ByDoug Bartholomew Real-time consumption data drives the flow of material through production to the customer in the newest version of QAD's enterprise software package, QAD eQ 3.5. The Internet-based system uses a single order management hub to integrate sales orders, purchase orders and replenishment orders with the supply chain. "By integrating back-office systems with the extended enterprise, QAD eQ can play a pivotal role in helping to achieve the high profit margins, low operating costs and excellent customer service that are so essential to stay competitive in today's business environment," says David Myers, senior director of eQ Applications at the Carpinteria, Calif.-based software firm. Using the eQ replenishment capability, customer usage, not the receipt of purchase orders, triggers material flow. Similarly, real downstream demand, not forecasts, triggers production and procurement processes. Launched in 2001, eQ is aimed at manufacturers in a variety of industries, including automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, electronic components and medical devices. QAD has a large installed base of manufacturing customers, comprising more than 5,200 licensed sites in more than 80 countries.