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IT >6>/,>7?'&#



CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT December 2015



Special Technology Report 5


Editor: Ed Holden

Manufacturing Contributors:


Fibre optic manufacturer doubles revenue in 18 months with QAD Cloud ERP

Maria Toft Madsen, TimoCom Exel Computer Systems: Software upgrade brings new functionality to Naim Audio Isabel McCabe, Voiteq Capgemini signs three-year collaboration deal with UiPath for Robotic Process Automation Publisher: Dean Taylor

Special Technology Report Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com Production: Carolyn Pither


Enterprise Resource Planning



Inland Label makes a mark with efficiency using SIMATIC IT Preactor

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

Special Technology Report

IT Manager: Ian Curtis


Planning, Forecasting, S&OP

Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Transport Management Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com


TimoCom: Assign available freight more efficiently with transport platforms



Horseware keeps a tight rein on its warehousing operations thanks to door-to-door Voice solution from BEC and Honeywell

Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company plc, www.magprint.co.uk No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. No liability is accepted for any action arising from the contents of this publication; readers are advised to check any manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or supplierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claim for products. The publishers do not endorse opinions expressed in any article by an outside contributor. While every care is taken over photographs and illustrations, which are returned when requested, no liability can be assumed by the publishers for the loss of such materials.




Warehouse Management



Snapfulfil provides big benefits for major internet retailer Vanderlande: Shaping change with innovative solutions

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Voiteq: Voice is not just for picking

Voice/Warehouse Management Systems


Special Report

A clearer view Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of key spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about the current state of play in the world of Software as a Service/Cloud technology, together with what might be in store over the next year or two. The Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS)

inclined to lean toward a private Cloud model,

for business applications on hardware that is

are terms that have become increasingly

whereas those that view enterprise systems

not on the company’s premises and is

familiar within the world of manufacturing,

as commodities and/or want to outsource their

therefore in someone else’s data centre but is

logistics, warehousing and retail etc. over the

applications are typically more inclined to

still secure,” he said, adding that the nearer

past few years. There is an ever greater

lean toward SaaS solutions,” he said.

the ERP the more Cloud-based this type of adoption is. While in a distribution context the

choice of application choices available in the Cloud, but how do Cloud and SaaS compare

To Jim Rapoza, senior IT research analyst at

nearer the physical machinery and equipment

with the more traditional on-premise model,

Aberdeen Group, one of the biggest

then the less Cloud-based it is. “Nevertheless,

what are the core strengths of Cloud/SaaS

questions surrounding Cloud today is how it

the general trend is towards more Cloud

and what are the remaining concerns

responds to new technologies that will

adoption,” he remarked.

regarding the former? To address these and

change and challenge it. “Cloud is used to

other issues surrounding our topic in hand,

being the disruptive technology (in how it

However, Paul Hammond, VP, infrastructure

we spoke with a number of leading analysts

changed how we think about applications,

services, Capgemini, points out that there are

and vendors.

servers and services) but today, technologies

some practicalities to consider, such as

like Software Defined Networking, network

where organisations can have SaaS-based

To open the discussion, Eric Kimberling,

virtualisation and converged systems are

solutions provided from. “This can either be

managing partner at Panorama Consulting

changing how Cloud-based systems are

an enabler or a disabler in terms of, for

Solutions, makes the point that, first, it is

deployed, managed, even how we think about

example, where companies can legally hold

important to understand the Cloud versus

Cloud,” he commented. “There are great

data inside or outside the EU,” he said,

SaaS dynamic, as they are two very different

opportunities for Cloud to become even more

adding that the Safe Harbour Act has helped

deployment models and are not

powerful – especially in how it utilises

to clarify this issue to a large extent.

interchangeable terms. The second is to

software defined networking (SDN) – but it will

Additionally, Hammond made the point that if

understand the level of complexity and

need to evolve quickly to take advantage of

an organisation is holding manufacturing data

need/want for control of enterprise

these opportunities.”

to do with government departments that might be highly secure such as the MOD, then there

applications within an organisation. “Organisations that either view business

Steve Wilson, VP, head of supply chain,

would naturally be further considerations

applications as competitive differentiators

Capgemini, sees a significant trend towards

concerning security within UK boundaries.

and/or require a good deal of control over

an increasing level of Cloud adoption. “For

their enterprise applications are typically more

the most part that is private Cloud – hosting


Richa Gupta, senior analyst, AutoID & data



December 2015



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capture at VDC

have to move a site or a few sites at a time,â&#x20AC;?

capex costs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Cloud they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to

Research, observes

said Winter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thus, a blended approach,

build, run and maintain a physical data centre

that Cloud-based off-

where some sites run on Cloud and some run

and all of the IT hardware,â&#x20AC;? he said. The other

premise deployment

on premise but still fully synchronised, is often

major driver, according to Wilson, is that

is gaining increased


many companies would like to be able to switch potentially to other applications within,

consideration with

'$"( '%# !&%$'($%& !%#

enterprises, many of

Gavin Clark, commercial director at Snapfulfil,

say, a three to five-year timeframe.

whom are actively

believes that security is always a key topic,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Consequently, if they move to the Cloud

looking to move to

even more so with the recent and much

there is a perception that this makes


publicised TalkTalk â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Taking advantage

switching easier,â&#x20AC;? he said.

pricing options.

of known vulnerabilities, such as logging-in as

According to VDCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

a website admin or accessing open ports, are

Gupta makes the point that, according to


typical activities of the amateur hacker, but

VDCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research, enterprisesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; primary reasons

end user survey on

can have devastating consequences to the

for investing in SaaS-based solutions are â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

the topic, more than half the respondents

reputation of an organisation,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

reduction in costs associated with solution

have already replaced or are in the process

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Utilising a specialist SaaS provider will help

deployment and integration, ability to improve

of replacing some or all of their legacy

to ensure that your chosen application is

business agility (flexibility and scalability), and

enterprise applications (ERP, MES, CMS,

securely hosted, has been security tested

the relative speed of implementation when it

SCM, TMS and WMS) with Cloud-based

and, most importantly, can provide you with

comes to application delivery, deployment,


the relevant security information/white papers

updates and maintenance.

you need to check all will be well.â&#x20AC;? Clark â&#x20AC;&#x153;Both public and private Cloud delivery and

added that hybrid solutions can be very

Winter considers one of the key benefits as

deployment models are gaining popularity,â&#x20AC;?

useful, but again careful attention must be

being more business focus while enjoying

said Gupta. â&#x20AC;&#x153;VDCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research shows that the

paid to the security of the connectivity

better service levels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Cloud, customers

greatest shift will be towards private Cloud

between the two networks.

can spend their time focusing on their business and not the ERP infrastructure

deployments (managed internally or by a third

needed by the business,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This will

party) especially for mission-critical applications, which speaks to the need for

Key benefits

give them an edge over on premise

more control on information storage and

In essence, what are the key benefits of the

customers that have to maintain their own

retrieval while also helping generate a greater

SaaS deployment model? Rapoza believes

deployments. For example, QAD knows our

sense of security and privacy.â&#x20AC;?

that by far the biggest benefits are in ease of

product inside out. On premise customers

deployment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without the need to have to

only have their own system to learn from,

Tony Winter, chief technology officer at QAD,

deploy a platform in-house on company

where QAD has multiple customer systems to

believes that, among global manufacturers,

servers and resources, a business can deploy

learn from and thus can typically maintain

risk, compliance, integration and

a major SaaS-based application in the time it

much higher service levels than on premise

internationalisation are key subjects for Cloud,

takes to buy a present online,â&#x20AC;? he said,

customers. Some people refer to this as part

as is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;depth of featuresâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. He commented that

adding that ease of management is also very

of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lean ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: The ability to reallocate IT

while manufacturers understand the appeal

important â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no need for constant software

resources onto value added projects and

and benefits of moving to Cloud, they also

upgrades that can disrupt business continuity.

letting the cloud vendor do what they know

understand that they cannot go backward

â&#x20AC;&#x153;SaaS based apps are constantly updated

how to do best â&#x20AC;&#x201C; operate their own software.

with regard to features; in terms of introducing

without any need for the business to do

compliance issues (e.g. life sciences


Another key benefit,

manufacturers often must operate on an FDA

in Winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view, is

qualified infrastructure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; most Clouds do not

Kimberlingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view is that the technical aspects

business adaptability

qualify); in terms of SLAs not delivered and

of implementation are typically more

and best practices.

support not provided.

streamlined and less costly. In addition, he

â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Cloud/SaaS

believes the pains of upgrades and ongoing

manufacturers may

Winter added that moving to Cloud

maintenance can often times be addressed

more readily be able

reintroduces app integration requirements

more effectively in the SaaS model.

to move quickly in new site

that may have already been satisfied on premise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This implies that multi-site

Wilson points out that many of his clients are

acquisitions, M&A,

manufacturers are seldom in a situation to

moving to the Cloud for two main reasons.

using shared

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;throw the switchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to Cloud â&#x20AC;&#x201C; rather they will

The first concerns cost savings; for example,






December 2015

'('!"#(# $"%' % %&(&%$&#




implementations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as business process

thinking enough around how they run end-to-

subsidiaries and

changes, organisational change

end operations when they are using public-

moving towards

management, training, etc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

private Cloud in a hybrid mode and SaaS

global standards,â&#x20AC;?

addressed by the fact that the technology

applications alongside legacy where they are

he commented.

itself may be easier to deploy. In other words,

undertaking integration to the databases. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So,

SaaS is no surrogate for all of the people and

these companies have security operations

Additionally, Winter

process issues that need to be addressed as

that now have to span something that is

considers Value

part of any ERP implementation.â&#x20AC;?

inside and outside of their data centre,â&#x20AC;? he

Stream Collaboration $'( '#( &"$!%('"' #(  !

(' '(' %&#(

Special Report

said, adding that these organisations also

to be a core benefit.

In addition to the points he made earlier

need to think about a new operating model,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cloud/SaaS is a

concerning risk, compliance, integration and

which means they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see that the server

natural architecture

internationalisation etc., Winter added that

lights are flashing when they have some sort

for certain apps, like

security, availability, business continuity,

of outage or major incident.

supplier portals and

global accessibility and the new lock-in

EDI â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it enables the value stream to share

(dependence on a single Cloud service

templates, formats, provides better visibility

provider) all remain concerns. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Manufacturing

Recent developments

and in general enhances communication,â&#x20AC;? he

IT and executive management understand

What have been some of the most notable


that Cloud is not a panacea â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there is no such

developments and improvements within the

thing as an easy answer,â&#x20AC;? he said.

SaaS marketplace over the past year or two? Rapoza thinks we have seen a major

Remaining concerns

Wilson considers that one of the potential

recognition of the mobile-first world we now

Are there any remaining concerns regarding

pitfalls of SaaS is the lock-in side of this type

live in. He points out that over the past couple

the SaaS deployment model? Gupta maintains

of provision. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is sometimes an issue

of years more and more SaaS apps have

that organisationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; concerns surrounding data

concerning getting the integration to work

become much more capable in their mobile

security and privacy of these Cloud-based

effectively,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So although there is a

interfaces and capabilities.

solutions are very real. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These represent the

perception that companies can switch

primary barriers to adoption, especially in

relatively easily I think that is not yet

In Kimberlingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view, flexibility and ability to

highly regulated industries,â&#x20AC;? she said. In

completely proven.â&#x20AC;?

more easily integrate with third party systems have been some of the key improvements.

addition, Gupta comments that network connectivity, performance and reliability are

Hammond made the point that some IT

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best of breed SaaS solutions such as

also not yet optimal, which could also count

departments and IT organisations are not

Salesforce, Netsuite, and Workday are

as potential inhibitors to Cloud-based solution

necessarily very well geared up or forward-

providing more robust ecosystems to address

investments and deployments. Rapoza also homes-in on security as remaining a perceived pitfall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some businesses donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want their vital data outside their data centre, even though in the vast majority of cases the SaaS provider has better security than most businesses could manage,â&#x20AC;? he said. Rapoza also made the point that there are regulatory hurdles, especially in where data is stored geographically. Kimberling reflects that organisations often think that SaaS will eliminate all of the pains associated with on-premise implementations. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even though the technical aspects can indeed be less complicated and time-consuming than on premise, organisations still need to address the business transformation aspects of these




December 2015



Special Report


those areas that they

more ubiquitous access to that data anytime

traceability, which are important in consumer

donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t address within

and anyplace via mobile devices and other

oriented manufacturing including F&B, is also

their core solutions,â&#x20AC;?

means. In addition, Kimberling explains that

potentially improved by Cloud due to global

he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For

this data is more likely to be captured,


example, Salesforce

reported and analysed real-time in a

has an entire

SaaS/Cloud environment relative to on

Rapoza believes uptake has been across the

ecosystem of SaaS


board. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Interestingly, even sectors that used to be laggards in Cloud adoption, such as

solutions to augment

%$($&%$"# '"'$"('% "&%#(

their core CRM

Rapoza observes that many businesses

government and financials, are now more

solution in areas

interested in utilising Big Data are turning to

likely to use Cloud-based systems,â&#x20AC;? he said.

such as financials,

the Cloud. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face it; most companies


donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the infrastructure, expertise and

Kimberling reflects that functional vertical

management, and

sheer computing power to pull off high-level

offerings are more robust than industry

other critical

Big Data analytics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but many Cloud

vertical offerings at the moment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For

providers do have all of these capabilities,â&#x20AC;? he

example, sales functions are being well-


served by CRM offerings such as Salesforce,

business functions.â&#x20AC;?

HCM offerings such as Workday, and

Clark considers that technological advances in storage (SSD), database technology (SQL

Winter explains that the use of Cloud-based

manufacturing offerings such as Plex,â&#x20AC;? he

clusters, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;always onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) and data centre

storage gives Big Data a more flexible


availability have made online services faster

approach for dealing with very large datasets

and more resilient than ever before. He

and complex analyses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It helps Big Data, but

commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Historically, the cost of gaining

by itself is not the answer to achieving Big

Strongest line of defence

access to these advances has been

Data,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Manufacturers improve their

What are the on premise modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strongest

prohibitive for all but the largest global

business insight and actions from analytics by

lines of defence against Cloud/SaaS? Winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

enterprises. However, the economies of scale

developing a data-oriented culture and

immediate reaction is: comfort and success.

available to SaaS and data centre providers

concentrating on giving each user the right

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ironically, companies who have done a great

have made these advantages far more

information needed at the optimal moment.

job with on premise apps, and those

affordable to all.â&#x20AC;?

Again, Cloud is not a panacea for Big Data,

manufacturers tend to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;world-classâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in IT,

just a helpful enabling technology.â&#x20AC;?

have less motivation to adopt Cloud â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If it

Winter remarked that QAD looks to its own

ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t broke donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fix itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nonetheless,

approach to Cloud provisioning as a potential

often those already best in class move first to

breakthrough in Enterprise Cloud

Sector uptake

Cloud. Some compliance scenarios raise

Management. â&#x20AC;&#x153;QAD acts as a single point of

In what vertical end-user sectors are our

barriers to Cloud. Also, some IT departments

contact for customers for Cloud

commentators seeing most uptake of software

culturally feel like going to Cloud reduces

implementation and support, yet QAD works

provided in a SaaS format? Clark commented

their control. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see it that way â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we

with multiple Cloud service providers,â&#x20AC;? he

that operations that require high levels of item

see Cloud as an opportunity for IT to focus

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some Cloud service providers do a

picking across retail and B2B businesses are

more on value-added projects and less on

better job in some regions than other

Snapfulfilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main sources of uptake at present

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;keeping the lights onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work.â&#x20AC;?

providers. QAD wants to ensure customers

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; however, the unique business model is

receive the best possible service levels.

becoming attractive across all verticals.

Gupta makes the

Therefore, QAD has built its own management

point that several

layer. It gathers app and system information

Winter explained that QAD works primarily


from all sources continuously, and uses Big

with six manufacturing sub-verticals,

continue to associate

Data analytics to spot problems before they

automotive, industrial, high tech, life sciences,

higher levels of data

occur. The result has been improved services

food & beverage and consumer products. He

security and privacy

levels regardless of which Cloud service

elaborated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;All these verticals are moving to

with on premise

provider(s) are used.â&#x20AC;?

Cloud, and life sciences seemed like the first

deployments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is

mover. But recent Cloud growth in automotive

especially true in

is resulting in technology investments that

highly regulated

Big Data

have been needed for a long time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including


What effects do our commentators think Big

Cloud. Even industrial manufacturers,

industries like

Data is having on the SaaS/Cloud world?

historically the latest technology adopters, are

aerospace &

Kimberling focuses on the ability to provide

catching on. Addressing trends like

defence, medical





December 2015

$('!'#(&"$!%( %&&'%('"' #



device and

of change still makes it relatively unattractive


for some of these companies because they

she said.

have invested in the on premise solution, they

Special Report

have their own data centre with all the Clark doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe

hardware, and they have people to maintain

that any single type

the applications,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, to switch to a

of deployment

Cloud-based solution can be a significant

method should be

upheaval for them and involves effectively

the natural choice.

disposing of a significant cost base â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The choice between

something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not an easy thing to do. Their

on premise and

on premise infrastructure is in place and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Cloud/SaaS is

functioning, so rather than companies that

governed by a range

make a complete transition to the Cloud, we

some legacy systems sitting on premise and

of factors including the availability of IT

see many of them chipping away at the

are then putting in place new capabilities that

resources (hardware and personnel) along

AS400 type capabilities; replacing pieces of

are on Cloud while retiring one-by-one the old

with accessibility and broadband connection

the functionality with the Cloud-based

capabilities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For example, they might have a

speeds/availability,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

solutions and effectively â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hollowing outâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; their

CRM system thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on premise and retire that

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Purchasers should not focus on the

applications over a period of time.â&#x20AC;?

in favour of something like a Salesforce, or

 &&( $!"#( #( &'(!(('$"#

deployment mechanism, but instead on the

they might have integration on their website to

vendorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to deliver the final solution,

Hammond added that companies are under

their fulfilment and warehousing through a

experience in their industry and levels of

pressure on two main fronts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;First, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got

legacy order management capability and

service they offer.â&#x20AC;?

the challenges that Steve referred to â&#x20AC;&#x201C; having

retire that and replace it with a more fully

legacy technologies that they thought were a

featured order management capability on

Clark added that on premise can often be

great idea three or four years ago and that will

Cloud. This is because these days everybody

slower to support, with secure keys and VPNs

remain on the balance sheet for maybe one or

wants Click & Collect, and everybody wants

required, while the lack of a qualified

two years. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve also got enormous

the ability to do far more than the original

database administrator to provide database

pressure to be much more agile in terms of

legacy integrated systems often provided. So

maintenance can lock up a system with little

connecting the business to different

we see that gradual chipping away approach.

or no warning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Buyers must look at their

collaborative marketplaces etc. How quickly

This is pretty common in my experience.â&#x20AC;?

whole IT estate when choosing a deployment

companies move to the Cloud really depends

method,â&#x20AC;? he stressed.

on their appetite for transformation, and the

Gupta points out that a hybrid Cloud

speed of change really does dictate how

deployment model (composed of at least one

Rapoza considers that, with on premise, will

quickly these companies can retire their

public Cloud and one private Cloud) typically

always be a benefit of security and visibility.

legacy technology to get to the new world.â&#x20AC;?

includes a variety of options with multiple

â&#x20AC;&#x153;With an on premise system you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to

providers, making it highly flexible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This can

rely on SLAs or take a providerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s word for

prove to be more cost efficient than a 100 per

what it is doing,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Businesses know

Mix and match

cent private Cloud deployment but is

everything that is being done for security, they

What about the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mix-and-matchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;/hybrid

generally more expensive than a public Cloud

know where the data is stored and they can

adoption model as a viable option? Winter

deployment model,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Enterprises

view and monitor all aspects of the system.â&#x20AC;?

believes this model makes sense in some use

can choose to purchase hardware (or not)

cases, such as the aforementioned advanced

and base decisions

Kimberling believes on premise still provides

analytics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In many cases, however, some

on cost to lease and

a superior amount of control and flexibility for

vendors late to Cloud are pushing the hybrid


the time being, which still appeals to many

approach because they are not really

requirements. Data

buyers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These two factors â&#x20AC;&#x201C; coupled with the

prepared for a true Cloud-style deployment,â&#x20AC;?

transfer rates on the

inaccurate perception that SaaS/Cloud is not

he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While hybrid is not a one-size-fits-all

private network are

as secure as on premise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are probably the

solution, there are some types of apps, such

significantly higher

strongest lines of defence for on premise

as global financial services apps, or e-

than that on the

vendors,â&#x20AC;? he said.

commerce, where hybrid is a great approach

public internet. Users

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; franchise business models are good fits for

have the option of


meeting dynamic

Wilson believes there remains a case for on premise because many companies still rely on legacy systems such as AS400. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The cost


!"( $" &%#($& &"!!(!$&%#

demand spikes with Wilson explained that many of his clients have

access to public



December 2015



Special Report


Cloud while having their performance-

believes hybrid can be a very powerful model

Winter considers that we think the notion of

intensive applications supported by the

for certain organisations, particularly those

‘freedom’ is an issue that not just IT

private Cloud. This option gives enterprises

that are decentralised and have sophisticated

departments but manufacturers in general are

the best of both worlds as they can choose to

IT departments able to handle the technical

looking at in terms of Cloud and related

keep secure data on private, dedicated

complexities of such environments.

technology trends. Do manufacturers want to

servers, which offers them greater control on

be locked into a single database? Do they

information storage, access and retrieval.”

want to be locked into a single Cloud service


provider? Do they want feature,

Clark reflects that the chosen deployment

Are there any remaining issues related to the

enhancements and patches to ‘just happen’

model should take into account a wide variety

Cloud infrastructure itself to consider? Wilson

without any or much user notice – as is typical

of options, not be chosen for speed of

and Hammond reflect that when we hear about

in SaaS. “The notion of Cloud is to hand over

deployment or lowest cost route. “Problems in

large manufacturing organisations suffering

the keys of your apps to a third party – how

your warehouse can create unforeseen costs

data security breaches because they were

far are you willing to go?” asks Winter. “At the

that far outweigh the initial savings made

using a provider who didn’t have adequate

end of the day the CEO will look to the IT and

possible by an inefficient system/deployment

controls and governance in place this really hits

business leaders for explanations if things go

method,” he said. Rapoza thinks SaaS is

home the need for an adequate level of security

wrong ‘in the Cloud’ or elsewhere. Yes, the

increasingly vital for enterprise applications.

and control. “These issues remain, and that’s

Cloud has some great benefits, but how do

“Paired with private Cloud systems, it gives

why procurement of these solutions requires an

you navigate realising those benefits without

businesses the security and increased

active participation by the IT departments within

introducing new risks and problems? Finding

manageability of on premise while letting

the companies involved, as opposed to making

the right balance between risk and benefit

them leverage the public Cloud for its benefits

business decisions independent of the IT

and maintaining that balance is the ongoing

in scalability,” he commented. Kimberling

departments,” added Wilson.

issue for Cloud adoption.”





