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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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 brand consultation on business intelligence


Infor Unveils CloudSuite Financials, Raising the Bar
Infor announces Infor CloudSuite Financials, the next-gen financials and accounting software built for the cloud. Read P.J. Jakovljevic's write-up and find out

brand consultation on business intelligence  CloudSuite Financials , a brand new upcoming financial management suite (FMS) built for the cloud. Engineered in consultation with some of the world’s leading consulting and auditing firms, such as PwC , Infor CloudSuite Financials is designed to address the proactive needs of today’s chief financial officers (CFOs) and financial professionals, instead of relying on decades-old technology and processes whereby a general ledger (GL) is a mere data and transactions storage, with no capabilities to

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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

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence (BI) and performance management applications enable real-time, interactive access, analysis, and manipulation of mission-critical corporate information. These applications provide users with valuable insights into key operating information to quickly identify business problems and opportunities. Users are able to access and leverage vast amounts of information to analyze relationships and understand trends that ultimately support business decisions. These tools prevent the potential loss of knowledge within the enterprise that results from massive information accumulation that is not readily accessible or in a usable form. It is an umbrella term that ties together other closely related data disciplines including data mining, statistical analysis, forecasting, and decision support. 

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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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How SMEs Can Tap into Real-time Business Intelligence


Real-time business intelligence (BI) delivers information about business as it occurs. While traditional BI presents historical data for analysis, real-time BI compares current business events with historical patterns to automatically detect problems or opportunities. This paper explains how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can establish a competitive advantage by tapping into the power of real-time BI.

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The Business Value of Business Intelligence


Now that technical aspects of delivering information to the business intelligence (BI) user community are understood, BI vendors are focused on market expansion through key initiatives, including advocating ‘BI for the masses.’ However promising expanded BI use may be, a careful and balanced discussion of the specific business and technical preconditions for capturing the business value of BI investments is needed.

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Business Continuity: Are You Always Open for Business?


Limited resources dictate that most midsize companies must support business continuity at the lowest cost and without putting additional pressure on scarce IT resources. But business continuity is more of a critical success factor than ever before. Customers won’t tolerate a lack of service availability. Midsize companies must find a way to ensure maximum business continuity, and reduce downtime—and costs. Learn more.

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Savvion Inc. BusinessManager 7.5 for Business Process Management Certification Report


Savvion Inc.'s business process management solution, BusinessManager 7.5, 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 24-page TEC report for product highlights, competitive analysis, and in-depth analyst commentary from TEC Analyst Kurt (Yu) Chen.

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SAP Business Suite, Powered by SAP HANA: Delivering Real-time Business Value


Becoming a real-time business requires managing daily business transactions of your core business processes in real time, and capturing data from new sources like social media or mobile apps. And you need to be able to analyze all this data. Ultimately, it requires people to be able to access real-time information on any device for immediate action. Read this white paper to learn about an in-memory platform and how it can you help create new business value.

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Business Intelligence: the Definitive Guide for Midsize Organizations


Business intelligence (BI) tools are now affordable for midsize companies, and accessible to non-technical business users. Managers can use BI to analyze complex information and support their decision-making processes—combining data from many sources into an integrated, up-to-date view. Find out what midsize companies need to know to select the right BI product, the right BI vendor, and the right approach to BI.

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Logi 9 Business Intelligence Platform: Business Intelligence (BI) Competitor Analysis Report


This business intelligence (BI) knowledge base covers a full range of BI functionality. BI applications enable real time, interactive access, analysis, and manipulation of mission-critical corporate information. BI users are able to access and leverage vast amounts of information to analyze relationships and understand trends that support business decisions. This knowledge base covers everything from data mining to analytics, querying, reporting, workflow, and in-depth analysis.

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Crossing the Chasm between IT and Business Teams with New Approaches to Business Intelligence


For over a decade, organizations have struggled with a gap between IT and business due to shifts in perceptions of what business intelligence (BI) should be. Often, skilled IT workers get stuck in low-level reporting roles, while business workers can’t access and analyze information fast enough to make strategic decisions. This discussion with an industry technologist offers some ideas for bridging the IT/business gap.

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American Business Systems, Inc.


Based out of Chelmsford, Massachusetts (US), American Business Systems (ABS) develops and markets microcomputer-based accounting software intended for small and medium-sized enterprises. Since the introduction of its first accounting solution for single-user microcomputers in 1980, the firm's ABS Accounting System has successfully passed Big Six certification standards and today the software is sold internationally with applications available in both English and Spanish. ABS products run on most microcomputers and can be upgraded. The firm is currently focusing on the development and marketing of vertical market products that provide solutions in areas of distribution and point of sale (POS) and continue to be fully integrated with the ABS accounting system.

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