Written by Aleksey Osintsev (see bio), Courtesy of Technology Evaluations Center (TEC)
TEC is pleased to announce that Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) software from ProfitKey International, a developer of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for manufacturing, has been TEC certified for online evaluation in TEC’s ERP Evaluation Center. An in-depth demonstration of its capabilities was conducted in order to evaluate how RRM holds up to industry benchmarks. We saw the system in real time and assessed its performance on requested tasks and its workflow capabilities. We tried out the system’s navigation along with selected features and functions.
ProfitKey as a business unit was founded in 1979 … The company has gone through several reorganizations but has carried forward its major assets—software, expertise, and clients. The employees are experienced; the average employee’s tenure is more than 16 years. And despite all the perturbing organizational changes that the vendor has experienced throughout its history, the average customer tenure is impressively long, also more than 16 years. The retention rate is higher than 95 percent—very high—which speaks well of both the product and vendor. A substantial share of the company’s strategy is obviously focused on good relations with its customers.
The company was a pioneer in multiple categories and concepts of modern manufacturing ERP software: ERP for small manufacturers, make-to-order ERP, multi-level scheduling, and backward-finite capacity scheduling.
The company’s market niche is ERP software for discrete manufacturing, specifically in project-based and engineering-to-order (ETO) manufacturing, or a mix of ETO and mass production. What else differentiates ProfitKey from its competitors is real-time integration of its manufacturing execution system (MES) and the core ERP, along with embedded advanced planning and scheduling (APS), available-to-promise (ATP), and capable-to-promise (CTP) functions.
ProfitKey’s typical client is a discrete manufacturing company whose business is about delivering unique or highly customized items to its customers within a promised time frame. These are usually small to midsize Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturing businesses, from several to up to 200 users, with annual revenue of approximately between $5 and $150 million.
ProfitKey’s RRM product has already been implemented by more than 1,200 clients, with 21,000 users totally. Implementations are performed by the company directly, primarily in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Far East.
According to the vendor, the key aspects of RRM ERP are the following:
- Natively and fully integrated ERP, APS, and MES product line
- Responsive and experienced customer support
- Customer driven product development—the company does not dictate customers a development strategy. It listens to and carefully follow client recommendations and development wishes
- Rapid implementation—the implementation benchmark for new projects is 90 days or even less
- Affordability on proven databases—Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server
- Low total cost of ownership via competitive pricing structure, with annual maintenance 2 percent below market average
- Highly skilled professional services group
ProfitKey’s is present in the following vertical market segments:
- Aerospace and defense
- Medical devices
- Original equipment manufacturing (OEM)
- Contract electronic assembly
To look at the customer base horizontally, metal fabrication and metal transforming are among the most common business areas of its clients.
Also of interest to many potential clients is that the vendor recognizes the Lean manufacturing philosophy, so since 2009 its software offers lean manufacturing tools and allows for lean transformation by enabling continuous business process improvements.
It will be interesting to see how RRM compares to its industry competitors. More on the product background, highlights, features and functions, and competitive strengths and weaknesses as measured against the average solution in the ERP for ETO software space will be available in the RRM TEC Certification Report, coming to the TEC Web site soon.