December 2015



Special Report

Kimberling believes Cloud providers are becoming a commodity with tons of alternatives, so sifting through all the options is an important consideration. In addition, he comments that CFOs are often interested in balance sheet considerations, with on premise investments typically being balance sheet lines item and SaaS/Cloud solutions being a P&L expense line items. Rapoza reiterates his earlier point that the biggest issue is in how Cloud responds to emerging technologies like SDN.

On the horizon What do our commentators see as some of the key areas of continuing SaaS/Cloud development to look out for over the coming year or two? Wilson is seeing Cloud/SaaS moving down the solution stack. “It’s moving into areas that would previously have been kept on premise,” he said. “I think the only thing that’s holding back more Cloud/SaaS deployment in warehouses that use more automation technology and in manufacturing plants where MES systems are used for controlling machinery is bandwidth and response speed. This is what held back putting WMS on Cloud a few years ago. Now, WMS is increasingly going on Cloud because

to see tremendous opportunity in the Cloud.

hardware, mobile workers and people using

people have the confidence that the

“ISVs – including some of the biggest like

their own devices from home. Winter points

bandwidth and latency will be reliable and

Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP – have made

out that OpenStack and open standards

that the system won’t come to a halt. So,

significant strategic investments in developing

continues to gain dominance over proprietary

these network issues have, for the most part,

a Cloud-based portfolio that appeal to a large

Cloud models. “The ‘API economy’, though

been addressed. The cost has come right

base of customers,” she said, adding that

slow to develop, continues to make progress

down too, which makes it much more feasible.

rising interest in and migration to Cloud-

as the development approach for SaaS

Therefore, I see the solutions stack going

hosted enterprise applications is starting to

apps,” he added. Rapoza reiterates that

increasingly on Cloud, and progressing

trickle down to smaller ISVs in the businesses

technologies such as SDN, network

further down to the level of controllers etc.”

that integrate with these broad-based

virtualisation and converged systems are

Wilson is also seeing Cloud being utilised

solutions to support their customers’ mission-

changing how Cloud-based systems are

reasonably heavily is for collaboration

critical application requirements.

deployed, managed, even how we think about Cloud.

between organisations and their supply base – and between organisations and their

“Allaying users’ concerns with data security

customer base. “This is now very prevalent in

and privacy is top-of-mind for Cloud-based

Kimberling concludes that SaaS and Cloud

areas such as retail and fashion,” he said.

solution providers,” said Gupta. “They also

adoption is definitely gaining traction, as

need to enhance offline functionality to

outlined in recent data published in

Kimberling considers that the concept of

compensate for unavailability of always-on

Panorama’s 2015 ERP Report, but the on

Platform as a Service and the corresponding

network connectivity.”

premise model is certainly alive and well and likely will be for years to come. “Whether

emphasis on development and integration tools as opposed to the more myopic focus

Clark believes Cloud/SaaS deployments will

SaaS/Cloud versus on premise is right for any

on software functionality, will gain further

continue to grow, which will drive the need

particular organisation depends on business

traction over the coming year or two, while

for security technologies and flexible

requirements, needs, and priorities that are

Gupta believes software vendors will continue

deployment options to support different

unique to the organisation.” 




December 2015



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

/+231&0/%3!-,$#-%0$+2+3doubles revenue in 18 months with QAD Cloud ERP 2fx is a British manufacturer


customer requirement dates didn’t match

of optical fiber protection

commitment dates; and shortages on the

systems with a patented

production line, excess stock and a lack of

grooved design and

clear metrics and estimated profit margins

process. Best known for its

were among its key challenges.

Microduct products, m2fx specialises in

“We had three key goals — growth,

cable/microduct routing products that are

profitability and customer satisfaction,” says

designed to protect fibre yet still be ultra-

Tom Carpenter, chief executive officer for

flexible to enable fast and efficient installation

m2fx. “The next two to three years were

service, manufacturing, asset management,

in the field.

critical for us. It was vital that we focus our

supply chain execution, service and support,

resources on our key goals and minimise any

analytics and interoperability.”

Miniflex Protection Tube, Cable and

Founded in 1994, the rapidly growing

distracting effort or expenditure.” The company implemented QAD Cloud ERP

company manages its complex make-to-order manufacturing process for delivery to an international customer base; the company has distributors in France, India, the

with QAD Easy On Boarding, a scalable

The solution: QAD Cloud ERP provides flexible full-strength ERP functionality

solution that offers pre-defined processes and predictable costs that significantly reduce implementation time. Once implemented, it took

Netherlands, South Africa, the UK and the US. Recently, m2fx reached a major

m2fx defined its core requirements and

m2fx a weekend to transition to an ERP system.

milestone, with its Miniflex product range

began to investigate enterprise resource

“The capability to scale and integrate modules

successfully deployed in 25,000 fibre to the

planning (ERP) solutions. To aid the decision-

on a grow-as-we-go basis is exceptional,” says

premises (FTTP) installations around the

making process, it created a scorecard to

Carpenter. “We initially set up with core

world, a testament to its continued leadership

rate the various solutions and ERP delivery

functionality, including Financials,

in a growing market.

models. First, m2fx wanted the solution to be

Manufacturing, Analytics and Supply Chain

highly flexible to support the company’s

Execution and have gradually implemented

aggressive growth without taxing its current

additional functionality.

The challenge: outdated financial reporting impedes performance In order to meet its strategic goals for

budget and resources. QAD allows us to maintain, support and m2fx evaluated and scored several factors on a

upgrade individual components of our QAD

scale of one to ten including:

ERP application, while continuing to leverage our existing system.”

continued growth, great customer service and maximum profitability, m2fx recognised the

Sales order processing.

need to augment its financial reporting

Production and financial control.

“QAD Cloud ERP mitigated many of the IT and

system. Its existing solution no longer sufficed

Business management information.

financial risks associated with a new ERP

and was impeding its progress. Unlinked and

Customer relationship management.

implementation, as all of the software, systems

out-of-date data slowed performance;

Implementation risk.

and infrastructure are managed and

Engineering control.

administered by QAD in a secure, reliable and

Cost over three years.

industry compliant data center,” says Carpenter. “QAD is a proven cloud ERP solution.”

In essence, m2fx was in search of a simplified, rapid implementation; scalable solution; and turnkey management to support daily

The benefits: QAD delivers global capabilities while optimising business processes and time to value

enterprise-wide operations. QAD Cloud ERP, the web-based delivery of QAD Enterprise Applications, was chosen to





December 2015

reduce the total cost of ownership and simplify

QAD Cloud ERP supports every operation

applications management. “QAD Cloud ERP

within m2fx. “With QAD, we’ve benefited from

stood out,” adds Carpenter. “It offers the robust

a level of ERP functionality typically enjoyed

features we need for financials, customer

by much larger companies, yet it is affordable


Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

and adaptable enough to support m2fx as we

With a service level agreement of 99.5 per cent

Cloud ERP offers a responsive user experience,

continue to expand.”

application system availability and 24x7x365

as fast as, if not faster than, if the application

user and technical support, QAD Cloud ERP

were on our own local servers. Yet it allows

With QAD Cloud ERP integrated globally

frees the m2fx IT team to focus on strategic

global access and cost-effective scalability.

across the functions of the company, m2fx

initiatives for growth and customer satisfaction.

Now we can focus on running our business with

has realised the following results:

This frees executives and decision makers to

real-time visibility into key metrics and

focus on the core business of manufacturing

performance indicators.

95 per cent or greater on-time delivery of

best-in-class fibre protection systems. The

customer orders.

company leverages QAD’s powerful

“With the support of QAD Enterprise

Less frequent material shortages.

compliance capabilities to support ISO 9000

Applications we utilise our ERP to support rapid

Easy access to key business metrics that

certification – a complex body of standards that

growth — we doubled our business in 18

are measured and monitored from within

help ensure m2fx solutions consistently meet

months. We benefit from powerful QAD

the application.

customers’ requirements.

solutions that have increased our visibility and

Real-time visibility of business data.

Proactive visibility into margin drivers.

Global visibility of stock and production plans.

allowed us to plan according to market requirements. With QAD Cloud ERP we have a

Clear benefits

complete ERP solution that allows us to forecast

“The merits of QAD Cloud ERP are clear: a low

supply and demand — all in one flexible, highly

capital expenditure with predictable operational

extensible system. And we realise a strategic

QAD Cloud ERP carries no overhead

expenditures, no server expertise required in-

partner in QAD with whom we will continue to

expense for m2fx in terms of server and

house and an extremely reliable cloud

become an even more effective enterprise in

support resources.

connection,” says Carpenter. “Moreover, QAD

years to come.” 

QAD – Manufacturing ERP Solutions

Enterprise Applications is a complete ERP suite designed to address the needs of global manufacturers. QAD Enterprise Applications has been a leading ERP solution for global manufacturers in the Automotive, High-Tech, Food

joined by her husband Karl Lopker, as a small start-up solution

and Beverage, Consumer, Industrial and Life Sciences

to address a large gap in complete, integrated business

industries for several decades.

software for manufacturing companies. QAD Enterprise Applications supports multiple local QAD began with a few local customers, supporting them from

languages and country-specific business practices and legal

the company’s headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. But

requirements. QAD Enterprise Applications’ domain

as customers took their brands to the next level—

architecture enables customers to easily configure ERP to

international—QAD adapted quickly to keep up. Today, the

match their organisational structure, including support for

company supports customers in over 100 countries around the

shared services.

world. QAD’s products have gone global, too, and the company has spent years innovating and growing its offering as its

QAD designed its ERP for manufacturers and has never

customers expand their businesses overseas.

deviated from that commitment. Whether customers operate a single plant or span the globe, QAD Enterprise Applications

You will often hear QAD say that at the heart of company is a

is built for manufacturers.

strong and loyal customer community. QAD believes that to create the best full-featured manufacturing ERP software for its

Industrial markets served

customers, these companies and QAD need to work together.

QAD serves the following manufacturing sub verticals:

QAD prides itself on its customer engagement and its commitment to continually evolve as the manufacturing industry

Life Sciences.


Automotive. Industrial Manufacturing.

It has been over three decades; QAD still focuses solely on


manufacturing—the company lives and breathes it every day

Food & Beverage.

alongside its customers. QAD’s passion is its customers’

Consumer Products.

Corporate Profile

In 1979, QAD was founded by Pamela Lopker, who was later

advantage. “Become an Effective Enterprise with us,” says QAD. Countries served Solutions offered


Effective manufacturers depend on their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to streamline business operations and to scale and adapt as their business changes. QAD


Website: www.qad.com



December 2015



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

1#0"-+23$&'+-)23brings new functionality to Naim Audio aking advantage of continuous


"We had various bespoke elements that had

software improvement is always a

been written by Exel as well as other systems

good idea. Thanks to Exel

added around EFACS. It was everything from

Computer Systems plc, Naim Audio

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to custom

has upgraded its EFACS E/8 ERP


and is achieving business growth.

Naim quickly found that earlier bespoke work

system, introduced powerful new functionality could be duplicated with the new EFACS Based in Salisbury, Naim Audio designs and

Customisation Toolkit. EFACS’ Workflow module

manufactures advanced music systems. In

promised help with other business

2014 the company won the Queen's Award for

requirements too.

Enterprise in Innovation for its network music players, all-in-one players, hard disk

A project to implement new hardware platforms,

players/servers and digital to analogue

the latest versions of Microsoft SQL Server and

converters. Naim employs 170 people. An

Windows Server along with VMware

EFACS user since 2004, Naim enjoys an

virtualisation was completed first. Naim's

workflows. Exel provided technical support

excellent working relationship with Exel.

attention then turned to upgrading EFACS.

throughout, including the customisation in key

"There were no problems with EFACS 8.2 but

"Because of our working relationship with Exel,

consultants helped Naim acquire key

newer versions offered functionality that we did

they knew our business processes. They also

knowledge for future projects.

not have – this was enticing. The main issue

offered us a good deal on upgrading to the

was with our old versions of Microsoft SQL

latest version of EFACS," says Marchington.

areas like deliveries. Working alongside the

Server and Microsoft Windows Server," says Systems Development Engineer, Ben Marchington.

New infrastructure

A high priority was given to training the company's 60 users. Although some might see

Smooth upgrade

little change, others had to learn new functionality. Exel ran in-depth training sessions

Exel gave expert help with project

and process reminder sheets were given to

management, development and training. An


Exel consultant copied the ‘live’ database and

The company decided to upgrade its IT

developed some upgrade scripts. These were

The upgrade to the live system took place

infrastructure and introduce virtualisation. A

thoroughly tested on a development platform.

during the company's annual holiday shutdown

review of business processes was also

in August 2013. Its move into a virtual

conducted, comparing old and new versions of

Much work was done to create new reports,

environment also improved scalability,


messages, screens, other customisations and

redundancy and disaster recovery. "The training was delivered in a very good way with examples relating to the real world. When the users came back, we were live on 8.5. We had an Exel consultant with us for a few days just for confidence," says Marchington.

Automated processes Naim has since continually expanded its use of EFACS E/8. The ability to customise the system is important to Naim so that it can offer the best possible customer experience. New custom fields are now stored in the EFACS database,





December 2015


Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, these

Marchington. "Exel is really good at supporting

colourful displays extract details of sales and

you and the knowledge of their consultants is

works orders from the EFACS database.


"It gives the production managers a much better idea of when they are going to get which materials through." enabling built-in reports or third-party reporting

Another useful development involved the

tools to have access.

company's first wireless music system, Mu-so. These are now tracked worldwide by serial

From a day-to-day perspective, the Workflow

number which previously needed manual entry

module ensures the right work is done at the

to EFACS for each location change. Another

right time. A new workflow may be set by

workflow technique, using XML, links customer

schedule or triggered by events inside EFACS.

web ordering to EFACS and automatically

Custom screen messages help focus user

raises Mu-so sales orders.

attention on particular tasks too. Extending the intuitive EFACS system for new "The Workflow system is fantastic. We have a

business requirements like these has fully met

whole variety of alerts. For example, the Quality

expectations. The work has been so successful

department can be alerted when a certain part

that the number of users across the company

comes in and requires inspection."

has increased.

Production area staff now view large screens

"EFACS E/8 was going to allow us to grow,

showing management KPI dashboards. Using

which is what we have done." says

Exel Computer Systems plc, a UK software author currently celebrating 30 years of innovation, has been developing, implementing and supporting business software solutions since 1985. With hundreds of successful implementations and thousands of users around the world, Exel’s customer base spans industries as diverse as food, aerospace, engineering, nuclear, automotive, electronics and packaging. Exel’s experience and extensive industry knowledge ensure that the company is best placed to assist its customers to achieve competitive advantage through the employment of a state-ofthe-art business solution. In a constantly changing business environment Exel is a provider that you can trust, and with continual product investment, a company which will be around in the future. Solutions offered Exel’s EFACS E/8 business solution is a highly flexible, browserbased, platform independent ERP suite built using the latest internet technology. Exel’s solution incorporates a broad range of business functions including Product Management, Change Control, Manufacturing, Field Service, Finance, Business Intelligence, Reporting Tools, Mobile and Touchscreen Applications, Document Management, CRM, Workflow and many more.


Exel’s Eagle Field Service system is a complete mobile management solution providing real-time information and resources to field-based engineers delivered directly to their mobile or touchscreen device, as well as high levels of control and visibility to management. Eagle Field Service provides a fully integrated range of modules from a single software author. Industrial markets served Exel’s market sectors include discrete manufacturing, general engineering, sub-contract engineering, nuclear, aerospace, automotive, electronics, plastics, packaging, food, pharmaceutical and companies with a field service/facilities management requirement. Countries served Exel services the UK market and have a network of resellers across the globe.

Website: www.exel.co.uk



December 2015


Corporate Profile

Exel Computer Systems plc


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Company news

-&'2!/,/3./',.30(+222-+3collaboration deal with UiPath for Robotic Process Automation apgemini, one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s


foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, has announced its collaboration

with UiPath, a specialist automation software company, to expand its Robotic Process Automation capabilities. The agreement will see Capgemini use UiPathâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s software to provide advanced automated technology to its BPO clients globally, to help drive more effective business outcomes and greater business benefits. Capgemini has been operating in the area of Robotic Process Automation for a number of multinational organisations in a wide range of areas including automated data entry, file and data manipulation, automated formatting, and multi-format message creation. Capgeminiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Jon Bell, senior VP and head of Capgeminiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

standards for growth and excellence in the

collaboration with UiPath is an illustration of its

BPO Global Delivery Network said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The new

RPA sector.â&#x20AC;? 

commitment to and investment in advanced

wave of Robotic Process Automation offerings

tools to enhance its BPO offerings and

has significantly increased our ability to drive

generate greater business benefits for its

efficiency, with a heightened level of accuracy

clients worldwide.

resulting in labour intensive back office functions being replaced by advanced

Driving process improvement

technologies. Our global delivery capability coupled with our new collaboration with

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has

UiPath will enable us to offer these services

revolutionised the way companies have

and enhanced outcomes to our clients

started operating their BPO services by


allowing business users to simplify, accelerate and improve the accuracy of manual and repetitive tasks. With UiPath automation

Mutual understanding

software, Capgemini is able to drive process

Daniel Dines, CEO of UiPath, commented:

improvement to the next level, especially

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pleased to work with Capgemini in the

around manual and labour intensive activities

burgeoning field of Robotic Process

in functions such as HR, Finance and

Automation. This relationship is based on a

Accounting and Supply Chain management.

mutual understanding of the value each

The new collaboration reinforces the

company brings to the table. Capgemini

continued investment in RPA as a key element

recognises our technology as being next

of the automation portfolio employed by

generation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly our superior

Capgeminiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s BPO Global Delivery Network. It

computer vision based automation of

also represents an important move in

applications delivered via Citrix. For our part,

Capgeminiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall industrialisation strategy,

UiPath is keenly aware of Capgeminiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deep

a key element of which is the deployment of

knowledge of business processes, automation

automation solutions across the entire range

implementation and change management. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m

of managed services.

confident this collaboration will set new





December 2015

Capgemini at a glance 1"3"/0(33&21&*23/,31 2+3 %1$,0+/2.3-&'2!/,/3/.31,231#30(2 "1+*) .3#1+2!1.03&+1 /)2+.31#3%1,.$*0/,' 02%(,1*1'3-,)31$0.1$+%/,'3.2+ /%2. (23+1$&3+2&1+02)3 3'*1-* +2 2,$2.31#333/**/1,31'20(2+ "/0(3/0.3%*/2,0.3-&'2!/,/3%+2-02.3-,) )2*/ 2+.3$./,2..302%(,1*1'3-,)3)/'/0-* .1*$0/1,.30(-03#/030(2/+3,22).32,-*/,' 0(2!3013-%(/2 23/,,1 -0/1,3-,) %1!&20/0/ 2,2..33)22&*3!$*0/%$*0$+-* 1+'-,/.-0/1,3-&'2!/,/3(-.3)2 2*1&2) /0.31",3"-31#3"1+/,'30(231**-1+-0/ 2 $./,2..3 &2+/2,%23-,)3)+-".31, /'(0.(1+23/0.3"1+*)"/)23)2*/ 2+3!1)2*

UiPath /-0(3/.3-3 2,)1+31#3110/%3+1%2.. $01!-0/1,3.1#0"-+230(-03&1"2+.30(2 /,02**/'2,03&+1%2..3-$01!-0/1,3.1*$0/1,. 1##2+2)330(23!1.0302%(,1*1'3.-  3%1!&-,/2.3(23%1!&-,.3!/../1, /.30132+-)/%-02302)/1$.3+2&20/0/ 230-.. -,)3*203.1#0"-+23+110.3)13 0(23'+$,0 "1+3/-0(32,-*2.3$./,2..2.3-,) 1+'-,/.-0/1,.3013)2 2*1&3-,3-'/*23)/'/0-* "1+#1+%233&+1 /)/,'3-3.0-021#0(2-+0 &*-0#1+!3#1+3.1#0"-+23+110.31+%(2.0+-0/1,








PROUD OF OUR PAST, PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR FUTURE. Exel Computer Systems plc are proud to be celebrating 30 years as a UK software author. Since our entry into the market in 1985 our innovative and scalable EFACS E/8 ERP business solution has enabled our clients to adapt, diversify, and grow. To ďŹ nd out more about our fully integrated business solutions or to discuss how Exel can help your business, call us now on 0115 946 0101 or email sales@exel.co.uk


Business as usual, only smarter.


Special Technology Report


The right resources Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of ERP – including those concerning, rich analytics and Big Data, mobility and the Cloud/SaaS. The contributors also reflect on some of the key drivers for these developments, and consider what ERP users can likely look forward to in the not too distant future. evelopments in the world of

will require in-memory computing capabilities,

tiered ERP strategy. In a multi-tiered ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning

not only for handling Big Data but also ‘real’

strategy, there is from one standard ERP

(ERP) solutions and related

real-time and new planning, simulation etc.

implementation for the corporate offices. This

technology over the past year or

capabilities throughout the system – not just in

is often referred to as the ‘administrative

two have been plentiful, covering

isolated places such as Sales & Operations



areas such as mobility, richer analytics, better

Planning (S&OP) or Material Requirements

demand forecasting and many more. We asked

Planning (MRP).

