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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.
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 advantages of vertically integrated retailer


A Matter of Trust
When important information is withheld, it leads to enormous inefficiencies or even disasters in the supply chain. Trust is needed to streamline decision making

advantages of vertically integrated retailer  enterprise, realizing significant competitive advantages over a supply chain whose participants withhold valuable information from each other. Smart sharing wins . This article is from Parallax View, ChainLink Research's on-line magazine, read by over 150,000 supply chain and IT professionals each month. Thought-provoking and actionable articles from ChainLink's analysts, top industry executives, researchers, and fellow practitioners. To view the entire magazine, click here . About the Author Bill McBeath

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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail

We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.

Get free sample report
Compare Software Solutions

Visit the TEC store to compare leading software by functionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.

Compare Now

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply chain management (SCM) solutions include applications for managing supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and customer business processes. Addressing demand management, warehouse management, international trade logistics, transportation execution, and many other issues for a complete solution, this knowledge base will support your evaluation of an SCM suite. 

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TEC's Mid-market ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide


Midsize manufacturers and distributors now have access to an array of powerful software solutions that simply weren’t available before. But with so many choices, you need accurate and unbiased information. This comprehensive guide from TEC and SupplyChainBrain provides a state-of-the-market analysis, success stories from your peers, in-depth information on solutions, and a directory of the leading vendors in the field.

This guide features information on vendors offering dedicated ERP-distribution solutions for the midmarket. These solutions are all designed to address the logistical, financial, and workflow issues facing the distribution industry today.

Inside, you’ll find a chart highlighting 10 featured vendor solutions by installed base and business components, ranging from warehouse, transportation, and inventory management, to international trade logistics, Web commerce, and human resources (HR) and financials.

As well, you’ll find an analysis of the state of the market by the editor of Supply Chain Brain. Customer success stories have been included to illustrate how ERP-distribution solutions have helped companies like yours solve distribution and business logistics problems.

For your convenience, there’s also a vendor directory to assist companies looking for either full ERP-distribution systems, add-ons, or third-party solutions for the following: demand management (DM), retail systems, supply chain management (SCM), transportation management systems (TMSs), and warehouse management systems (WMSs).

We hope you’ll find this guide a useful tool in determining which ERP-distribution solutions are best suited for your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Introduction

State of the Midsize ERP-Distribution Marketplace

Methodology

Vendor Capabilities

Business Components

Customer Profile

Spotlight on ERP-Distribution

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Spotlight on Inventory and Accounting

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Spotlight on Supply Chain Management

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Vendor Directory

Profiles

Demand Management

ERP-Distribution

Retail

Supply Change Management

Transportation Management System

Warehouse Management System


Download the full copy of the TEC ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide for the Mid-market.


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Inventory Management and Accounting Conundrum


The challenges of inventory management and the notion of inventory as a “necessary evil” (or the “asset versus liability” dilemma) have long been haunting operations and financial and accounting managers. It is a well-known fact that managing inventory risk is about managing the cost of maintaining unnecessarily high levels of inventory against the risk of running out of stock at a crucial moment of truth when a customer actually wants something. In a variety of aspects, inventory management is at the heart of the supply chain management (SCM) realm. Supply chain organizations are responsible for all the processes from sales and operations planning to customer fulfillment, inventory optimization, and new product delivery and introduction—all of which involve the planning and movement of inventory. Profit margins are also directly proportional to operational excellence in each of the above processes.
While cherished by material management folks as supply chain “grease,” inventory is not that beloved by financial managers.

The motto “time is money” certainly holds true when it comes to inventory valuation. Well, maybe in a reverse (negative) manner, because typically neglected in the continuous battle for executives’ focus and priority is the management of at-risk, aging inventory—be it excess active, obsolete, returns, or refurbished inventory. Some refer to these items as “slobs,” which stands for “slow moving and obsolete” ones. In other words, most companies in the sectors of high-tech, consumer electronics, retail, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) are focused on new product introductions. Given that everybody is most excited in the early stages of product life cycles (that is, devising and delivering the brand new, “coolest” products), much less attention is paid to the languishing, “totally so not cool” older product lines, with millions of accompanying inventory asset recovery dollars slipping away annually as a consequence.

