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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 The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. . 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 operating costs nplgastos mpl operacionales  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 In economics, "market saturation" is a term used to describe a situation in which a product has become diffused (distributed) within a market; the actual level of saturation can depend on consumer purchasing power; as well as competition, prices, and technology. .

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 See ERP.

(application, business) Enterprise Resource Planning - (ERP) Any software system designed to support and automate the business processes of medium and large businesses.
 (ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) An integrated information system that serves all departments within an enterprise. Evolving out of the manufacturing industry, ERP implies the use of packaged software rather than proprietary software written by or for one customer. ) 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 (Electronic Data Interchange) The electronic communication of business transactions, such as orders, confirmations and invoices, between organizations. Third parties provide EDI services that enable organizations with different equipment to connect. , 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 Manufacturing operations concern the operation of a facility, as opposed to maintenance, supply and distribution, health, and safety, emergency response, human resources, security, information technology and other infrastructural support organizations. , the system provides forecasting, scheduling, materials planning, detailed capacity planning Determining the required future configuration of hardware and software for a network, datacenter or Web site. There are numerous capacity planning tools on the market used to monitor and analyze the performance of the current hardware and software. , engineering change control, inventory control, scrap rework processing and reporting, along with many other features.

Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially
, all of these functions feed information into a powerful financial system, which includes AR/AP AR/AP Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable , credit collections, general ledger General Ledger

A company's accounting records. This formal ledger contains all the financial accounts and statements of a business.

The ledger uses two columns: one records debits, the other has offsetting credits.
, 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.

FRONTIER ERP AND BUSINESS ROI (Return On Investment) The monetary benefits derived from having spent money on developing or revising a system. In the IT world, there are more ways to compute ROI than Carter has liver pills (and for those of you who never heard of that expression, it means a lot).  

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 What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music.  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 AWFS Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers  Vegas Booth #438
COPYRIGHT 2007 Vance Publishing Corp.
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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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