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JUNE 2015

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Special Technology Report: PLANNING/FORECASTING/S&OP Interview: PRESIDENT ENGINEERING GROUP LTD

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Driving growth with better decision making Why ‘best-in-class’ S&OP pays Changes in systems needs changes in leadership Reliable printing of labels and receipts at forklifts The power of enterprise Wi-Fi for smaller businesses

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23 – 24 September 2015 I London, UK gartner .com/eu/supplychain gartner.com/eu/supplychain

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The future is Industry 4.0 The main theme of this year’s Hannover Messe was Industry 4.0 (or Industrie 4.0). If such a highprofile event focuses so heavily on a particular concept it has to have something weighty to offer. Gartner makes the point that Industry 4.0 is primarily a German-government-sponsored vision for advanced manufacturing. However, the analyst organisation adds that the scope of coverage and increasing awareness of the concept in other regions can spur confusion. So, what is it all about exactly? Accenture’s definition is that Digital Industry 4.0 – and the related Industrial Internet of Things – concerns connected, intelligent products that communicate with users, and offers up new digital business models that harness collected data to offer additional services and as-a-service products, products on the assembly line that tell shop floor machinery how they are to be processed. Similarly, Gartner comments that Industry 4.0 is about connecting embedded systems and smart production facilities to generate a digital convergence between industry, business and internal functions and processes. Gartner adds that Industry 4.0 refers to a fourth industrial revolution (following water/steam power, mass production and automation through IT and robotics) and introduces the concept of ‘cyber-physical systems’ to differentiate this new evolutionary phase from the electronic automation that has gone before. According to Hannover Messe, the rationale behind its support for the concept at this year’s even was largely because “radical change awaits us, in which entire operating flows will be transformed”. It adds that flexibility, individualised production and logistics are prerequisites for remaining competitive, and believes it is because of this that nearly all industrial companies want to digitise their entire value chain by 2020. Indeed, German industrial companies alone are investing EUR 40 billion for this transformation. Steve Prentice, research vice president and Gartner Fellow, believes that although the concept encompasses many technologies and business designs, including the Internet of Things and digital business, it is not synonymous with, or a replacement for, any one specific technology. Although the majority of pilots, incubation and experimentation are confined to the DACH region, Gartner believes Industry 4.0 will not be confined to the DACH region, and maintains that every industry that is becoming more automated, more data-driven or that deploys more technology will be caught up under Industry 4.0. Equally, anything that is connected to the Internet, or that produces data (or consumes it) to optimise operations and generate value is a potential target. Gartner believes Industry 4.0 represents a quantum leap for most organisations. “We believe that CIOs will be best served by breaking the sweeping aims (and to some extent the ‘one size fits all’ approach) of Industry 4.0 down into much smaller, more manageable elements, and they should focus their investments to take smaller incremental steps,” said Prentice. In his view, these might include:

Ed Holden Editor

• Combining data from both internal and external sources to improve decision making in creating feedback loops to improve product and process designs. • Developing the competencies (and mutual trust) to better integrate IT and OT within the organisation, including the integration of security and risk management across these two domains. • Inventorying existing IT support for manufacturing and identifying where further digitalisation is needed. • Understanding how the underlying technologies of Industry 4.0 may impact the localisation of manufacturing operations (rather than globalisation) to determine the optimal trade-offs between cost, innovation and supply. • Working toward concurrently developing smart products and smart manufacturing processes, but on a focused and incremental basis where the investments can be clearly justified and the benefits are clearly apparent. While Industry 4.0 might to some extent seem to be a futuristic concept, the technology backbone will continue to be put in place in to order to bring aspirations around greater connectivity and intelligence to reality. Then, once this really starts to get traction in the market a raft of subsequent benefits will quickly follow for those that chose to deploy it.

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IT June 2015

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT June 2015

Interview

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

6

President Engineering Group Ltd.

Editor: Ed Holden

Special Technology Report

Contributors:

10

Martin Hill, Epicor

Planning/Forecasting/S&OP

Gary Shaw, DynaSys Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner, JDA Software

Manufacturing

Richard Watkins, the Delos Partnership Ltd. Christian Bischoff, Datamax-O’Neil by Honeywell

20

Exel Computer Systems: Webro connects with EFACS E/8 Veeva Systems delivers Veeva CRM Events Management and Veeva Align

Darrel Williams, Vocollect Solutions by Honeywell

Epicor: Driving growth with better decision making

Publisher: Dean Taylor

Planning

Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com

26

DynaSys: Easy On Boarding for effective and flexible Demand and Supply Chain Planning Gartner: Worldwide supply chain management software market grew 10.8 per cent in 2014

Production: Carolyn Pither

JDA: Why ‘best-in-class’ S&OP pays

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

Mueller Stoves reduces the assembly line stops after Preactor deployment

Delos Partnership: Changes in systems needs changes in leadership

IT Manager: Ian Curtis

Printing & Labelling

36

Accounts: Sarah Schofield

SATO expands NX Series with next-generation 6-inch industrial thermal printer Datamax-O’Neil by Honeywell: Reliable printing of labels and receipts at forklifts

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

Epson launches industrial in-house label printer

Networking

42

Siemens: New mobile wireless router for high-bandwidth industrial remote communication

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 manufacturer’s or supplier’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.

Zebra Technologies: WiNG Express – the power of enterprise Wi-Fi for smaller businesses

Warehouse Management 46

BEC signs sweet deal with Haribo

Voice-Directed Picking 48

Voxware introduces Cloud-based predictive modelling analytics platform Vocollect Solutions, Honeywell: The story behind the supermarket price wars; how Voice-

ISSN:1463-1172

4

IT

directed warehouse technology is driving the competition forward

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Interview

President Engineering Group Ltd.

Engineering excellence Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with President Engineering Group Ltd. about the Group’s major expansion over the past few years, and the IT backbone that supports business growth. resident Engineering Group Ltd. (PEGL) – a member of the British Stainless Steel Association – was formed in October 2010 when the Conflow and Bestobell Valves businesses were purchased in a management buyout from Flow Group. These businesses consist of a manufacturing and distribution unit in Sheffield (UK), a distribution unit in Pittsburgh (USA), and an Assembly unit in Ahmedabad (India).

P

For over 60 years, Conflow has been providing products and services that help to protect miners in the coal industry around the world. Conflow supplies specialist components and systems for dust suppression, fire suppression and water control in underground mining, from coal to gold, in more than 30 countries around the world. In addition, wherever minerals are transported in bulk, such as quarries, power stations and ports, Conflow products help to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Originally founded in 1857, Bestobell has more than 50 years’ experience in the development and supply of cryogenic valves and fluid control equipment for industrial gas, and more than 10 years’ experience in providing valve solutions to the emerging LNG markets and associated industries, including: transport, storage, processing, defence, LNG marine and LNG land-based. In November 2012 President Engineering Group also acquired Bretby Gammatech Ltd. a niche provider of coal monitoring products. This move not only provided significant benefits to both PEGL and Bretby Gammatech but increased President Engineering’s credentials in the global mining market. Bretby 6

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Gammatech was established in 1994 by a number of technical experts from British Coal, who set up the company and developed the early prototype for the Ash Probe, which has since become recognised internationally for its ease of use and accuracy, saving hundreds of mines and coal processing plants money every day. Over the years, Bretby Gammatech has developed a number of different products, such as the Lab Ash, Ash Eye, Heat Eye and Gamma Eye. In recent years, it has updated the product range, which is now available with interactive digital displays that feature touch screen technology. This is making them more user friendly with the ability to display function keys in languages other than English.

Worldwide market President Engineering Group Ltd. markets worldwide, with a distribution centre in the US

supplying to the US market and a smaller assembly part in India which supplies the Asian market. Everything else is supplied from the company’s manufacturing base in Sheffield here in the UK. Across the Group, PEGL manufactures around 7000 items on a 100 per cent Make to Order (MTO) basis, supplying over 200 customers across 30 countries. Order sizes range from one-off items through to batches measured in their tens of units. At any one time PEGL has approximately 1200 live orders with around 900 of these passing through its machining and assembly areas each month. All of the Group’s manufactured goods pass through the machining area irrespective of which company or customer they relate to, before being separated out into distinct assembly areas, one for each business. The machining area comprises 12 machining units, many of which can handle a wide variety of

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President Engineering Group Ltd.

processes. EFACS is also used at the Group’s HQ in India, Bretby Gammatch and a roll-out to the US is also currently being considered.

Greater automation

Interview

actions being missed or overlooked. Now using the Document Management and Workflow functionality within EFACS E/8, only the correct documentation is available, as required. Additionally, paper trails related to NonConformance Reports (NCRs) been replaced by workflow ensuring that each step is correctly adhered to and a full audit trail kept.

PEGL’s finance director, Marie Cooper explained that after the MBO the Group wanted to upgrade the ERP system primarily to ensure Improved communication more of the day-to-day business and operational processes could become more automated. “Although much of EFACS can be The increased visibility that the latest version of used effectively ‘out of the EFACS afforded PEGL box’, we did ask Exel to has also led to The increased visibility that come on site and work improved the latest version of EFACS with our team to communication undertake some bespoke afforded PEGL has also led to between the work around some of the commercial and improved communication between production teams, as workflow processes,” she said. “This was in order to the commercial and production each department could ensure the system could teams, as each department could now look at the relevant operate in as much of an data for each other and now look at the relevant data for automated fashion as act immediately in the each other and act immediately in most informed way. possible, with the need for minimum manual Decisions that the most informed way.” intervention.” previously could be One such example of this is vendor managed delayed for days while messages were sent inventory and the time taken previously to and then actioned, could now be taken there create and print off purchase orders and and then. Cooper explained that she could subsequent goods received processing for each batch of goods that was delivered. “We developed a system integrated within EFACS whereby the vendor could create delivery notes, purchase orders and goods received notes all in electronic format,” said Cooper. “Now, PEGL operatives in the warehouse simply need to check-off what’s been delivered. This process now saves around four hours a week.” Steel added that EFACS now also allows operatives in the warehouse to undertake full regular stock takes.

Hänel Lean Lift automated storage and retrieval solutions from Industore. products, although some products can only be made on specific machines.

IT backbone Such a demanding production regime means the Group has to rely on a highly efficient, state-of-the-art IT backbone. Central to this is its EFACS Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution from UK-based Exel Computer Systems plc. Version 8.2 of EFACS was first installed back in 1996. However, due to the Group’s various structural changes, acquisitions and MBO since EFACS first went live, PEGL decided to upgrade to the latest version of EFACS in 2012. This version, EFACS E/8, is a fully integrated, flexible ERP software solution encompassing a broad range of business functions aimed at driving improved efficiency, visibility and organisational performance. EFACS E/8 has a component structure, making it easily customisable and able to provide the best fit for individual business requirements. It is browser, XML and Java based, and can operate on a wide range of servers, operating systems and leading databases. The system is hosted on a single platform at the Sheffield site. As well as being widely used throughout the Sheffield HQ’s sales and operations

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Quality Control Quality Control is one discipline that has benefited particularly well since the implementation of the latest version of EFACS. This process had previously been reliant on manual processes to generate paperwork and testing documentation, and there was always the possibility of documentation going astray or

For the purpose of accurately tracking and tracing valves and other goods after dispatch, PEGL uses a laser etcher from Laserlines.

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Interview

President Engineering Group Ltd.

User-friendly Ryan Connolly, sales manager at Highlander, explained that there are over 100 individual users of IT across the Group. “As you would expect, these individuals have various levels of IT awareness and experience, and because EFACS comprises such a large part of the Group’s IT estate we, together with Phil and his team, needed to ensure that the system is as user-friendly for all involved and not restricting people in terms of how they undertake their tasks. Basically, it needs to offer maximum advantage for the company as a whole. This was one of the first things we set out to achieve when we came on board, as well as suggest a few enhancements.”

From left to right, Phil Steel, data analyst and ERP specialist at PEGL; Jordan Greenwood, IT technician at Highlander; Marie Cooper, finance director at PEGL; and Ryan Connolly, sales manager at Highlander. now drill down into financial data much quicker and easier, adding that there was also a widespread view among users that EFACS E/8 was much easier to use and understand.

Full traceability The plan is now to work with EFACS E/8 to integrate with PEGL’s Lean Lift solution which uses the MPX system. Currently the same data has to be entered separately onto each system. Whereas once the changes are made EFACS E/8 and MPX will pass the relevant information to each other, halving the time involved and ensuring the data is kept up to date in real time. Also helping to keep live data up to date is EFACS E/8’s Audit module, which is used to provide traceability about key strategic transactions across all the relevant business processes. Now PEGL knows who did what, where and when and can immediately identify if there are any training issues or process/system refinements required.

Support Shortly after the latest version of EFACS was installed, PEGL decided to engage Highlander IT & Telecoms – a company local to the Group 8

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June 2015

Data Warehouse Management

in Sheffield – as its IT partner. Highlander were tasked with supporting and optimising the Group’s overall IT hardware and software infrastructure and providing data backup services, as well as having the mandate to recommend additional equipment as and when deemed necessary. The Group’s in-house data analyst and ERP specialist is Phil Steel, who, with the support of the Highlander team, is tasked with ensuring that all users of EFACS can benefit from its functionality in as userfriendly and efficient a manner as possible. “Inevitably, some people will decide to work around certain processes for various reasons,” he explained, “so if this occurs we look at why these types of choices have been made and, if applicable, look to improve the process within the system in order to make an operative’s job easier and more effective.”

Analysis Another major benefit of EFACS is the way in which various types of data can be extracted and presented in user-friendly formats that make it easier to monitor and analyse information such as historical trends and other sales and operations patterns. This process is largely the responsibility of Steel, who regularly prepares data analysis documents for discussion during management meetings.

One key area where Highlander sought to introduce enhancements to the PEGL infrastructure was Data Warehouse Management. Connolly again: “As well as managing the Group’s IT foundation, we also manage its off-site data warehousing requirements in the form of site-to-site data replication.”

Touch screens Exel recommended the installation of Nemacom touch screens for operatives on the production shop floor. These screens enable operatives to receive production-related data in real time, and feeding information back to EFACS concerning the status of individual manufacturing or assembly tasks. These Wi-Fi enabled terminals allow operatives to instantly access the required drawings, SOPs etc., increasing efficiencies.

Customer Relationship Management EFACS could be used to handle PEGL’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tasks. “This is still something we need to progress, but when it is set up could enable everything from customer enquiries to the creation of quotations and sales orders,”

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President Engineering Group Ltd.

explained Steel. “This data is then passed to EFACS’s MRP in order to create works orders and purchase orders. At this stage the touch screens on the shop floor come into play aiding the flow of information regarding production and assembly processes, through to dispatch.”

Improved visibility Cooper remarked that one of the main advantages of the latest version of EFACS is it offers the Group enhanced levels of the visibility across the whole business. “From a finance perspective, it can analyse and report on information from quotations, pricing, credit and debtors etc.” she said. “From a commercial point of view our sales personnel can see what progress each order is making at any given time so they can report back to the customers. On the shop floor, our team can see what orders are being placed on a daily basis, so they have forward visibility of what will need to be scheduled for production. So, in essence, EFACS gives everybody the ability to work more efficiently as a team.”

Virtualised infrastructure In order to ensure the Group has a more robust and efficient disaster recovery regime in place, as well as an enhanced IT backbone able to complement further business growth, Highlander sourced a series of EMC remote servers and an EMC back-up server, which are installed on its own virtualised infrastructure platform. “One of the first things we did when we took on IT responsibilities on behalf of PEGL was to put in place this virtualised network that’s able to undertake daily automated backups of all data, including emails,” explained Jordan Greenwood, IT technician at Highlander. “And over the past three years we’ve added to this and made certain improvements.”

IT equipment Connolly added that, of course, the IT world is constantly evolving, so when anything new

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becomes available that Highlander feels could suit the PEGL’s requirements it brings this up during regular monthly update meetings. In terms of the purchasing decision process for new IT solutions or enhancements to existing equipment, he explained that Highlander or a member of the PEGL team will discuss a requirement. Then, if given the go-ahead, Highlander researches the market and presents two or three options that if feels would best fit the intended function. PEGL management will then make the final choice. A recent example of this process involved sourcing a new projector for the boardroom; the final decision being in favour of an NEC plasma screen model. Cooper remarked that even though Highlander is classed as an outsourced IT solutions and support company it is very much an integrated force within the Group.

Interview

Laser marking For the purpose of accurately tracking and tracing valves and other goods after dispatch, PEGL uses a laser etcher from Laserlines. Steel explained that when a works order is produced this is scanned and can then retrieve various types of information from EFACS. This information can then be lasermarked onto the side of the valve. PEGL sourced its first laser etcher five years ago, but realised that, although this afforded major track-and-trace benefits, the etching process sometimes caused bottlenecks in the assembly area due in part to the increasing volume of orders the Group was attracting. Because of this, the Group sourced a second laser etcher two years ago. “This has largely alleviated the bottleneck problem,” said Steel. Other systems in the Group’s armoury include two Hänel Lean Lift automated storage and retrieval solutions from Industore.

