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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 solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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 crm ratings for publishing


Busting the Myth of Commoditized Software Markets with the New TEC Focus Indicator
The new TEC Focus Indicator is a concrete way to start gauging the real functionality, competitive differentiators, and focus of enterprise software products

crm ratings for publishing  [BI], customer relationship management [CRM], PLM, HR, etc.) provide support for all the features we've modeled (i.e., those thousands of criteria that I referred to previously). Using this data, we're able to determine which functionality is usually supported by vendors and to what degree they support it. For example, does the vendor support a given feature outright, or do they need to make some modifications to support it? We use eight different ratings (with accompanying numeric values) to determine

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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

CRM for Financial and Insurance Markets

Customer relationship management (CRM) focuses on the retention of customers by collecting data from all customer interactions with a company from all access points (by phone, mail, or Web, or in the field). The company can then use this data for specific business purposes by taking a customer-centric rather than a product-centric approach. CRM applications are front-end tools designed to facilitate the capture, consolidation, analysis, and enterprise-wide dissemination of data from existing and potential customers. This process occurs throughout the marketing, sales, and service stages, with the objective of better understanding one’s customers and anticipating their interest in an enterprise’s products or services.  

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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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Supply Chain Risk Management for Wholesale Distribution Companies: Planning for Disruption


Forward-looking companies are focusing on managing supply chain risk. The same functionality that supports supply chain network visibility, collaboration, and analytics can also enable supply chain risk management. This white paper shows that companies often actually possess the data they need, but disconnected systems impede the ability to make the right data accessible to the right people at the right time.

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Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) for ERP for Discrete Manufacturing Certification Report


Oracle's ERP system for discrete manufacturing, E-Business Suite (12.1), is now TEC Certified. The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations who rely on the integrity of TEC’s research services for assistance with their software selection projects. Download this 26-page TEC report for product highlights, competitive analysis, product analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary.

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NetSuite Is TEC Certified for ERP for Services Evaluation


NetSuite ERP is now TEC certified in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) for services software space. TEC's Ted Rohm gives you the benefits of NetSuite ERP for services organizations, and shares the main enhancements of the redesign of NetSuite ERP's user interface in Version 4, release 2. Read up on progressive disclosure and other features that make NetSuite ERP a solid solution for the services industry.

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Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) Moderates the 23rd Vendor Shootout for ERP in Chicago, Featuring Live ERP Software Demonstrations for Manufacturers and Distributors


Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) will once again be moderating the highly popular Vendor Shootout™ for ERP event, this time in Chicago on June 16-18, 2015. The three-day event gives attendees the opportunity to get an expert perspective from the independent software selection experts at TEC.

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Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 for ERP for Mixed-mode Manufacturing Certification Report


Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) for mixed-mode manufacturing 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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Sunrise Technologies’ AFT for Microsoft Dynamics AX Is Now TEC Certified for ERP for Fashion Industries


I am pleased to announce that Sunrise Technologies’ Apparel @ Footwear Template (AFT) for Microsoft Dynamics AX is now TEC Certified, and available for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for fashion industries in TEC’s ERP Evaluation Center. Sunrise Technologies is a global ERP provider with headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and regional

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Financial Forecasting: Room for Improvement for People, Process and Technology


Preparing an accurate forecast in this volatile business climate is challenging. Still, it is critical for businesses to be able to predict outcomes for the next month, quarter or year, and be able to respond quickly when the actuals vary significantly from the forecast. Forecasting may be equal parts art and science, but the most dialed-in enterprises report using a solid, collaborative process for generating accurate forecasts.

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Identifying the ROI of a Software Application for SCM Part 2: We Are Looking for the Vendor To Tell Us


Managers weighing an investment in software for supply chain face pressure to be right. Looking for a precise calculation of ROI often results in making an uninformed decision. This part discusses what to do when business analysis skills are lacking.

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RP Software Review: IFS Application version 8.0 for ERP for Services


This enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution software review report examines the ERP software by IFS and its support for business management processes against known benchmarks. It assesses IFS Application (v. 80) for ERP functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Portfolio and Project Management
  • Resource Planning and Scheduling
  • Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management
  • Time and Expense Management
  • Budgeting, Costing, and Billing
  • Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis
  • Third-party Integration
  • Back-Office Functionality

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on a demonstration provided by IFS. The review identifies the features of IFS Applications that distinguishes it from other business process management solutions, including its compatibility with multiple sites and companies, its integrated document management feature, and its support for mobile operations across various devices. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

IFS Applications 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 IFS Applications, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that IFS Applications by IFS is a strong services support ERP system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how IFS Applications can help businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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