ERP decisions are one of the hardest things that a company needs to complete. Not only does the process of selecting a product take months to complete, the implementation process itself represents a high-risk, high-reward proposition—nearly three-quarters of ERP implementations fail to return expected value.
Finding the Right Information: Gartner Market Guides Share Key Unbiased Information
That said, when we say, “needs to complete,” we mean it. There often comes a point in which your current system no longer has the capabilities or scope to handle your business needs. When that time comes, you know it. Processes that used to take a couple hours now take a few days, reporting, budgeting, and other necessary processes present more headaches than help, and everything slowly becomes more and more challenging.
When that time comes or already has, one of the most important parts of making the move is to have the right information in your back pocket so that you can confidently whittle down your options to find the software that will benefit you for years to come. Yet, getting the right information is often harder than you think—many vendors will go to extreme lengths to make a sale.
However, for companies looking for unbiased information, one analyst firm has become the gold standard for their analysis, and their series of Market Guides offer ten-thousand-foot views of the products they analyze.
Gartner Market Guide and Magic Quadrant for Product-Centric Companies
Whether in the form of Magic Quadrants or Market Guides, Gartner offers unbiased analysis into vendors and products, providing honest looks at the present and future of each vendor or product.
From their initial releases to the modern iterations, these reports have continued to evolve, and the firm recently retailored their reports as ERP has continued to evolve. Their most recent Market Guides look to bring companies in manufacturing and distribution closer to an understanding of what works, what doesn’t and where to learn more.
What Makes a Product-Centric Company?
Product-centric organizations physically manufacture, sell and/or distribute products. Some also sell services, such as installation or maintenance, which are delivered by employees and contractors, but these services are not their primary focus.
Product-centric organizations are typically either:
Manufacturing companies: These focus on developing, manufacturing, assembling and selling products, as well as delivering related services. This includes discrete products, from small and simple consumer products to large and complex products (such as airplanes or power plants). It also includes products that are generated in process manufacturing, such as most products in the food and beverage, chemical, or pharmaceutical industries. Other product-centric companies are active in markets such as utilities, aerospace and defense.
Distribution companies: These focus on buying, storing, moving, repackaging, selling and delivering products and their related services. Depending on the structure of their sales channels and customers, companies in wholesale and distribution, as well as those in retail, fall into this category (unlike, for example, professional services companies)
What is a Product-Centric ERP Suite?
A product-centric cloud ERP suite must provide, at a minimum, financial management functionality and operational ERP. Optionally, the vendor may offer other administrative ERP capabilities (such as HCM and indirect procurement) either directly or through relationships with partners. Gartner defines a product-centric ERP suite as comprising:
Administrative ERP: Financials, HCM and indirect procurement.
Operational ERP: Demand planning (order management and material requirements planning [MRP]), inventory management, supply chain/direct procurement,manufacturing control capabilities (shop floor), and distribution/logistics.
Specialized,industry-specific modules or applications: Including but not limited to modules such as enterprise asset management (EAM), configure-to-order (CTO) or make-to-order (MTO), product life cycle management (PLM), and field service management (FSM).
Market Guide for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Companies
Released in early 2018, the Market Guide for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Companies provided in-depth information for companies of all sizes who physically manufacture, sell and/or distribute products. This global report looks at a much broader customer base and offers an unbiased look at 21product-centric ERP solutions. The full report looks at how you can:
Gain an advantage over larger companies that are too cautious about product-centric cloud ERP.
Separate core features from “nice-to-haves.”
Devote more resources to customers and less to IT.
Learn about 21 leading ERP solutions—and form your short-list.
Avoid the critical implementation mistake that can demolish your ROI.
Product-Centric Business ERP Systems: Best Cloud Solutions for Midsize Companies
Following the success of the initial report, Gartner retailored their report to focus on the middle market specifically, released in October the Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Midsize Enterprises provided a more focused look at ERP for product-centric organizations with annual revenue of between $50 million and $1 billion.
The report looked to ask the question, “Is there one midsizebusiness ERP system that’s right for your product-centric company?”, introducing readers to the following:
Five key elements for any product-centric cloud ERP.
How the leading vendors compare on the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
The strengths and cautions of all vendors evaluated.
The 15 criteria Gartner uses to evaluate cloud ERP vendors.
What to expect next in a constantly changing cloud ERP market.
Meet Milestone: Your Source for the Latest in ERP News and Advice
At Milestone Information Solutions, know that ERP software and business management software aren’t a fix-all for your business, but making the right decision can put you on the path for success. As a leading partner for Acumatica and other innovative ERP platforms, we have helped small & mid-sized businesses leverage technology solutions to grow and thrive. Learn more about our company, read our success stories, and contact us for more information.