Mobile devices PEGL staff in the field are supplied with a range of mobile IT tools that are able to interrogate relevant data from EFACS when required, as well as be able to feed data back to the system wirelessly in real time. Greenwood explained that the majority of mobile devices used by PEGL staff in the field are provided by Highlander on behalf of the Group. “We prefer to supply and manage these devices ourselves, mainly for security purposes,” he said. In terms of the particular device used by a member of staff, Greenwood pointed out that they are chosen and supplied based on the individual requirements of each user. “If, for example, particular members of the sales team do a lot of travelling visiting customer sites, sharing data or giving presentations then they will require a laptop that is of quite a high specification and of a more rugged form factor than an iPad,” he explained. “On the other hand, if a user is more office-based then an iPad, iPhone or something similar will often fit the bill.” Greenwood added that, Highlander doesn’t have an allegiance to any specific provider, such as HP or Dell; instead preferring to be able to investigate what it considers to be the very best fit for a particular job role.

In conclusion, Cooper commented that the partnership between PEGL, Highlander & Exel has proved highly beneficial in ensuring the IT estate is fit for purpose as the Group gears up for future growth. 

Exel recommended the installation of Nemacom touch screens for operatives on the production shop floor. These screens enable operatives to receive production-related data in real time, and feeding information back to EFACS concerning the status of individual manufacturing or assembly tasks.

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Special Report

Planning/Forecasting/S&OP

Sunny forecast 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 – including those involving mobility, Cloud/SaaS and Big Data.

he pace of technological change

T

BI/Analytics systems etc.) have been

‘proactive’ when traditionally ‘reactive’ had been

has been considerable in the

augmented to include seasonality trends,

the baseline. Supplier insights enable the supply

demand planning and forecasting

organisational and customer constraints, and

chain workflow to run smoothly, with

arena in the recent past. So, what

extended variable factors that are specific by

organisations gaining product availability and

have been some of the most

industry,” he said. “Including customer-specific

new product campaigns. More importantly,

prominent sweet-spots in terms of enhancement

information beyond sales (seasonal buying

solutions are instituting Demand Sensing and

or innovation? From an Advanced Planning &

trends, carrying capacities, and regulatory

Demand Shaping techniques that flow

Scheduling (APS) perspective, Barry

reporting requirements) enables a business to

downstream from raw material intake through

Drummond, business development manager at

enhance their services offerings to customers.”

the production schedule and to distribution. If the supply chain is an oil pipeline, these

DynaSys, makes the point that the development of in-memory processing is helping to deliver

Kimberling points out that one of the largest

demand techniques are grease that keeps it

true ‘real-time’ planning and collaboration

national malt brewers, Rahr Corporation, readily

flowing smoothly. Grouping items with common

possibilities for APS users. “Vendors who are still

admits that its success is due to Customer

demand requirements and having a balanced

relying on cumbersome import and export of

Service. He commented: “Alerts in changes of

stock will provide a higher ROI, with software’s

data between functional modules, or lengthy

buyer habits are pushed to the end-user for

ability to ‘detect’ potential variances in SCM and

waits for aggregation and disaggregation of

review; is the customer launching a new

planning the end-user

data are being left behind in this area,” he

product? What is the reason for such a change

gets better

stressed.

in orders? These insights are being integrated

information faster.”

into other aspects of ERP such as CRM, Eric Kimberling, president of Panorama

By integrating

Contract Management and Pricing.”

communications with

Consulting Solutions, considers that many current developments have come in the form of

Kimberling believes having a closer relationship

suppliers and

more complex workflows and pushing more

with your suppliers is also critical. “Solutions

customers,

data to the end-user for better decision-making.

now offer direct communication with suppliers

Kimberling maintains

“Required inputs (e.g. Demand Forecasting &

via EDI and can align production/distribution

that businesses can

Planning, Advanced Planning & Scheduling,

schedules,” he explained. “Businesses now

increase agility and

Finite Capacity Scheduling, Workforce Planning

have the ability to plan further out with all

flexibility in their

and Integrated Business Planning/S&OP.

aspects of their supply chain in order to be

rapidly changing

10

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Barry Drummond, business development manager,

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Planning/Forecasting/S&OP

Chris McDivitt, vice president, supply chain technologies leader,

Special Report

markets. “More

McDivitt explained that Capgemini is seeing this

be more mature in terms of what they are able

accurate ‘what-if’

being put into practice particularly among

to do with their supply chains.”

scenario planning,

manufacturers in the food and beverage space

using Social Supply

at the moment. “They are the ones that are

Payne observes that there are hundreds of

Chain Networks for

blazing the trail,” he remarked. “This is really an

software vendors and hundreds of different

increased

example of how manufacturers will increasingly

planning solutions available on the market.

collaboration and

leverage data and insight in a more significant

However he believes there are in essence three

accurate input data,

way versus doing this in the traditional supply

main categories of planning capabilities or

and considering

chain planning manner.”

components to consider – configure, optimise and respond (COR). Configuration (C) refers to

macroeconomic factors enable

Tim Payne, research vice president at Gartner,

technology or processes that help companies

organisations to be

reflects that, because of the way many

design their supply chain and, from a

respond faster than

companies’ supply chains are evolving and the

segmentation perspective, help them consider

ever,” he said.

way their businesses are developing their

how they are going to postpone, determine

planning processes need to be more integrated

which part is push and which part is full, and

In terms of user needs, Chris McDivitt, vice

– i.e more joined-up sales & operations planning

know whether they are going to be efficient and

president, supply chain technologies leader at

(S&OP), demand planning, inventory planning,

agile enough etc.

Capgemini, comments that demand planners do

replenishment planning, production planning,

not necessarily want to spend time looking in

manufacturing scheduling etc. “Many

Optimisation (O) is about putting in place an

hindsight at developing a statistical forecast. He

companies and their suppliers now have supply

optimal demand plan and optimal supply chain

elaborated: “The planner should be working with

chains that are more global,” he pointed out,

and trying to ensure the two are relatively well-

the most recent set of market intelligence that’s

“and so these supply chains have become more

balanced – or, if they are not, that the company

available, having information about competitors,

uncertain, unpredictable and complex. For

has the right inventory in the right place to

having information about how product is going

example, there are often more products

bridge the gap. This is really traditional batch-

to be promoted; leveraging collaborative

involved, with customers having increasing

oriented sequential planning.

relationships with their retail community (which is

expectations in terms of product choice or

probably one of the big distribution channels).”

buying channels available to them.”

Then there is Respond Planning (R). “Having created an optimal plan reality is going to

McDivitt believes that by leveraging those different marketing intelligence channels –

Payne adds that the supply chain is also

intervene,” said Payne. “Companies know their

whether it relates to their customer service,

becoming more multi-enterprise. “It’s hard

forecasts and plans will be wrong to some

marketing or sales organisation – companies

enough for some companies to plan at an

extent; it’s a question of how wrong. So they

can come in with the best demand signal before

enterprise level – with joined-up thinking

need a capability or mechanism by which in the

they walk it through their S&OP process.

between the demand and supply side of the

short term they can respond to those changes in

business – but then if companies outsource or

planning and execution events but in an

McDivitt added that one of the advantages in

want to work more with tier 1 or tier 2 suppliers

intelligent way – in a way that keeps them as

this regard is in not having to put so much

or outsource part of their manufacturing

close to their original goals as possible.”

energy behind things such as auto assignment,

operations etc. they are moving into a multi-

statistical and the parameter settings. “There’s

enterprise environment where naturally the level

Drummond reflects that things don’t have to be

still some work to do in this area, but essentially

of supply chain complexity increases.”

new to be ‘hot’, and the continued importance of Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is

there are technologies available today that can Payne explains that the technology required to

proving that. He added: “Customers are

enable that will need to be able to work with

engaging with us from different points of

Additionally, McDivitt believes the market will

more granular information, operate at greater

maturity in their S&OP process, with some

see leveraging consumer insight as a

speed and scale and have greater collaborative

companies just getting underway with the

component of market intelligence to help shape

capabilities. “This multi-enterprise dimension

basics and others looking to develop their

demand. “It’s really about leveraging this

becomes very important and that’s why we’re

existing S&OP to encompass the themes of

consumer data to help sense demand better,”

seeing a lot of the Cloud-based solutions

Integrated Business Planning (IBP) and

he said. “If you can sense demand early on and

moving more into this area,” he said.

Integrated Business Leadership (IBL).”

actually then shape demand by influencing the

According to Payne, the type of planning many

Drummond’s view is that a good S&OP process

way you promote.” However, he added that

companies want to do is also changing. “We

will inevitably evolve over time; from simple

companies would have to do this in a very

can certainly see that with the leading

summaries of demand and supply information,

collaborative way with the retailers.

companies,” he said. “These companies tend to

to ‘what-if?’ scenario planning and financial

help in this area,” he said.

know what that consumer sentiment is you could

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analysis. “The key

the original SOP process as developed in the

Planning also needs companies to manage

message here, in

1980s was meant to cover all of this.”

project type activities well, and also manage multiple projects (whether they are new product

terms of systems, is flexibility,” he said.

Critical to the quality of this IBP process is good

development, or new machinery and

“Typically the initial

Demand Planning, maintains Watkins. “In this

equipment). “In this are there is little in the way

choice of system is

area there is a definite divide between ERP

of integration of project management systems

Excel in order to get

systems (which cover Order Entry, Inventory

into ERP systems,” he said.

the process up and

Management, Planning, Purchasing and

running, but once

costing) and specialist forecasting/demand

Additionally, Watkins makes the point that

you’ve outgrown this

planning systems,” he said. “Few of the ERP

managing the interface with the customer

then you need

vendors have a forecasting system which is

around enquiries, contracts, order entry,

something that can

entirely integrated with the Production Planning

marketing activities and the like requires a

take you to, not only

and Order Entry systems. Those that do

Customer Relationship Management system.

the next level, but the one after that and one

generally do not have the functionality of the

This, he states, should then be integrated into

after that.”

specialist forecasting systems. To make matters

the Demand Planning process and the supply

‘worse’ the specialist forecasting system

planning process.

Richard Watkins, managing director,

Richard Watkins, managing director at the

vendors have seen ‘opportunities’ to add value

Delos Partnership Ltd., considers that many

to their packages, and so in turn have

However, Watkins adds that this is way off

companies are confused on what Integrated

developed ‘modules’ like Rough Cut Capacity

happening for most companies. He believes

Business Planning or SOP is. “Arguments

Planning, Advanced Planning and Scheduling

that, slowly, there is a move to provide

rage around that somehow they are different,

and Finite Capacity Planning. So companies

Integrated Business Planning with the

that IBP is SOP with steroids and an advance

then implement these separate systems around

platform that it needs. “But there is still a long

on SOP,” he said, adding that, in principle

or interfaced to their ‘basic ERP’ system.”

way to go before organisations can have a truly integrated high quality system to support

they are the same thing. “Many companies still rely on a business planning model which

Also critical to the quality of this IBP process,

Integrated Business Planning,” he remarked,

rests on a process of creating an annual

states Watkins, is a good reporting tool, which

adding: “Back in the early 1900s Henry Ford

budget, take six months to do it, and then

enables a company to aggregate the data into

famously came up with the idea you could get

spend the 12 months of the financial year

families, and then provide management with

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

trying to achieve something that was put

graphs, reports and commentary. “Here there

are very different things, with Sat Navs,

together up to 18 months ago. A review is

are a number of Business Information tools

automatic parking, anti-lock braking systems

carried out at most quarterly. Measurement of

which are stand-alone reporting tools,” he

and so on. But the basic principle is that you

success is based on achieving the budget.

explained. “These have to be configured to get

can get from A to B because the engine, gear

The fundamental difference that IBP should

the information required, and then need to be

box, steering wheel, chassis and body and

bring is a formal monthly review of all of the

interfaced to their ERP systems to extract the

seats are all properly connected, and if the

business plans, and making sure they all join

information. In truth many people do not do this,

driver turns the wheel the car will go in an

up. From a measurement point of view there

and instead rely on Microsoft’s Excel package to

expected direction. To get to where we want

are 7/8 key performance indicators which will

drive the information – which relies on dozens of

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

help deliver the long-term strategic plan. This

peoples’ individual abilities to programme

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

formal process happens monthly and works

macros and write complicated formulae – with

measure of our speed, petrol consumption,

through all of the parts of the business.”

all the probabilities of corruption, wrong

and fuel levels to make sure we get there

formulae etc. causing potential damage to a

safely.”

Underlying this, according to Watkins, is a

business’ financial position.” Watkins makes the point that Integrated

series of weekly planning activities which underpin the monthly process. “If there is a

Watkins added that some companies are also

Business Planning is like the ‘knowing where

difference between IBP and SOP then it is

trying to sell ‘SOP’ software or ‘Integrated

we are going’, and having a plan to get there

that many companies who implemented SOP

Business Planning’ software, which is a further

with measures to know how well we are

tended to focus on Sales/Marketing and

advance in this area, as it is built on a

doing. “But in many manufacturing

Supply Chain,” he said. “These projects are

recognised process, does the adding up, and

organisations companies still need (if you look

typically driven by the Supply Chain director

also is built around emails telling people to get

at the systems this way), to buy engines, gear

trying to get a better forecast. IBP also

the data ready for the monthly meeting. This, he

boxes, chassis, Sat Navs and bodies from

covers the integration of Finance, Human

believes, is another key development.

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

Resources, Information Technology, Research and Development etc. But in truth

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According to Watkins, Integrated Business

they are a minority. That is not the case with

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manufacturing companies. Certainly very few

business & operational scenario planning.

if an MES system is present, take advantage

people would operate like Excel and take all

“Strategic and medium-term scenarios can be

of the more manufacturing-centric data from

of the individual parts of a car and assemble

modelled for operational validity, and the

there to produce schedules that accurately

them themselves in their own garage.”

results made visible across the teams,” he

reflect the reality of the shop floor,” he said.

said. “Moreover, the different scenarios can Nick Castellina, research director for the

be optimised for cost and business outcome.

Aberdeen Group's business planning and

Utilising advanced simulation models,

Motivation for change

execution practice, comments that one key

planners are now able to ‘try out’ multiple

What has driven these types of trends and

talking point in the industry at the moment

options without committing to plans – and

developments? Castellina thinks it really comes

concerns the integration of tools such as MES

intelligently decide on – and execute against

down the speed of doing business to increase

with ERP to get a more full view of a

the most effective and profitable paths.”

competitiveness. He remarked: “Every company

company’s plans for production in the near

is subject to a large amount of competition due

future, and how that integrates with demand

In terms of the subject of integration and

to the way that people buy things today;

planning. “This type of integration is driving

ease-of-use, Kaltenbrunner explains that this

ordering over the Internet as well as in-store. A

down the amount of time companies’

facilitates effective user adoption and reduces

company’s competitors aren’t necessarily in the

inventory is staying on the shelf, and this is

change management requirements. “Users

same town, same state or even in the same

hugely important for driving costs down,” he

expect simpler interface, a more ‘social’ style

country; they could really be anywhere in the

said.

of interaction and want information and

world. So I think being able to produce goods

insights ‘now’,” he remarked. “Planning

quickly and getting them to customers when

Castellina added that Aberdeen Group is also

solutions must adapt to user needs and

they need them is essential.”

seeing a lot more embedded analytics

deliver friendly, social aware offerings.

capabilities built within the solutions to make

Recognising that not all organisations will

Payne observes a trend towards bigger supply

intelligent decisions. “Certainly, as

utilise best of breed, being able to provide

chains from country to region, from region to

organisations grown larger they are more

connection into and through other systems is

global. Coupled with this trend, he sees greater

likely to be taking advantage of these types of

essential.”

levels of uncertainty and unpredictability in

solutions,” he said. “Some of the smaller

terms of commodity prices, exchange rates,

organisations are having difficulty; they are

With regard to ERP integration, Kaltenbrunner

weather disruption, political unrest etc.

still running their shop floor on paper. Even if

considers that planning solutions need to be

“Therefore, companies need better visibility

they have these software tools they are still

ERP aware while at the same time agnostic.

across the supply chain from a planning

producing one thing, planning for another and

“Many organisations operate multiple ERP

perspective,” he said. “The greater complexity

going back at the end of the day and making

systems, particularly those with historically

of supply chains – involving more product

those changes within the solutions. So I think

high levels of M&A activity,” he explained.

options, routes, multi-enterprise dimensions and

there’s a need for organisations, or the

“It’s important to move beyond just being

the need to obtain better insights – means

leaders within these organisations, to commit

able to connect, and into having guided

companies potentially have a lot more data to

to using these tools that are available to them,

pathways and processes to minimise cost,

work with.” This, he believes, is where idea of

particularly after they’ve purchased them.”

impact and risk.”

