A West Midlands software firm has won a prestigious industry award after securing the sole UK and Republic of Ireland distribution rights for a leading computer application designed to transform the management systems of manufacturing companies.

Extrion has been appointed as the UK distributor of German IT company pro-ALPHAs active e-Enterprise solution.

It has further options to distribute the application in Belgium and Holland.

Stourbridge-based Extrion is a new company with co-directors who have more than 60 years experience in providing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions for mid-sized UK manufacturers.

Founding director Jeff Howe, former development director of Dudley-based Largotim, has been joined by Reg Smith, a board colleague at Largotim who was in charge of the companys operations.

The proALPHA contract was won with the help of US-based Progress Software, a leading global software industry player whose flagship OpenEdge application is used by tens of thousands of companies around the world.

Extrion has now been awarded Progress UKs annual Globalisation Award against stiff competition for identifying and seizing the opportunity to bring a world-class application to the UK, and, more importantly, other countries.

Jeff Howe was presented with the award at Progress Softwares UK & Ireland Application Partner (AP) Summit, by the companys president Dave Ireland.

Extrion was competing against four other companies for the title COINS (Construction Industry Solutions), Intuita, OpenAccounts, and VisualFile.

We were delighted, but very surprised, to have won the award against such established and reputable companies, he said.

Of proALPHA, Jeff Howe said: This is the strongest product combining the latest technology with across-the-board ERP functionality that I have come across during 30 years in the business. It is a phenomenal application.

It is an integrated system supplying functionality that addresses pretty much all of a companys requirements and will be of particular interest to managers and executives who require up-to-the-minute data on their companys key performance measures.

It allows a company to have control over manufacturing using sophisticated planning and scheduling techniques superior to MRP (Material Requirements Planning) computer-aided design, document management, workflow, whos involved with what in the company, all the financials etc. in a single system.

Mr Howe said that the proALPHA product is backed up by a range of services that include analysis, consulting and support for business and technical requirements, implementation assistance and training.

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