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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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 select financial distributors


Technology Evaluation Centers presents
Technology Evaluation Centers Inc. (TEC), the leading resource for impartial enterprise software selection, announced today that it will be holding a session at

select financial distributors  Centers presents How to Select ERP Systems at the MSCI Financial Executives Conference. Technology Evaluation Centers presents How to Select ERP Systems at the MSCI Financial Executives Conference. MSCI members can leverage TEC's Best Practice Methodology for Software Selection. Montreal, Quebec, June 23, 2008- Technology Evaluation Centers Inc. (TEC) , the leading resource for impartial enterprise software selection, announced today that it will be holding a session at the prestigious MSCI (Metals

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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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Microsoft Lays Enforced-Concrete Foundation For Its Business Solutions


While most of its applications co-opetitors have been licking their wounds and dreading another financial quarterly report, cash amassed Microsoft has recently shown a flair for aptly devising and executing a strategy for its Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) division portfolio, to its partners and customers delight and to dismay of its archrivals.

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BigMachines: Getting Bigger and Better - Part I


I recently attended Gartner’s CRM Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona (US). During the conference, I bumped into several old acquaintances who are working for various customer relationship management (CRM) software vendors. One of the vendors that attended the conference was BigMachines, a provider of inventive software-as-a-service (SaaS) configure, price, and quote (CPQ)/quote

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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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Throw Away Your Financial Statements: Managing by Metrics


Analyzing static, detailed financial statements has been the modus operandi for hundreds of years. Because many business management systems can isolate and create graphics of key performance indicators (KPI), businesses should now concentrate on KPIs, which influence profitability.

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Weeks of effort go into closing, consolidating, preparing, executing, and adjusting final numbers and narratives to report on any given financial period. Most companies use unconnected spreadsheets, email, and word processing documents to conduct the extended close cycle, from closing their books to filing their reports. But, all too often—and sometimes only hours before a filing deadline – financial close teams are made aware of a last minute change to the numbers.

A manual, disconnected extended close process that only loosely connects activities spanning the close process is too risky and inefficient. Even a small change made incorrectly during the final hours before a period closes can expose a company to the risk of financial errors and missed deadlines.

This paper reviews the processes involved in a company’s extended financial close process, the problems associated with a manual effort, and the benefits of using an integrated and automated single-platform solution for financial close management (FCM).

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To effectively track and forecast your company’s financial performance, you need up-to-date and reliable financial data. As your business grows and diversifies, you need to maintain liquidity and manage cash flow and profits. Integration of your business transactions and operational data with financial data makes this possible, and helps you eliminate departmental silos and streamline your business operations.

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