Big Data and Big Analytics could increasingly

Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner, VP industry

Barnaby Speller, product manager for

granular information regarding point of sale

strategy EMEA, JDA Software. Interactive

SIMATIC IT Preactor at Preactor International

data, partly due to different buying channels, the

planning, makes the point that Agile Control

– A Siemens Company, considers that the

need for a greater

Tower (ACT) capability enables companies to

concepts of Industry 4.0, digital factories and

level of analytics

detect and respond to significant supply

Manufacturing Operations Management

comes into play in

chain events rapidly and profitably. He

(MOM) mean that Advanced Planning &

order to get the

added: “This capability allows planners to

Scheduling (APS) is no longer being seen so

appropriate insights

move from ‘What do we do now?’ to ‘What is

much as a bridge between level 3 and 4,

required to make

the best alternative of those that were tested

where it communicates directly with both MRP

more informed

and reviewed?’ With guided resolution

and MES, but rather as a component of the

decisions.

options, decisions are effectively made and

complete and integrated MOM portfolio within

implemented, and using in-memory power,

level 3. He added that the SIMATIC IT

Drummond reflects

clients are able to rapidly respond to

Preactor APS range is part of the Siemens

that there are still

disruptions during execution.”

MOM portfolio, which includes among other

many companies that

solutions, MES, to better meet the end user’s

are trying to get the

needs. “This means that the APS system can,

basics right. “They

play a key role. Payne added that with more

Kaltenbrunner then moves on to the topic of

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have usually been burned at least once on a

he explains that there is a real gap in this area,

constantly learn about consumer vocabulary in

failed APS implementation and are wary of

which is that few clients and companies have

the social media world, and constantly learn

starting another,” he said. “Meanwhile the

really bought in to the idea of true Integrated

ways to better predict consumer buying trends.

forecast accuracy stagnates and they struggle

Business Planning and Management – “thus

“There are waves and layers of technology that

to get a step change improvement in customer

they have an ERP system which is linked to the

can be exploited in this space; even in terms of

service or inventory levels.” Drummond adds

Forecasting and Demand Planning system,

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and

that vendors with good R&D and strong Supply

which is linked to the Project Management

virtualisation,” he said. “What is now possible in

Chain consulting skills are able to offer a

system, which is linked to the Customer

those spaces are things that people would have

simplified APS package in order to help

Relationship Management system,” he said.

dreamed of ten years ago.”

robust process based on industry best practice.

Watkins added that because many end-users

Another thing that manufacturers and retailers

“This can then be used as a platform to develop

do not understand and buy-in to this concept it

need to bear in mind, according to McDivitt, is

the system and solve more complex issues

is still the case that organisations have the ability

that there are so many different channels

once it is embedded as part of day to day

to pick and choose the different systems, and

through which consumers can buy goods today.

business,” he pointed out.

hence develop disintegrated processes with

“This is really being driven by digital forces such

which to run their companies. “Education in and

as the Cloud, social, mobile and Big Data,” he

According to Watkins, the end-user

acceptance of a completely integrated business

said. “Therefore, there is not just a case for

requirements have changed in part over the

model – in terms of systems, processes,

putting in place better sensing technology to

years. He commented: “Customers and

behaviour and organisation – is still a dream,”

monitor and anticipate purchasing habits related

consumers have wanted more products more

he remarked. “Phones and watches that not only

to certain types of goods, there is also the

quickly. Shareholders have wanted more profits,

allow you to call people but also to monitor how

importance of determining which channels will

or to keep their current profits. Marketing

healthy you are have become the must have

most likely be deployed by the consumer when

activities to keep a competitive edge have

objects. That is because the inventors have

they decide to make a purchase.”

meant more rapid changes to demand, and

looked ahead and developed things that

required more responsiveness. So whereas 20

consumers might want. The same is not true in

Kaltenbrunner considers that today’s user

years ago an MRP system might have

the manufacturing IT world.”

community is demanding a more interactive way

companies get the ‘quick wins’ by establishing a

of planning compared to the black box

recalculated once a month, now an ERP system has to do so in ‘real time’. Once upon a time all

Jules Morgan, head of insight and analytics,

optimisation of the past. Another driver for

cars could be black; now they need to have all

consumer products & retail at Capgemini

change, according to Kaltenbrunner, is BYOD

sorts of different options fitted to them. The Lean

Consulting, points out that in the US and Europe

(Bring Your Own Device) and the proliferation of

philosophy has helped considerably in forcing

there is currently a substantial amount of money

mobile devices, which has created the trend

people to simplify, but ‘mass-customisation’ is

being spent on promotions. “Grocers, the retail

towards mobile applications with access

the buzzword the people follow. This means you

industry and the consumer products industry

anywhere anytime functionality. “Having

make a pink one followed by a green one

are under a lot of pressure to discount at the

applications and offerings being mobile aware

followed by a yellow one all in the same day.

moment,” he said. “This is pushing a lot of

and responsive is a must have,” he said, adding

And you can only make a pink one providing it

interest in how can these companies can target

that solutions able to deliver quick insights

does not follow one that has nuts in it – because

promotional dollars to the individual rather than

through dashboards, KPI’s and high level

of regulatory requirements. Hence there has

to the mass, and to adopt technology available

reports are essential for the mobile executive –

been a real expansion in Advanced Planning

today, as well as keep an eye on technology

as well as the board level who look for the

Systems and Finite Capacity Planning Systems

trends and opportunities that may be just on the

overview.

to cope with

horizon. Take concepts such as Big Data, which

complexity.”

might encompass social data and mobile data

Kaltenbrunner also reflects that consumer

and a host of other sources of structured and

centricity is critical in understanding what

Watkins pointed out

unstructured data; Natural Language

different types of consumers buy, the

that some software

Processing (NLP) technologies have been

influences that drive those buying behaviours,

companies – because

available now for some time but the market

as well as how and where they buy. He

of the development of

demand to bring this data together, integrate it

commented: “Responding to these needs

‘Integrated Business

and understand it is very compelling now.”

requires evolving strategies supported by segmentation; with the proliferation of the omni-

Planning’ – have Eric Kimberling, president,

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IT

started to market ‘IBP’

Morgan added that Capgemini has partners

channel world, customer demand and volatility

systems in response

who have machine learning capability

– being able to develop and manage multiple

to their clients wanting

embedded in their tools, and Capgemini is able

supply chain ‘instances’ is critical to supply

integration. However,

to build machine learning into tools so they can

chain success.”

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Speller observes that the APS market has

Morgan believes the question of system maturity

Castellina points out

matured considerably over the past five years.

is important. “We have big clients that have

that, typically,

He maintains that users have a much clearer

elements of ERP doing part of the S&OP

Aberdeen Group

understanding of what is available in terms of

process but have holes that could be filled

research finds that

functionality in the marketplace and higher

within their ERP solution such as reconciling the

users are better off

expectations than ever before. “With today’s

finances at the back end of a trade promotion,”

having one single

global competition, the pressure to increase

he said. Also, he considers that these big

comprehensive

production capacity and shorten lead times

solutions don’t always finesse the answers to

solution that can

while lowering costs and inventory, forces

problems as well as a best of breed. “In terms of

handle as much of

companies to find ways to optimise operations

trade promotion management an ERP will give

their operations as

and reduce delays,” he said, adding: “In some

you the probability score out of TPM, but when

possible. He

cases, we’ve seen customers who have tried to

you pull the data off and do the analysis through

commented: “There

achieve this with their existing ERP/MES

a best of breed solution or do the analysis

are certain cases that

systems before turning to a SIMATIC IT Preactor

through data science you’ll find inaccuracies –

many of today’s ERP

APS system, which then enabled them to

you’ll find new trends and new triggers that just

solutions can handle,

succeed in reducing or eliminating non-value-

aren’t in the ERP tools,” he remarked.

such as sales. For

Nick Castellina, research director, business planning & execution,

scheduling and

added activities and improve production efficiency, in order to better meet market

Payne makes the point that there isn’t really a

planning the preference is for this all to be built

demand and deliver on-time.”

complete supply chain management suite

into the ERP system and I think ERP vendors are

available that can do everything, including more

doing a good job of identifying the needs from

advanced analytics; at least not in an integrated

industry to industry and building those needs

Best of breed

way. He commented: “In order for companies to

into their solutions. In the enterprise ERP space

Is there an argument for best of breed solutions

get their planning operations to work as

those type of functions are often built by the

in favour of planning functionality built into

effectively as possible they need a strong

vendor’s value-added resellers and partners,

systems such as ERP? McDivitt believes there

planning foundation – what we call the planning

while in the case of the smaller ERP vendors

remains a rational set of reasons for both to exist

system of record – which includes demand

they are identifying which industries they are

in the marketplace. He commented: “There are

planning, inventory planning, replenishment

going after and building solutions specifically

certain pockets of best of breed that play very

planning and manufacturing planning as the

around the requirements of customers in those

well within a supply chain planning solution; one

main components. You really don’t want to

industries.”

example would be a manufacturer’s need to get

break that up and approach one vendor for

closer to the shelf and understand what the

demand planning and another for replenishment

Drummond’s view is that ERP functionality still

likely profitability or performance of a certain

planning and manufacturing planning.” He

lags far behind that offered by a best of breed

assortment of products on retailer shelves. So

added that if a company did this it would likely

APS. “We do on very rare occasions see

there is currently quite a push in the market

suffer problems such as latency issues etc.

organisations whose operations and products are very simple and they can plan with the

around not only having in place a traditional category management function but actually

“What you really want is an integrated suite,” he

rudimentary features of an ERP system, but this

doing it in a local and collaborative way with

said. “Then, if you want functionality such as

is very rare,” he said. “The key input to all

their retailers. To achieve this really requires

demand sensing for advanced promotions

planning functions is the forecast, and the

best of breed technology versus the traditional

management, doing analytics regarding sales

accuracy of this depends on the process as

ERP route.”

uplifts and the amount of profit that you’re going

much as the system. An APS offers far greater

to make, then that’s going to require additional

functionality to support the process in terms of

He adds, however, that ERPs are getting

technology which you could use in conjunction

data cleansing, lifecycle management,

stronger. “One of the key attractions of ERPs is

with the planning system of record.”

aggregate level forecasting, collaboration, measurement and exception management.”

that they have the access to real-time integration through orders and inventory by bringing in their

Payne added that one could think of the

own set of planning capabilities; typically on the

planning system of record as providing the

Kaltenbrunner comments that leading

same kind of enterprise architecture as their

‘pipework’, collaboration, visibility and the

companies have selected ERP solutions for

ERP environment – so, they can offer more

integration backwards and forwards from a

different use cases and different user

seamless integration.” According to McDivitt,

planning perspective. “You might then wish to

communities. “In today’s world of an increasing

another argument in favour of ERP becomes

put specialised third-party applications on the

number of M&A transactions, change of

apparent when a company’s IT department asks

top that will pull data from it to do the more

ownership and corporate ERP strategies, a

‘why do we want to manage multiple vendors?’”

advanced analytics,” he said.

planning layer and platform can help to bring the new combined organisation and supply

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chain together very fast,” he explained, adding:

software solutions market so far? Watkins

initially viewed as more expensive when

“Acting with a single face to the customer is

believes SaaS/Cloud solutions are beginning to

compared to an on-premise solution where the

often seen more critical to business success of

take root, but are at an early stage of

IT costs are hidden within the fixed costs of the

a merger than bringing the set of books

development. His view is that security of data is

organisation and soft costs such as people’s

together. S&OP and Integrated Business

the principle stumbling block – although he

time are overlooked.”

Planning can actually help to re-align on new

recognises that there are clearly plenty of

corporate goals and supply chain strategies,

security systems and protocols. According to

Kaltenbrunner makes the point that utilising

better and faster as these solutions are

Watkins also made the point that, with regard to

Cloud deployment allows businesses to focus

independent for actual financial ownership of

on-premise ERP, the pricing mechanism is

on their business, and be able to grow and

the assets.”

changing. “For years the model has been pay a

evolve without having concerns about their

large licence fee – say £1 million including

technology scaling. He added: “Deployment in

Kaltenbrunner points out that having in place a

named user licences, and then pay a

the Cloud has become the default delivery

segmentation strategy enabled by an order

maintenance fee of 20 per cent – £200,000 per

method for JDA offerings. JDA has been

promising solution following the same strategy

annum. On top is the consultancy and

offering these capabilities for almost a decade

and rules is enabling customers to offer

implementation cost. Now some companies are

and has proven pedigree with more than 300

differentiated services levels to individual

charging a fixed monthly fee to cover licence

Cloud deployments to more than 350,000 users

customers or channels. “In fact, the requirement

and maintenance. This can ease the purchasing

across retail, manufacturing,

to manage large scale and complex supply

position, as companies no longer have a large

wholesalers/distributors and transportation

chains has gone up in many industries which

capital expenditure to make, but can treat it as

worldwide.”

require a more sophisticated solution approach

revenue expenditure. In the past many

compared to what usually is available by other

companies have been put off implementing a

According to Speller, the main change Preactor

solutions, e.g. ERP,” he said.

‘proper’ ERP system because of the big capital

has seen is new requirements in terms of

cost. If this becomes less of a barrier then that is

integration to accommodate offsite solutions. “I

going to help.”

believe that over the next few years there will be

Kaltenbrunner added that, with segmentation,

increasing pressure on APS vendors to provide

organisations move away from a static ‘one size fits all’ effort. “Instead they can establish multiple

However, Watkins maintains that the real

Cloud-based offerings, both to meet with

value chains to handle different markets,

challenge to the IT vendors will be to develop a

customer expectations and to meet the

business volumes, geographies and channels,

completely integrated system in the Cloud; then

requirements of global multi-plant companies,”

as well as differing customer expectations,” he

each company could have their data managed

he said.

pointed out.

anywhere at any time. He commented: “For this to happen, then every company will have to

In terms of planning capability, McDivitt cites

Speller’s view is that whilst many ERP systems

accept that the system in the Cloud has the right

two areas worthy of analysis: Cloud/SaaS

have improved built in APS functionality recently,

logic and works in the right way, supports good

Planning and Cloud/SaaS ERP. “In terms of

there is still a place for best of breed solutions.

demand forecasting, good supply planning, and

Cloud/SaaS Planning, we’re definitely seeing

He commented: “These solutions are still set

that they cannot have their own tweaks to make

momentum in this space; more so in retail than

apart in terms of depth of functionality,

the system run in a slightly different way. That

in manufacturing but it is certainly becoming

performance and flexibility, depending on the

will be far more difficult, and is a barrier to a

increasingly deployed in both areas,” he said.

user’s requirements for adding further

single ERP Solution in the Cloud.”

“Cloud SaaS planning is gathering interest because the Cloud SaaS players around

constraints and customisations. The recent trend Drummond observes that the Cloud model is

planning are basically delivering optimisation

manufacturing

still polarising opinion in the market; with

capabilities across functions on a single

software vendors

organisations either definitely for or against it

enterprise solution platform. For example,

bears this out.”

when it comes to APS. “Companies with an

companies can create a merchandise plan that

established Cloud strategy are actively

feed into a company’s demand plan that feeds

encouraging the adoption of Cloud-based

into the way it replenishes and allocates. The

SaaS/Cloud

Supply Chain Planning tools, whereas those

company can also do its ‘open to buy’ and

Has the Software as a

who have yet to make the move do not see the

promote and price in a single enterprise

Service (SaaS) model,

implementation of an APS as a driver for moving

platform. This is quite an attractive proposition,

and the Cloud

to the Cloud,” he said, adding: “There is still

and that’s why we’re seeing momentum.”

concept in general,

work to do in educating customers on the cost-

had a notable level of

benefits of Cloud. It is a much more transparent

In the Cloud ERP world McDivitt is seeing

impact on the

model as the total cost of the software and IT

Cloud/SaaS solutions gain momentum across

planning-related

support is provided upfront. However it can be

sectors such as manufacturing high-tech and

for acquisition of best of breed APS solutions by

Tim Payne, research vice president,

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retail. He commented: “We partner with one of

operational planning. However, he points out

have run out, but he

the larger Cloud/SaaS providers, and the

that there are industry differences. “For

believes this could

rational for deployment includes the scenario

example, in process industries that rely heavily

happen one day.

whereby you might want to extend your ERP

on their operational planning and scheduling –

However, he believes

capabilities across different regions from the

chemical plants, pulp and paper manufacturers

the key in this area is

‘mother ship’ of the solution framework. Many

etc. – they often think it’s still important to have

that there is a major

companies want to do this in as nimble and light

operational planning tightly integrated to their

distribution company

a way as possible, so we’re seeing momentum

ERP and MES system,” said Payne. “Also, a

that is committed to

here. We’re also doing deployment around

defence company might say it can’t have its

developing

Cloud/SaaS ERP globally and specifically within

data outside its operations due to perceived

forecasting and

certain retail enterprises within the US.”

security concerns.” Nevertheless, in general,

planning systems

Castellina believes the Cloud is certainly here to

Payne believes the uptake of Cloud is on the

such that they will be

stay. He commented: “I think it’s shortly going to

rise.

able to predict exactly

Jules Morgan, head of insight and analytics, consumer products & retail,

when a

become the preferred solution for manufacturing

customer/consumer

and also distribution organisations; the latter currently being faster to adopt Cloud/SaaS than

Big Data

will want a product slightly before they need it.

manufacturers, who are a little slower to come

Is Big Data having an effect on the development

“That will only be possible by being able to

over. However, many manufacturers are getting

and benefits of today’s forecasting and

analyse and process Big Data,” he said.

to the point where they have identified the need

planning-related solutions? First, Watkins puts

to replace their existing solutions and often this

the Big Data concept in context by pointing out

Castellina believes that for the organisations that

leads to them adopting a Cloud solution. There

that there is masses of data out there and

are able to afford a solution such as SAP’s

are a lot of benefits in the Cloud beyond just

companies need to be able to process it – and

HANA there is certainly a user case in terms of

cost; for example, the ability to access

by processing it they can come up with more

having more data and being able to analyse it

information wherever you are in real-time can

valuable information which can save them time

within a quicker timeframe. “I think this is

prove visibility in collaboration.”

and money. “All Demand Planning and

something that is going to be increasingly

Forecasting systems must rest on assumptions,”

important in the near future,” he said. “It really

Payne explains that if one visualises a ‘Cloud

he said. “One basic assumption is that the price

comes down to whether your organisation can

sandwich’, the lower slice of bread could be

you charge for a product will influence demand.

handle that extra data from a sophistication

thought of as all the functionality that provides

I see that companies can now collect

standpoint, and whether you can pay for it.”

the visibility outside of an organisation; the end-

information across multiple stores and multiple

to-end supply chain visibility showing what is

customers/consumers and can analyse this data

Drummond considers that the danger of Big

happening with a company’s suppliers, contract

to see if this assumption is true.”

