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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 solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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 gps comparison guide


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

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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 2013 ERP Buyer's Guide for Process Manufacturing


A focus on user experience is driving ERP vendors to deliver lean, flexible solutions that blur the lines between traditional ERP tiers. Read this buyer’s guide and see how vendors are addressing the most pressing process manufacturing challenges—especially for food and beverage companies who face unique pressures in today’s health-conscious market—and how trends like integrated BI, in-memory analytics, mobility, and social media are changing the way process manufacturers do business.

This buyer’s guide provides an overview of the process manufacturing industry, including an in-depth look into the needs of process manufacturers, and then gives a detailed description of how an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system can fulfill these needs. The guide also takes a broad look at major current information technology (IT) trends and their effect on the ERP market, and ERP solution trends specific to the manufacturing industry.

The ERP for process manufacturers’ buyer’s guide also examines the general business challenges faced by process manufacturers, with an emphasis on the unique challenges of the food and beverage vertical, and offers tools for helping these organizations select the right software solution to address the challenges. It further presents a breakdown of ERP product functionality required by process manufacturers and details how a select list of vendors supports those requirements. Lastly, the guide presents a range of real-life case studies that highlight client successes in the process manufacturing sector, along with specialized solutions for food and beverage manufacturers, and thought leadership about relevant process manufacturing issues and challenges and the solutions vendors in this space are offering to address them.


Table of Contents


Preface

About this Guide

ERP for Process Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide

Process Manufacturing and ERP solutions

ERP System Technology Trends

Trends in ERP Solutions for the Manufacturing History

Process Manufacturing Business Challenges

Food and Beverage Industry Unique Challenges

TEC Market Insight for Process Manufacturing ERP Selection Projects

Conclusion

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Process Manufacturing and ERP Solutions


Process Manufacturing Defined

Process manufacturers are commonly concerned with tracking formulas and recipes, variable units of measure or bulk products, and product ingredients. Process manufacturing often results in a product, which once produced, cannot be broken back down into its component parts.

Processing manufacturing is defined by APICS, the Educational Society for Resource Management (formerly the American Production and Inventory Control Society), as “production that adds value by mixing, separating, forming, and/or performing chemical reactions. It may be done in either batch or continuous mode,” as opposed to discrete manufacturing, which concerns itself with the tracking of parts, units, and bills of materials (BOMs). Like many definitions, this one can be adapted to meet the needs of marketers or others. But, when it comes to manufacturing, APICS is still one of the best sources for purist definitions in the manufacturing industry.

This guide also touches upon mixed-mode manufacturing, defined for the purposes of this guide as a combination of discrete and process manufacturing. (The term is sometimes used to refer to running one manufacturing mode in combination with another manufacturing mode, e.g., continuous make-to-stock [MTS] production lines along with engineer-to-order [ETO].)

Process manufacturing is performed by many different manufacturers, with the majority falling into the following broader vertical market segments: food and beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical/biotech industries. While other vertical segments, such as nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals also exist, this guide examines the needs of process manufacturing in general, with a closer look at the needs of the food and beverage industry.

When a process manufacturer is looking for a software solution that meets its needs, it is important to look for a vendor that has developed its solution for the process manufacturing industry from the ground up. Some vendor solutions were initially developed for the discrete manufacturing industry, and functionality specific to process manufacturing was subsequently added as an afterthought. Because the end product of process manufacturing is created in such a different way from the end product of discrete or mixed-mode manufacturing, certain aspects of the manufacturing process must be treated from a process-specific perspective in the functionalities of a process manufacturing solution, such as formulation, routing, ingredients, unit of measure, and pricing.

Process manufacturers also need to look for vendor solutions that have strong references from customers in their particular industry—it is recommended not to be the first to use a system for a particular vertical market segment. For example, if a bakery is looking to purchase a solution, it should be able to call upon the experience of other bakeries using that solution. The case studies included in this guide provide the reader with solid customer references for process manufacturing solutions.


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