Software Recommendations Report, Essay Example

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Words: 1478

Essay

Introduction

As a member of the management team for PPQ Parts Manufacturing Company, I have been assigned to create a report concerning the best software packages for company use based on functionality and services. After a thorough search on the Internet and after consulting a number of software professionals, I have compiled information and data on six selected software packages that I feel would best meet the company’s needs in relation to cost, compatibility with current computer systems, functionality, ease of use, work flow processes, and end user support.

As requested by the Chief Executive of PPQ Parts Manufacturing Company, these software packages contain the following three systems or entities–material requirements planning (MRP), “a production planning and inventory control system that tracks production materials and products” (Ximo, 2012, p. 34); capacity requirements planning (CRP), “an accounting methodology that determines the current production capacity of a given company via an assessment of the schedule of production and an analysis of actual production capacity” (Ximo, 2012, p. 35); and enterprise resource planning (ERP), based on systems that “combine external and internal management information and data via finance and accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, and customer relations (Ximo, 2012, p. 36).

In the conclusion of this report, the best software systems related to MRP, CRP, and ERP are highlighted with some recommendations in order to ensure that PPQ Parts Manufacturing Company finds success via the implementation of these specific software packages. Please take notice that the following information comes from the official software company websites and C.O. Ximo’s book as noted in the references section.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

Tuppas MRP Software. This system provides a “method for effective planning of all resources of a manufacturing company,” including operations and finance. MRP software also supports feasible scenarios and can be integrated with current software applications; it also comes with a developmental tool that allows the IT department to change and alter the program as required (Tuppas MRP Software, 2012). Some of the modules in this system includes “inventory management, product definition and costing, master scheduling and materials requirement planning, capacity planning, work order management, purchase order management, sales order management, shipping and receiving, sales analysis, and a full accounting package” (Tuppas MRP Software, 2012). As to its functionality, this system allows “insight into real-time production information” and the ability to “create sales goals that fit material and capacity constraints.” Also, vendor relationships “can be developed that foster “just in time” production” and “inventory shortages can be foreseen before they happen” (Tuppas MRP Software, 2012). Overall, this system “enables manufacturers to realize substantial savings and improved efficiencies, including quicker inventory turns, more efficient use of production equipment and floor personnel, higher repeat sales through customer analytics, streamlined reporting procedures, and better use of vendors and suppliers” (Tuppas MRP Software, 2012). Cost-wise, this system ranges between $10,000 and $15,000; it is also easy to use because of being browser-based and wireless and provides 24-hour support for businesses and users.

E-Z MRP Software System. Much like the Tuppas MRP Software System, this software package “plans material requirements by examining customer orders and forecasts and via bills of material determines what needs to be bought and manufactured.” It also calculates when purchase orders should be placed and when work orders should be consulted; thus, products are finished on time to meet the shipping dates and customer needs (E-Z MRP Software, 2012). Functionally, this system includes “inventory management, product definition and costing, master scheduling and materials requirement planning, capacity planning, work order management, purchase order management, sales order management, shipping and receiving, and sales analysis” (E-Z MRP Software, 2012). It is also one of the oldest software systems and does not require  training at either the business level nor off-site. According to the company website, “No consultants are needed to help implement it,” meaning that it can be installed and operated easily and is Windows compatible (E-Z MRP Software, 2012). Costs range from $10,000 to $20,000 and includes a company-issued permit and one full year of tech support (E-Z MRP Software, 2012).

Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP)

MIE Solutions Software. This system helps to define the capacity requirements of a given business and also “pinpoints needed measures in order to prevent scheduling conflicts and delays” (MIE Solutions, 2012). Known as the MIE Trak Software Package, this system helps a company to function at capacity while noting its limitations and comes with “infinite and finite scheduling, backward and forward scheduling, operation schedules, work center loads and bottlenecks, shop calendars, capacity planning simulation, capacity requirement loading and planning, CRP reporting, and reporting and analytics” (MIE Solutions, 2012. Also, this system fixes problems almost instantly upon implementation and is quite user-friendly; it also is Windows compatible and can be re-figured for Mac systems. Costs range from $7500 to $10,000 and can be customized to meet future increases in capacity, demand, and supplies (MIE Solutions, 2012). MIE Solutions also offers a free 24-hour hotline for solving problems and specialized consultants for technical problems.

