Page 1

MARCH 2014

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

For the latest news and to subscribe to the Manufacturing and Logistics IT weekly newsletter visit

og ist ics

Do wn lo a & d L M an uf ac tu rin g

How to tell if your company needs a new ERP system Changing the production performance metric Enabling operational excellence Clicking up the pressure

th e

Also in this issue:

Ne ws


NE W ap



The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer must comply. Use our online planning tools to find out what you need to do and by when. Visit www.tpr.gov.uk/actnow


March 2014


Rather than home-in on a more specific IT-related theme for this edition’s Foreword, I thought I would focus on an equally relevant topic for manufacturing in general – apprenticeships. The rationale behind apprenticeship schemes makes sound sense from so many different vantage points. On the one hand, it’s good for manufacturing, engineering, retail and logistics companies etc. who want to ensure they have the right skill sets executed, in part, by a young, highly motivated and enthusiastic workforce, and to nurture this new talent early on in order to ensure as best as possible that the individuals concerned will feel a valued part of the business, become attached to its business values and ethos of employee support and therefore want to stay around for the long haul. Apprenticeships are also good for the UK economy in general. After all, with a need for ever greater manufacturing and engineering competence in a number of related disciplines – including IT – to bolster UK Plc the need for an enthused young workforce is the only sure way of boosting our reputation for technological excellence globally over the longer term. Although over the past few years the trumpeting for greater numbers of apprentices and apprenticeship schemes was rather muted, some very positive news comes in the form of a recent announcement by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) that more than double the number of young people are now choosing manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships as degree courses. Figures from the Skills Funding Agency show that in 2012/13, 66,410 young people started an apprenticeship in engineering and manufacturing technologies, more than double the 27,155 young people accepted onto engineering higher education courses in 2013, according to UCAS figures. Overall, in 2012/13, there were 510,200 apprenticeship starts compared to 495,595 accepted places for degree courses in 2013. Nigel Whitehead, BAE Systems’ group managing director, programmes & support, has recently commented that apprenticeship programmes create a pipeline of exceptionally talented young engineers. “In tough economic times it is even more important that businesses plan for the long term and continue to invest in skills and developing talent in the workplace,” he remarked.

Ed Holden Editor

More good news comes from the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, which points out that UK manufacturing and engineering companies are becoming more dependent on recruitment through apprenticeships to bring young, fresh talent into the sector. The EEF has found that six in ten UK manufacturers have taken on an engineering and manufacturing apprentice in the past 12 months or so. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, the picture is even more encouraging, with over two thirds of manufacturers planning to recruit engineering and manufacturing apprentices into their companies. These findings support previous research conducted by EEF, which showed a growing need within the sector for R&D, design, technical, project management and technician skills. This is primarily due to manufacturers’ strategic outlook to develop new markets, launch new products and new services, and introduce new processes – all of which can only be done with the right workforce. With three-quarters of manufacturers saying they generally recruit apprentices aged between 16 and 18, companies are clearly seeing apprenticeships as a way to boost the pipeline of talent into the industry. These latest research findings marked the start of National Apprenticeship Week, which took place between 3 and 7 March. Now in its seventh year, the week is all about raising the profile of the importance of apprenticeships to the UK economy. Statistics from The Data Service further highlight the importance of apprenticeships within the manufacturing sector, with 66,410 young people beginning an Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Apprenticeship in 2012/13. This represents 13 per cent of all apprenticeships starts. It’s very encouraging to report such highly encouraging news and these latest findings bode very well for the continued economic wellbeing both of the UK economy in general as well as the manufacturing and engineering industry’s continuing growth and development. And, of course, this is where strong levels of IT competency will continue to play a critical role.



March 2014



IT March 2014



CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT March 2014 The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Analysis 6

Editor: Ed Holden

70 per cent of CIOs will change their technology and sourcing relationships in the next two to three years CMOs ramp-up business and technology acumen Capgemini and VMware to create solutions that accelerate the customerʼs journey towards IT as a Service

Contributors: Richard Adams, Vocollect. Tony Liddar, MACS Software.

Special Technology Report 10

Supply Chain Management

Chris Russell, Logility. Professor Samir S. Dani, University of Huddersfield.

Manufacturing 16

Publisher: Dean Taylor Designer: Ian Curtis, First Sight Graphics Production: Carolyn Pither

HV Wooding enjoys ongoing success with Exel EFACS E/8 Intuitive Dashboards delivers £220,000 savings to ProcessFlows Infor launches Human Capital Management Select How to tell if your company needs a new ERP manufacturing software system Eurac transforms reporting and enhances real-time decision making with Logi Analytics Genetec moves from legacy open-source system to Omnify Softwareʼs Empower PLM



Circulation: Carole Chiesa IT Manager: Peter West

Logility: Changing the production performance metric Accenture CAS Software enhanced to help improve sales processes and operations Yamamay implements PLM solution by TXT to optimise product development processes PODFather and TouchStar Technologies supply scheduling systems and more to NWC Group

Supply Chain Management


Accounts: Sarah Schofield Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Fax: +44 (0) 1707 664800 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

IBS Business Suite 2014 untangles supply chain complexities for mid-tier, distribution-intensive companies Oliver Wight, AIMMS and Districon partner to offer complete supply chain solution CLF Distribution invests in workforce management technology and streamlines flexible working Considering the risks to the modern supply chain

Automatic Data Capture


Nordic ID: Norwegian retail stores benefit from greater stock accuracy with RFID

Printing & Labelling 38

Zebra Technologies Europe: Enabling operational excellence

Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company plc, www.magprint.co.uk

Voice 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 manufacturerʼs or supplierʼs 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.


Gordon & MacPhail increases productivity by 50 per cent with BCPʼs Voice WMS Vocollect: Clicking up the pressure Voiteq extends global presence with Teknix France

Warehouse Management 46

MACS Software: Experience matters when planning e-commerce for 3PL

Transportation Management ISSN:1463-1172






March 2014

Transporeon unveils new Android app for real-time tracking

Receive all the latest news from LogisticsIT.com and LogisticsHandling.com streamed to your preferred device.

Search for Manufacturing & Logistics News in Apple App Store or Google Play

Technology Report

70 per cent of CIOs

will change their technology and sourcing relationships in the next two to three years Key issues facing IT services industry to be examined at this year’s Gartner Sourcing & Strategic Vendor Relationships Summits – 2 to 3 June in London and 10 to 12 September in Orlando, Florida US.

ajor changes will reshape the


service provider landscape over the next several years as organisations struggle to adjust to a digital future,

according to Gartner, Inc. A recent global survey of chief information officers (CIOs) by Gartner’s Executive Programmes found that 70 per cent of CIOs will change their technology and sourcing relationships in the next two to three years for a variety of reasons. "The picture is clear for service providers as clients are struggling to keep up with change," said Eric Rocco, managing vice president at Gartner. "They are strongly considering changing the providers they work with as part of responding to this change. Market share will shift to service providers able to help clients respond to the business and IT opportunities

Consumerisation and its impact on buyer expectations for consumer quality service experiences will reshape provider evaluation and selection criteria.

and challenges that are overwhelming more than half of organisations today. Service

underpinned and enabled by the macro

breed of buyers and providers that must

providers need to convert this picture into an

technology forces of Cloud, social, analytics,

address their wants and desires if they are to

opportunity rather than a threat.

mobility and the Internet of Things. Not every

earn the right to help in the transition.

business fundamental will need to change to the same degree, nor will every technology

Gartner believes that assisting clients in

Unstoppable and irresistible catalyst

driver have a role to play in every business

digital business transformation will be a

scenario; however, businesses that decide to

driving factor in the majority of IT services

"Digital business is an unstoppable and

'wait and see' are likely to become irrelevant."

opportunities. Consumerisation and its impact

irresistible catalyst for change – change that

on buyer expectations for consumer quality

will affect the fundamental foundations and

Technology and service providers need to

service experiences will reshape provider

baseline assumptions of every business,"

determine and demonstrate how their

evaluation and selection criteria.

Rocco said. "The digital business revolution is

offerings can underpin, support, enable and

Consequently, finding and capitalising on

accelerate the digital business revolution to

unexpected sources of growth is the strategic

remain relevant to their customers. Digital

issue facing all service providers. Gartner

business requires providers to totally change

sees the Nexus of Forces forming the very

the way they do things while helping their

fibre that defines next-generation services.

customers to do the same thing at the same

Services of tomorrow will lean on scaled and

time. This presents significant challenges with

industrialised delivery models that provide

equally significant opportunities and risks.

clients access to services that are consumed

Traditional buyers will have a role to play but

to drive specific business outcomes.

Eric Rocco: “Industrialisation and productisation must create enhanced value beyond cost reduction, or neither strategy will create a competitive advantage.”





March 2014

we will also see the emergence of a new


automation, analytics and personalisation. Services will continue to productise and require greater service line management disciplines. Industrialisation and productisation must create enhanced value beyond cost reduction, or neither strategy will create a competitive advantage. "The strategic challenge facing service providers is to better understand client value drivers, and to more effectively articulate their own value propositions," said Rocco. "Our key recommendations, regardless of business model or service segments of focus, for IT services providers are to target new buying centres through the audacity of visionary thinking; articulate value in terms of business outcomes and KPI attainment; and to industrialise and productise, without losing

Articulating value in business terms

traditional data centre managed services to

sight of service value."

IUS and IaaS, respectively. Hybrid IT environments will dominate client IT

Detailed analysis is available in the report

"IT spending buying centres across industries

architectures over the next several years. This

‘The Gartner Scenario for IT Services

have steadily shifted away from the central IT

underscores the importance of skills in the

Providers: The Future of IT Services.’ The

function and to business buying centres," said

old-world legacy environments, as well as the

report is available on Gartner's website at

Rocco. "Service providers of the future will

new-world as-a-service operating models.


process outcomes and impact to key

"The impacts of the Nexus of Forces and

More information on sourcing and IT services

performance indicators (KPIs). Doing so

digital business transformation are reshaping

trends will be provided at the Gartner

requires deep vertical industry knowledge,

business processes and supporting IT

Sourcing & Strategic Vendor Relationships

articulate value in business terms such as key

and new go-to-market models." The IT services market will not grow uniformly. The overall market is forecast to grow 4.6 per cent in 2014. Hardware support is among the lower-growth opportunities in the IT services market. Through proactive and multivendor support models, these services will

Our key recommendations, regardless of business model or service segments of focus, for IT services providers are to target new buying centres through the audacity of visionary thinking; articulate value in terms of business outcomes and KPI attainment; and to industrialise and productise, without losing sight of service value.” – Eric Rocco, Gartner.

increasingly collide with outsourcing services. Cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

strategies," said Rocco. "Most buyers cannot

Summits 2014 – 2 to 3 June in London and 10

and business process as a service (BPaaS)

simply adopt new services without making

to 12 September in Orlando, Florida US.

are the two fastest-growing segments,

changes to existing processes and

Details on the London Summit can be found at

expanding 44.9 and 12.4 per cent,

applications. Buyers want speed and agility.


respectively, in 2014. Agility, not cost, will be

They recognise an innovation crisis exists

mea/outsourcing/. Members of the media can

the primary reason that many organisations

internally, but few service providers are well-

register for this event by contacting

adopt Cloud computing. Cloud-based

positioned to capture the opportunity."

rob.vandermeulen@gartner.com. Details on the Orlando Summit can be found at

services are cannibalising more traditional


models. This is most apparent in infrastructure

a/outsourcing/. Members of the media can

services (IUS), managed services based on

Enhanced value beyond cost reduction

IaaS technology, and Cloud IaaS growth

Service industrialisation of the near future will


include workloads moving from more

be a combination of mature processes,

outsourcing where infrastructure utility


register to attend by emailing



March 2014



CMOs ramp-up business and technolog y acumen Chief marketing officers are stepping up their game in 2014 to prove their value as true business leaders. According to the latest Heidrick & Struggles and Forrester Research, Inc. joint study, nearly 60 per cent of surveyed CMOs are working to grow their influence in general business strategy and are commanding an influential seat within the C-suite. ore than half of the CMOs

having a single view of the customer, fewer

In fact, more than half of the CMOs surveyed

surveyed identify C-suite

than 20 per cent of companies have achieved

point to identifying and building awareness of

relationships as vital to

this goal.

new technology as the No. 1 competency to


success, with three-quarters of

improve in 2014.

that group pointing to the head

Big Data

“In the age of the customer, newly empowered

What’s causing this dichotomy? For one, many

consumers are in the driver’s seat. So, a

CMOs’ aspirations are also on the move. John

CMOs are still hindered by the absence of

customer obsession is the most important

Abele, managing partner, marketing, sales &

quality in customer data collected. More than

strategic imperative for the CMO,” said

strategy practice, Heidrick & Struggles,

half of CMOs say they rarely or never use Big

Forrester vice president and principal analyst

commented: “In the past five years, we’ve seen

Data to make marketing decisions and lack

Sheryl Pattek. “As a result, the key for

many more CMOs aspiring to the COO or CEO

access to technology systems that would allow

marketers in 2014 will be ramping up effective

role as their next career move. As customer

for a single view of the customer.

technology across the marketing organisation

of sales as the most important relationship.

dynamics continue to shift and consumers take

to create actionable data-driven insights.

even greater purchasing control, marketing

Those who don’t lead this charge will risk

these senior leadership positions, CMOs will

Technology management and the CMO/CIO relationship

have to focus on building cross-functional

To alleviate these challenges, forward-thinking

leadership experience and building trust and

marketers are turning to technology to deliver

influence across the organisation.”

effective customer engagement. This means

executives are in an excellent position to take the helm. The data shows in order to reach

getting left far behind.” 

CMOs must embrace their relationship with the CIO. More than half of marketers now view this

Single view of the customer

relationship as essential, up from 30 per cent in

To drive their status forward as a business

2011, with 41 per cent sharing a common

leader, CMOs recognise the need for deeper

vision with their CIO of how marketing and

data solutions and customer insights. But

technology teams should work together. But

getting answers won't be easy. While 73 per

evolved CMOs won’t stop there. Leading

cent of CMOs agree on the importance of

marketers will continue to push the envelope.





