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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
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Does Supply Chain Management Software Make Sense in Wholesale Distribution? Part 2: The Critical Objectives
There are critical objectives that Supply Chain Management Software must satisfy to meet the challenges faced by wholesale distributors.

jobs in distribution  be reduced through sequencing jobs in a manner that simultaneously considers tradeoffs among total setup time, demand priority, order due date, penalties for being late, and inventory risk. This concludes Part Two of a three-part note. Part One discussed the Challenges faced by wholesale distribution. Part Three will cover meeting the objectives with Supply Chain Management Software. About the Author    MARK WELLS has worked for the past 20 years on many aspects supply chain management from within

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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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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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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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The Seven Deadly Sins of Distribution Expense Control


For most distribution companies, managing operating expenses has a far bigger impact on the business than simply pouring more revenue into the top of the funnel. In today’s tough times, operating expenses have moved to the center of the boardroom table and the top of the agenda. Learn what the five main value drivers in distribution are, and find out how to avoid seven common distribution and wholesale “sins.”

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CMMS in the Aviation Industry


There are many CMMS systems in the market that specialize in detailed maintenance, repair, and overhaul. When selecting a sysems for an airline, decision-makers have to be extra careful.

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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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Keeping Projects in View and Costs in Line


In construction and services, matching the right people to the right projects is mission-critical if those projects are to show actual profits. But determining profitability takes time—not a common commodity today. What’s needed are tools to track, identify, and report all contract and project activity—an integrated view of all job details, including the critical factors that determine profitability.

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K8 for ERP for Distribution Product Certification Report


K8 is TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) for distribution solutions 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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What Has Changed in Wholesale Distribution: 2015 and Beyond


Things are changing in the wholesale distribution world. In the customer-connected era, customers expect orders to arrive complete and on-time regardless of the fulfillment flows involved. Keeping up with the changes and being prepared to stay competitive in 2015 and beyond means investing in better technology, as becoming more automated and integrated in capability and analytical tools enables companies to provide a seamless, unified, and connected customer experience.

This research report from Aberdeen examines this growing need to change business processes and invest in technology that enables wholesale business transformation and integration. Read the report to learn more about the technologies smart wholesalers are implementing to optimize their order, inventory, and fulfillment processes, and keep up with customer demands in 2015, including new wholesale logistics formats and the control tower approach, integrated processes and technologies that supports a seamless flow of product from end to end. Learn about how an integrated end-to-end solution with automation and mobility capabilities can enhance business revenue and allow for increased sales performance.

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Manufacturing and Distribution Overview


Distribution and manufacturing solutions can help improve customer satisfaction, lower costs, and respond to the changing market. The MAS 500 distribution solution is a suite of modules that provides capabilities for tracking, managing, and replenishing. The MAS 500 manufacturing suite provides streamlined integration of routings and bills of material.

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Are You Considering Distribution Software?


Distribution organizations play a key role between the manufacturers and retailers. Being the middle organization between a manufacturer and a retailer, a distribution center (DC) needs to have a robust operation and accurate information for delivering products and services to its customers.In the past, DCs focused primarily on selecting a strategic location in order to be as close to

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