More and more production processes are being moved abroad at the moment; information networking is moving ahead and data is increasingly being provided online. Current technological progress in production is not only influencing processing procedures themselves, it is also affecting the requirements that users impose on certain functions of their ERP system. For companies, as a result, it is important to know how well a system can adapt to changed market conditions without having to intervene in the software itself. In its most recent comparative test, the Ulm-based software inspection company (GPS) concludes that the fully web-based ERPII solution, APplus, delivers "very good" performance when it comes to meeting these requirements. Consequently, it has been awarded with the "ERP Excellence 2014" certificate.
As part of this year's ERP comparative test conducted by the GPS, all participating systems had to process an extensive sample scenario and, in the progress, demonstrate their support for modern production processes such as in handling distributed production locations (multi-site) as well as integration of a web platform. The testers concentrated in particular on the range of functions offered by the solutions, their flexibility and user-friendliness.
Specifically, the ERP packages had to deal with four practically relevant sub-tasks: The system's accessibility via the Internet was first tested by issuing a release order task with a mobile device via a web platform. As production processes are increasingly spanning several internationally distributed sites, this order had to be produced subsequently using a production facility abroad. Then, the testers looked at the degree of haulage company integration as well as calculation of the delivery time: the delivery had to be made directly to the customer, and in addition a shipping notification with shipping tracking number had to be provided via the web platform. Finally, the focus turned to complaint processing. As part of a service incident, the ERP systems had to process a customer service call-out with exchange of individual parts. In addition to these functional tests, the evaluation also took account of individual adaptability of the program sequence as well as the user-friendliness of the solution.
APplus: Top marks for function and usability
As a result of having tackled these tasks convincingly, APplus was awarded the "ERP Excellence 2014" certificate by GPS. All the functions that an ERP system had to offer for successfully accomplishing the test scenario were "fully available" in APplus. Particularly with regard to the multi-site scenario, the testers positively emphasized that the system also took account of transport times and costs – and when it comes to distributed production processes, this accounts for the lion's share of the overall processing time. Furthermore, integration with haulage companies was "very effectively solved" with the "IsendIT" interface. APplus also efficiently accomplished the customer service scenario thanks to its "well thought-out" functions for service support – such as workforce planning for technicians and integration of mobile devices.
"The range of functions alone is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to the everyday practicality of an ERP system," emphasizes Markus Haller, CEO at Asseco Solutions. "Only specific, practical application reveals how well the individual components interact and to what extent the system is able to 'grow' in step with the company, in other words how it can be adapted to new requirements and conditions. We are delighted with this award from GPS, because it underlines our company's ability to support and efficiently represent even new production trends and production techniques. As a result, users can benefit as much as possible from the technological progress."