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Derek Singleton

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Top Stories by Derek Singleton

Without a doubt, one of the most difficult stages of manufacturing production is the planning stage. Minor errors in predicting demand or planning materials can lead to costly mistakes such as producing too much or carrying excess inventory. To drive out waste and produce at the most efficient levels, manufacturers increasingly rely on information technology during the planning stages. Two of the most popular planning applications on the market today are material requirements planning (MRP) software and production planning and scheduling software. While it's generally understood that both of these applications are broadly about manufacturing planning, there remains considerable confusion about what each application is actually capable of doing. I recently decided to break down their capabilities as part of my work over at the Software Advice Manufacturing Blog. I t... (more)

Can Open Source ERP Succeed?

Open source has been a great success for infrastructure software such as Linux, Apache and MySQL. Here at Software Advice, we've made use of all three. We've also made extensive use of open source development libraries like jQuery. For apps, however, we have either rolled our own or deployed commercial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings. We're not alone in that decision. Open-source applications have failed to gain mainstream acceptance. Despite passionate communities and a compelling value proposition, businesses just aren't buying open-source enterprise applications. The l... (more)

Here's Why We Need Cloud UI Standards

If you're like me, you rely on a host of cloud applications to get your job done each day. While the convenience and familiarity of apps built for the web is great, I can't help but notice the difference between each user interface (UI) I use. Currently, all cloud-based ERP software vendors are approaching the user interface with their own design style. For users that work with multiple cloud apps each day, this can be disorienting - not to mention bad for productivity and usability. As more products are built for the cloud, I believe that we ought to start thinking about creati... (more)

Calculating the Total Cost of Ownership for On-Premise and SaaS Solutions

Disclaimer: This article discusses evaluating the total cost of ownership (TCO) for on-premise and SaaS solutions. However, information in this article should not be construed as financial advice. Six months ago my boss sent me an interactive calculator that the New York Times created to help people decide whether it's a better financial decision to buy a home or simply rent one. He shared the calculator with me because, at the time, we were looking for interesting ways to visualize data and relate it back to our work at Software Advice where we review enterprise software system... (more)

The Cloud ERP Shortlist for Manufacturers

Manufacturing software vendors are making aggressive moves to the cloud. In the past year alone, four vendors rolled out a full suite Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings for the industry. That brings the current tally of SaaS players in the manufacturing arena to five: Epicor Express, Infor SyteLine, NetSuite, Plex, and SAP Business ByDesign. The buzz around the cloud has manufacturers asking if a cloud solution is right for them. To help answer that question, I'll explore the features and functionality each vendor offers, and the ideal target market for each. Many more vendo... (more)