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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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Compare Software Solutions
Visit the TEC store to compare leading software solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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 canada erp analyst


TurtleSpice ERP! (Week 1)
Welcome to TurtleSpice ERP, our new series on software selection!We’ll follow one company’s software selection process, from beginning to end—with your help

canada erp analyst  labeling language requirements for Canada and Mexico, multi-currency billing and invoice capabilities, and occupational health and safety requirements. Since 2004, TurtleSpice has outsourced its distribution to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider for logistics and freight, having made the change when its delivery volume started to exceed the capacity of its single delivery truck. Useful TurtleSpice stats: manufacturing, warehouse, and corporate HQ facilities all located on one site $50 million in

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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

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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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Pronto Software, ERP Vendor


Pronto Software—Australian vendor of software meeting the needs of a range of vertical industries such as retail and food and beverage—wants to ensure it sustains profitable growth. To find partnerships with value-added resellers (VARs) in North America and in other markets, Pronto relies on Technology Evaluation Centers’ (TEC’s) software industry programs. Learn about the other ways Pronto benefits from using TEC.

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Sage Analyst Day 2011: Not Your Older Brother’s Sage - Part 1


I often wonder how well-known is the fact that the Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)-based Sage Group, Plc (LSE: SGE) is a leading global provider of business management software and services to over 6.3 million small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) worldwide. After over 25 years in existence and with 13,400 employees worldwide, Sage reported US$2.24 billion in revenue in 2010, and the

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How to Lower Your ERP Implementation Costs


Most companies are facing a number of pressures, thanks to a stormy economic climate. To help control costs and resources, many small to medium businesses (SMBs) are looking at implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. But you also need to control the costs and the time frame of your ERP implementation. Discover how partnering with a value-added reseller (VAR) can help you with your ERP selection process.

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Sage 500 ERP


Sage 500 ERP (formerly Sage ERP MAS 500) is an integrated series of applications covering most areas of business for enterprises with 20 to 1,000 employees. These areas include customer relationship management (CRM), accounting and financials, project accounting, distribution, manufacturing, human resources (HR), payroll, enterprise reporting, and electronic commerce. Built for the needs of an integrated enterprise, Sage 500 ERP is flexible, scalable, and fully featured to deliver a total business management solution.

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Wrong ERP Demise Predictions Have (Only Partly) Created Skills Shortage


With so much frenzy surrounding e-business and CRM applications, ERP may be a far cry from its halcyon days. However, ERP implementation skills are still in demand, particularly as a foundation and a facilitator to other sexier applications.

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Sage 300 ERP 6.0 Certification Report (ERP for Services)


Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) 6.0 is TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for services in the ERP 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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TEC 2014 ERP for Midsize Manufacturers Buyer's Guide


It’s hard to imagine a modern manufacturing business operating without the use of some kind of ERP software that facilitates the management of day-to-day production, and financial, logistical, and other operations. In fact, many manufacturing companies have undergone ERP selection and implementation processes not just once but several times already in their existence.

As one of the largest segments of manufacturing companies, midsize manufacturers have the largest choice of available ERP software to choose from. Technology is also constantly evolving, bringing plenty of new features and capabilities every year. Yet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to break through not only the abundance of technologies, concepts, and marketing terms, but also the hype associated with business software.

This purpose of this buyer’s guide is to provide readers more clarity regarding the ERP market for medium-sized manufacturing companies, its specifics and overall trends, as well as provide an overview of the major players and their solutions, which is particularly useful for those organizations that are in the early stages of the software assessment or those companies looking to select software systems at some point in their near future.

The guide also includes a special report on cloud ERP solutions. Looking at the cloud argument, the sides of both cloud enthusiasts and those who aren’t yet convinced are explored, and more in-depth analysis and an unbiased overview of cloud, and on-premise ERP alternatives are given with consideration for the various manufacturing ERP deployment options.



