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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
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Active Archiving: A Key Enterprise ILM Practice
The growth of application data has placed an enormous burden on IT organizations to maintain acceptable application performance and availability. The weight of

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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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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

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) RFI/RFP Template

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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.



Report Preview


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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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of July 23, 2012


SOFTWARE SELECTIONS @ IMPLEMENTATIONSSeaspan selects IFS Applications to support its shipbuilding projectsIndustry tags: manufacturing “Seaspan is an association of companies primarily involved in multiple sea transportation businesses. Many such activities are project-based, which is IFS’ focus. No wonder that IFS was selected to provide an ERP system for Seaspan’s shipbuilding and repair

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Total Economic Impact Study of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012


The purpose of this study is to provide organizations considering implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact on their organizations. The framework helps to identify the cost, benefit, flexibility, and risk factors that affect the investment decision.

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New! Windows Server 2012 and the Cloud OS


Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Server and Tools Business, has officially launched Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012. In a global online launch event Mr. Nadella described how Windows Server 2012 will power what he calls the era of Cloud OS. Mr. Nadella mentioned that with this launch, Microsoft is set to build the Cloud OS, expanding the traditional functions of an operating system to

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A Good Scripted Demo Is Key in Software Selection


One of the main challenges in evaluating business software solutions is first creating a good script to demonstrate the software—one that’s neither too vague nor too detailed. If it’s too vague, all the vendors will be able to demonstrate all the criteria listed—and this will have little value for decision makers who need to assess one solution against another. On the other hand, if the script is

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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of May 21st, 2012


SOFTWARE SELECTED, IMPLEMENTED, AND PUT TO GOOD USEHorticultural tools distribution business goes live with Sage ERP X3 Industry tags: wholesale and retail trade "The 127-year-old company A.M. Leonard, which currently operates mostly via catalog and Internet commerce, selected Sage ERP X3 to replace its aged legacy system. The Sage product was chosen mainly because of its rich functionality and

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Sales Pipeline Management: Your Key to Increased Sales


Find out in improving sales pipeline performance through enhanced visibility.

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AribaLIVE 2012 - Cloud B2B Commerce Coming of Age


After a hiatus of several years, the stars and planets were again aligned for me to be able to attend the AribaLIVE conference in early April 2012. And boy, what a difference several years can make! The last time I attended, in the mid-2000s, Ariba was behind its worst times of the early 2000s and the dotcom "boom and crash." For those that are not sure what I am talking about, in the early 2000s,

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JDA FOCUS 2012: A Real-time Cloud to Serve the “Connected Consumer”


It seems JDA Software, a leading supply chain management (SCM) solution vendor, is just a short step away from being able to manage the entire SCM process. Focused on the retail industry, JDA helps retailers satisfy “connected, always-on” consumers. TEC principal analyst P.J. Jakovljevic recaps JDA FOCUS 2012, which highlighted the vendor’s aggressive move into the cloud.

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Quote-to-order Solutions and Key Performance Indicators


Providers of complex products, systems, and services should view quote-to-order (Q2O) systems as enablers that can improve competitive advantage. At the same time, users should remember that Q2O solutions are not necessarily advantageous for all manufacturing departments or businesses.

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