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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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 erp crm statistics


The 'Joy' Of Enterprise Systems Implementations Part 1: Inexorable Statistics
We take the liberty to expand further on the findings of a report, which was recently released by a renowned research organization, and which pinpoints

erp crm statistics  a large number of ERP (and other enterprise applications) implementations do not live up to their expectations. The market has recently been abuzz with scantily rewarding CRM deployments, see Why CRM Is So Hard and What To Do About It (article ID 48.887.69.1605). In a great part, this general feeling is attributed to bad publicity due to many high-profile companies (e.g., FoxMeyer , Hershey Foods , Whirlpool , PetsMart , Sobey's , Allied Waste Industries , W. L. Gore & Associates , W. W. Grainger , Nike

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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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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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5 Tips to Assure a Successful ERP Implementation


Are you preparing to oversee an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation project? Are you worried about the statistics that report less-than-successful ERP implementations? While there are many reasons a given implementation project may be less than perfect, there are a few steps you and your ERP implementation team can take to increase your chances of success. Learn about the five steps to a positive outcome.

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CRM: A Business Imperative during the Economic Downturn


The economic downturn means that businesses must capitalize on every opportunity to gain revenue. With the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution, you can protect current revenue streams and unearth new customer revenue opportunities—despite the most challenging market conditions. CRM helps ensure you deliver exceptional service to your current customers, building their long-term loyalty. Find out how.

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Reference Guide to Discrete Manufacturing ERP Software Functions and Features


This reference guide provides insight into the discrete manufacturing ERP features and functions currently available on today’s market. It will help you determine which ERP features are a high priority for your organization, and which features are a lower priority.

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Epicor ERP Software System (v. 9.05) for Discrete Manufacturing ERP Certification Report


Epicor ERP Software System (v. 9.05) is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for discrete manufacturers 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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ERP-II: Making ERP Deliver On Its Promise to the Enterprise


Conventional enterprise resource planning (ERP) falls short in a few areas: competitive pressures are making it clear that business is still in need of more effective solutions. ERP II, however, delivers on the original concept of ERP. No longer is corporate information isolated in departmental silos, but it is housed with all corporate information, used to benefit the entire organization.

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Social CRM is Dead, Long Live Social Media Flavored CRM


Customer relationship management (CRM) is not and cannot really be social, since social means “of, relating to, or occupied with matters affecting human welfare” (definition taken from The Free Dictionary). In my opinion, CRM does not really affect human welfare, since it brings advantages only to its users and to the customers of the companies using it. In this blog post, I will explain why

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Epicor ERP (v. 9.05): ERP for SMB Certification Report


Epicor ERP Software System (v. 9.05) is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for small to medium businesses (SMBs) in TEC's ERP Evaluation Center. Download this report for product highlights, competitive analysis, product analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary.

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Leveraging CRM for Midsize Company Growth


Customer relationship management (CRM) strategies, principles, and technologies play a pivotal role in helping organizations grow from small, entrepreneurial companies with ad-hoc processes, into several hundred million dollar powerhouses. This document covers the basics, providing some helpful guidelines, and providing a rough, general framework for you to begin your initiative.

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2011 Customer Relationship Management Buyer's Guide: Innovations in CRM


Customer relationship management (CRM) has matured, and offers more choices than ever before. This buyer’s guide reviews the latest innovations in this software space, focusing on cloud, mobile, and social options, and includes a section on the range of customer-centric and process-oriented add-ons and applications available. The guide also includes valuable CRM resources, case studies, and a directory of CRM vendors.

This buyer’s guide will show what CRM vendors are doing to differentiate themselves from the competition through innovation. We will first describe some of the major innovations in the CRM space (e.g., cloud computing, social media and collaboration tools, mobile technology, and extended functionality), and then review their advantages and disadvantages. For each category of innovation, the guide will illustrate with real- life examples how CRM vendors provide innovative solutions to their customers and the associated benefits.

Innovation in the CRM world can be approached from two main perspectives: innovations in software, which affect the way companies manage their relationships with their customers (e.g., the ability to analyze customer feedback, for better customer service and even product development), and innovations in the market, which affect the accessibility and usability of CRM solutions (e.g., having CRM functionality available in the cloud or on a mobile device). And as the two qualities are interconnected (innovation in one arena generally leads or responds to innovation in the other), this guide focuses equally on innovations in CRM software and in new delivery models, such as cloud computing and mobile.

Throughout this guide, we consider CRM to be more than a set of tools and solutions that companies use to facilitate their interactions with customers. A complete CRM implementation includes strategies and best practices that companies define and apply in order to attract and retain customers.


Table of Contents


Preface

Customer Relationship Management: A Buyer’s Guide

TEC CRM Resources

Casebook

KANA Software Customer Success Story
Yahoo! Listens Proactively to Customers to Deliver Good Experiences

1C-Rarus Customer Success Story
1C:Enterprise 8 Implementation for Gazprom Neft–Tyumen

HarrisData Customer Success Story
Leading Manufacturer Employs RTI Software’s Closed Loop CRM to Manage Its Nationwide Customer Service Initiative

Infinity Info Systems Customer Success Story
Infinity Info Systems Streamlines Workflow for Leading Wealth Management Firm Halbert Hargrove

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Success Story
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gives BioMedix Vascular Solutions Better Insight into Business Execution

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Success Story by Ignify
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gives Foreign Currency Exchange Company a 360-degree View of Customers and Business Operations

SugarCRM Customer Success Story
USA FACT Drives Higher Revenues with Sugar ProfessionalTM and Empowers Sales On-the-go with Sugar MobileTM


Vendor Directory

SAP Special Report


Download the full copy of the TEC 2011 CRM Buyer’s Guide for large enterprises and SMBs.



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CRM Innovations


BI for Large Enterprises

CRM innovations can be classified into four major categories: cloud computing, mobile, social, and extended functionality. Each category uses different technologies to address the needs of customer-focused companies and respond to changes in customer behavior. Many vendors innovate in two or more of these categories; others focus on one category (e.g., some traditional CRM vendors do not yet offer a cloud-computing delivery model or social functionality, but they have created strong mobile versions of their solutions).

Most of the innovative initiatives in the CRM space are contained within these four categories (but innovations are by no means limited to these categories). We consider these categories to be of the utmost importance—and this guide will focus on them— because they greatly affect the way companies manage their relationships with customers (existing or potential).



Download the full copy of the TEC 2011 CRM Buyer’s Guide for large enterprises and SMBs.

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