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Software gives manufacturers answers to business questions.

In today's increasingly competitive business environment, mid-size manufacturers are stretched to their limit as they grapple with the same issues as their larger counterparts, but without the benefits of their financial wherewithal or human resources. To compete, midsize companies must be able to quickly obtain answers to a myriad of important business questions: How to reduce inventory, decrease operating costs and make sure financials are current--and accurate.

And if that isn't enough, they also must work smarter, respond faster and learn to do more with less, given the added complexities of escalating raw materials costs, price erosion and market saturation.

To respond to the challenges requires real-time access to accurate information about all aspects of the business. The only way to manage the overwhelming volume of data scattered over an ever-changing landscape is to find and implement the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology solution.

The right ERP solution can open the window through which business leaders can view their entire business, from order/delivery to manufacture to financials. It can provide answers that will make the difference between profitable growth and a struggle to stay afloat.


In the case of the mid-sized discrete manufacturer, however, one size of ERP does not fit all. The make-to-order business involves many industry-specific processes that would require extensive customization of some of the more general ERP products. The good news is that there is an ERP system that is designed specifically for the make-to-order manufacturing business: Frontier by Friedman Corp. The Frontier ERP solution was created and is supported by people who know the building industry make-to-order manufacturing business inside and out. Manufacturers don't have to explain the difference between a base and a wall cabinet to Friedman's consultants. They already know.

A cutting-edge, integrated single-database architecture and best-in-class configurator, providing a central point of control and integration for all data, set Frontier's ERP solution apart from other ERP systems. Its configurator technology, which Friedman estimates is a full two years ahead of the competition, has helped to establish the company as the niche leader in high-volume, multi-plant and complex make-to-order manufacturing of items such as cabinets, windows, doors, fabricated metals, office furniture and window fashions.


Friedman's latest version, Frontier 2.2, includes a wide array of functionality that serves business needs from end to end. Its core distribution functions include: customer order processing, customer service, EDI, sales analysis, warehouse management, purchasing and receiving, service and warranty, and truck scheduling. It also includes a program called "Powerbids," which the dealer can use to spec accurate orders on the spot. And it's fully integrated with 20/20 Design, a leading kitchen and bath design application.

To help streamline manufacturing operations, the system provides forecasting, scheduling, materials planning, detailed capacity planning, engineering change control, inventory control, scrap rework processing and reporting, along with many other features.

Most importantly, all of these functions feed information into a powerful financial system, which includes AR/AP, credit collections, general ledger, budgeting, financial reporting, product costing and payroll, and more.

Friedman Corp. counts some of the leading manufacturers in the building industry among its clients. Many convene at the Friedman User Group annual meeting, where they share knowledge and communicate their needs to Friedman's senior executives and product managers. Revisions of the system are driven by the business and are implemented to serve it and to help move it forward.


Clients have reported the following returns from the investment of financial resources, time and energy into implementing Frontier.

* Streamlined and more accurate order entry process.

* More flexibility and easier management of product line definitions, models and options.

* Better production and inventory management information and better ability to manage and maintain inventory levels.

* Better visibility and increased ability to manage current and future demand for orders.

* Easily accessible and integrated reports, including financials.

Implementation of any ERP system requires a highly coordinated, concentration of effort on the part of the software provider and the customer. Friedman's consultants are experts at making this implementation process go as quickly and painlessly as possible--with minimal business interruption.

And just as manufacturers' products and practices continuously evolve, so should the ERP system. Friedman Corp. is continually improving and adding features that will allow its customers to become faster and better at seeing what's going on in their business.

But don't take the company's word for it. Contact a Friedman representative today and ask to speak to one of its customers.

Friedman Corp., wholly-owned by Constellation Software Inc., is headquartered in Deerfield, IL, with offices throughout the U.S. and U.K. For more information about Friedman Corp. and its Frontier ERP solution, call (847) 948-7180 or visit the company's Web site at

Friedman Corp.

Phone: (847) 948-7180

AWFS Vegas Booth #438
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Comment:Software gives manufacturers answers to business questions.(AWFS VEGAS FAIR TECHNOLOGY TOUR)
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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