Video: Insight into the Microsoft ERP Mix

Where does Microsoft Dynamics AX stand in the Microsoft ERP Mix?

Don Fornes, CEO of our partner Software Advice, interviewed the Microsoft ERP Director of Marketing, Guy Weismantel, about the latest updates to the Microsoft ERP product line. In this segment he provides some clues to release dates of Microsoft products and their fit to the market place.

Providing some interesting insight into the Microsoft Dynamics product line, Mr. Weismantel discusses the release plan for the various MS Dynamics products. Interestingly enough, he talks about how they go to market with the different products based on geography and customer buying behaviors. In the video, he talks about the following:

  • Dynamics AX and its niche for high end, multi-channel, multi-country/language strengths
  • Dynamics GP and how they play to its strengths (and even mentions a few weaknesses)
  • Dynamics NV which is a highly customizable solution for vertical markets
  • Dynamics SL which provides a good fit for project accounting clients
  • This is the fourth in a series of 7 videos that we will be posting.

    Is Microsoft ERP Dynamics AX the Favorite Child?

    Microsoft ERP

    Getting More Microsoft ERP Information

    If you are interested in exploring Microsoft ERP for your company, please select one of the two links below:

    ERP Channel Partners

    ERP Channel Partners

    For information on other ERP software products, please see our ERP Software Directory for many more vendors.

    Microsoft ERP Channel Partners

    For information on the Microsoft ERP Channel Partner Program, please see
    Insight into the Microsoft ERP Mix

Video: ERP Channel Partners – Can they Survive the Cloud?

ERP Channel Partners – Can they Survive the Cloud?

Don Fornes, CEO of our partner Software Advice, interviewed Microsoft’s Director of ERP Marketing, Guy Weismantel, about the latest updates to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP product line. The topic of discussion turned to ERP Channel Partners and how the cloud computing era will affect them.

Mr. Weismantel talks about how Microsoft ERP Channel Partners can adjust to the new marketplace where there is now hardware or software to install or maintain. Cloud computing brings a new way of doing business. Traditional resellers and implementors make money on both the licenses of the software, the hardware provided, and the service to install and configure the systems. But additionally, they should be making money from the value added services such as crafting the best solution for the client and providing an upsell opportunity. This is the area that will need to expand for these ERP Channel Partners to survive.

This is the third in a series of 7 videos that we will be posting.

How Can ERP Channel Partners Survive in the Cloud Era?

Microsoft ERP Channel Partners

Getting More Microsoft Dynamics Information

If you are interested in exploring Microsoft AX 2012 for your company, please select one of the two links below:

For information on other ERP software products, please see our ERP Software Directory for many more vendors.

ERP Channel Partners

For information on the Microsoft ERP Channel Partner Program, please see
ERP Channel Partners

Top 10 Job Shop ERP Software

Top 10 Job Shop ERP Software

What are the top 10 Job Shop ERP Software systems available? Based on our experience and software currently available in the market, we have put together a list of likely Job Shop ERP Software that a company may look at when choosing their next ERP solution.

Job Shops are unique and don’t fit into the realm of traditional ERP systems with their large batch run MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) systems. What Job Shop ERP Software must provide is the ability to plan and account for small run or even one-off parts manufacturing. A traditional MRP won’t cut it.

Job Shops are often sub-contracted manufacturers who specialize in small jobs or specific small runs of a particular machined part. Often specializing in a particular metal fabrication, or a specialization around certain types of products, ie. fasteners or machined bar stock. They provide unique services for larger manufacturing operations such as working with unique materials, incredibly tight Job Shop ERP Softwaretolerances, the ability to generate quickly manufactured prototypes, design and CAD assistance, reverse engineering, quick-turn parts, in-house tooling amongst other services.