Data in an APS is too much information can cause ‘paralysis by analysis’. “Planners spend

manufacturers and so on. “Today, most people expect this to be Cloud because we’re talking

Watkins also commented that demand is also

too long trawling through information and not

about the multi-enterprise and there’s a

influenced by promotions. “There are lots of

enough time communicating and

community aspect to it as well,” he said. Then if

different promotions [BOGOF, end of aisle, price

collaborating on the forecast, where the big

we think of the upper slice of bread as S&OP

marked make, etc.] and now there are

benefits are,” he said.

this, says Payne, can also involve collaboration

promotional evaluation systems which allow you

with other parties; key customers etc. so there

to collect lots of data to then analyse if these

Kaltenbrunner explains that many FMCG

can be an external element to this as well.

actually have an impact and what impact they

companies are looking into the subject of Big

Therefore, this area is also fairly Cloudy. Then,

have,” he said, adding that all of this goes under

Data and trying to utilise the condensed

according to Payne, the filling in the sandwich

the heading of ‘Demand Sensing’. According to

outcome into their mid- to long-term forecasting

could be thought of as operational planning –

Watkins, one of the areas that is slowly

as one of many factors. He commented: “It is

production planning and scheduling. This, he

developing is the ability in the FMCG field to be

our understanding that this input is mainly used

said, is still predominantly on-premise for most

able to collect data on sales by supermarket

to detect early change of consumer buying

companies.

store, and then work out a forecast by store for

preferences or to predict seasonal changes.

each product – then translate that into a

B2B companies are using Big Data analysis to

Payne added that Cloud solutions tend be multi-

distribution plan from factory through distribution

better understand their customer’s consumer

enterprise, fast and scalable. Because of this,

centres and into the store.

markets and to be ahead of the game where

he believes more and more companies are

Watkins added that we have not yet quite got to

buying behaviour and product characteristics

looking to invest in Cloud applications and

the point where RFID tags on individual packs in

are likely to change. In some cases B2B

expects to see above market growth rates

each consumer’s fridge will communicate when

suppliers take the lead in product innovation for

moving to Cloud in all categories; including

the customer will want a product because they

the end product to suggest new features and

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Special Report

Planning/Forecasting/S&OP

functions. We’ve seen examples in the semi-

“Big Data is to some extent influencing what the

conductor and automotive industries for these

vendors do,” said Payne. “The idea of Big Data

Planning the future

innovations. From a development standpoint,

and Big Analytics are very much on the business

What do our commentators believe will possibly

solutions need to be able to incorporate and

intelligence side and the general analytics side

be some of the key developments in the world

respond to the changes seen and captured

of most organisations. However, it would be fairly

of planning-related solutions over the next year

through Big Data.”

rare for a company looking for supply chain

or two? Morgan believes the individualisation of

Kimberling reflects that the initial concept for

technology to say I need a Big Data demand

promotions and the ability to more fully exploit

demand planning and forecasting was mostly

planning system; it is more likely to say it wants a

that data is definitely coming. He commented:

inventory-based; and that confidence in the

very scalable demand planning system with

“We talk to big CPGs and FMCGs and most if

appropriate inventory level has always been

demand sensing capability because the

not all of them over the next five years intend to

fundamental in the simplistic supply and

company has a lot of sophisticated data to look

keep records on around half their target base –

demand economic model. “Too little inventory

at and so needs a big repository, and wants a

and they will be able to exploit this information in

and you risk losing sales, too much inventory

system that is fast. So there’s a lot going on in

planning, forecasting and promotions in a variety

and you risk higher costs,” he said, adding that

terms of scale, speed, granularity and the

of ways.”

this required specific data inputs (historical

growing demand for things such as in-memory

sales, projected inventory). However, Kimberling

databases.”

McDivitt’s view is there is going to be an

explains that recently software solutions have

increasing challenge in trying to predict which

enabled businesses to not only capture mass

Payne adds that another area where Big Data is

buying channels the consumer is going to utilise.

quantities of information from Big Data but

becoming more prevalent relates to the idea of

“This to some extent challenges the relevance of

manipulate and integrate that information back

end-to-end analytics; which might include things

forecasting, or is going to be more reliant on

into Sales, Pricing and more effective Distribution

such as end-to-end design work. Also, Payne

predictive analytics than traditional historical

practices. He commented: “Big Data has

points out that S&OP providers such as

sales forecasts,” he said. “And that’s because

become the new undervalued commodity with

Steelwedge are helping companies to work with

the market is now so dynamic around the

an oversupply of information that has not been

a lot of planning data, and have technology

consumer in terms of where they are going to be

fully utilised. That being said, the value in Big

roadmaps that incorporate various types of

and how they are going to be buying goods.”

Data is tremendous. The increase in access to

functionality to help with the Big Data side of

McDivitt also foresees greater movement of

information enables groups to have more insight,

things.

learning how to leverage Big Data and predictive

visibility to trends, and as a result provide a

analytics in trying to sense demand from the

valuable service for a profit. With the American

McDivitt believes Big Data is definitely having an

perspective of what channel that consumer is

economy heavily weighed on services over

impact on the market intelligence side as well as

going to use.

manufacturing there has been a growing

in terms of more and more organisations

demand for ‘service-oriented’ business planning

leveraging the data signal repository capability

Payne believes that, from an end-user

and Supply Chain Management.”

and the demand sensing capability. “And I think

perspective, we are close to the tipping point in

what is also coming is being able leverage the

the market where the old view of planning that

Speller sees the relationship between APS and

unstructured component that would allow

started with MRP and then moved to MRPII and

Big Data as very much that APS can be a source

companies to sense demand to an even greater

ERP – preparing a demand plan, passing this

of data that can be aggregated into Big Data

extent,” he added.

information to distribution and production etc. –

and then analysed by tools such as Siemens’ Omneo Performance Analytics to deliver product

Barnaby Speller, product manager, SIMATIC IT Preactor,

is no longer going to be good enough for endIn terms of the definition of unstructured data,

users’ needs.

performance

Morgan points out that this could include things

intelligence. He

such as weather patterns, which could, for

“Companies that are at a low stage of maturity

pointed out that

example, have an impact on the sale of certain

could still start here, but some companies that

Omneo monitors data

types of food or beverage products. However,

have been relying on that traditional model for

across the entire

he adds that, interestingly, weather data could

many years are now saying they’ve pretty much

supply chain and

also be structured to some extent. “We are

exhausted what they can do with it,” said Payne.

customer experience,

increasingly seeing Natural Language posting

“This is understandable because, as I mentioned

using data from

(NLP) tools structuring that otherwise

earlier, many of them are now operating in a

sources including

unstructured data to make sense of it,” he said,

more global, complex, uncertain and volatile

field service,

“and when this is done the data actually

environment.” This, explains Payne, is why

manufacturing, CRM,

behaves in the same way as structured data.

Gartner put together the configure optimise

ERP and the Internet

There are still huge volumes of this data, but it

respond (COR) model. “We see that companies

of Things (IoT).

will increasingly become more manageable.”

are increasingly wanting to be able to integrate those things together,” he said.

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Watkins makes the point that traditional

Kaltenbrunner believes the key innovation

made available in this way, particularly across

forecasting and planning solutions tend depend

drivers will continue to be user enablement,

large multi-site companies that have other

for their existence on creating Time Series

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

business systems set up with a central

analysis, and also some statistical analysis. He

interactive planning as well as sophisticated

implementation serving the appropriate data to

comments: “They require marketing intelligence

optimisation across organisational boundaries

multiple sites.”

to produce a valid forecast. But that marketing

and countries. Due to the exponential growth rate of

intelligence should be based on a real analytical engine that enables you to look at the

He added that implementation of advanced

technological advances and information

data, summarise, understand the relationships

collaboration options among trading partners

availability, Kimberling reflects that it is difficult to

between things and then influence the demand

through Flowcasting is particularly interesting

forecast future developments. However, with so

to meet business objectives.”

and will drive tremendous value across the

many users on social networks he believes it is

supply chain. “By connecting the planning and

easy to see the logic in Microsoft buying

However, Watkins believes the real requirement

execution processes to what is actually

Yammer for US$1.2 billion in 2012. “Social

should be to provide real integration between

happening with store level demand, inventory

Supply Chain Networks are bringing

all the separate parts of the business so that

visibility can be increased and products can

collaboration, information and availability to all

Integrated Business Planning is truly enabled,

more effectively flow through a synchronised

individuals within an organisation or association,”

and companies can get away from relying on

supply chain,” he said.

he said. “First, we had to capture and gather information. Next, organising and interpreting

spreadsheets with which to run their businesses. “Once the system side is sorted,

Kaltenbrunner also points out that by utilising

captured data. Now we can manipulate and

then we can get to the point where we can

technology looking at point of sale data,

simulate data for even better business decisions.

integrate people in the organisation, because

partners have the ability to collaborate

Moving forward based on current internet user

many companies still operate in cars without sat

effectively to drive processes for better product

trends, it is logical to assume that sharing all that

navs, engines from one maker, bodies from

availability and less excess inventory on the

information with anyone in the world will become

another, gear boxes form another all put

shelf. “By reaching consensus across trading

ever more critical.”

together in their own garages,” he remarked.

partners based on true demand, a true single,

Drummond foresees a continued focus on

agreed on forecast can be developed and

Castellina thinks the future will largely be about

executed against,” he remarked.

driving more embedded analytics into the solutions. He considers that Big Data is

supporting S&OP and its evolution into Integrated Business Planning (IBP) and

Other areas where Kaltenbrunner anticipates

certainly a part of this; as is In-Memory

Integrated Business Leadership (IBL).

further enhancements include greater flexibility

analytics. “So it’s really about being able to

“Companies will want this functionality

of solution configurations to enable quick

make decisions based on large amounts of

integrated with their APS where the demand

changes to correspond to ever-changing

data very quickly,” he said. In terms of

and supply information already exists without

business requirements, and consistent business

adoption, Castellina believes part of this is

bolting on yet another system,” he said.

rules from supply chain strategy definition to

simply going to come down to the commitment

operations planning and optimisation down to

of those on the shop floor in the line of business

order promising and fulfilment.

to ensure they can actually drive value from the

Drummond also anticipates more scenario

solution. He commented: “If you see data

planning and ‘what-if’ capabilities within APS to see the impact of changes in demand and

Speller comments that the recent acquisitions

regarding the average age of employees in

supply and plan accordingly. He also sees the

of APS solutions (including Simatic IT Preactor

manufacturing organisations and look at the

further development of functionality to support

APS) by companies like Siemens with wider

individual groupings to see where the largest

collaboration across the supply chain with

portfolios in the MOM space, point to APS

percentage is, the majority of them are reaching

internal and external stakeholders. Additionally,

being considered as much more closely tied to

retirement age, while the smaller percentage is

he foresees development in the area of web-

the execution layer and an important part of a

just entering the workforce. Therefore, I think

based user interfaces for reporting and adding

complete digital factory solution such as the

manufacturing is going to have to do a better

intelligence to the plan, coupled with full-feature

Siemens MOM portfolio can provide. “This

job of identifying talent and getting that talent

‘rich-clients’ for traditional planning functions.

brings benefits in terms of quality of data for the

on board in order to impact on the

scheduling model and also a tighter loop for

organisation.”

Additionally, Drummond maintains that the

shop floor feedback, giving a better

improvements in technology must be matched

representation of the production status when

To sum up, Castellina remarked: “It’s really all

by an investment in training and development

creating and amending schedules,” he said,

about the convergence of technology with

of staff working in supply chain functions so

adding: “The move to Cloud and centrally

operations, and making a commitment to utilise

they can truly maximise the value from their

administered solutions will also see the

the available technology that will impact on

APS systems.

expectation that scheduling solutions will be

manufacturing the most.” n

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Webro connects with EFACS E/8 in lengths from 50m to 1000m. Over half of all of

the chance of a positive sales outcome.”

the 50 orders per day are standard “off the shelf” items, 40 per cent are specified to order

When it comes to suppliers, 40 per cent of cable

with a further 5 per cent being completely

stock comes from Europe with a lead time of 4-6

bespoke. It’s no wonder that managing stock

weeks, with the remainder coming from the Far

levels and the flow of goods-in/out represent one

East where lead times can be 12 weeks. As the

of Webro’s key business challenges.

company can only buy mixed container loads which contain 100’s of kilometres of cable, it is continually having to anticipate what is essentially an unpredictable market. As a

Positive sales outcome

consequence, the company’s current As does managing customer contact. “If a

stockholding is almost £2.5 million in order to

customer calls in with a query or asking for a

ensure it can meet its customers’ delivery

quote, the ideal is to have all the information

expectations.

there at hand to deal with the query and complete the sale to the customer’s satisfaction. Each time someone has to go and check

Shortcomings

something and call the customer back, it adds

Peter Edginton: “I always felt a lot of what we do could be automated, but one of the things which stood out about EFACS E/8 was just how much it could speed things up.”

ormed in 1981, Webro is a leading

F

to the possibility of losing a sale.” He continues:

Prior to investing in EFACS E/8, these

“There are also times when we have to have

challenges were tackled by a rudimentary

delicate ‘cost versus quality’ conversations with

DOS-based CRM/management system

our customers where the ability to have all

supplemented by a number of spreadsheets

previous order history and product

and reliant on a considerable amount of paper.

specifications immediately to hand along with

As part of the company’s commitment to

visibility of actual stock levels again increases

ongoing continuous improvement, the system

supplier of high quality cables and connectors to a wide range of sectors including broadband, satellite, TV, automotive, telecoms,

security and renewables. The £14 million turnover company with a team of 24 staff supplies 1500 different lines in order sizes ranging from £150 to £20,000, to household names such as BSkyB, BBC, BT and Virgin. Managing director Peter Edginton is the first to admit the company’s business model is far from complex. “In short, we source cable from a number of different suppliers in order to supply the right cabling solutions to our customers. The only additional process that may be involved is cutting cable to specific lengths.” However, each of its approximately 800 strong core customer-base expects next day access to over

Webro sources cable from a number of different suppliers in order to supply the right cabling solutions to its customers.

1500 lines from 3.5mm to 25mm outer diameter,

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

products which may bear no resemblance to the actual Webro product name. Increased visibility and efficiency have also come through automation, most notably in the removal of significant amounts of the company’s paper trail. The EFACS E/8 Document Management module has been especially useful here. For example, spec sheets historically were kept in different folders on different PCs; now whenever anyone looks up a specific part, the correct spec sheet is automatically available right at the point of use. Quotation management has likewise been improved in the same way, as has delivery management.

