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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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 lean manufacturing processes and six sigma


Front-office Lean-Taking Lean Manufacturing Beyond the Shop Floor
Lean manufacturing practices are employed to some degree on almost every manufacturing floor, but many companies aren't realizing the real benefits of lean by

lean manufacturing processes and six sigma  office Lean-Taking Lean Manufacturing Beyond the Shop Floor Originally published - June 25, 2007 It would be hard to find a successful manufacturer anywhere in the world that is not using some elements of lean manufacturing to streamline its operation. Some companies have formal lean programs, employing individuals with black belts in Six Sigma (a system of practices for measuring defects and improving quality, and a methodology to reduce defect levels, with Black Belts being the professionals who can

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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

Discrete Manufacturing (ERP)

The simplified definition of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a set of applications that automate finance and human resources departments and help manufacturers handle jobs such as order processing and production scheduling. ERP began as a term used to describe a sophisticated and integrated software system used for manufacturing. In its simplest sense, ERP systems create interactive environments designed to help companies manage and analyze the business processes associated with manufacturing goods, such as inventory control, order taking, accounting, and much more. Although this basic definition still holds true for ERP systems, today its definition is expanding. Today’s leading ERP systems group all traditional company management functions (finance, sales, manufacturing, and human resources). Many systems include, with varying degrees of acceptance and skill, solutions that were formerly considered peripheral such as product data management (PDM), warehouse management, manufacturing execution system (MES), and reporting. During the last few years the functional perimeter of ERP systems began an expansion into its adjacent markets, such as supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence/data warehousing, and e-business, the focus of this knowledge base is mainly on the traditional ERP realms of finance, materials planning, and human resources. The foundation of any ERP implementation must be a proper exercise of aligning customers'' IT technology with their business strategies, and subsequent software selection. 

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TEC Lean and Green Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide


While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line.

While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line.

In this lean and green buyer’s guide, we’ll discuss some of the challenges that companies are facing in light of the changes to the economy as well as the pressures of “going green.” We’ll talk about some of the highlevel changes your business can make, with a focus on operational efficiency and on how lean and green practices can both lead to the same result: efficiency equals sustainable business. We will also feature information about some of the vendor offerings targeted at companies looking to adopt or improve their “green business strategies.” The products covered in this guide address various areas within the scopes of both “lean” and “green,” including lean manufacturing, environmental management, operations management, compliance regulations, and more.

We’ve included customer success stories to illustrate how product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise asset management (EAM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions have helped companies like yours deal with their environmental concerns. For your convenience, there is also a vendor directory to assist companies that are looking for a “sustainability enabling” solution.

We hope this report will provide you with enough insight about the current state of the market—with respect to both lean and green—to help you start making a few decisions about how your company can make a change for the better. We think you’ll find this guide a useful tool for determining which type of solution is best suited to your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Executive Overview
Lean, Green, and Everything in Between

Thought Leadership
Corporate Social Responsibility: Using Technology to Become More Lean and Green

Case Study
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Increases Scheduling Efficiency with Asprova

Case Study
Lean in Action: Manufacturer Cuts Lead Time from Four Weeks to Four Days

Case Study
InkCycle Makes Green Ink, While Staying in the Black

Case Study
A Pragmatic Approach to Gaining Business Efficiencies

Case Studies at a Glance
TEC Analyst Perspective



Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 Lean and Green Buyer’s Guide for manufacturers.



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State of the Market: Lean and Green


Today’s need for sustainable development (economic, social, and environmental) is increasingly affecting how organizations do business. But the areas of environmental and corporate responsibility are still relatively new to businesses as concepts that drive value. And even though these concepts are rapidly growing in importance, many organizations are still in the early phases of adopting an approach that provides measured results.

The state of market in “green” is improving—albeit at a very slow pace—as organizations learn the value of integrating environmental thinking into their operations, and find more and more ways to align green thinking with their business strategies and goals.

This need for change affects businesses, municipalities, government, and resource-extractive industries like manufacturing. Some of the major influences affecting these organization’s environmental sustainability decisions are regulations and standards, competitive position, and public confidence. In fact, there is a great deal of reputation at stake, since public consciousness towards environmental issues is growing.

Today’s stakeholders (customers, investors, etc.) want to put their money into companies that are sustainable. If businesses don’t take an interest in the environment—and their impact on it—it reflects very poorly on their interest in their bottom line. The current economic situation being what it is, companies cannot afford “bad press,” and it’s in their best interest to realign their business strategies to include environmental awareness. Equally (if not more) important is the fact that green initiatives have a high return on investment (ROI) and end up paying for themselves through cost savings on resources, energy, carbon taxes, etc.