Job Shops serve a number of industries, including Aerospace, Automotive, Furniture Manufacturing, Machining, Medical, and specialty manufacturing. While this is a broad list of industries, the key elements of a job shop remain the same. They all have small runs or batches, unique parts for a contracted order, demands upon them to reduce costs while shortening delivery times, and the requirement to be flexible in their design, setup and manufacturing processes.

Because of these unique factors, most off the shelf manufacturing software does not fit these smaller manufacturers. As such, we have listed below our Top 10 Job Shop ERP Software solutions (in no particular order). Were possible, we have included links to request a demo or get a price quote.

Our List of the Top 10 Job Shop ERP Software

1. Fitrix ERP
About | Demo | Pricing

2. Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition
About | Demo | Pricing

3. Made2Manage ERP
About | Demo | Pricing

4. JOBSCOPE Enterprise Edition
About | Demo | Pricing

5. Intuitive ERP
About | Demo | Pricing

6. E-Z-MRP Manufacturing Software
About | Demo | Pricing

7. ECi M1 ERP Software
About | Demo | Pricing

8.DBA Manufacturing
About | Demo | Pricing

9. Global Shop Solutions
About | Demo | Pricing

10. Exact Globe Manufacturing Software
About | Demo | Pricing

Worth Noting: (Not an ERP software, but a Job Shop floor control system)
Shopvue Job Shop Floor Control System
About | Demo | Pricing

Other Job Shop ERP Software

The list above is 10 potential vendors, but you may want to look at our Vendor Directory for other candidate Job Shop ERP Software vendors. Keep in mind that sometimes a vendor can support Job Shop ERP Software requirements, but that is not their primary focus. This is something to look for, but also should be something to watch out for. Just because they say they can handle job shop requirements, does not mean that they are successful at it.

If you need more assistance in your search, you can talk to the experts at Software Advice to help you narrow down your search. Call them to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Be sure to check out the Free Software Evaluation and Selection tools we offer. These tools can save you time and money as you proceed on your evaluation of different systems.

We hope that this top 10 list has been useful.
Let us know if there are other Job Shop ERP Software that you think should be included.

ERP Software Selection

Job Shop ERP Software

ERP on the iPad


ERP on the iPad

Mobility is becoming more and more key to managing corporate information. As such, we have seen individual users moving entirely from their laptops to their iPad. This provides easy access to the internet, with information anywhere. This is especially true of cloud computing. With a simple iPad, you can access anything anywhere.

ERP on the iPad can be used in Sales with CRM solutions. In fact, has a native iPhone app that works on the IPAD, but bother, when you can use it on the web browser just as well? Many ERP solutions now have an html interface, so using the iPad is quite easy.

Examples of ERP on the iPad

Imagine if you will, a manager of a manufacturing plant browsing the production cells and being able to pull up real-time stats on her/his iPad and having the ability to discuss the results with the employees?

Or take an example of an HR Manager in an interview with a candidate in a random conference room, looking up on their iPad the available job postings for other divisions to better suit the candidate at hand.

Working on a campus environment, many times managers are running to meetings between buildings. Carrying an iPad with access to the ERP data is most convenient. These are just a few examples of mobility with ERP on the iPad.

So if these things are now possible, is it possible to run a Terminal Emulation program on the iPad to connect to a legacy ERP on the iPad? As far as we can tell, yes you can do that as there a number of Terminal Emulation programs for the iPhone and iPad. Are these as convenient as a web or even a native iPad app? Probably not, but it can be done.

ERP on the iPad on the Road

What about remote access to the central ERP system? Can you use an iPad while on the road to access your corporate data? Well that really depends upon if you have access via Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to the corporate network. You can setup VPN on the iPad and use it to connect securely to the corporate system. But it does require some setup. If the ERP has a web interface and it is exposed on the public web, then you can log in directly there. This is the easiest for the user, but requires additional layers of security from the IT department.

Security for ERP on the iPad

A key are of concern would be for ERP on the iPad to be able to wipe data for lost iPads. In other words, you’re at an airport. You turn around for a moment and your iPad is gone. You know it was on the seat next to you for a second. You have saved your passwords and access to all your corporate data is gone.