March 2014

About the survey This study is produced by Forrester Research and Heidrick & Struggles and uses data based on a survey of 212 B2B and B2C CMOs, fielded in July 2013. Access a complimentary copy of the research report ‘The Evolved CMO In 2014’ at: http://solutions.forrester.com/heidrickstruggles-survey-findings-pattek


Capgemini and VMware

to create solutions that accelerate the customer’s journey towards IT as a Service apgemini, provider of consulting,


technology and outsourcing services, and VMware, the virtualisation and Cloud infrastructure solutions provider,

have expanded their strategic partnership to jointly develop new solutions. The move will extend Capgemini’s service integration, aggregation and orchestration platform by leveraging VMware’s Cloud management offerings. This expanded partnership reflects Capgemini’s and VMware’s vision of how IT organisations are evolving in the Cloud era. The new solutions will help customers more easily achieve IT as a Service by improving the way they manage Cloud consumption across multiple providers and operators with policy-

seeking a new application for business analysis

said: “In order to support a globally connected

based service provisioning, data sovereignty

and operations management will have the

workforce, Cloud solutions that are efficient,

protection and improved time to value for Cloud

ability to access a robust set of pre-packaged

effective and bring real-time business insights

adoption. The expanded partnership brings

solutions that align to overall business policies

are essential. Expanding our VMware

together VMware’s virtualisation and Cloud

and specific marketing needs, eliminating time-

partnership with the introduction of our new

management solutions with Capgemini’s

consuming background research, procurement

business Cloud solution is a key part of our

expertise in service integration, aggregation

and provisioning. Through the end-user service

Cloud orchestration strategy, allowing

and orchestration. The new solutions from

portal, the marketing director will be able to

enterprises to better manage the complexity of

Capgemini and VMware will help enterprises

select the best provider and solution in

their IT transformation journey. It will enable

worldwide simplify Cloud management

accordance with business goals, policies and

them to transition to Cloud with greater flexibility

complexity, maximise operational efficiency and

budget requirements. This enables IT and the

and simplicity and to obtain resources across

increase IT and business agility, while

business to more effectively manage usage,

legacy, public, private or hybrid environments.

improving quality of service.

quality and costs of available services, while

They will see an immediate business impact.”

dramatically improving time to market. Ramin Sayar, senior vice president and general

Strengthening the partnership

In addition, the joint solutions are designed to

manager, Cloud Management Business Unit,

improve financial and service level

Vmware, commented: “VMware Cloud

These new solutions, which are a key

management of Cloud services and providers

Management solutions have been designed to

component of Capgemini’s Orchestration

via a real-time dashboard that can provide

meet the demands of IT-as-a-Service – self-

Platform, will combine Capgemini’s service

CFOs with visibility into LOB usage and IT

service, scale, velocity of change, shared

integration solution, as well as Capgemini’s

spend. Similarly, CIOs will gain transparency

infrastructures – as well as the modern

service aggregation and orchestration

into overall application usage, allowing for

applications they support. This industry leading

solutions, with VMware vCloud Automation

greater control over the support of business

Cloud management solution, along with

Center, vCenter Operations Management

processes and enabling true collaboration

Capgemini’s power and expertise to implement

Suite and VMware IT Business Management

across the enterprise ecosystem. The platform

large-scale successful enterprise solutions

Suite. As a result, enterprises will be able to

will also allow businesses to consume services

significantly expands our partnership and joint

more rapidly create and deliver new business

in a rapid and efficient manner.

value for our customers. I am excited about our joint investment and strategy, which will span

services while transforming their IT

across multiple business and technology

infrastructure and modernising their existing applications. For example, an enterprise marketing director


Immediate business impact

practices, and will provide unique and

Raf Howery, senior vice president and head of

differentiated value to the industry and our

Infra Strategy and Ecosystem for Capgemini,

enterprise customers.” 



March 2014



Special Supply Chain Management

Technology Report

Cover ing all bases Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading spokespeople from the Supply Chain Management systems vendor community about current trends and ongoing developments in this buoyant solutions space.

or modern supply chain

supply matching at a basic level, but for many

context and putting the business in the best

professionals, being able to

this is still a spreadsheet exercise and their

possible position to respond when actual

accurately anticipate demand and

approach is to start with demand then try to

demand and supply conditions present

deliver to schedule and to correct

work out the level of supply required to meet


specification has never been so

the demand,” he said. “However this misses


critical. The good news is that the technology

the financial component that determines if you

According to Kinder, where manufacturers are

behind some of today’s most state-of-the-art

are putting in place a profitable plan. Ask any

challenged is the reality that there aren’t many

software solutions can facilitate better and

production manager and they will tell you

tools out there that can pull all the available

faster demand trends than ever before.

there are many ways of meeting demand –

data together, not only from a demand,

Manufacturing & Logistics IT invited some of

the goal is to find the most profitable way of

supply and financial perspective but also from

the most prominent figures in the world of

meeting your customer service objectives.”

a business process management perspective. “I think new technologies around social

supply chain management solutions to share their views on where the current functionality

Kinder also made the point that demand itself

business collaboration are really needed for

sweet spots are within this fast-developing

isn’t a constant. “Every time you run a

this because the creation of an effective plan

technology space.

promotion, or introduce a new product, you

doesn’t happen in one meeting, it doesn’t

change demand,” he said. “Equally, demand

even happen over one week – it’s a

Andrew Kinder, senior director, industry

is changing from external factors such as

continuous sequence of conversations and

strategy at Infor, observes that Sales &

seasonality, weather, sporting events – even

events,” he remarked. “With social

Operations Planning (S&OP) is still a hot topic

what recipe was shown on Celebrity Chef. So

collaboration built into the S&OP process you

in supply chain but believes many

in terms of S&OP or ‘Integrated Business

get documentation, you get auditability, you

manufacturers remain stuck in second gear in

Planning’ as it is increasingly known, what you

can track the changes and you can better

terms of how they manage their S&OP

are striving for is to assess different demand

understand how to make better-informed

process. “All manufacturers can do demand-

and supply scenarios in a financially driven

business decisions at every stage.”





March 2014


Technology Report

Special Supply Chain Management

Karin Bursa, vice

information as they compare multiple paths

doing business throughout the supply chain,”

president of Logility,

forward. At Logility, we provide robust

he said. “To deliver a good omni-channel

also recognises that

solutions that extend the visibility, increase

experience for customers, where all channels

S&OP and supply

the accuracy and deliver the insight needed

of purchase interconnect seamlessly, requires

chain analytics are

to drive supply chain innovation and support

a SCM system which can exploit the mobile

two significant

growth strategies that rely on a responsive

model and deliver true visibility of real-time

initiatives that are

and more cost efficient supply chain.”

stock, powerful forecasting and rigorous fulfilment procedures.”

driving tangible results in today’s

In the view of Mike Verdeyen, chief

dynamic economy.

technology officer for IBS, cost of ownership

“Companies of all

and business value are key considerations in


size are focused on

the SCM systems space. “Cost of ownership

What have been some of the main drivers

improving their

speaks to anything from how a company

behind these developments? According to

current S&OP process or are working to

acquires and runs SCM software to how

Bursa, companies are faced with greater

implement one,” she said. “As they move

well/easy that software works with the rest of

challenges today than ever before from a

along the maturity path, it quickly becomes

the enterprise and existing ecosystem,” he

highly dynamic global economy to rapidly

Karin Bursa, vice president,

clear spreadsheets are error prone and require too much manual effort to support such a critical collaboration process and drive their long-term profitable growth objectives.” Bursa added that harnessing the power of

Companies that can more closely collaborate with their upstream and downstream partners can ensure supply is in the right place at the right time while keeping costs in line.” – Karin Bursa, Logility.

S&OP is dependent on making sure everyone speaks the same language and works from a

explained. “Business value speaks not only to

changing customer needs, supplier risks, and

single comprehensive plan toward agreed

how well the solution addresses the needs of

aggressive competitive markets. “The supply

upon goals in operational, tactical and

the business but also how easy it is for the

chain has been identified as one of the

strategic horizons. “Objectively evaluating the

business to get that value – usability and user

greatest opportunities to successfully meet

tradeoffs of multiple business scenarios in an

experience plays a big role here.”

these challenges,” she commented. “It is

environment of disconnected data from

recognised that with the right people, process

multiple sources can be daunting,” she

Tim Williams, distribution divisional director of

and technology the supply chain can make a

remarked. “We see the role of integrated

BCP, considers that the omni-channel

significant impact on both top line growth and

supply chain analytics increasing as

challenge has to be the hottest topic around

bottom-line profitability.”

companies look toward technology and

at the moment. “At its root is the development

automation to help them turn data into

of mobile devices and their escalating use for

Williams’ view is that, clearly, development in the mobile device arena has been the catalyst, but changes and developments have resulted from a combination of end-user demand and creative R&D by solutions providers. “At BCP, we always pride ourselves on our understanding of our specialist market and being at the forefront of new developments, investing strongly in ongoing R&D to ensure our solutions develop to take advantage of appropriate new technologies and meet changing business and market requirements,” he said. For Kinder, new standards have been set around data integration, analytics, mobility and social business and around the way companies can interact with consumer information through tablet PCs and smartphones. “This is all driving greater




March 2014



Special Supply Chain Management

Technology Report

supply chain visibility, flexibility and speed,”

if so in what ways? Williams considers that it


he commented. “It’s interesting to see how

is still much easier to deliver seamless

standards so that

our customers take these new technologies

operational excellence with a core end-to-end

when you make your

and become very innovative in their use- they

ERP system as the business backbone rather

purchase from

see how the solutions can be applied to their

than trying to stitch together disparate best of

Amazon it doesn’t

real-life business and operational scenarios;

breed solutions. “There really still isn’t a silver

matter that the

the light bulb goes on and they think ‘yes I

bullet to resolve all the issues that come with

information you see

can see how to use this’. What is better is that

trying to integrate lots of separate systems

on screen is from

they bring their ideas and use-cases back to

and technologies,” he said. “A single

many different

us – this is all part of the vendor-user

technology platform reduces business risk


feedback loop that creates further innovation.”

and technical complexity in the business –

Verdeyen believes a key driver for adoption is

hence fewer opportunities for things going

Social technologies


are also getting more

Andrew Kinder, senior director, industry strategy,

infused into business systems, Kinder points

simply the maturity cycle in SCM software. “Many companies have realised that the days

In Kinder’s view, the most significant change

out, and this makes it easier and faster to

of highly customised, highly tailored systems

is in the ease of sharing data between

share information internally and also with

drive a long-term cost to own and ultimately

systems on common standards. “Where once,

supply partners and end customers. “Through

present a barrier to future upgrades,” he said.

organisations strived for a single data model

this kind of ecosystem everyone involved can become more real-time with their decision-

…organisations are looking for more loosely coupled integration – which is exactly the architecture one which the Internet is based – multiple systems with common communication standards so that when you make your purchase from Amazon it doesn’t matter that the information you see on screen is from many different sources.” – Andrew Kinder, Infor.

making,” he said. “And it’s not just about people communicating with each other; it can now also be about machines communicating with you through modern control technology, telling you, for example, when maintenance is due, when a particular part needs replacing, what that part number is and even how to fit

“As the consumerisation of IT takes hold in

they now acknowledge that the information

it. All this adds to the efficiency of the

the SCM space, expectations of system

needed for full SCM visibility resides in

manufacturing process and, as a

usability and accessibility (any device,

multiple systems – yours, your customers’,

consequence, the efficiency of the whole

anywhere) drive purchasing decisions.”

your suppliers’, your distribution channel,” he

supply chain.”

said. “You can’t solve this with one data model. Instead, organisations are looking for

Verdeyen reflects that integration


more loosely coupled integration – which is

methodologies among vendors of SCM

Has the process of system integration

exactly the architecture one which the Internet

solutions have certainly evolved. “Vendors are

changed to any notable degree recently; and

is based – multiple systems with common

offering standard APIs accessed in modern ways (REST+JSON),” he said. “Having said that, this is an area where, in the field, you will continue to see a blend of modern and legacy technologies – SCM systems touch many aspects of an enterprise and everyone seems to have a dated, legacy system where a flat file integration is the easiest, most reliable method.” Bursa points out that Logility has significantly reduced the time and effort required to integrate its solutions with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as those from Oracle, SAP and Infor. “This effort further accelerates our already rapid implementation time frames and simplifies the deployment efforts,” she said. “This approach puts the focus on the business requirements and goals





March 2014


Technology Report

Special Supply Chain Management

to help operations align daily activities with the strategic needs of the business.”

The Cloud How has the Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) model impacted the Supply Chain Management software solutions market? According to Verdeyen, the SCM market is rarely on the cutting edge of technology adoption. “SCM is core to a business and companies are naturally conservative in their adoption of new technologies and methodologies. Having said that, SaaS and Cloud seem to have finally started to make inroads in the SCM space. As the reputation for reliability in SaaS and Cloud solutions becomes more widely accepted, companies will no longer feel there is a need or value in running their own data centre.” Kinder believes many companies do see

services that best suit their individual needs

all enterprise software. “Mobile solutions have

advantages in a subscription model – no

and allows them to evolve as their business

driven a requirement to have system access

upfront capital costs, faster to deploy, fewer

changes. “We have seen tremendous interest

from any device in any location,” he said.

internal IT costs. “At this stage we are still

in Logility Cloud Services as companies

“This isn’t unique to SCM but is pervasive in

seeing this mostly in very small companies

evaluate all options,” she pointed out. “These

all IT systems in today’s enterprise.”

who are just getting started and lack technical

services change the economics and Williams believes the ability to access real-

Big data brings flexibility to BI and allows organisations to take a more holistic and sometime unconventional look at their entire enterprise and not just data from a single source. What metrics and analysis is needed can be determined at the time of analysis rather than at the time of data collection.” – Mike Verdeyen, IBS.

time information and place orders at the touch of the button from wherever you happen to be at whatever time of day or night suits you is now becoming a must. “It’s no longer just a case of being able to log on to a PC or lap top to place an order over the Internet. Customers want to be able to do it

resources or very large companies who are

prioritisation of supply chain improvement

from their tablet or smartphone while they’re

deploying SCM solutions in combination with

initiatives by breaking down the barriers of

away from their desk,” he said. “For

other on-premise ERP solutions,” he added.

cost, flexibility and speed to deployment.

solutions providers this means developing

“However, this is still a young market and I

They also allow companies to migrate as their

versions of their software which work on

expect Cloud deployments to grow for

business needs change either moving from

mobile devices – with the same level of

reasons other than just the economics –

SaaS to hosted to on-premise or the other

functionality and integrity for users. And it’s

Cloud offers new opportunities for supply

way around. This flexibility without losing the

not as simple as you

chain visibility across the enterprise,

breadth or depth of capability makes a multi-

might be led to

especially when private cloud arrangements

delivery option model very appealing to

believe. It’s easy to

within a supply chain ecosystem are


do simple things that don’t really


deliver much, but From Bursa’s perspective, today’s enterprise


much harder to

environment is growing more complex and

Are mobility solutions such as mobile

develop software

every company is unique in their market,

computers and tablet PCs etc. having an

that’s effective. And

challenges and opportunities. Her view is that

impact or influence on Supply Chain

it always needs to

the Cloud model provides companies with a

Management? Verdeyen maintains that ‘taking

be optimised for

choice in deployment methodology and

down the walls’ has become a requirement in

mobile use – simple


Mike Verdeyen, chief technology officer,



March 2014



Special Supply Chain Management

Technology Report

modification of the standard PC version is not the answer.” Williams adds that BCP has been supplying web ordering solutions to customers for many years, however its popularity has soared with the introduction of BCP’s mobile version and the company has even introduced an App which wholesalers can make available for their customers to download free from Apple Store or Google Play. Williams continued: “Key of course to the success of mobile offerings is not only functionality, but transparency of information so you can see what stock is available, where it is, what new deliveries are due and the whole spectrum of orders that are being placed – and use that information, together with accurate forecasting and strict fulfilment operations to deliver a true omni-channel experience for customers – that’s where a truly integrated solution comes in. Trying to stitch together lots of disparate systems to give true

occur,” he remarked. “It also makes new

market, companies are innovating at a record

transparency is very difficult.”

forms of demand sensing analysis possible –

pace, often doubling or tripling the number of

an example would be a brand manufacturer

new product launches in a year,” she said.

