Exact MAX ERP Can Now Go Anywhere




Exact, a provider of manufacturing and distribution solutions for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) , has released MAX Anywhere. It is a Web-based application that makes Exact MAX enterprise resource planning (ERP) features accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, including connected mobile devices.
 
MAX is a mature client/server ERP application (written for Microsoft Windows with a mix of .NET and C++ and on Microsoft SQL Server) that is usually installed on a server that resides at the customer’s place of business (i.e., on premises). Exact can set up MAX ERP in a hosted environment, i.e., install it onto a server that is owned and maintained by a third party with access provided via remote desktops.
 
In contrast, MAX Anywhere is a Web-based application that is installed onto a client’s Web server. The application is connected to the MAX database and the user is then able to use a significant portion of MAX via the Web interface. It does not really put MAX ERP into the cloud, as the primary MAX installation continues to be set up just as the client had it set up prior to adding MAX Anywhere. But Exact MAX customers no longer have to be at their workstations to use and transact in the system.
 
The MAX Anywhere application features 55 functional screens that are built around three key areas: Sales for sales order processing, Materials for inventory transactions, and Shop Floor for shop order processing. In addition to having the customary viewing screens, the Web application allows users to enter quotes and conduct material and shop transactions, such as receiving purchase orders, shipping sales orders, posting scrap, and more. All transactions are conducted via a secure connection directly to MAX.
 
MAX Anywhere is developed in HTML5 and has been compatibility tested. Since it is browser based, a user is not required to be running a specific operating system on a specific computing platform or device. But the application is not platform agnostic when it comes to installation and setup (the app requires Microsoft Internet Information Services [IIS] on the server side). Since companies using MAX Anywhere will also be using Exact MAX for ERP, they will likely already be working in a Microsoft environment, so using Microsoft technology standards for setup should be par for the course.
 
For those not familiar with Exact MAX ERP, it doesn’t include its own accounting capabilities. The MAX team lives and breathes manufacturing, having chosen several years ago to pursue a best-of-breed strategy on the accounting side. Today, the product integrates with Intuit QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics GP, whose users have to keep their master schedule and inventory in spreadsheets otherwise. Exact MAX ERP install base in the US and in Canada is about 500 companies, and with more than 40 accounts located in South America and Europe.
 
It is tough for any ERP/materials requirements planning (MRP) software provider to stay ahead of the curve regarding functionality that is becoming commoditized. Exact MAX is also starting to see competitors invest in technology (i.e., cloud-based solutions) over process-oriented feature functionality. Still, it’s not just about what you can do, but how you do it. That is one of the reasons why Exact is focused on optimizing the user experience. Despite its maturity, MAX ERP has a modern look and feel, making it easy to find your way around the system.
 
But there are still opportunities out there to solve a specific business problem and make life easier for the manufacturer. For example, the integrated change order management that MAX offers works very well in product-oriented companies that need to be able to quickly incorporate design or material changes that might impact a product’s bill of material (BOM) while maintaining full visibility and traceability of the revisions. Not everyone among MAX peers can offer that.
 
For more info, watch the video, Introducing MAX Anywhere.
 
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