On January 14, Made2Manage Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MTMS), a provider of broad enterprise business systems for small and mid-market manufacturers, announced the release of the latest version of its Enterprise Business System suite running on the Microsoft SQL Server. The release tagged M2M ERP 5.0 SQL extends the capabilities of the company's flagship ERP product primarily through key new features that include support for multi-site manufacturing and enhanced financial capabilities.
Version 5.0 still provides the necessary support for quotes, sales, inventory management, purchasing, production, shipping and receiving. However, the new version integrates this functionality across multiple manufacturing sites/facilities. It also provides flexible reports, and the easy to use, M2M Reporter with "Drag and Drop" report writing functionality, that address specific customer information needs.
This is Part One of a two-part event note. Part Two will discuss the Market Impact and make User Recommendations.
Key New Features
Key new features of the 5.0 release include:
- Multi-Site Capabilities Companies with multiple warehouses, distribution centers, storage facilities, and/or manufacturing plants require visibility of inventory, supply and demand by facility, order costing and inventory valuation by facility, and supply planning or sourcing by facility. Keeping track of information by site location is accomplished by entering a unique identifier in the Multi-Site facility field. Data on quotes, sales orders, demand forecasts and safety stock, inventory, job orders, sub-assemblies, purchase orders, and shipping and receiving transactions can all be entered and stored by facility. Information on items/parts (including the bill of materials and routings) and calendar and capacity data within the Made2Manage Enterprise Business System can also be entered and stored by facility.
- Progress Billing By providing the ability to identify items that will be billed in a progressive pattern without recognizing the revenue until the final billing, users will be able to divide the billing process while retaining the ability to track, report and invoice specified amounts based on date, time spent, materials used or percentage completed.
- Multi-Dimensional Inventory The Made2Manage Multi-Dimensional Inventory (MDI) feature provides support for 1) measuring inventory in multiple dimensions; 2) specifying Bill of Material (BOM) component requirements in multiple dimensions and 3) transacting inventory in alternate units of measure.
New Business Intelligence Application
The above release was preceded by a number of specific product enhancements. To that end, on October 29, Made2Manage announced that it has signed an agreement with one of its leading value-added resellers (VAR), Concord Business Systems, which allows Made2Manage and other VARs to sell a new business intelligence (BI) application. The new Events and Actions (EA) tool is a product that extends the Made2Manage Notifier functionality to provide several distinct capabilities.
The EA tool can handle criteria other than status changes (e.g., percentage profitability is unacceptable), multiple events, (e.g., the purchase order is over $5,000 and the order is late), and time-based events, (e.g., a quote is within 5 days of being due). In addition to the popup, e-mail or fax actions, the action may be an executable program (e.g., automatically putting a quote, sales order, purchase order, etc. on hold).
A library of events and actions are included with the EA tool to reduce setup time, while wizards easily create custom events and actions utilizing "drag and drop" technology. In addition, the notifications can now be managed through a control panel named "Alert Central", which utilizes a "stop light" metaphor to prioritize and alert users to events.
Also on October 29, Made2Manage announced the release of its Made2Manage Customer Relationship Management (M2M CRM) Integration Solution version 1.0. This solution fulfills the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) functionality within the Made2Manage Enterprise Business System. Manufacturers will be able to maximize their Made2Manage Enterprise Business System and capitalize on the benefits of new CRM functionality. M2M CRM solutions include marketing and sales management, support and field service management and product configuration tools. Most of the M2M CRM solution is based on Interact Commerce's prominent SalesLogix.net product, as Made2Manage maintains an OEM relationship with Interact Commerce Corporation. The new integration offering will continue to play an important role in the development of Made2Manage Systems' sales/marketing management and support management offerings.
Last but not least, on October 22, the company announced it released a new version of M2M VIP Enterprise Portal based entirely on the Microsoft .NET Framework. Made2Manage Systems has been touted by Microsoft Corporation as a leader in providing XML Web services to the manufacturing community. M2M VIP was the first commercially successful subscriber-based e-business application using the new XML Web services. It was first released in September 2000 as a hosted, subscription-based offering for manufacturers.
The company claims the XML Web services support in the Microsoft .NET Framework has enabled it to adopt a unique and scalable architectural approach, which combines the best of both worlds -- a subscriber-based model with customer control of corporate data. Namely, under the M2M VIP model the manufacturer retains complete control over its data. The company can monitor access, control database permissions and ensure the integrity of its data. Yet through the subscriber model, the manufacturer gets automatic updates of applications, instant availability of new applications, reduced application server costs and a great set of customer-centric applications. Made2Manage Systems currently has more than 80 manufacturing customers using this new service.
This concludes Part One of a two-part event note. Part Two will discuss the Market Impact and make User Recommendations.