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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 21, 2012 -- Plex Systems Inc., provider of Plex Online, Cloud ERP for manufacturers, today announced the appointment of Jim Shepherd as its vice president of strategy, starting immediately. In this role, Shepherd is responsible for defining strategic direction to continue the growth of Plex Systems with manufacturers across multiple industries and markets. Shepherd brings nearly 40 years of thought leadership and operational experience in manufacturing and software industries to the Plex Systems team. Frequently quoted in leading publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Shepherd is widely recognized as an expert in the application of enterprise software to business operations. He has extensive knowledge and proficiency in the design, development and implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain planning systems. Over the years, Shepherd has guided many global manufacturing companies in their selection and implementation of ERP, maximizing their return on investment. "Jim will spearhead planning and execution of the strategic growth of Plex Systems," said Mark Symonds, president and chief executive officer, Plex Systems. "We welcome Jim to the management team at Plex Systems and look forward to mining his deep insight into customer operations and the long-term strategic direction of manufacturing solutions." Prior to joining Plex Systems, Shepherd served as vice president and distinguished analyst for Gartner Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Shepherd joined Gartner during the acquisition of AMR Research in 2009. In his roles at both AMR and Gartner, he provided analysis of ERP systems, supply chain management, and the convergence of business strategy and enterprise applications. Among his many accomplishments, Shepherd was named the first AMR research fellow. Earlier, Shepherd served as vice president of operations at Conrac Corp. and director of supply chain at ACMI. Throughout his career, he has held several senior management positions in software companies, including Avalon Software, Carp Systems and ASK Computer Systems. Shepherd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. "I am excited to take a strategic role at Plex Systems," said Shepherd. "Plex Online is an outstanding technology solution and I'm eager to contribute to the evolution of this software as it leads the ERP industry into the Cloud computing world."