Higher level of service continued to be reviewed and the impact of its

from Exel personnel who were on-site for the

The increased efficiency has enabled Webro

shortcomings became increasingly apparent.

first week to help. At the heart of the

to operate more effectively at an overall

These included high levels of data entry

implementation lay the approach of identifying

business level. For example, EFACS E/8

duplication, repeated manual checking in of

a positive in every part of the business that

allows technology to be integrated throughout

goods, and a cumbersome paper trail. There

everyone using the new system would

the warehouse which means that stock

was also very little visibility throughout the

encounter on a daily basis, and then

management can now be done within the

company, a divide between those using IT and

focussing on delivering that.

warehouse where it is most effective. Another

those who weren’t, and a growing gulf between

example is how the ability to automate email

how IT was used in the company compared to

The resulting benefits were felt very much from

order acknowledgements and statements

how everyone used it in the rest of daily life.

the outset in the form of centralised information

means customers are kept up-to-date at all

that provided increased visibility and access,

times, which they rightfully recognise as a

A search for a modern, integrated replacement

automation of simple tasks and the eradication

higher level of service.

began in 2010 and lasted 3-4 months where,

of duplicated processes. For example, now

as Edginton puts it, “we had our minds blown

when a customer rings for a price, there is no

Looking to the future, Webro has plans to

in a positive way”. He continues: “I always felt

need for someone to physically have to go and

implement non-conformance reporting as well

a lot of what we do could be automated, but

find the relevant paperwork and call the

as making increased use of the Container

one of the things which stood out about EFACS

customer back. “Now,” says Edginton, “it’s

Booking module for pricing, whereby

E/8 was just how much it could speed things

click, click, click, and there it is while you’re still

containers of multiple products and prices

up. EFACS also stood out light years by having

having the conversation.” He cites another

can be quickly and easily entered onto, and

all your standard functionality such as Stock

example, this time relating to real-time stock

managed by the system. Workflow is to be

Management, CRM, etc. but also including

level visibility. “Historically, we might have say

extended to other areas of the business with a

other elements such as Document

11.8km of a certain cable which is supplied on

view to removing spreadsheets and paper

Management and Container Bookings as part

1000m drums. We’d have no means of seeing

wherever possible, and QR scanners are also

of the integrated solution. We also liked the fact

whether the 0.8km comprised 2 x 400m

being explored to help manage goods-in/out.

that the system was designed to be

lengths or a single 800m length. If a customer

One area Edginton is particularly keen to

customisable to the way we wanted and

wanted a 400m length we can now see

make more use of is EFACS E/8’s powerful

needed it to work.”

immediately if this is available and avoid

mobile workforce capabilities. “We have a

unnecessary re-cutting.”

sales manager and three mobile sales/service engineers that are highly valuable assets to

Strong support

Another area where EFACS E/8 has brought

us and so we want to make sure they are

benefits experienced on a daily basis is in the

being best optimised.” Other plans include

A decision was therefore made to invest in

standardisation of product data and the

integrating the despatch process with the

EFACS E/8 in late 2012 and 9 months later,

instant access to past customer records. This

systems used by Webro’s carriers and looking

Webro had gone live, with a lot of hard work,

is particularly of relevance where customers

to make increased use of the planning

an element of firefighting and strong support

have their own internal names for Webro

capabilities to help with forecasting. 

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Product news

Veeva Systems delivers Veeva CRM Events Management and Veeva Align for greater commercial effectiveness eeva Systems kicked-off its

V

recent 7th Commercial Summit with the launch of two major new Veeva Commercial Cloud products, Veeva Align and Veeva

CRM Events Management. These new offerings help life sciences firms execute on sales and marketing goals more effectively, while keeping up with changing compliance requirements. Veeva Align is a global solution integrated with Veeva CRM for faster, more accurate sales territory alignments. Veeva CRM Events Management allows companies to better manage all events in coordination with the field, and provides full visibility into activities, speakers, attendees and spend.

Powerful Cloud technology captures and processes the volumes of data needed with unprecedented speed. sized alignments in minutes, and is

in spend management also helps marketers

interoperable with Veeva CRM so fine tuning

ensure funds are allocated to the right events

with the field is fast and seamless," said Paul

while staying within budget. With visibility

Life sciences companies are deploying new

Shawah, Veeva's vice president of product

across all events enterprise-wide, Veeva CRM

commercial models, engaging with multiple

marketing. "Companies will now have the

Events Management enables total

stakeholders, and operating in an environment

agility to refine and realign throughout the year

transparency for greater compliance.

of unprecedented change. In light of these

for a sales force that's always optimised

realities, territory alignment is more critical –

against a changing marketplace."

The right alignments faster

Veeva CRM Align and Veeva CRM Events

and more challenging – than ever. The current

Management are the latest addition to Veeva

approach is slow, inflexible, and omits

Commercial Cloud, which recently earned the

important considerations such as rep skill level, customer channel preferences, and existing

distinction of 'Most Innovative Platform of the

Better events with greater compliance

Year' from PharmaVOICE. The solution brings together the rich data, compliant content, and

relationships. The result is suboptimal utilisation With many disparate, disconnected systems in

interactions needed for life sciences

use across event types and geographies, it is

companies to deliver a fully coordinated

Veeva Align delivers more accurate

nearly impossible to efficiently track speakers

customer experience across channels. Veeva

alignments, faster. Powerful Cloud technology

and spend. Matching the right speakers with

Align and Veeva CRM Events Management will

captures and processes the volumes of data

the right audience is challenging, and difficult to

be available in July 2015.

needed with unprecedented speed. Even the

coordinate across internal and external parties.

of resources, impacting sales execution.

largest territory assignments are deployed in

Also at Veeva Commercial Summit, the

minutes rather than days. With seamless

Veeva CRM Events Management is a single

company announced Veeva CRM

integration with Veeva CRM, alignments are

solution that helps companies plan and

Suggestions, an upcoming capability in Veeva

rapidly deployed for field feedback and

manage events more efficiently, compliantly,

CRM that leverages data science to

collaboration. And, as a single global platform,

and in coordination with field and medical

recommend the best actions and channels to

Veeva Align provides centralised management

teams. It delivers a complete view of

field reps for greater sales effectiveness. Sales

while still allowing for local needs and control.

speakers, attendees, and transfers of value,

reps can easily view, provide feedback, or

and integrates seamlessly with Veeva CRM for

take action based on data-driven

easier, more accurate attendee tracking. Built-

recommendations. 

"Veeva Align executes the largest, enterprise-

22

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ERP

CRM

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

W O R K F LO W

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT

EBUSINESS

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

www.exel.uk

Business as usual, only smarter.

EXEL


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Opinion

Driving growth with better decision making By Martin Hill, vice president of marketing, international, Epicor. ecision making is, and always

However, what many businesses may not

So with the consequences clear and time of

has been, an important activity

realise is that un-informed decisions can have

the essence, how can businesses ensure that

at the centre of every business.

serious business implications. For example,

their staff are making the right decisions,

Whether it’s deciding the

choosing to present a proposal without having

when and where they’re needed?

volume of products that need to

reviewed the profitability of past orders could

D

be manufactured, the countries to export to,

squeeze profit margins. Similarly, introducing

or switching marketing strategy for the

engineering changes without assessing the

quarter, decisions drive business

impact on current works in progress or raw

performance and growth.

materials can affect orders and increase lead

A simple answer to the solution could lie in

times.

technology; more specifically – in the next

Removing complexity

generation of enterprise resource planning

However, the business landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade.

Poor decisions over production priorities can

(ERP) solutions. Today’s ERP systems enable

Businesses now operate in a 24/7 global

lead to wasted man-hours, late deliveries,

the integration of data across the entire

environment, employees work across

inflated work-in-progress, increases in

product lifecycle – from design, through

organisational boundaries and time-zones,

working capital and worse, poor customer

engineering, manufacturing, delivery, and

customers demand instant responses, and for

satisfaction levels – all factors that could

service – a digital model that allows

the manufacturing industry in particular, a

prove detrimental to the future performance

immediate and actionable information to

growing skills-gap can expose personnel in

and profitability of the company. In fact, when

reach the necessary departments and

decision-making positions. In any

asked to predict the likely impact of their most

functions with greater speed, accuracy, and

environment, being able to respond

important decision, respondents to the PwC

efficiency than ever before. By encompassing

decisively, quickly and correctly is vital.

survey gave estimates ranging from under

all areas of the business, everyone from C-

US$1 million to over US$10 billion – a clear

Level executives, to those on the

indication of the true impact an un-informed

manufacturing floor, can have access to the

Understanding the risks of illinformed decisions

decision can have on the business. It’s not just the company that is at risk

According to the PwC 2014 Big Decisions

from blind decisions, but employees’

survey ‘Gut & gigabytes’, 44 per cent of the

health and wellbeing too. Our

executives surveyed make a big decision

research indicated that 40 per cent

every three months. However, how many of

of European office workers suggest

these decisions are made with the correct

that making decisions without sufficient

information? Unfortunately, the reality is not

information leads to higher than

many. Our recent research, conducted with

necessary stress levels. Further

ICM, reveals that over three quarters (79 per

consequences cited by respondents

cent) of office workers in the UK, Sweden,

include; damage to an employee’s

Germany and the UAE have had to make un-

personal reputation (36 per cent), poor

informed decisions at some point in their

personal performance (29 per cent),

career, with a third (33 per cent) doing so on

and 1 in 6 even fear that they may lose

a weekly basis, and perhaps more worryingly,

their job due to making the wrong

14 per cent doing so on a daily basis.

decision (17 per cent).

Martin Hill: “With the business landscape developing at such a rapid pace, it is essential that all businesses, irrespective of size, equip themselves with effective business management tools to facilitate effective decision-making at all levels.”

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Thought leadership

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

According to the PwC 2014 Big Decisions survey ‘Gut & gigabytes’, 44 per cent of the executives surveyed make a big decision every three months. However, how many of these decisions are made with the correct information? Unfortunately, the reality is not many. information they need, filtered and in real-

need to access and contextualise data in a

increasing pressure not just to make the

time, ensuring that decisions are being made

format that suits their own preferences and

right decision, but to do it quickly. Those

based on relevant, accurate and reliable data.

requirements. This could be via role-based

that fail will be those that either made the

dashboards, graphics or alerts, or even screen

wrong decisions, late decisions or no

The benefits are plain to see. In fact, over half

views that arrange the most critical information

decisions – and they will be the ones that

(52 per cent) of respondents in our research

first. All data still needs to be stored in a

aren’t providing their employees with real

believe that the solution can be found with

central integrated repository, with users able to

time, relevant information in the context they

technology. However, despite the widespread

access it at a location and from whatever

need using a technology they are

adoption of enterprise management solutions,

device suits them. By enabling users to

comfortable with.

why do companies continue to generate

consume information in a way that they are

islands of information on paper, registers and

familiar with in their personal lives, such as via

With the business landscape developing at

spreadsheets to manage business processes

social and mobile technologies, it instantly

such a rapid pace, it is essential that all

and collate data?

becomes easier to digest and understand.

businesses, irrespective of size, equip

Data is now accumulated from a wider variety

It’s also important that businesses opt for an

management tools to facilitate effective

of sources than ever before, so it’s becoming

ERP system that can use analytics and

decision-making at all levels. Most

increasingly difficult to manage a huge and

process automation to speed up decision-

businesses understand the importance of an

tremendously growing wealth of information,

making. By automating decisions where

innovative, flexible and skilled workforce

whether that be financial transactions data,

possible, businesses can eliminate human

that’s both supported and enabled by

inventory data, production information, vendor

error and improve the speed of decision-

technology. By putting in place a modern

data, employee database or even emails.

making simultaneously.

and intuitive ERP system that integrates all

themselves with effective business

While deploying a data driven approach may

areas of the business and utilises social,

seem to be the logical answer, for many

mobile, and analytic capabilities to provide

businesses it’s not that easy.

Fostering a culture of highperformance

contextual information, organisations can not only help employees feel more confident about making faster and better decisions,

With such a vast amount of data to interpret and analyse, it can be hard to determine which

In high-pressured environments such as

but also foster a culture of innovation and

data points are relevant and aid decision-

manufacturing and distribution, there’s no

high-performance. Ultimately, this is what

making. To eliminate complexity, individuals

margin for uncertainty. Businesses are under

leads to business growth. 

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lanning Opinion

Easy On Boarding

for effective and flexible Demand and Supply Chain Planning By Gary Shaw, business consultant, DynaSys.

aving worked in operational

However, 12 months on everyone is

building blocks are already there. The system

Demand Planning roles for 10

scratching their heads asking “what is this

can be fine-tuned to meet any specific

years and then implementing

and why did we build it?”. Then it’s time to

requirements but the focus is on delivering

Supply Chain Planning systems

bring in the consultants all over again and

the quick-wins that can be achieved from

for 8 years, I’ve seen the best

kick off another project at great expense.

having a tool that has been specifically

and worst of Advanced Planning and

This problem was one of the fundamental

designed to support best practice. The end

Scheduling (APS) solutions over that time. I

reasons that DynaSys developed it’s Easy On

result is a return on investment within 12

liken APS systems I’ve experienced to a box

Boarding (EOB) methodology for Demand

months through benefits such as reduced

of Lego, where all the component pieces are

and Supply Chain Planning. The objective

inventory and improved customer service.

available and they can be put together to

was to get companies up and running as

support a planning process in an almost

quickly as possible with a best-in-class

infinite combination. Given free rein in the

system coupled with a proven and robust

Full power

design stage, companies can end up with a

planning process. There is no need to go

EOB is not simply a watered-down version of

very complex, bespoke solution that solves a

through hours of workshops to define what

the full DynaSys software though. It is based

very specific and immediate problem.

the system should look like, as the basic

on the full power of DynaSys technology,

H

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lanning Opinion

including full in-memory processing for real-

through supersession (replacing an existing

investment decisions on increasing machine

time planning and single-click collaboration to

product), analogy (copying an existing

capacity or labour. DynaSys supports this

minimise the amount of navigation required by

product) or lifecycle (planning the stages of

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) activity

the users. Once EOB is implemented, the

launch, pipe-fill, growth, maturity and

by bring together the demand and supply

planning process is established and the

decline). Promotion volumes can be proposed

information in a meaningful format that can be

benefits are being realised, it can be further

by the system based on previous

reviewed by product family, key customer or

developed to support more complex areas of

performance to give a sensible starting point

manufacturing resource and in multiple units of

the planning process.

for review. It’s possible to see what worked (or

measure, cost, revenue and margin.

didn’t work) last time in order to decide what Having an APS allows the planning team to

to propose to the customer. Having that level

There are undoubtedly massive benefits from

add value by changing their focus from

of insight means the control comes back to

using a well-designed and implemented APS.

simply number-crunching, to playing a key

you, rather than being forced into running a

However it is critical to choose the right system

role in supporting the commercial team with

promotion that may be good for the customer

that will not only help solve the problems you

accurate promotion and new product

but not so good for you.

face now, but is flexible enough to grow with your business to help solve the issues you will

forecasting. They become strategic to the

face in the future. DynaSys has 30 years’

business by providing insight and validating strategy and investment decisions with sound

‘What if’ analysis

experience dedicated to helping companies

business and market intelligence. Promotion

Another key area where an APS adds value is

improve their supply chain planning processes.

and new product forecasting are two of the

around scenario planning and being able to

If some of these challenges resonate with you it

most difficult areas to forecast and can really

run ‘what if’ analysis to see the impact of

could be that your current planning system isn’t

hurt the bottom line in terms of poor customer

changes in demand and supply and plan

sophisticated enough to support the business.

service through under-forecasting, or

accordingly. Potential volume increases from

As your business evolves, markets become

obsolescence and waste from over-

promotions, tenders or marketing activity can

more diverse and competitive customers

forecasting as well as adding significant

be evaluated in terms of capacity and cost.

require more flexibility and options, so a weak

unnecessary working capital. DynaSys has

Production plans can be modelled on the key

planning system will only serve to constrain

built-in standard functionality to help in both

resources to identify bottlenecks, plan

business performance even further. 

these areas. New products can be forecast

downtime for maintenance or support

Production plans can be modelled on the key resources to identify bottlenecks, plan downtime for maintenance or support investment decisions on increasing machine capacity or labour.

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P

lanning Analysis

Worldwide supply

chain management software market grew 10.8 per cent in 2014 ith 10.8 per cent annual

W

growth, supply chain management (SCM) and procurement applications outpaced most software

markets to total US$9.9 billion in 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. The SCM and procurement software market experienced solid growth through sustained application demand, as supply chain remains a key source of competitive advantage in driving business growth objectives, such as improved customer satisfaction, greater business agility and operational improvements. "Organisations modernising supply chains drove opportunity for both large-suite and specialised providers to become more agile and drive innovation within their businesses

Oracle retained its position as the second-

in the market created by acquisitions, but also

during 2014," said Chad Eschinger, research

largest provider of supply chain technologies

strong demand for specialised offerings that are

vice president at Gartner. "SCM offerings

and the largest within supply chain execution

competitive, and often complementary, to the

delivered as cloud showed above-market

(SCE), its software revenue momentum has

larger-suite providers' offerings.

growth of 17 per cent, while new on-premises

waned, and market share has declined to 14.6

licences also grew significantly at nine percent,

per cent, from 16 per cent in 2013.

Favourable environment

as organisations sought to modernise their supply chain portfolio through a variety of

In generating revenue of $438 million in 2014,

"For the most part, building off several years of

delivery models."

JDA Software sustained its market share

vendor consolidation, 2014 represented a

ranking of third globally, with 4.4 per cent of the

favourable environment for supply chain

global market, and remains the largest pure-

technologies," said Eschinger. "The 2012

Continued innovation

play, supply chain-focused vendor despite a

strategic acquisition and business combination

SAP grew 19.9 per cent to hold onto the top

decline of 1.7 per cent since 2013.

activity of SAP and JDA Software demonstrated

spot, and extended its lead within the SCM

growth and stability during 2014, as

market, with 25.8 per cent market share (see

Overall, the SCM market is fragmented, with the

organisations became more comfortable with

Table 1). It continues to innovate and introduce

top 10 vendors maintaining about 55 per cent

the vendors' direction and messaging.

new and acquired SCM products to the market,

of total market share. Collectively, the remaining

However, we can expect a new wave of

and has been able to upsell solutions within its

57 vendors experienced annual revenue growth

acquisitions to continue to drive market

large and established ERP installed base. While

of 9.6 per cent, indicating not only opportunity

disruption in 2015." 