On the data side, Williams observes that

who picks up on social conversations from

“Maintaining that pace requires superior

online in general, and mobile in particular,

Twitter or Facebook to get consumer

visibility into the market opportunity and the

mean that a lot more information is available

feedback on a newly launched product that

ability to incorporate multiple data sources

about customers, their buying patterns,

can help the manufacturer take advantage of

such as social signals (re-shares, likes, +1s),

successful or unsuccessful purchases and so

potential demand spike – or avoid stocking up

Point of Sale (POS), RFID, and more to help

on, all of which can be used, if the SCM

on a product that clearly has few ‘likes’.”

strengthen confidence around new product

system is capable, to analyse behaviour and better match supply to demand.

Big Data

introductions, repeat buying intentions and Kinder adds that with the right software and

future demand forecasts. Short-term signals

analytics, all of these things can be gathered

around promotions, for example, help identify

in a data repository that becomes a

when and where demand will be strong.

tremendously rich source for big data

Companies that can more closely collaborate

How is Big Data having an impact on the world of Supply Chain Management? Kinder has no hesitation in saying Big Data is having an enormous impact across many business functions, including supply chain. “With

It’s easy to do simple things that don’t really deliver much, but much harder to develop software that’s effective. And it always needs to be optimised for mobile use – simple modification of the standard PC version is not the answer.” – Tim Williams, BCP.

more information than ever before,

analytics. “With more data than ever before

with their upstream and downstream partners

smart analytics puts

you can analyse consumer trends to levels of

can ensure supply is in the right place at the

organisations in a

accuracy that weren’t possible previously,” he

right time while keeping costs in line.”

better position to

explained. Williams believes the availability of Big Data

understand the Tim Williams, distribution divisional director,



behaviour of their

Bursa sees more companies leveraging Big

promises much for business, but for

supply chain,

Data, such as multiple demand signals, to

solutions providers it is about how to make

anticipate events

fine-tune demand plans, especially for short-

such huge volumes of data available to

and respond faster

term planning, new product introductions and

users in a meaningful, easy to use and

to situations as they

promotions. “To stay ahead of a dynamic

interpret form. “Building on Accord’s



March 2014


Technology Report

Special Supply Chain Management

already superb reporting and business

based engines – and the overwhelming need

opportunities and mitigate the risks,” she said.

analytics features, BCP are about to tie in

to access as much information as possible

“These capabilities combined with ongoing

non-food Big Data tools to the food & drink

about customers, their behaviour,

performance management and alert

arena so our customers can benefit from

preferences, etc. in order to increase sales

notifications will change the way you view

the plethora of data that is now available to

and better match supply to demand across all

your supply chain. After all, it’s better to

assist their planning and decision making.


prevent a late order than to report it.”

They will be able to make use of Big Data for dynamic rules-based decision making,

Verdeyen considers that consumerisation will

accepting all the many variables to

Future trends

continue to drive changes in solutions. “Look

automate previously manual complex

So, what might be the next key developments

for social capabilities to start having more

processes, slicing and dicing the data to

to look out for in the world of Supply Chain

impact and for standards-based, inter-

suit their own particular needs.”

Management solutions? Bursa believes that

company collaboration to emerge among the

Sales & Operations Planning, also known as

early adopters,” he remarked.

Integrated Business Planning, will continue at Verdeyen believes Big Data provides

the forefront on strategic initiatives. “This is

Kinder believes it is a steady march towards

technologies and techniques that likely are

where you knock down the silos that exist in

an increasingly real-time supply chain. “Feeds

ultimately required to deliver on the ‘big

your business and get everyone on the same

into the supply chain management process

promise’ of BI from years back. “BI/Analytics

page,” she explained. “It allows supply chain

will continue to improve, through use of real-

has always promised to provide great insight

experts to put critical and insightful

time sensors in manufacturing and distribution

into how a business was performing or

information into the hands of their executives.

operations,” he said, adding that further

changing on a periodic basis – the traditional

Forget the PowerPoint slides and

developments in predictive analytics and

challenge, however, is that those measures

spreadsheets and give them an integrated

social business media will continue to

and analysis typically had to be fairly fixed or

view of the business that provides the basis

enhance the demand side and rapidly assess

locked in to whatever ETL and data

for a more informed discussion on the

the most profitable response. Kinder also

warehouse supported them. This locked a

tradeoffs of multiple business scenarios.”

maintains that mobile deployment will

business into deciding up front what was

permeate all aspects of supply chain

going to be important to it now or in the

A related opportunity remains around better

operations, “so that if you’re out there on the

future. The promise of Big Data is this

more accessible supply chain analytics,

shop floor or in the field working with

analysis and insight can now take input from

according to Bursa. “There is tremendous

suppliers you will be able to take even greater

far more sources and move an organisation

power in the ability to visualise where the

advantage of the speed of information to

more to a model of user-driven BI. Big Data

business is heading to both assess the

support your decision-making”. 

brings flexibility to BI and allows organisations to take a more holistic and sometime unconventional look at their entire enterprise and not just data from a single source. What metrics and analysis is needed can be determined at the time of analysis rather than at the time of data collection.” And what are the main drivers for these Big Data developments? Verdeyen maintains that to stay competitive it is essential for companies to understand all aspects of their business, from cost to acquire/serve customers to cross domain information where no single execution or planning system has a complete picture. “Big Data promises to marry disparate sources of data and provide the capabilities for analysis in an unstructured environment,” he said. According to Williams, the main drivers are the availability of matching Big Data with rules




March 2014



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

HV Wooding enjoys ongoing success with Exel EFACS E/8 ounded in 1968 in a small shop in


Lyminge, HV Wooding has grown to become one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of precision engineered components and

assemblies serving customers including Rolls Royce, Honeywell, Schneider Electric and ABB for over 30 years. Parts manufactured by HV Wooding can also be found in over 22 million UK homes and continued success has seen the company’s turnover double in six years, reaching £13.5 million in 2012. HV Wooding has five key areas of work: busbars, presswork, wire erosion, CNC machining and sub-assembly. With an average split between 70 per cent Make to Order (MTO) and 30 per cent Make to Stock (MTS), the company produces approximately 1.2 million significant number of configuration options,

parts per month. Depending on the nature of

our greatest challenge tends to be keeping

items to substantial batches measured in

Optimising capacity requirements

hundreds of thousands, with lead times varying

Simon Harre-Young, IT manager for HV

Optimising our capacity requirements is also

from next day on MTS items through to months

Wooding, explains some of the typical

central, in terms of our highly skilled

for complex custom parts where tooling also

challenges that the company faces. “While

workforce as well as our diverse collection

has to be designed and manufactured.

many of our components do have a

of machine resources.”

production, order sizes can range from single

pace with customer’s changing demands.

Visibility of what information was where, as well as what product was where, had traditionally been a problem and was a consequence of HV Wooding being reliant on a number of bespoke IT systems, spreadsheets and manual processes. Not only did this lead to data variance and duplication issues, it made it difficult to access a coherent sense of finalised information.

Time for change Playing a central role in the company’s IT set-up was an aging UNIX-based EFACS ERP system implemented in 1994, supplemented by loosely connected systems for payroll, employee management, shopfloor control, as well as the





March 2014


Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Buffer review meeting, powered by EFACS.

aforementioned spreadsheets. Although

virtual environment. Furthermore, EFACS E/8

user’s exact requirements due to the powerful

EFACS 3.3.3 had served them well in its

functionality now extended to every area

ADAPT customisation toolset. These

time, the age of that version combined with

within the company, with Harre-Young

combined with Workflow means that the

the need for supplementary systems led

recalling that the Document Management

company can take a business process, fine

Harre-Young and the team at HV Wooding to

and Workflow modules particularly

tune and improve it and then get EFACS E/8

realise an alternative was required.

impressed as well as the ADAPT

to replicate that process – exactly what an IT

customisation toolset capabilities.

system should do. As a result, EFACS E/8 is now used much more extensively throughout

It was clear that the disparate systems approach was becoming a hindrance to

the company and has replaced a number of

ongoing growth as they simply couldn’t keep

User receptiveness

the older systems as well as all the

up with the variety of work and changing

Implementation involved working with the Exel


requirements of customers and staff. The

consultant and walking each HV Wooding

options were to either upgrade to the latest

department through how every person’s job

version of EFACS or completely replace it

would be done on the new EFACS E/8 system

ROI already achieved

with a new system, though Harre-Young

while also generating a comprehensive ‘wish

The company is also looking at further ways

comments that it wasn’t really a difficult

list’ of customisation requirements. The

to extend the use of EFACS E/8, beginning

choice. “We had enjoyed a positive and

outcome was that for most people the EFACS

with the stores and stock control section,

productive relationship with Exel since 1994

E/8 experience was either the same or

especially concerning Goods-In. Harre-Young

and we couldn’t afford to jeopardise the

improved, with the majority of users being

concludes: “Not only can we mould EFACS

ongoing smooth running of the business.”

very receptive and looking forward to using

E/8 around our current ideal processes, we

the new version, EFACS E/8.

can adapt these as the company continues to grow. We have already achieved our return on

After a demonstration of its latest version, EFACS E/8, it was immediately obvious that

Reporting and customisation were the biggest

investment and we know EFACS E/8 has

this was exactly what was required. Not only

initial wins with the new EFACS E/8. The old

much more to give.” 

was it based on the latest technology, it

EFACS was ‘as is’, whereas the new EFACS

could also be run within HV Wooding’s

E/8 can be quickly and simply adapted to a




March 2014



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Intuitive Dashboards delivers £220,000 savings to ProcessFlows rocessFlows, provider of business

performance levels are consistently optimised

product issues are managed and resolved

automation solutions, has

and employees are motivated to be responsible

efficiently. ProcessFlows also benefits from

implemented the Business

for their individual KPI management. We view

enhanced contract renewal reporting, with

Intelligence (BI) dashboard solution,

Intuitive Dashboards as a prerequisite to the

Intuitive Dashboards delivering drill-down access

Intuitive Dashboards, to transform its

effective performance of the business, enabling

to the real-time status of customer support

reporting processes, resulting in £220,000 cost

staff to make the right decisions at the right time

contracts, ensuring the business avoids costly

and efficiency savings. The dashboard solution

based on accurate management information that

penalties for expired contracts. Future

from Intuitive Business Intelligence is integrated

has ultimately resulted in significant cost and

dashboard implementations will integrate with

with ProcessFlows’ existing SalesLogix, OnBase

time savings at every opportunity.”

SalesLogix for enhanced sales reporting.


and Microsoft Excel systems, providing instant, consolidated access to accurate, real-time data across the company’s consultancy, incident and contract reporting, with future implementations planned across the sales department.

Not only has Intuitive Dashboards transformed ProcessFlows’ complex business reporting

Single interactive viewpoint

requirements, it also revealed some immediate

Providing a single interactive viewpoint of its

operational issues, including inefficient use of

organisational performance and critical business

expensive resources. Following detailed analysis

Chris Thompson, CEO at ProcessFlows,

information, Intuitive Dashboards is driving

of the initial dashboard findings, ProcessFlows

commented that as as a provider of business

significant savings across ProcessFlows’

recovered 30 days per month from its

automation solutions, and with an offshore base

consultancy reporting, by reducing the

consultants resulting in an estimated £25,000

in Sofia, it was critical for the company to deploy

company’s requirement for manual data

savings per annum and freeing up consultants’

best-of-breed dashboard technology which

collection and report production. The easy-to-

time to generate additional revenue. The new

would provide unified and actionable insight into

understand, visual format of the dashboards,

contract management reporting process is

the different areas of the business.

combined with their ability to offer instant access

driving higher levels of renewals, while

“Implementing Intuitive Dashboards has

to real-time management information and

substantial time savings have been secured

transformed our reporting processes,” he said,

proactive performance shortfall alerts and trend

thanks to Intuitive Dashboards’ ability to link back

“delivering an immediate ROI by empowering us

analysis, has enabled ProcessFlows to quickly

to OnBase and retrieve contract details,

with consolidated, real-time views of our performance against departmental KPIs while providing the critical management insight needed to effectively forward plan and

and easily identify months showing signs of

removing the need to manually switch between

poor performance, ensuring

software packages.

actionable decisions are taken to remediate the situation and targets are met.

Combining transparency with accurate tracking and monitoring

Also deployed across the

Colin Stocker, channel account manager at

resource, ensuring our business is as robust and efficient as possible.

Intuitive Business Intelligence, said: “In order to

company’s busy helpdesk, “Intuitive Dashboards has transformed the way we manage

streamline and improve key business reporting, it

Intuitive Dashboards extracts data from their existing SalesLogix

is essential for ProcessFlows to gain access to

and run our business, while

CRM system, providing the

real-time data in order to effectively report on

implementing this level of

disparate workforce with remote

their KPIs and drive efficiencies. With an

transparency throughout the

tracking and monitoring functionality

overseas office, the business also needed a

organisation has also ensured that

solution which combined transparency with

from any location or time zone, ensuring the vast

accurate tracking and monitoring of key performance and management data from a single point of access.

array of

“ProcessFlows is already benefitting from instant, graphical dashboard access to their critical performance data, resulting in substantial time and cost savings and enhanced business performance through substantially improved operational processes and procedures.” 