Today’s environmental challenges in business are vast, and range from financial burdens (such as rising energy, input, and transportation costs), to waste disposal and regulatory issues (minimizing/reducing waste), to accountability and sustainability—which can make the decision to go green both complex and convoluted.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 Lean and Green Buyer’s Guide for manufacturers.

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Aligning a Manufacturing Vision with Processes through Mixed-mode ERP


Manufacturing organizations are under pressure to anticipate customer requirements and to quickly respond to an increasing array of changing market demands. Such organizations are meeting these challenges by implementing a variety of production strategies across multiple product lines. In doing so, they aim to maintain market share through growth and acquisition of companies that will complement

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Lean and World Class Manufacturing and the Information Technology Dilemma-The Loss of Corporate Consciousness


Companies relying on manual implementation and support for lean and world class methodologies risk losing corporate consciousness. Avoid the pitfalls of lost information and flexibility; place value on performance gaps and create matrixes of tools and applications to prioritize issues.

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Question: When is Six Sigma not Six Sigma? Answer: When it's the Six Sigma Metric!!©


Six Sigma Quality is a popular approach to process improvement, particularly among technology driven companies such as Allied Signal, General Electric, Kodak and Texas Instruments. Its objective is to reduce output variability through process improvement, and/or to increase customer specification limits through design for producibility. I don't like the Six Sigma metric. As you'll see, it fails to pass many of the empirical tests for "good" metrics. In particular, it's neither simple to understand nor, in most applications, an effective proxy for customer satisfaction. And, its definition is ambiguous and therefore easily gamed because th

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ERP for Services (Non-manufacturing)


Typically, ERP systems designed for services industries offer modules that provide back-office support, customer relationship management, time management, expense management, resource management, and project management capabilities. Depending on the vertical market, additional industry-specific functionality may be included to address unique business requirements. Consequently, project-centric systems for accounting, architecture, construction, engineering, and professional services industries will support project management functionality; whereas health care, field service, distribution, and government systems will support functionality unique to those vertical markets.

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Lean Manufacturing: Part 1


With all the discussion, books, Web sites, and other materials on the topic of lean manufacturing, it's hard to know which resources are credible—much less understand the mounds of information. The first part of this series breaks down the definition of lean manufacturing into easy-to-digest concepts and shares the real-life example of a supplier of remanufactured solvents that is working toward the goal of lean. Get tips on how to determine what you need in your production operation and why.

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TEC 2015 ERP for Discrete Manufacturing Buyer's Guide


The TEC ERP for Discrete Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide was developed to provide unique perspectives on the state of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution market for manufacturers. Discrete manufacturers face a number of business challenges in the 21st century, including the traditional challenges of planning and managing production, managing costs, and staying compliant with regulations, and newer challenges related to the ability to support customizable and complex products and global markets, and hiring qualified staff.

How are manufacturers and vendors dealing with these changing requirements for manufacturing ERP? Read on to find out. In addition to a functionality comparison of manufacturing ERP products currently on the market, the TEC 2015 ERP for Discrete Manufacturing Buyer’s Guide includes the results of TEC’s ERP trends survey (showing some surprising trends and stats), a discussion about how ERP vendors are differentiating themselves these days with elements enhancing user experience, and a special section dedicated to configure, price, and quote (CPQ) solutions and their growing importance to discrete manufacturers. Case studies and thought leadership from leading vendors in the discrete manufacturing ERP software space are also included as examples of recent successful ERP implementations and upgrades.

Download the free guide now for TEC's expert analyst insight into manufacturing ERP trends, functionality comparisons, and vendor differentiation.

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Infor EAM Manufacturing Edition




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ERP Software Review: Aptean Ross ERP for Process Manufacturing


This enterprise resource management (ERP) software review report examines the ERP software by Aptean and its support for process manufacturing processes against known benchmarks. It assesses Ross ERP by Aptean for ERP functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Financials
  • Human Resources
  • Process Manufacturing Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Purchasing Management
  • Sales Management

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on a demonstration provided by Aptean. The review identifies the features of Ross ERP that distinguish it from other ERP solutions, including its manufacturing process management tool TraceExpress and its customizable desktop allowing for a focus on the individual job function data relevant to the user. RossERP also provides ERP support through its inventory management capabilities, and its document management system via SharePoint which aids in administrative organization through its document upload and modification capacity. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

Ross ERP achieved TEC certification status for its ERP software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the ERP software’s support for specific real-world business process and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of Ross ERP, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that Ross ERP is a strong ERP system for process manufacturing.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how Ross ERP can help businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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The Five Keys to Manufacturing Success: Encouraging Profitable Growth


These are challenging times for discrete manufacturing, especially for small to midsize companies. To stay competitive and meet rising expectations, manufacturers must seize every opportunity to grow—but wisely and profitably. This white paper presents clear strategies that can help these manufacturers achieve competitive advantage while giving clients the innovative, competitively priced products they demand.

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