Tech Company Observer
Insights and Revelations about ERP Software Customers, Vendors, and the Industry
9/13/2012 7:30:00 PM
Hot off the press, the September issue of the GSA Forum has just been posted online, featuring a collaborative article entitled “Anatomy of a Successful Supply Chain Integration” written by Tensoft CTO and co-founder William White, Trisha Giacopazzi, Global Customer B2B/Project Manager for Amkor Technology, Inc. and Heather Salonga, SCM Project Lead for Amalfi Semiconductor. The article not only details the steps in a successful supply chain integration, but also offers tips for successful partnering between a fabless semiconductor company (Amalfi), assembly and test provider (Amkor) and SCM provider (Tensoft).
The road map detailed in this article is well worth reading for any semiconductor industry insider. It outlines many of the necessary steps in a successful integration, and emphasizes the need for organization, visibility, collaboration and prioritization within each of the companies involved. As William White elaborates in the article: “Our final tip is to stress the importance of visibility . . . Integration quality can suffer from a lack of internal focus on the quality and repeatability of SCM integrations and perceived value at the executive level . . . Knowing what is important helps all of the collaborators deliver.”
Take a look at the article for yourself online or check out the entire issue on the GSA Forum website. You can also check out a PDF of the article on the Tensoft Resource Center.
1/31/2012 12:33:00 PM
Tensoft customer Amalfi Semiconductor pioneered high-performance radio frequency (RF) semiconductors for the cellular handset market based on standard, low-cost complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. Experiencing rapid growth from its success, the company needed more financial and manufacturing management capabilities than Intuit QuickBooks and a "point-in-time" WIP tracking solution could provide. Working with Tensoft, the company implemented Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM) and Microsoft Dynamics. The company has already saved US $75,000 in duplicate vendor invoicing and realized significant efficiencies. With the business management software in place, Amalfi has a solution that takes advantage of purchasing controls to support regulatory compliance. In addition, executives, operations employees, and finance managers now have the insight and control they need to help the company reach its growth goals.
For the complete case study, go to http://bit.ly/yiWV3g.
6/16/2011 7:20:00 PM
Thinking the other day about our annual FSM User Conference, Momentum 2011, which wrapped up last month, I was struck by how absolutely energizing this yearly event is – not only for attendees, but also for everyone on the Tensoft side as well.
Everyone has the opportunity to discuss ideas, meet with their counterparts in other companies and get away from day-to-day interruptions to simply work on productivity and improvement. It’s a chance to think about doing your job better with people who are of like mind, discussing topics that facilitate creative thinking and problem-solving.
We stretched the Momentum envelope a bit this year by inviting some suppliers and outside experts into our discussions. We asked questions like: “What does the demand model look like for your end-customers?” and “What do the suppliers look like from your production side?” and “What does your planning rhythm look like, or what does your input to executive management from the operations perspective look like?”
Attendees and Tensoft staff were able to coalesce their own ideas, learn from other people and take this all back to their companies to make what they do better. I think that’s why so many good things come out of Momentum every year, and this year was no exception.
4/1/2011 2:58:00 PM
We’ve recently posted a great new customer case study to the Tensoft website that beautifully illustrates the benefits of cloud deployment. Focusing on our customer, Syndiant, the four-page case study describes how this technology industry start-up has been able to leverage Tensoft’s industry-specific solutions in the cloud to quickly gain better visibility, control, and efficiency. .
Syndiant’s V.P. of Operations, Tupper Patnode, provided much of the commentary in the document, discussing in detail how Tensoft FSM and Microsoft Dynamics GP, running on a cloud platform provided by Tensoft partner SaaSplaza, enabled the company to comfortably plan and scale their growth from a $1 million company to $20 and up to a $60 million enterprise. Take a look at the Syndiant case study and tell us what you think by responding to this blog.
And, if you’re planning to attend Microsoft Dynamics Convergence in Atlanta on April 10-13, discuss the particulars of the Syndiant project or your own future project with our own Michael Chadwick and Sonam Thandi in the SaaSplaza booth #1316. They will only be at the booth part of the time, so contact me ASAP if you’d like to arrange a time to meet.
See you in the Cloud!
8/19/2010 5:07:00 PM
In software development, “retrospective” has a specialized meaning – it’s a post-implementation review, or “post-mortem.” Over the years, this practice has helped Tensoft continue to improve both our products and implementation services. In celebration of the ten year anniversary of Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM), a thoughtful retrospective of Tensoft’s work with semiconductor companies seems in order.
When Tensoft first developed FSM, we became involved with the Global Semiconductor Association (GSA), which was then called the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA). At that time, the GSA sponsored quarterly forums, and Tensoft presented at every Supply Chain and ERP Forum until they were discontinued, and exhibited annually at the association’s tradeshows. This led to introductions to many of Tensoft’s early customers, and broadened our understanding of the semiconductor industry.