March 2014










For over a quarter of a century, EXEL has been developing and supplying business management solutions that have helped companies like yours maximise their potential and become world class. Thousands of businesses of all sizes in all industry sectors rely on EFACS E/8, EXEL’s fully-integrated, modular, browser-based solution. To find out more about EFACS E/8 and how we can help your business, call EXEL on 0115 946 0101 or email sales@exel.co.uk





Business as usual, only smarter. EXEL

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Product news

Infor launches Human Capital Management Select nfor, the provider of business application


software serving more than 70,000 customers, has launched Infor Human Capital Management (HCM) Select, a wideranging set of hiring and talent processes

that support strategic decision-making and further support Infor's vision of unified HCM processes. Key solutions that make up Infor HCM Select, Infor Talent Management and Infor Enwisen HR Service Delivery, will free hiring managers from administrative gridlock and further help organisations to meet ongoing staffing needs with quality hires. Available in the Cloud, Infor HCM Select delivers pre-configured tools that allow hiring managers to better identify skills aligned to business strategy, quickly target essential qualifications, bypass lesser candidates, and zero in on the most qualified individuals for a position – ultimately enriching the talent pipeline and shortening hiring timelines. Infor's systematic approach creates the ideal start to an employee lifecycle, equipping them with clear expectations from the onset.

preconfigured industry solutions based on the

right talent, deploy the right people, develop

latest version of the Infor application suites that

talent, measure the effectiveness of individuals

“Smart organisations know that every act of

are designed to deliver core industry

and the organisation as a whole, and reward

hiring is a prime opportunity to attract new

application processes, reduce implementation

people both intelligently and effectively.

talent, further strengthen a brand, build the

times, costs, and risks, in cloud or on-premise

workforce and ultimately grow revenue,” said

for customers in specific micro-vertical

Bottom-line impact

Lori Jefferis, product manager, Human Capital Management, at Infor. “Linking onboarding practices to business strategy, Infor HCM Select gives organisations the tools they need to quickly onboard new hires and

industries. Through the

Unlike monolithic HR platforms or fragmented point solutions, Infor HCM gives leading organisations the option to choose only the solutions they need, or go end-toend, on their own timetable.” – Amy Ihlen, Infor.

Infor Implementation

Meeting the most basic or complex business needs

Accelerator for Infor HCM Select,

“Our approach is to align our strategy and

implementations can

delivery around best practice categories to

be less costly, less

meet the most basic or complex business

risky, provide reduced

needs whether they are focused on recruitment,

stress for employees,

workforce management, talent management,

and deliver a faster

learning or transforming through HR service

time to benefit.

delivery,” said Amy Ihlen, industry strategy director, Human Capital Management, at Infor.

fast-track their ability to Following the company's five pillars for

“Unlike monolithic HR platforms or fragmented

successful Human Capital Management –

point solutions, Infor HCM gives leading

Organisations can also benefit from Infor's

Select, Deploy, Develop, Measure and Reward

organisations the option to choose only the

Implementation Accelerator for Infor HCM

– Infor's fresh approach to enterprise

solutions they need, or go end-to-end, on their

Select. Implementation Accelerators are a set of

technology helps organisations to select the

own timetable.” 

begin impacting bottom-line results.”





March 2014



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

How to tell if your company needs a new ERP manufacturing software system e’re being told in the


In today’s competitive market place, relying

an inability to supply or your staff are chasing

press on a daily basis

on legacy systems could prove costly due to

paper trails and duplicating work effort,” said

how the UK economy is

an inability to react quickly or being unable to

Ewing. “The remedy to the problem is to first

growing. How companies

visualise what spare capacity you have to

recognise that you have a problem, the

have scaled up output in

take on more work as the industry continues

second is to understanding how these issues

response to stronger inflows of new orders.

to shake itself. “With an old legacy system,

affect your company and you are then on your

And, that there is strong demand from the

companies struggle to maintain control, have

way towards a cure.”

domestic market with rising levels of new

limited visibility and control of what’s going on

business coming from overseas. According

or what’s possible,” said Ewing. “The cost of

Some benefits of a Microsoft AX ERP

to EEF, The Manufacturers Organisation, the

Business Software has fallen significantly in

manufacturing system are:

forecast for UK manufacturing output

the past decade and there’s simply no reason

growth this year is 2.7 per cent, the fastest

why you should put up with unsupported,

rate of expansion in four years.

blinkered visibility caused through legacy

Totally integrated – greater increase in communication and collaboration between all departments.

business software systems anymore.” One in six companies’ re-shored production

Lower production and stock costs.

over the last three years, while similar

Streamline processes and workflows.

Real-time reporting and dashboards.

Satisfied customers and suppliers.

Flexible to take into account business

numbers are turning to UK suppliers for

De-cluttering business processes

parts and components. Why? Is it due to better quality from a UK firm, faster

“Manufacturing Company owners should be

deliveries and reduced logistics costs? “The

looking at ways to de-clutter their business

tide has turned”, said John Ewing,

processes, find new ways to automate where

Scalable to grow with your business.

consultant at Syscom PLC. “Companies are

possible getting real-time information and

Handles multi-site operations well.

selecting to have parts made closer to

obtaining much more control of their business.

home as it is becoming far more

A modern ERP manufacturing software

“A Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP system

economical to do so. All of the necessary

system will do this for you.”

provides the solid operational backbone that


any manufacturing company should have to

skills, raw materials and specialist machinery are here. However, a problem

When polled, the main reasons given why

survive in today’s marketplace,” Ewing

that still haunts UK manufacturing

company executives made the change to a

remarked. “It delivers a low TCO (total cost of

compared to its European counterparts is

modern ERP manufacturing system were:

ownership), through the integration of other Microsoft products and technologies.”

that legacy systems purchased years ago are now getting a little dated and often

unsuitable for today’s competitive market.” • Ewing continued: “When purchased, they didn’t do everything you wanted, but then

that was accepted so long as they eased production, simplified administration and

helped keep records of who did what and when. Lots of spreadsheets were created and not all departments were invited to use

Increased internal efficiencies and time wastage slashed.

A Nucleus Research ROI study confirmed that

Reduced supply chain costs and

MS Dynamics AX is the best-performing in its

inventory holding.

class. The study also stated that it is the most

Growth and direction when all around

flexible solution, quickest to implement and

were stagnating.

the easiest to adopt within complex

Standardised and simplified business

organisations, making AX the best guarantee


for future success.

360-degree visibility and transparency at all levels and plants within the business.

“What makes Syscom PLC different is that we take time and great care in understanding

said systems preferring to use their own immediately establishing departmental

“Profit has already been lost if jobs are taking

your business, its strategy and goals, before

barriers. But that was OK, companies

too long to complete, machines are sitting

we make any recommendations for change,”


idle, customers are cancelling orders due to

Ewing concluded. 




March 2014



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Eurac transforms reporting and enhances real-time decision making with Logi Analytics urac is an international brake disc


manufacturer, and has specialised in the casting, machining and distribution of brake discs to the automotive industry for over 50

years. With foundries in the UK and Czech Republic that produce over 100,000 tonnes of grey iron castings each year, Eurac also has machining facilities in the UK, Czech Republic and Germany and its products are supplied to vehicle manufacturers, the motor racing industry and high-end replacement part distributors. In early 2011, Eurac implemented a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system at two of its UK sites but found the reporting function within the system was hard to adapt to meet the needs of the business. Eurac set about researching and reviewing the range of

knew what data we needed to report on and

were then built into a personalised home

business intelligence (BI) products on the

that we wanted to make it available to the

page, so that each time a manager logged


executive managers, and we wanted to make

into the system they had the relevant

elements of this information far more

information immediately available. Perrott

“Logi Analytics came up on a number of the

accessible right across the company,” said

commented: “This was a huge step forward

web searches we carried out, so we

Perrott. “When we saw how reports and

for us. Previously, running reports was very

downloaded the free trial product and installed it on a temporary server,” explained James Perrott, group IT manager at Eurac. At the time, we had an intern working in the IT department, who

The information renders so well on mobile devices that people are using Logi to log in to the main website.” – James Perrott, Eurac.

dashboards could be

time consuming so managers would only load

deployed across a

them on a weekly basis. Now they have

combination of PCs,

access to figures that are updated in real-time

tablets and mobile

and this has made a huge change to the

devices using Logi Info,

mindset here. We don’t have to wait till the

the board members

end of the month to react to a situation, we

were really excited. It

can actively manage it as it occurs and that is

was just what we

very beneficial for us.”

wanted to do and it was

used Logi Info to create a dashboard with live data during the trial

a deciding factor for us. Once we had seen

With Logi Analytics, Eurac has not only been

period, and we were really impressed. If an

Logi Info in action, we decided to work with

able to delight users on the factory floor with

intern with no real experience in business,

Logi Analytics.”

faster reporting performance and enhanced visualisation but also users who are off-site now

albeit with decent programming skills, could create a dashboard which was far beyond anything we had been able to create in our

have access to Logi reports through their

Major step forward

mobile phone or tablet. Perrott explained: “The

ERP system, then that was a great

With Logi Info in place, and an upgrade to the

information renders so well on mobile devices

recommendation. So we got in touch with Logi

ERP system complete, the IT team at Eurac

that people are using Logi to log in to the main

Analytics to find out more.”

set about building the dashboard. To create a

website. We are now developing a reporting

range of home pages, managers throughout

mobile website to make daily information and

The key deciders for the team at Eurac were

the business were asked to submit the key

KPIs available to all who need to keep in touch,

speed, the rendering of reports and

performance indicators (KPIs) that they

wherever they are. It’s very simple to do – but

presentation – and Logi Info more than

needed to monitor, manage and report on for

it’s something we wouldn’t have dreamt of

satisfied on all three counts. “We already

their department. Using Logi Info, these KPIs

doing without Logi Analytics.” 





March 2014


Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Genetec moves from legacy open-source system to Omnify Software’s Empower PLM enetec – the unified IP video

“As the company grew, we determined that

source system. Design engineers are now

management system (VMS),

our development teams required a more

able to import large electronic boards or

access control and licence

robust and cost-effective solution to manage

mechanical assembly BOMs into Empower,

plate recognition (LPR)

our expanding product development

easily and within seconds. Previously this

solutions provider – has

information processes,” said Danny Roy,

required a cut-and-paste, item by item.


moved from its legacy open-source PLM

hardware development manager for Genetec,

system to Omnify Software’s Empower PLM to

Inc. “After a thorough review, we chose

“More and more, we are seeing savvy

gain important functionality and achieve time

Omnify Software because we were impressed

customers like Genetec moving away from

and cost savings.

with its ease of use, functionality and

systems that require a heavy consulting effort

competitive price.”

and customisations, and choosing solutions

As Genetec grew its business in the physical

that offer essential functionality, out of the box

IP video surveillance industry, the company

with little or no customisation and

chose to transition its PLM system to Omnify Empower PLM for greater performance features and a turnkey solution. Empower

Cutting out software customisation and manual processes

PLM provided Genetec with essential features

configuration,” stated Chuck Cimalore, CTO for Omnify Software. “Omnify's approach reduces deployment and implementation phases, lowers the initial and long-term costs,

such as reference designators, Bill of Material

provides a seamless path for upgrades and

(BOM) redlining, BOM comparisons, change

After implementing Empower PLM, Genetec

updates, and affords the flexibility to switch to

history tracking and data importing

saved substantial time and money by cutting

different deployment environments, including

capabilities that did not require customisation

out software customisation and manual

on-premises to hosted and vice versa.” 

of the software to employ.

processes required by their previous open-

FREE ERP INFORMATION DAYS Our half-day events provide the ideal opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of our fully integrated ERP system, EFACS E/8.




For more information or to register for an event, call 0115 946 0101 or email marketing@exel.co.uk


exel.co.uk IT


March 2014




lanning Opinion


the production performance metric By Chris Russell, vice president, Logility.

questions ready to be answered in the

1. Produce, produce, produce. The historical starting point was to have plants

third phase.

only focused on utilisation and output efficiency. In this worldview you kept the

4. Align with corporate strategy. And

machines running and tried to minimise

finally the fourth phase is to align

the number of products and changes. The

production accountability more

world was capacity constrained and the

meaningfully with company strategy. Are

focus was on making more stuff as

we looking to grow through innovation?

efficiently as possible. The market took

Then we are going to need to manage life

what was made.

cycles and SKU variability into production. That is as important to the company’s future as making a million

2. Multiple measures of efficiency. In the

widgets per hour indefinitely.

second phase the focus is lifted to a supply chain level. Here, production efficiency is one of several measures Chris Russell: “By moving to a proactive, strategic approach to your supply chain you can help shape the market; not be shaped by it.”

Inside-out to outside-in is starting to turn

across the supply chain including

Shifting the conversation

inventory, customer service and

Recently I spoke with one of the large paper

profitability. At the sales and operations

manufacturing companies. This company had

(S&OP) level asset utilisation is one of the

traditionally provided very large master rolls of

tradeoff points in the supply chain; not the

newsprint and book paper to the respective

only consideration.

industries. A little more than a decade ago

Anyone who has worked in or with an asset intensive manufacturer knows how much focus is placed on the concept of machine

they invested in paper machines able to make 3. Feedback loop. In the third phase the

these master rolls of basic paper as efficiently

above tradeoffs can be used as

as possible.

capacity utilisation. For years asset utilisation has been the de facto measurement where running smaller lot sizes was simply not an option. Changing this mindset has been an uphill climb for those who have tried.

Today I see many companies shifting their approach to be more balanced as they strive to become a demand driven organisation. This is a cultural shift that does not happen overnight and requires an understanding of what the journey from point A to B will look like.”

The game was always to invest in the big asset and keep it running 24 X 7 with as few changeovers as possible. That is how you drove the per-unit cost down and paid for the big expensive machines.

My have the times changed. Today I see many companies shifting their

Then the market changed. People

approach to be more balanced as they strive

feedback to re-assess traditional

started reading newspapers and books on

to become a demand-driven organisation.

production and asset utilisation

tablets and e-readers. While there is still

This is a cultural shift that does not happen

assumptions. Maybe there is a way to

demand for paper, it isn’t at the level where

overnight and requires an understanding of

design the setups and changeovers

one requires monolithic master roles. The

what the journey from point A to B will look

more flexibly to optimise the tradeoffs?

demand now is for specialty papers in smaller

like. Broadly, there are four phases in this

Maybe the traditionally run lot sizes

lots with more varieties.

cycle of moving from inside-out production to

aren’t cast in stone and you can coax

outside-in demand and market focused:

more flexibility in volume and mix to gain

The bad news for this company is that those

margin? These are just some of the

big, expensive, mass production machines





March 2014



lanning Opinion

While there is still demand for paper, it isn’t at the level where one requires monolithic master roles. The demand now is for specialty papers in smaller lots with more varieties.

are not very good at the high mix, lower volume, flexible manufacturing required for this new market. The good news is that the leadership understands the new reality and production is under the control of the supply chain organisation, not the plant. They will shut down the machines during periods of slower demand. They will do short runs and implement changes that better map to the new demand profile. The conversation has changed from asset utilisation to how much inventory is sitting idle—taking up space and money.

Moving forward The market has changed and it is no longer viable to focus solely on asset utilisation, uptime, etc. By moving to a proactive, strategic approach to your supply chain you can help shape the market; not be shaped by it. If you are not moving into a supply chain oriented, demand driven strategy the marketplace could pull the rug out from under you. 