Castellina added that additional ERP solutions

a select group of key spokespeople with a keen

that may offer different functionality or configurations are implemented at separate

focus in this technology space to provide their take on what some of the predominant and

Multi-tiered ERP strategy

locations. “Best in class companies are

most important areas of change have been in

Nick Castellina, research director, business

recognising that one size does not fit all,” he

the recent past.

planning & execution, Aberdeen Group,

remarked. “For example, an ERP that does a

explains that Aberdeen’s 2014 business

great global financial rollup may not be well

In the view of Christian Hestermann, research

management and ERP benchmark survey

suited to scale down to manage the needs of

director ERP at Gartner, the main areas that

found the majority of organisations are

a specific assembly line. There may also be

have an influence on future of ERP include

utilising ERP to support their operations.

localisation and compliance issues when

‘Nexus of Forces’: the combination of Cloud,

“Traditionally ERP was seen as a one size fits

using a ‘one size fits all’ ERP strategy. These

social, mobile and analytics (not each of them

all solution company had multiple business

reasons make a multi-tiered ERP strategy

in isolation, but effects from combining some or

units,” he said. “More recently, there has been

attractive for organisations with

all of them with each other). He also cites

much discussion about managing multiple

geographically distributed subsidiaries. This

developments related to the Internet of Things

ERP implementations as a strategy in and of

is especially evident in organisations that are

concept and the digitisation of business

itself. Best-in-class companies are 90 per

in the acquisition mode and need to integrate

models. Hestermann explains that most of this

cent more likely than others to have a multi-

new units with existing operations.





December 2015



Special Technology Report

Castellina continues:

elements such as colours or motion to draw the

According to Orme, all this places more

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of course,

user directly to the most important information

emphasis on how intelligently ERP is put to use,

organisations using

rather than presenting everything with the same

which puts more emphasis on the underlying

multiple ERPs need to

degree of importance.â&#x20AC;?

knowledge and expertise of the ERP vendor to

be able to transfer

deliver the best possible results. For example,

data from one system

In addition, because so much of the

Orme makes the point that every manufacturer

to the other

information is based on operational metrics,

expects to have comprehensive mobile

seamlessly. The best

KPIs and business intelligence, Lloyds makes

connectivity, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but the real benefits come when

in class are 49 per

the point that ERP systems are incorporating

you can demonstrate to them new and

cent more likely to

BI as an integral part of the ERP system so

innovative ways of working as a result of this

have integrated their

users receive the insight they need in near

technology,â&#x20AC;? he said.

business systems to

real time without the need to run queries or

be one complete

reports from a data warehouse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Business

Steve Winder, regional vice president, UK &

system of record. Consequently, this

intelligence is more pervasive and less of a

Eire, Epicor Software UK, considers that

information is shared between these

bolt-on because users need insight into

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;anytime, anywhereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; computing is becoming

applications seamlessly and transparently.â&#x20AC;?

current status to do their jobs every minute of

mainstream, especially with the proliferation of

every day,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

mobile technology. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once strictly chained to the

&'!"'$%)(!"(&$%%# &(!($& )'&( "&) #)

As an example Castellina explains that a

office desktop, ERP software is now

corporate office could take an order for a

Lloyds also observes that the move to the

increasingly becoming a device-centric mobile

product and then a remotely located subsidiary

Cloud has driven ERP companies to adopt a

technology, especially if its users have their

could ship the order. â&#x20AC;&#x153;During this process, both

simpler user interface, so that the total

way,â&#x20AC;? he remarked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greater emphasis

ERP systems would communicate with each

experience is more conducive to completing

on what software can be used for, how that

other automatically. The key benefit of a multi-

a task. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather than present every field in a

software can be accessed and used and who it

tiered ERP strategy is the ability to implement

table, for instance, modern UIs have role-

can benefit than ever before. ERP has to shift

solutions in different business units based on

based transaction screens that each user can

its focus from being purely about deep

the needed functionality of those business units.

personalise to their needs,â&#x20AC;? he explained.

functionality to being about broad usability and

While this saves the company money, it is only

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This results in faster implementation times

the ability to make decisions based on ERP

useful if these systems are able to

and less required training, so upgrading to a

data. This is perhaps where ERP currently faces

communicate with the corporate standard.â&#x20AC;?

modern ERP system is easier to cost justify

its greatest challenge.â&#x20AC;?

than ever before.â&#x20AC;? By creating a technology environment that fully supports the needs of individual business units

Jonathan Orme, sales operations & marketing

Internet of Things

and locations, Castellina points out that

manager for Exel Computer Systems, believes

Another key opportunity for ERP to become far

organisations with a multi-tiered ERP strategy

the key development drivers in ERP systems

more responsive and useful to its customers is

perform more effectively in a variety of metrics.

remain the same as ever â&#x20AC;&#x201C; meeting the

alongside the development of Internet of Things

These range from improved delivery, execution,

current and anticipated needs of

(IoT), believes Winder. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the near future every

accuracy, and, ultimately, profit margins. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This

manufacturers in an increasingly global

aspect of a manufacturing and engineering

is evidence that the multi-tiered ERP strategy

market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The reality is that the underlying

companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business will be revolutionised,â&#x20AC;? he

can lead to a more effective organisation as a

technology of many ERP systems is now

remarked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Machines used in production are

whole,â&#x20AC;? he said.

largely the same and manufacturers take for

becoming increasingly connected, as are

granted areas of functionality and connectivity

transportation and

Carter Lloyds, chief marketing officer at QAD,

which not so long ago would have proved to

logistics networks as well as sales channels.â&#x20AC;?

believes that, today and in the future, it is all

be cutting edge,â&#x20AC;? said Orme. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In many ways

about the user experience, and in his view ERP

the main underlying differentiator is how latest

is becoming much more proactive. He

technologies are incorporated within ERP.

Steve Wilson, vice

commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the past, you could find the

Some ERP solutions, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s call them the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;me

president at Capgemini

information you needed if you knew what

toosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, are essentially a loose knit collection of

Consulting, recognises

inquiries to make, but today modern ERP

bolt-ons, which may well be integrated to a

a trend for integration in

systems automatically greet the user with

certain degree. Others however are designed

terms of business

exceptions, waiting tasks and other important

from the outset to not just incorporate the

planning from a financial

information. Much more than the simple

latest functionality required by manufacturers

perspective through to a

dashboards of the past, the newest role based

but to seamlessly integrate this into the overall

product and unit

ERP launch pads use sophisticated UI

efficiency and effectiveness of the solution.â&#x20AC;?

forecasting perspective.


$&"(&)!#) '( $&("'%)' (&#



December 2015



Special Technology Report

' )$!"('%$# &(!($& )'&( "&# !'%(!!)$%%'%) (( "'%#


He commented: “For

all the integration feeds into and then feeds

software as we once knew it. Now, rather than

some organisations

from this to the ERP and back again,” he

simply considering the traditional ERP

these things remain

explained. “This makes it less expensive and

vendors, organisations can look to standalone

quite separate.

therefore quicker to integrate new elements,

CRM, financial and inventory management

However, in the best

whether they’re supply chain, CRM or mobile

systems and still have options to extend those

organisations we see

elements etc. Some of the software tools that

solutions into more traditional ERP territory.”

those as being not

deliver service bus capability and ERP vendors

Orme observes that ERP systems have moved

just joined but

each have their own kind of tool for doing that.

away from older middleware connectivity, and

integrated at a data

So we’re seeing this as a trend rather than the

points out that the majority of serious ERP

level and integrated

historic way, which was more around using

systems now offer what on the surface appear

using ERP

middleware or point-to-point mapping.”

to be similar levels of integrated functionality

capabilities. We have

that were traditionally the preserve of third-party

seen that as a

Hestermann considers that integration has

bolt-ons or specialist systems. “While this has

significant move over

become much more important, mainly under

removed some of the legacy problems

the past two or three

the influence of Cloud and postmodern ERP.

customers used to face, where they were left

years where large

“ERP systems now offer more APIs and more

with three vendors each pointing the finger of

organisations have invested in joining up their

options to integrate,” he said. “In addition,

blame at each other, often the increased

view of the data so that they’re able to analyse

Cloud-based integration platforms and Cloud

functionality in some ERP systems is the result

not just the flow of product into their company

service brokerage providers are evolving (see

of loosely incorporating these other third party

but the raw materials then the finished products

the Gartner paper: ‘The Role of CSB in the

systems,” he said. “So, while there may be only

out. Also, they are able to look at what that

Cloud Services Value Chain’). However, this

one system vendor to deal with, in reality your

means regarding sales projections in terms of

also means that end user organisations will be

system may comprise a number of sub-

the cash that they are spending – what they’re

even more responsible for building and

systems. As Exel supplies a fully integrated

giving to suppliers – and aligning the financial

maintaining application integrations than

system, designed in-house in the UK, if there’s

forecast performance with the supply chain


ever a problem anywhere throughout the

forecast of sales and operations.”

solution, our customers know who to come to in order to get it resolved.”

As companies are deploying more and more Following on from Wilson’s remarks, John

applications in the Cloud, Lloyds maintains

Lewins, managing consultant at Capgemini,

that integration methods have had to change

Andrew Briggs, technical director at BEC,

reflected that the challenge is to align orders,

to keep pace. “The old style point-to-point

considers that the better ERPs try to address all

sales, planning, forecasting etc. and come up

integration might have worked when all the

of the business needs in terms of putting

with numbers that are consistent, so that when

applications were on premise, but it doesn’t

together various operational or application

there is a movement in one direction

work when one or more of the apps are in the

strands such as CRM, Sales & Marketing

companies understand what the budget and

Cloud,” he said. “What if one is on premise

Management, Enterprise Asset Management,

stock implications are, etc.

and one in the Cloud, or if you’re running two

WMS, Supply Chain and Service &

apps in two different public Clouds? Forward-

Maintenance; i.e. putting together different

Wilson is also seeing an increase in the use of

thinking ERP companies have addressed this

systems, which may have been separate

analytics to extend demand management –

need by re-architecting their systems, so all

systems with integration links, into one common

looking at data analytics much more carefully

tables are addressable through APIs. This

environment so that all of the information is

and then feeding that into the way in which

enables a tool such as Dell Boomi to integrate

shared across the business through one

demand forecasts are made and how that can

apps easily regardless of where they’re

solution rather than

feed the S&OP process


many. “The better ERPs are achieving

Eric Kimberling, president of Panorama

this by having a


Consulting Solutions, considers that ERP

common architecture

Have ways of best integrating ERP with other

software will no longer be limited to ERP.

upon which all of

systems developed to any notable degree over

“Salesforce used to simply be a CRM vendor

these modules are

the past year or two? Wilson believes

– albeit a very strong competitor in that

built,” he said. “This is

integration is less of a problem than it was a

space,” he pointed out. “With its increasing

called ‘Service-

few years ago. “Within the companies we’re

ecosystem of apps and bolt-ons designed to


working with we’re finding increasingly that

address the things the software can’t do on its

Architecture.’ This is

there’s a common architecture for integration –

own, it is becoming clear that Salesforce and

the platform that

basically a service bus-type process whereby

other non-ERP vendors are disrupting ERP

brings all of these





December 2015

%&( )&'!# "( %' $)'&( "&#



%)( '%!# $%$'%) %!"$%"#

Special Technology Report

parts together as it

value from SaaS ERP, companies need to

desktop PC, or on a tablet or smartphone,â&#x20AC;? he

has been written

adapt to highly standardised applications used

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They also need the freedom to change

purely to achieve

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;as-isâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (see the Gartner paper: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Standardise

how it is deployed without having to configure


Business Processes and Implement

and implement a different solution, allowing

Governance to Maximise Business Value of

them to upgrade faster and stay current with

Winder points out

SaaS ERPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;).â&#x20AC;?

technological advances.â&#x20AC;?

modern ERP

Kimberling sees blurred lines between SaaS

Wilson observes that some companies are

platforms are now

and on-premise ERP software. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For years,

going down the hybrid model, i.e a mix of ERP

supported by open

organisations (ourselves included) have been

and SaaS solutions integrated together, and

and flexible

obsessed with the SaaS versus on-premise

use ERP as the holder of the master data.

architectures that

debate,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As the dust of the debate

Lewins adds that Capgemini is also seeing

encourage and

begins to settle, it appears that we may have

many clients using open source software with

embrace the

been arguing a moot point. ERP vendors are

some integration functionality, reporting and

integration of other

increasingly more likely to offer both SaaS and

analytics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a low cost of entry but there

applications, enable greater collaboration with

on-premise solutions to their customers, and, in

remain questions, especially within a

business partners, and use new technologies

many cases, organisations are adopting both.

manufacturing environment, in terms of

without requiring the wholesale replacement of

The real grey area is with hybrid solutions that

validating things such as resilience, the

infrastructure or applications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe ERP

host on-premise solutions in the Cloud, which is

upgrade path and the support thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behind

solutions will continue to become more agile,

a solution more of our clients are starting to

this,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, with things such as

more adaptive and more flexible â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all of which

adapt as a way to get the best of both worlds.â&#x20AC;?

Salesforce.com in the marketplace it gives

lowers the total cost of ownership and

companies access to extend functionality

encourages business to think more strategically

Orme observes that every year the benefits of

quicker than they may typically find with ERP.

about how they can use technology to drive

the SaaS model are pushed by those vendors

So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening up new opportunities, but some

competitive advantage,â&#x20AC;? he said.

with a vested interest in doing so. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whilst our

questions remain.â&#x20AC;?

software can be operated in a hosted environment, and some customers are currently

Far from greeting the Cloud with fear and

The Cloud and SaaS option

doing this, every year we still see the majority of

trepidation as they once did, Lloyds observes

Has the Software as a Service (SaaS) model,

our customers preferring to operate using the

that progressive CIOs now consider the Cloud

and the Cloud concept in general, had any

on-premises model,â&#x20AC;? he said.

to be a strategic preference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In fact, as they become aware of the simplicity, flexibility and

notable level of impact on the ERP market so far? Hestermann considers that the answer

Winder explains that, in Epicorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience,

security of the Cloud, we see more and more

depends on two key questions: what is meant

the uptake of Cloud for fully integrated ERP

companies considering the Cloud as a strategic

by ERP, and what is meant by Cloud? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cloud is

solutions from manufacturers in EMEA has been

choice rather than a simple deployment option,â&#x20AC;?

not equal SaaS; SaaS is a special flavour of

slow so far. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The concept of running an entire

he remarked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;IT finds that when they are freed

Cloud, with three main characteristics: It is

ERP solution in the Cloud is still relatively new

up from day to day mundane tasks such as

externally hosted and managed by the

and we are in an education phase where

backups and setting up users, they can focus

provider. It is delivered in a one-to-many model.

manufacturers are exploring the benefits,â&#x20AC;? he

on more strategic initiatives such as

It is subscribed to on a pay-per-use basis. It is

said. However, Winder adds that while the

streamlining the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s differentiating

important to note that it does not have to be

adoption of Cloud seems relatively low, it is on

business processes.â&#x20AC;?

multi-tenant per se.â&#x20AC;?

the rise and he believes this could help manufacturers to meet their product

Lloyds sees more and

Hestermann adds that certain ERP domains

improvement and cost competition goals

more companies

such as purchasing, HR and e-commerce have

through, for example, easier collaboration in the

turning to ERP in the

absolutely been transformed by SaaS. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In

supply chain and lower cost of IT ownership.

Cloud as a strategic choice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some Cloud

broader ERP deployments, Cloud is mainly relevant as Cloud-hosted or for private Cloud,â&#x20AC;?

Winder observes that the rapid evolution of

ERP vendors make it

he continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For complete suites, SaaS had

global business has changed the ways in which

hard for their

only a major impact on the ERP market for

companies approach the deployment of ERP

customers to move to

SMBs. For a company in the upper midmarket

solutions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need for agility and

the Cloud because

or a large enterprise, the one-to-many nature of

responsiveness has increased the demand for

they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have or

SaaS is not a good fit to the level of

choices, and customers need to be able to use

support an on

differentiation and individualisation these

the same product whether they want it

premise model,â&#x20AC;? he

companies need. In order to obtain business

deployed on-premise or in the Cloud, on a

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Large global


%$"$%) &(#)!$(! (&$"'%!) $&("'%)$%$(&#



December 2015



Special Technology Report


multi-nationals canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just convert all their sites in

about technology if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re considering the

steadily upgraded

a day or even a few months, so ERP vendors

cloud. Let the ERP vendor manage all that

their EFACS system

have to offer a way for systems to co-exist

while you focus on running your business.â&#x20AC;?

as and when

regardless of the deployment method. The

required in order to

coexistence strategy canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be about doing tasks

Hestermann considers that both the upgrade

keep meeting their

offline or manually entering adjustments. The

and replace options can make sense,

needs,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

system has to be designed to function

depending on the individual situation of the

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We also have

seamlessly in both environments and to look

company (see the Gartner paper: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Postmodern

customers that had

and feel to users as if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a single deployment.â&#x20AC;?

ERP: When Staying With On-Premises ERP Is

ripped out legacy

the Right Choice.). In some special cases, he

systems from other

&' )' (&'%# &(!'(%"#)

believes there is even a case for migrating

vendors and

Upgrade or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rip and replaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;?

legacy applications to the Cloud.

replaced them with

Is there still a case for upgrading legacy ERP,

Wilson points out that some of Capgeminiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

former systems didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t meet their needs. That,

or is it now better to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rip and replaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;? Briggs

clients are still operating AS/400. He

at the end of the day, is the core factor for

believes it would depend on the levels of

commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This system is still very good at

most manufacturers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; does their ERP meet

modifications already in place, and whether

acting as an interface layer, so all the

their requirements? Yes, there is always the

they are needed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If they are heavily

integration is already there. And some users

additional potential disruption caused by

entrenched in some bespoke functionality, this

are swapping in pieces of functionality and

implementing a new system and for some

will push them down the path of keeping what

using, in some cases, ERP-type capability and

manufacturers, a failed ERP implementation

theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

plugging that in, and in other cases using

can mean a failed business. However, what we

SaaS-type capability and plugging that in.

are increasingly finding, as ERP systems

Lloyds considers there are pros and cons on

AS/400 being used as a kind of interface map

become more similar, is the role and value of

both sides. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Truthfully, most ERP systems are

makes sense because switching it off and then

the relationship with the supplier. Customers

very similar in terms of the functionality they

replacing it can be a major undertaking in

want security and peace of mind not just in the

offer,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One might have a little more of

terms of integration. Maintaining AS/400 as the

early days of a system, but also in the years of

this while another has a little more of that, but

interface layer means it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t actually have

ownership that follow, where the system may

overall they are functionally at parity. So the

any functional requirement anymore; it simply

need further development and customising to

issue becomes one of industry focus and your

passes messages backwards and forwards

adapt to future business and market

comfort level with the vendor. If your current

and therefore becomes cheaper to run while


ERP vendor understands your industry and

giving users more time to start to streamline

theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve given you good support over the years,

and, eventually, maybe replace it with a

Orme adds that, again, this brings Exel back to

why not upgrade rather than rip and replace? If

services bus.â&#x20AC;?

keeping an eye to the future and being ready

EFACS because their

for future client requirements. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the client has

youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve customised your system so extensively that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do a simple upgrade, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still

Winder maintains that there is definitely a case

outgrown their current system and needs to

going to be easier to go with your existing ERP

for upgrading. However he adds that

implement an up-to-date solution, the first port

vendor than a different company, because you

businesses need to make sure to invest in a

of call will always be their current vendor,â&#x20AC;? he

will minimise training and conversion costs. On

system that has the capability and flexibility to

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If that vendor hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been investing in

the other hand, if your vendor hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been seen

be able to evolve to meet future needs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A

development and cannot offer the functionality,

since the day you went live or youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re tired of

perfect example of this is that some

speed, and stability required by their client, the

dealing with

businesses may not yet be comfortable with

chances of retaining that client are slim.â&#x20AC;?


Cloud deployment, either for their entire system


or as a hybrid,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having the choice

designed to support

means customers can make a decision today

The role of Big Data

industries you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

to choose on-premise deployment, knowing

How can technology trends such as Big Data

in, maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to

that at some point in the future they can

help to gain the best out of ERP systems?

switch. In any case, it

choose to move to the Cloud without having to

Winder reflects that, in the case of Big Data,

should be as much

change their product.â&#x20AC;?

the focus is the insight that data gives

about the relationship "(() '%(&# &('%$)' ( &(!'(%"#)))'&(#)



Orme comments that Exel is in the enviable

time data means that manufacturers no longer

ERP vendor as it is

position of having customers still using EFACS

need to make crucial decisions based on gut

about functionality.

