QAD has unveiled its first major releases of 2021. QAD Adaptive ERP 2021 includes updates to the Adaptive User Experience (UX) and the QAD Enterprise Platform. It also includes functional improvements to five key areas of the cloud-based QAD Adaptive ERP solution. Manufacturers are reeling from the changes wrought by the COVID pandemic. These changes will help manufacturers to become more agile, intelligent, and innovative. The five areas of improvement are:
- Effective Enterprise Management
- Digital Manufacturing
- Complete Customer Management
- Integrated Supplier Management
- Connected Supply Chain
Anton Chilton, CEO, QAD, commented: “The latest release of QAD Adaptive ERP continues to add functionality to the Adaptive UX and the QAD Enterprise Platform while introducing enhancements in many additional areas, including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Trade Management and Analytics. We’ve also greatly enhanced our Integrated Supplier Management capabilities with the recent acquisition of Allocation Network.
“Manufacturers globally face unprecedented levels of supply chain disruption requiring 360-degree visibility and control of supply networks and supplier performance. This release delivers a variety of new capabilities, across all five of our adaptive manufacturing focus areas, specifically designed to increase user productivity and boost manufacturing and supply chain efficiency.”
Effective Enterprise Management
The QAD enterprise platform already supports a comprehensive financial management application supporting multi-currency, multi-GAAP, and multi-entity financials. New functionality includes:
- New KPIs and insights, including some contextual KPIs, a snapshot history grid, and better integration to Logi (Analytics) SP 9 the analytics solution that QAD leverages.
- The latest version is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play: It now includes form buttons, support for cc in emails, and new browse actions.
- There is a new seamless integration between QAD Inbox and the Adaptive UX. This supports consolidated alerts to avoid alert overload. Users can specify a consolidation alert period. Perhaps oddly, the first alert is only received at the end of the consolidation period rather than at the start.
- Within finance defining tax zones is simplified. There are new pending setup options within AR/AP and performance improvements when processing large volumes of supplier invoices or payments.
- New support for zero depreciation assets. Organisations can also assign an asset zero cost in the primary book but depreciate the same asset in a secondary book.
QAD has added several enhancements for manufacturers. Including:
- QAD Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) has several improvements around plant maintenance, projects, inventory management, and purchasing. Highlights include a visual Gannt Chart to adjust schedules and identify overloaded employees. There are other usability enhancements as well. There is support for more complex projects with unlimited levels now available in the project job hierarchy, better analysis tools, and the ability to download GL projects to Eam for planning purposes only.
- QAD continues to roll out its next-generation Adaptive UX across the manufacturing application with better support within engineering, production, and inventory. Improvements include enhancements to production operations reporting, routings & processes view, and the product structures & formulas.
Complete Customer Management
There are also enhancements to the QAD Customer Relationship Management solution.
- Opportunities can now include task lists.
- It is possible to drill down into a sales opportunity to identify the stages it has gone through.
- A new bi-directional calendar synchronisation for Outlook and Google.
- Trade Activity Management (TAM) is now available as a configuration option and is no longer an add-on. Only customers using Adaptive UX 2021 can benefit from this. TAM is used to enhance sales and pricing programs. It includes support for promotions, earned discounts, claims, contracts and accruals. The latest version also includes the ability to upload indirect sales data from Excel. The solution is fully integrated with Sales and Financials
Integrated Supplier Management
The QAD integrated Supplier management functionality connects several solutions in the QAD portfolio. It improves supplier collaboration and supply chain visibility which gives manufacturers the agility to adjust to the ever-changing circumstances that are happening in the world today.
Integrated Supplier Management creates value for manufacturers by improving supplier collaboration and supply chain visibility, allowing faster response to supply and demand changes. This mini-portfolio now includes QAD Sourcing, and QAD Supplier Management added from the recent acquisition of Allocation Network. Combined with the QAD Precision Global Trade & Transportation Execution (GTTE), create a powerful supplier management solution.
Connected Supply Chain
Enhancement to the Supply Chain functionality includes the removal of several limitations. This includes the UM and UOM conversion from requisition to a PO. There are several enhancements to purchase orders, including the useful ability to create contacts while adding a new purchase order. A new advanced pricing function enables users to price planned orders together and take advantage of supplier price breaks or factor the combined spend across multiple sites. During the Purchase Order receipt process, users can enter item attributes that can create quality orders during the receipt process.
QAD has also released updates to other solutions within its portfolio. These include:
- QAD Dynasys DSCP (Digital Supply Chain Planning)
- QAD EQMS (Enterprise Quality Management System)
- QAD Precision GTTE (Global Trade & Transportation Execution)
- QAD Precision free trade agreement
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
While there is no single major feature, this release is impressive in the volume and comprehensiveness of the update. QAD continues to strengthen its cloud-based ERP solution, leveraging its deep experience in manufacturing.
One area where it hasn’t strengthened significantly is in integrations to third-party software applications. Organisations, including manufacturers, are increasingly considering a hybrid software architecture. There is also no mention of field service or servitisation in this release. Perhaps QAD is working on these in the background.