As it is now, the only thing you can do is to set a password and in the iPad’s settings, you can set it to wipe the data after so many bad attempts at the password. Of course, you have a copy on your computer in your iTunes right? So this is one method, but for the release of corporate data being accessible through the iPad, currently, you would probably be using a web browser.

If corporate ERP software providers come out with a dedicated App for their product specifically for the iPad, then they would need to build in some sort of password protection. This will not prevent the iPad from being accessed though, so Apple needs to come out with a function similar to what is available with the iPhone, to wipe corporate data. Without this, there probably won’t be a widespread migration to the iPad until this feature is available.

To summarize, it is possible now to use the iPad for mobile ERP access provided that the ERP is exposed to the Internet or by way of some sort of VPN. But it is probably not the most elegant solution, especially on older ERP systems. Ideally, ERP vendors will start to come out with native applications for the iPad which will ease the complexity for the user. This is already happing with cloud based providers. We hope that it will become more prevalent in the near future.

What do you think? Are you using the ERP on the iPad now? Please post your comments and let us know. Thank you.

Addendum: After posting this, we saw this press release about an iPad Enterprise Development kit for putting ERP on the iPad.

Click here to get great Ipad Training


ERP on the iPad.

ERP Vendor Selection

ERP Vendor Selection

ERP Vendor Selection
ERP Vendor Selection Tips to Save you Time and Money

The ERP Vendor Selection process can be challenging. It can also be frustrating or even humorous in some cases. Weeding through the morass of ERP Software Vendors is a task that hopefully only happens once every seven to ten years. Here are some tips to help make this process less painful.

Key ERP Vendor Selection tips

  1. Remember that the vendor is there for themselves. They may try to be your buddy, flower you with gifts, take you golfing, or whatever else it takes to close the sale. They want to build a relationship with you, so you will buy based on a feeling of gratitude towards them. If you do nothing else, keep the relationships with these vendors above board and strictly professional. We have seen clients being taken down a rosy path only to end up with that software, despite the fact that it wasn’t the best fit for them. There is a psychology to providing gifts and giving the client value up front. There is an underlying obligation or a feeling that the client owes them back. It is a very successful trick used during an ERP Vendor Selection by the salespeople, so you need to be on the lookout for this.
  2. Engage a consultant or service to help weed through the numerous potential vendors to get you to your shortlist. Too many times, managers and owners have taken a shot in the dark and found the first names they find on Google, or that those that they saw at a trade show. Do your due-diligence. Find a company who specializes in vendor matching or selection. One such ERP Vendor Selection company is They can provide a suitable fit for your company.
  3. In the ERP vendor selection process, drive the vendors down your path, not down theirs. If you let the vendor lead the processes, you will only end up at their solution. You need to strongly assert that you are driving the process and then follow this up with action such as pre-defined scripts for them to demonstrate and defined criteria for what they will show you such as references. If you lead the demo, they will either shine or fall apart depending upon how closely they match your business. If they shine, they were both prepared and understand your business. If they fall apart, then they probably are not a good fit. We have had vendors who get very upset at a level playing field. These are the vendors who are focused on themselves, not what you are asking for. If you prepare the vendors ahead of time with the ground rules, the things that they need to show and not show, then they should have no excuse for not tailoring their presentation to your requests.
  4. Find out what ERP Software others in your industry are using. Sometimes with specialized, niche industries such as process manufacturing, or semi-conductor manufacturing, generalized ERP systems do not handle the unique requirements of that industry. Talk to members of your industry association on what they use. Do the proper research on the ERP Vendors you might be looking at. Do not select software based on the opinion of a friend or what your relative is using at their facility. Doing so will get you in trouble, because likely the software isn’t fit for your industry. Even related industries may require different types of ERP software. Be careful here on taking well meaning advice from those you know.
  5. When negotiating with your primary candidate during your ERP Vendor Selection, never take the first or even the second offer. In fact, if you time your negotiations to the end of a month, quarter or even more ideal, the fiscal year end for that vendor, you will be able to negotiate great discounts. Every sale counts at the end of the period and often they will make a concession to book the deal in that period. Vendors often have more flexibility in the pricing that you might expect. Large vendors often will dig deep if it means beating out their rivals in a deal. But there is a threshold that they ultimately are unwilling to cross. You will need to trust your instincts that you have pushed them as far as they will go.
  6. When you are talking to the ERP Software Vendor, find out who will be implementing the software. Often it is a Value Added Reseller (VAR) who will be doing the implementation. This could be different than the VAR involved in your ERP Vendor Selection. If that is the case, shop the VARs and find one that you feel most comfortable with. Just because there is a VAR on the sale of the software, does not necessarily mean they are the best qualified to do the implementation. But if you are to do this, do this early. You probably want to identify the VAR to go forward with as soon as you have a short-list of Software Vendors. If you wait until you made the purchase, it is unfair to the VAR who helped to demonstrate the software and spent all the effort finding out about your business.