10, 15 and 20 years after initial implementation.

feel or past experience; they get a dynamic

And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry

â&#x20AC;&#x153;As such we have customers who have

view of the intricacies of their business from



companies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The availability of precise real-

you have with the

December 2015



Special Technology Report

end-to end,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is driving a

innovation in the type of devices that people

data that often come

revolution in the way that leading

will use to access data in their ERP system.

with the territory,â&#x20AC;?

manufacturers use complex data to gain

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more sophisticated tablets and

commented. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a

competitive advantage and streamlines

smartphones, to more intuitive touchscreens

result, solution

processes. Improved visibility into the

on the production floor, getting accurate data

architecture and

manufacturing process makes it possible to

into and out of the system, will become

integration will

track trends, identify problem areas such as

simpler,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As mentioned before, this

become increasingly

wastage, facilitates precise quoting, accurate

will then place the onus on how the latest


procurement and better planning; all of which

technologies can then be used by the ERP


have a direct impact your customers ensuring

system and the business as a whole to

required to support

that you meet their needs promptly and more

generate competitive advantage.â&#x20AC;?

effective ERP


"(() '!%#)' ( &(!'(%"#

implementations.â&#x20AC;? Lloyds believes we will see every ERP system


Briggs comments that much of the business

introducing a new, more streamlined user

Kimberling points to convergence of ERP and

intelligence in BECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solutions to date has

interface over the next year or two. He adds

consumer user interfaces.

focused on users; for example, the

that we will also see more companies getting

performance/productivity of operatives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

serious about mobile. â&#x20AC;&#x153;QAD has had mobile

Hestermann comments that the biggest

expect that we are going to see much more use

applications for years, including business

innovation will come from adding machine

of the masses of data that can be gathered

intelligence, mobile approvals and user

learning and more â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;intelligenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to ERP

through our production line systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sensors,

customisable â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;collectionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of our functionality,

systems. "Imagine a system that proactively

measuring, testing equipment, robots etc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

but we will be adding more and more mobile

recognises and alerts the users of any event

giving the ability to monitor all business

transactions,â&#x20AC;? he pointed out. Lloyds also

that might negatively impact customer

process, transparently across many sites,â&#x20AC;? he

believes we will see BI becoming more of an

satisfaction: why would anyone have to

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The large volumes of quantitative data

integral part of ERP and less of an add-on

search for that information?,â&#x20AC;? he said.

will enable very accurate measurement and


forecasting of resources â&#x20AC;&#x201C; labour, energy,

Castellina considers that best-in-class

materials etc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; providing immediate real-time

Winder believes the key thing over the next

organisations are realising that one size fits all

quality and reliability measures, with triggers for

few years is to keep up with ever-evolving

is not necessarily accurate when it comes to

anomalies, and exceptions which can then be

technologies to future-proof the businesses;

ERP implementations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Top performing

handled immediately.â&#x20AC;?

for example, with social ERP. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People

organisations are looking to multi-tiered ERP

increasingly want simpler, more intuitive tools

strategy to optimise costs and functionality

Lloyds comments that Big Data and ERP can

to help them make business decisions that fit

among multiple business units,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This

exist side by side, with ERP using insight

in with their working patterns rather than

may be because the organisation is in a

provided by the Big Data engine to adjust

defining working patterns for them,â&#x20AC;? he said.

phase where it is rapidly attempting to open

plans and simulations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Data is about very

new business units or purchase those units in

rapid changes in high volumes of data

Another area to look out for, according to

other countries. Organisations that are

coming from multiple sources and in multiple

Winder, is business intelligence (BI). â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of

embarking on a growth strategy should

formats, and most ERP systems can benefit

the main benefits from investing in BI solution

carefully consider a multi-tiered strategy. They

from it in a few areas such as forecasting and

is the ability to provide faster and easier

can therefore improve their efficiency and

supply chain simulations or predictive

access to the needed data. BI enables

visibility across business units, while keeping

analysis for equipment maintenance,â&#x20AC;? he said.

companies to gain more complete and more

costs low.â&#x20AC;?

In addition, Lloyds believes Big Data can be

structured knowledge about what has a

very helpful in streamlining the supply chain,

positive effect on business performance, as

Lewins looks forward to improved cost

where one might consider how to manage

well as what actions can cause harm.â&#x20AC;?

control through demand sensing and better

Kimberling believes best-of-breed systems

supply chain; better control of outsourced

will make a comeback. He also maintains that

operations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whether that is contract

integration and solution architecture will

manufacturing, logistics or testing; and

sourcing in countries based on local weather conditions or political events.

inventory management up and down the

An eye on the future

become increasingly important. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The increase

realising the tangible benefits of aligning

What might be the next key ERP innovations

of best-of-breed ERP systems will put more

S&OP and Integrated Business Planning

and developments to look out for over the

pressure on CIOs and ERP consultants to

(IBP) with the financial forecasts and the

next year or two? Ormeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view is that there is

provide better integration between systems

demand and supply forecasts. 

no avoiding the continuing evolution and

and address potential silos of processes and




December 2015






Inland Label

makes a mark with

efficiency using SIMATIC IT Preactor APS ounded in 1903, Inland Printing


specialised in brochures, catalogues and other commercial print items. In 1944, John Glendenning, a print broker from Detroit, Michigan

invested in Inland Printing with two other partners and moved his family to La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1960 Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son Jack, the first in the family to graduate college, joined Inland. Under Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s direction, the company continued to steadily grow and in 1968 it invested in its first multicolour offset press. Inland continued to offer commercial print while its label business expanded throughout the 80s and 90s, but by the late 1990s investment was focused solely on label printing. In 2004 a 20,000 square foot addition was made to the headquarters


building and a state of the art gravure label press was installed. With a focus on label printing, the company changed its name to

carefully. The initial model and scheduling rule

Inland Label. Today, Inland is on a growth

was developed by Quinn & Associates, and

trajectory with a global reach into Latin

with training provided by the SIMATIC IT

America, the UK and China.

Preactor reseller, Inland staff became self-


Significant expansion of our production without having to add planning staff.


All scheduling consolidated into a single data-driven system.

sufficient in modifying the basic SIT Preactor As with any successful company with strong

scheduling model. "Having the capability to

Today users import new jobs and operations

growth, process improvement is essential, and

rapidly develop and modify custom business

from custom-built software into SIMATIC IT

Inland's scheduling methods needed to take

logic on top of the SIT Preactor framework to

Preactor several times a day, using SIT

advantage of automated technology to address

help us efficiently schedule production, taking

Preactor as a tool to optimise the scheduling

several problems with production planning.

into account all of our unique business

of these operations without violating

Scheduling was taking place in multiple

processes and objectives," says Willie Spindler,

constraints or due dates. They use the tool

systems and done completely by hand.

systems analyst and developer. SIMATIC IT

the update the ERP system with the

Dependent operations did not link between the

Preactor is deployed in two facilities and

scheduled dates and times and to publish the

grouped operations and constraints and down

integrated with several systems within Inland:

schedule to the operations team. Using

times had to be factored in manually as part of

ERP, various in-house applications, shop floor

SIMATIC IT Preactor allows planners to group

the schedule.

production instrumentation systems, and

production runs with similar requirements

reporting and analytical tools.

together to gain production efficiencies.

Extensive benefits

delivered the results that we were looking for. One platform that gave us the visibility

Inland Label uses Syspro ERP. A previous integration of Syspro with a basic Preactor scheduler and employee experience made the

Wetzel concludes: "SIMATIC IT Preactor APS

upgrade to SIMATIC IT Preactor Advanced

The benefits that SIMATIC IT Preactor has for

Planning and Scheduling (APS) the logical next

Inland Labels are extensive:

needed to put the optimal schedule on the

step for Inland Label. "We knew that we had to


Visibility of operations to maintain

shop floor that sequences jobs correctly and

sequencing while ensuring maintaining due

minimises the changes to any of our

make dramatic improvements to schedule all of our critical plant resources on one scheduling


production lines and cuts changeover times


Ability to help manage constraints and

dramatically." Future plans for SIT Preactor

down time.

include using scheduling pre-production


Automation of optimisation of the schedule

activities or adding additional viewer

Inland has unique business requirements and

by creating a rule to group similar jobs

licenses to improve schedule visibility

so the design and development proceeded


throughout the organisation. 

platform," recalls Garet Wetzel, vice president of Supply Chain.





December 2015




SIMATIC IT Preactor is a world-leading advanced planning and scheduling software used by a wide range of businesses across multiple industries.

Solutions offered Advanced Planning Software. Advanced Scheduling Software. OEM Planning and Scheduling Solutions.

SIMATIC IT Preactor APS products are designed to work alongside and facilitate, rather than replace, existing systems. Products from the range can be used for long term strategic planning covering months and years ahead, medium term tactical planning with a few weeks planning horizon and for detailed sequencing and scheduling.

Industrial markets served Aerospace, Automotive, Chemicals, Discrete Manufacturing, Electricals, Food and Beverage, Glass, Machinery, Metals, Packaging, Pharmaceuticals, Precision Engineering, Process Plant Pulp & Paper, Rubber & Plastics, Textiles, Transport, Wood Products.

SIMATIC IT Preactor APS is not a single point solution. It represents a family of products that have different levels of functionality and pricing so that you can select the system that satisfies both your needs and your budget.

Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.siemens.com/preactor SIMATIC IT Preactor APS is a highly customisable planning and scheduling package. Event-driven communication scripts can be installed for tight integration with other systems across multiple sites and unique sequencing rules can be created. The package offers a high degree of flexibility.

Corporate Profile


SIMATIC IT Preactor APS A Advanced dvanced Planning & Sc Scheduling heduling SIMA ATIC T IT Preactor is a world leading advanced planning and scheduling sof tware used by a wide range of businesses across multiple industries. SIMA ATIC T IT Preactor APS products are designed to work alongside, rather than replace, existing systems. Products from the range can be used for both long term planning and detailed scheduling. SIMA ATIC T IT Preactor APS represents a family of products that have dif ferent levels


of functionality and pricing so that you can select the system that satisfies both your needs and your budget. SIMA ATIC T IT Preactor APS is a highly customizable planning and scheduling package, its flexibility is unparalleled. siemens.com/preactor

IT 25 &LOGISTICS RDecember ealize2015inno vation. MANUFACTURING

Special Report


Be prepared Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of key spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of planning and forecasting-related software â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including those involving mobility, Cloud/SaaS and Big Data. he pace of technological change


and regulatory reporting requirements)

in their rapidly changing markets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More

has been considerable in the

enables a business to enhance their services

accurate â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;what-ifâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; scenario planning, using

demand planning and forecasting

offerings to customers.â&#x20AC;?

Social Supply Chain Networks for increased

prominent sweet-spots in terms of

Closer relationship

organisations to be respond faster than ever,â&#x20AC;?

enhancement or innovation? From an

Kimberling believes having a closer

he said.

Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS)

relationship with your suppliers is also critical.

perspective, Barry Drummond, business

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Solutions now offer direct communication with

In terms of user needs, Chris McDivitt, vice

development manager at DynaSys, makes the

suppliers via EDI and can align

president, supply chain technologies leader at

point that the development of in-memory

production/distribution schedules,â&#x20AC;? he

Capgemini, comments that demand planners

processing is helping to deliver true â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;real-timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Businesses now have the ability to

do not necessarily want to spend time looking

planning and collaboration possibilities for

plan further out with all aspects of their supply

in hindsight at developing a statistical

APS users. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vendors who are still relying on

chain in order to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;proactiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; when

forecast. He elaborated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The planner should

cumbersome import and export of data

traditionally â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;reactiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; had been the baseline.

be working with the most recent set of market

between functional modules, or lengthy waits

Supplier insights enable the supply chain

intelligence thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available, having information

for aggregation and disaggregation of data

workflow to run smoothly, with organisations

about competitors, having information about

are being left behind in this area,â&#x20AC;? he stressed.

gaining product availability and new product

how product is going to be promoted;

arena in the recent past. So, what

collaboration and accurate input data, and

have been some of the most

considering macroeconomic factors enable

campaigns. More importantly, solutions are

leveraging collaborative relationships with their

Eric Kimberling, president of Panorama

instituting Demand Sensing and Demand

retail community (which is probably one of the

Consulting Solutions, considers that many

Shaping techniques that flow downstream

big distribution channels).â&#x20AC;? McDivitt believes

current developments have come in the form

from raw material intake through the

that by leveraging those different marketing

of more complex workflows and pushing more

production schedule and to distribution. If the

intelligence channels

data to the end-user for better decision-

supply chain is an oil pipeline, these demand

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whether it relates to

making. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Required inputs (e.g. Demand

techniques are grease that keeps it flowing

their customer

Forecasting & Planning, Advanced Planning &

smoothly. Grouping items with common

service, marketing or

Scheduling, Finite Capacity Scheduling,

demand requirements and having a balanced

sales organisation â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Workforce Planning and Integrated Business

stock will provide a higher ROI, with softwareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

companies can

Planning/S&OP. BI/Analytics systems etc.)

ability to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;detectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; potential variances in SCM

come in with the best

have been augmented to include seasonality

and planning the end-user gets better

demand signal

trends, organisational and customer

information faster.â&#x20AC;?

before they walk it

constraints, and extended variable factors that are specific by industry,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Including

through their S&OP By integrating communications with suppliers

customer-specific information beyond sales

and customers, Kimberling maintains that

(seasonal buying trends, carrying capacities,

businesses can increase agility and flexibility





December 2015


'**, *") $ &()+&&, ++!"+)% ')'+*$,

McDivitt added that



one of the

unpredictable and complex. For example,

optimal demand plan and optimal supply

advantages in this

there are often more products involved, with

chain and trying to ensure the two are

regard is in not

customers having increasing expectations in

relatively well-balanced â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or, if they are not,

having to put so

terms of product choice or buying channels

that the company has the right inventory in the

much energy behind

available to them.â&#x20AC;?

right place to bridge the gap. This is really traditional batch-oriented sequential planning.

things such as auto

*(&,# ((%%$,(#+ *+&( +)%$,&!,#'() %+#)"!"(+&,!+' +*$

Special Report


Payne adds that the supply chain is also

statistical and the

becoming more multi-enterprise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard

Then there is Respond Planning (R). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having

parameter settings.

enough for some companies to plan at an

created an optimal plan reality is going to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still some

enterprise level â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with joined-up thinking

intervene,â&#x20AC;? said Payne. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Companies know their

work to do in this

between the demand and supply side of the

forecasts and plans will be wrong to some

area, but essentially

business â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but then if companies outsource or

extent; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a question of how wrong. So they

there are

want to work more with tier 1 or tier 2 suppliers

need a capability or mechanism by which in


or outsource part of their manufacturing

the short term they can respond to those

available today that can help in this area,â&#x20AC;? he

operations etc. they are moving into a multi-

changes in planning and execution events but


enterprise environment where naturally the

in an intelligent way â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in a way that keeps

level of supply chain complexity increases.â&#x20AC;?

them as close to their original goals as possible.â&#x20AC;?

Additionally, McDivitt believes the market will see leveraging consumer insight as a component of market intelligence to help

Multi-enterprise dimension

Drummond reflects that things donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to

shape demand. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really about leveraging

Payne explains that the technology required to

be new to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and the continued

this consumer data to help sense demand

enable that will need to be able to work with

importance of Sales and Operations Planning

better,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you can sense demand

more granular information, operate at greater

(S&OP) is proving that. He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Customers

early on and know what that consumer

speed and scale and have greater

are engaging with us from different points of

sentiment is you could actually then shape

collaborative capabilities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This multi-

maturity in their S&OP process, with some

demand by influencing the way you promote.â&#x20AC;?

enterprise dimension becomes very important

companies just getting underway with the

However, he added that companies would

and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing a lot of the Cloud-

basics and others looking to develop their

have to do this in a very collaborative way with

based solutions moving more into this area,â&#x20AC;?

existing S&OP to encompass the themes of

the retailers.

he said.

Integrated Business Planning (IBP) and

McDivitt explained that Capgemini is seeing

According to Payne, the type of planning

this being put into practice particularly among

many companies want to do is also changing.

Drummondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view is that a good S&OP

manufacturers in the food and beverage

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can certainly see that with the leading

process will inevitably evolve over time; from

space at the moment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are the ones that

companies,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These companies tend

simple summaries of demand and supply

are blazing the trail,â&#x20AC;? he remarked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is

to be more mature in terms of what they are

information, to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;what-if?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; scenario planning and

really an example of how manufacturers will

able to do with their supply chains.â&#x20AC;?

financial analysis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The key message here, in

Integrated Business Leadership (IBL).â&#x20AC;?

increasingly leverage data and insight in a

terms of systems, is flexibility,â&#x20AC;? he said.

more significant way versus doing this in the

Payne observes that there are hundreds of

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Typically the initial choice of system is Excel

traditional supply chain planning manner.â&#x20AC;?

software vendors and hundreds of different

in order to get the process up and running,

planning solutions available on the market.

but once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve outgrown this then you need

Tim Payne, research vice president at Gartner,

However he believes there are in essence

something that can take you to, not only the

reflects that, because of the way many

three main categories of planning capabilities

next level, but the one after that and one after

companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; supply chains are evolving and

or components to consider â&#x20AC;&#x201C; configure,


the way their businesses are developing their

optimise and respond (COR). Configuration

planning processes need to be more

(C) refers to technology or processes that help

Richard Watkins, managing director at the

integrated â&#x20AC;&#x201C; i.e more joined-up sales &

companies design their supply chain and,

Delos Partnership Ltd., considers that many

operations planning (S&OP), demand

from a segmentation perspective, help them

companies are confused on what Integrated

planning, inventory planning, replenishment

consider how they are going to postpone,

Business Planning or SOP is. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Arguments rage

planning, production planning, manufacturing

determine which part is push and which part is

around that somehow they are different, that

scheduling etc. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many companies and their

full, and know whether they are going to be

IBP is SOP with steroids and an advance on

suppliers now have supply chains that are

efficient and agile enough etc.

SOP,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding that, in principle they are the same thing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many companies still rely

more global,â&#x20AC;? he pointed out, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and so these supply chains have become more uncertain,


Optimisation (O) is about putting in place an

on a business planning model which rests on



December 2015



Special Report


a process of creating

packages, and so in turn have developed

an annual budget,

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;modulesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; like Rough Cut Capacity Planning,

However, Watkins adds that this is way off

take six months to do

Advanced Planning and Scheduling and Finite

happening for most companies. He believes

it, and then spend

Capacity Planning. So companies then

that, slowly, there is a move to provide

the 12 months of the

implement these separate systems around or

Integrated Business Planning with the platform

financial year trying

interfaced to their â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;basic ERPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; system.â&#x20AC;?

that it needs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But there is still a long way to

to achieve something

go before organisations can have a truly

that was put together

Also critical to the quality of this IBP process,

integrated high quality system to support

up to 18 months ago.

states Watkins, is a good reporting tool, which

Integrated Business Planning,â&#x20AC;? he remarked,

A review is carried

enables a company to aggregate the data into

adding: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Back in the early 1900s Henry Ford

out at most quarterly.

families, and then provide management with

famously came up with the idea you could get

Measurement of

graphs, reports and commentary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Here there

from A to B with a car, and drive. Cars now

success is based on

are a number of Business Information tools

are very different things, with Sat Navs,

achieving the budget. The fundamental

which are stand-alone reporting tools,â&#x20AC;? he

automatic parking, anti-lock braking systems

difference that IBP should bring is a formal

explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These have to be configured to

and so on. But the basic principle is that you

monthly review of all of the business plans,

get the information required, and then need to

can get from A to B because the engine, gear

and making sure they all join up. From a

be interfaced to their ERP systems to extract

box, steering wheel, chassis and body and

measurement point of view there are 7/8 key

the information. In truth many people do not

seats are all properly connected, and if the

performance indicators which will help deliver

do this, and instead rely on Microsoftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Excel

driver turns the wheel the car will go in an

the long-term strategic plan. This formal

package to drive the information â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which relies

expected direction. To get to where we want

process happens monthly and works through

on dozens of peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; individual abilities to

to go we need to know where we are going, a

all of the parts of the business.â&#x20AC;?

programme macros and write complicated

plan of how we are going to get there, and a

formulae â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with all the probabilities of

measure of our speed, petrol consumption,

Underlying this, according to Watkins, is a

corruption, wrong formulae etc. causing

and fuel levels to make sure we get there

series of weekly planning activities which

potential damage to a businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; financial


underpin the monthly process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If there is a


(#'* ,'%()&$ ')'(), (*+#%"*$,

difference between IBP and SOP then it is that

Watkins makes the point that Integrated

many companies who implemented SOP

Watkins added that some companies are also

Business Planning is like the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;knowing where

tended to focus on Sales/Marketing and

trying to sell â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;SOPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; software or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Integrated

we are goingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and having a plan to get there

Supply Chain,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These projects are

Business Planningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; software, which is a further

with measures to know how well we are doing.

typically driven by the Supply Chain director

advance in this area, as it is built on a

â&#x20AC;&#x153;But in many manufacturing organisations

trying to get a better forecast. IBP also covers

recognised process, does the adding up, and

companies still need (if you look at the

the integration of Finance, Human Resources,

also is built around emails telling people to get

systems this way), to buy engines, gear

Information Technology, Research and

the data ready for the monthly meeting. This,

boxes, chassis, Sat Navs and bodies from

Development etc. But in truth the original SOP

he believes, is another key development.

different people. There are still some motor car enthusiasts who build their own cars, but they

process as developed in the 1980s was meant According to Watkins, Integrated Business

are a minority. That is not the case with

Planning also needs companies to manage

manufacturing companies. Certainly very few

Critical to the quality of this IBP process is

project type activities well, and also manage

people would operate like Excel and take all of

good Demand Planning, maintains Watkins.

multiple projects (whether they are new

the individual parts of a car and assemble

â&#x20AC;&#x153;In this area there is a definite divide between

product development, or new machinery and

them themselves in their own garage.â&#x20AC;?

ERP systems (which cover Order Entry,

equipment). â&#x20AC;&#x153;In this are there is little in the way

to cover all of this.â&#x20AC;?

Inventory Management, Planning, Purchasing

of integration of project management systems

and costing) and specialist

into ERP systems,â&#x20AC;? he said.