Excess inventory, which ties up working capital and whose value is declining by the day, does not necessarily come from new product introductions only. Nowadays the manufacture of most goods is largely carried out in the Far East, which comes with a nominal item price advantage, but also with many potential downsides. In addition to the inevitable quality, communication, and cultural issues, manufacturing product in such lower cost, remote locations means a sizeable lead time increase, as the goods will need to be transported from the Far East back to the company’s warehouse. This in turn means that a planner will have to forecast the demand before placing an order with a remote supplier far away.

Download the full copy of the TEC ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide for the Mid-market.

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Confessions of a Techno Junkie


Ideas on how to survive the avalanche of technology, avoid the lure of its pitfalls, and succeed with it as the enabler to true process innovation.

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Collaboration 2.0: Taking Collaboration to the Next Level: From the E-mail and Document-centric World of 'Enterprise 1.0' to the People-Centric World of Enterprise 2.0


Most business collaboration continues to be conducted via e-mail and shared folders, but forward-looking organizations are increasingly considering socially oriented and real-time collaboration solutions to instantly and seamlessly increase productivity between employees, suppliers, customers, and stakeholders. This white paper discusses new products, services, and technologies entering the enterprise collaboration space.

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The Impact of CRM and Sales Process: Monetizing the Value of Sales Effectiveness


To work through all the issues necessary to improve sales performance, executives have a number of options for leveraging people and knowledge. However, an area that shows significant potential for helping sales teams meet or exceed their goals is the effective alignment of sales process and technology. Executives looking to optimize performance should consider this approach to achieve their goals.

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All Integrated Point of Sale Software Is Not the Same


Not all integrated accounting and point of sale (POS) systems are created equal. If sales prices aren’t updated, or if on-hand stock isn’t managed properly, you will be at a major competitive disadvantage. Fully integrated accounting systems move information smoothly from one module to another—but what does integration as it applies to accounting and POS software really mean?

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In Defense of Data Centers: The Positive Role IT Can Play in the Greening of Business


Corporate concern for the environment is no longer just an issue of compliancy. Businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about how much energy is required by their IT operations, especially by their data centers. Greening IT starts in the data center: find out how data center consolidation—and other solutions—can help you reduce energy consumption, and even increase productivity and efficiency.

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The ERP Warehouse Module versus Best-of-breed WMS


Every supply chain professional must consider certain factors when comparing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS) solutions for warehouse management. Effective management of warehouse, fulfillment, and distribution operations is key to business success. With so much riding on your decision, you need to thoroughly compare ERP warehouse modules and best-of-breed WMS.

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Bank of America


Bank of America is a multinational banking and financial services company. It has a retail banking footprint that covers approximately 80 percent of the U.S. population and serves approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships at 5,600 banking centers and 16,200 automated teller machines (ATMs).

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CitiXsys iVend Retail 5.0 for Point-of-sale Retail Certification Report


CitiXsys product iVend Retail is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of point-of-sale (POS) solutions in the Wholesale and Retail Trade Evaluation Center. The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations relying on the integrity of TEC research for assistance with their software selection projects. Download this report for product highlights, competitive analysis, product analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary.

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Eco-mode: Benefits and Risks of Energy-saving Modes of UPS Operation


Many newer uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) systems have an energy-saving operating mode known as “eco-mode” or by some other descriptor. Nevertheless, surveys show that few data centers actually use this mode, because of the known or anticipated side effects. Unfortunately, the marketing materials for these operating modes do not adequately explain the cost/benefit tradeoffs. This paper shows that eco-mode provides a reduction of approximately 2% in data center energy consumption and explains the various limitations and concerns that arise from eco-mode use. Situations where these operating modes are recommended and contraindicated are also described.

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