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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
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 free solidworks viewer 2012


TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of June 18, 2012
SOFTWARE SELECTIONSLoudoun County Sanitation Authority selects SAP ERPIndustry tags: utilities

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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

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TEC 2012 Supply Chain Management Buyer's Guide


TEC’s 2012 SCM Buyer’s Guide has been developed to emphasize the SCM challenges and business pains organizations face in extending their insight into and level of control over their partner networks—that severely constrict the effectiveness of their supply chains—as well as strategies for helping them better manage their supply chains.

Managing supply chain complexity
  • Complexity within the supply chain stems primarily from handling a multiplicity of partners. And while these various partners can be integrated within the supply chain to produce a cohesive chain, a large volume of communication has the potential to compromise the integrity of supply chain processes. 



Best practices for achieving insight into the supply chain

  • As businesses strive to establish a fluid network, several factors must be considered for organizations to gain visibility into their supply chains. Data management is required to ensure businesses can establish the mobility of relevant data—and rapidly identify impending issues and manage by exception. 



Managing collaboration through workflow
  • 
Within a supply chain, issues are rarely resolved by a single party, but are rather resolved through collaboration among multiple partners. The way a company connects with its partners to promote this collaboration and the benefits drawn from workflow tools are conducive to identifying the choke points within the supply chain.


This section on how SCM software can help businesses address these three main challenges is followed by a report on global trade management (GTM). GTM is a specific type of SCM solution that facilitates collaboration between trading partners worldwide, helping organizations manage the complexity of and gain visibility into their supply chains. 



Table of Contents


Preface

2012 Supply Chain Management (SCM) Buyer’s Guide: Adapting to Challenging Times and Circumstances
  • How Software Can Help Better Manage Supply Chains
  • Managing Supply Chain Complexity
  • Best Practices for Achieving Insight into the Supply Chain
  • Managing Collaboration through Workflow


SCM Product Comparisons

TEC Special Report

Global Trade Management: Dealing with the Complexity of a Global Network

GTM Product Comparison

TEC Resources for Supply Chain Management

Casebook

Microsoft Dynamics AX Customer Success Story by Ignify: Microsoft Dynamics AX Helps Online Bidding Company Improve Efficiency and Launch New Business Units

Sage Customer Success Story: Sage ERP X3 Is the Global ERP Solution for Satellite Industries

Sage ERP White Paper: Collaboration Drives Growth for Discrete Manufacturers

Epicor Customer Success Story: The WHITING Group of Canada Uses Epicor to Help Manage Its Multiple Business Units

Thought Leadership by Epicor: Five Mistakes Distributors Make When Selecting an Enterprise Software Solution

Thought Leadership by Pronto Software: Total Cost of Goods Shipped: A Guide to Better Sourcing Decisions

Kinaxis Customer Success Story: Nikon: Focusing on a “Picture Perfect” Sales and Operations Planning Process


TEC Partners Resource Directory

Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 Supply Chain Management Buyer’s Guide for large enterprises and SMBs.



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Managing Supply Chain Complexity


Factors Affecting Supply Chain Complexity

As global enterprises attempt to survive the economic downturn, they are faced with an unprecedented level of uncertainty in the industry. With the lean approach of maintaining low inventory levels and a shift in the responsibility to suppliers for on-time item delivery, businesses have come to be very dependent on their supplier base.

In times of a good economy, companies can readily grow their revenues. But when the economy declines, at the global level, the number of variables that can affect their supply chains grows exponentially. Is my supplier solvent enough to sustain its own growing receivables? Will this new policy stop me from exporting to this market? Is my factory at risk for social unrest? These questions barely scrape the surface in volatile times, with ever- changing daily considerations. Businesses should therefore broaden their understanding of the challenges associated with managing their supply chains.

While there are a number of factors that may weaken an organization’s supply chain, the most unexpected is the supply chain of its partners. Too often businesses consider their suppliers to be entities that manage themselves in a centralized and cohesive manner, with transparency and visibility throughout their organizations. This erroneous assumption oftentimes stems from the supplier presenting a seemingly unified front, and may be exacerbated by a false sense of security that lies behind a written contract.

Organizations should consider a number of factors prior to brokering a new partnership including: the supplier’s strategic position; background (technological, business structure, financial health, competitive landscape, social and political environment); and operations (i.e., manufacturing, logistics, etc.). This may help them to identify whether to engage in either a unique or distributed option for a given outsourcing strategy.

