QAD Pulling through, Patiently but Passionately Part Six: User Recommendations

Event Summary

On August 20, QAD Inc. (NASDAQ: QADI), a global provider of collaborative enterprise applications for manufacturing and distributing organizations, reported upbeat financial results for the fiscal 2004 second quarter and six-month period ended July 31, 2003. The improved financial performance has not come without astute moves with regard to product functionality enhancements. These moves include:

  • A partnership with Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) to develop a next-generation Just-In-Time (JIT) Sequencing software module for MFG/PRO

  • Announcement of Kanban Visualization, which enhances QAD's existing Supply Visualization (SV) solution

  • More than two dozen important new functions and enhancements to MFG/PRO eB2, specifically designed in collaboration with QAD's manufacturing customers to help address their specific needs

  • Announcement of healthy sales momentum in Asia, with the MFG/PRO suite becoming a platform of choice for automotive manufacturers in China to automate business operations and collaborate with partners worldwide

The "fortune favors the bold" and "patience is a virtue" adages would be applicable to QAD's endeavor of finally getting far beyond its most trying days. "Patience" would stand for the reason of QAD staying true (and being finally vindicated) even during its most difficult times in the last few years (see Figure 2), to what had made it successful in the first place—solving manufacturers' real-world problems.

Figure 2

This is Part Six of a six-part note.

Part One detailed the above moves.

Part Two presented the company background.

Parts Three and Four discussed the market impact.

Part Five presented the challenges.

User Recommendations

While hardly any vendor is safe these days including QAD, the gloomy past seems to be far behind. The company has notably broadened its offering and seems to at least keep abreast of current collaborative requirements (if not staying ahead of the curve). Expect the vendor to continue to vigorously target the manufacturing and distribution mid-market within its industries of focus (automotive, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, industrial products, and medical devices).

QAD MFG/PRO users should position eQ and SV central to their collaborative B2B e-business strategies although being informed about competitive products cannot hurt. Non-QAD users may benefit from evaluating eQ and SV products for their collaborative needs. QAD's ability to create a collaborative business process, to dynamically configure it, to run it within the bounds of the system, and to dynamically reconfigure it as required (e.g., when the business process changes) sounds compelling and might up the ante for other contesting vendors. However, users should note that both products are still at relatively early stages of their life cycle, and they should expect more enhancements to or refinements of the products' functionality in the future. Customers should also be prepared for business process changes due to automation the new modules inevitably bring about.

The companies that would benefit from evaluating the QAD product offering are upper mid-market (with $50 million to $2 billion in revenue) light batch, make-to-stock (MTS), repetitive, and light assembly-to-order (ATO) discrete multi-national manufacturers and their divisions, with a need for solid production planning and execution, customer service, and collaborative B2B e-commerce functionality. These companies will also prefer a decentralized mode of operation, where each division has somewhat autonomous and specific business operation.

QAD should be included on a short list in selections for multinational manufacturing and distributing enterprises where lean manufacturing, configure-to-order (CTO) assembly, shop floor execution, quality management, collaborative order fulfillment, and field service modules are the main pillars (bear a high importance) of an enterprise application. Technologically, the product may be the most suitable as a solution for global mid-size enterprises, worldwide dispersed (especially within emerging and non English speaking regions), with strong requirements on distributed infrastructure, security and with private trade exchange (PTX) or collaborative role-based portal solutions for strategy and delivery.

Large global corporations with a centralized management philosophy looking for strong global corporate financial and HR modules, for a highly scalable cross-platforms solution, and for much broader functionality beyond traditional ERP boundaries (e.g., more intricate customer relationship management, PLM, or complex project management/engineer-to-order functionality) from a single vendor may benefit from evaluating other products at this stage. For more on the pro et contra of unified corporate-wide enterprise solution deployment, see Standardizing on One ERP System in a Multi-division Enterprise

Very detailed information about the QAD MFG/PRO eB2 product is contained in the ERP Evaluation Center at

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