ByDoug Bartholomew In September Columbus, Ohio-based Frontstep Inc. will begin offering the latest version of its enterprise resource planning system, SyteLine 7, newly formulated for the Microsoft .NET platform. The newest edition offers an integrated package of ERP, customer relationship management and supply chain management. One manufacturer that has tried an advance version of the new package is Pacific Bearing Co., Rockford, Ill., a maker of self-lubricated linear bearings and linear motion systems. "SyteLine 7 will allow Pacific Bearing to reduce expenses by at least 5%," says Bob Schroeder, CEO of the bearing manufacturer. "We will have access to technologies that until recently weren't available to us and that will allow us to compete with companies 10 or 100 times our size." Syteline 7 offers cost advantages over other packages that use more expensive technologies. The system uses the Microsoft .NET platform, including the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database, Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 and XML Web services. "By using .Net, Frontstep is able to produce scalable systems that are flexible and allow the manufacturer to adapt to meet customer demands and the demands of the manufacturing organization itself," says Don Richardson, managing director for manufacturing at Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash.