Software Development

Review: Intuitive ERP management tool

Intuitive ERP is aimed at the small to mid-market manufacturing enterprise who wants to maximize the efficiency of their business processes without making business more costly or complicated.

Intuitive ERP is aimed at the small to mid-market manufacturing enterprise who wants to maximize the efficiency of their business processes without making business more costly or complicated. This ERP software solution offered by Consona provides cutting edge technology using the Microsoft .NET technology at a price that won't place too much of a strain on the bottom line.

Even though the current release of the Intuitive ERP has a pure .NET managed code framework, it doesn't quite serve as a 100 percent .NET experience. Just over 90 percent has been rewritten in pure .NET while the remainder of the code is in such technologies as Microsoft Access.

Specifications:

  • Architecture: Microsoft .NET
  • Database Platform: Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Operating system: Windows Server 2003; Windows Terminal Server (if needed)
  • Development: Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft Visual Basic, Visual Basic.NET, Microsoft Transact SQL (T-SQL), Microsoft Access
  • Price: Quote available upon request
  • More Info: Intuitive Home Page

Who's it for?

The Intuitive ERP software solution is aimed at the small to mid-market manufacturing enterprise who wants to improve productivity, reduce costs, satisfy their customers, and make better business decisions without the financial burden of a full technology department. It runs faster because it's smaller and lighter weight. Intuitive is more hacker-resistant, and easier to deploy, install, maintain, and -- if necessary -- remove from your computer systems.

What problem does it solve?

The problem with many ERP Systems is that they can have complex implementation processes and contain many bugs and security issues. "Blue screen crashes" and "DDL Hell" have made many ERP administrators grow old before their time. E-commerce and ease of connectivity with trading partners has been a "bone of contention" for many Manufacturing ERP systems. Intuitive makes the process simpler with its built in E-commerce package.

With .NET based systems, installation and administration is much easier and therefore cheaper to own over a long period of time. .NET systems are also easier to secure against hackers and to leverage information available on the Internet. This is where a .NET ERP System like Consona's Intuitive surfaces to the top as a solution of choice with its lower price point and standout features.

Standout features

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Intuitive ERP features a complete integration of planning, materials management and procurement, manufacturing and financial business processes designed to reduce costs and improve productivity, quality and control within your operation.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Customer satisfaction, loyalty and relationships are vastly improved with full integration and automation of sales, marketing, and support and e-commerce information in a CRM built within Intuitive's ERP system.
  • Supplier Collaboration - Two-way information exchange and collaboration with suppliers is vital to improve procurement execution and reduction of material costs without reducing manufacturing responsiveness and flexibility. The Intuitive SupplyWorks system for multi-location supplier collaboration extends its ERP functionality with supply chain management (SCM) features such as supply chain visibility, synchronization, automated replenishment, and performance measurements through a Web-based supplier portal.
  • Business Intelligence (BI) - Business intelligence tools provide complete visibility into your system's critical business data, allowing you to make faster, more informed and progressive company decisions. Intuitive's partnership with QlickTech provides excellent predefined dashboards right out of the box.
  • E-commerce - Intuitive's E-commerce solutions leverage Internet technology such as Customer and Sales Portals which provide your sales force and your customers with immediate access to track the status of their shipments and orders, view their current AR aging, and make other valuable inquiries. In addition, your Sales staff can enter orders at the point of sale and look up information on order value and status, shipments, billings and invoice detail and history over the Internet
  • Multi-plant Enterprise - Intuitive ERP is designed to support businesses that operate at a single location or with multiple plants whether it is across town or on the other side of the world.
  • Advanced Configurator - If you have a product that requires Assemble to Order, Make to Order or Engineer to Order, Intuitive contains a "Best of Breed" Product Configurator known as the Advanced Configurator. This software system is a product of CS-Enterprises which was recently acquired by Consona.
  • Globalization - Intuitive ERP ships with five language options including: English (U.S.), English (U.K.), Spanish, French, and Chinese (simplified Mandarin). Other languages are also available, including Arabic, traditional Chinese, Czech, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese. In addition, the Intuitive ERP system architecture provides a flexible environment to easily modify language tables, reports and forms. Any language can be supported, including double byte languages. System upgrades do not affect translation; all translations remain intact and fully operational with no maintenance from release to release. Intuitive ERP is also fully multi-currency enabled, allowing for an unlimited number of currencies including the Euro. The multiple currency capability includes currency gains/losses (realized and unrealized), currency transfers, reports written in the vendor/customer's language, default currency by customer and vendor, and more. In addition to single or multi-currency capabilities, Intuitive ERP includes support for the use of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Value Added Tax (VAT) throughout the system, including an easy-to-establish VAT Percentage Matrix by item or product family.

What's wrong?

  • Microsoft Access Forms - If you're looking for 100 percent .NET technology, you will be disappointed. About 10 percnet of the current technology still reflects technology such as Microsoft Access forms, but according to Consona, these forms are being replaced to be fully .Net capable in the near future.
  • Consulting - The rates for Intuitive consultants are on a similar scale with Oracle and IBM. However, there are new consulting groups springing up that bring a more realistic and easier to swallow rate structure.
  • Internet Capability - While there are several functions that are browser based, such as the Vendor and Customer Portals and the Advanced Configurator, Microsoft Terminal Server must be installed and configured in order for the main functions of the Intuitive system to work on locations outside server environment. This will add extra cost for administration, software and hardware implementation and support.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Consona's Intuitive ERP ranks among the top 10 Manufacturing Software systems next to the systems offered by Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. The software runs well and is very easy to navigate. There is built-in security by role so that users can only see information and run options based on their role in the company.

The Advanced Configurator has a seamless interface to the Intuitive Suite so it can be accessed through the Internet directly or through Order Processing in Intuitive. Intuitive also can be used with Bar Code Scanning or RFID with some programming. With the lower price point and shopping around for more competitive pricing on consulting, then Intuitive makes a good choice for your small to mid-market manufacturing enterprise.

User rating

Have you encountered Intuitive ERP from Consona? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of Intuitive ERP in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

Read our field-tested reviews of hardware and software in TechRepublic's Product Spotlight newsletter, delivered each Thursday. We explain who would use the product and describe what problem the product is designed to solve. Automatically sign up today!

3 comments
Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What ERP solution does your organization use? How well does it work for you?

tomirock
tomirock

I work for Sage and so this isn't necessarily an unbiased post. However, purely from the perspective of a comprehensive ERP solution(s), these products to have what it takes to manage an enterprise and benefit from 25+ years of being a part of this market space (small and med sized businesses). True, like all ERP systems, they excel in areas and lag in others. If you can find a system that meets 80% of your needs, you have a rock-star product. Flexibility and scalability are a must. Your business will likely grow and altogether change, so your ERP system should be able to adapt accordingly. My suggestion to prospects is to do your due dilligence and weigh all of your alternatives. When it comes to product demos, allow the company doing the presentation to put it through its paces (canned demo) and then make it a requirement that the promises they've made regarding the ability to meet your unique needs are clearly demo'ed in the system. (probably on the next visit) This usually means the presenter will need to upload a sampling of your actual data so you can truly see what things will look like when/if you decide to pull the trigger on a certain ERP system. When it comes down to it, ignore the bells and whistles and focus on the native functionality of the product in question. After all, if you buy it, you will be wedded to it for a long time. The last bit of advice is to heavily weigh the cabability of the company that will do the installation and potentially provide some level of ongoing support. In a lot of cases, this alone is the deciding factor in a purchase decision. An incompetent implemented/supporter can make a great product look horrible, and a vice-versa. My 2 cents, anyway.