North American Systems International CRP Software. This system easily integrates into a company’s existing computer system (Windows and Mac) and features a “shop floor control module as a tool that can be used for scheduling production to meet short-term demands” and future business plans (North American Systems International, 2012). It also allows for “the viewing of summary information to determine capacity shortages and overstocks in order to adjust production accordingly to manage resource efficiently” and provides an analysis of machine, work center, and department capacities, along with “detailed scheduling data, the viewing specific orders that constitute demand, and pinpointing production bottlenecks” (North American Systems International, 2012). Functionally, this system includes “daily work load analysis, independent capacity loading, integrated preventive maintenance scheduling, tool tracking, outside operations, alternate routings, on-line document attachment, capacity rebuild functions, and real time updates” (North American Systems International, 2012). Cost varies between $12,000 and $15,000 and is very user-friendly; NASI also provides 24-hour support with consultants and technicians located in the U.S.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Microsoft Dynamics ERP. Unlike the above software systems, this system is compatible only with Windows, yet it is “powerful, comprehensive, and supports operational efficiency in all key functional areas,” such as financial management, business intelligence and reporting, sales and marketing, procurement and sourcing, supply chain management, project management and accounting, human capital management, global risk and compliance, environmental sustainability, and country-specific capabilities (Microsoft Dynamics ERP, 2012). This system also features functionalities related to “multiple, purpose-built industry and operational capabilities in one solution; global solution via business management support for operations in thirty-six countries; and ad hoc reports and streamlined workflows via a Microsoft Dynamics Role Tailored user interface” (Microsoft Dynamics ERP, 2012). As might be suspected, costs range from $20,000 plus, due to Microsoft’s unparalleled support system and its ability to provide user-friendly guidance on a global scale. This system can also be integrated into a company’s existing corporate-wide ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics ERP, 2012).

NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution. According to the corporate website, this system is the world’s most deployed cloud ERP solution, due to providing “proven financial management and ERP that easily integrates with your broader sales and service processes” (NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution, 2012) either via Windows or Mac. This system also “streamlines back-office processes and equips a company with the visibility to make better and faster decisions” (NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution, 2012). As to work flow processes, the NetSuite ERP system “accelerates the order-to-cash process by 50%+, slashes the financial close with real-time reporting, strengthens procurement with approvals and vendor management, improves employee management through self-service, drives decision making with personalized dashboards, improves accountability and compliance with strong traceability, reduces IT costs and delivers automated ERP upgrades, and elevates productivity with anytime, anywhere access on a global scale (NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution, 2012). Functionally, this system provides financial management, supply chain and inventory management, order and billing management, shipping and fulfillment, revenue recognition management, financial planning, HCM, recurring revenue management, and financial analytics and reporting (NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution, 2012). Costs range between $15,000 and $20,000 and all packages come with full technical support and exclusive training webinars (NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution, 2012).

Conclusion

Therefore, it is clear that the PPQ Parts Manufacturing Company would benefit greatly by implementing the following software systems–1), the E-Z MRP Software System for MRP; 2), the MIE Solutions Software for CRP; and 3), the NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution for ERP. These three systems have been chosen for two simple reasons–lower costs and greater ease of operation. Also, these systems have been designed for the future, meaning that when PPQ Parts decides to expand globally, it will be prepared for any and all business requirements.

References

E-Z MRP software. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.e-z-mrp.com

Microsoft Dynamics ERP. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/erp-explore-ax-capabilities.aspx

MIE Solutions. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.mie solutions.com/mie/index.php/Software-Articles/capacity-requirements-planning-software.html

NetSuite ERP Cloud Solution. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.netsuite.com/portal/products/netsuite/erp/main.shtml

North American Systems International. (2012). Retrieved from http://www/nasi.com/capacity_requirements_planning.php

Tuppas MRP software. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.tuppas.com/mrp-software/mrp-software.htm

Ximo, C.O. (2012). Comparison of business integration software. UK: Ject Press.

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