Supply Chain Matters received a recent industry analyst briefing from mid-market ERP technology provider QAD. Candidly, it had been some time since we had checked-in with QAD and we were impressed with this vendor’s current efforts and market momentum.

From an overall market perspective, QAD targets tier one and tier two mid-market manufacturers and service providers as well as divisions of major multi-nationals, currently garnering 2800 customers within 97 countries. FY11 revenues were $247 million, up from $220 million recorded in FY10.  The company is profitable with a cash balance hovering above $75 million. The company targets a rather broad landscape of industry concentration which includes automotive, consumer goods, food and beverage, industrials, high technology and life sciences industries.  Industry offerings are broadly tailored for easier implementations by bundling pre-defined templates, industry best practice models and predefined tools and user roles.

QAD has been moving toward what this vendor messages as the “Effective Enterprise”. A hefty R&D development budget, annual meetings with customers and a complete revamp of product strategy are components of this strategy. Software deployment options include what this vendor claims as any combination of on-premise or on-demand cloud options including a multi-tenant, multi-instance aspect of ERP software. QAD technology is layered on Microsoft based architecture along with business process management (BPM) and business intelligence/analytics layering in the various software applications.

QAD provides some broad coverage of supply chain business process areas spanning procurement, supply chain planning and execution, manufacturing, online customer fulfillment and customer services management areas. In early June, the company announced its acquisition of European based supply chain planning vendor DynaSys S.A. to augment its support of process focused and regulatory based industry.   QAD also plans to introduce manufacturing related software that will support both discrete and process manufacturing needs in the same applications suite. This combination of capabilities will be required as QAD continues to compete with competitors such as Infor and Microsoft Dynamics ERP who both continue to make investments in supply chain management capabilities.  One area requiring more direct investment would be integrated support for the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process among mid-market companies who must often network with larger customers. Conversely, there are rather interesting possibilities in further leveraging of embedded business process management components applied to key supply chain management processes.

Readers should continue to keep an eye out for QAD as it continues its efforts in enabling the Effective Enterprise and broadening technology options for its customers.

Bob Ferrari