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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 solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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Small Business VoIP Service Providers Buyer’s Guide
Small-business users of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) have very different needs. But all users have similar concerns when it comes to cost, the range of

dial up providers  three-way calling, voicemail, speed dial, caller-ID-based blocking, etc. Most offer a range of more advanced features and typical services include: Call hold with music on hold – this feature includes management of call holding such as time on hold and rollover to voicemail, reminder voice messages and the ability to move and transfer calls on hold. Conference calling – from simple three-way conference calls to heavy duty hundred person conference calls. More advanced options include hosted

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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

ERP for the Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream)

The model of ERP systems for the upstream oil and gas sector addresses the particularly specialized business model of this industry. It is common practice for companies, individuals, and government agencies to form partnerships to explore, develop, and share production of oil wells. More often than not, this is a short-term alliance rather than a long-term partnership, and business structuring must therefore be flexible at initial set-up and throughout the lifespan of the venture. This model of ERP systems includes criteria for financials, human resources, production data capture and reporting, maintenance management, and supply chain management (SCM) functionality. 

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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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Inovis MESH Framework for Dial Tone Business Communities


When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) communications, two of the basic requirements for regulatory compliance are having a reliable network and a high quality dial tone. So why would you want to settle for anything less? To ensure that both are obtained, many companies are entrusting their data—and their compliance responsibilities—to the Inovis Multienterprise Expert Services Hub (MESH) platform. Find out why.

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Earthlink Leads the Way in DSL Security


DSL providers speed up their customers' Internet access, however, at the same time they also expose these customers to enormous security risk. Earthlink has gone the extra mile and is giving out free firewall software to all its DSL customers.

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Internet-based Phone Service for Small to Midsize Companies


Typically, the cost of feature-rich and scalable business phone systems prevents small businesses from purchasing these powerful tools in the initial stages of their growth. Thus, new companies generally choose standard business phone lines from their local phone company along with multi-line phones. With voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology, however, small businesses now have a cost-effective, feature-rich alternative.

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Case Study: Small Retail Chain Gears Up for Rapid Growth


Elephant Pharm, a start-up retail chain in the natural health and wellness retail market, needed a software solution to help the company compete with the bigger players in the industry, and to achieve sustainable growth. The retailer found the right software with Aldata Solution.

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TEC Certified: 2009 Vendor Wrap-up


With 2009 behind us, Technology Evaluation Center’s (TEC’s) research analyst team takes a brief look at some of the newest vendors to join its research roster. Pronto Navigator SAP Lombardi Spectrum HR Demand SolutionsEnterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions – Aleksey OsintsevProntoPronto Software Pty. Ltd. is mostly recognized in Australia (the country where it is

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Application Software Outsourcing: Buyers Are Seeking More Expertise from Providers


In a previous blog post, based on TEC’s outsourcing selection criteria, I summarized 6 types of experiences that a buyer should consider when choosing the best provider for application software outsourcing projects. Since then, my interest has been raised to the level of taking a further look into outsourcing buyers’ requirements for their potential providers’ expertise in a real selection process

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The Keys to Successful Integration for Outsourced Service Providers


Building, maintaining, and leveraging customer data feeds is expensive and difficult. Customer data can be sent in a variety of formats, using a number of delivery methods. Amid this variety of data, outsourced service providers must be able to provide high-speed “provisioning” of customers. Businesses capable of accepting customer data regardless of format will thus have a significant competitive edge.

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How Background Screening Can Protect Small Health Care Providers and the Patients They Serve


With the recent economic recession, small business owners who providing health care services have undertaken steps to reduce unnecessary overhead and expenses. But health care providers recognize the importance of carefully vetting their employees before trusting them with the welfare of their patients. This industry brief outlines the risks that arise from bad hires and how careful background screening can mitigate those risks.

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U.S. vs. Microsoft - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Not That Hard


An updated study projects a potential Microsoft antitrust breakup to increase software costs US$30B. It's not nearly that high.

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