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        References, Escient, Inc.                                                                        


MAS 90 / MAS 200 Installation Profiles
MAS 500 Installation Profiles

CUSTOMER: Escient, Inc.


Indianapolis, Indiana

Type of Business

Internet capabilities for consumer electronics

Number of locations


Number of Employees


Annual growth

Quadrupled in first three years


Computer System

  • PCs on Microsoft SQL Server

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows NT

MAS 500 Modules in Operation

  • System Manager
  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Cash Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Order Processing
  • Purchase Order
  • Sales Order
  • Envision ERP
Media Management Online — with Escient, MAS 500 and Advanced Manufacturing

Tired of flipping through CD jewel cases to find your favorite tunes? Now you can easily sort, find and play any disk in your entire collection of music CDs and movie DVDs, thanks to a line of Internet-based products from Escient.

Escient launched its first product, TuneBase, in 1996. Designed as a unique convergence between consumer electronics and digital technology, it provides a sophisticated database for disk organization, plus an online search engine for streamlined disk management. The technology is so innovative that the company was recently featured on World Business Review, and won the coveted Best Video Product Award at the 1999 CEDIA Expo.


“We make technology behave.” That’s the tagline Escient uses when marketing its products. But their own internal technology was not exactly “behaving” when it came to an efficient manufacturing and accounting system. Escient had relied on low-tech accounting processes during its earliest stages rather than investing in an advanced enterprise level system. But with a growth rate of 300 percent in one year alone, a conventional system just could not keep pace.

It soon became clear that Escient needed a much more robust accounting and manufacturing package. It also wanted Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), the latest generation manufacturing system that controls all information related to a company’s business.

“We did a fairly exhaustive search of different ERP packages — all the way from the high end. It’s very interesting to see some of the very expensive high end players pretending that they can play in the mid market category where we currently reside — but when you get underneath the covers you realize their packages are not at all a fit. They would have completely overwhelmed a company like ourselves,” says Tom Vanneman, CFO of Escient.


Fortunately, Escient discovered MAS 500. They implemented Enterprise Suite’s complete distribution package, including sales order, purchase order and inventory management modules. They also implemented the Envision ERP Solution to take care of core manufacturing processes. The entire system was so easy to configure that it was completely operational in less than four months. Furthermore, many other products were much more expensive than MAS 500 - Envision ERP duo.

Escient now uses MAS 500 and Envision ERP to support the entire order fulfillment process and to automate and integrate both daily business applications and production processes. By creating a computerized record of events, such as the receipt of inventory or the issue of a work order, the system tracks all financial, manufacturing and distribution resources and transactions — from raw materials through finished goods.

Streamlining the manufacturing process has been possible with Envision ERP by using the backflushing system to allocate materials automatically as production is reported. This eliminates the need to manually requisition materials.

Vanneman comments that he appreciates the fact that MAS 500 reports can be produced so quickly. This means that Escient’s executives can now make business decisions based on real-time data instead of information that is several weeks old. When an industry is moving as quickly as theirs, reliable reports are an absolute necessity.

“In addition to the financial reporting and the timeliness of the information that we did not have before, the serialization of the product was very important to us,” says Vanneman. Some manufacturers assign serial numbers to individual parts to track quality problems backward or forward to raw materials or finished goods. With MAS 500 and Envision ERP, Escient has a state-of-the- art serialization system, significantly improving its quality control functions.

Because Escient prides itself on being a technology pioneer, the company is pleased that it now has cutting edge accounting software. As Vanneman says, “There’s no question that with Envision ERP and MAS 500 that we are going to be more competitive because we’re going to have a better handle on what our cost of goods are, and we will be more responsive to changes in the marketplace as a result. We know that our software will be on the cutting edge because it was designed from the ground up using 100 percent Microsoft tools such as Windows NT, Visual Basic, and SQL Server.”





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