Driving down costs

forecasting/demand planning systems,â&#x20AC;? he

Nick Castellina, research director for the

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Few of the ERP vendors have a

Additionally, Watkins makes the point that

Aberdeen Group's business planning and

forecasting system which is entirely integrated

managing the interface with the customer

execution practice, comments that one key

with the Production Planning and Order Entry

around enquiries, contracts, order entry,

talking point in the industry at the moment

systems. Those that do generally do not have

marketing activities and the like requires a

concerns the integration of tools such as MES

the functionality of the specialist forecasting

Customer Relationship Management system.

with ERP to get a more full view of a

systems. To make matters â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;worseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the

This, he states, should then be integrated into

companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans for production in the near

specialist forecasting system vendors have

the Demand Planning process and the supply

future, and how that integrates with demand

seen â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;opportunitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to add value to their

planning process.

planning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This type of integration is driving





December 2015



Special Report

down the amount of time companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; inventory

expect simpler interface, a more â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;socialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; style

or inventory levels.â&#x20AC;? Drummond adds that

is staying on the shelf, and this is hugely

of interaction and want information and

vendors with good R&D and strong Supply

important for driving costs down,â&#x20AC;? he said.

insights â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;,â&#x20AC;? he remarked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Planning

Chain consulting skills are able to offer a

solutions must adapt to user needs and

simplified APS package in order to help

Castellina added that Aberdeen Group is also

deliver friendly, social aware offerings.

companies get the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;quick winsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by establishing

seeing a lot more embedded analytics

Recognising that not all organisations will

a robust process based on industry best

capabilities built within the solutions to make

utilise best of breed, being able to provide

practice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This can then be used as a platform

intelligent decisions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Certainly, as

connection into and through other systems is

to develop the system and solve more

organisations grown larger they are more likely


complex issues once it is embedded as part

to be taking advantage of these types of

of day to day business,â&#x20AC;? he pointed out.

solutions,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of the smaller

With regard to ERP integration, Kaltenbrunner

organisations are having difficulty; they are still

considers that planning solutions need to be

According to Watkins, the end-user

running their shop floor on paper. Even if they

ERP aware while at the same time agnostic.

requirements have changed in part over the

have these software tools they are still

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many organisations operate multiple ERP

years. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Customers and

producing one thing, planning for another and

systems, particularly those with historically

consumers have wanted more products more

going back at the end of the day and making

high levels of M&A activity,â&#x20AC;? he explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

quickly. Shareholders have wanted more

those changes within the solutions. So I think

important to move beyond just being able to

profits, or to keep their current profits.

thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a need for organisations, or the leaders

connect, and into having guided pathways

Marketing activities to keep a competitive

within these organisations, to commit to using

and processes to minimise cost, impact and

edge have meant more rapid changes to

these tools that are available to them,


demand, and required more responsiveness.

particularly after theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve purchased them.â&#x20AC;?

So whereas 20 years ago an MRP system Barnaby Speller, product manager for

might have recalculated once a month, now

Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner, VP industry

SIMATIC IT Preactor at Preactor International â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

an ERP system has to do so in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;real timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

strategy EMEA, JDA Software. Interactive

A Siemens Company, considers that the

Once upon a time all cars could be black; now

planning, makes the point that Agile Control

concepts of Industry 4.0, digital factories and

they need to have all sorts of different options

Tower (ACT) capability enables companies to

Manufacturing Operations Management

fitted to them. The Lean philosophy has

detect and respond to significant supply chain

(MOM) mean that Advanced Planning &

helped considerably in forcing people to

events rapidly and profitably. He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This

Scheduling (APS) is no longer being seen so

simplify, but â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mass-customisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is the

capability allows planners to move from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What

much as a bridge between level 3 and 4,

buzzword the people follow. This means you

do we do now?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What is the best alternative

where it communicates directly with both MRP

make a pink one followed by a green one

of those that were tested and reviewed?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; With

and MES, but rather as a component of the

followed by a yellow one all in the same day.

guided resolution options, decisions are

complete and integrated MOM portfolio within

And you can only make a pink one providing it

effectively made and implemented, and using

level 3. He added that the SIMATIC IT

does not follow one that has nuts in it â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

in-memory power, clients are able to rapidly

Preactor APS range is part of the Siemens

because of regulatory requirements. Hence

respond to disruptions during execution.â&#x20AC;?

MOM portfolio, which includes among other

there has been a real expansion in Advanced

solutions, MES, to better meet the end userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Planning Systems and Finite Capacity

Kaltenbrunner then moves on to the topic of

needs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This means that the APS system can,

Planning Systems to cope with complexity.â&#x20AC;?

business & operational scenario planning.

if an MES system is present, take advantage

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Strategic and medium-term scenarios can be

of the more manufacturing-centric data from

Watkins pointed out that some software

modelled for operational validity, and the

there to produce schedules that accurately

companies â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

results made visible across the teams,â&#x20AC;? he

reflect the reality of the shop floor,â&#x20AC;? he said.

because of the

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moreover, the different scenarios can be

development of

optimised for cost and business outcome.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Integrated Business

Utilising advanced simulation models,

Motivation for change

Planningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have

planners are now able to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;try outâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; multiple

What has driven these types of trends and

started to market

options without committing to plans â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and

developments? Drummond reflects that there

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;IBPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; systems in

intelligently decide on â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and execute against

are still many companies that are trying to get

response to their

the most effective and profitable paths.â&#x20AC;?

the basics right. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have usually been

clients wanting

burned at least once on a failed APS

integration. However,

In terms of the subject of integration and ease-

implementation and are wary of starting

he explains that there

of-use, Kaltenbrunner explains that this

another,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Meanwhile the forecast

is a real gap in this

facilitates effective user adoption and reduces

accuracy stagnates and they struggle to get a

area, which is that

change management requirements. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Users

step change improvement in customer service

few clients and



'!%+)*))+*$, () &%*,&%*'%+,$,



December 2015



Special Report


companies have really bought in to the idea of

technologies have been available now for

centricity is critical in

true Integrated Business Planning and

some time but the market demand to bring this

understanding what

Management â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;thus they have an ERP system

data together, integrate it and understand it is

different types of

which is linked to the Forecasting and

very compelling now.â&#x20AC;?

consumers buy, the

Demand Planning system, which is linked to

influences that drive

the Project Management system, which is

Morgan added that Capgemini has partners

those buying

linked to the Customer Relationship

who have machine learning capability

behaviours, as well

Management system,â&#x20AC;? he said.

embedded in their tools, and Capgemini is

as how and where

able to build machine learning into tools so

they buy. He

Watkins added that because many end-users

they can constantly learn about consumer


do not understand and buy-in to this concept

vocabulary in the social media world, and

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Responding to these

it is still the case that organisations have the

constantly learn ways to better predict

needs requires

ability to pick and choose the different

consumer buying trends. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are waves

evolving strategies

systems, and hence develop disintegrated

and layers of technology that can be exploited

supported by

processes with which to run their companies.

in this space; even in terms of Mobile Device

segmentation; with

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Education in and acceptance of a completely

Management (MDM) and virtualisation,â&#x20AC;? he

the proliferation of the omni-channel world,

integrated business model â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in terms of

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What is now possible in those spaces

customer demand and volatility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; being able

systems, processes, behaviour and

are things that people would have dreamed of

to develop and manage multiple supply chain

organisation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is still a dream,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

ten years ago.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;instancesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is critical to supply chain success.â&#x20AC;?

to call people but also to monitor how healthy

Another thing that manufacturers and retailers

Speller observes that the APS market has

you are have become the must have objects.

need to bear in mind, according to McDivitt, is

matured considerably over the past five years.

That is because the inventors have looked

that there are so many different channels

He maintains that users have a much clearer

ahead and developed things that consumers

through which consumers can buy goods

understanding of what is available in terms of

might want. The same is not true in the

today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is really being driven by digital

functionality in the marketplace and higher

manufacturing IT world.â&#x20AC;?

forces such as the Cloud, social, mobile and

expectations than ever before. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Big Data,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Therefore, there is not just

global competition, the pressure to increase

Jules Morgan, head of insight and analytics,

a case for putting in place better sensing

production capacity and shorten lead times

consumer products & retail at Capgemini

technology to monitor and anticipate

while lowering costs and inventory, forces

Consulting, points out that in the US and

purchasing habits related to certain types of

companies to find ways to optimise operations

Europe there is currently a substantial amount

goods, there is also the importance of

and reduce delays,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In some

of money being spent on promotions.

determining which channels will most likely be

cases, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen customers who have tried

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grocers, the retail industry and the consumer

deployed by the consumer when they decide

to achieve this with their existing ERP/MES

products industry are under a lot of pressure

to make a purchase.â&#x20AC;?

systems before turning to a SIMATIC IT

!+&,"*')$,+' ",()&(%,') ')'!%(#&$,#")&+* *" #%&,,*+%'(!$

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Phones and watches that not only allow you

to discount at the moment,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is

Preactor APS system, which then enabled

pushing a lot of interest in how can these

Kaltenbrunner considers that todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s user

them to succeed in reducing or eliminating

companies can target promotional dollars to

community is demanding a more interactive

non-value-added activities and improve

the individual rather than to the mass, and to

way of planning compared to the black box

production efficiency, in order to better meet

adopt technology available today, as well as

optimisation of the past. Another driver for

market demand and deliver on-time.â&#x20AC;?

keep an eye on technology trends and

change, according to Kaltenbrunner, is BYOD

*(#, (+*!()$ *+&( +)%$,

opportunities that

(Bring Your Own Device) and the proliferation

may be just on the

of mobile devices, which has created the


horizon. Take

trend towards mobile applications with access

Has the Software as a Service (SaaS) model,

concepts such as

anywhere anytime functionality. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having

and the Cloud concept in general, had a

Big Data, which

applications and offerings being mobile aware

notable level of impact on the planning-related

might encompass

and responsive is a must have,â&#x20AC;? he said,

software solutions market so far? Watkins

social data and

adding that solutions able to deliver quick

believes SaaS/Cloud solutions are beginning

mobile data and a

insights through dashboards, KPIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and high

to take root, but are at an early stage of

host of other sources

level reports are essential for the mobile

development. His view is that security of data

of structured and

executive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as the board level who

is the principle stumbling block â&#x20AC;&#x201C; although he

unstructured data;

look for the overview.

recognises that there are clearly plenty of

Natural Language Processing (NLP)





December 2015

security systems and protocols. According to Kaltenbrunner also reflects that consumer

Watkins also made the point that, with regard



Special Report

to on-premise ERP, the pricing mechanism is

allows businesses to focus on their business,

lot of benefits in the Cloud beyond just cost;

changing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For years the model has been pay

and be able to grow and evolve without having

for example, the ability to access information

a large licence fee â&#x20AC;&#x201C; say ÂŁ1 million including

concerns about their technology scaling. He

wherever you are in real-time can prove

named user licences, and then pay a

added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deployment in the Cloud has become

visibility in collaboration.â&#x20AC;?

maintenance fee of 20 per cent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ÂŁ200,000

the default delivery method for JDA offerings.

per annum. On top is the consultancy and

JDA has been offering these capabilities for

Payne explains that if one visualises a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Cloud

implementation cost. Now some companies

almost a decade and has proven pedigree

sandwichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, the lower slice of bread could be

are charging a fixed monthly fee to cover

with more than 300 Cloud deployments to

thought of as all the functionality that provides

licence and maintenance. This can ease the

more than 350,000 users across retail,

the visibility outside of an organisation; the

purchasing position, as companies no longer

manufacturing, wholesalers/distributors and

end-to-end supply chain visibility showing

have a large capital expenditure to make, but

transportation worldwide.â&#x20AC;?

what is happening with a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suppliers,

can treat it as revenue expenditure. In the past

contract manufacturers and so on. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today,

many companies have been put off

According to Speller, the main change

most people expect this to be Cloud because

implementing a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;properâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ERP system because

Preactor has seen is new requirements in

weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about the multi-enterprise and

of the big capital cost. If this becomes less of

terms of integration to accommodate offsite

thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a community aspect to it as well,â&#x20AC;? he

a barrier then that is going to help.â&#x20AC;?

solutions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe that over the next few

said. Then if we think of the upper slice of

years there will be increasing pressure on APS

bread as S&OP this, says Payne, can also

However, Watkins maintains that the real

vendors to provide Cloud-based offerings,

involve collaboration with other parties; key

challenge to the IT vendors will be to develop

both to meet with customer expectations and

customers etc. so there can be an external

a completely integrated system in the Cloud;

to meet the requirements of global multi-plant

element to this as well. Therefore, this area is

then each company could have their data

companies,â&#x20AC;? he said.

also fairly Cloudy. Then, according to Payne,

managed anywhere at any time.

the filling in the sandwich could be thought of In terms of planning capability, McDivitt cites

as operational planning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; production planning

Drummond observes that the Cloud model is

two areas worthy of analysis: Cloud/SaaS

and scheduling. This, he said, is still

still polarising opinion in the market; with

Planning and Cloud/SaaS ERP. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In terms of

predominantly on-premise for most

organisations either definitely for or against it

Cloud/SaaS Planning, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re definitely seeing


when it comes to APS. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Companies with an

momentum in this space; more so in retail than

established Cloud strategy are actively

in manufacturing but it is certainly becoming

Payne added that Cloud solutions tend be

encouraging the adoption of Cloud-based

increasingly deployed in both areas,â&#x20AC;? he said.

multi-enterprise, fast and scalable. Because of

Supply Chain Planning tools, whereas those

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cloud SaaS planning is gathering interest

this, he believes more and more companies

who have yet to make the move do not see the

because the Cloud SaaS players around

are looking to invest in Cloud applications and

implementation of an APS as a driver for

planning are basically delivering optimisation

expects to see above market growth rates

moving to the Cloud,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There

capabilities across functions on a single

moving to Cloud in all categories; including

is still work to do in educating customers on

enterprise solution platform. For example,

operational planning. However, he points out

the cost-benefits of Cloud. It is a much more

companies can create a merchandise plan

that there are industry differences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For

transparent model as the total cost of the

that feed into a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demand plan that

example, in process industries that rely heavily

software and IT support is provided upfront.

feeds into the way it replenishes and allocates.

on their operational planning and scheduling â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

However it can be

The company can also do its â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;open to buyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

chemical plants, pulp and paper

initially viewed as

and promote and price in a single enterprise

manufacturers etc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they often think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still

more expensive

platform. This is quite an attractive proposition,

important to have operational planning tightly

when compared to

and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing momentum.â&#x20AC;?

integrated to their ERP and MES system,â&#x20AC;? said Payne. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, a defence company might say it

an on-premise

(#,'&%+!!()'$ *+&+'*#, (*+#%"*$ &()+&&,!'))(), ++#%(")$

solution where the IT

Castellina believes the Cloud is certainly here

canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have its data outside its operations due

costs are hidden

to stay. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shortly

to perceived security concerns.â&#x20AC;? Nevertheless,

within the fixed costs

going to become the preferred solution for

in general, Payne believes the uptake of Cloud

of the organisation

manufacturing and also distribution

is on the rise.

and soft costs such

organisations; the latter currently being faster

as peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time are

to adopt Cloud/SaaS than manufacturers, who


are a little slower to come over. However,

The big picture

many manufacturers are getting to the point

Is Big Data having an effect on the

Kaltenbrunner makes

where they have identified the need to replace

development and benefits of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

the point that utilising

their existing solutions and often this leads to

forecasting and planning-related solutions?

Cloud deployment

them adopting a Cloud solution. There are a

First, Watkins puts the Big Data concept in




December 2015



Special Report


context by pointing out that there is masses of

and product characteristics are likely to

repository capability and the demand sensing

data out there and companies need to be able


capability. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I think what is also coming is

to process it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and by processing it they can

being able leverage the unstructured

come up with more valuable information which

Kimberling reflects that the initial concept for

component that would allow companies to

can save them time and money. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All Demand

demand planning and forecasting was mostly

sense demand to an even greater extent,â&#x20AC;? he

Planning and Forecasting systems must rest

inventory-based; and that confidence in the


on assumptions,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One basic

appropriate inventory level has always been

assumption is that the price you charge for a

fundamental in the simplistic supply and

In terms of the definition of unstructured data,

product will influence demand. I see that

demand economic model. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Too little inventory

Morgan points out that this could include

companies can now collect information across

and you risk losing sales, too much inventory

things such as weather patterns, which could,

multiple stores and multiple

and you risk higher costs,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding

for example, have an impact on the sale of

customers/consumers and can analyse this

that this required specific data inputs

certain types of food or beverage products.

data to see if this assumption is true.â&#x20AC;?

(historical sales, projected inventory).

However, he adds that, interestingly, weather

However, Kimberling explains that recently

data could also be structured to some extent.

Castellina believes that for the organisations

software solutions have enabled businesses to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are increasingly seeing Natural Language

that are able to afford a solution such as SAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

not only capture mass quantities of information

posting (NLP) tools structuring that otherwise

HANA there is certainly a user case in terms of

from Big Data but manipulate and integrate

unstructured data to make sense of it,â&#x20AC;? he

having more data and being able to analyse it

that information back into Sales, Pricing and

said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and when this is done the data actually

within a quicker timeframe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think this is

more effective Distribution practices.

behaves in the same way as structured data.

something that is going to be increasingly

There are still huge volumes of this data, but it

important in the near future,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It really

Speller sees the relationship between APS and

comes down to whether your organisation can

Big Data as very much that APS can be a

handle that extra data from a sophistication

source of data that can be aggregated into

standpoint, and whether you can pay for it.â&#x20AC;?

Big Data and then analysed by tools such as

Planning the future

Siemensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Omneo Performance Analytics to

What do our commentators believe will

Drummond considers that the danger of Big

deliver product performance intelligence. He

possibly be some of the key developments in

Data in an APS is too much information can

pointed out that Omneo monitors data across

the world of planning-related solutions over the

cause â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;paralysis by analysisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Planners spend

the entire supply chain and customer

next year or two? Morgan believes the

too long trawling through information and not

experience, using data from sources including

individualisation of promotions and the ability

enough time communicating and collaborating

field service, manufacturing, CRM, ERP and

to more fully exploit that data is definitely

on the forecast, where the big benefits are,â&#x20AC;?

the Internet of Things (IoT).

coming. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We talk to big CPGs

he said.

will increasingly become more manageable.â&#x20AC;?

and FMCGs and most if not all of them over â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Data is to some extent influencing what

the next five years intend to keep records on

Kaltenbrunner explains that many FMCG

the vendors do,â&#x20AC;? said Payne. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The idea of Big

around half their target base â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and they will be

companies are looking into the subject of Big

Data and Big Analytics are very much on the

able to exploit this information in planning,

Data and trying to utilise the condensed

business intelligence side and the general

forecasting and promotions in a variety of

outcome into their mid- to long-term

analytics side of most organisations. However,


forecasting as one of many factors. He

it would be fairly rare for a company looking

commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is our understanding that this

for supply chain technology to say I need a

McDivittâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view is there is going to be an

input is mainly used to detect early change

Big Data demand planning system; it is more

increasing challenge in trying to predict which

of consumer buying

likely to say it wants a very scalable demand

buying channels the consumer is going to

preferences or to

planning system with demand sensing

utilise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This to some extent challenges the

predict seasonal

capability because the company has a lot of

relevance of forecasting, or is going to be

changes. B2B

sophisticated data to look at and so needs a

more reliant on predictive analytics than

companies are

big repository, and wants a system that is fast.

traditional historical sales forecasts,â&#x20AC;? he said.

using Big Data

So thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot going on in terms of scale,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because the market is now so

analysis to better

speed, granularity and the growing demand

dynamic around the consumer in terms of

understand their

for things such as in-memory databases.â&#x20AC;?

where they are going to be and how they are

customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (,')+$,*+&+'*# (#+,*+&( +)%$,



McDivitt believes Big Data is definitely having

foresees greater movement of learning how to

and to be ahead of

an impact on the market intelligence side as

leverage Big Data and predictive analytics in

the game where

well as in terms of more and more

trying to sense demand from the perspective

buying behaviour

organisations leveraging the data signal

of what channel that consumer is going to use.



going to be buying goods.â&#x20AC;? McDivitt also

consumer markets

December 2015



'*)', +!!+*$ *" #%,')'+*$ ,,*+'#%"*$

Special Report

Payne believes that,

which to run their businesses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once the

on the shelf. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By reaching consensus across

from an end-user

system side is sorted, then we can get to the

trading partners based on true demand, a true

perspective, we are

point where we can integrate people in the

single, agreed on forecast can be developed

close to the tipping

organisation, because many companies still

and executed against,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

point in the market

operate in cars without sat navs, engines from

where the old view of

one maker, bodies from another, gear boxes

Speller comments that the recent acquisitions

planning that started

form another all put together in their own

of APS solutions (including Simatic IT Preactor

with MRP and then

garages,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

APS) by companies like Siemens with wider

moved to MRPII and

Drummond foresees a continued focus on

portfolios in the MOM space, point to APS

ERP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; preparing a

supporting S&OP and its evolution into

being considered as much more closely tied

demand plan,

Integrated Business Planning (IBP) and

to the execution layer and an important part of

passing this

Integrated Business Leadership (IBL).

a complete digital factory solution such as the

information to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Companies will want this functionality

Siemens MOM portfolio can provide. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This

distribution and

integrated with their APS where the demand

brings benefits in terms of quality of data for

production etc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is no longer going to be

and supply information already exists without

the scheduling model and also a tighter loop

good enough for end-usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs.

bolting on yet another system,â&#x20AC;? he said.

for shop floor feedback, giving a better

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Companies that are at a low stage of maturity

Drummond also anticipates more scenario

could still start here, but some companies that

planning and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;what-ifâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; capabilities within APS

have been relying on that traditional model for

to see the impact of changes in demand and

Due to the exponential growth rate of

many years are now saying theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve pretty

supply and plan accordingly. He also sees the

technological advances and information

much exhausted what they can do with it,â&#x20AC;?

further development of functionality to support

availability, Kimberling reflects that it is difficult

said Payne. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is understandable because,

collaboration across the supply chain with

to forecast future developments. However,

as I mentioned earlier, many of them are now

internal and external stakeholders.

with so many users on social networks he

operating in a more global, complex, uncertain

Additionally, he foresees development in the

believes it is easy to see the logic in Microsoft

and volatile environment.â&#x20AC;? This, explains

area of web-based user interfaces for

buying Yammer for US$1.2 billion in 2012.

