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Lose the Starry Eyes, Analyze: Reviewing the Ideal Candidate for EMR Innovations ProcessPro

Written By: josh chalifour
Published On: August 20 2003


The Minnesota, USA based, EMR Innovations, was established in 1985. The company produces ProcessPro, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, which helps organizations in the pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemicals, and food and beverage industries integrate and manage their operations.

The ideal candidate for an EMR Innovations solution would be seeking a system developed for a process manufacturing environment. It is likely the customer would have its implementation budget set in the neighborhood of $250,000 (USD) or lower and require the system to support between 10 to 100 concurrent users. This customer would need its system to support purchasing and inventory management, in addition to a number of fundamental process manufacturing capabilities. It is also likely that the candidate will need support for financial management. Human resources will not be a high priority, nor will application development tools.

Profiling EMR Innovations' Ideal Candidate

For each high-level criterion TEC uses to analyze a product, we create several types of graphs. One type is a baseline graph. In the baseline graph, we normalize all criteria to an equal relevance, which allows you to see how a vendor's product scores for each module on its own merit, without regard to any one module taking precedence over another. By checking the vendor's results against a normalized baseline, you see the modules and functionality on which the vendor emphasized the most complete feature-set.

We adjust the benchmark of the baseline graph to develop a second type of graph in which the benchmark corresponds to EMR Innovations' focus. These newly prioritized graphs make ProcessPro's strengths more visibly stand out against its weaknesses.

Examining ProcessPro

TEC bases its ERP for process manufacturing analyses on well over 3000 possible criteria, the functionality of which is reflected by the baseline contribution analysis graph (Figure 1). The dotted-benchmark line shows the various modules weighted such that each one is equally important to the product's functionality. The graph's solid line reveals how much EMR Innovations' solution contributes to the product's functionality.

Figure 1.

EMR Innovations indicated they support 1301 or 42% of all the criteria we asked about for the evaluation. EMR makes a lot of other functionality available through modification, customization, or the support of a third-party.

ProcessPro appears, at first glance, to emphasize inventory management and purchasing management, with process manufacturing and sales management next in line for completeness of supported features. Imagining your company's requirements are the blue benchmark, you could guess that ProcessPro is capable of supporting something from each possible area of functionality. Human resources is an exception for a few reasons that we will highlight later. Because in this baseline graph, every module is equally important, it is not yet the most realistic model for determining a level of functional support. After we prioritize the graphs' benchmarks to follow the areas that ProcessPro indicated the most complete percentage of supported functionality, we will have a better idea of what a company's requirements would look like to match up with what EMR provides.

Compare the baseline analysis in Figure 1 with the prioritized graphs of Figures 2 and 3. These prioritized graphs show the benchmark prioritized such that the modules to which EMR Innovations has indicated the highest degrees of support, become the areas with the greatest contribution to the graphs.

Figure 2.

Inventory and purchasing management have the tallest reach, while human resources drops quite a bit.

Figure 3.

As we adjust the benchmark to match what ProcessPro supports, we can see that the company's emphasis on purchasing management and inventory management becomes more significant in contributing to the product's functionality as a whole. Human resources dips quite a bit, so it is likely that ProcessPro does not offer much native functionality in that regard. We will take a look at these modules in more depth to find out why the graphs appear as they do.

Purchasing Management

Figure 4.

The ProcessPro solution offers outright support for a little more than half of the criteria involved in purchasing management, with complete support for all the on-line requirements. They indicated a lack of support for just a couple features in vendor and supplier profile functionality and they support approximately 70% of the possible reporting functionality, with the remaining features available via modification or customization. The purchase order group includes about sixty criteria, which makes it the largest single group of criteria in purchasing management. ProcessPro supports 63% of these criteria, with an additional 11% of the criteria handled through customization and modification. Essentially, ProcessPro is supporting a basic range of features here.

Inventory Management

Figure 5.

In the inventory management section, ProcessPro supports a little less than half of the criteria we inquired about. The most complete group is the reporting and interfacing requirements group, with about 90% of its criteria satisfied. The company provides a high percentage of the processing functionality as well as data requirements, which means the system will accommodate information such as product line code, item number, item description, unit of measure, lead time, source of supply, and commodity codes in the inventory master file. If your company requires a modicum of inventory management features, the ProcessPro solution should be kept under consideration.

Process Manufacturing

Figure 6.

One of the largest categories in our evaluation is the process manufacturing management category. Forty percent of these criteria are part of the standard ProcessPro offering. Looking at Figure 6, we can see that one of the areas EMR Innovations has focused on providing the most complete feature-set is in the product costing module. In this case, they've indicated 65% of the criteria are supported. Conformance reporting, like many of the company's reporting-related criteria groups, is well supported, with only five criteria not listed as supported.

One area within product costing that tends to show fewer criteria supported outright, is the item costing group of criteria. In this case more than 60% of the criteria are supported through customization, which means the company will customize its code to support the criteria. The process model formulas and routings, is not a highly supported group of criteria. Finally, production planning, which deals with capacity planning, as well as forecasting and production schedules does not include a wide-range of features.

Human Resources

The graph in Figure 7 reveals why the human resources module does not contribute a lot of functionality to the overall product, which is consistent with our first look at Figure 3.

Figure 7.

EMR Innovations did not indicate any support for the health and safety, data warehousing, and employee self-service functionality. If your business needs a high-level of personnel management functionality, EMR Innovations claims the majority of these features are available in ProcessPro. The features do however, require the system to be modified correctly to support them. In the payroll category, most of the functionality that ProcessPro is focused on, is in the nature of managing employee profiles. This involves recording information such as name, address, pay type, and vacation accrual rates. The benefits capabilities are mostly provided through modification, but do allow for most basic benefits features.


ProcessPro supports Windows and Novell as server platforms with Microsoft SQL Server and FoxPro for databases. These capacities narrow the scope somewhat in regards to a customer's technical requirements. The ideal candidate will probably not be an extremely large company—likely employing fewer than 500 people. We can see that based on EMR Innovations' responses as graphed, an ideal candidate for a ProcessPro solution, while in a process manufacturing industry, will be concerned about selecting a complete set of functionality for inventory and purchasing management. A financials and accounting package will be an important consideration and it is also likely that any needs for human resources software would be provided through other means.

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