Will Adonix Provide A Warmer Home To CIMPRO?

Event Summary

In the year marked by depressing news coming from almost all corners of the world economy and particularly from the tech sector, which has also resulted in a recent flurry of acquisitions (often for ridiculously low prices), it may be refreshing to hear an upbeat strategy, including the Xmas-shopping-like acquisition, coming from still a relatively less known, but certainly up-and-coming vendor.

On December 19, Adonix (www.adonix.com), a privately held French enterprise applications provider for mid-sized mixed-mode manufacturing and distribution companies, announced that it has acquired CIMPRO, a Tarrytown, NY subsidiary of MAI Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: NOW), a provider of business solutions primarily to the hospitality industry. Adonix will reportedly assume all CIMPRO employees, net assets, technology (including flagship CIMPRO V process ERP product), and contractual rights to all 250 customers and business partners. The vendor believes the combination of its X3 flagship ERP solution (primarily for discrete manufacturers) and CIMPRO V will bring to the legacy replacement market a powerful offering tailored for specific process industries such as the chemical, pharmaceutical and food & beverage sectors. CIMPRO, standing for Computer Integrated Manufacturing for Process, is specifically designed to address the needs of these process industries.

In the short term, Adonix plans to utilize the CIMPRO formula management engine and combine it with the rest of Adonix X3 and release it as an Adonix CIMPRO process manufacturing solution, with the availability envisioned for the end of Q2 2003. The vendor believes this will overcome some of the challenges that have long limited the marketability of the previous CIMPRO products. Long-term, however, the vendor intends to integrate CIMPRO V into the existing Adonix X3 framework, albeit with no firm timeframe yet. In the meantime, Adonix assures those CIMPRO customers who would like to just make the technical leap from the antiquated CIMPRO Classic to CIMPRO V version will still have the option to do so. The vendor is also reportedly enhancing the Adonix CIMPRO maintenance contract to assist those who would like to make the leap from older CIMPRO systems to a newer option.

The CIMPRO purchase closely follows Adonix' purchase of Groupe ABEL in September (see Adonix Grows Roots Against The Odds ), the most recent in a series of acquisitions that began seven years ago. Adonix has since acquired four more software vendors for their assets and expertise and has melded the best of their capabilities into an integrated enterprise software framework for mid-market companies.

This is Part One of a three-part note.

Part Two will discuss Market Impact.

Part Three will cover challenges and make User Recommendations.

Other Acquisitions

Adonix recognizes that mid-market companies require fully integrated enterprise-wide software solutions that provide both breadth and depth of functionality on a modern technical platform and at an affordable price. Thus, to complement its initial solution, which focused mainly on finance/accounting and distribution for the lower-end of the mid-market, Adonix has acquired a number of companies during the last few years. In 1998, it acquired the software company GSI Transcomm, a US provider of distribution and financial applications called TOLAS, which had offices both in Pittsburgh and Tarrytown.

Adonix started rewriting its solution in 1997 after the first major acquisition (Prodstar, a French manufacturing ERP provider) and released the first version of Adonix X3 in late 1999. Known as a product development company, Adonix has recently kept on delivering within the X3 versions 1.3 and 1.34 the integrated CRM modules and native Web extensions. With this acquisition and the ones that preceded it i.e., Prodstar, TOLAS, Geode CLE128 (warehouse management system) and ABEL (fixed assets management product) -- Adonix might be positioned as an attractive alternative for mid-sized companies.

On the same day, Adonix announced that it has made significant enhancements to Adonix X3 that bolster its warehouse management system (WMS) and data collection capabilities. Adonix X3's new WMS features include:

  • Directed Put-away to appropriate storage locations by radio-frequency (RF) scanning according to factors such as item velocity, weight, dimensions and consolidation rules

  • Palletized Picking and Consolidated Shipping, including RF verification and capture of pallet and shipment identifications

  • Pick Planning and Scheduling, including directed picking for single shipments or groups of shipments, based on warehouse location

  • Warehouse Labor Tracking to provide labor efficiency and utilization reporting to management

This comes at the heels of Adonix' recent rollout of a new data collection module intended to help warehouse and shop floor operations by communicating with manufacturing, distribution and accounting functions. Adonix Data Collection gathers data directly from automated input devices across operational areas, verifies its accuracy, and passes data to Adonix X3 for immediate update. It also controls all prompts on collection devices, manages the entire network of devices, and ensures that data is saved during system downtime. Moreover, in addition to providing traditional extended-ERP functionality within the X3 software, integrated data collection, barcode label management, and full implementation services, Adonix also provides data collection equipment manufactured by leading hardware vendors including Intermec.

Three-tiered Implementation Program

Last but not least, also on November 19, Adonix unveiled a new three-tiered implementation program aimed at helping mid-sized companies fully equip their business with ERP software in a timeframe that reportedly exceeds the industry benchmarks. Depending on the size and the structure of the organization, and on its internal resources, Adonix touts it can implement an ERP program in as little as two to three months. Possibly emulating the familiar mass customization terminology of recently quite successful coffee franchises (e.g., Starbucks), Adonix now offers three distinct implementation flavors that vary in services based on the resources available and the desired timeframe. These three models include:

  • Adonix eXpresso is for small-to-midsize clients with up to 25 concurrent users that require standard functionality and a fast implementation timeframe. Implementations can be completed in as little as two to three months.

  • Adonix Cappuccino is for companies with 25 to 75 concurrent users that require mostly standard ERP functionality but some additional flexibility in varying the software parameters. Cappuccino implementations can be completed in as little as four to six months.

  • Adonix Latte is designed for larger midsized clients with more than 75 concurrent users that have more sophisticated functional and technical requirements and whose implementation requires a significant amount of project management. Implementations in this group typically take more than six months.

Adonix X3 can either be implemented as a company-wide business management system or incrementally to support specific business processes or time-phased implementations. While the system provides a variety of parameters that can be set to adapt implementations to the needs of the business without programming changes, best-practice templates are also available to promote rapid, timely implementations.

This concludes Part One of a three-part note.

Part Two will discuss the Market Impact.

Part Three will cover Challenges and make User Recommendations.

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