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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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 scm case study for business consulting


ROI for RFID: A Case Study Part One: Company Background
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is the latest buzzword in the world of manufacturing and distribution technology. If you believe the press releases, it is

scm case study for business consulting  of supply chain management (SCM) functionalities. SAMSys provided on-site engineering support to evaluate the needs of KiMs' production cycle and barcode systems. SAMSys then designed and supervised the hardware installation of a UHF RFID pallet tracking system for finished goods. Avery Dennison supplied the writeable RFID tags. Philips Semiconductors supplied the chip solutions. Categoric provided its Xalerts software and consulting for the Event Management implementation. TXT provided consulting

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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

Process 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, human resources) and include, with varying degrees of acceptance and skill, many solutions that were formerly considered peripheral (product data management (PDM), warehouse management, manufacturing execution system (MES), reporting, etc.). While 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 old adage is "Such a beginning, such an end", and, consequently, many ERP systems' failures could be traced back to a bad software selection. The foundation of any ERP implementation must be a proper exercise of aligning customers' IT technology with their business strategy, and subsequent software selection. This is the perfect time to create the business case and energize the entire organization towards the vision sharing and a buy in, both being the Key Success Factors (KSFs). Yet, these steps are very often neglected despite the amount of expert literature and articles that emphasize their importance.    

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Energy Innovator Implements a New Business Model with mySAP


Capstone Turbine Corporation, an energy innovator, needed to implement management, business model, and strategy changes. It also needed to improve product reliability, modularize configurations, and provide visibility. By using SAP products, such as SAP BI, SAP EP, and SAP Best Practices, it realized performance measures for key business activities, and improved sales and inventory management.

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New-world Value: The Strategic Impact of Business Application Suites in Today’s Corporate Environment


The concepts of return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) have been used for decades in enterprise evaluations of IT investments, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, with the emergence of important new technological advances, executives are now expanding these traditional formulas to account for new opportunities. Learn more about their new methods for measuring ERP value.

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SaaS Buyer's Guide for Wholesale and Distribution


SaaS, despite its phenomenal popularity, is certainly not one-size-fits-all. You need to consider decision criteria such as fit, return on investment, and risk. Learn how SaaS works, who the major vendors are, how SaaS can help your business grow, and how to find the SaaS solution that’s right for you. It’s all in this comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Guide for Wholesale and Distribution from TEC and SupplyChainBrain.

From a business requirements perspective, the defining characteristic of wholesale and distribution (W&D) organizations is that they operate as intermediate agents between manufacturers and retailers. Their top business needs thus focus on requirements for:

  • processing high volumes of transactions,
  • maintaining constant communication between upstream and downstream collaborators (manufacturers and retailers/customers, respectively), and
  • managing products for multiple competitors within the same warehouse or distribution center

In this guide we will explore considerations for W&D organizations that are considering adoption of the SaaS delivery model, and examine the particular business issues that arise from this change.Specifically, we will address the following considerations:

  • the differences between SaaS and on-premise delivery models
  • SaaS architectures
  • SaaS pros, cons, and other considerations
  • selection criteria for SaaS-based applications
  • viable wholesale and distribution SaaS vendors

Later in this guide, we’ll provide examples of SaaS delivery model success stories, as well as a SaaS IT directory, segmented according to business area.


Table of Contents


Preface

Software as a Service: A Buyer’s Guide


Spotlight on Adaptability and Agility

Thought Leadership from SAP
SAP’s Perspective on Software as a Service

SAP Case Study
Johnson Products Capitalizing on New Sales after 30-day SAP Deployment


Spotlight on Manufacturing and Distribution

Thought Leadership from Epicor
SaaS ERP for Small Manufacturers and Distributors

TECSYS Case Study
LifeScience Logistics Achieves 99.97% Inventory Accuracy with TECYS’ EliteSeries for Healthcare


Spotlight on Growing Your Company with SaaS

Thought Leadership from NetSuite
The Benefits of a Business Management Software Suite for High-growth and Midsized Businesses: Overcoming the Barriers of Stand-alone Business Applications

NetSuite Case Study
Woodworking Machinery Maker Cuts Costs, Grows Efficiency with NetSuite

NetSuite Case Study
NetSuite Helps Manufacturer Take Advantage of Fast Market Growth


Spotlight on Distribution Centers

Thought Leadership from Bond International Software
Cloud Computing for Your Distribution Workforce

IBS Case Study
Konaflex Focuses on its Core Business with IBS Distribution Management Software


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.



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What Are the Differences between the SaaS and On-premise Delivery Models?



Defining the on-premise delivery model is relatively straightforward:

  • The software is acquired by the customer up-front.
  • The software is installed, deployed, managed, and maintained at the customer’s site, generally with a great degree of involvement by the customer.
  • The customer provides the in-house infrastructure (e.g., servers, hardware, networks) to support the software.


Defining the SaaS model is slightly more complex, since different SaaS vendors offer different definitions. We’ll explore these variations in more detail shortly, but for now we’ll note the following SaaS characteristics:

  • The software vendor provides customers with access to the software via the Internet.
  • The customer pays for this service on a subscription basis (normally per user, per month, or per number of transactions).
  • The vendor is responsible for maintenance, upgrades, and software support, as well as the supporting infrastructure.

The major difference between the on-premise and SaaS delivery model lies in the ownership of the software. In the on-premise model, once the software is purchased, the customer owns it. In the SaaS delivery model, the software is not owned by the customer: it is provided to the customer in the same manner as any other service.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.

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CRM Success for Fast Growing Companies: What Every Small and Midsized Business Needs to Know


When creating a seamless value chain, it is essential to focus on the customer. However, information, data, and processes are key when planning the complex merger of processes, technologies, and culture. Additionally, a successful value chain recognizes that partners, vendors, suppliers, and employees play a vital role to ensure that customer values are both recognized and realized.

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K8 for ERP for Distribution Product Certification Report


K8 is TEC Certified for online evaluation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) for distribution 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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ERP Software Review: IFS Application version 8.0 for the Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream)


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

  • Financials
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  • Production Data Capture and Reporting
  • Maintenance Management
  • Supply Chain Management

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 oil and gas industry 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 oil and gas businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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However, the line between the two types is sometimes blurry. For instance, a company may provide shipping logistics services for a client (or for the client's clients), in the sense that it handles the shipping of goods for the client; but it can also provide consulting services (or extend its own logistics services) to help the client improve the transportation system already in place.

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BOARD Certifies Its Unique Business Intelligence/Business Performance Application with TEC


BOARD International provides a unique application, comprising an original mix of business intelligence, business analytics, and enterprise performance management capabilities—all within a single platform. TEC BI Analyst Jorge García describes the originality and user benefits of the BOARD Management Intelligence Toolkit.

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IBM Cognos Express: Integrated Business Intelligence and Performance Management for Your Midsize Business


Watch this brief overview of IBM Cognos Express, the integrated business intelligence and planning solution that's priced and packaged specifically to meet the needs of midsize organizations.

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Keeping Cash Flow in Focus While Driving Business Performance


One of the most basic business axioms, held dear by all firms but especially small companies, is that cash flow is king. Customer payments are essential for fueling all other business activity, from staff salaries, to raw materials, to rent. Growing firms need to be especially attentive to cash flow because sales increases typically require new investments associated with product or service production before payments are received. Learn more now.

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