If you follow these simple tips during your ERP Vendor Selection, you will be a lot better off and find a solution that is better suited for your business and you will have a easier time implementing as well. Work with the ERP Vendors as a business partner, but keep the relationship professional and hold them to a level playing field. Doing so will only be to your benefit, especially when you choose the best software for your business.

ERP Vendor Selection Tools

There are several tools on the internet that are available to assist you in doing your ERP Vendor Selection.  The tool we have found best is the ERP Vendor Selection wizard at  It allows you to drill down based on your industry, software preferences, and revenue size to find the right fit for your business.  Further, you can get pricing and schedule interviews right there on the same page.  Very useful.

To help you in your ERP Vendor Selection, we have a free guide for you “How to Assess Accounting Software Vendors’ Viability” available for instant download. Download it now.

ERP Vendor Selection: How to Assess Accounting Software Vendors Viability

ERP Vendor Selection

ERP Vendor Selection

12 Steps to a Better ERP Launch

12 Steps to a Better ERP Launch

ERP implementations can turn a young project into a grey haired war veteran in no time. The stress of the implementation from Kick-off, configuration, data conversion, training, and all the other component parts up through Go-Live are no easy task.

If you have done everything right, then the Go-live should be a non-event. But in order to ensure that there is no catastrophic fallout from the cut-over, you need to prepare.

There is a good list of items that will help you to plan and prepare for the day that all eyes are on you and your launch. These steps are items that should be planned for early in the project, allowing for a smooth transition and a better ERP Launch.

These 12 items include such things as planning the ROI, Utilizing outside help if needed, getting buy-in from all levels of the organization and several other key planning topics. Take a look at this list and use it the next time you are planning an implementation, You might just save a few grey hairs.

You can find the 12 Steps to a Better ERP Launch listing here.

Modern ERP: Select, Implement & Use Today’s Advanced Business Systems
12 Steps to a Better ERP Launch

You’ve ‘done’ ERP, now get the value

Here is a good article just released.

You’ve ‘done’ ERP, now get the value

By – Kevin Clarke, HansaWorld SA country manager

So you’ve made the decision to invest in an enterprise resource planning solution. You know you’re getting some software that drives proven, best practice business processes, and you’ve gone through the perhaps painful process of having the software implemented, configured and fine-tuned. Happy days are here, right? Not necessarily. You need to be sure you don’t suffer from user regression as well as the possibility of your shiny, integrated new ERP system becoming little more than a glorified accounting system.

Probably one of the biggest challenges with any ERP deployment is that of user acceptance. While training must surely have been an integral part of the project, it is important to remember it should not end with the conclusion of the project. When the consultants have packed up and left the building and the ERP system is humming nicely in the background, a new danger lurks, which might adversely affect the value you get from your ERP solution.

Read the entire article here…