Company

2014 Revenue

2014 Market Share (%)

2013 Revenue

2013 Market Share (%)

2013-2014 Growth (%)

SAP

2,563.0

25.8

2,137.8

23.9

19.9

Oracle

1,451.1

14.6

1,430.2

16.0

1.5

JDA Software

437.6

4.4

445.3

5.0

-1.7

Manhattan Associates

187.6

1.9

167.5

1.9

12.0

Epicor

163.5

1.6

159.4

1.8

2.6

Others

5,120.8

51.7

4,617.7

51.4

10.9

Total

9,923.6

100.0

8,957.9

100.0

10.8

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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Driving Supply Chain EfďŹ ciency

Forecast ecast - Plan - Optimise O

To T o better bette forecast, plan, simulate and optimise your Supply Chain, you need a comprehensive, integrated and collaborative solution that encompasses sales forecasting and multi-level distribution, production and procurement planning. An expert in Demand & Supply Chain Planning solutions for over 30 years, DynaSys offers the DSCP suite, a solution that will optimise the strategic, tactical and operational levels of your extended Supply Chain. strategy.. BeneďŹ t from our unique expertise in Supply Chain to help deliver your organisational strategy

Sir Stanley Clarke House 7 Ridgeway Ridgeway,, Quinton Business Park Birmingham, B32 1AF +44 (0) 121 506 6500 www.dys.com www .dys.com


P

lanning Opinion

Why ‘best-in-class’ S&OP pays By Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner, VP industry strategy EMEA, JDA Software. optimise business performance. This new

This extended supply chain approach

dimension of S&OP is often called Integrated

continues with Flowcasting. Flowcasting is a

Business Planning (IBP). S&OP, together with

collaborative forecasting and planning

IBP in a connected supply chain, helps to

technology that enables trading partners to

create a truly agile organisation with superior

work together from a single, item-level

business performance.

forecast and plan that is executed jointly by both partners for mutual benefit.

Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner: “Reconciling supply and demand becomes the starting point for S&OP.”

Taking S&OP to the next level

Consensual

S&OP has evolved from a transactional

According to a study by IBM three out of four

process into a bottom-up activity that

organisations say that a ‘lack of internal

balances supply and demand. IBP adds a

alignment’ is a barrier to servicing customers.

top-down component to ensure that the

The needs of sales, production and even

operational processes are optimally aligned

trading partners may apparently be at odds

to the strategic goals of the business. In

with each other. As demand becomes more

addition to this goal alignment, next-

volatile, JDA supply chain software helps to

generation supply chains work with S&OP to

instil processes that facilitate, monitor and

create a number of key characteristics that

measure collaboration between people,

will help to deliver business agility and

departments and organisations to ensure the

profitability.

constant flow of information analysis and decisions.

nalysis by the Aberdeen

A

Operation Planning (S&OP)

Customer centric and connected

leaders are more profitable.

Successful businesses understand their

Senior management

Group1 shows that Sales and

customers’ needs and adapt to them rapidly.

High performance, rapid deployment and high user acceptance

engagement, business-wide collaboration

That is why customer-centricity is becoming

There are, however, obstacles preventing the

and high levels of forecast accuracy ensure

the foundation of the next generation of supply

realisation of this new world of agility. Key

that the business can be steered by

chain strategies. A truly high performance

among them is the traditional S&OP

corporate objectives.

supply chain is more than a highly-efficient

reconciliation process with its tiers of complex

execution system, it feeds back from the

departmental spreadsheets. This is a time-

By comparison S&OP ‘laggards’ are aligned

customer environment, so that the business

consuming activity which is inflexible and

and resourced to resolving forecast errors

can respond with precision and speed.

sensitive to error.

that the top supply chain initiative2 that

JDA S&OP is tightly coupled to JDA

Enhanced S&OP from JDA eliminates

organisations are planning to pursue is the

operational modules so it can report an end-

spreadsheet deadlock with a common supply

deployment of ‘best-in-class’ S&OP into their

to-end view of the execution environment.

chain database, so that a single, holistic

corporate processes.

Moreover, it can reach even beyond the

version of the truth is always available. The

warehouse and transportation modules out to

complexity of the data aggregation,

S&OP is not new. What is new is the

the shelf or into the click-stream. In turn, this

algorithms and calculations is managed

unprecedented volatility and complexity of

informs improved demand sensing and

robustly and interactively by the JDA analytics

today’s marketplace and the desire to extend

shaping so that manufacturers can

engine. A familiar and friendly spreadsheet

S&OP from the periodic balancing of supply

proactively channel products to customers

interface provides complete data visibility.

and demand, to its application as a tool to

for the best margin.

Powered by a mission-specific data cube, the

and unanticipated issues. It is no wonder

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lanning Opinion

system provides insight when the business needs it.

Customer Centric Segmented

Because the complete picture is always available, more frequent supply and demand business can be run at higher levels of

d Business Pl an ate gr

S&OP

precision for more of the time. Moreover, the same data can be utilised to run scenarios

Product

around issues and opportunities such as new product introductions and marketing programmes. In this way these activities can

ng ni

Int e

balancing becomes possible and in turn the

Finance

Marketing

Sales

JDA INTEGRATES BEST IN CLASS S&OP AND IBP END-TO-END

Supply

be absorbed smoothly and efficiently into the

Customer/ Channel

operations of the business. The same approach can help to diagnose and

planning and execution to corporate goals, while consensual processes create internal

can be used to draft a playbook of appropriate

Optimal business performance

reactions to a potential supply chain issue. The

In summary, reconciling supply and demand

shared version of the truth helps provide the

software diagnoses the cause of the disruption

becomes the starting point for S&OP. Best-in-

intelligence, agility and resilience to manage

and allows the business to simulate the effects

class S&OP provides a high level of forecast

disruption. All of which means that joined-up

of a range of pre-selected choices, measure

accuracy so that the business is run with

best-in-class S&OP is becoming an essential

their impact across the entire chain, and

greater precision. Higher performance

tool for manufacturers in today’s turbulent

choose the best option.

ensures optimal business performance for

marketplace. 

manage issues. The Pro Agile Control Tower

and potentially external alignment. One

more of the time. Business rules align 1

Aberdeen Group and JDA S&OP webinar http://bit.ly/1L4m8Q5

2

Vision 2015, JDA, Supply Chain market survey of 4000 organisations

Build a High Performance Supply Chain Best-in-class S&OP enables businesses to be run with greater precision, agility and profitability.

IBP S&OP

Find out how to build your high performance supply chain at jda.com/build Demand Management

Replenishment & Fulfillment

Supply Management

Order Promising

Supply Chain Execution

Segmented Customer Centric

For further information about JDA S&OP please contact: Julia Fawcett-Murray | Email: julia.fawcett-murray@jda.com | Tel: +44 (0)1344 354 598

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lanning Opinion

Changes in systems needs changes in leadership By Richard Watkins, managing director, the Delos Partnership Ltd.

brand is or your quality – if it is not available, then you lose the sale. Many choose to

Processes

change their systems for forecasting and

No system works without processes.

planning as a response.

Supporting an integrated system should be an integrated set of processes. There has

Systems

been much discussion about Sales and

It is the 21st century. The fundamentals of the

Operations Planning (SOP) and Integrated

logistics systems were invented in the 1960s.

Business Planning (IBP) since the 1980s.

Fifty years on and it is still very difficult to find

Some will try and persuade you that the two

systems that work and fit together in a way

are fundamentally different, and that IBP is a

that makes the choice easy. There are broadly

much higher version of SOP. There are some

3 types – ERP or planning and execution

differences but not much. SOP was ‘invented’

systems; forecasting systems, which deal with

in the 80s. IBP is its latest name. The

demand, CRM systems that manage

principles are the same.

interaction with customers. Instead of operating to an annual budget,

Richard Watkins: “Supporting an integrated system should be an integrated set of processes.”

Companies that buy ERP systems end up

companies should operate to a

having to buy separate forecasting systems,

monthly/weekly/daily formal re-planning cycle,

because the core ERP system simply lacks

with a horizon of 24 - 42 months. Key inputs

the required functionality. ERP systems

to this are the vision and strategy, and a

providers may have something which is their

demand plan, supply plan, and an innovation

demand planning module, but it is almost only

plan, all of which can be added up into the

ustomers want what they want

there because it has to be. Even those that

financial plan – formally updated in a regular

and when they want it. They

‘bundle in’ a demand planning package have

cycle. Performance measures of forecast

want more choice. They want to

only recently done so, and then there are

accuracy, schedule achievement, and the

be able to shop on line and

bugs. CRM systems tend to suffer the same,

perfect order tell you if you are giving the

either get it delivered direct to

and people are not sure what to do with them.

customer what they want.

on the high street. They will look in store, and

Again, if you have complicated production

All of this requires a reporting system, and

shop at home, or browse at home, and go and

planning (sequencing, set-up costs etc.) the

there is still no really tried and tested

buy in store. They will order three sizes, try

chances are you have to buy a separate

integrated universal solution to this. But if you

them on, and send back two. Never before has

‘advance planning’ system. These should be

don’t do IBP, you should do.

the supply chain been so complex. And those

standard now and not ‘advanced’. Then

companies that supply companies who supply

again, some ERP systems are so complex –

the high street are ever more at the mercy of

being driven by ‘heuristical’ planning

People

long lead times and the ‘bullwhip effect’.

methods, that the people who have to operate

With integrated systems, and integrated

them do not understand how to use them.

processes there should be integrated people;

C

their door (on a drone?), in store or to a shop

It’s no surprise that all retail and

but too often people are still working in

manufacturing companies in a competitive

Lack of integration of basic systems causes

disintegrated silos. For instance, you need to

world are struggling to ensure better

complexities in interfacing and upgrading,

improve demand planning. In this case you

availability at lowest cost and higher quality.

which does not help meeting the customer.

need sales and marketing to be responsible

At the end of the day, it is increasingly the

KISS – ‘Keep it simple stupid’ has always

for the forecast, and provide a realistic

case that it does not matter how good your

been a good principle.

demand plan based on realistic assumptions.

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lanning Opinion

But sales people are still measured on beating the budget, and they will be judged a hero when they exceed the forecast. It is not their problem if operations fail to deliver. Responsibility for the inventory still remains with the supply chain. Why? It is not their fault. When you are looking at planning capacity, then you should be basing this on realistic demonstrated capacity. Many operations directors believe they can get another 10 per cent out and ‘assume’ they will get it – then get surprised when they fail to deliver. Operating Equipment Efficiency gives machines, and not customers, what they want. Clearly, what needs to change is the culture and/or the behaviour of the organisation. With integrated systems, and integrated processes there should be integrated people; but too often people are still working in disintegrated silos.

NT+OO=EOO; New Technology + Old Organisation = Expensive Old Organisation. 

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P

lanning Success story

Mueller Stoves

reduces the assembly line stops after Preactor deployment ueller Stoves, one of the

M

newer business units of Muller

• High volatility of quantities and reschedules caused by unforeseen events/interruptions.

Group, was established in 2001 and to produce different

While each mini factory was producing its

items ranging from stoves,

own scheduling, other valuable information

domestic ovens and cook-tops stoves. The

was not considered, such as the availability of

company originally used the concept of mini

material (supplied by other area or

factories pulled by Kanban from the assembly

outsourced). Consequently the assembly lines

line. Today the unit has grown to about 518

did not produce as planned because the mini

employees in 94 000 m2 of built area,

factories could not respond in time to

producing about 118, with a capacity of about

changes arising.

70,000 units per month. Revenue in 2014 was R$ 244 million. For 2015 the target is R$ 266

The plant sought to supply the necessary

million, an estimated growth of 10 per cent,

components for the items scheduled on the

increasing production capacity without

assembly lines through daily inventories lists

increasing assets. This is true productivity

and urgent production requests of missing

supported behind the scenes by SIMATIC IT

part, which invariably occurred; forgetting a

Preactor + Lean.

component made it impossible to produce. In short, Mueller Stoves had the following problems to be overcome:

Challenge From the beginning, Mueller Stoves created a

• Kanban not working properly.

bold concept of mini factories, each of which

• Many of the assembly line stop, due to lack

was scheduled by their supervisor who

of parts from supplying mini factory.

followed a Kanban board, pulling the production by subsequent mini factory.

In addition to the line stops due to lack of

Despite all competent efforts of the Lean

parts, the plant also experienced:

Manufacturing team, Kanban was not bringing the expected results, primarily because the assembly lines are extremely dynamic in terms of:

• Difficulties to balance load across several resources. • Difficulties to evaluate properly production bottlenecks.

• High variability of items per day on each assembly line.

Despite all competent efforts of the Lean Manufacturing team, Kanban was not bringing the expected results, primarily because the assembly lines are extremely dynamic in terms of high variability of items per day on each assembly line, together with high volatility of quantities and reschedules caused by unforeseen events/interruptions.

• No visibility of the consequences of unforeseen events/interruptions.

• No possibility of harmonising a preventive maintenance plan without sacrificing productivity. • Lack of capacity analysis to give adequate responses to the demand.

Solution At the end of 2012, given the above difficulties with the implemented pull system and compounded by the fact that raw materials suppliers were not adequately developed for the JIT environment they were trying to deploy; the Planning and the Production departments independently began to seek other solutions. In different situations both these departments found Siemens SIMATIC IT Preactor and

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June 2015

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P

lanning Success story

APS3 (Siemens partner for Simatic IT Preactor

the assembling lines by scheduling the

products) and immediately realised that a fine

Stamping area with SIMATIC IT Preactor. This

scheduling tool based on finite capacity,

new solution went Live April 2014.

taking into account materials and resources, represented a convincing answer to solve the

Results

challenges they faced.

The results were striking and have highlighted After undertaking a DWS (Design Workshop)

that there is also an opportunity to schedule

showing the feasibility and viability of the

the painting area with the same principle

solution, Mueller Stoves started a deployment

adopted for stamping. At the time this case

project with the Preactor 500 APS software

study is being written the painting sequencing

utilising the expertise of APS3. The initial

project has already begun.

scope proposed for the first step was to

The most immediate results were:

generate fine scheduling only on the

• Improved visibility reducing production

the improving factory scheduling. • Reduction of stamping stocks from 3 days to 1.5 days of parts needed for future assemblies. • Significant reduction of semi-finished stocks.

Stamping area in order to load level (using a

uncertainty:

Heijunka methodology) the assembly lines,

• Scheduling horizon of 5 days + 1.

The table below summarizes the achievement

thereby preventing the internal parts supply

• Firm scheduling of 1 day + 2.

of project goals and the results obtained;

shortage that were causing lines to stop. The project began in April 2013, load levelling

• Increased reliability of the supplier to the JIT process because of their perception of

showing unequivocally that it was worth the effort expended by the entire project team:

2013

2014

Stops on Assembly Lines

13 hours

6,3 hours

WIP

Confidential

22 per cent reduction

Inventory turnover

93.33 per cent

98.45 per cent

SIMATIC IT Preactor A Advanced dvanced Planning & Sc Scheduling heduling Flexible Solutions Ŷ For the problems of SMBs and large international groups Ŷ In almost any industr y Proven Benefits Ŷ Improved productivity Ŷ Reduction in stocks of raw materials and components Ŷ Reduced cycle times and reduced WIP Ŷ Improved customer ser vice levels and deliver y reliability

Siemens PLM Sof tware of fers an extensive por tfolio of solutions to link the product design phases (PLM) with industrial operations (Manufacturing Operations Management - MOM), which now includes: MES, EMI, quality management, planning and scheduling of workshops, automation and super vision. siemens.com/preactor

Realize innovation.

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35


Printing & Labelling

Product news

SATO expands NX Series with nextgeneration 6-inch industrial thermal printer strength durability. The CL6NX is ideal for manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain logistics, healthcare, retail, and is easily configurable and scalable for global deployments. The NX Series represents SATO’s next generation of thermal printers with advanced support for barcode symbologies, character sets and communication interfaces. A product of SATO’s global

Noriyasu Yamada: Redefining the standard.

ATO, the global provider of Auto-

S

R&D network, the company comments that

the success of the CL4NX, which was a

the NX Series incorporates value-added

game-changer for both SATO and the

features in a world-class design to deliver a

industry. The NX Series’ advanced technology

printing solution that goes beyond

and innovative features redefine the standard

expectations.

for the next generation of industrial printers.

ID solutions that empower

Through the expansion of the NX Series, we

workforces and streamline operations, has launched the new

are able to offer an even greater level of

Game-changer

CL6NX, a 6-inch industrial

flexibility to our customers, minimise their total cost of ownership and boost efficiency to give

thermal printer designed for intuitive

Noriyasu Yamada, chief product planning

operation, easy integration and industrial

officer at SATO, said: “The CL6NX builds on

them a competitive edge.”

The NX Series represents SATO’s next generation of thermal printers with advanced support for barcode symbologies, character sets and communication interfaces.

