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MaindotC
September 11th, 2008, 06:33 PM
I'm doing some stuff in class about Enterprise Resource Planning and one thing we've heard of is SAP. Are there any competitors to SAP? Any free, open-source that you know of? Have any of you prepared ERP and if so can you talk about your experience? Thanks!

bomanizer
September 11th, 2008, 07:21 PM
I'm using SAP at work. Maybe I can tell something...

My view is a bit narrow though, I mainly work in the Sales & Distribution- module and I'm stationed in the Logistics team in our organization. I'm a logistics engineer.

I think the main competitors for SAP are MS Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta), umm.. I think Oracle has some ERP products (can't remember any at the moment) and IBM also.

I've read about some OS ERP solutions... don't know about their maturity level, I think some are usable, but SAP challengers? I don't think so. I think even MS is falling way behind, especially when it comes to global systems. Our SAP is global, therefore it's called GSAP.

MaindotC
September 11th, 2008, 11:07 PM
Cool - thanks for the reply. I'm kind of new to the whole concept of this ERP business but we have to do a report on it by Wednesday :( I'll check out the others that you mentioned. I heard of free, open source version called Compiere (http://www.compiere.com/) so i'll probably mention it as an alternative. What do you contribute to your company's ERP?

bomanizer
September 12th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Contribute? Well, my role is that of an regular user, I just do with it stuff that I would do with any ERP or WMS (Warehouse Management System). My involvement is still a bit different, at the moment I'm nominated to be the next super-user for Logistics. That's a role for supporting the business and training users.

The whole concept of having an ERP is that the business processes have been modeled to be carried out in the system. For example, the whole process of taking an order from a customer, delivering and finally invoicing happens in the system. In a way, if something is not happening in the ERP system, then it doesn't exist. Of course there are levels of implementation, not everything that the company does goes on inside the system, but that's the basic principle. Typically (at least for a SAP setup) you would have things like finance, materials management and customer management modeled into the system. Of course different ERP products take a different approach on things and for some parts, cannot be compared.

That's just the starting point. More advanced usage involves interfaces to other systems, "intelligent" stuff, web interfaces, business process analyzing, forecasting and the like. For example, a part of our delivery process is automated and no office staff involvement is needed.

MaindotC
September 12th, 2008, 05:19 PM
The whole concept of having an ERP is that the business processes have been modeled to be carried out in the system. For example, the whole process of taking an order from a customer, delivering and finally invoicing happens in the system. In a way, if something is not happening in the ERP system, then it doesn't exist.

Wow that makes A LOT of sense and the reasons for having one.


That's just the starting point. More advanced usage involves interfaces to other systems, "intelligent" stuff, web interfaces, business process analyzing, forecasting and the like. For example, a part of our delivery process is automated and no office staff involvement is needed.

Good - I've got some googling to do and you pointed me in the right direction. Thank you so much! I'll post if I have any questions :)

dannyboy79
September 12th, 2008, 05:26 PM
we use SAP at our company and I can truely state that it's not Engineering Friendly. We use Pro/Engineer as our CAD software and the SAP Pro/E GUI is just pathetic. I know many top companies use SAP but I have heard they don't use it along with their CAD software. I am a CAD Designer so SAP has been nothing but a hassle for me. I can't comment on the other aspects of SAP. Time tracking it ok, vacation requests are ok but it's a German made product so sometimes you wonder why they heck they did some of the things they did. We're a 20,000 plus employee company and provide to customers in over 80 countries. We used to have all these different programs at each facility that didn't communicate with each other so duplicate entry wouuld have to be done which finally the big wigs decided on a global transformation process and chose SAP as our ERP. From what I hear it's a ginormous investment and we most likely won't see any return from it for at least 10 years. Can't provide any other info than that. Good luck.

bomanizer
September 12th, 2008, 06:16 PM
we use SAP at our company and I can truely state that it's not Engineering Friendly. We use Pro/Engineer as our CAD software and the SAP Pro/E GUI is just pathetic.

I can't argue with that, sometimes I also think that the system sucks donkey balls. For me it seems that SAP has been designed from the needs of the supply chain and materials management, for businesses like manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. That was my point when I stated that different products cannot be compared: they are designed deriving from very different needs. I find the system too rigid and time-consuming for day-to-day operational functions. An old A/S-400 system would still be kick-*** for warehousing, etc.

sefs
September 12th, 2008, 07:08 PM
I think SAGE (the accpac) ppl have one of these ERP dooflickies. I think they even have something in linux (that may require wine).

1) http://www.sageaccpac.com/products/accounting/default.aspx

2) http://www.sageaccpac.com/products/systemrequirements/

bomanizer
September 12th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Well, at least ERP products have one thing in common: all the web pages have those smiling people from picture banks. Those pictures are just creepy, IMHO :D

MaindotC
September 13th, 2008, 08:44 AM
I know I hate picture banks. I used to work at a Bank of Amerika call centre and this robot-looking lady was on the cover along with a picture of the ethnically-balanced group of people in suits & ties having a discussion (probably about the next direction of their multi-billion dollar business). Then I worked at a T-Mobile call centre and on the cover of the manual was the same woman and three people collaborating. Just so pathetic.