By Ann C. Logue
It's a big world out there. Midsize companies might be agile and creative, but they have to deal with big customers and big suppliers that have high expectations for technical capabilities—and employees with high expectations for the technological sophistication of their employers. The companies that are succeeding in this highly competitive market are the ones that base their innovative ideas on a complete enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and become more nimble and grow faster than you ever imagined.
That's what midsize Oracle customers, selling items as diverse as baseball cleats, snow shovels, and ultrawideband wireless connectivity solutions, have discovered. Mizuno USA, Garant, and WiQuest Communications have at least three things in common: their customers and competitors are often much larger, they are growing much faster than their industry peers, and they use Oracle information systems to support fast growth in crowded markets. These companies are managing supply chains that span the globe—integrating acquisitions painlessly and giving their customers the service and information they expect.
"Oracle Applications aren't just for big companies; they are for companies of all sizes," says Jeff Abbott, vice president of Global Accelerate Strategy and Programs division, Oracle. "We are aligning Oracle's proven applications and rapid implementation tools with our partners' industry solutions and packaging them up for midsize businesses." Although the company is best known for products that manage enormous government and corporate IT systems, that same expertise is being used by thousands of midsize companies with their own database and applications needs.
Going from Zero to 60—and BeyondGood IT can help midsize businesses maintain their culture, because it can allow them to have a bigger market reach without adding new employees and the attendant bureaucracy. These companies can focus on creative innovation while the IT system gets the information from place to place, without more meetings, more memos, or more managers.
One key to success, says CSS International's Bill Franklin, is that companies know their business case before making the investment. Another is ensuring that all executives are on board with the decision. That's particularly important in a midsize company, where there are fewer executives in total, so they all need to buy in. "Software in and of itself has virtually no value," he says. "It's all in how you use it."
For More InformationMizuno: Hitting the Ball Out of the Park
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