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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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 external distributors definition


Case Study: Heineken USA
Heineken USA imports, markets, sells, and distributes its premium beer products through its network of 650 beer distributors. This supply chain requires precise

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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 Distribution Industries

Enterprise resource planning (ERP)—distribution software is designed for companies in the distribution and logistics industries. Traditional distribution businesses focus on moving goods through a supply chain, and the distribution software market has developed products to meet these needs. The software solutions developed for ERP for distribution includes functionality for supply chain management (SCM), distribution process management (DPM), and retail and commerce.  

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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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One Vendor's Exploit of Marrying Infrastructure with Selling and Fulfillment Applications


For many manufacturers, distributors and retailers with a mishmash of disparate back-office business applications, Sterling Commerce, a traditional integration and communication provider, has recently unveiled a package designed to automate web-based commerce all the way from order capture to fulfillment and payment, as a result of bringing together a few prudent acquisitions over the last three years.

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Service Level Agreements for Manufacturers and Software Vendors in the Supply Chain


Supply chains are very complex, as is discrete manufacturing and the software that addresses its needs. To ease the complexities, service level agreements are developed so that all parties involved remain on the same page and product delivery is facilitated.

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Product Note: NGC's Fashion PLM and Sourcing Solutions


NGC e-PLM and e-SPS are NGC’s offerings in product lifecycle management and sourcing for the fashion industry. This product note analyzes the strengths and challenges that the solutions have and makes recommendations to both the vendor and users.

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Attensity Analyze


Attensity Analyze gives customer service organizations the tools to analyze subscriber conversations across external media, including review sites, blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube videos, mainstream news sites, and others, as well as the free-form notes stored in internal sources such as customer relationship management or contact center notes, surveys, and incoming e-mail, and to relate those conversations to internal data on sales figures, inventory numbers, customer service records, and more. A wide variety of out-of-the-box reports help to track and analyze ongoing relevant conversations about brands, products, and competitors to identify influential opinion leaders and sources and understand sentiment and issues, along with industry trends.  

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Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) Moderates 20th Vendor Shootout for ERP, Featuring Live ERP Software Demonstrations for Manufacturers and Distributors


The Vendor Shootout for ERP event has helped hundreds of organizations with their enterprise software selections. Moderated by TEC, an impartial software evaluation firm, attendees see the best ERP systems for manufacturing and distribution and can talk one on one with the top ERP vendors in North America.

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Charting a New Course in Effective Distribution Supply Chain Management


Wholesale distributors that pursue growth while neglecting supply chain effectiveness are putting their long-term survival at risk—usually for no good reason. Supply chains have gained complexity in recent years, but solutions for achieving supply chain management (SCM) effectiveness have become both more accessible and easier to deploy. Learn how these solutions can help your company overcome its SCM challenges.

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Effective Relationships with Service Providers


The decision to use external resources on a project of any size or focus can be a tough one for a company facing the need to look outside its trusted staff to make something happen. "Can the appropriate skills be found at an acceptable cost?" is the first question. Indeed, defining your service needs, and then developing and maintaining a proper relationship with the provider you've hired is one of the most important things you can do to increase your success potential.

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Trivalent Solutions Inc.


Trivalent Solutions is a process improvement consulting and technology firm that assists manufacturers, distributors and service organizations improve their core business processes. Our capabilities include: Sage Adonix X3 ERP Implementations Sage CRM Implementations RFID Implementations Supply Chain Management Initiatives Lean Manufacturing Initiatives Business Process Improvement Six Sigma Initiatives Quality Management Programs Performance Measurement Systems

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Providing Effective E-Learning for an Extremely Large and Global Distribution Channel


When Amway needed to provide training to over 4 million distributors worldwide, improve sales readiness and retention of new distributors, and manage learning across regions with different regulatory issues, it deployed SumTotal Learning Management, in three separate on-premise installations. See how this e-learning rollout to over 1.8 million people in 2 years helped Amway grow penetration to new distributors by 30%.

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