Fourth Shift Adds E-Business Product

Enterprise resource planning software vendor Fourth Shift Corp. is shipping Your Customer Center, a new integrated Web-based order-entry and tracking system that lets customers do business-to-business or business-to-consumer E-commerce. The product is designed to make E-business a reality for Fourth Shift's customers, many of them $10 million to $150 million companies that can't afford the expensive process of integrating their Fourth Shift apps to other Web store offerings.

Keith Vincent, Fourth Shift VP of E-business applications, says the new product lets companies give customers real-time product availability and delivery-date information, and it lets them check order status 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The product is integrated with other applications in Fourth Shift's Complete Care product line, which includes customer-relationship management, supply-chain planning and execution, and human-resources and payroll modules. It can be used as a B-to-C Web store or as a B-to-B manufacturer-to-supplier front end to ERP and other back-office applications.

Vincent says 90% of Your Customer Center customers will be able to use the product out of the box, without the need for consulting, because the product is configured for a particular business using wizards--step-by-step selections of features and options that can be changed at any time. Vincent says Fourth Shift's 3,300-company customer base, which licenses about 115,000 concurrent users, has been eager to get an E-business front-end integrated to factory-floor-management and ERP applications.

Susan Bookout, a TA Instruments LLC manager, says her company, which produces specialized laboratory testing equipment, plans to use Your Customer Center to let customers order spare parts and supplies over the Internet. Phone and fax orders require a day or more of processing time, she says, but Internet orders will be processed immediately, and next-day delivery will be available for the first time. "This product will let us automate every part of the process of handling replacement parts, except for actually picking the parts at the warehouse and shipping them out," Bookout says.

Your Customer Center is available immediately. Pricing starts at $30,000 to $50,000.

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