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Product news

The NX series is designed to be easy to use and easy to integrate with existing systems, while placing importance on sustainable innovation, with coreless ribbon supply that eliminates waste and superior energy efficiency to decrease energy costs and consumption.

• Easy maintenance with tool-less print head and platens replacement. • Excellent print quality consistent across a

Printing & Labelling

series, visit: www.satoeurope.com/uk/products/printers/ind ustrial-printers/nx-series.aspx

wide range of consumables. • Best-in-class ruggedness with aluminium die-cast construction.

SATO at a glance

Through the expansion of the NX Series, we are able to offer an even

greater level of flexibility to our customers, minimise their total cost of ownership and boost efficiency to give them a competitive edge.” – Noriyasu Yamada, SATO.

Key features

• Elite processing power, throughput speed,

According to SATO, key features of the new

• Unrivaled communication and emulation

and memory capacity. CL6NX include:

capabilities. • Ready for global deployment with 30+

• User-friendly operability with a 3.5-inch fullcolour display and built-in/customisable video tutorials.

display languages and 40+ print character sets.

SATO is a global provider of Auto-ID solutions that connect people, goods and information. It serves a diverse range of customers, delivering end-to-end solutions that streamline operations, empower workforces and help customers reduce their environmental impact. For the fiscal year ended 31 March, 2014, it reported revenues of JPY 96,773 million (Euro 721 million). *Conversion is based on an average exchange rate of 1 Euro = 134.21 Japanese Yen.

For more information on the CL6NX and NX

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Printing & Labelling

Opinion

Reliable printing of labels and receipts at forklifts Mobile label and receipt printing solutions have to meet a wide range of requirements to provide an optimum performance at warehouse vehicles. Reduced costs as well as increased profitability and flexibility are the top priorities in supply chain management. Modern mobile technology solutions turn lifting equipment and conveyors into even more productive workplaces and allow a faster and more exact completion of tasks, writes Christian Bischoff, regional general manager EMEA, Datamax-O’Neil by Honeywell.

A

s supply chains become more complex, and as delivery times decrease and cost pressure becomes greater, companies across all industries face the challenge to optimise their processes. Disturbances in the supply chain can cause supply shortfalls, financial losses and, in the worst case, damage the image of the whole company. Especially in the case of warehouse management there is a huge potential for increasing the productivity of employees and reducing costs.

Optimising processes by printing labels and receipts directly at the forklift One possibility to improve workflow across the supply chain is the application of printer solutions that are used for the packaging and labelling of products and other items such as component parts or shelves. After all, virtually every product has to be labelled several times: when it enters the warehouse, when it is repackaged and sent to an interim storage facility and finally before being dispatched. Yet each of these processes offers a whole host of opportunities for making mistakes. In many cases, warehouse staff still have to collect labels for packages or shelves from a central, stationary printer. To cut down the time they spend walking to and from the printers and the products; they therefore often print a stock of labels and then attach them to the corresponding packages. The risk of attaching the wrong label here should not be underestimated. Mobile printers

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Depending on the size of the label, the MP Compact4 Mobile Mark II from Datamax-O’Neil by Honeywell can process rolls of up to 1000 labels.

can resolve this problem and make a major contribution to simplifying the work in the warehouse. Mounted on warehouse vehicles such as forklifts, mobile printers can produce labels, parcel stickers and receipts whenever and wherever they are required so they can be attached to the right items immediately. Faulty labelling can be virtually eliminated.

The right printing solution is just a few steps away Space is often restricted and environmental conditions are challenging in the warehouse or on the loading dock. This is why mobile receipt and label printers must meet a range of important requirements in order to operate

flawlessly in every situation. Only then can transport and logistics companies gain the maximum benefit from these technologies, optimise their workflows and improve cost efficiency. The following tips have been compiled to help warehouse managers to gain a comprehensive overview over the main important requirements. Based on this guidance, they should be more able to select the most suitable printing solutions for their warehouse needs.

(1) Score with robustness Forklifts are on the move all day, sometimes travelling to several stations in the warehouse in order to complete just a single job. The

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Opinion

environments in which they operate can be extremely challenging: shocks and vibrations as well as very high and low temperatures or humid conditions are a daily fare in the warehouse. The vehicles and the printers they carry have to withstand these conditions easily. Cast metal housings have proven themselves exceptionally rugged in real-world applications as they offer reliable protection for the technology.

(2) Printing with a small footprint Space is at a premium in industrial trucks so the printers have to be compact. Moreover, the installation should be done flexibly according to the given space: Additional mounting options such as mounting plates are very suitable for this task. They enable users to install the printer in its normal position as well as vertically on the wall or even upside down – while complying with the installation guidelines and safety regulations. A voltage transformer can also be used to connect the printer to the forklift's own power supply and eliminate the need to exchange or charge batteries at a central station thereby disrupting work routine and reducing productivity.

(3) Small but powerful When choosing the mobile printing solution the user should also pay attention to the level of performance. For example, depending on the size of the label, the MP Compact4 Mobile Mark II from Datamax-O’Neil by Honeywell can process rolls of up to 1000 labels. Large label rolls offer companies a number of key advantages. First, they are easier to manufacture and consequently cheaper to purchase. Second, the rolls do not have to be replaced as frequently. This reduces the number of interruptions in the workflow and thus makes employees more productive.

(4) Ready-to-use in no time Many warehouse employees have to wear leather or rubber gloves while working. To make replacing label rolls as easy as possible, the printer should have large levers for opening covers, flaps etc. that can be

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operated even while wearing gloves. A simple paper feed mechanism, e.g. in the form of a slit at the side of the device, also simplifies the process considerably. Ideally, staff should be able to replace rolls without having to open any flaps or remove any covers. Moreover, they should be able to replace wearing parts without the need for special tools. These features go some way to ensuring smooth operation and the highest level of efficiency. Simple and rapid integration of the printers into existing IT infrastructures also makes an important contribution in this regard.

(5) Take a long view When considering the purchase of a mobile printer solution, a user should ensure that its overall operating costs, e.g. costs of procurement, repair and spare parts, are as low as possible. The buyer should be certain that the product and spare parts will be available for a number of years to come. Also important: Comprehensive service, maintenance and support should be available around the clock so that any faults can be eliminated quickly. This helps preventing timeconsuming replacement of defective units at headquarters and lost working time. The resulting financial losses and impaired

Printing & Labelling

Christian Bischoff: “Space is often restricted and environmental conditions are challenging in the warehouse or on the loading dock. This is why mobile receipt and label printers must meet a range of important requirements in order to operate flawlessly in every situation.”

customer satisfaction are history.

Conclusion Going through the requirements for mobile printing solutions shows how broadly they can be used and how much value they offer for warehouse staff. Transport and logistics providers can already benefit from many different technologies that clearly support their employees in completing their tasks. 

CHECKLIST FOR CHOOSING THE SUITABLE PRINTER SOLUTION Type of printer - compact, mobile printer solution for greater flexibility in the supply chain. - high printing quality. - thermal or thermal transfer printing.

High performance - capacity for handling wide rolls of labels. - large rolls mean fewer replacements and interruptions to work. - capability for connection to the on-board power supply of industrial trucks. Durability - resistance to extreme temperatures, humidity, falls, impacts and vibration. - protective housing, e.g. made from cast metal. - additional brackets for mounting upside down. Intuitive operation - easy to replace rolls of labels even while wearing leather or rubber gloves. - simple paper feed. - easy replacement of wearing parts. Rapid integration into existing IT infrastructures - WLAN with WPA2 security protocol. - USB 2.0 ports. - cable-based 10/100 Ethernet LAN. - compatibility with standard firmware. Low total operating costs - availability of products and spare parts for several years to come. - comprehensive maintenance service and support around the clock.

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39


Printing & Labelling

Product news

Epson launches industrial in-house label printer Epson has launched the ColorWorks C7500 compact colour label printer, which has been developed to help manufacturers meet a wide variety of inhouse, on-demand, customised labelling requirements.

T

he new ColorWorks C7500 incorporates Epson’s new permanent PrecisionCore Micro TFP line print head which has been specifically developed for use in the commercial-grade, industrial labelling market and which lasts for the lifetime of the printer[i]. This print head – Epson’s most advanced – is claimed to ensure excellent reliability alongside the ability to print 600 x 1200dpi quality labels on a wide variety of materials – including matte, gloss and synthetic media – in a wide range of formats and sizes up to four inches wide at a fast 300mm/sec. Sharp, high-quality results are achieved through the use of Variable Sized Droplet Technology (VSDT) which produces ink droplets in a range of precisely controlled sizes. In addition, Nozzle Verification Technology and dot substitution helps prevent misprints and dead pixels to ensure consistent printouts. The C7500 uses Epson DURABrite Ultra pigment ink in high-capacity 300ml cartridges to give fast-drying labels that are smudge, water and fade resistant. The printer is easy to use, integrates into most operating systems and features an auto-cutter as standard and an optional rewinder for roll-toroll printing.

Cost benefits “With the C7500 manufacturers can now produce outstanding quality, individuallycustomised colour labels in-house, ondemand, at a low cost per label and without the costs associated with producing and stocking pre-printed labels for secondary overprinting,” said David Spratt, head of

business systems, Epson UK. “It is the ultimate in short-run colour printing for those for who want the flexibility in-house to reliably meet their label printing needs. It eliminates the costs associated with pre-printing, by producing short run, customised labels on demand for a variety of applications such as product packaging, food, beverages, EU Energy Labels and GHS[ii] labels.” Epson offers a wide choice of label printers and presses including handheld label makers for the office, desktop colour inkjet label printers for specialised ‘on-demand’ applications such as manufacturing and healthcare, wide-format SureColor printers for small-large format self-adhesive labels & decals and the SurePress short-medium run digital label presses for commercial printing. Each printer and press is fully developed by Epson and every component – hardware, printhead, ink and software – is manufactured by Epson and optimised to deliver the best possible performance. The high-productivity SurePress L-6034V is Epson’s first single-pass digital label press and Epson’s first press to use UV ink. Commercially launched 18 months ago, this press is currently being commissioned by industrial label print firms around the world, including the first in Europe which was installed at Label G2 in France in May. There is significant market interest in the SurePress L-6034V and details about further installations will be announced over the next few months. The SurePress L-4033AW is a wide-gamut 7colour inkjet digital label press, including white, green and orange ink that makes highquality, short-medium run label printing easier and more efficient, even on clear and metallic

substrates. Delivering exceptional print quality and accurate colour reproduction this press is the only aqueous inkjet label press on the market which has made it a popular choice with many companies. Today there are over 150 of these presses in production worldwide and many companies are so happy with them that over 20 per cent have invested in their second machine.

Diverse industry Duncan Ferguson, director ProGraphics at Epson Europe, commented: “We are committed to this industry for the long term. We currently invest over $1 million a day on R&D and have just invested over $200 million to build two new PrecisionCore production facilities, which is driving continued innovation. We recognise that the label industry is extremely diverse, which is why we offer such a wide range of production solutions with a choice of inks – all of which deliver high quality, superb reliability and the best all round return on investment. Epson excels at high-quality inkjet imaging and our strategy is to meet the industry’s needs now and anticipate and adapt to these needs as they change.” 

Product lifetime of ColorWorks C7500 is defined as 500km of paper length feed. Globally Harmonised System of classification and labelling of chemical substances and mixtures.

[i]

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New Forklift Printer. Simple to use. Built to last.

MP Compact4 Mobile Mark II Solution for Mobile Printing Finally, a printer tough enough to withstand forklift vibration, simple enough to learn in minutes, and small enough to mount where you need it. The MP Compact4 Mobile Mark II printer is the world’s only printer designed to be installed directly on a forklift! This versatile workhorse can be mounted flat, sideways or even upside down. The MP Compact4 Mobile Mark II is powered directly from the forklift, and the oversized media capacity keeps paper changes to a minimum. Loading paper is so easy you can leave your gloves on. The MP Compact4 Mobile Mark II printer will reduce errors, save you time, and increase your productivity.

To learn more about our full line of printers, contact emea.sales@datamax-oneil.com, call +33 475 756 300 or visit us at www.datamax-oneil.com

© 2015 Datamax-O’Neil. All Rights Reserved.


Networking

Product news

WiNG Express

– the power of enterprise Wi-Fi for smaller businesses reality

Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Mark Smith, head of WLAN sales, EMEA, Zebra Technologies, about the company’s newly launched WiNG Express enterprise-class Wi-Fi designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and the benefits it affords both users and Zebra’s channel partner network. launched WiNG Express into the EMEA

whether in one office or throughout multiple

marketplace.

sites.

Mark Smith, head of WLAN sales, EMEA, Zebra

“Of course, not all smaller SMEs and SoHo

Technologies, explained that WiNG Express is a

(Small Office/Home Office) users would need to

high performance, enterprise-class Wi-Fi

scale-up to 1024 AP, but this is easily possible

designed and priced specifically for SMEs. “It is

with WiNG Express if required,” Smith pointed

a WLAN operating system wrapped in an easy-

out. “Although something in the range of 20 to

to-use and easy-to understand graphical user

25 AP would be more the norm for their target

interface that makes end-to-end WLAN

markets, the aspiration of many businesses is to

management easy, and that requires no IT

grow – and if they know they are investing in

department,” he explained, adding that WiNG

something that can grow with them without

Express provides the same advanced

having to add layers of complexity then this is a

brainpower as Zebra’s enterprise-class WiNG 5

major advantage.”

WLAN operating system, creating the fully network aware WLAN, where all of the user’s

Flexible deployment options

WLAN infrastructure has the intelligence required to work together to route every

If SMEs have less than 26 access points in a

transmission as efficiently as possible for

single site, WiNG Express can bring them the

reliable and secure wireless performance. “With

power of centralised management without the

WiNG Express, users can enjoy all the benefits

need to purchase and manage a controller.

mall to medium-sized business

of high-performance wireless connectivity, at

Smith explained that the result is a new level of

(SMEs) often share many of the

the right price point for their business,” he said.

simplicity and a new low cost point for

Mark Smith: “Regardless of the number of sites, the customer’s enterprise-class WLAN is ready to go in minutes.”

S

same wireless networking needs as larger companies. And just like

enterprise-class wireless networking. “This

Easy scaling for growth

‘controllerless’ management allows one of the

operatives need enterprise-class wireless LAN

WiNG Express offers cost-effective support for

entire network of 25 access points,” he said.

(WLAN) connectivity – a WLAN that offers

the smallest possible business network with a

“Since users can access WiNG Express through

around-the-clock dependability that can heal

single access point to mid-size businesses

itself, that offers the wired-style speeds workers

that have up to 1024 access points

need to maximise efficiency while also

in one or more locations. And

They can simply point their

providing a totally reliable level of security. Also,

in terms of scaling, WiNG

browser to the IP address of

just like larger businesses, SMEs need tools to

Express lets users start small

the managing access point

monitor, manage and troubleshoot the WLAN

and grow big. Whether

to view the status of all their

and all their connected devices.

customers start with one or

access points and

one hundred access points,

connected wireless clients. If

in larger organisations, SME

customer’s access points to simply manage an

any browser, they get true anywhere and anytime network management.

The main stumbling block is that ‘big business’

as their business grows and

their 25 access points are

WLAN functionality has historically come at a

their workforce and

spread out in multiple

high price point – an IT department with the

application requirements

expertise required to manage the complex

expand, WiNG Express can grow with

features and functionality of an enterprise-class

the company. The flexible architecture

WLAN. The good news is that this is no longer

allows users to easily expand their network to

outdoors, this isn’t a problem – they can just add

the case, as Zebra Technologies has just

support more users and more applications,

WiNG Express Manager to easily manage up to

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locations or their business requires more than 25 access points in one or more locations, whether indoors or

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Product news

Networking regardless of how many locations the company may have. Smith explained that this can dramatically simplify the time, effort and cost of network-wide configuration.

Channel focused WiNG Express was first launched in EMEA in May this year, having initially been introduced into the US and North American market during 2014. “We wanted our distribution and reseller partners in the US and North America to cut their teeth on WiNG Express first,” explained Smith. “Then, after receiving positive feedback and a few suggestions regarding functionality and feature adjustments from our channel partners we prepared for the launch into EMEA.” Smith added that Zebra only sells With WiNG Express, SME and SoHo users can enjoy all the benefits of high-performance wireless connectivity, at the right price point for their business.

WiNG Express through its channel, with no direct liaison with the end-customer on the part of Zebra.

1024 access points throughout all of their sites.

down into any specific access point to view their history for the past 30 minutes, two hours

Quick and easy deployment in minutes

or 24 hours. Available metrics include the radio,

Differentiation

antenna, mobile clients, number of re-tries and

Smith reflected that some distribution partners

RSSI (signal strength). Since users can see the

find it can be quite a challenge dealing with the

With WiNG Express, there is no need to

full list of all functioning access points, they can

kind of questions they receive from resellers on

understand advanced configuration options to

ensure that only their company-owned access

enterprise wireless installations. “With this in

get a network up and running. Smith explained

points are adopted. In addition, users can view

mind, Zebra wanted to ensure that it could

that Zebra’s channel partner network can create

the security protocols that are

clearly articulate the difference between

the configurations for the customer. “With over-

in force on their access

the architectures of the enterprise-class

the-air provisioning, there is no CAT5 cabling

points, ensuring that the

WiNG WLAN operating system and WiNG

required for staging,” he said. “Users can just

data travelling over their

power-up their access points and they will

WLAN is protected and

automatically be discovered and provisioned

secure.

