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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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 consult supply chain shipping logistics services


Supply Chain Cost-cutting Strategies
Process industries (chemicals, food and beverage, oil and gas, etc.) face rising manufacturing and logistics costs. And they’re finding that the old strategies

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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

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply chain management (SCM) solutions include applications for managing supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and customer business processes. Addressing demand management, warehouse management, international trade logistics, transportation execution, and many other issues for a complete solution, this knowledge base will support your evaluation of an SCM suite. 

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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 expand, blurring the boundaries of core ERP functionality. The three essential factors to consider in ERP versus best-of-breed decisions are functionality, integration, and the ability to upgrade. Find out the questions you need to ask when considering an ERP extension.

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Resolving Image Exchange Issues


Managing product images is frustrating. Typically, images are not documented nor linked to the associated product information. Worse, suppliers and retailers rarely have a system to exchange images, forcing retailers to reshoot photos that suppliers already had. Learn how including product images in your data synchronization process helps make product information, including images, accessible to anyone who needs it.

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The Advanced Sourcing and Negotiation Benchmark Report


The wave of e-sourcing that began a decade ago resembled a “crash diet:” it had an immediate and noticeable effect on enterprises. Today’s challenge is to develop new programs that can sustain the benefits of e-sourcing and “keep the weight off.” Find out how employing advanced sourcing strategies can help you positively impact product development cycles, build stronger supplier relationships, and make better decisions.

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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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Case Study: Phoenix Logistics, Inc.


In previous years, Arizona (US)-based aerospace manufacturer Phoenix Logistics, Inc. managed its low-volume, batch-manufacturing process with non-integrated manual and paper-based systems. Find out how implementing a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helped the company overcome significant problems with ordering, regulatory compliance, and document management.

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Reverse Logistics for Service


Reverse logistics management for service requires specialized software that accounts for many transactions and processes unique to installed base support. By implementing a configurable solution that automates the end-to-end reverse logistics cycle, service organizations can increase productivity, improve the customer experience, and significantly reduce costs. Find out more.

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An ERP Vendor Poised to Overtake the Services Market


Companies in the services industry need both asset and field services management, but current integrated asset and field services maintenance systems often fail to meet these organization’s needs. However, enterprise resource planning vendor Agresso appears to have just the right solution.

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TEC 2012 ERP for Services Buyer's Guide


ERP for services solutions are changing the way professional services companies do business by combining powerful project- and resource-management tools with essential back-office functionality. Learn all about these solutions in TEC's 2012 ERP for Services Buyer's Guide. Plus get detailed product comparisons, a comprehensive vendor directory, customer success stories, and thought leadership from industry experts.

The scope of this guide makes it practically impossible to describe all the software requirements and offer existing solutions for services organizations of all types and sizes in an extremely diversified and highly specialized market. But the good news is that there are some commonalities among services-oriented companies, and the software solutions that address their needs can be suitable for a broad range of services-based organizations. The majority of services-based businesses, regardless of their market niche, will find their typical business processes covered in this guide. We will discuss the business challenges and pain points that services organizations face in fulfilling their objectives and the need for a specialized enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system to help them address these challenges and enable better decision making.

The primary audience for this buyer’s guide is services organization managers, business subject matter professionals at all levels, IT managers and experts, and consultants in the software selection market space who are directly or indirectly involved in corporate software selection processes, or, at least, influence those who make such decisions. This guide addresses the software needs of services-based companies that fall under the following example categories:

  • Managerial and/or specific consulting services companies
  • Financial services and auditing firms
  • Research organizations
  • Law firms
  • Advertising, public relations, and marketing agencies
  • Customer-specific software development companies
  • Recruitment and staffing companies



Table of Contents


Preface

2012 ERP for Services Buyer’s Guide

Definition of a Services Company

Business Challenges of Services-Oriented Companies

The Need for ERP for Services Software

Conclusion

Product Comparison

TEC Resources

Casebook

Counter-economy Factors Driving North American Steel Fabricator: While Landscape of Energy, Abundance and Employee Competition Defies Prevailing Market Trends, Waiward Steel Taps UNIT4 ERP/Business Change Support to Add $700k (5%) New Annual Profits

