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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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 ppt on crm erp


Best Practices in Extending ERP: A Buyer’s Guide to ERP versus Best-of-breed Decisions
The trade-off between best-of-breed functionality and ease of integration is no longer so simple. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software continues to

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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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Operational Excellence: Enabling Sustained Growth Spotlight on the Americas


Companies in the Americas should lead the world in growth through operational excellence—but they don’t. A 2008 survey shows that less than half promote insight into operations by investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Companies in the Americas also lag behind Asia-Pacific firms in revenue growth and customer satisfaction. Read more of the survey results.

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How to Embrace CRM and Make it Succeed in Your Organization


Customer relationship management (CRM) is growing in importance as a competitive tool. However, a successful CRM solution must consider many factors, including a well-defined implementation strategy, the people factor, and the need for integration with the incumbent enterprise resource planning solution. If these conditions are met, CRM can have a dramatic impact on internal processes, customer satisfaction, and company profitability.

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How Successful ERP Selections Are Made


How can you ensure that you make the right choice when purchasing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software? The answer: take all the critical components into consideration. ERP selection is not just about what different people in your organization want or don't want, it's about getting what you need for now and the future. Remember, you're not just buying software; you're buying into a vendor and its company culture.

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Changing Perceptions on ERP Strategy


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is designed to be the system of record for operating and managing a business. But there's still a common perception that ERP is a luxury—and a high-risk implementation. The key to successful implementation of an ERP system that will adapt to your needs is a strong ERP strategy. This report examines changing perceptions around ERP strategies, and how best-in-class companies develop and maintain them.

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SYSPRO ERP (version 6.1 SP1) for Process Manufacturing ERP Certification Report


SYSPRO ERP (version 6.1 SP1) is TEC Certified for online evaluation of process manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) 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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2011 Trends Report: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) automates many aspects of an organization’s operations, cascading across traditional boundaries of operations, finance, manufacturing, and more. As such, changes in the ERP market can cause a ripple effect in an organization’s business. In this report, five Focus experts share eight of their 2011 predictions for ERP, so you can plan your business around these changing tides and trends.

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Justification of ERP Investments Part Four: Replacing or Re-implementing an ERP System


An investment analysis focusing on enterprise resource planning (ERP) benefits frequently applies to those firms initially justifying an ERP implementation. It can also be used to justify a 're-implementation' when the initial efforts have failed to produce desired results. Reprinted from Maximizing Your ERP System by Dr. Scott Hamilton.

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The Path to ERP for Small Businesses, Part 2: Evaluation of ERP Software


If you’ve gone through the research phase while looking for ERP, the next major step is the evaluation process. At the end of it, you should have a shortlist of products that best fit your needs, which will be used in the final stage: the selection.

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ERP for Small and Midsized Companies: Time for a Decision


Until recently, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was rarely considered for use in smaller firms, as core benefits—better business management via coordinated, standardized information and analysis—were often outweighed by costs and complexities of ERP systems. A variety of options have emerged to overcome concerns of the past. Read on the key considerations in an ERP decision and critical implementation factors.

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