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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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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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 definition for economic words


Making the Business Case for HR Investments during Economic Crisis
Automation of human resources (HR) processes and integration across various functions can provide visibility into and analysis of the workforce. Having a single

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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

Discrete Manufacturing (ERP)

The simplified definition of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a set of applications that automate finance and human resources departments and help manufacturers handle jobs such as order processing and production scheduling. ERP began as a term used to describe a sophisticated and integrated software system used for manufacturing. In its simplest sense, ERP systems create interactive environments designed to help companies manage and analyze the business processes associated with manufacturing goods, such as inventory control, order taking, accounting, and much more. Although this basic definition still holds true for ERP systems, today its definition is expanding. Today’s leading ERP systems group all traditional company management functions (finance, sales, manufacturing, and human resources). Many systems include, with varying degrees of acceptance and skill, solutions that were formerly considered peripheral such as product data management (PDM), warehouse management, manufacturing execution system (MES), and reporting. During the last few years the functional perimeter of ERP systems began an expansion into its adjacent markets, such as supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence/data warehousing, and e-business, the focus of this knowledge base is mainly on the traditional ERP realms of finance, materials planning, and human resources. The foundation of any ERP implementation must be a proper exercise of aligning customers'' IT technology with their business strategies, and subsequent software selection. 

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SaaS Buyer's Guide for Wholesale and Distribution


SaaS, despite its phenomenal popularity, is certainly not one-size-fits-all. You need to consider decision criteria such as fit, return on investment, and risk. Learn how SaaS works, who the major vendors are, how SaaS can help your business grow, and how to find the SaaS solution that’s right for you. It’s all in this comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Guide for Wholesale and Distribution from TEC and SupplyChainBrain.

From a business requirements perspective, the defining characteristic of wholesale and distribution (W&D) organizations is that they operate as intermediate agents between manufacturers and retailers. Their top business needs thus focus on requirements for:

  • processing high volumes of transactions,
  • maintaining constant communication between upstream and downstream collaborators (manufacturers and retailers/customers, respectively), and
  • managing products for multiple competitors within the same warehouse or distribution center

In this guide we will explore considerations for W&D organizations that are considering adoption of the SaaS delivery model, and examine the particular business issues that arise from this change.Specifically, we will address the following considerations:

  • the differences between SaaS and on-premise delivery models
  • SaaS architectures
  • SaaS pros, cons, and other considerations
  • selection criteria for SaaS-based applications
  • viable wholesale and distribution SaaS vendors

Later in this guide, we’ll provide examples of SaaS delivery model success stories, as well as a SaaS IT directory, segmented according to business area.


Table of Contents


Preface

Software as a Service: A Buyer’s Guide


Spotlight on Adaptability and Agility

Thought Leadership from SAP
SAP’s Perspective on Software as a Service

SAP Case Study
Johnson Products Capitalizing on New Sales after 30-day SAP Deployment


Spotlight on Manufacturing and Distribution

Thought Leadership from Epicor
SaaS ERP for Small Manufacturers and Distributors

TECSYS Case Study
LifeScience Logistics Achieves 99.97% Inventory Accuracy with TECYS’ EliteSeries for Healthcare


Spotlight on Growing Your Company with SaaS

Thought Leadership from NetSuite
The Benefits of a Business Management Software Suite for High-growth and Midsized Businesses: Overcoming the Barriers of Stand-alone Business Applications

NetSuite Case Study
Woodworking Machinery Maker Cuts Costs, Grows Efficiency with NetSuite

NetSuite Case Study
NetSuite Helps Manufacturer Take Advantage of Fast Market Growth


Spotlight on Distribution Centers

Thought Leadership from Bond International Software
Cloud Computing for Your Distribution Workforce

IBS Case Study
Konaflex Focuses on its Core Business with IBS Distribution Management Software


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.



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What Are the Differences between the SaaS and On-premise Delivery Models?



Defining the on-premise delivery model is relatively straightforward:

  • The software is acquired by the customer up-front.
  • The software is installed, deployed, managed, and maintained at the customer’s site, generally with a great degree of involvement by the customer.
  • The customer provides the in-house infrastructure (e.g., servers, hardware, networks) to support the software.


Defining the SaaS model is slightly more complex, since different SaaS vendors offer different definitions. We’ll explore these variations in more detail shortly, but for now we’ll note the following SaaS characteristics:

  • The software vendor provides customers with access to the software via the Internet.
  • The customer pays for this service on a subscription basis (normally per user, per month, or per number of transactions).
  • The vendor is responsible for maintenance, upgrades, and software support, as well as the supporting infrastructure.

The major difference between the on-premise and SaaS delivery model lies in the ownership of the software. In the on-premise model, once the software is purchased, the customer owns it. In the SaaS delivery model, the software is not owned by the customer: it is provided to the customer in the same manner as any other service.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.

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Reliability Driven Maintenance--Closing the CMMS "Value Gap"? Part One: Trends and Definition


The metric of plant maintenance should now be in the ability of the plant to meet the strategic goals of the company beyond customarily expected cost savings, such as improved plant output, performance predictability, product quality, customer service, safety, environmental control, etc.

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Winning the Race for Talent in Emerging Markets


Economic activity in emerging markets is growing at around 40 percent—as compared with 2 to 5 percent in the West and Japan. Businesses all over the globe are competing for people who have numerous options and high expectations. How can your company attract and retain talent in emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India, and China—offering new employees what they want, while ensuring your bottom line is met? Find out.

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Can 'Intuitive' And 'ERP' Words Be Associated?


While Intuitive Manufacturing Systems, still largely a stealth small ERP provider, may have the ‘Intuitive ERP’ trump to attract SMEs internationally, a bevy of competitors has also been engaged in delivering their panaceas to the increasingly crowding market segment.

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RP Software Review: IFS Application version 8.0 for ERP for Services


This enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution software review report examines the ERP software by IFS and its support for business management processes against known benchmarks. It assesses IFS Application (v. 80) for ERP functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Portfolio and Project Management
  • Resource Planning and Scheduling
  • Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management
  • Time and Expense Management
  • Budgeting, Costing, and Billing
  • Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis
  • Third-party Integration
  • Back-Office Functionality

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on a demonstration provided by IFS. The review identifies the features of IFS Applications that distinguishes it from other business process management solutions, including its compatibility with multiple sites and companies, its integrated document management feature, and its support for mobile operations across various devices. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

IFS Applications achieved TEC certification status for its ERP software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the ERP software’s support for specific real-world business process and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of IFS Applications, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that IFS Applications by IFS is a strong services support ERP system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how IFS Applications can help businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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Commsoft Technologies Fidelio (v.6) for ERP for Distribution Certification Report


The Commsoft Technologies product Fidelio is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for distribution 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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Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 for ERP for Mixed-mode Manufacturing Certification Report


Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of mixed-mode manufacturing solutions in the enterprise resource planning (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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IBS Enterprise7 for Enterprise Resource Planning for Distribution Certification Report


The IBS product Enterprise7 is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for distribution 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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On-Demand Software for BPM: Now Ready for Enterprise Adoption


Planning, forecasting, and reporting are among the business processes that, if strengthened with analytic software, can help companies improve their performance. Due to time and expense of implementation, many mid-sized have been slow to aggressively adopt business performance management (BPM) solutions. See how on-demand BPM software is a low-cost, low-risk BPM solution that is likely to lead to an “early payback.”

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Dynacom ERP (v. 11.3) for ERP for SMB Certification Report


Dynacom Enterprise is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) for small to medium business (SMB) solutions 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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