IFS Customer Success Story Todd Pacific Shipyards Chart a Course for Success with IFS Applications

Project Insight Customer Success Story NFI Industries

Epicor Customer Success Story Portenntum de Mexico Uses Epicor to Help Streamline Business Process

Thought Leadership by Epicor Increase Enterprise Visibility to Provide a Competitive Edge in Professional Services

KeyedIn Solutions Customer Success Story Pharmaceutical and Health Care Leader Solves Project Control and Health Problems at Division and Country Level


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 ERP Buyer’s Guide for services.



Report Preview


Business Challenges of Services-oriented Companies


The services provided by services-based organizations as described above are commonly referred to as professional services. Consequently, the software market segment that caters to such businesses and provides specific application products is known as professional services automation (PSA). Another cluster of software packages is very similar in design—project portfolio management for professional services automation (PPM for PSA). This type of software is intended to support business activities similar to those addressed by PSA; it usually originates from a simpler project portfolio management (PPM) system that is expanded with the addition of billing, time tracking, and other PSAspecific activities. Usually PPM for PSA systems lack or do not offer extensive support for back-office processes—financial management of the entire organization, human resources management, purchasing, and so on—as these systems are more focused on project delivery to clients. ERP for Services software, on the other hand, is a broader type of solution that includes support for both project delivery business procedures and backoffice processes that are not visible to clients but are still essential for running a company.

Because of the project-based and people-oriented nature of services organizations, this business segment requires software applications that are capable of supporting servicesoriented business processes and adequately handling multiple internal challenges that are intrinsic to this industry.



Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 ERP Buyer’s Guide for services.

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Services Resource Planning: How Integrated PSA, CRM, and Financials Can Transform Your Services Business


Enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and professional services automation (PSA) are all part of a standard software system for many companies today. But for project- and service-driven companies, an emerging type of software is making things easier to combine the most important elements of these solutions to support the whole bidding-to-billing lifecycle. Services resource planning (SRP) provides the basis of a system covering everything from initiation and planning to resource management, execution, and closing of projects and services.

Services- and project-based organizations make up a larger part of the business landscape today, as the economy has become more service- and project-driven in recent years. This project-driven service economy depends upon knowledge-worker productivity, and accurately predicting this productivity, including the time, skills, materials, and intellectual property that are required to produce favorable client outcomes, can help companies to succeed in a competitive landscape.

Whereas many companies still use standalone accounting, CRM, and PSA solutions that are not integrated, the new SRP applications in the cloud have emerged to remove those silos and manage the entire project lifecycle. Read this white paper to find out more about services resource planning and why professional services businesses need to consider this new type of software to help manage their project lifecycles.

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Cash is King—And So is Your Supply Chain: How Mid-Market Companies Can Optimize Supply Chain Operations for Strong Cash Flow and Focused Growth


For companies of all sizes and across all industries, cash is not only crucial, it’s king. Just to survive, businesses have to carefully manage their cash flow, making sure that payments aren’t going out faster than resources are coming in.

There are a number of ways companies can automate and optimize their supply chains to improve cash flow, such as building strong relationships and implementing new technology. But it should be noted that making the decision to invest in technology or update a supply chain process is a cash flow decision in itself, and should thus be weighed carefully.

It is important to realize that the cost of a supply chain or cash flow failure is, in most cases, significantly higher than even the highest price tags for these investments. With that in mind, supply chain solutions and automation technologies are more often than not worth the investment for growing mid-market companies.

This white paper looks at the importance of cash flow management, especially vital for mid-market companies in the current economic landscape. Due to their size, mid-market companies have a smaller financial cushion than their larger competitors, which means they have a reduced margin of error, a thinner cushion for tough financial situations, and a smaller investment pool for funding growth.

Download the guide for more information on why you should optimize supply chain operations to improve cash flow, including explanations on how seeking out supply chain efficiencies, managing cash flow through managing inventory, and investing in new technologies can help your bottom line.

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