March 2014




lanning Product news

Accenture CAS Software

enhanced to help

improve sales processes and operations o help consumer goods companies


check as well as a statistical model toolbox for

NewsPage increases support for all route-to-

take the guesswork out of store

predictive modeling. This consists of template

market sales and delivery models in markets

promotions, Accenture has

baseline models that are used for both

served by distributors, including company-

enhanced its Accenture CAS

consistently promoted products and regular-

owned distribution points and third-party

software with better support for

behaving products, and three uplift models for

distributors. Now available as a decentralised

promotional planning, sales processes and

measuring the incremental impact of a

deployment, Accenture NewsPage can be

operations. Leveraging its flexible architecture,

promotion. Improved algorithms allow the best-

implemented on premise or in the Cloud,

Accenture CAS release 10.1 includes new

fitting model combination to be automatically

depending on the existing technology and

baseline and promotional planning capabilities to

applied to the data for each product, enabling

needs of each distributor location. Consumer

create an integrated sales platform that can

more efficient planning.

goods companies still benefit from a consolidated view of all distributors, with better

result in more successful promotions and boosted revenue. Additional updates include

“Responding to changes in consumer and

control over promotions, improved productivity

new mobile functionality that is claimed to be

shopping behaviors at the national, regional and

and streamlined inventory and sales processes.

able to help maximise efficiency, plus additional

local levels can be operationally challenging,”

Additionally, a new 'geography tree' feature

options for distributor management.

said Henning Fromme, Accenture CAS product

allows distributors to adjust and update the

strategy and development lead. “Accenture CAS

structure of a consumer goods company in real-

Accenture CAS release 10.1 can help account

release 10.1 addresses these challenges with

time, without having to make changes to the

managers plan for promotions quickly and easily.

simplified, top-down planning functionality,

underlying code. This means that business users

A new single screen baseline planning process

putting optimisation capabilities right in the

can fine tune their own sales team models in

simplifies baseline predictions and refinements

hands of account and trade planners – where it

accordance with local or regional changes in

with an automated quality check that gives users

is needed – so that they can directly build the

company hierarchy.

an analysis of data quality so that they can filter

best account and promotion plans for their

out inaccurate or duplicate entries. Accenture

company and retail partners.”

Accenture CAS with Accenture NewsPage is an integrated sales platform for the consumer

CAS release 10.1 includes new features such as built-in analytics capabilities to help clients

Additional enhancements around mobility

goods industry with a suite of retail execution,

predict what, when and how much consumers

continue to make Accenture CAS an attractive

trade promotion management and distributor

will buy; a new alert system that reviews

choice for merchandising applications and on-

management software, including direct store

historical data of similar promotions; and an

the-go promotion execution. Available on a

delivery, field service and trade promotion

automated Trade Promotion Optimisation (TPO)

number of mobile devices, these features

optimisation. Both are part of the Accenture

check to gauge the feasibility of a promotion

include an advanced calendar that can arrange

Software portfolio of products.

based on factors such as price and product

site visits in order of priority for increased

availability, creating a ‘playground’ where users

efficiency, and the ability to review all promotional

Accenture CAS is also a key component within

can refine and adjust baseline prices to see

information at a glance, giving users all

Accenture Commercial Services for Consumer

effects on the sales cycle.

necessary information to execute on a sales

Goods, a business service that helps companies

strategy. With added support for customer

increase sales and margins through an end-to-

contract management, users can also create or

end offering of management consulting,

update contracts from their mobile device.

technology, and business process outsourcing

Automated data check

that improves interactions with customers,

Business-driven data patterns – such as new

channels, and consumers through innovative

items or discontinued products – and long data gaps can present difficulties in promotional

On-premise or in the Cloud

analytical, multi-channel and operational

planning. Accenture CAS release 10.1

Finally, the combination of Accenture CAS


addresses this through the automated data

software with new functionality from Accenture





March 2014


your supply chain to: ‡ Grow your Business ‡Improve Margins ‡Outperform the Competition Logility Voyager Solutions™ can help you leave the competition behind. With Logility’s proven three-pronged strategy, OUTPLAN, OUTPACE, OUTPERFORM, DPNQBOJFTDBONPSFQSPåUBCMZTBUJTGZDVTUPNFS demand—and stay in the winner’s circle—by getting the right products at the right cost to the right place at the right time.


Worldwide Headquarters: 800-762-5207 EMEA Headquarters: +44 (0) 121 629 7866


lanning Success story

Yamamay implements PLM solution

by TXT

to optimise design and product development processes Yamamay, the Italian retailer brand in underwear and swimsuits, with over 700 franchised stores, of which 500 in Italy, has successfully implemented the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution by TXT in order to optimise its design and product development processes.

he tie-up between TXT and


Yamamay stems from the need to rationalise the design process of new styles: from collection design to the creation of prototypes, from

sample checks to the final manufacturing stage by selected subcontractors. The quality of products and process efficiency, including the management of a wide network of suppliers, are the cornerstones for the company, which is in the midst of steady growth. Yamamay presently operates through its headquarters in Italy and branches in Germany, Spain and China.

Overcoming the typical constraints The dynamism of the international market as well as the management of increasingly wider supply chains require businesses in

Today, the PLM solution by TXT supports

Stefano Piantanida, software development

the field of fashion and apparel to put a

Yamamay in the management of all collection-

manager at Yamamay, explained that TXT was

higher focus on Product Lifecycle

related information: data and images.

chosen for its perfect fit with the functional

Management solutions. Due to the adoption

Through the adoption of the TXT solution, all

requirements of Yamamay's business needs, as well as for TXT's consolidated experience in the Fashion and Retail industry. "Thanks to the


Today, the PLM solution by TXT supports Yamamay in the management of all collection-related information: data and images. Through the adoption of the TXT solution, all the resources involved, including foreign branches, can use a single repository which can be accessed anywhere. This results in reduced product development times. Due to the integrated workflow management system, workflows are optimised and punctually monitored at each step.�

simple and intuitive interface of the solution, the activity of the 85 users involved is facilitated across different regions," said Piantanida. Simone Pozzi, VP sales & marketing at TXT, commented: "The apparel, and the underwear business in particular, is complex for its strong focus on quality, product variety and market dynamism which call for rapid

of the PLM software by TXT, Yamamay has

the resources involved, including foreign

innovation and great process agility. We are

been able to overcome the typical

branches, can use a single repository which

very proud to collaborate with a sector

constraints of a non-centralised management

can be accessed anywhere. This results in

leader such as Yamamay. Yamamay's

of information, such as time spent on data

reduced product development times. Due to

international growth has been a strong driver

organisation and consolidation, as well as

the integrated workflow management system,

in regard to further developing the theme of

the complexity connected to code

workflows are optimised and punctually

collaboration between functions and with

standardisation among different functions.

monitored at each step.

supply chain partners." 





March 2014



lanning Success story

PODFather and TouchStar Technologies

supply scheduling, electronic job sheet and vehicle tracking systems to NWC Group stablished partners PODFather


and TouchStar Technologies have supplied a number of business optimisation solutions to assist Nationwide Window Cleaning in

managing over 100 cleaners across the UK. The systems include resource planning, electronic job sheet and vehicle tracking. Nationwide Window Cleaning (NWC) is an independent UK window cleaning provider. The company undertakes a wide variety of work from single sites to national portfolios and have particular expertise in servicing the needs of financial institutions and high-street retailers. With each site having multiple schedules of work with varying frequencies, NWC needed systems which were reliable, easy to use and provided full data In parallel, TouchStar Technologies installed a

of our cleaners already had PDA hardware

tracking system on to each cleaner's vehicle.

that was compatible with the PODFather

NWC supplied their existing work schedule in

Once the high-specification GPS device is

program and they took to the new system with

a spreadsheet to the PODFather development

installed in the vehicle it processes data from


team, along with a specification for the details

GPS satellites to calculate its position. Its

they needed to capture on the PDA software.

powerful internal processor constantly


Within two weeks, NWC produced a customised PODFather system, with a scheduling facility for managing approximately 10,000 sites across all of their cleaners.

The combination of the two systems has ensured that we are meeting our core business objectives. In particular we are increasing the productivity of cleaning personnel and improving service levels for our valued customer base." – Thornton Tasker, NWC Group.

monitors the status of

Complete transparency

the vehicle (e.g. is

Tasker continued: “We now have state-of-the-

the ignition on? is the

art back office systems that allow our staff in

driver driving

the office to manage both ad-hoc and

aggressively?) and

planned maintenance activities. We have

attaches this status

complete transparency of work carried out,

information to a GPS

jobs still outstanding and the availability and

positional log.

position of cleaning personnel.

The tracker then uses the GPRS data

“The handheld system for our cleaners is also

network to transmit these GPS logs to a data

hugely beneficial as they receive complete


collection server at regular intervals. This data

job instructions wherever they are, and

PODFather is a Cloud-based mobile software

is then accessible via a PC or laptop using a

complete the job sheet recording the details

solution designed for businesses operating in

secure application.

of what was carried out along with photos of completed work, customer name and

various logistics, construction and field service sectors. The integrated PDA and web-

Thornton Tasker, managing director of NWC

signature to approve job completion. The

based back office solution allow NWC to plan

Group, commented: “We were amazed at the

combination of the two systems has ensured

and manage their jobs and resources on a

speed which the teams at PODFather and

that we are meeting our core business

daily basis, with real-time visibility of job

TouchStar understood our business

objectives. In particular we are increasing the

progress as their cleaners complete each job

requirements and converted them into

productivity of cleaning personnel and

using the mobile job completion system.

pragmatic solutions. We had tried and failed

improving service levels for our valued

with a different mobile software system so all

customer base.” 




March 2014



Supply Chain

Product news

IBS Business Suite 2014 untangles supply chain complexities for mid-tier, distribution-intensive companies ntegrated ERP and supply chain provider International Business Systems (IBS) has introduced the IBS Business Suite 2014, an integrated and synchronised set of software solutions designed specifically to help mid-tier, distribution-intensive companies improve their end-to-end supply chain operations.


Each component of IBS Business Suite 2014 was originally developed as a stand-alone solution for a specific aspect of the supply chain, such as Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), Warehouse Management (WM), CRM, and ERP. Those individual components have now been integrated into a suite that provides a single view of all distribution operations, simplifying the complexities involved in moving product efficiently through the supply chain to help organisations drive revenue, improve productivity, and exceed their customers’ expectations. “IBS Business Suite 2014 fuels growth for mid-tier companies with complex distribution operations, especially those in the pharmaceutical, food & beverage, automotive aftermarket, 3PL and wholesale distribution industries,” said Mike Verdeyen, IBS CTO. “It gives business leaders insights to make informed decisions proactively, rather than reacting to issues or market changes, along with the flexibility to differentiate their organisations in competitive markets and the agility to extend communication across customers and business partners. The result is a platform for growth with a lower total cost of ownership than building each solution individually.” Among the key benefits of IBS Business Suite 2014 are: •

• 30

Accelerating productivity and reducing cost through standard interfaces and interactions for common business practices. Reducing capital expenditures and




March 2014

mitigating risks by adding new capabilities to solutions already owned and used today. Maximising return on investment with a global network of proven domain and industry experts.

Lower cost. Fuel profitability. Accelerate growth.

Complexity. Uncertainty. Last-minute decisions. To make it in today’s distribution business companies have to be able to adapt. Customer requirements change, individual orders change, and there is always a competitor out there ready to step in. Add to that, the pressure to build shareholder value against thin margins and an ever-expanding, global supply chain, and the ability to plan, execute and manage an effective business strategy can be fraught with distraction. The IBS Business Suite is a synchronised, industry-specific software solution that can meet users where they are, yet adapt at the speed of business. IBS recommends

considering the following questions:

• •

Are you getting the visibility and business intelligence you need to make effective business decisions? Are you effectively able to control inventory, accurately bill customers, manage peak periods and free-up additional operating capital? Are your forecasts reliable; is your inventory balanced? Are you holding too much inventory? Do your customers know where their products are in your system? Do they trust the information you are providing? Do you have a single solution for tracking global supply and demand? Are your customers and trading partners able to communicate electronically? Are they satisfied? Do they keep coming back?

On-premise or in the Cloud, IBS Business Suite takes you there In an ideal world, distribution business leaders make informed, proactive decisions in


Product news

Supply Chain

speed and effectiveness. IBS adds that with its new Business Suite, users gain the power to lower their total-cost-of-ownership, improve operational efficiency, streamline processes, enhance customer connectivity and accelerate business growth and profitability now and over the long-term. 

IBS at a glance

IBS Business Suite 2014 deliverables. coordination with supply chain partners, customers and suppliers to the benefit of all. Without an integrated, synchronised set of software solutions, this cannot be realised. However, IBS comments that with its new Business Suite, this is possible.

just the components needed, deployed in any combination of on-premise or in-the-Cloud configuration that best suits the required business model. IBS Business Suite is flexible and scalable, so it can evolve in step with the user’s existing business.

With the help of IBS’ experienced, industry domain specialists, users can transition their operations quickly onto the platform, choosing

Training and support is available, and IBS’s team can help customers plan and execute their supply chain strategies for maximum


International Business Systems (IBS) is a global integrated ERP and supply chain distribution software solution provider. For more than 30 years, the company has helped customers such as MacFarlane Group, Totes Isotoner, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Mayflex UK, Carl Kammerling International, PinCroft, Galexis, Sigma, Rexel, Maxell, GE Lighting, Conad, Marangoni, DSV, Goodyear, Skil, Oriola, Inotech and many more streamline, automate and accelerate their distribution network processes, and drive profitability and efficiency.



March 2014



Supply Chain

Company news

Oliver Wight, AIMMS and Districon partner to offer complete supply chain solution Supply chain optimisation specialist organisation Oliver Wight has teamed up for the first time with optimisation technology and prescriptive modelling specialist AIMMS and logistics solutions consultancy Districon to deliver a state-of-the-art supply chain optimisation offering.

rganisations are set to gain a unique, integrated supply chain optimisation solution from the fusion of expertise between these three leading practitioners. Oliver Wight transfers knowledge on best practice design and optimisation, while AIMMS and Districon join forces to provide state-of-the art practical solutions for maximising value from the supply chain.


Les Brookes, CEO of Oliver Wight EAME says, “Modern day organisations need the capability to respond quickly and intelligently to the ever-changing supply chain challenges at a strategic, tactical and operational level. End-to-end optimisation is essential to extract the best possible value from the supply chain. This initiative allows customers to transform the entire supply chain and leverage the synergies between people, processes and tools to achieve that next level of value.”

Total service offering The partnership comes as all three organisations are seeing an increase in demand for a total service offering. “Our customers are increasingly realising that to reap the full benefits of our advanced optimisation technology, they need to have the right processes in place,” said AIMMS’ CEO, Gijs Dullaert. “This partnership will allow us to cover all aspects of integrated business planning, from processes to practical applications.” “We are now able to offer a unique and holistic integrated supply chain solution tailored to meet the client’s specific needs,” commented Districon’s managing director, Jack Pool. “We are delighted to be working with Oliver Wight and AIMMS on this initiative to help clients drive increased revenue and profitability.”

new relationship with a webinar, ‘Influence customer demand; optimise your commercial activities through Integrated Business Planning’ on 20 May 2014. For more information visit: http://business.aimms.com/news-events/webinars/

Oliver Wight Oliver Wight has a 40-year track record of helping some of the world's bestknown organisations reach and sustain excellent business performance. Oliver Wight’s Supply Chain Optimisation ensures the supply chain is designed and structured to deliver best-in-class customer service and minimise costs, while Integrated Business Planning allows the senior executive to plan and manage the entire organisation over a 24 month horizon, aligning tactical and strategic plans each month and allocating critical resources to satisfy customers in the most profitable way. Oliver Wight helps organisations define their vision for the future and by transferring knowledge to key staff, deliver performance and financial results that last.

