|ERP Showdown: Infor ERP LN 6.1 vs. Epicor Vantage vs. Lawson M3 Discrete Manufacturing Solutions
I'm Larry Blitz, editor of TEC's Vendor Showdown series. Today's Showdown features Infor ERP LN 6.1 vs. Epicor Vantage vs. Lawson M3 Discrete Manufacturing Solutions in a head-to-head comparison across the full range of discrete ERP functionality. I hope you find this Showdown helpful and informative, and invite your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems being the information backbone of the organization, we decided to take a closer look at three of the more popular discrete ERP solutions for the mid-market. Using TEC's ERP Evaluation Center, we compared Infor ERP LN 6.1, Epicor Vantage, and Lawson M3 Discrete Manufacturing Solutions head-to-head, based on the most recent data supplied to us by the three vendors.
We looked at eight standard ERP modules. To eliminate any chance of bias, and to ensure a level playing field, all 3,600 criteria that make up the modules and submodules in our ERP Evaluation Center were given equal weight and priority. In other words, no area of functionality was treated as being more important than any other.
The chart below shows the overall rankings.
As you can see above, straight out of the box, Infor ERP LN 6.1 ranked first overall, with Lawson M3 Discrete Manufacturing Solutions coming in second, and Epicor Vantage placing third. (Overall scores were based on the average level of support the vendor offers across the entire ERP spectrum.)
As the chart below shows, Infor finished first in five of the eight modules (although by some fairly small margins in a few cases), with Lawson finishing first in three modules (two of which were extremely close), and Epicor failing to finish first in any of the eight modules.
As you can also see in the chart below, thereâ€™s an especially wide range of results in Human Resources. Infor ERP LN 6.1 is the only one of the three solutions that currently provides full HR functionality. Epicor Vantage requires third-party functionality, while Lawson M3 plans to offer full HR functionality in future releases. (It should be noted that clients do not always require an HR component in a new ERP system, as many prefer to retain their existing HR solution or add on a third-party solution.)
However, as with most aspects of enterprise software, it's not that simple or clear-cut.
Rankings, either overall or by module, do not tell you everything you need to know. What they do provide is a basic, high-level view of vendors' general strengths and weaknesses right out of the box. However, the fact is, few businesses, if any, can use an ERP solution right out of the box. Businesses have special needs and priorities that need to be supported by any ERP solution they use.
For example, if your business requires an especially robust quality management functionality, even though Infor finished first overall, Lawson scored higher in the Quality Management module, and may therefore be a better choice for your organization.
The same applies within individual modules, where the top-ranking vendor may not necessarily be the right one for your organization's needs. Although Infor placed first overall and in Product Technology, the chart below shows Lawson as stronger in both the Reporting and Workflow and Document Management submodules. If either of these functional areas is key to your organization's business model, Lawson may be a better choice than Infor.
Given that 'out of the box' rankings rarely, if ever, reflect the real-world needs of an organization, and that the rankings can shift depending on what area(s) of functionality you look at, how then do you determine which ERP solution is best suited for your business?
The fastest, simplest way is to do what we did to produce the results you see here: use TEC's ERP Evaluation Center. We got our results in less than 20 minutes, versus weeks—or even months—of struggling with huge Excel spreadsheets.
TEC's ERP Evaluation Center allows you to set priorities that reflect your organization's business model and special needs at every level of functionality. At the modular and submodular levels—even down to the individual criteria—you can tell the system which business processes are critical, important, or not important to your organization. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor responses to produce a shortlist of solutions. You get a custom comparison—one that ranks vendor solutions not on out-of-the-box functionality, but rather on how well that functionality matches the business requirements of your organization.
It's the best way we know of to evaluate ERP solutions, and we invite you to try it out. Simply click on the link below to visit our ERP Evaluation Center and conduct your fast, free custom ERP comparison. After all, there's no other organization quite like yours.
For a free, custom comparison of ERP solutions, click below.
Find out which ERP solutions are best suited to your company's particular requirements and type of business.