Best ERP Software, or Beyond ERP?

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Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst Jim Sheperd recently wrote a compelling piece called “Multi-Enterprise Commerce May Be What Comes After ERP.”  Originally published in Gartner’s First Thing Monday Morning newsletter, Sheperd’s description of the challenges around multi-enterprise commerce and his suggestions for a solution sound so much like Tensoft’s customers and Tensoft’s solutions that it seemed worth commenting on here.

Sheperd sums up the key issue as this: “The real business problem that today's manufacturers and distributors are struggling to manage takes place between companies, not within them.”  Tensoft’s customers in the semiconductor industry know this problem well – the fabless semiconductor model grew when semiconductor foundries began to offer outsourced manufacturing, and assembly, test, and shipping providers followed.  ERP systems were designed to handle traditional manufacturing though, not the complex supply chains that have resulted from this trend.

The solution posited by Sheperd would have elements of today’s e-commerce, sourcing and supply chain solutions, but would also need to “include finance, asset management, traceability, order management, and service.”  And, although he makes it clear that putting ERP in the cloud doesn’t solve the problem, the new solution needs to be “cloud-based services, rather than a series of on-premises systems hidden behind various firewalls.”

With its FSM Supplier Gateway, Shipper Portal, Distributor Point of Sale (POS) tracking, streamlined production order process that assumes outsourced manufacturing, all tied in with planning, WIP, and inventory tracking, and product costing, Tensoft’s solutions for the fabless semiconductor solve most – if not all - of the issues discussed.   Cloud-based delivery is almost a necessity in this industry, where many companies have operations on several continents, in addition to their highly distributed supply chain.

Tensoft has delivered business solutions to public and private Technology companies – as well as supported the extreme growth ramps that can occur in the Technology Industry.  I would suggest one more key characteristic to the challenges of multi-enterprise commerce – today’s tech companies may experience the challenges that Sheperd describes very early – often by the time they get to 50 to 75 employees.   Tensoft recently delivered a cloud-based solution to a start-up fabless manufacturer of light-modulating panels, Syndiant.  While they aren’t yet using all of Tensoft’s fabless semiconductor solutions, Syndiant’s cloud-based ERP case study points out some of the innovative ways that the challenges of multi-enterprise commerce are being met today, beyond ERP.

by Tensoft, Inc. - Solutions for the Technology Industry


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