AIMMS AIMMS is an innovative technology company with offices in The Netherlands, Seattle (US), Singapore and Shanghai. For over 20 years, the company has been developing and selling a unique mathematical optimisation platform. AIMMS customers can create high business impact with optimisation engines and solutions that enable optimal decision making on complex strategic, tactical or operational problems.

Districon As a specialised consultancy company Districon develops state-of-the-art supply chain solutions for business and government. Districon adds value by leveraging extensive experience and capabilities in the fields of Supply Chain Management, Cargo Logistics, Logistics Facilities and Business Intelligence. The company offers advisory, professionals and solutions, driven by its motto “Creating value in logistics”. Districon has developed a strong track record in fast development of AIMMS based customised optimisation solutions in areas like network design and S&OP, enabling their customers to improve their profitability.

The three organisations are kick-starting their 32




March 2014



The Meeting Place for Transport, Logistics and Freight Forwarding Are you a professional looking for innovative transport and logistics solutions ? To visit the show Order your free entry badge now* at www.sitl.eu


* Free entry is exclusively reserved for transport/logistics/supply chain professionals and senior executives in manufacturing, business and retail. Other visitors can register for entry at 53 € including taxes up until the 28th March 2014. Entry at event is 80 € incl. taxes.

Held jointly with:

Transport & Logistics

Supply Chain

Success story

CLF Distribution invests in workforce management technology and streamlines flexible working outhampton-based CLF Distribution, a wholesaler of premium health and nutrition products, has invested £30,000 in Tamworth Workforce Management Systems provider Crown Computing's Open Options workforce software suite in order to reduce lead times and increase the flexibility it can offer its customers, while sharing these benefits with its team. This new software gives employees access to real-time information allowing them to manage their time more effectively and with greater flexibility, thereby increasing productivity.


The Open Options modules used by CLF include; Time and Attendance, Activity Manager and Employee Self Service (ESS) and includes integration with CLF's Sage payroll application. The software has also been combined with AccuTime Solutions' biometric finger print scanners. Robin Holiday, managing director of CLF,

said while it is difficult to quantify the return on investment at this stage, feedback and the initial efficiency improvements have been positive, with less time spent on administration. He commented: “To continue to grow we need to engage the team so everyone benefits from this continued growth. Crown offers this by enabling employees to manage their time more effectively with greater flexibility.” While time was previously logged manually creating an arduous paper trail, the new system enables employees to manage their time and attendance more accurately by clocking in and out, request holiday, record absenteeism and note banked overtime, which is then paid back or returned as holiday. As a result, the new system improves planned & un-planned absence administration workflow across the entire organisation. The new system also records activities

The new system records activities assigned to staff within CLF's distribution centre, which means management teams now have a single viewpoint of all production and output. assigned to staff within CLF's distribution centre, which means management teams now have a single viewpoint of all production and output and make more informed decisions about the way it manages its team. 

Company news

Supply Chain

Barcoding, Inc. partners with eBizNET arcoding, Inc., the enterprisewide mobility solutions provider, has announced its strategic partnership with eBizNET Solutions, provider of SaaS-based supply chain execution solutions. Through this partnership, eBizNET customers are able to receive end-to-end, fully integrated supply chain technology solutions, incorporating hardware from Barcoding and eBizNET's suite of supply chain execution software.


As an eBizNET Technology Partner, Barcoding is recommending, procuring, configuring and supporting hardware – such





March 2014

as mobile devices, wireless infrastructure, barcode printers, and consumables – to ensure a more seamless implementation of the eBizNET Supply Chain Suite. Available primarily on a SaaS/Cloud-based model, the eBizNET Supply Chain Execution Suite features scalable modules including Warehouse Management, Reverse Logistics, Cargo and Transportation Management. “Partnering with other supply chain technology experts like Barcoding allows us to help our customers enable collaborative supply chain execution across a single platform,” said Sid Geddam, founder and

CEO, eBizNET. “Because Barcoding is a systems integrator, our customers have the added benefit and convenience of turning to one provider for the entire infrastructure needed to support the eBizNET solution.” Jay Steinmetz, CEO, Barcoding, Inc., said: "Like Barcoding, eBizNET is focused on delivering technology solutions that make supply chains more efficient, accurate and connected through automation. We look forward to growing this partnership as we work together towards this common goal." 



Supply Chain

Considering the risks to the modern supply chain A new University of Huddersfield professor is working with leading companies to help them ensure that supply chains remain intact in a world beset by risks that range from extremes of climate to economic upheaval and political unrest.

Professor Dani. “The other approach, that my current research focuses on, is proactive risk management, which is anticipating risk, using predictive analytics to try and engage what the future is going to hold in terms of the supply chain.”

supply chains. Professor Dani states that “supply chains of tomorrow will need to be designed not just on the basis of being economically sustainable, but environmental and social sustainability will also have an important role to play in the design”.

Reacting to risks

Professor Dani's first degree was in mechanical engineering and he proceeded to work for five years at Bajaj Auto Limited, one of India’s largest two and three-wheeler manufacturer; in his home city of Pune. He was awarded a scholarship to come to the UK and study for a Master's.

During his academic career he has been awarded almost £600,000 in research funding as a principal investigator or coinvestigator and has worked in a number of projects for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre.

Professor Samir S. Dani: Journey from engineering to the academic world. ndian-born Professor Samir S. Dani has an engineering background, but his UKbased academic career has led him into areas of research that include a detailed investigation using a psychological perspective of the games that are played out between buyers and suppliers in industry. He is currently focusing on the management of risk in supply chains and is the author of a sequence of articles and book chapters on supply chain risk management, an area of academic study that arose after the global shock of the terrorist attacks on New York in September 2001.


Professor Dani states that companies need to be resilient to manage risks and have business continuity. There are two broad strategies that companies can adopt to ensure that their supply chains are not disrupted. “One is reactive risk management – preparedness in case something does happen over which you have no control – how quickly do you get back on track?,” explained


Recently, he has collaborated with major confectionery firm Cadbury on an EPSRCfunded project to investigate scenario planning as an ‘operational risk management’ tool to ensure that its supply chain continues to operate seamlessly in the light of a disruption. The food industry has played a central role in Professor Dani's research, resulting in articles such as Fragile food supply chains: reacting to risks in the International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications (2010). He is also supervising PhD students who are investigating issues, such as food waste and ‘risk propagation’ – the extent to which problems such as climate extremes or food safety challenges in one part of the world can cascade through the supply chain. Sustainability within supply chains is a research area that Professor Dani is becoming involved with. He is currently overseeing an investigation of the power structures within buyer supplier relationships, which have an influence on the adoption of sustainability criteria within

Subsequently, he became a research associate for an EPSRC project and embarked on his PhD, which was a psychological study of buyer-supplier relationships. This research earned the A.M. Strickland Prize (2006) awarded by the ImechE’s Manufacturing Industries Division for the Best Paper published in the Journal of Engineering Manufacture. From 2008, he was a senior lecturer in operations management at Loughborough University and now he becomes Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of Huddersfield.

Working closely with industry “Although my journey has taken me from engineering to the academic world, I think it is very important to work closely with industry,” said Professor Dani. He has been involved with the Joint Economic Trade Committee between the Indian and UK governments, works closely with the Confederation of Indian Industry, UKTI, the Indian High Commission, and is an advisory board member of the Leicestershire Asian Business Association (LABA). He stresses the importance of supply chains for both the SME sector and for regional economic regeneration. 



March 2014




Success story

Norwegian retail stores benefit from greater stock accuracy with RFID Many large fashion retail chains have implemented RFID technology into their operations, however smaller businesses and fashion boutiques can also benefit from the adoption of an RFID system. In Norway, Front Systems, integration partner of Nordic ID, has worked together with smaller retail store chains Tara - Espen Dronsett, Follestad AS and Høyer AS and enabled them to implement an intuitive RFID system that has helped to reduce manual work while benefitting from high stock accuracy.

ara - Espen Dronsett is an


exclusive women's clothing store, located in one of the best shopping streets in Oslo. Follestad AS is an exclusive retail

chain with 8 stores selling menswear and womenswear with retail stores located in and around Oslo. Follestad Valkyrien is a store owned by Follestad AS. Høyer AS is a retail chain with about 25 stores located in and around Oslo, Arendal, Larvik, Stavanger and Trondheim.

Big effort – low accuracy Many smaller retail store chains or standalone boutiques face the challenge of timeconsuming and labour-intensive manual tasks. This is certainly not an issue for large chains alone. Instead of having their staff busy counting items, retail businesses want to improve operations so that store personnel

per cent. Low stock accuracy makes it

generated the same amount of work hours

can spend more time serving customers.

difficult for the retailers to plan ahead and

and the stock accuracy remained at a low

purchase and order the correct items to


For Tara - Espen Dronsett, Follestad AS and

avoid out-of stock situations. Some retailers

Høyer AS the situation was similar. A lot of time was spent in time-consuming inventory tasks at the stores of the three retailers. Oftentimes taking inventory could take one or even several days and even though a lot of effort was made, the accuracy was not

The major challenge was to

Implementing the RFID solution from Nordic ID and Front Systems has given us an exceptional control over our stock. We are doing a monthly stock count of the store and obtain a 99.9 per cent stock accuracy in just 60 to 80 minutes each time. Before RFID we used 2 days on a stock count and the accuracy was poor.” – Ken-Ole Olsen, Follestad Valkyrien.

find a cost-effective and timesaving system to aid in stock count processes. The system needed to be affordable and easy to integrate into the existing POS (Point of Sale) and backend system. Tara Espen Dronsett, Follestad, and Høyer wanted to gain

very high. A medium-sized shop may spend 40 to 60 working hours

implemented weekly counts of specific

better control of their stock while ensuring

counting with EAN codes and despite the

product groups or brands instead of

that sales personnel had more time to spend

effort stock accuracy is as low as 60 to 80

counting all items at once, but this

with the customers.


IT March 2014




Success story


High stock accuracy – less manual work

Items are tagged at arrival at the store. This is Nordic ID Morphic UHF RFID Cross Dipole

The retail companies have been very pleased

Tara - Espen Dronsett, Follestad and Høyer

mobile computers are utilised for stock

with the results they have achieved by

stores are now equipped with a fully

counts. Høyer AS is the only exception as

implementing RFID. Ken-Ole Olsen, manager

integrated RFID solution. Included elements

their items are already tagged in a central

of Follestad Valkyrien (a store of retail chain

were chosen carefully making sure they were

warehouse. Nevertheless also Høyer's retail

Follestad AS), commented: “Implementing the

reliable, high quality and in the right price

stores have printers located so they can re-

RFID solution from Nordic ID and Front

segment. After choosing the RFID tags, RFID

tag items in the event of missing tags.

Systems has given us an exceptional control

done with the help of Zebra RFID printers.

printers and RFID readers, internal testing

More precise buying

over our stock. We are doing a monthly stock In the beginning, the staff had to get used to

count of the store and obtain a 99.9 per cent

the new technology. Some working methods

stock accuracy in just 60 to 80 minutes each

The RFID solution was first implemented in

needed to be carried out with a different

time. Before RFID we used 2 days on a stock

two stores: a small and a large store with

precision. For example, it happened that

count and the accuracy was poor. The RFID

respectively 1200 and 8000 items. After that a

duplicates of the same label were printed,

system helps us do more precise buying from

rollout into all stores of the chains was carried

duplicated labels were left in the trash even

our vendors and we are always updated when

out. Nowadays the stores of Tara - Espen

though they were already counted in the stock

it comes to what is in stock in the different

Dronsett, Follestad AS and Høyer AS are

counts. After these initial mix-ups the store


among 37 stores in Norway that have taken

personnel has become more precise in the

the RFID solution of integrator Front System

labelling process.

was carried out.

into use.

Today, the retail stores of Tara - Espen Dronsett, Follestad AS and Høyer AS use

It did not take long to get used to the

RFID technology for stock count purposes in

Implementing RFID technology served two

technology. This is directly reflected in the

all their stores. Nevertheless, their aim is to

concrete purposes: less manual work and

amazing results. Stock accuracy is now up to

use RFID technology in the future also for

higher stock accuracy. The retail stores use

a level of 99 per cent after implementing the

anti-theft purposes, locating of items and

RFID technology to keep track of their stock.

RFID solution.

RFID tracking of items in transport. 




March 2014



Printing & Labelling


Enabling operational excellence Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Matt Parker, head of market development, Zebra Technologies Europe, and the company’s business development manager Manufacturing UK & Ireland, David Taylor, about how today’s auto-ID and complementary technology can help manufacturers to facilitate greater levels of end-to-end visibility. packaged goods (CPG), discrete understanding has taken place then ver the past 10 to 15 years manufacturing, process manufacturing or manufacturers can really start to look at the manufacturing has often high-tech/electronics. technologies that can be deployed to unlock taken a back seat compared a greater level of visibility. “What many with other business sectors So how should manufacturers first go about manufacturers don’t realise is that there are a such as finance or services. putting in place an effective regime that can number of technologies available today that Furthermore, in more recent times facilitate a greater level of visibility that can can allow them to unlock these hidden events manufacturing in general was largely held lead to the end-goal of operational and to attach measurement and data back by the global economic downturn. excellence? Zebra Technologies’ Matt Parker extraction mechanisms from work streams However, in the wake of a more bullish provides some guidance: “I believe the and processes that had previously been economic outlook together with the growing unreachable.” realisation by governments that the service and finance sectors Gathering data from a range of technologies He explains that these could be cannot sustain major economic – such as barcode labels, passive and everything from 1- or 2-D barcode growth alone, manufacturing is active RFID tags – and seeing the whole picture label technology and barcodes again in the ascendant. Today, directly marked to the part through there is not only the need to through ‘one piece of glass’, can really help to an etching or impact device, supply goods into wellachieve operational excellence.” through to passive RFID and active established global markets such – David Taylor, Zebra Technologies. RFID – and then beyond to sensors as those in Central Europe and and physical sensors that are the US, but also to serve growing starting point for manufacturers from a applied to machines and items and assets. demand in areas such as the so-called MINT traceability perspective should be to ask; Parker adds that this information can then be countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and ‘what do I have that is visible on the relayed to the ERP system – together with Turkey); territories whose economies and manufacturing plant floor?’, and ‘which work other related software such as a Warehouse consumer demands are likely to continue to streams and processes can’t be so easily Management System or Demand Forecasting grow at a rapid rate over the next decade. measured, interrogated and engaged with, to & Planning solution – for order processing, Here lies a golden opportunity to suppliers the extent that an accurate metric of execution and analysis. “Users shouldn’t be that can rise to the challenge. measurement can’t be put against it?’” fearful of the concept of greater connectivity of devices and objects within the enterprise,” said Parker. “By using them in new ways In order to meet these opportunities as Unlocking a greater level manufacturers can better engage and efficiently as possible, operational excellence of visibility interrogate items and extract more and higher levels of plant floor and wider information that has real value.” supply chain visibility are required by all types of manufacturers; whether consumer Parker adds that once that level of






March 2014



Parker makes the point that many manufacturers are already using one or more of these types of technologies today, but that they often use them in very specific areas. “Therefore, as part of a best practice initiative and to get closer not only with their upstream customers but also downstream suppliers and material handlers, it requires looking holistically at the manufacturing plant floor or even multiple sites not only to enable internal operations to become more flexible and more productive but also improve data sharing with suppliers and end customers so that, for example, material can be supplied more quickly and possibly more accurately by material handler. In this way a manufacturer can be more confident of meeting all of the SLAs it has in place with its suppliers and customers. This process really encapsulates the Internet of Things concept.” Zebra Technologies’ David Taylor reflects that a decade ago this notion of a more seamless level of visibility was constrained by supply chains being made up of disparate groups of organisations that had flawed means of attaining a clear picture of the whole manufacturing and supply chain process at any given time. “Today, however, we have reached the point where modern AIDC systems and Cloud-based technology can deliver real-world seamless visibility,” he said. “Wherever you are in the value chain a solid

and strong auto-ID backbone is what can enable manufacturers to achieve the kind of end-to-end vision that they have had as their goal for so long.”

