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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 word base


Reliability Driven Maintenance--Closing the CMMS
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

definition for word base  Part One: Trends and Definition The Maintenance Approach Evolution Although enterprise asset management (EAM) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) software continue to grab headlines as a realistic way to reduce expenses and increase revenues, the growing pressure for improving customer responsiveness and profits has lately pretty much changed the traditional role of asset management. Namely, the metric of plant maintenance should now be in the ability of the plant to meet the strategic

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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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Magic Quadrant for Managed File Transfer


Companies should consider managed file transfer (MFT) suite vendors that meet their tactical and strategic needs. It's all too easy to be reactive and deploy technology that supports only one file transfer protocol and one standard for secure file transfers. It's more prudent to deploy a product that can be easily expanded and upgraded to handle multiple protocols and multiple standards in a well-managed, auditable way.

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Streamlining for Success: The Lean Supply Chain


When flexibility and speed are requisites for success, it’s the lean organization that leads the race. World-class manufacturing organizations know the value of focusing on the lean fundamentals: eliminating waste, simplifying processes, and continuously improving. By pursuing lean strategies—optimizing inventory and streamlining manufacturing processes—they can reduce inefficiencies and costs in their production processes, and improve customer responsiveness.

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A Lexicon for Customer Relationship Management Success


Despite technological advances, users are dissatisfied with customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Ambiguous terms do not provide the vocabulary for concrete action and measurable expectations. Thus, CRM is perceived to be about intangibles, and is approached with a let's-hope–for-the-best mentality.

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ERP Software Review: VISIBILITY.net for ETO Manufacturing


This enterprise resource planning (ERP) software review report examines ERP software by Visibility and its support for engineering-to-order (ETO) manufacturing against known benchmarks. It assesses VISIBILITY.net by Visibility for ETO manufacturing functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Financials
  • Human Resources
  • Manufacturing Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Purchasing Management
  • Quality Management
  • Sales Management

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on a demonstration provided by Visibility. The VISIBILTY.net ERP software review identifies the features of VISIBILITY.net that distinguish it from other ETO manufacturing solutions, including its adaptability to individual business approaches, its multi-faceted management controls, and its concentration as a to-order manufacturing application. The analyst also outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

VISIBILITY.net offers a customizable and user-friendly interface and provides manufacturing efficacy as a web-based and mobile-compatible system. Through its support for complex manufacturing processes through project and product management, cost evaluation, and work order organization, VISIBILITY.net provides business management support to project-oriented manufacturers through project management procedures including cost estimation, billing, receiving, and task managing.

VISIBILITY.net 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 VISIBILITY.net, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that VISIBILITY.net is a strong ETO manufacturing ERP system.

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

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AIM Vision for Microsoft Dynamics GP: ERP for Discrete Manufacturing Certification Report


The AIM Computer Solutions product AIM Vision for Microsoft Dynamics GP is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for discrete manufacturing 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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NetSuite Wholesale Distribution Edition v11.2 for ERP for Distribution Certification Report


NetSuite Wholesale Distribution Edition v11.2 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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Predictive Service Excellence for Printers: An Overview of Remote Service Platforms for Printer and Copier Devices


Networked printers and multifunction peripherals often require a high level of support and manual intervention. Secure remote monitoring platforms reduce device downtime by automating service alerts and meter reading, and providing proactive toner replenishment. Users benefit from improved device uptime, and manufacturers and their service partners can build proactive service relationships that can drive customer loyalty.

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ERP Software Review: IFS Application version 8.0 for ERP for ETO


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 engineering-to-order (ETO) ERP functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Financials
  • Human Resources
  • Discrete Manufacturing Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Purchasing Management
  • Quality Management
  • Sales Management

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 ERP for ETO 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 ETO manufacturing businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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Financial Forecasting: Room for Improvement for People, Process and Technology


Preparing an accurate forecast in this volatile business climate is challenging. Still, it is critical for businesses to be able to predict outcomes for the next month, quarter or year, and be able to respond quickly when the actuals vary significantly from the forecast. Forecasting may be equal parts art and science, but the most dialed-in enterprises report using a solid, collaborative process for generating accurate forecasts.

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