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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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 transaction completion triggers batch report updates


Quick Response Manufacturing: ERP and Value Chain Acceleration
Whatever the reasons for pursuing a lead-time reduction strategy, time compression across all company processes is critical to growth, and in some cases means

transaction completion triggers batch report updates  the customer?s inventory, the transaction is sent to the supplier who keeps track of replenishment levels and can automatically generate new requirements and orders based on the order in the system for that customer. Any batch size can be accommodated by VMI, avoiding overstocks and out-of-stocks. And the relationship with the customer is much closer. Other portals may be by roles (e.g., sales, service, etc.) or by industry - called Vortals - providing customized industry information. Office Operations

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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

Transportation Management Systems

Transportation management systems should provide the basic components of a shared information system to support collaboration, rates, routes, roles, transaction sets, documents, and information exchanged to facilitate the booking, execution, and settlement of transportation movements. 

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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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TEC Accreditation Report: Godlan, Inc. for ERP Services


This customer satisfaction report consists of how Godlan Inc., an enterprise software services provider of ERP software implementation and services, fared in the eyes of four of their client references.

Godlan Inc. received accreditation from Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) for completing the customer satisfaction survey program. The review process is based on client satisfaction survey ratings provided to TEC by four of Godlan Inc.’s client references. The survey evaluated the overall satisfaction, quality of services received, and overall project evaluation of four real-life software implementation projects.

Godlan Inc. helps organizations find the best way to conduct numerous activities, including: accounting and financial management, customer relationship management, and information management and collaboration. As a certified Salesforce.com and Infor Channel Advisory Council partner, Godlan Inc. works with many different customers in multiple industry verticals within the arena of manufacturing and manufactured goods distribution. It also provides services such as hardware and infrastructure, data cleansing and migration, system evaluation and comparison, IT infrastructure design and planning, and market intelligence.

Get the full results of the client satisfaction survey on Godlan Inc. in this software services provider review.

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ERP Software Review: Infor VISUAL ERP Software


This enterprise resource planning (ERP) software review report examines the ERP software by Infor and its support for discrete manufacturing, engineering-to-order (ETO) manufacturing, mixed-mode manufacturing, small to midsize business (SMB) manufacturing, and financial packages processes against known benchmarks. It assesses Infor VISUAL by Info for ERP functionality and reviews product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Financials
  • Human Resources
  • Manufacturing Management
  • Process Manufacturing Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Purchasing Management
  • Quality Management
  • Sales Management
  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Payable (A/P)
  • Fixed Assets
  • Cost Accounting
  • Cash Management
  • Budgeting
  • Accounts Receivable (A/R)
  • Financial Reporting
  • Project Accounting

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on demonstration provided by Infor. The review identifies the features of Infor VISUAL that distinguish it from other ERP manufacturing solutions, including its distinctively illustrative data visualization-focused interface, and its focus on discrete order-driven manufacturing operations with support to all facets of complex manufacturing operations. The analyst also outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

The DEACOM ERP software review identifies the features of DEACOM ERP that distinguish it from other ERP for process manufacturing solutions. These include its supplementary ERP features tailored for process manufacturers’ needs such as maintenance repair and operations (MRO), warehouse management systems (WMS), electronic data interchange (EDI), customer relationship management (CRM), and direct store delivery (DSD). DEACOM ERP provides business management support to process manufacturers in the areas of financials, process manufacturing management, purchasing management, quality management, and sales management.

Infor VISUAL achieved TEC certification status for its ERP software solution by completing TEC’s program which includes a detailed functional benchmarking analysis as well as conducting a demonstration of its discrete manufacturing, ETO manufacturing, mixed-mode manufacturing, SMB manufacturing, and financial packages software solution based on a provided demo script.

Infor VISUAL achieved TEC certification status for its ERP software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the ERP software’s support for specific real-world business process and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of Infor VISUAL, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that Infor VISUAL is a strong manufacturing ERP system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, and in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how Infor VISUAL ERP can help to-order manufacturers achieve these ERP objectives.

