Recent announcements highlight a trend in the ERP market of vendors gaining approval from industry bodies.
The first that experienced this phenomenon was IFS, who received a recommendation from NATO governments indicating that they were the preferred ERP for defence contracts. This occurred after a robust evaluation of the various options in the market and, on an objective analysis of IFS’ capabilities, such a decision is wholly understandable — given its ability to support project based manufacture, as well the company’s many aerospace and defence customers. According, IFS have announced that the U.S. Army has selected IFS Applications as the manufacturing and maintenance software for use in its Logistics Modernisation Program (LMP) at all of the Army’s arsenals, depots and ammunition plants.
The latest industry body to make a recommendation is EEF, the manufacturer’s organisation, who announced an exclusive, two-year strategic partnership with Infor — in which “EEF recognises Infor solutions as its technology of choice for UK manufacturers.” A rather bold statement indeed, when there are currently 20 – 30 vendors already established in the marketplace. While the announcement talks a lot about what Infor will provide in “support” for various EEF activities, having studied both web sites to ascertain how the EEF came to make this choice I am yet to find anything that speaks about a survey which matched requirements of a manufacturer against what the package delivered.
My advice to any company considering the purchase of software, therefore, is that it is vital to understand what you want and why — and, accordingly, to undertake an evaluation that matches those requirements against the various packages in the marketplace. Certain solutions provide better support for process manufactures, whilst others are designed for complex batch manufacturing or make to order scenarios. Some solutions are more suited for large organisations, and others for SMEs. It is, clearly, not a one solution fits all.
And so we come to another press announcement, this time from The Manufacturer itself. On 22 April TM will be holding ERP Connect 2010, an event designed to streamline ERP review decisions for IT and business leaders. The conference not only hosts a roster of leading industry speakers, but provides opportunities for attendees to meet with providers in a networking environment as well as an exhibition. I am very much looking forward to chairing the day.
Continuing on the conference theme, SAP has announced that they are extending their annual SAPPHIRE conference to run in Europe, adding to the company’s heavy presence at the CeBIT exhibition.
The wins this month come from the following:
• eBecs – Fogarty
• Praector – Vulcan Industrial Engineering Company Ltd (VIECL)
• IFS – US Army
• PTC – Kensey Nash
• Dassault Systèmes – Procter & Gamble