The bottom line is that with each additional partner, the level of complexity of the organization’s supply chain increases—exponentially. So how can SCM software address this complexity?

SCM solutions offer functionality for evaluating potential suppliers through generic request for proposal (RFP) templates, which contain answers to standardized questions on supplier activities that can have time-savings implications for making supplier-related decisions. Unfortunately, analysis of more complex questions, for example, those relating to the supplier’s financial health and environment, still requires more attention and can be addressed effectively only through manual processes and the individual business acumen of the evaluator. However, consulting firms exist that specialize in providing a comprehensive analysis of suppliers for those organizations that cannot afford to expend any resources to this task.

While SCM software has a way to go before it has a firm handle on multidimensional and hard-to-frame considerations (financial health or macroeconomic environment of the supplier) at the brokering level, it does offer power analytics that capture significant data on supply chain activities—e.g., assortment trending for organizations in the retail industry; logistics by capturing transit time for a given shipment route that allows for identifying potential threats or bottlenecks. However, this data is only as good as the response it elicits— businesses need to take the appropriate actions to ensure timely and effective management of their supply chains.



Download the full copy of the TEC 2011 CRM Buyer’s Guide for large enterprises and SMBs.

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Talking to an Emptoris Exec Post-Empower 2011 (and Pre-IBM 2012)


I recently published a TEC article about my attendance of Emptoris’ Empower 2011 user conference this past fall. What follows now is my deep-dive interview with Terrence Curley, Senior Vice President (SVP) of Product Strategy and Development at Emptoris, with the idea of developing some of the main messages from the conference. During this past year, with the acquisition of Rivermine

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Meeting Intuit at Dreamforce 2012


Whether pandering to their voting blocks, politicians in this election cycle often say that most innovation takes place in small businesses. Indeed, how many times have we heard a statement to the effect of “The entrepreneurial spirit is a critical part of the global workforce and gross domestic product”? Yet small to medium business (SMB)-driven innovation often gets overlooked, as large

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FREE Not-for-Profit Selects UNIT4 Agresso ERP


Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) recently opted to implement UNIT4 Agresso ERP throughout its business. As the not-for-profit organization tries to grow and find new revenue streams, it reportedly went for Agresso ERP over respectable competitive solutions including Blackbaud and Oracle PeopleSoft because of Agresso’s easy support for changing business structures and agility.

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SolidWorks and IQMS Partner Tightly


IQMS is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) vendor that tries to deliver as much native functionality as possible. But computer-aided design (CAD) and product data management (PDM) are highly specialist capabilities. To that end, IQMS has just released its SolidWorks PDM add-in. With more than two million license on the market, SolidWorks is an

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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of September 3, 2012


SOFTWARE SELECTIONSIndustrial lubricants manufacturer IRMCO selects ProcessPro Premier ERP software Industry tags: manufacturing "This case is a textbook example of an improperly selected ERP system that needed to be replaced. The manufacturer, which operates in a process-based production environment, has finally found an appropriate system that is specifically designed for this type of

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Infor Introduces Inforce Marketing at Dreamforce 2012


Today, at Dreamforce, Infor announced the launch of Inforce Marketing, a marketing automation system developed on the Salesforce Platform. Some of the new functionality includes an improved visibility over leads, costs, results, and revenues; multi-channel support for campaigns that can include e-mail, direct mail, social media, and telemarketing; lead validation and assessment; and reporting and

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Firewall Cowboyz Set the Stage to Free Innocent Convict


Cowboyz.com builds and sells affordable firewall appliances to small to medium sized businesses. When not deploying firewalls, this small-time firewall vendor gives something back by taking notice and assisting to restore justice to a falsely accused convict.

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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of July 16, 2012


MERGERS @ ACQUISITIONSOracle buys Skire Industry tags: capital management "Oracle is buying to acquire all the assets of Skire, a provider of capital program management and facilities management applications both in the cloud and on-premise. With this acquisition, Oracle expects to complete a set of management tools for all phases of project management, having a complete enterprise project

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Plex Online for Discrete Manufacturing ERP Certification Report (2012)


Plex Online is TEC Certified for online evaluation of discrete manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) 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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