To stay up-to-date on the latest ERP software packages, we frequently have ERP vendors demonstrate their software products for our consultants. As part of this process, I recently attended a demonstration presented by distribution software provider, IBS.
IBS specializes in distribution software for mid to large size companies. The software vendor has been serving the wholesale distribution market for over 30 years and has provided software solutions to over 1,400 distributors. Their core ERP software package, IBS Enterprise, supports the entire distribution process from inventory planning, purchasing and supplier management through warehouse optimization, value-added services, demand management and returns processing. In more recent years, IBS has released IBS Online to responded to the increasing demand for SaaS ERP or cloud solutions.
IBS Enterprise provides all of the standard functionality of a distribution software package, but also offers wholesale distributors strong master data and search functionality. Two distinctive strengths emphasized by IBS is their industry specific functionality and their ability to manage customer rebates.
- Industry Focus – IBS serves distributors in the numerous industries including automotive, electrical, food and beverage, paper and packaging, pharmaceutical, and publishing. IBS believes, with so many vertical-specific functionalities, they offer a better distribution software solution compared to more expensive Tier I ERP vendors.
- Rebate Processing – The other strength, as claimed by IBS, is their rebate and discount functionality. Their customer rebate system fully automates all of the processes required to deliver an accurate, integrated rebate capability, thus reducing administration expenses, minimizing costly errors, and tracking expected rebate costs.
IBS considers Infor and Oracle to be their direct competitors, both of which have strong supply chain management functionality. That being said, I was a bit surprised IBS classified Oracle as a direct competitor, given the different tier categorization for each of these ERP vendors. This claim does support, however, why Tier I vendors such as Oracle have been pushing their sales focus down to Tier II size clients, which may be somewhat threatening to Tier II ERP vendors.
If you are an existing IBS customer, I encourage you to visit IBS’s vendor profile on our website and provide feedback on IBS as a vendor. If you are a ERP vendor, I welcome you to visit Panorama’s ERP Software Vendor Portal for details on scheduling a software demo in the new year.
Blog entry written by Haoyan Sun, a business analyst at Panorama Consulting Group.