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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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QuickBooks Premier Edition
QuickBooks Premier 2004 has the most comprehensive tools for fast and easy financial management, with tools to help businesses achieve better results and

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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

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence (BI) and performance management applications enable real-time, interactive access, analysis, and manipulation of mission-critical corporate information. These applications provide users with valuable insights into key operating information to quickly identify business problems and opportunities. Users are able to access and leverage vast amounts of information to analyze relationships and understand trends that ultimately support business decisions. These tools prevent the potential loss of knowledge within the enterprise that results from massive information accumulation that is not readily accessible or in a usable form. It is an umbrella term that ties together other closely related data disciplines including data mining, statistical analysis, forecasting, and decision support. 

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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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Cookie-cutter Solutions Won't Cut It with the Mid-Market Part Two: Challenges and the Lower-End


More than their larger counterparts, small and medium businesses (SMB) are looking for relatively simple and inexpensive software that is easy to install yet easy to customize and extend.

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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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Making the Move: What to Do When You’ve Outgrown QuickBooks


Your old solution provided the basic bookkeeping capabilities you needed to start your company. But now, you have more customers. More employees. More complexity. What do you do when your small business is no longer so small? Before you make the move to a more powerful accounting solution, you should gather the facts and compare solutions. Get started with 37 tips for finding the accounting solution that fits your needs.

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Great Plains Reports Financial Results for the Second Quarter


On December 16, Great Plains Software, Inc., a leading provider of fully integrated front office/back office e-business solutions for the mid-market, announced financial results for the fiscal quarter ended November 30, 1999. Great Plains reported record second quarter revenues of $47.4 million, a 49% increase over the same period last fiscal year. Revenues from the Great Plains platform products, Dynamics and eEnterprise, grew 54% to $45.8 million in the quarter.

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Comparison Guide for Enterprise Phone Systems


This guide provides a chart that compares 22 enterprise phone systems, in categories such as product and buyer types, pricing, how to purchase the systems, and partner ecosystems, and also gives information about the financials and founding year of each vendor.

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A Quantitative Comparison of High Efficiency AC vs. DC Power Distribution for Data Centers


This paper presents a detailed quantitative efficiency comparison between the most efficient DC and AC power distribution methods, including an analysis of the effects of power distribution efficiency on the cooling power requirement and on total electrical consumption. The latest high efficiency AC and DC power distribution architectures are shown to have virtually the same efficiency, suggesting that a move to a DC-based architecture is unwarranted on the basis of efficiency.

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Great Plains ASP - Evolution, Revolution, Innovation


On September 18, 2000, Great Plains (Nasdaq: GPSI), announced the expansion of its Application Service Provider (ASP) initiative. Great Plains has evolved its ASP partner program to better meet the diverse needs of its ASP partners and their customers

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Four Reasons Why QuickBooks Is Failing Your Services Business


This white paper draws on real-world stories of small and medium-sized professional services organizations (PSOs) that have upgraded from QuickBooks at critical junctures in their development. It also outlines four common business process inefficiencies that you might see reflected in your own business—the reasons why QuickBooks may be failing your services organization.

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The Insider’s Guide to Great Customer Service on the Web


Companies that provide superlative service keep their customers satisfied and loyal. It’s particularly important to deliver great customer service on the web—which is why great web self-service should be a company’s top priority. Unfortunately, many executives who would have a heart attack if their call centers were unresponsive don't show the same concern about having an unresponsive web site.

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