Table of Contents


About this Guide

Preface

ERP for Midsize Manufacturers

Typical Business Considerations

Technology as a Challenge and Opportunity

State of Market: ERP for Midsize Manufacturers


Product Comparison

TEC Special Report

The Pros and Cons of Cloud-based Manufacturing ERP Software


TEC Selection Project

TEC Resources

Casebook

Aptean Customer Success Story: Made2Manage ERP Software from Aptean Helps Press-Seal Gasket Navigate the Construction Industry Environment

Deacom Customer Success Story: Kelley Technical Coatings – Achieving Rapid Return on Investment

Epicor Customer Success Story: Chirch Global Looks to Cloud ERP to Support its Worldwide Operations

Epicor Customer Success Story: ARPAC

Epicor White Paper: Top 6 Technologies Small and Midsize Manufacturers Can’t Afford to Ignore

IFS Customer Success Story: Merrow Sewing Machine and Kenandy: Stitching Together Success Seamlessly

MICROSOFT Customer Success Story: Chobani Increases its Appetite for Business Growth with Microsoft Technologies

SAP & Navigator Customer Success Story: Kalmar RT Center: Moving Forward in a Rough Terrain Environment

NetSuite Customer Success Story: Asisa International Streamlines Chinese Manufacturing Operation with NetSuite OneWorld

Oracle Cloud Customer Success Stories: Oracle Cloud Applications – Empowering the Modern Business in the Cloud

Plex Customer Success Story: Plex Manufacturing Cloud Trims Global Auto Supplier’s IT Costs, Improves Quality and Productivity

ProcessPro Customer Success Story: Von Drehle Outpaces the Competition with SYSPRO Software


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2014 ERP Buyer’s Guide for Midsize Manufacturers.



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ERP for Midsize Manufacturers



Midsize manufacturing organizations constitute a unique segment of companies. They occupy a particular niche in the business world – mature and large enough to exploit advanced management concepts and engineering technologies, yet small enough to stay close to customers and flexible enough to rapidly adjust products and business processes to changing environments.

This group of manufacturers is certainly in the sights of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendors as their next target market, after global multinational corporations.

However, the ERP selection process is a top concern for medium-sized manufacturers. With the enormous quantity and variety of marketing materials produced by ERP vendors in order to persuade organizations to make the “right” ERP choice, the end result is that the overall selection process for many manufacturers isn’t clear and often requires systematization and clarification.

It is not simply a question of which two of three ERP systems to put at the top of one’s short list, as the selection process is typically much more complicated. In particular, there are parallel challenges of developing one’s own ERP paradigm and whether to accept long-term strategies regarding cloud or traditional on premise-roadmaps, as well as many lower-priority issues.

With all of these factors to take into account, selecting an ERP solution for midsize manufacturing businesses becomes a question of choosing a way of business evolution for the years to come. The ERP decision is imperative for most companies, and with this buyer’s guide, TEC’s goal is to provide some guidance to manufacturers seeking to implement a new ERP solution or replace or upgrade an existing solution, and to draw a picture of the ERP market as a whole.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2014 ERP Buyer’s Guide for Midsize Manufacturers.

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Midmarket ERP Solutions Checklist


Before you commit to any enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, you should first answer several questions about what your organization needs and wants to accomplish with its ERP strategy. The answers will help you determine which applications and what kind of functionality your organization requires from its ERP solution, as well as go a long way toward easing the implementation process. Read how to prepare yourself.

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Pronto Xi Dimensions


PRONTO-Xi is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed to help companies maintain visibility over the extended enterprise—including field sales and technical staff—and closely manage the entire supply chain. It includes a business intelligence (BI) analytics tool that can help employees analyze data, interpret trends, and make decisions based on the most up-to-date information. PRONTO-Xi includes fully integrated business functionality covering: accounting, sales orders (SOs) and purchase orders (POs), customer relationship management (CRM), warehouse management systems (WMS), electronic data interchange (EDI), retail point-of-sale (POS), facilities management (FM), manufacturing resource planning (MRP), supply chain management (SCM), and other related functions. PRONTO-Xi runs on a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems (OSs), and includes built-in mobile and Internet technology.

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