 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 not on out-of-the-box functionality, but rather on how well that functionality matches the business requirements of your organization.

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

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

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

 
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