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E2open Updates E2 Cloud Connectivity


E2open is a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for collaborative execution across global trading networks—more than 33,000 trading partners in 69 countries currently participate in the E2open Business Network. On November 15, 2012, E2open announced the availability of the newest version of E2 Cloud Connectivity, the foundation layer of the E2open Business Network. With a next

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The Importance of Data Representation: Best Practices in Creating a Usable Report


A good report doesn’t just show the conclusions you want it to. The best report is one that contains the data you need and facilitates making vital decisions based upon that data. But what exactly constitutes a usable report? This white paper covers the key features of a usable report: accuracy, completeness, relevance, visual interest, timeliness, and clarity.

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Outsourcing, Applications Software Software Evaluation Report


The outsourcing application software Software Evaluation Report criteria are appropriate for selecting outsource providers in the area of business software development. It includes all activities performed by outsource providers including software development; software maintenance; software reengineering or rearchitecting; porting software to a new platform; and more.

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On the Radar Splice Machine: Bringing Operational Distributed SQL Transaction Processing to Hadoop


Online transaction processing relies on distributed data stores, and idustry segments such as digital marketing are generating an increased demand for transaction processing. Splice Machine is a new-generation online, distributed platform deployed on Hadoop. It draws on the scalability of an existing platform to leverage a rapidly growing skills base. So it can handle the high volume of processing required for interactive online transactions.

This product analysis reviews a transactional database that is competing in an emerging market for distributed online transaction processing, currently populated by NewSQL and NoSQL start-ups. Splice Machine is helping to transform Hadoop from an analytic to an operational platform.

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CRM Software Review: Pivotal CRM


This customer relationship management (CRM) software review report examines the CRM software by Aptean and its support for manufacturing industry customers against known benchmarks. It assesses Pivotal CRM by Aptean for customer relationship management functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Sales Force Automation
  • Marketing Automation
  • Customer Support
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Extended CRM

The report contains an independent analyst’s review of the CRM software based on a demonstration provided by Aptean. The review identifies the features of Pivotal CRM that distinguish it from other CRM solutions, including its partnership with QlikView to offer optimized intellectual property and data analytics capabilities and its ability to integrate with Aptean’s other ERP solutions. The analyst also outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

Pivotal CRM is a solution for manufacturing industry customers that is particularly ideal for clients in the financial services and discrete and process manufacturing sectors. Pivotal CRM provides CRM support to businesses through sales force automation, marketing management, and service management support.

Pivotal CRM achieved TEC certification status for its CRM software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the CRM software’s support for specific real-world business processes and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of Pivotal CRM, a TEC analyst has assessed the CRM software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that Pivotal CRM is a strong CRM system

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, and in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how Aptean’s Pivotal CRM can help businesses achieve their customer relationship management objectives.

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Epicor ERP 10 Certification Report


Epicor ERP version 10 by Epicor is now TEC certified in the discrete manufacturing ERP, mixed-mode manufacturing ERP, ETO manufacturing ERP, SMB manufacturing ERP, ERP for distribution, financial packages, and accounting and small business software spaces.

Epicor ERP is an enterprise-wide solution that is capable of supporting medium and larger businesses in functionality and scalability while remaining user friendly, with a distinct and unambiguous logic that even relatively inexperienced ERP software users can easily learn and comprehend.

Epicor ERP version 10 is focused on the manufacturing, distribution, and services industries, and also supports the many narrow areas within these industries. The software is capable of handling many manufacturing styles, including assembly-to-order, configure-to-order, make-to-stock, and make-to-order, as well as mixed-mode manufacturing.

Epicor states that version 10 of its ERP brings the best of both the niche and generic types of ERP solutions together, as it is capable of filling the gap between vertical niche solutions that are highly focused and specific to certain vertical industries, and bigger, more generic ERP applications that tend to support global customers indirectly through partner networks and provide nonspecialized but common functionality such as financials.

Based on TEC's ERP software comparison data, Epicor is one of the richest and most complete manufacturing ERP products, and the same can be said for the realm of financial applications and solutions for small business.

Find out more about the product in the Epicor ERP certification report, including a detailed look at Epicor ERP's support for critical processes, product highlights, a roadmap of future product development, and detailed functionality graphs comparing the product to competitor solutions in the major functionality areas of the software arenas in which the product has been certified.

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Core HR Software Evaluation Report


This Software Evaluation Report on human resources management systems affords clients the opportunity to rapidly determine their criteria for management and employee personnel tasks. Its extensive criteria include benefits and payroll management, employee self service, data warehousing, and health and safety requirements.

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