Payne, is why Gartner put together the

reporting and adding intelligence to the plan,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Social Supply Chain Networks are bringing

configure optimise respond (COR) model. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

coupled with full-feature â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rich-clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for

collaboration, information and availability to all

see that companies are increasingly wanting

traditional planning functions.

individuals within an organisation or

representation of the production status when

to be able to integrate those things together,â&#x20AC;? he said.

creating and amending schedules,â&#x20AC;? he said.

association,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;First, we had to capture Kaltenbrunner believes the key innovation

and gather information. Next, organising and

drivers will continue to be user enablement,

interpreting captured data. Now we can

Watkins makes the point that traditional

ease-of-use and mobile front-end to offer

manipulate and simulate data for even better

forecasting and planning solutions tend

interactive planning as well as sophisticated

business decisions. Moving forward based on

depend for their existence on creating Time

optimisation across organisational boundaries

current internet user trends, it is logical to

Series analysis, and also some statistical

and countries.

assume that sharing all that information with

analysis. He comments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;They require

anyone in the world will become ever more

marketing intelligence to produce a valid

He added that implementation of advanced

forecast. But that marketing intelligence

collaboration options among trading partners


should be based on a real analytical engine

through Flowcasting is particularly interesting

Castellina thinks the future will largely be

that enables you to look at the data,

and will drive tremendous value across the

about driving more embedded analytics into

summarise, understand the relationships

supply chain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By connecting the planning and

the solutions. He considers that Big Data is

between things and then influence the

execution processes to what is actually

certainly a part of this; as is In-Memory

demand to meet business objectives.â&#x20AC;?

happening with store level demand, inventory

analytics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really about being able to

visibility can be increased and products can

make decisions based on large amounts of

more effectively flow through a synchronised

data very quickly,â&#x20AC;? he said. To sum up,

supply chain,â&#x20AC;? he said.

Castellina remarked: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really all about the

True enablement

convergence of technology with operations,

However, Watkins believes the key requirement should be to provide real

Kaltenbrunner also points out that by utilising

and making a commitment to utilise the

integration between all the separate parts of

technology looking at point of sale data,

available technology that will impact on

the business so that Integrated Business

partners have the ability to collaborate

manufacturing the most.â&#x20AC;? 

Planning is truly enabled, and companies can

effectively to drive processes for better

get away from relying on spreadsheets with

product availability and less excess inventory




December 2015





Assign available freight

more efficiently with transport platforms By Maria Toft Madsen, country manager Northern Europe, TimoCom.

he manufacturing and trade industry is dynamic and open to international influences. Cargo owners need to focus on consumer requirements and thus act flexibly on the market. The use of online freight exchanges from the logistics sector especially makes sense for these companies to quickly and efficiently find available vehicles for their goods on the logistics spot market. But how do these internet transport platforms work and what do you need to be aware about?


For cargo owners, working with big player is worth it. For example, TimoCom has over 100,000 users who enter up to 450,000 offers in its transport platform each day. The reason for this is very simple: The more transport service providers and the more vehicle offers there are on an exchange, the greater are the chances for manufacturing and trade companies of having their goods transported quickly and easily. With the Europe-wide freight exchange from TimoCom, the available freight entered by cargo owners is mostly only online for a brief period. Any available freight offer being found is assigned to one of the available transport providers within seconds. For manufacturing and trade companies, there is hardly a quicker way of having their goods transported.

Tendering transport jobs Basically, you distinguish between two main types of freight tendering via online platforms: For the so-called spot market there are exchanges in which available freight and vehicles are offered up-to-the-minute. The term ‘spot market’ means ‘on the spot’, i.e. assigning orders at short notice at the price applicable on the day. With access to the spot market, TimoCom customers will find up to 150,000 vehicle offers from 33,000 certified transport service providers – and always be able to find suitable vehicles for their goods. The fundamental principle of a freight and





December 2015

vehicle exchange for the spot market is simple: It works like a virtual notice board. A cargo owner specifies which goods have to be transported, a transport service provider then contacts the company and both business partners negotiate the conditions and a deal closure is done quickly. The actual transaction is then finalised directly between the two partners who have found each other in the exchange. The second way of assigning transport jobs takes place on the ‘contract market’, which is oriented towards long-term business relationships. Here, long-term contracts for specific service packages or routes are tendered via an online tendering platform.

What makes a freight exchange a transport platform? In order to really work efficiently and securely with freight exchanges, manufacturing and trade companies should be aware about some issues in regards to security. After all, valuable goods which have to be transported are at stake. Freight exchanges which do not offer any services or special security measures should be avoided. Using one of the large transport platforms is the best option. Besides these two – freight exchanges for the spot market and tendering platforms for longterm contracts – a good transport platform also offers a substantial security system. Those who conduct business online and release sensitive data should make sure they are ‘working on safe grounds’. A given transport platform should also offer an effective tracking solution, so manufacturing and trade companies can locate and follow their goods during transportation. The benefit of TimoCom is the tracking platform which works provider independent – i.e. many different telematics

providers can be displayed within a single platform. Moreover, the security measures from the transport platform also include verifying new members and a multi-level security package which forms the basis for transparent and reliable business. Reliable transport platforms only allow new customers access to the freight exchange once they have passed an extensive check. This prevents ‘black sheep’ with fake companies’ access to the freight exchange. Prior to activation, important business documents such as commercial register excerpts are verified as well as creditworthiness. Once a contract has been signed, customer actions within the platforms are also monitored. The highest priority is to ensure security for all customers. Establishing business contacts is another advantage of the large transport platforms. The largest transport platform in Europe offers an online transport directory with company profiles of over 33,000 active transport, logistics service providers and cargo owners. This allows companies from manufacturing and trade to find exact information on the transport and logistics field in Europe and to quickly expand their pool of suppliers and service providers. If manufacturing and trade companies consider the above mentioned aspects they will be able to choose the right transport platform to make their logistics faster and more efficient and offering security at the same time. 



TC eMap is a route planning and calculation solution feature with an integrated tracking function for all conventional telematics systems. New to the market is the TimoCom Messenger. Available to all users, TimoCom Messenger simplifies the communication within the platform. Also available is TC Profile, a transport directory with 33,000 verified contacts. All products are user-friendly and available in 24 languages in 44 European countries. Extra services: The multi-level security packet which is the basis for transparent and reliable business and TimoCom Identify, enabling users to let other users in the exchange be verified by a TimoCom staff. Solutions offered TC Truck&Cargo – a freight and vehicle exchange and a warehousing exchange. TC eBid – the online transport tendering platform. TC eMap – a route planning and calculation solution feature with an integrated tracking function for all conventional telematics systems. TC Profile – a transport directory with 33,000 verified contacts. Industrial markets served Road haulage, freight forwarders, manufacturing and trade from all industrial markets.

Corporate Profile

Founded in 1997, IT service provider TimoCom is today one of the largest transport platform providers in Europe. Manufacturing and trade companies can optimise their supply chain with TimoCom. The freight and vehicle exchange TC Truck&Cargo with up to 450,000 freight and vehicle offers daily from 100,000 users; TC eBid, the online transport tendering platform and a warehousing exchange.

Countries served Pan-European.

Website: www.timocom.co.uk

1 4


Change your Chain with Europe’s largest transport platform! Manufacturing and trade can now handle all transport business through TimoCom: In Europe’s largest transport platform you can find up to 150,000 international vehicle capacity offers and 33,000 verified transport providers from everywhere in Europe. You haven’t tried it yet?

Test TimoCom for four weeks free of charge at:


Customers, whom we have convinced:




December 2015



V OICE technology

Success story

Horseware keeps a tight rein on its warehousing operations thanks to door-todoor Voice solution from BEC and Honeywell ounded in 1985, Horseware Ireland


is one of the world’s most wellknown and prestigious designers and manufacturers of riding wear, leisure wear, horse rugs,

equestrian products and accessories. With a turnover of approximately €40 million, Horseware is a true global enterprise which employs over 600 people worldwide. The company has offices in North America and factories in China and Cambodia, while its sales, marketing and financial headquarters, as well as its factory and European warehouse, reside on a 175,000² ft. site in Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland.

The problem Due to a period of expansion and rapid business growth, Horseware gradually

David Minto, warehouse & retail manager at

The solution

became unable to keep up with the ever-

Horseware, comments: “It was becoming

After completing a thorough data capture

increasing volume of orders with the paper-

increasingly clear that an automated data

audit of its warehousing facility, which

based method it was using to record the

capture solution was needed within our

included gaining a full understanding of all

movement of goods in, around and out of the

warehouse which would integrate fully and

Horseware’s operational processes, BEC

warehouse. This was creating issues with

seamlessly with our legacy Movex ERP system.

recommended its eSmart Warehouse with

order picking, order accuracy and stock

We looked at a number of solutions and

Voice software solution.

replenishment, which in turn was resulting in

subsequently chose BEC to work with us to

customer service and time management

install a brand new WMS with Honeywell’s

Philip Jarrett, director of sales and marketing


Vocollect Voice software at its core, having

at BEC, explains: “Conceptually, Voicedirected technology is very similar to

traditional RF scanning, but prompts are

For Horseware, the results of the new solution are far-reaching. As of August 2015, Horseware was running 7 per cent up on its 2015 sales target without adding any extra staff, as well as a 23 per cent increase in units shipped. Horseware has also drastically improved upon its order traceability.”

delivered and responses are provided verbally. The Honeywell Vocollect Voice solution can help businesses increase worker productivity by up to 35 per cent, whilst reducing errors by up to 50 per cent.” With a proven and trusted track record in

Aware that a new and improved solution

seen Voice solutions in operation in other

supplying and implementing Voice

needed to be implemented in order to provide

apparel warehouses. BEC was also able to

technology within a range of warehousing and

the company with the level of functionality

showcase an impressive amount of experience

distribution centre applications, BEC is a

required to cope with new levels of demand,

in implementing its solutions into Movex ERP

specialist provider of future-proof and

Horseware sought to deploy a fully-automated

systems, so we had every confidence that BEC

innovative automated data capture solutions

solution within its warehouse facility.

was the right company for the job.”

designed to integrate seamlessly into any





December 2015


Success story

V OICE technology

host ERP system to fulfil business and commercial requirements. Its eSmart Warehouse with Voice solution has been developed with Voice technology at its core rather than as an add-on feature, allowing Horseware to use the benefits of Vocollect Voice solutions throughout its warehousing facility, specifically within its picking, put-away, stock replenishment, despatch and replenishment operations. Horseware selected the Honeywell Vocollect A710 Talkman device and the SRX2 advanced speech recognition wireless headset, having been particularly impressed with the built-in Vocollect TouchConnect technology. This allows workers to quickly pair wireless headsets to the mobile devices, thereby reducing shift start-up procedures

order is released to a picker. This saves so

staff, as well as a 23 per cent increase in

from minutes to seconds. The solution also

much time and avoids confusion and

units shipped. Horseware has also drastically

provides other time saving features, such as

unnecessary delays. As far as order picking

improved upon its order traceability.

battery runtime remaining, allowing workers

is concerned, our processes are now much

to ask the Vocollect device when a battery

more streamlined and occur virtually without

Minto explains: “The new solution now allows

change may be needed, helping them to

error. Our accuracy levels have dramatically

us to easily find out who picked and who

plan and eliminate unnecessary travel time

increased and we are saving a lot of time

packed an order, the date it was shipped and

and money as a result. We used to need two

which courier it was sent with. All of this

people to pick an order – one for picking

information is fully available to our customer

Minto continues: “With the old system,

and one for packing – but now a single

service team, so any issues can be dealt with

orders were being released even if there

picker is able to complete both tasks much

in an accurate and timely manner. We have

wasn’t enough stock on the shelf. With the

more quickly.”

also been able to achieve increased visibility

in the midst of completing an order.

of staff performance, allowing us to implement

new system however, if there’s not enough stock, then the order automatically goes

The result

a bonus scheme, which has increased our

back to replenishment and the products are

For Horseware, the results of the new solution

employees’ pride and satisfaction in their

put on the shelf by the forklift driver before

are far-reaching. As of August 2015,

work. Despite some initial scepticism of the

the picker actually goes to pick the order.

Horseware was running 7 per cent up on its

new solution amongst a few of our warehouse

Once all products are available then the

2015 sales target without adding any extra

workers, they would now never agree to go back to the old system. “In terms of our operational processes, we are experiencing increased efficiencies and a tangible reduction in errors. The new solution ‘just works.’ As far as BEC is concerned, they have been fantastic to work with. We feel that as a business, thanks to the new BEC solution, we have future-proofed ourselves for the next ten years and will be able to continue to grow and become more and more profitable as time goes by – the sky’s the limit for us now.” 




December 2015



V OICE technology

Corporate Profile

BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd.

Solutions offered Offering access to a range of cutting-edge data collection hardware from market-leading vendors, including Vocollect

BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd. is a leading UK-based supplier of

Voice-directed technologies, BEC’s future-proof solutions

Automated Data Capture solutions for use within the supply

integrate seamlessly into any host ERP system to fulfil

chain and manufacturing industries. Based on BEC’s eSmart

business and commercial requirements.

Data Capture software suite, the company’s systems offer complete end-to-end solutions that improve the productivity and

Through the development of innovative AIDC solutions with

accuracy of clients’ operations, whilst delivering increased

barcoding and Voice technology at their core, BEC offers a

profitability and quality with a rapid return on investment.

comprehensive set of services, from initial consultation, advice and design, through to delivery, implementation and

BEC has performed hundreds of successful implementations in

after-sales support.

mission-critical operational areas such as receiving, inventory management, production control and shipping. The company’s

Industrial markets served

team has a wealth of experience in seamlessly integrating data

Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Supply Chain,

capture solutions to various business hosts, including M3, SAP,

Warehousing, Distribution, Engineering, Pharmaceutical,

Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and IFS.

Clothing & Apparel, Oil & Gas, Nuclear.

With a notable list of clients which includes Kerrygold, Baxi,

Countries served

Haribo, Estee Lauder, Baxters, Hydrasun, Delice de France,


Sellafield and Raleigh, BEC’s customers vary from small and medium enterprises to blue-chip household names throughout the UK and Europe.

Website: www.becsi.co.uk

“Honeywell Vocollect voice solutions from BEC can increase worker productivity up to 30%, whilst reducing errors up to 25%.”

Work faster, better, smarter and stay ahead of the competition with Honeywell Vocollect voice solutions from BEC. Vocollect Solutions Gold Total Solution Provider

Call BEC today and speak to the experts: +44 (0)1254 688 088 or visit www.becsi.co.uk

V OICE technology

BCP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Business Computer Projects Ltd.

Operating across mobile, Cloud/SaaS and on premise,

house delivering proven Supply Chain Execution solutions and

Accord delivers seamless integration, real-time operations

Voice-enabled WMS that empower businesses to maximise

and true visibility across the whole operation, empowering

efficiency and customer service.

companies to improve business efficiency and facilitating overall growth in revenue and profitability.

A technology innovator, BCP has been at the forefront of software development for over 30 years, offering cost-effective,

Accordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Voice-directed WMS provides wall-to-wall Voice

fully scalable solutions which enable real business benefits and

control across the warehouse or for individual operations.

an excellent return on investment. As a software author, BCP

Suitable for any business which operates a warehouse,

can tailor solutions to suit clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; particular business

Accord Voice WMS is scalable to meet the needs of small to

requirements rather than offering a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;one size fits allâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach.

large organisations, allowing users to maximise warehouse efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service levels.

BCP continues to be a leader in introducing Voice technology to

Its modular design means it can be implemented as a

the UK warehouse industry, having implemented the first wall-to-

Warehouse Execution System, to enhance an existing WMS,

wall Voice solution in the UK food and drink sector 14 years

through to a full-scale solution to manage large operations.

ago. Over 90 per cent of BCP Voice customers realise the benefits of Voice across all warehouse operations.

Industrial markets served BCP solutions benefit companies of all sizes throughout the

Solutions offered

supply chain â&#x20AC;&#x201C; wholesalers, distributors, retailers,

BCPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Accord software suite addresses the complete range

manufacturers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; be they single or multi-site, single or multi-

of supply chain activities, including procurement, multi-


channel fulfilment, stock management and financials, with powerful business analytics and dashboard-driven, user-

Countries served

configurable graphical reporting.

Mainly UK and Ireland.

Corporate Profile

Business Computer Projects Ltd (BCP) is a leading UK software

Website: www.bcpsoftware.com

Visionary isionary Solutions for Wholesalers - A single solution sol for all your business need nee d '' ''  ''

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December 2015



V OICE technology

Success story

Voice is not just for picking Taking Voice-directed work beyond the realms of warehouse picking is now very much a reality, writes Isabel McCabe, managing director of Voiteq Ltd.

he supply chain industry and


Grrreat cubing

technology continue to change

If we take a look at the fast moving consumer

rapidly. Over the last few years

goods (FMCG) market, for instance, the growth

we have seen tremendous

of convenience shopping and changing

advances in the organisation of

customer buying patterns has seen retailers

supply chains and in the technology being

demand smaller, more frequent deliveries. This

used to manage them to an optimum level.

has led to a significant increase in case picks

While important key performance indicators

compared to full pallet picks; presenting a new

(KPIs) such as accuracy, productivity and

challenge to the way the industry processes

cost-efficiency remain key supply chain

and ships orders.

priorities, customer service, buying

Kellogg’s has worked with us to lead the way

experience and personalisation are more

in combining Voice with Intelligent Volumetric

important than ever before. The warehouse is

Cubing in order to pick and stack the perfect

pivotal in ensuring these KPIs are achieved

pallet. The efficiency benefits of this approach

and is an ideal area to develop a competitive

are exceptional; Kellogg’s are now able to

remove an entire stage in the outbound

advantage through the use of technology.

meet the demands and pallet stack

fulfilment process.

requirements of its customers with a 40 per A year ago, we were discussing the

cent productivity gain. The company has seen

More recently, customers are looking to our

emergence of technologies such as ‘Google

further benefits from areas such as improved

Returns module to inspect and process

Glass’ in the warehouse space and we have

customer satisfaction, fewer damaged goods,

returned goods; a growing challenge for omni-

yet to see many real-world examples of their

better vehicle utilisation and lower CO2

channel retailers whose customers order

performance improvement over some more


multiple product variants and return the ones they decide not to keep. Optimising the returns

established technologies. By contrast, over the last year Voice technology has continued

Loading Santa’s sleigh

process can improve brand loyalty, ensure

to deliver substantial business benefits and is

The John Lewis Partnership has recently

consistent handling of returns and get items

rapidly gaining traction in processes above

extended its Voiteq Voice solution into its

back into stock as quickly as possible.

and beyond picking.

loading area. For a quick and simple connection to its JDA warehouse management

Voice on forks

Voiteq has been at the forefront of this

system (WMS), the company used Voiteq’s

With the application of Voice widening, we are

movement and we have seen the adoption of

VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice solution which

seeing more and more customers equipping

Voice across all areas of the warehouse, from

seamlessly Voice-enables any screen based

their forklift operators with Voice to complete

Receiving to Put Away and Loading to

process and does not require any additional

tasks such as receiving, put-away and

Returns. We are also seeing Voice

configuration or change to the existing WMS.

replenishment. Affiliated Foods were

increasingly becoming an enabler for greater

The solution is already cutting errors and

experiencing stock-outs in the store due to

innovation. The use of volumetric cubing, box-

speeding up the delivery of goods to

incomplete orders being shipped. Using Voice

fill labelling, advanced data capture, pick-


on forks enabled them to ensure every pick

and-pack and optimised Screen-to-Voice as

face was stocked accurately and efficiently,

well as the use of business intelligence tools

Omni-channel returns

minimising issues in the picking process and

to analyse Big Data are just some of the

We’re also finding that using Voice with its

achieving impressive productivity

trends we’ve driven this year. Recognising the

hands-free, eyes-free method of processing

improvements of 23 per cent in dry grocery

benefits of hands-free, eyes-free work, our

orders is supporting retailers looking to

and 66 per cent in perishables. In addition,

customers are approaching us about their

develop an airtight omni-channel strategy.

Voice removed screen and paper distractions

other distribution centre (DC) or warehouse

Operators using Voice can pick several orders

from the drivers, enabling them to stay focused

processes and asking what more they can do

in one go, and its high accuracy levels enable

on the safe operation of their vehicles.

with Voice.

a combined pick-and-pack process which can





December 2015


Success story

V OICE technology

Data is king Business Intelligence is another area our customers get great value from Voice, both for data capture and for Big Data processing. Companies such as Greencore use Voice to capture additional data such as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;best beforeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dates in order to maintain stock and legislative compliance. Furthermore, Holland & Barrett uses our InfoCentre Dashboards' predictive analytics capability to proactively manage resources across warehouse zones. The subject of Big Data has become a common theme at our customer focus and user groups. By structuring and analysing the comprehensive shop-floor data generated by our Voice systems, our customers can identify trends and highlight additional opportunities for process improvement, further enhancing the


value of their Voice solution. Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Voice solutions are now also moving

compliance, accuracy and productivity benefits

Voice has become the preferred warehouse

beyond the warehouse and into retail stores

to customers involved in the inspection of

technology choice for businesses all over the

with applications such as shelf replenishment,

assets, plant and equipment. Voice isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a trend

world and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing a marked increase in its

stock counting, pricing and home shopping

and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just for Christmas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s improving

adoption for processes other than picking.

fulfilment. We have also delivered impressive

the way we work way beyond picking. 

Voiteq â&#x20AC;˘

VoiceMan Inspection Execution System.

Voice is Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s core business and the company has helped its


VoiceMan Connector Suite including Screen-to-Voice, Connect, Connect for SAP and Scan.

customers reap the substantial benefits of hands-free, eyes-free work for over 15 years. The simplicity of a Voice-directed

Corporate Profile

Voiteq is a leading global supplier of Voice-directed solutions.


VoiceMan Business Intelligence Suite.

operation provides a much smoother and more efficient way of working than other methods; resulting in real productivity,

Industrial markets served

accuracy and customer service improvements that deliver

1. Retail.

bottom-line savings.

2. Clothing/Apparel. 3. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

With offices in the UK, France, Germany and North America,

4. Electronics & Appliances.

Voiteq has the largest team of experienced and Honeywell

5. Food & Beverage.

certified Vocollect Voice specialists in the world.