Working in an integrated and coordinated fashion Taylor added that it is not simply about achieving Just in Time any more, but about having visibility of material flow across every piece of the value chain, every work stream and every process while keeping this constant flow of material moving all the time. “Using modern AIDC systems working in an integrated and coordinated fashion, manufacturers and their supply chain partners and downstream material suppliers can now track, control and monitor everything more accurately; from the point at which the raw materials or components are delivered to the manufacturer, to manufacturing itself, then through the supply chain/transportation processes to the point of delivery to the end customer. Gathering data from a range of technologies – such as barcode labels, passive and active RFID tags – and seeing the whole picture through ‘one piece of glass’, can really help to achieve operational excellence.” Parker made the point that being able to

Printing & Labelling track the materials and processes from the very starting point to the very end means that not only do you become more aware of all the processes involved and their value, but, if things go wrong or need to be altered, you can also more easily deconstruct and pull things back seamlessly without any major impact to anyone part of the supply chain. He concluded: “Manufacturing is about the constant movement of goods and materials and scaling those to meet ever-changing levels of order requirement. In theory the engine never stops; it’s constantly moving. So to minimise the risk of material flow ever stopping manufacturers need a level of visibility that is all-encompassing covering every process and work stream within the operation. By having visibility of this constant flow of materials manufacturers can make better and more accurate decisions and really engender this operational excellence that is now top of mind for many manufacturers.” Zebra Technologies will shortly be publishing a White Paper produced by technology analyst firm IDC defining five levels of plant floor visibility in the technologies that allow manufacturers to move up the maturity framework and achieve greater levels of visibility and control.

Today, we have reached the point where modern AIDC systems and Cloud-based technology can deliver real-world seamless visibility.




March 2014



V OICE technology

Success story

Gordon & MacPhail increases productivity by 50 per cent with BCP’s Voice WMS more than 50 countries worldwide.

And obviously the answer to all those questions was ‘yes’.”

Gordon & MacPhail owns Benromach Distillery on the outskirts of Forres. Established in 1898

The results

the distillery went through many changes of

A lot of planning and preparation was

ownership and closures before being ‘rescued’

undertaken before the implementation of

by Gordon & MacPhail, who purchased it in

Accord, with comprehensive information given

1993. The distillery was extensively re-equipped

out to staff and the system set up to operate in

over a five year period before it was officially

test mode to encourage user acceptance and

opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998. Finally,

bring staff on board. At actual go live there were

the company is one of the UK's leading

a few challenges to address, but, says

independent specialist wholesalers and

Urquhart: “working closely with the BCP team

distributors, stocking over 4500 products,

on site these were quickly ironed out and the

including an extensive portfolio of wines, spirits

system up and operational as planned.”

and UK specialist beers and ciders.

Neil Urquhart: “The main driver for bringing in a Voice system for our business was looking at excellence of service within our wholesaling operation.”

The requirements at Gordon & MacPhail are

The challenge

complex as the wholesale operation supplies a

“The main driver for bringing in a Voice system

range of different products to a range of

for our business was looking at excellence of

different customers across the UK. This could

service within our wholesaling operation,”

be one bottle of wine to a pub on a high street

explained Neil Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail’s

development, a pallet of one product to a

hisky specialist and wine

director of logistics & facilities, who headed up

national distribution centre for a multiple or a

and spirits merchant,

the project. The company was using a paper-

pallet of 250 different items, cases and bottles,

Gordon & MacPhail, claims

based system in the warehouse and looking to

to a specialist wine & spirit wholesaler.

that implementation of

modernise, improve efficiency and visibility and

BCP’s Accord Voice WMS at

to have the capacity to effectively handle future

Neil Urquhart: “We have a complex offering with

growth of the business.

over 4000 products which we sell in either full


its warehouse operation in Elgin, Scotland is successfully handling its complex requirements

cases, loose bottles or any combination

and delivering improvements across the whole

The solution

demanded and we needed a system that had

operation, including productivity increases of 50

Gordon & MacPhail undertook an intensive

the flexibility and functionality to accommodate

per cent.

selection process which turned out to be very

that complexity. Accord has proven well up to

competitive as it looked at a range of diverse

the job, having the functionality that allows us to

The family owned and managed firm of Gordon

Voice systems, with site visits to a mixture of

do all that and giving us the visibility and the

& MacPhail is located in Elgin, Scotland. The

different businesses around the UK to learn and

efficiencies we need to deliver exceptional

iconic retail shop on South Street still thrives

clearly understand both the advantages and

quality of service.”

today on the site where the business began in

potential pitfalls of investing in Voice. The

1895. Since those early days the company has

flexibility and functionality that came with the

One of the main benefits realised from the

grown significantly and has business interests

BCP system proved decisive, Gordon &

implementation of Accord Voice has been

as a bottler, exporter, distiller, and wholesaler.

MacPhail being won over by its ability to provide

increased productivity – a 50 per cent increase

a flexible, integrated warehouse management

in the number of cases picked per person and a

Since its foundation, Gordon & MacPhail’s policy

solution able to deliver proven Voice functionality

43 per cent increase in the number of lines per

has been to send casks to distilleries throughout

across the whole warehouse.

person – which Urquhart says, “has been really

Scotland, fill them with ‘new make’ spirit and

significant.” Picking accuracy was already good

mature them either at the distillery of origin or in

“Accord WMS was a big plus for us, but we also

at Gordon & MacPhail, but this has improved

the firm’s own bonded warehouses in Elgin. A

considered BCP as a company,” continued

further so now there is literally only the

world-leading malt whisky specialist, Gordon &

Urquhart. “Was this a company we wanted to

occasional inaccuracy and, says Urquhart,

MacPhail bottles more than 300 expressions of

deal with? Was the culture right? Did they

“With the Accord system we now have full

single malt whisky under various ranges –

understand us? Did we understand them?

visibility of exactly when there’s an order picked

selling them throughout the UK and exporting to

Could we forge a good working relationship?

and who picked it so if we do have picking





March 2014


Success story

V OICE technology

explained: “The new

Not only does the system help operators work

Voice system made us

more efficiently and more accurately, but it

actually challenge all of

means new staff and temporary staff can be

those exceptions, their

trained and picking orders much more quickly

relevancy and validity,

than with the old paper-based system, “while

and use instead the

the visibility that comes with the system means it

structure that comes with

is easy to monitor operators to ensure they

the Accord voice system

understand the system, measure their work rate

to help us streamline our

and accuracy – all extremely beneficial,” said

processes, work more


effectively and ultimately deliver a better service.”

With the system well bedded in the company is now looking at how it can take on more of the

The system has also

functionality within it in order to make full use of

errors occurring we can quickly identify exactly

allowed simplification and streamlining of

why they happened and go back, retrain and

administration behind the scenes and reporting

its investment.

minimise that happening in the future.”

on all the orders that have left the business so

Urquhart concluded: “The Accord Voice WMS

that Invoicing can be done promptly to improve

system was a significant investment for us as a

The Accord Voice system has also allowed

cash flow. Savings on paper costs alone are

business, but we were wanting to embrace

Gordon & MacPhail to streamline operations

running at £2000 a year. Staff have really bought

technology and wanting to bring in efficiencies

across the whole warehouse. The previous

in to the system and user acceptance is very

to our operations all contributing to delivering

paper based picking system had been in place

high, illustrated recently when the company

excellence of service and the Accord WMS

for quite some time and quite a few exceptions

asked the acid test question ‘if the Voice system

system is definitely meeting our expectations

and specific work arounds had been introduced

was switched off would you like to go back to

and delivering that platform for the future.” 

for handling particular orders. Urquhart

paper?’ The answer was a categoric ‘No’.

Visionary Solutions Wall-to-Wall Voice Directed Warehouse Computing Typical Benefits:‡ ‡ ‡

Improve Productivity - by up to 10% Reduce errors - by 80-90% Rapid payback in 6-12 months

Calculate your own expected payback with the Payback Calculator available from http://www.bcpsoftware.com/solutions/voice-technology-solutions/

%&3·VAccord suite of Voice modules delivers real-time voice control wall-to-wall across the warehouse, from goods in and picking through to labour scheduling and stock taking, as required. As the software authors we are able to tailor the solution to meet your precise needs. No requirement is too complex for us.

First UK wall-to-wall voice solution Business Computer Projects Ltd BCP House, 151 Charles Street, Stockport, Cheshire SK1 3JY. T: +44 (0) 161 355 3000 F: + 44 (0) 161 355 3001 E: accord@bcpsoftware.com www.bcpsoftware.com

Join our social networks




Business Computer Projects



March 2014



V OICE technology


Clicking up the pressure With growing competition for online customers, the smart investment is in the warehouse, writes Richard Adams, VP EMEA, Vocollect. here will it end? Asda’s


‘click and collect’ service with delivery points at

Vocollect’s Talkman A700 solution.

London tube stations has turned up the heat on the

competition yet another notch when it was first announced late last year. Since then, Tesco and Waitrose have both announced that they too will deliver to homecoming commuters – to which Asda has replied that it is expanding its service to even more stations in the capital. So where will the big supermarkets go next to differentiate their brands and services? The logistics industry awaits more news with bated breath. Each promise to customers puts more pressure on the supply chain. Asda’s expansion demonstrates click and collect’s popularity with customers – yet for back-operations need to ramp up to

retailers and their logistics partners it brings more challenges.

New level of efficiency

It’s a similar pattern of escalation across

So click and collect,

online shopping and delivery as a whole.

combined with

After all ‘next-day delivery’ began as a

expectations of next-day – or

and subsequent returns. Neither is there

premium service. When we went shopping

in the case of Asda’s new

room for bad planning or poor resourcing

online during the working day it was

service – same-day delivery,

comfortably achievable. However, now the

means warehouse

use of mobile devices means we can shop on

operations must

the way home from work and ‘second screen’

be faultless.

while watching television, so activity peaks in

Every time a

At the same time,

the evening. Customers still expect the ultra-

retailer makes

these days,

fast delivery they’ve got used to, but the

a new

warehouse and

window left for the warehouse to fulfil their

promise to


orders is diminishing.



another new level of efficiency. In other words, there’s no slack anywhere to cover inaccurate orders

with warehouse staff under-employed in some areas and stretched to capacity elsewhere.

almost need

Richard Adams: “Customers still expect the ultra-fast delivery they’ve got used to, but the window left for the warehouse to fulfil their orders is diminishing.”





March 2014

clairvoyance to get it right. With only a matter of hours between



V OICE technology

orders being received and delivery they must

counting, receiving, loading, put-away,

example, manage receiving tasks in the

foresee changing buying trends and ensure

replenishment and put-to-store.

morning, order pick for much of the day and

they always have the capacity to fulfil shifting business volumes.

finish up replenishing or loading – all

Real-time view

supported by the same intuitive Voice-

The simple directive nature of Voice

directed link to the host system.

Absolute accuracy

instruction, means workers now have the tools

An alternative is to build a workforce agile

to work across multiple processes, so can be

Retailers obviously need to attract custom in

enough move to where in the warehouse it is

used wherever they are needed. Shift

the first place by continually improving their

needed – and still work with absolute accuracy on the task in hand. But even this can be difficult without expensive and timeconsuming training. Many retailers and their third-party logistics

Retailers obviously need to attract custom in the first place by continually improving their service. Even so, the speed at which they keep upping their game with click and collect is breath-taking.”

managers get a real-

service. Even so, the speed at which they

time view of progress so

keep upping their game with click and collect

are able to plan and

is breath-taking.

allocate resources more appropriately.

Accuracy and agility Yet the smart investment is not in the

In this way, Voice

customer-facing side – but in what happens

technology is also the

after the click. It’s only by ensuring both

answer to streamlining

accuracy and agility in the warehouse that

those traditional work

retailers can continue to honour their ever

providers have adopted Voice technology in

patterns. Because training times for new tasks

response to such challenges. These systems

are dramatically reduced, workers can, for

more demanding commitments. 

are currently critical to many click and collect operations, including those offering next- and same-day delivery and fulfilling late-night

Vocollect at a glance

pledges. They are enabling a 20 per cent lift

Vocollect by Honeywell is the leading provider of innovative Voice-enabled workflow and data collection solutions that help companies with mobile workers run a better business. Together with a global team of over 2000 Vocollect certified professionals, Vocollect enables companies to save more than US $20 billion annually by further optimising operations, improving business decision capabilities and delivering the industry’s premier worker experience to nearly one million mobile workers who process more than US $5 billion of products every day in challenging industrial environments. Vocollect integrates with all major WMS and ERP systems and supports the industry’s leading handheld computing devices.

in productivity while ensuring accuracy rates of up to 99.9 per cent. Voice technology is obviously ideal for manually-intensive tasks such as order processing, but many warehouses are now also extending its use to include cycle-




March 2014



V OICE technology

Company news

Voiteq extends global presence with Teknix France oiteq, the UK supplier of Voice-


middleware solution that we have

directed warehousing solutions,

with our Voice-Man application,

has acquired a majority stake in

which is very popular in the UK.

