TEC certification is like a software test drive; a chance to look under the hood, kick the tires, take it around the block with some scenarios. [more on TEC Certification here]
I wasn’t disappointed during our recent certification of CDC Software’s Ross ERP.
First, let me back up and give you a brief overview of the vendor and its product.
CDC is a world-wide company, with 1,400 employees, primarily in North America and Europe.
CDC acquired Ross ERP in 2004, gaining a well-established process manufacturing and supply chain management product that can reside on-premises or in the cloud. Ross has both stock and custom solutions and deep specialization in food and beverages and life science.
Out of the box, Ross ERP covers the usual financial, manufacturing and distribution functions. In addition, on the process side, Ross regularly and formally addresses critical needs in process manufacturing by incorporating feedback from its existing user base through its Executive User Committee and Special Interest groups.
CDC cites several process manufacturing customers (
Lakeside Foods, Litehouse Inc.) as having selected Ross ERP, thanks to expectations of productivity gains.
*Editor’s update, Aug. 11, 2011*
Although Lakeside Foods is a CDC customer, they are not a Ross ERP customer. We regret the error. See a listing of Ross ERP customers here. Note that Ross also has deep specialization in chemicals, as well as in food & beverage and life science.
Ross ERP Customer Profile
The following graph profiles a basic, high-level impression of how the Ross ERP solution is targeted versus real competitors and the industry average in the process ERP space. Naturally, Ross ERP’s ideal customer has requirements that match Ross ERP’s functional strengths.
[click to enlarge]
The graph was developed as a high-level competitive rating analysis of Ross ERP. It displays the standard scores of the solution, as determined using TEC’s model of process ERP solutions. The graph reflects 3,262 functional, technical, and business criteria.
To gain a more complete understanding of how Ross ERP supports your individual requirements, TEC strongly recommends that you perform a detailed analysis of Ross ERP using your own priorities with TEC’s online decision support platform. (Alternatively, you can purchase the Process ERP Software Evaluation Report.)
Now let’s talk about what the TEC Certification revealed about the product.
One of the first things that hit me was the user interface. For example, locating an inventory lot in an ERP system usually involves paging and tabbing through many repetitive gray screens. The Ross system uses a display that is a bit like a workflow or organization chart with linked, numbered icons (trucks, warehouses, and pallets). Picking a logical inventory location by visual selection and a single click is vastly simpler than the traditional approach.
The interface is not all pretty icons, however. The process flow screens are the usual tables and fill-in fields, but with pop-up menus for the next suggested step and better field grouping than I usually expect to see in ERP solutions.
Ross’ analytics generate handsome graphs with color-coded links to the data tables. They are not earth-shattering, but are clear and visually strong.
My contacts at CDC dropped some strong hints about integrating infrastructure and adding functions for Ross ERP 7 (due in 2012). If the present system is any indication, we have much to look forward to from Ross.
Stay tuned for the detailed Ross ERP certification report, at http://www.technologyevaluation.com/research/certification-reports/archives/2011.html.