6. Grocery. 7. Pharmaceutical/Life Science.

Voiteq offers a range ways to improve customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; warehouse,

8. Automotive.

in-store and inspection operations with the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award

9. Dairy Agriculture.

winning VoiceMan product family; including intelligent execution

10.Speciality Retail.

systems, Screen-to-Voice and direct connections to SAP and

11.Wholesale Distribution.

other host systems. Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business intelligence tools provide

12.Cold Chain.

users with real-time dashboards and performance reports to

13.Third Party Logistics Providers (3PL).

improve operational visibility and decision making.

14.In-store 15.Inspection

Solutions offered â&#x20AC;˘

VoiceMan Warehouse Execution System including Picking, Receiving, StockMoves, Inventory, Dispatch, Assets,

Countries served Worldwide.

Delivery and Returns. â&#x20AC;˘

VoiceMan In-store Execution System.


Website: www.voiteq.com



December 2015



Warehouse Management


Success story

Snapfulfil provides big benefits for major internet retailer stablished in 2007 as a niche internet retailer, Big Red Group has grown to become a multi-faceted group, spanning every aspect of eCommerce. Employing 50 people and generating a turnover of £11.5 million, Big Red is now a multi-website retailer, as well as an experienced vendor in global marketplaces. Due to its core competence in e-Commerce and logistics, the company has also established ‘Platform Retail’ – a new business unit that provides third-party e-Commerce management, logistics and fulfilment services to other online retailers.


To service these customers, in July 2013, Big Red Group took possession of a custom-built, 26,000 sq ft warehouse in Manchester, which handles millions of SKUs, from phone covers and jewellery to footwear and precision engineering, high performance products.

The challenge While Big Red Group’s proprietary software had driven impressive growth in its own eCommerce channels, the company recognised that it needed a best-in-breed Tier 1 warehouse management system (WMS) to underpin the levels of performance and accuracy required to deliver a full 3PL offering in a highly competitive environment. Big Red Group therefore selected the Snapfulfil SaaS WMS to help it achieve this.

The solution Due to its fully-managed Software as a Service model and rich functionality, Snapfulfil ticked all of Big Red Group’s boxes. The company’s head of operations, Andrew Gilbert, said: “We chose Snapfulfil as the entry costs are extremely competitive for a new business venture, yet provide a comparable level of performance and flexibility to the more expensive WMS options out there. It was also a one-stop-shop where all aspects of the system, including software, hardware and infrastructure, were taken care of, resulting in a simple monthly charge which was efficient to fund and easy to account for.” 42




December 2015

He continued: “Importantly, Snapfulfil also provide a system and infrastructure which is scalable at short notice - critical to us as we bring on more and more clients to Platform Retail. All of these attributes are critical when you start a business and need to control costs at the outset. However, we’re not just thinking about the initial days and months of Platform Retail – we needed a partner with the ability to react quickly to our needs as the business grows.” Snapfulfil easily manages the wide variety of tasks and customers within Big Red Group’s warehouse, from pallet storage and distribution to case and item picking and e-fulfilment, by creating specific rules for each client, while employing RF and barcode technology through each touch point, ensuring visibility, accuracy and control across the entire operation.

Benefits The project aims were to achieve a high accuracy, low cost performance from the warehouse team, by eliminating paperwork and automating decision-making. By providing full visibility of order status, Snapfulfil also allows Big Red Group to ensure that all of its customer expectations are being met or

exceeded and provides data to support accurate and timely billing. Since implementing Snapfulfil, order accuracy has increased from 98.9 per cent to 99.3 per cent and it is expected that this vital metric will continue to improve.

The future In order to bring in more clients and support growth in both its customers’ and its own sales, Big Red Group is planning to increase the capacity of Platform Retail and anticipates that this will necessitate a multi-site operation. Gilbert concludes: “We chose Snapfulfil because their Cloud-based solution, combined with the costing of the infrastructure set-up provides a ‘plug and play’ solution for multi-site operations. Of course, the key to our continued growth is ensuring that our clients’ needs are met, that we are able to tailor solutions for them and that we can underpin their and our own competitive advantage and profitability. What we offer is a blue-print for success for emerging and growing e-Commerce retailers, providing them with a flexible service that actually meets their requirements. Because of this, it is important for us to have a partner like Snapfulfil to support us in our journey.” 


Warehouse Management


Success story

Snapfulfil is the multi-award winning warehouse management system from Synergy Logistics. Established in 1972, Synergy is a software house specialising in the development of innovative, cost-effective technology solutions which help streamline warehousing and fulfilment operations for clients ranging from global organisations to fast-growing SMEs. For more than 40 years, Synergy’s systems have been powering the warehousing operations of some of the world’s most successful companies. Synergy was one of the first companies to recognise the potential of Cloud technology as a platform for a best-in-breed warehouse management system. The company’s Snapfulfil SaaS WMS was architected for web in 2007 and is now deployed in warehouses through Europe and America. Synergy believes that to stand still is to move backwards and never stops innovating to make its software better and develop new solutions to customers’ problems. Solutions offered Snapfulfil is a functionally rich, best-in-breed warehouse management system which can be deployed in a variety of ways to meet the needs of any company, large or small.

The Snapfulfil fully-managed SaaS WMS Edition bundles the software licence, essential RF hardware, access infrastructure and services, along with the implementation services and training into a solution with no capex required, allowing customers to immediately benefit from driving through savings, increased service levels and, in nearly all cases, an instant ROI. Synergy’s new Snapfulfil Starter Edition offers all the same functionality as the SaaS WMS, with increased flexibility around user numbers and hardware provision and is available either as a paper-based and/or real-time RF barcode scanning system. Snapfulfil Enterprise Edition is Synergy’s on-premise solution, for companies who prefer to host and manage the software using their own resources. Industrial markets served eCommerce, retail and wholesale, food & beverage, CPG, thirdparty logistics, manufacturing, electrical and electronics.

Corporate Profile

Snapfulfil - Warehouse Management System

Countries served UK, Europe and North America.

Website: www.snapfulfil.com

IS YOUR WAREHOUSE READY FOR CHRISTMAS? If not, our proven warehouse mangagement system with no setup costs or initial investment, could be the gift that keeps on giving.

Unwrap Instant ROI

For more info call 0845 463 7627 email sales@snapfulfil.com p

w w w. s n a p f u l f i l . c o m




December 2015



Warehouse Management


Company news

Outperforming traditional order fulfilment methods with Automated Case Picking Vanderlande will be exhibiting at the international trade fair, LogiMAT 2016, to be held in Stuttgart from 8 to 10 February, displaying and discussing its wide range of warehouse automation solutions on stand 1J21 in hall 1. eatured products at the event will consist of a small selection from Vanderlande's extensive range of innovative and ergonomic solutions for these segments.


Automated Case Picking (ACP) Food retailers have to manage conflicts arising from the different value-creation chains in stores and distribution centres. Optimising the value-creation chain in stores often has an adverse effect on the value-creation chain for the distribution centres, and vice versa. Vanderlande's ACP concept creates a perfect balance between opposing goals in the valuecreation chain. It also helps food retailers to optimise customer perception, ergonomics, and reduce CO2 emissions and costs. The ACP solution is designed to allow modular growth and parallel activities that guarantee availability.

Adapto 3D shuttle concept Increasing labour costs, limited space and many small orders with short delivery times

are just some of the various challenges currently facing warehouses and distribution centres. This means a continuous search for solutions to reduce operating costs, increase productivity, maximise space and offer an elevated level of service. According to Vanderlande, the highly flexible Adapto storage, retrieval and transport concept offers unique flexibility and availability, enabling warehouses to optimise the service levels offered to customers.

Pick@Ease: a range of value-added service functions for multipurpose use Adapto is offered in combination with the highly ergonomic Pick@Ease workstations. The introduction of Pick@Ease to the market several years ago was proof of Vanderlande’s pioneering position within the industry. A Vanderlande study – certified by TÜV Nord – with focus on the end-user, looked into the influences and effects of different concepts on body movements and postures, muscle groups, circulation and mental aspects. The results of this study were incorporated into Vanderlande’s goods-to-person picking

systems. Pick@Ease workstations have been designed to cope with a range of functions and enable value-added services.

Airtrax: ‘The next step in warehouse solutions for hanging goods’ Airtrax is an innovative and reliable concept for transporting, sorting and storing hanging goods. Designed primarily based on customer feedback, it offers unrivalled benefits throughout any hanging goods handling operation. This unique concept allows significant volumes of goods to be moved over long distances while coping with changing elevations and complex paths. It also allows sorting to both left and right exits. Modular by design, the system is a directdrive concept that contains one base on to which all types of carrier modules are fitted. This is referred to as ‘Click & Go’. The concept consists of interchangeable modules that facilitate various functions, such as upgrading from manual to fully automatic high-speed sorting. Each module is easy to install, service and modify. 





December 2015


Warehouse Management

Vanderlande is a global market leader in baggage handling systems for airports, and sorting systems for parcel and postal services. The company is also a leading supplier of warehouse automation solutions. Established in 1949, Vanderlande has more than 3800 employees, all committed to moving its customers’ businesses forward at diverse locations on every continent. With a consistently increasing turnover of more than 1 billion euros, it has established a global reputation over the past six decades as a highly reliable partner for value-added automated material handling solutions. Solutions offered The company focuses on the optimisation of its customers’ business processes and competitive positions. Through close cooperation, it strives for the improvement of their operational activities and the expansion of their logistical achievements. Vanderlande’s extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software and lifecycle services – results in the realisation of fast, reliable and efficient automation technology.

Industrial markets served Vanderlande’s systems are active in 600 airports including 17 of the world’s top 25. More than 20 million parcels (300 packages per second) are sorted by its systems every day. These have been installed for a variety of customers including the four largest parcel and postal companies in the world. In addition, 12 of Europe’s top 20 e-commerce companies and many distribution firms have confidence in Vanderlande’s efficient and reliable solutions. Countries served Vanderlande serves customers worldwide from its headquarters in the Netherlands and Customer Centres in many countries worldwide.

Website: www.vanderlande.com

Corporate Profile


Reliable partne n r for o value-added warehouse automation

Vanderlande is a major player in the warehouse automation market and specialises in solutions for food retail, fashion, parts and components and e-commerce. It cooperates closely with its customers to optimise their supply chain and enhance the efficiency off the processes in their distribution centres. The company is a one-stop shop for innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle support. This integrated approach results in an optimum performance throughout the system‘s lifetime. Curious to find out how your warehouse processes can be optimised? Contact Vanderlande today. Email: info@vanderlande.com. > vanderlande.com

Special Report

Voice/Warehouse Management Systems

Taking stock Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of key spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of Voice-directed software and hardware and warehouse management systems – including those involving mobility, Cloud/SaaS and Big Data. ome of the most dynamic and

completes the next one queues up etc. With

because of price stagnation or price deflation

fast-changing technology areas

RF and Voice you have the capability to in

in retail, which is putting pressure on cost,” he

have to be the ones deployed in

some cases insert new orders directly into the

said. “And now with the living wage there’s an

warehouse and distribution

current pick waves, depending on where the

increased level of pressure being put on the

centre operations – helping

worker is. We call this task interleaving.”

cost base, which has meant that there’s a


renewed focus on how to get that cost back

companies to better serve increasingly

under control.”

demanding consumer expectations while

Heaney explained that there are other

also aiming to improve business profitability.

advanced techniques – within the picking

So, what are some of the key discussion

process, for instance – that also demand

points in terms of current and ongoing

more interactive communication with the

Driving a single stock pool

innovations and developments within this

actual worker. “For example, there is

The second main trend Wilson is seeing

space? Bob Heaney, research director,

something we refer to as cluster picking,

involves the integration of store replenishment

principal analyst – retail & consumer markets

whereby workers can pick to a batch cart or

and e-commerce into a single operation. He

at Aberdeen Group, observes that omni-

pick to light system,” he said. “It’s not discrete

explained: “The purpose of this is primarily to

channel is a major current trend. “The web is

order picking necessarily; it’s about picking

drive a single stock pool; i.e. one location that

now much more prevalent as an ordering

multiple carts. Therefore there’s a little bit

contains all of the inventory in a logical way

mechanism,” he said. “If a customer places

more interaction as workers pick an item,

so that if it’s needed for e-commerce it can be

an order through an e-commerce site

scan it, use the Voice mechanism to indicate

sent to e-commerce customers, or if it’s

typically there is now often a one- to two-day

the pick has been completed, and as they

needed for the replenishment to store it can

delivery expectation. So, if I have work that is

move through the instructions the next ones

be used for

flowing out into my distribution centre that

queue up on their device or they receive a

replenishment to store.”

has been batched up prior to these orders

verbal instruction on their Voice system to

coming through I’ve now got to determine

proceed to the next. So by having a way of

where I’m going to insert those extra orders

communicating in near real-time with workers

The third key trend

into the flow throughout the day.”

you are able now to address some of the

Wilson is seeing is

more event-driven needs.”

where a number of

Heaney continued: “Typically, any company

retailers in Europe

handling a reasonably high volume of

Steve Wilson, vice president, practice lead –

have started to use

products is already going to be using some

operational excellence at Capgemini,

augmented reality

form of picking waves and replenishment

considers that one key talking point is driving

technology for

waves where the day is broken up into, say,

rugged proactivity from WMS controlled

picking. He

two-hour sections of work. When one wave

operations. “That’s really coming about

explained: “With





December 2015

*#/-,&'/+.%*,%)$ #,-.%+(-'/


Voice/Warehouse Management Systems

Special Report

Voice, workers have

and provide greater rewards,” he commented.

du Preez also comments that new commercial

the commands

Riviere added that Zebra has a large portfolio

models – including Subscription and Software

coming into their ear,

of Android devices such as Android versions

as a Service (SaaS) – are becoming popular

but there is now

of the MC92, MC32 and the all touch TC75.

with companies that have Capex constraints

software available

“Going forward, we will see more capabilities

but want to get the benefits of Voice today.

that allows the picker

for supporting Android in the warehouse and

to wear augmented

linking to Voice picking from Zebra,” he said.

In addition, du Preez explains that retail and FMCG companies – driven by omni-channel,

reality glasses that include an earpiece

Riviere also sees a growing interest for non-

convenience retail and changing retailer order

– so it offers the

proprietary solutions that can be opened up

profiles – are having to manage more case

benefits of Voice, but

and more easily managed. Additionally, he

and piece picking to even tighter deadlines.

on top of that

sees a key user need in having Voice

workers can see the

solutions that require zero training. “This is

instructions on a

especially important for seasonal workers but

Business intelligence

small screen in the eyepiece. They still have

also for reducing re-training requirements for

Business intelligence and predictive analytics

two free hands and it allows workers

all workers,” he explained, adding that a key

(now often revered to as Big Data) are also

potentially to pick more quickly than if they

enabler in this regard is the growing

attracting a lot of interest from Voiteq

were picking with Voice or handhelds.”

capabilities of speaker independent systems.

customers, explains du Preez. “They want

),*/$)-' %(!!.-%,)$/#,-.%+(-'

clear, actionable visibility of their operations Happy marriage

Anton du Preez, group sales director for

and want their systems to predict and

Ed Spotts, senior ERP consultant for

Voiteq, is seeing an increase in the use of

manage issues before they occur,” he said.

Panorama, considers that if ever a need

Voice beyond picking. This, he says, is

“Our Voice solutions have always captured

existed to marry two technologies, it is

something that has been talked about for a

low-level process data and we’re now using

warehouse management systems and Voice

number of years, but the rate of uptake has

this data to provide higher-level visibility and

recognition solutions. “Even in highly

accelerated. “This is being driven by the

control of the operation.”

automated warehouses, the warehouse

maturity and breadth of product integration

worker is frequently called on to move

and pressure on warehouses to use their

Vision-based systems are being talked about

objects, large or small,” he said. “In more

existing assets to drive additional cost

and are something that Voiteq has trialled with

manual warehouses, the typical warehouse

savings,” he remarked.

customers. However, du Preez considers that

worker often wears heavy gloves and moves

they have a number of challenges still to

heavy boxes. For that same person to then

In terms of other key developments, du Preez

overcome before they will be viable

turn to a computer, even a rugged handheld

points out that quality ‘screen to Voice’

alternatives to current, proven technologies.

device, requires the worker to stop the work

solutions – which take the text prompts

they were doing, focus on the device, and

displayed on handheld terminal screens to be

Andy Briggs, technical director for BEC,

enter or scan data into the warehouse

translated into Voice and which then enter the

considers that one of the main current key

management system. The appeal of Voice

user’s spoken responses back into the screen

discussion points is the spread of Voice

recognition systems is that they free the

– have enabled companies with legacy

applications, i.e. not just for picking but for

worker’s hands and arms. If the worker can

systems or limited IT resource to implement

doing every task within the warehouse using

communicate to the warehouse management

Voice into a range of warehouse processes.

Voice to get the best out of a company’s

system through speaking the hands of the warehouse person can continue to conduct the warehouse work without the interruption of typing or scanning information into a computer.” Bart Riviere, business development director for speech solutions at Zebra Technologies, points out that Zebra has seen an increase in multi-modal Voice picking – both hardware and software elements. “Devices with easierto-read screens and more intuitive interfaces using the latest operating systems will also make it easier to support multi-modal devices




December 2015



Special Report

Voice/Warehouse Management Systems

technological investment and the solution as a

Darrel Williams, region director, Northern

whole. “Door-to-door Voice applications – as

Europe, Vocollect Solutions, Honeywell,

Gavin Clark,

well as picking – can include dispatch, stock

considers that Voice is now firmly established

commercial director

counting, quality transactions, stock rotation

and recognised as the optimum work

at Snapfulfil,

and stock control, i.e. any movement or

interface for delivering productivity and

observes that

transaction which can be done should be

accuracy benefits in the warehouse. The

Software as a

done with Voice as it has so many

most interesting change he sees today over

Service (SaaS)

advantages,” he explained.

previous years is the acknowledgement of

continues to gain

this fact by WMS and ERP vendors who have

traction, not only with

Andreas Finken, president of topVOX US,

adopted Voice as a value-added mechanism

the company’s

managing director topVOX UK, reflects that

to their offerings. “Understanding that a

traditional SMB

there are always new developments in WMS

seamless delivery of all types of instructions

customer base who

and Voice. He commented: “And because of

to the worker is paramount to achieving

are embracing the

the way technology is moving forward it is

today’s warehouse challenges has led the

Cloud as a competitive differentiator, but also

important for us as a Voice solutions provider

WMS community to offer Voice-ready systems

among Enterprise companies who have fixed

to be very adaptable to these changes in a

in much the same way that barcodes were

IT budgets and are adopting SaaS solutions

way that will maintain performance of the

adopted over 20 years ago,” he said.

to help subsidiaries accelerate speed to

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Voice system itself and also to add real benefit to the end user.” Finken added that

Williams believes the trend and differentiation

with the ever increasing speeds and reliability

is now more about the scope of the Voice

of high-speed Internet worldwide, the

offering rather than the availability. This, he

increasing interest in SaaS/Cloud, topVOX

maintains, is driven into even sharper focus

Real-time management information

continues to provide and enhance its Voice

with the need for business agility driven by

Martin Eppert, product manager for

as a Service offerings in line with these

surge in omni-channel and click and collect

Vanderlande, believes one key driver for

trends; something it has continued to do for a

type operations. “Late ordering for next-day

change is the requirement for real-time

number of years.

delivery, for example, relies heavily on timely

management information. “Presenting the right

execution of work instructions – doing job

information to warehouse managers in an

Additionally, with the movement to lower-cost

right first time in good time to meet demand

appropriate way, whenever they would like to

highly flexible mobile OS such as android

and greater visibility of order progress,

see it, is still a hot topic in WMS development,”

and iOS, Finken believes it is essential for

whether click and collect, timed or next day

he said, adding that this will increase visibility

both WMS and Voice providers to not only

deliveries,” he said.

over warehouse processes. Eppert also

move with this technology but also to allow

considers that dashboards are becoming

customers flexibility in transition between

Bill Tomasi, VP product management at IBS,

more prevalent, combining WMS and process


comments that because the WMS market in

information from the system; for example the

general has evolved well into the maturation

lower control levels due to automation. This,

cycle, the key topics in IBS’s discussions

he explains, enables supervisors to make the

with customers haven’t changed

most of available resources and reduce costs

substantially over the past 10 years or so –

within the entire logistical process.

but the focus on the details behind the





December 2015

questions has. He added: “For example,

Another key driver for change, according to

customers have long recognised the need

Eppert, is the continuous growth of

for real-time visibility into operations within

ecommerce. He commented: “The e-

their fulfilment facilities (and indeed no WMS

commerce market continues to influence WMS

solutions provider can exist nowadays

developments. Orders are becoming smaller

without this functionality). However, more

while lead-times are getting shorter. In

recently the discussions have focused on the

addition, same-day deliveries are on the rise.

format of retained information, faster and

The number of SKUs in a warehouse is also

easier retrieval of this information, and

growing. Distribution centres need to be able

intuitive UI (user interface) design

to support multi-channel processes, which

approaches. All of these drive not only end

increases the overall operational complexity.

user productivity but also are imperative with

WMS has to support these developments with

the new government regulations being

suitable planning and scheduling

placed on businesses.”

functionalities to maintain warehouse


Special Report

Voice/Warehouse Management Systems

+../,$&(*'/ ,%./"-.&,#.*+'/ "-)%+,%./$.)#/ (".-)+,(*)$/.%.$$.*%.'


short order throughput times,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A state-

As a result, Riviere pointed out that Zebra

Consumers expect to

of-the-art WMS has to support this in a very

customers have very much driven these

be informed in more

efficient way.â&#x20AC;?

changes to meet these underlying needs:

detail â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and at short

Chris Pass, consultant for BCP, believes


notice â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about the

some of the key drivers are transparency

delivery status of

and rigorous fulfilment procedures to

Non-proprietary hardware to increase flexibility.

their order.

accommodate the demands of the

Therefore, the WMS

multi/omni-channel market. He commented:

training requirements and also grow the

of the future has to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The warehouse management system must

capabilities of these systems, which,

support increasing

be able to handle orders of all sizes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from

claims Riviere, are now outperforming

track and trace

single items to more substantial orders â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

speaker-dependent ones.


from a myriad of different sources,


Speaker independent systems to reduce

alongside a much wider choice of delivery options â&#x20AC;&#x201C; plus the flexibility to mix and


increasing demand for ergonomic working

match those options in whatever

Have ways of best integrating WMS and/or

environments is also a pertinent subject. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This

combination the customer demands. Key to

Voice-directed systems with other systems

can be achieved through a combination of

success is business-wide transparency â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

developed to any notable extent over the past

user-friendly interfaces and optimised

stock availability, stock location, delivery

year or two? Finken believes this question

workstations,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Enhanced working

data and the whole spectrum of orders that

depends on the customer organisations and

conditions have a positive impact on both the

are being placed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; through all channels â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

what they want. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If they want

motivation of operators and their performance

and using that information, alongside

to have a system that can add functionality

while reducing absenteeism due to sickness.

accurate forecasting, sophisticated pricing

then a database and middleware can do this.