Teknix sarl, one of France's

Teknix could immediately see the

fastest growing Voice providers.

value of this solution and, like us,

The acquisition is part of a continued market

knew that working together we had

expansion strategy to grow in Europe and

a great opportunity to introduce

North America. The French organisation will

Voice-Man into the French market.”

be known as Voiteq-Teknix and will be part of the Centriq Group. Both companies already

Combined forces

provide solutions based on Vocollect Voice

Stanhope continued: “Now, with

technology. With Voiteq having the largest

the acquisition, we have a team of

number of Vocollect certified Voice

almost 80 people dedicated to

professionals in the world, the merged

Voice and Voice applications

organisation will form one of the biggest and

within the Centriq Group. Our

most experienced Voice providers in Europe.

combined forces as Voiteq-Teknix and extended portfolio, means that

David Stanhope, CEO of Voiteq, provided the

we can offer our customers in the

background to the development: “We met

UK and France as well as other

Teknix for the first time about a year ago we

countries across Mainland Europe,

liked the people, the way they worked with

a range of solutions and services

their customers and their overall business

that are some of the very best in

culture very much indeed. We also knew their

the Voice sector.”

solutions were a great fit for the Voiteq family

David Stanhope: Looking forward to the opportunities that the acquisition will bring.

of products, and we knew the company itself

Rémy Meulins, managing director

would be very advantageous for us from the

of Teknix, added: “There are many

point of view of spreading the reach of our

opportunities to expand our business within

and the merger gives us access to their

solutions into other territories.

France and we believe that merging with a

solutions, resources and experience;

larger, highly experienced Voice provider will

consolidating our position as one of the

“Another advantage was that, like Voiteq in

help us to maximise those opportunities. As

leading Voice providers in France. This will

the UK and North America, Teknix had been a

soon as we met with the Voiteq team we knew

help us to provide even better solutions,

Vocollect reseller in France for a number of

that we would work well together.” Both

service and support to our customers and will

years. In terms of solutions, they have

companies can now offer their customers a

enable us to bring the benefits of Voice to

developed a ‘Screen-to-Voice’ solution called

broader set of proven Voice solutions. Teknix’

more markets and organisations.”

Teknix TDC which effectively converts screen-

TDC ‘Screen-to-Voice’ software enables

based instructions to Voice-based

organisations using screen-based mobile

Stanhope concluded: “We are looking forward

instructions. This is something we didn’t have

devices to rapidly and easily add Voice to

to the opportunities that the acquisition will

– at least to a comparable level – within our

their operations. Voiteq’s Voice-Man intelligent

bring. With the combination of our skills,

own portfolio and it fits very well with what we

execution system offers customers advanced,

knowledge, product mix and geographical

already offer customers. In fact, we are

optimised Voice-directed warehouse

reach, customers and prospects alike will

already talking to customers in the UK about

processes and analytics to maximise the

benefit from our industry best-practices. This

how we can bring them more benefits by

business benefit available from Voice.”

is a very exciting time for both Voiteq and Teknix, and we look forward to growing our

using this system. Meulins continued: “Voiteq has already shown “Teknix didn’t have the same functionally-rich





March 2014

business and solutions together.” 

that they can grow a Voice business quickly




WITH VOCOLLECT YOU CAN MAKE BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS. A well-run warehouse is visible right to the top of your operation. Vocollect Voice gives you the real-time accountability and reporting that your customers demand, allowing you to run a better, faster and more efficient business. See what Vocollect can do for you at www.vocollect.co.uk

Run a Better Business with Voice™

by Honeywell

Warehouse Management



Experience matters when planning e-commerce for 3PL MACS Software has provided WMS systems for over 21 years and has been involved in ecommerce right from the start. Here, managing director Tony Liddar comments on the ways in which software providers should be helping their 3PL clients compete in an increasingly competitive world. getting it wrong are severe with anything but perfection being unacceptable.

Tony Liddar: "Innovation is always necessary but it must be built upon a solid foundation of tried and trusted methods that will not break down under pressure."

n recent years the 3PL sector has undergone fundamental changes resulting from the increasing power and capability offered by e-commerce. Today, even companies still classified as SMEs can be processing 10-15,000 orders a day. The rewards for those who get it right can be impressive allowing SMEs to compete head on with the big fulfilment houses and enjoy tremendous growth; but the consequences of

I 46




March 2014

time to be developing everything from scratch no matter how unusual the application."

Creating the software to handle this type of throughput, whether business to business or business to consumer (dropship) is tricky. Making that software robust and future-proof, requires skill and experience. The demands on today's 3PL companies do not allow for compromise. "They have to deliver first time, every time," said Liddar. "Not doing so can result in the disproportionate costs of handling returns, being demoted in rank by their principals, being badly scored by consumers on the internet, or even the loss of a client. Get it wrong and you don't get a second chance."


Essentials for e-commerce WMS The essentials for an e-commerce WMS are straightforward but must be executed with precision. It must have the ability to merge all the order channels, speed the picking process, ensure zero defect picking, smooth dispatch through interfaces with a variety of carriers, and link the whole process with the incumbent ERP or accounts system. "The key to achieving this, as a standard, is to use experience," remarked Liddar. "Innovation is always necessary but it must be built upon a solid foundation of tried and trusted methods that will not break down under pressure."

Moving into e-commerce was new for us, so we really appreciated MACS's understanding, flexibility and knowledge. The guys get what we are doing and constantly come up with new ideas to help us." – Darren Yull, MSE Group

Conversely, time to market is important too. "Many of our clients require us to work fast to meet the needs of a new contract. If they fail to be ready on time, or miss any of their KPIs, they can be fined, or worse. There just isn't

But that's not where the process stops. Ecommerce suppliers need the support of their


Warehouse Management



technology partners as well. There's no point in just setting up a system and leaving the client to manage the change. As a company grows it will need to evolve and its IT systems will need to change with it so that it continues to meet its customers' demands. "As a company's throughput grows it's not just the WMS that needs to evolve, other software systems can sometimes feel the strain. We were recently able to make suggestions to a client whose company experienced a system slow down due to their accounts package." Liddar continued to explain that 3PL customers often need to converse on a technical level with their 'downstream' customers' IT personnel and it's often easier for a member of the MACS team to become involved to ensure a quick and robust conclusion. "That way the final customer has confidence that its IT staff will find it easy to work with the 3PL supplier, via MACS if necessary." Darren Yull is the head of IT for MSE Group, the global entertainment distributor that handles up to 30,000 orders a day using MACS software. He said that the use of ecommerce systems from MACS had completely changed the way the business works and agrees that it is experience that really makes the difference. "Moving into ecommerce was new for us, so we really appreciated MACS's understanding, flexibility and knowledge. The guys get what we are doing and constantly come up with new ideas to help us."

Holistic approach Liddar feels very strongly that e-commerce should not be a bolt-on extra to an existing system, it should be inherent within it. "Having a holistic approach to the strategic development of software is surely the best approach. In my world there is no difference between traditional warehousing procedures and e-commerce. Moving from 100 orders per

week to 100,000 orders per week, the management of consolidated orders to individual depots with separate billing addresses, 'dropship' orders, the management of consignment stock and demand forecasting/purchase ordering to multi choice couriers, it's all standard." However despite the level of sophistication of the 'standard' system the software supplier cannot stand still with its own development. It's a continuous process to optimise the software, predict what the industry will want next and lead the market if possible. Each aspect takes many weeks of development but is essential to ensure that customers stay ahead of the game. "One area we have been working hard on recently is stock valuation," said Liddar. "Some stock, such as CDs and books, becomes obsolete very quickly. Our system offers robust analysis mechanisms that can deal with continual changes in pricing to ensure the seller makes accurate decisions about its sales pricing and margins." The obligation of an e-commerce supplier is to provide security of outcome. What should happen must happen, every time. According to Tony Liddar, the way to achieve that is by calling upon experience. “Short cuts and quick fixes rarely work.� 




March 2014




Product news

Transporeon unveils

new Android app for real-time tracking

ransporeon will present Mobile Order Management to industry professionals for the first time at Multimodal 2014 in Birmingham 29th April - 1st May 2014. This state-of-the-art Android app for carriers neatly closes communication gaps over the last mile – across fleets and even across many different transport service providers.


“The Transporeon platform offers shippers and carriers a comprehensive, well thoughtout system that significantly reduces their everyday workload. Time slot management, Transport Assignment, Transport Visibility – everything is web-based and transparent, without media discontinuities,” explained David Williamson, UK key account manager at Transporeon. “Up to now, however, this system only reached as far as the carrier's scheduler. With the new Mobile Order Management app we've gone one step further – right to the end of the delivery chain. This user-friendly Android app allows us to include drivers as well. This is the first such integrated, cross-fleet system of its type on the market.”

Innovative solution for communication over the last mile When a shipper activates Mobile Order Management (MOM) in the Transporeon solution, everything is very easy for carriers: they create their vehicles on the Transporeon platform, and their drivers receive a text message with a download link and can download the MOM app onto any Android smartphone. The app is self-explanatory and solves many problems that otherwise occur over the last mile. The carrier can assign the driver freight orders via MOM, query the vehicle's current location and display it on an interactive map. The driver can use the phone's camera to document how the load is secured, the unloading location or any damage to the goods. The recipient's signature on the





March 2014

smartphone serves as a kind of electronic delivery note. This is all assigned to the freight order on the platform and stored in an audit-proof archive system. Carriers and shippers thus benefit from an end-to-end electronic system that eliminates the need for most conventional paper documentation.

Know where the vehicle is at all times Mobile Order Management significantly improves communication between shippers, carriers and consignees in practice. The most common question that occurs during deliveries – where is the vehicle at the moment? – can be answered with a click by all involved, including the shipper's dispatcher. The GPS positioning system can also be used for the purpose of geofencing, in which an area with a certain radius can be defined around the delivery location, for example. When the vehicle crosses this ‘fence’, a notification is sent automatically. This tells the shipper, carrier's scheduler and customer that the vehicle will soon be arriving. E-mail notifications can be sent when trips are not running smoothly.

A picture says more than a thousand words In addition to the geotracking function, the pilot customers particularly appreciated the photographic documentation feature. Kurt Münk, head of freight management at Knauf Gips KG, explained: “We deliver our products to construction sites on a just-intime basis. But sometimes there is nobody there to receive the goods at the agreed (Above) The new Mobile Order Management Android app links drivers to the Transporeon platform. You can use a smartphone camera to document how the load is secured (Right) and have the shipper confirm it with a signature. The photograph and signature are assigned to the transport order automatically and stored in an audit-proof archiving system.


Product news


time. By taking a photograph, we are able to document where and in what condition we have left the goods. In any disagreements with the consignee, a picture often says more than a thousand words.” Williamson summarised the benefits of MOM: “Mobile Order Management allows shippers and carriers to improve their customer service, above all through real-time tracking. All processes are electronic, right through to the delivery note, which reduces paperwork, the workload generally – and thus costs as well. In addition, photographic documentation offers greater assurance to all involved.” n

The Transporeon Group at a glance The Transporeon Group links manufacturers, hauliers and retailers, with companies that provide logistics services. Based in Ulm and Kempten, the group runs the elogistics Transporeon-platform, the e-tendering Ticontract-platform and the Mercareon-platform, for retailers and wholesalers. The Group's platforms currently link over 850 shippers, 40,000 carriers and 100,000 users in more than 80 countries. These efficient, user-friendly Web-based solutions facilitate tendering, transport assignment, time slot booking, and tracking and tracing. Established in the year 2000, today the Transporeon Group is a European market leader in the e-logistics segment and is increasing its market share in Asia and the USA. In 2013, with around 330 employees, the group generated revenues of 34 million euros.

Mobile Order Management calculates the expected time of arrival at the consignee on the basis of GPS and route planning. If the vehicle is on time, the status indicator is green (see image right). If there are delays it is not just the driver who is informed; the shipper and carrier's scheduler also receive an e-mail alert.

Customer service at its best with MOM Mobile Order Management  complete and transparent track & trace  Ɖ  ĂƉĞƌůĞƐƐĐŽŵŵƵŶŝĐĂƟŽŶ   to the last mile  pictures and signatures covering delivered goods For us, MOMŝƐƚŚĞŵŽƐƚŝŵƉŽƌ ƚĂŶƚŝŶŶŽǀĂƟŽŶ ŝŶƚŚĞƚƌĂŶƐƉŽƌ ƚĂŶĚůŽŐŝƐƟĐƐŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJ͘dŚĞĂƉƉ ŽīĞƌƐĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞƚƌĂŶƐƉĂƌĂŶĐLJ͕ĞǀĞŶĨŽƌƚŚĞůĂƐƚŵŝůĞ͊ ^ĐŽƩtŽŽĚƐ͕ ^ƵƉƉůLJŚĂŝŶŝƌĞĐƚŽƌ





March 2014





To subscribe to either print or digital version please scan and e-mail this form to info@LogisticsIT.com - or go on-line at http://www.logisticsit.com/subscribe Do you wish to continue to receive Manufacturing and Logistics IT Magazine : yes  no  Print  or Digital 

Section 1

Your Details

Please complete in all cases

Name .............................................................................................................................................................................................. Company ...................................................................................................................................................................................... Job title.......................................................................................................................................................................................... Address ........................................................................................................................................................................................ .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Tel: ........................................................................................ Fax: .............................................................................................. E-mail: ............................................................................................................................................................................................

Section 2 Job Function

(Tick one box only)

Corporate management 

IT management

Operations / Production 

Sales / Marketing 


Warehousing / Inventory 


Other , please specify .................................................................................................................... 

Section 3 Business Function Manufacturer / Producer  Transport / Logistics 

(Tick all boxes that apply)

Food / Drink 



Warehouse / Distribution 

Consultant / Education 


Agriculture / Construction 

Other , please specify ...................................................................................... 

Signature .................................................................................... Date ...................................................... Only signed and dated forms can be accepted




MARCH 2014




SCAN ME NOW www.emea.zebra.com/zt200


DESIGNED WITH YOU IN MIND When you need a feature-rich printer, but want it to be compact, affordable and easy to use, the ZT200 series is the ideal choice. Replacing the S4M™ series, the ZT220™ and ZT230™ printers are so straightforward, you’ll get great results with no fuss. The intuitive user interface means little or no training is needed, and media changes are quick and easy thanks to a side-loading design and colour-coded media path.

So whatever barcode labels you’re printing, and whoever’s printing them, the versatile and reliable ZT200 series printers are a compelling choice.

ZEBRA® ZT200 SERIES PRINTERS Find out more, or see the range at www.emea.zebra.com/zt200 Telephone +44 (0)1628 556000 Email mseurope@zebra.com ©2012 ZIH Corp. All product names and numbers are Zebra trademarks, and Zebra and representation of Zebra Head are registered trademarks of ZIH Corp. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Profile for First Sight Graphics

Manufacturing and Logistics IT - March 2014  

Manufacturing and Logistics IT - March 2014  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded