ERP Selection Facts and Figures Case Study
of the Selection
A mid-market Engineer-to-Order manufacturer in the aerospace and defense
sector retained the services of TEC to help select an Enterprise Resource
Planning System. This system is intended to replace disparate applications
that lacked the functionality and integration to support the company's
Lean Manufacturing initiatives.
Scripted Scenarios allowed TEC to gain a detailed understanding of the
strengths and weaknesses of each product. ERGO 2001, TEC's decision support
tool, was used to record and analyze the results of the scenarios (For
more information on ERGO 2001 see ERGO
2001 IT Evaluation Tool).
this note: This is a two part note. Part
One includes the Business Scenarios Model and Results. Part Two contains
the Qualitative Assessments and Analysis, and User Recommendations.
Each vendor also had qualitative advantages and disadvantages captured
outside ERGO 2001.
IFS Applications support many to many relationships between Engineering
Change Requests and Engineering Change Orders. Its applications
also easily handle stockable and non-stockable phantom subassemblies.
Customer account creation is very user friendly. Passing Kanban
inventory from any location to any other location is very simple.
Sales order and product profitability analyses are done through
pre-built scorecards that run off of sophisticated queries that
eliminate the need to populate OLAP cubes.
Identification of components with long purchase lead times at an
early design stage and for early planning purposes is poor.
Online help is very useful. Email routing help is very sophisticated.
Screen navigation is intuitive because users only have to learn
five different screen forms in order to use the entire application
suite. Document Management tool is fairly sophisticated. IFS' workflow
tool is visual and powerful. Its Web portal tool, which consists
of a number of configurable portlets, is very intuitive. IFS also
provides native Product Data Management (PDM), Customer Relationship
Management (CRM) and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS).
Online Expense reports and procurement cards are highly integrated
with the General Ledger. JD Edwards' back-flush capabilities are
also very strong. The ability to report deviations from Bill of
Materials in production is very sophisticated
Distinguishing between internal and external comments on Purchase
Orders and Purchase Requisitions is poor. Identification of components
with long purchase lead times at an early design stage and for early
planning purposes is poor. Adherence to certain industry specific
messaging standards is not supported out of the box and requires
an XML mapping exercise.
JD Edwards' integration with Microsoft Office is very sophisticated.
The company has also partnered with Siebel for Customer Relationship
Management and Microstrategy for Business Intelligence such that
JD Edwards directly provides support to its customers. This brings
exceptional functionality in these areas while mitigating some of
the traditional problems of using a multi-vendor solution.
Procurement cards are highly integrated with the General Ledger.
Design-to-Order and Manufacture-to-Order cost and schedule information
is very useful. Repair action recording and sales forecasting are
Online Expense reports were cumbersome and not user friendly. Identification
of components without suppliers was difficult. Oracle has no out
of the box dashboard or scorecard functionality. Use of a shipper's
memo to drive stock transactions is poor. The ability to accumulate
labor against a work order was limited. Many industry specific forms
are not available out of the box.
Oracle has very tight integration between its application modules
and its database. In general, functionality in financials and manufacturing
is very strong.
Document Management tools can handle sophisticated importing of
Engineering Bill of Materials that are made up of multiple engineering
documents. The ability to view and move Kanban locations is very
powerful and visual. Tight integration with FEDEX enables automatic
generation of FEDEX tracking numbers.
Out of the box scorecard and dashboard functionality is very limited.
SAP is more functionally robust than any other vendor. The company
has native PDM, CRM and APS.
9 indicates how the vendors compare relative to two factors, Business
Scenarios (product functionality) and Flexibility. Note that the size
of the dot indicates the vendors' rank in the overall model such that
larger dots denote higher rank. It is evident that the Business Scenarios
percent match score for each vendor is very close, but the Flexibility
percent match score varies significantly. The client perceived SAP and
Oracle to be very inflexible compared to IFS and JD Edwards.
9. Business Scenarios vs. Flexibility
similar result exists in a comparison of Business Scenarios and Ease of
Use and Navigation. Figure 10 indicates that both SAP and Oracle were
perceived by the client to be more cumbersome and less intuitive compared
to JD Edwards and IFS.
10. Business Scenarios vs. Ease of Use and Navigation\
strengths and weaknesses graph below indicates the relative strengths
and weaknesses for each vendor relative to the model categories. The graph
indicates that IFS' scores in Flexibility contributed proportionately
more points to their percent match score than Business Scenarios or Product
Ease of Use/Navigation. Contrarily, SAP's Business Scenarios score contributed
proportionately more points to their percent match score than Product
Ease of Use/Navigation or Flexibility. Note that the length of the bars
does not indicate how the vendors compare to each other. It indicates
in what categories the vendors generated their percent match scores with
respect to how those categories were weighted. Each vendor's bars sum
11. Strengths and Weaknesses Graph
client used the preceding results and analyses to make an ERP selection
decision as part of TEC's selection process. When beginning a selection
process it is important to keep the following in mind:
the selection process is vital. Auditing the process allows the client
to hold the winning vendor to specific claims made throughout the selection
at the time of implementation. This includes RFI responses, product
demonstrations, and pricing proposals.
an unbiased selection environment is necessary to find the best match
vendor. Selections performed without the aid of an unbiased third party
often succumb to internal politics and management and selection team
prejudice. Furthermore the selection team may be more exposed to vendor
marketing "fluff" and as a result this may detriment their ability to
focus on ensuring the vendors substantiate their claims. Also, using
a third party selection consultant that has a business relationship
with vendors involved in the selection introduces bias. If your selection
consultant will generate additional revenue by selecting a particular
vendor because they can perform the implementation, an obvious bias
shown have been generated using the TEC's patented decision analysis software
ERGO (formerlyTESS), which uses the Multi-Attribute Utility theory (MAU),
Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and TEC's patented decision science to
compare vendors and products relative to one another in a statistically