During what many consider the harshest downturn in the history of the technology industry, Tensoft launched FSM 2.0. The upside for us was that even $500M fabless semiconductor companies were conserving cash, so FSM’s low total cost of ownership was very attractive. By 2006, there were enough Tensoft customers to start a quarterly user group, as well as an annual user conference. These events boosted the collaboration between Tensoft developers and customers to a new level, and solidified the industry best practices that are now built into every Tensoft FSM release and enhancement.
A true retrospective must take a hard look at “lessons learned,” as well as “hurdles overcome.” Working with semiconductor companies for a decade taught us that understanding the needs of their operations, customer service, planning, finance and other departments wasn’t enough - we had to be able to handle and support the types of organizational change that our semiconductor customers grapple with. We’ve seen companies go through three CFOs in two years, growth by a factor of ten in a six month period, or drastic reversals of fortune – or business models – as well. We learned to adapt our support model and sometimes even step in and offer help before the customer was even aware of the need for it. I think it’s one of our proudest accomplishments that we’ve been able to support customers going through some extraordinary stress during periods of really chaotic change.
I think that going through this crucible together has formed some remarkable long-term relationships. The community aspect of this relationship has changed the dynamics of our R&D and market approach, so that taking care of existing customers is the first priority, and bringing in new customers is actually the result of taking care of that first priority. The level of involvement with some of our customers and their involvement with being part of our product development and with the rest of the user community is the really fun and fulfilling part of Tensoft’s business – we’re a living, breathing part of this dynamic organism, which is people using our software to achieve their business objectives.
6/15/2010 7:24:00 PM
It's been almost a month since Momentum 2010, the 5th Annual User Conference for Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM) customers. Internally, we've had time now to process and begin work on all the great enhancement suggestions and feedback that came out of this year's fabless ERP brainstorming, and we've also had time to go through the conference surveys.
The consensus seems to be that this was the best conference ever, despite the fact that we deliberately took a very low-key approach to keep the conference affordable. Who knew? Well, one conclusion that you could draw from this is that our very wise and grounded customers tend to choose substance over flash - a smart choice and one that we support!
For a little something different this year, I wandered around during the breaks and solicited feedback on the conference from customers, as a supplement to the usual feedback surveys. I used a Flip HD camcorder, one of the mini videorecorders that are only about the size of a cell phone. The result was a little "Blair Witch Project" as far as video quality goes, but our customers were good sports, so I was able to record some great feedback. This was fun and helpful for our team internally, so I asked some of the conference attendees if they'd be willing to let me share a few clips here. A couple of them graciously agreed.
The first clips are of Ted Tresch, a seasoned semiconductor ERP and supply chain planning software user, who became a Tensoft FSM expert at Open-Silicon. Here, he's commenting on Tensoft's new product introductions. Ted was also a strong proponent for this year's more casual conference venue, as you can see in this clip. Thanks Ted!
Deshen Yu, VP of Information Technology at Amlogic, was attending the conference for the second year in a row. Deshen has many years of experience managing ERP solutions from a variety of ERP vendors, so his positive feedback was especially appreciated. This is a clip of Deshen commenting on his experience at Momentum 2010.
I hope these clips give you a feel for what the Tensoft FSM User Conference is all about, and hope you can join us next year.
4/25/2010 10:29:00 PM
Maybe it’s force of habit, since I’m so used to starting every implementation project with a “kick-off meeting” where we set expectations and discuss logistics, but it seems important to do something similar here. So, I’ll share a little about what you can expect to find here and who’ll be involved.
Starting with who’ll be involved, we plan to include a variety of perspectives from Tensoft ‘s team, including myself and Tensoft’s other co-founder, William White, as well as others. In addition, we plan to include entries from occasional guest bloggers.
As a company, what we do is business systems for tech companies. Within that specialization, we focus on execution. Our focus isn’t on helping our customers build a better product or on building a market. Our focus is on how well our customers do as a company and how well we can enable them to track, manage, bill, and get information to make timely, decisive action possible.
Our perspective for this blog comes from our experience working with hundreds of tech companies. What works and what doesn’t? What are best practices for our customers? What are the challenges they face? What are the areas of tech execution – like revenue management, supply chain integration, multi-national operations at an early stage, and the nature of the workforce, for example – that are important as tech companies grow and re-structure?
It also comes from our experience and evolution as a tech vendor ourselves – starting as a systems integrator and Value Added Re-seller, transitioning to a software product company, and then adding hosted ERP to our core offerings. What industry trends influence us, and how do we stay ahead of them? How do we innovate and continue to improve on our fabless semiconductor software, our revenue management software, and our ERP solutions?
Finally, I’d like to encourage you to comment on the posts here – we want to hear from you. And while we’d prefer to have open discussions on the topics here, please contact us directly by clicking on our name at the end of the article, if you’d prefer to send a private email.
- Bob Scarborough, CEO and Co-founder, Tensoft