An ergonomic and user-friendly interface also

matrices and rigorous fulfilment operations

If they want a direct real-time connection to

requires shorter learning curves for

to deliver a seamless omni-channel

their host system then there are many ways

employees, which is especially important in

experience for customers at a cost which is

that this can happen depending on their host

dynamic workforce environments.â&#x20AC;?

economical for the business. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where

system. A database, telegram, html or .NET

truly integrated systems come in.â&#x20AC;?

type of communication can do this. If they

Eppert believes the

In Eppertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view, the experience for customers

want total freedom to develop their own

is also crucial. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Online reviews and easy

Pass also observes that the new Alcohol

system changes then training them to do this

ordering procedures mean there are many

Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) is

and providing a development kit and support

factors to consider in ensuring consumer

shining a new light on Bonded warehousing

would be appropriate.â&#x20AC;?

satisfaction,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To facilitate this, same-

as alcohol wholesalers of all sizes have to

day deliveries, at the lowest cost, with zero

check compliancy with regulations. He said:

Riviere considers that integration of Voice

errors in order fulfilment are essential. Also

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This process does seem to be raising

and WMS is quite stable today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;However,

store-friendly deliveries can help turn this

awareness of the cash flow and

Zebra has added more support for faster and

trend into a solution, allowing for shelves to be

administration benefits that can flow from

easier integration over the past few years,â&#x20AC;?

replenished quickly, while reducing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;out of

setting up a Bonded facility; benefits which

he pointed out.

stockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; notifications to customers. This requires

are magnified if they are also involved in

distribution centres to reassess their

exporting activities. Voice technology is an

Andy Briggs points out that BEC has various

processes and look for ways of optimising

ideal tool for running a Bonded warehouse,

integrations into all

their supply chain. Important decisions need

with its unmatched traceability capabilities â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

the major ERPs

to be made relating to the entire logistical

provided it has been thoughtfully designed

(SAP, Oracle, Infor,

process. For example, in altering the stacking

into the solution.â&#x20AC;?

Dynamix, IFS &

pattern of a delivery pallet to match the

many others). â&#x20AC;&#x153;There

unpacking sequence of a certain store, the

Riviere considers that increased pressure on

is no need for

individual layout of the shop must be taken

warehouse and logistics in general has been


into account within the WMS.â&#x20AC;?

driven by ecommerce, and the evolving

development to add

supply chain means warehouses need to

Voice to a

As a result of the factors he cited above,

cope with increasing demands; including

businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ERP

Eppert maintains there is a trend towards the

more SKUs, greater returns and stock

system â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we have

automation of more warehouse processes.

visibility. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This has meant that warehouses

proven technology

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This will not only reduce running costs, but

and DCs need to continue to evolve to

connectors,â&#x20AC;? he

also increase process quality and facilitate

increase accuracy and efficiency,â&#x20AC;? he said.



*#-.)&/ ,*.*' "-.&,#.*+/(/+("/' !)*),*/#,-.%+(-/ '/



December 2015



Special Report

Voice/Warehouse Management Systems

to receive training on their new system and Wilson thinks things have become

prepare for a smooth commissioning phase.”

increasingly standardised in the sense that

According to Clark, the main challenges

most of the packages now have standard

Heaney makes the point that the price-point

when integrating with

connectors to the leading ERP systems. “That

for Voice is now lower and integration within

existing business

makes the whole process easier, however this

WMS has become simpler over the past few

systems usually rest

is not something that is in my view plug and

years. According to Tomasi, the current trend

with the ERP

play at this point,” he said. “This is because

in inter-solution communications is to

systems, as they are

an ERP normally is a configured solution, so

generate open and transparent

often older versions

the specific way a company has set up its

communication layers. “This trend results in

and not configured

ERP solution can have an impact on how the

easier, faster, and less expensive integration

for connecting to

interfacing works. That’s why there has always

as more and more companies adopt

external systems. He

been a degree of tailoring required to make

technological standards and publish their

commented: “The

the interfaces work. Nevertheless, it is now a

interface requirements,” he remarked.

advances the

much easier process than it used to be

,$$/(!)&,'/ "-(# %+/!)*).!.*+'

vendors of these systems have invested in

because a lot of the integration is more

Spotts considers that in some ways

have really made the difference, allowing the

standardised – it’s now more a case of

integrating the Voice-directed system with the

use of real time web services, APIs and other

tailoring rather than building from scratch.”

WMS is straightforward. “Because of the real-

real-time transport methods. Obviously the

time nature of Voice-directed systems, using

providers of WMS and Voice systems have

Eppert has observed a strong trend towards

middleware may not be effective – a direct

had to ensure they can accommodate as

adopting responsive, near real-time interfaces

integration may be the best choice,” he

many options as possible, providing flexible

such as web services, over the more

remarked. The good news, according to

methods for each new client system.”

conventional and less reactive batch-oriented

Spotts, is that if a direct interface is written

communication methods. “This allows for

between the WMS and the Voice-directed

Williams believes that, undoubtedly, more

closer process integration; for example, being

system, the quantity and variety of data

business systems have wider ranging

able to automatically print and add a delivery

exchanged will likely be very predictable and

integration to Voice systems than ever before.

note – or invoice – and shipping label

limited in scope. “That is because the

He adds that Honeywell Vocollect solutions

reflecting the latest pick results and parcel

transactions conducted by the Voice-directed

integrates with over 200 business systems,

weights,” he explained.

system must be limited in order to maintain its

often with several at the same time, with the

accuracy and speed,” he said.

emphasis on seamless integration to deliver

Eppert added that customers are becoming

the best performance possible. “However,

more aware of the value of their software

Pass argues that integrating Voice into WMS

with the ever-changing demands from the

solutions and, moreover, the risks involved if

continues to be more challenging than is often

market there still remains the need for

they do not work as expected. “Therefore,

represented by middleware providers “who

functionally-rich applications or middleware

integration tests of a new system within the

simply aim to bolt Voice hardware onto an

that is truly attuned to the business in hand,”

customer’s existing IT network have become

existing WMS”. In Pass’s view, a totally

he said.

more important,” he said. “To test whether

integrated Voice WMS still, in general, offers

integration will be effective before the

(/ .)*.'/-.&.)-% #,-.%+(-'/"-,*%,")$ )*)$&+//-.+),$/ %(*& !.-/!)-.+&'



more functionality while being more robust

du Preez makes the point that, today, there is

software goes live a

and less risky. “It’s important to appreciate

a wider range of Voice integration options than

special test

that Voice is now a mature technology with

ever before. “The larger WMS vendors have

environment is

customers much more aware of the potential

more deeply embedded Voice into their latest

established. This

benefits it can deliver and the need to

versions and companies with older versions

includes remote

integrate it fully and sensitively to other

now have access to high quality screen-to-

connections that

business systems if those benefits are to be

Voice solutions to voice-enable any of their

mimic the dynamic

realised,” he said. “This applies equally,

screen-based processes,” he said. “There is

behaviour of the

whether it be a Warehouse Execution System

still strong demand for Voice warehouse

existing material

to Voice empowering an existing WMS or a

execution systems that enhance the lower

handling system.

full Voice WMS interfacing to other business

level operational processes of traditional WMS

More customers are

systems.” The key, says Pass, is to choose a

systems. For example, Voiteq’s VoiceMan

participating in this

supplier with a proven pedigree of

warehouse execution system enabled

test phase, which

implementing Voice and a full understanding

Kellogg’s to realise a 40 per cent productivity

gives them an

of what is involved so that Voice can be made

improvement by better managing workload

excellent opportunity

to ‘work for you’.

and pallet building using Voice.”



December 2015


Voice/Warehouse Management Systems

Special Report

According to du Preez, there is also growing

Eppert has seen few notable requests for a

leverage their WMS

interest from SAP customers for Voice

SaaS model so far. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the context of

or their Voice system

solutions that connect directly to SAP and a

automation projects, WMS is seen as an

etc. more in the

number of these solutions have gone live in

additional investment to the traditionally more

Cloud and then take

the past 12 months in the UK and Europe â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

expensive equipment,â&#x20AC;? he said. Eppert has

advantage of a

particularly as the adoption of SAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

observed little interest in a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;public Cloudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

common system

Extended Warehouse Management (EWM)

approach; however, he has witnessed a

across their


greater focus on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;private Cloudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; solutions

warehouses facilities.

within small- to mid-size systems warehouses.

Then, rather than

He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The benefits of Cloud-based

having dedicated

SaaS and Cloud

approaches are well-known: IT setup and

servers and

Has the Software as a Service (SaaS)/Cloud

maintenance costs are reduced and the

differences in how

model had any notable level of impact on the

scalable nature of the solution allows

things are

WMS and/or Voice-directed software solutions

customers to respond quickly to changing

implemented, they can take advantage of a

market so far? du Preez comments that it is

market needs, without compromising

more common broad-brush solution that is

first worth distinguishing how a Voice solution

response times.â&#x20AC;?

easier to maintain and also satisfy their needs.

-,&/)&&'/%(*& $+)*+'

Therefore, we are seeing the tendency for

is hosted and provided (which could be in the

people to start moving that way.â&#x20AC;?

Cloud) from the commercial model for acquiring it (which could be pay-per-user-per-

Going smaller

month). He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;New commercial

Spotts reflects that publications often focus on

Finken thinks it is clear that SaaS models do

models such as Subscription and SaaS were

gigantic organisations with massive

work and are growing. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There

accelerated in the economic downturn when

warehouses and large information technology

are major strengths to this model as they

capital was hard to come by. Interestingly, the

staffs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environment, there is a

generally do not require large capital

appetite for these has not diminished now that

growing number of small boutique and

investment and have flexible contract terms

the economy is stronger.â&#x20AC;?

specialty retailers who manufacture and

so it provides a low risk option to companies

warehouse their products,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These

providing they have resilient and reliable

du Preez explains that Voiteq offers all three

organisations do not have the resources to

connectivity. With the massive growth over the

hosting models: Cloud, data centre and on-

maintain an ERP or warehouse management

last few years of mobile communications I

premise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Primarily due to the mission-critical

system. For a growing number of such small-

think there are some real opportunities here.â&#x20AC;?

nature of Voice systems, most of our

and even medium-sized businesses a Cloud-

customers opt for high-availability

based solution can be desirable.â&#x20AC;?

deployments under their control in data

Tomasi believes SaaS is definitely becoming more of a topic for discussion with customers

centres or at their warehouse sites,â&#x20AC;? he said.

Heaney explains that many multimodal units

as they see the benefits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe we

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Examples of internet services being

have the Voice engines and the software

have fully crossed the chasm and entered into

unavailable, such as the recent Skype outage,

kernels that drive most of the heavy activity on

the Early Majority phase yet, but I see the

are often quoted by companies when we

the devices themselves. He commented:

market as definitely trending in this direction,â&#x20AC;?

speak to them about a pure Cloud service.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;They can send messaging back to either the

he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Much as we saw back in the 1990s

The cost and impact on customer service of a

local host servers for Voice or to the Cloud

when real-time visibility crossed the chasm,

picking system being unavailable for a few

etc. So, by decoupling where a lot of that

we will see a shift as some of the providers

hours is not

heavy processing is and then putting many

who failed to adopt the prerequisite

something theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re

cases right on the device you are now able to

technological underpinning fall to the wayside

willing to risk. That

support largely Cloud-ready type operations.â&#x20AC;?

and new start-up companies burst onto the scene. This is good news for the WMS market

being said, some of

)-+,*/"".-+'/ "-(# %+/!)*).-'

our larger customers

Heaney continued: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The same thing is true on

in general as historically these events drive

have opted for

WMS. Today, there is a lot more bandwidth

the market forward.â&#x20AC;?

Cloud-like solutions

and less latency between how quickly the

(centrally hosted with

systems can receive information. In some

According to Clark, the acceptance of SaaS

a browser user

cases we have seen SaaS-based WMS

systems for CRM and ERP has opened the

interface) in resilient

providers actually doing high-speed sortation

floodgates for other pioneering system

data centres that

where units pass by a scanner at rates of

vendors to create SaaS products that can

they can select and

2000 to 3000 per minute. As a result of that

stand shoulder to shoulder with the

hold to high service

capability we are seeing many more people

established on-premise solutions.


opting for a solution that allows them to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Increasingly, our SaaS WMS is being




December 2015



Special Report


evaluated alongside

)-+/,,.-.'/ &,*.&& #..$("!.*+/#,-.%+((-/&"..%/&($ +,(*&'/

operations as businesses modify their models

and chosen above

Looking to the future

to allow shipment direct to end customer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

on-premise solutions

What might be the next innovations and

are experiencing a growing number of

and not simply

developments to look out for in the world of

customers asking us to enable â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pick and

because it is a lower-

WMS software and Voice-directed systems

packâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; within their operations, and this has

cost option,â&#x20AC;? he said.

over the next year or two? Eppert believes

been a built-in option on our â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lydia Plug and

â&#x20AC;&#x153;On this basis, we

one area of development will be the

Playâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; system for quite a while now,â&#x20AC;? he said.

predict that Cloud

integration of new technology such as

will overtake the

automated shuttle systems allowing for

popularity of on-

scalable storage or automated mixed

Wearable technology

premise WMS within

palletising solutions. These, he sayd, will need

Pass believes wearable technology is one area

the foreseeable

specific WMS support in order to get the

that will become more prevalent within the


maximum benefit.

Voice space, while Clark considers that WMS systems will continue to become more

Pass explains that several of BCPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Voice

Another challenge for WMS software,

sophisticated, with the ability to handle greater

WMS customers have been operating private

according to Eppert, will be handling the

levels of exceptions without requiring any

Cloud systems to manage multi-depot

conflict between the impressive speed of

manual intervention or administration by

operations for years, but BCPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own research

innovation and release cycles from the

operators. This, he believes, will essentially

and experience shows that customers prefer

consumer market and the demand for future-

make the system smarter while keeping the

being able to see their own hardware and

proof investments in the world of logistics.

user experience simple and straightforward.

control their own data. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still an

â&#x20AC;&#x153;For example, mobile terminals in a

Briggs considers that Voice could spread

inherent discomfort about the data ownership

warehouse are often in operation for many

further from warehousing into manufacturing for

issue which comes with the SaaS/Cloud

years, while the capabilities of an average

assembly, inspections etc. (for more comment

model,â&#x20AC;? he said.

smartphone and its apps are improving

in this area, see pages 30 and 31).

monthly,â&#x20AC;? he said. Also, Eppert reflects that Riviere comments that Zebra is seeing

the discrepancy between the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;always

Within the next year or two Tomasi thinks we

increasing interest in SaaS as it is easier to

connectedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; trend in the consumer market and

will see improvement in the SaaS adoption,

deploy and get up and running and offers a

the demand for IT security within a warehouse

clarity of purpose in the Big Data arena,

different investment model for customers.

will be an interesting topic to work on as a

emergence/improvement of augmented reality

Williams points out that term â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;SaaSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; has been

product manager.

technology, and improved adoption of existing

around for many years, and its impact and

development technologies. All of this will, he

interpretation can vary widely depending on

Finken comments that topVOX is now

believes, lead to a rejuvenated and much more

oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective. He commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;To some it

deploying solutions that combine new

dynamic WMS market, which will be good for

means renting licensed software or pay to use,

hardware with the use of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Voice and Visionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

vendors and customers alike.

to others it represents having a hosted system

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is very real now and I think this will be a

that is run and managed by someone one else

big growth area over the next two years,â&#x20AC;? he

Heaney makes the point that because

and to yet another group it represents an


companies are adding extra complexity they

alternative cash flow profile.â&#x20AC;?

are also adding more cost. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So one of the next Finken pointed out that customers are

frontiers is to become more profitable,â&#x20AC;? he

Williams adds that Honeywell Vocollect

continually demanding more flexibility.

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to

solutions have been able to provide hosted or

Therefore, he thinks the use of android in

achieve this is

remote systems for many years with a variety of

warehouse operations will be a very

through more

licensing models. â&#x20AC;&#x153;However in order to

noticeable development as the hardware can

effective labour-

maximise returns, Voice solutions often need to

be much lower cost than traditional


be configured, personalised or tuned to

ruggedised devices. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The key here is how we

which can, for

individual requirements, so as to deliver the

enable customers to have this flexibility,â&#x20AC;? he

instance, help to

most significant returns,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As such, the

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So we will be developing our Lydia

take out non-value-

astute client will usually invest in a solution that

Voicewear to help with this in keeping low-

added work. Some

differentiates him in his market, whilst delivering

cost devices protected and therefore viable in

vendors now offer

an outstanding ROI, typically within a year.

the harsh environments of warehouses.â&#x20AC;?


SaaS remains an option for Voice that


stimulates interest but doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always deliver

Also, Finken believes the market will continue

solutions that are

the best results.â&#x20AC;?

to see the growth of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pick and Packâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

independent from





December 2015

)--.$/,$$,)!&' -.,(*/#,-.%+((-+.-*/ -(".'



their primary WMS solution, so that if a user

Special Report

still,â&#x20AC;? said Williams.

has a legacy system it can bolt on a labour-

Changing demands

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We continue to

management solution. The idea is to provide

du Preez comments that ever changing

make small and

an effective way to become more profitable in

demands on warehouses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; driven by

subtle improvements

your work processes as you turn on these new

consumers, retailers and regulation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; will force

and refinements that

more labour-intensive modes of fulfilment.â&#x20AC;?

them to consider flexibility and rapid return on

still add significant

investment as key factors when choosing

value to costly

Heaney also sees a growing trend towards

technology. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the range of proven


being able to take Big Data, analyse it and

integration options available from experienced

determine what the workload is going to look

vendors, it will be easier than ever for

Williams explained

like tomorrow, the next day or the day after

customers to implement Voice into their

that some of

that based on what has been seen today. He

operations,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Existing users will seek

Honeywell Vocollect

commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you think about an event like

ways to further leverage their investment in

Solutionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; more

Black Friday, orders are coming in, data is

Voice and will extend its use into warehouse

recent innovations are the inclusion of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hands-

being collected and the orders are being

processes beyond picking. We therefore

freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; scanning into a Voice device; allowing all

processed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but there may be a certain

expect continued strong growth from the

of the benefits of Voice-directed work with the

amount of backlog at the end of the day.

warehousing Voice market.â&#x20AC;?

additional option of automatic data collection.

There may be an indication in the data itself

#/"(++&'/&.*,(/%(*& $+)*+'

Additionally, Williams points out that the

that some items are nearly out of stock,

du Preez also believes the market will see the

company has produced advanced wireless

meaning you may need to get extra stock

use of Voice rapidly expanding into non-

headsets with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sound senseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; noise cancellation

from your supplier. You can now turn this Big

warehousing markets; particularly inspection

that has further pushed the performance

Data into intelligence in order to be a little

and in-store retail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This will bring new device

boundaries of industrial Voice-recognition

more proactive about where your next failure

and headset form factors as well as advances

systems, whilst also offering even more ability

point may be. For example, you might need to

in the underlying Voice recognition engines,â&#x20AC;?

to integrate into multiple systems concurrently.

bring in more temporary workers tomorrow

he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These innovations will positively

because the order levels are so huge and the

impact the established warehouse Voice

He added that, in line with the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;keeping it

popularity of some of these items is

market and provide more options for existing

simple for usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; philosophy, Honeywell

outstripping the pick face.â&#x20AC;?


Vocollect Solutions continues to implement

Riviere considers that more warehouses and

du Preez added that, much like RFID, vision

integration, ergonomics and ease of use.

distribution centres will be using multimodal

systems need to pass through their hype

Williams also explains that the company has

devices over the next year or two. He also

stage before their particular business case

already witnessed the use of Voice into areas

believes we there will be a sizeable increase in

becomes credible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do believe that vision

such as MRO, healthcare and in-store and he

all touchscreen devices being deployed in the

systems, combined with quality Voice

sees its usage expanding into even more

warehouse. Finally, he anticipates further

recognition, will offer innovative solutions to

diverse environments.

interest in SaaS.

certain data-rich processes,â&#x20AC;? he said.

practical improvements in both WMS

â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect them to displace current warehouse technologies any time

Augmented reality

soon.â&#x20AC;? Finally, du Preez believes the

Wilson reiterates his earlier point; that we are

availability of new commercial models such

going to see a growth in augmented reality

as subscription will give customers the ability

technology in the warehouse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The reason for

to select and implement Voice within their

that is with the amount of pressure on cost

budget cycle by shifting the costs from capex

people will be looking very aggressively at

to opex.

how to do things that can reduce operating costs,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we will probably see


In Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; view, todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advances in

more of an interest in warehouse automation

technology and systems, coupled with the

because people who are reconfiguring their

increasing professionalism of the industry,

networks or building new distribution space

means that many things are being executed

will be taking account of the living wage and

well in the logistics and warehouse arena. As

the impact of that over the medium to long-

such, he believes that occurrences of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;game-

term. Therefore automation may start to pay

changingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; innovation are less common.

back a bit better than it has done in the past

â&#x20AC;&#x153;However that does not mean that we stand

in the UK.â&#x20AC;? 



December 2015





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Manufacturing and Logistics IT - December 2015 Issue  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Manufacturing and Logistics IT - December 2015 Issue  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications


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