Express so as not to confuse our distribution partners,” he explained. “To this end, our

with the pre-defined configurations. Smith added that with easy site setup and an intuitive auto-provisioning policy, it is easy to deploy

partners are provided with clear and concise

Event history

information about WiNG

multi-site WLANs. “Regardless of the number of

WiNG Express’s ongoing log tracks

sites, the customer’s enterprise-class WLAN is

and maintains a complete history of events that

SoHo and SME marketplace in terms of user-

ready to go in minutes,” he remarked.

have occurred on the company’s WLAN,

friendliness and ease of installation and

providing valuable trending information as well

configuration. This means they can feel more

Powerful analytics made easy

as details the company needs to address a

confident about talking about these types of

specific incident and prevent a re-occurrence in

benefits to the resellers. Then, similarly, this

WiNG Express presents the volumes of

the future.

same type of clear and concise information can

information about users’ access points and access point radios, all of the users’ WLANs

Express’s particular suitability for the

be used by the resellers to explain the benefits

Configuration

to prospective end-users.”

WLANs in easy-to-understand screens that

WiNG Express makes it easy to create new

Smith concluded: “We at Zebra are confident

make it easy to monitor and manage every

sites and configure every aspect of a

that SME and SoHo companies in a wide range

aspect of the enterprise class wireless network.

company’s WLAN in 3 simple steps through a

of vertical marketplaces will find WiNG Express

series of drop-down boxes; from the wired

and the benefits it offers highly attractive. And

Protected and secure

access point interface to wireless interfaces,

with the full pre- and post-sales support offered

management and security. The settings the

to them by our channel partner network, I think

WiNG Express’s Monitor function allows users to

company defines are pushed out globally and

the whole package becomes even more

see a list of all of their access points and drill

automatically applied to all access points,

compelling.” 

and all of the mobile devices connected to their

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Networking

Product news

New mobile wireless router

for highbandwidth industrial remote communication iemens has expanded its

well as high-bandwidth applications, such as

Scalance M wireless router series

video surveillance.

S

by adding two new devices. The Scalance M876-3 is said to be

bridging short-term power failures. The Scalance M876-3 supports HSPA+ (Evolved High Speed Packet Access) and

via third-generation wireless Internet access

Increased signal quality and bandwidth

(3G). In Europe, these are the well-known

In addition to the integrated 4-port switch –

infrastructure, this enables high transmission

UMTS networks, with EVDO (Evolution Data

which can be used to connect up to four end

rates to end devices (downlink) of up to 14.4

Optimised) networks being prevalent

devices – the new mobile wireless routers

Mbit/s and back to the telecommunications

particularly in North America.

each come with two antenna connections,

network (uplink) of up to 5.76 Mbit/s. The

making it possible for operators to use

Scalance M876-4 offers downlink speeds of

Using the second new addition to the series,

multiple antennas (antenna diversity) and thus

up to 100 Mbit/s and uplink speeds of up to

the Scalance M876-4, users can connect to

increase both signal quality and bandwidth.

50 Mbit/s via LTE.

subnets and automation devices via LTE

Like almost all routers of the Scalance M

(Long Term Evolution) wireless standard,

series, the new devices are characterised by

widely used throughout Europe. Due to their

their compact housing in the design of

high bandwidths, performance capabilities

Simatic S7-1500, which means that they save

These mobile wireless routers enable users to

and transmission speeds, the routers are able

space in the control cabinet. In addition, they

connect to IP-based end devices anywhere in

to be deployed in a diverse range of

each also come with one digital input and

the world. A range of functions, including an

applications: from industrial remote access

output, e.g. for setting up secured VPN

integrated firewall and end-to-end

solutions, such as teleservice to the

connections with key-operated switches.

communication link encryption via VPN

integration of distant substations in energy

Furthermore, the devices are equipped with

tunnelling, ensure high levels of security. The

distribution or water treatment systems, as

their own redundant power supply for

devices also support IPsec and OpenVPN. 

ideally suited for transmitting data

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EVDO (Evolution Data Optimised). Depending on the available mobile service provider

Worldwide connectivity

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Product news

Networking

New cybersecurity tools make the best protection proactive tudies show that data breaches

S

are becoming more frequent and severe, and the proliferation of resources available to attackers means that IT managers need to

provide comprehensive protection to their employees in order to manage risks. F-Secure has updated its Business Suite security solution with these needs in mind, and the product line now places new emphasis on the role of control and manageability as the foundation for reliable security. Business Suite is a corporate security solution from F-Secure that combines several key features – such as, web content control and automated patch-management that work together to give companies comprehensive protection against existing and emerging threats. Additions to the new Business Suite release include a new version of F-Secure’s award-winning Client Security and an updated policy manager. These additions will give IT

things above all else – a channel to reach

According to Pekka Usva, F-Secure’s vice

managers new capabilities such as:

potential victims and for potential victims to

president corporate security, Business Suite

have vulnerable software that attackers can

gives IT manager’s tools to control the

exploit. So having good cybersecurity

security issues that arise when working within

other web components) with Advanced

means using tools and tactics that prevent

modern IT supply chains. “No one is working

Protection.

attackers from being able to execute these

in isolation anymore, and companies can

two strategies."

expose themselves to data breaches and

• Blocking content (such as Java, Flash or

• Preventing employee exposure to malicious websites with Web Content Control. • Controlling access to potentially unsecure

other threats by integrating part of their

Risk can be managed and controlled

infrastructure with other businesses that have

The last quarter of 2014 saw a 25 per cent

isolate sensitive parts of their network from

These components work with the rest of the

increase in data breaches from the same

potential risks that is vital in complex

Business Suite ensemble to give businesses

period the year before*.

networked environments. In addition, the

sites with Connection Control while performing business critical tasks.

protection that goes beyond traditional anti-

little or no security. Therefore, IT managers can use features like connection control to

award-winning endpoint protection will even

virus to help IT managers identify and kill

A study examining 350 significant data

detect new threats that have never been seen

modern cyber-threats.

breaches in Europe over the past decade,

before.”

has founded that while 41 per cent of them “Many of today’s cyberattacks are quite

were caused by hackers, 57 per cent were

Business Suite is an on-premise security

simple in a technical sense and easily

caused by ‘sloppiness’**. These numbers

solution designed to protect businesses with

prevented if you don’t give attackers

add up to a diverse range of security risks

100 or more seats. It is currently available all

resources that they can use in their

that need to be managed and controlled in

over the world and offered by more than,

attacks,” said Jarno Niemelä, senior

order to prevent them from becoming full-

3000 resellers. It is also available for a free

researcher at F-Secure. “Attacks need two

blown security incidents.

three-month trial from F-Secure’s website. 

*Source: https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/risk-management/evolving-threat-environment/enisa-threat-landscape/enisa-threat-landscape-2014 **Source: http://capgemini.ft.com/web-review/sloppiness-to-blame-for-more-data-losses-than-hacking-study-claims_a-41-648.html

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Warehouse Management

I

Success story

BEC signs sweet deal with Haribo EC (Systems Integration) Ltd., a leading UK-based supplier of data capture solutions for supply chain logistics and manufacturing, has recently won a warehouse data capture contract with Haribo, the world’s largest manufacturer of fruit gums and liquorice products.

B

Having previously used a paper-based system to record goods in, internal stock movements, stock counting and picking, Haribo was struggling with inventory accuracy and visibility, which in turn was affecting purchasing and manufacturing planning. Haribo is the world’s largest manufacturer of fruit gums and liquorice products.

Flexible approach After looking at a number of solutions, Haribo chose BEC as the company to work with in order to automate its warehouse facility, whilst

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seamlessly integrating the new solution into its M3 ERP system. Haribo chose BEC due to its proven

warehousing solution and flexible approach to design, as well as the ability to provide UKbased support and consultancy. Haribo was also able to view live demonstrations of some of BEC’s reference sites.

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Warehouse Management

Haribo chose the Honeywell CK3X mobile computers in conjunction with BEC’s own eSmart Warehouse software to capture and record data for these mission-critical applications, in order to help reduce inventory inaccuracies, improve upon efficiency, maximise throughput and streamline overall business processes.

Project extension Philip Jarrett, director of sales & marketing at BEC, commented: “We are really excited to have been awarded this contract with such a wellknown and renowned company as Haribo. The project is going really well so far, and we are looking forward to further extending the project in the future to include additional scanning transactions within the factory.” 

I

Success story

BEC (SYSTEMS INTEGRATION) LTD. AT A GLANCE Based in Blackburn, Lancashire, BEC is a specialist provider of future-proof and innovative Automated Data Capture solutions for use in the supply chain and manufacturing industry. BEC’s solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly into any host ERP system. As the UK’s largest independent Infor M3 integrator, BEC’s knowledge of a range of ERP systems also includes SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and IFS. With a specific focus on the supply chain and manufacturing industries, BEC’s level of expertise also spans the complete spectrum of AIDC technologies, including RFID, mobile computing and scanning. With the aim of removing costs from customers’ businesses, BEC offers a comprehensive set of services from initial consultation, advice and design, through to delivery, implementation and after-sales support. Offering access to a range of cutting-edge data collection products, including Voice-directed technologies, BEC’s future-proof solutions integrate seamlessly into any host system to fulfil business and commercial requirements. Having delivered the first integrated Voice-directed picking solution for Lawson/Infor M3, BEC has also achieved Total Solutions Provider (TSP) status with Honeywell Vocollect, the Voice-based solutions provider for mobile workers. Through the development of impressive and innovative product handling solutions with Voice technology at its core, BEC has helped businesses within the food and beverage, manufacturing and engineering industries improve upon their accuracy, productivity and customer service.

Is there more room for profit in your warehouse or distribution centre? BEC specialises in unlocking hidden cost within warehouses and distribution centres. Our eSmart Data Capture Software offers fit-for-purpose solutions to a variety of data capture challenges. Our customers recognise considerable business advantages with their overall IT infrastructure, whilst achieving a significant return on investment. This helps them to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. Want to know more? Call us today on +44 (0) 1254 688 088, visit www.becsi.co.uk or email us on info@becsi.co.uk

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SOLUTIONS

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V OICE technology

Product news

Voxware introduces Cloud-based predictive modelling analytics platform Voxware, the independent Voice application company and provider of Cloud-based Voice solutions, has introduced Intellestra, a Cloud-based predictive modelling and supply chain analytics platform.

oxware reports that it is always

V

looking for innovative ways to help customers become more efficient and productive. Three years ago, Voxware launched

VoxPilot, a Voice picking dashboard focused on providing business analytics and real-time actionable data for warehouse supervisors and managers. Voxware customers that use VoxPilot consistently increase productivity by 8 to 12 per cent through proactive management of activity in the warehouse in real-time. For Voxware, the next logical step was to go beyond the picking operation to offer analytics for the whole supply chain and Intellestra

some of our customers and feedback indicates

with deep insights into every aspect of the

expands greatly on what has been offered in

that Intellestra will make a tremendous impact

supply chain.

the past. The platform allows warehouse

on the supply chain." Voxware demonstrated Intellestra during

managers and supervisors to access a realtime aggregation view of all the data across the

According to a recent survey, most returns are

ProMat 2015. The first two features on display

entire supply chain from sales forecasting

due to retailer error and even a single late or

were a Staffing Predictor and a Delivery

systems to transportation management

incorrect order can have a lasting negative

Schedule gadget. The Staffing Predictor can

systems, shipping manifests and proof of

impact on customer lifetime value. Therefore,

help supply chain leaders understand staffing

delivery. Supply chain leaders at every level of

ensuring that trucks leave on time and with

requirements, including full-time/part-time mix,

the retail operation from shift supervisor to DC manager and up to the VP of Supply Chain Operations will be able to manage every aspect of picking, shipping, and distribution of products in real-time.

Intelligence and visibility "Today, retailers are all about business intelligence and visibility into the supply chain," said Keith Phillips, CEO of Voxware. "We

Intellestra now ties the entire supply chain together to drive the same kind of efficiencies and productivity gains that we've been able to accomplish for the past 15 years through our Voice Management Suite and VoxPilot. We've conducted initial tests with some of our customers and feedback indicates that Intellestra will make a tremendous impact on the supply chain." – Keith Phillips, Voxware.

already provide data on all of the fulfilment

complete manifests isn't just about meeting

based on relevant data, both historical and

operations within the warehouse. Intellestra

accuracy goals and productivity targets – it's

future projections, to efficiently meet

now ties the entire supply chain together to

about delivering an exceptional customer

throughput requirements to meet customer

drive the same kind of efficiencies and

experience. In order to make smart decisions

demand. The Delivery Schedule gadget

productivity gains that we've been able to

that power a customer-centric supply chain,

provides at-a-glance insights that can help

accomplish for the past 15 years through our

warehouses need access to tools that paint a

warehouse supervisors reroute trucks or

Voice Management Suite and VoxPilot," he

complete picture. With Intellestra, companies

adjust work orders to meet on time departures

added. "We've conducted initial tests with

of all sizes will be able to remain competitive

and delivery commitments. 

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Opinion

V OICE technology

The story behind the supermarket price wars; how Voice-directed warehouse technology is driving the competition forward By Darrel Williams, regional director, Northern Europe and South Africa, Vocollect Solutions, Honeywell. online shopping, they’ve been looking to

information at just the right time is provided to

become more consumer focused whilst

the worker, via a headset and a belt-worn

continuing to drive down their own costs.

device. This typically results in a reduction in

Instead of the traditional supply chain where

errors, and with the correct processes

the order moves from warehouse, to delivery,

enables a significant increase in quality of

to supermarket, to consumer - supermarkets

service to the customer. Voice solutions

are now looking to eradicate the double

enable workers to complete tasks in a fast,

handling of goods.

more efficient manner, which is particularly beneficial to them if they are rewarded with

Darrel Williams: “Voice technology is the natural choice and a tool which empowers the worker without causing hindrance.”

According to Defra and the Office for National

performance-related bonuses, as is often the

Statistics, in 2014, UK households spent £112

case. Voice technology also enables

billion on food and drink, and the

warehouse managers to maximise their

convenience of ecommerce has led to some

workforce’s ability. As it instructs the worker

20 per cent of adults now doing all or most of

on exactly what they need to do, they can

their grocery shopping online – confirming

easily be moved to different areas of the

that the UK is leading in online grocery

warehouse, and even different tasks if

retailing in Europe (Mintel report). So how are

required.

the supermarkets able to keep up with such a he retail industry is facing

T

demand? The answer comes from an efficient

Better work/life balance

challenging times. Supermarket

supply chain, and hence efficient warehouse

Voice technology is the natural choice and a

giants such as Sainsbury’s, Asda

operations. Through using Voice solutions,

tool which empowers the worker without

and Lidl continue to battle it out,

warehouses are allowing the supermarkets to

causing hindrance. With the use of Voice

cutting prices to boost profits by

continue to be competitive. Retail back stores

technology, workers can typically achieve a

winning new customers. But whilst shoppers

are coping with increasing demands as store

99.99 per cent picking accuracy rate adding

may be relishing the benefits of these

chains aim to win new customers, keep

reassurance to the worker, the warehouse

conflicts with continuous offers of cheaper

current shoppers loyal whilst also enhancing

manager, the supermarket that will eventually

bread and other discounted grocery items in

the consumer experience.

sell the goods and to the customer receiving

store, there is another story which is only just

their correct online order at home. In some Technology is giving the back of store worker

cases workers have commented that since

more information than ever before. Vehicle

the introduction of using Voice solutions they

The advent of online shopping over the past

mount tablets, laptops, Voice systems all give

feel less stressed and have a better work/life

five to ten years has forced supermarkets to

workers real time data (rather than a paper

balance due to the efficiency of the

run a more efficient, customer focused

trail) which handles the dynamic, changeable

technology.

service. This high consumer demand and the

element of the information. Systems such as

rise in ecommerce have driven supermarkets

Voice have come into play that work, not to

Consumer demand will continue to increase,

to become reliant on warehouse technology,

overload the worker with information, but to

so what’s next for Voice? Whatever a worker

and in return, made warehouses and the

give them necessary directions to perform

does they can execute naturally and intuitively

workers play a more direct role to the

their tasks at the most efficient level,

with Voice as the technology will adapt to their

customer - resulting in benefitting both the

simplifying the process whilst ensuring

needs. Supermarkets with Voice- enabled

consumers and businesses.

compliance with the customer’s order.

warehouses are significantly improving their

Consumer focused

Error reduction

competitive and able to offer a higher level of

Ever since supermarkets have introduced

With Voice, just the right amount of

service. 

starting to unfold.

performance, in turn making them more

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Manufacturing & Logistics IT - June 2015  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Manufacturing & Logistics IT - June 2015  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications