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DECEMBER 2014

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

Special Technology Report: BIG DATA

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Ne ws

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Do wn lo a & d L

Interviews Case studies New products to market

M an uf ac tu rin g

Also in this issue:

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NE W ap

Report Round-up: SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT PRINTING & LABELLING AIDC/MOBILE COMPUTING TRANSPORT MANAGEMENT

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In with the new Welcome to the last edition of Manufacturing & Logistics IT for 2014 – our annual reference guide edition featuring a range of leading vendor profiles in addition to the regular technology sections. So, as one year comes to pass, I thought it would be timely to consider what could lie just around the corner as 2015 beckons. Ovum has predicted enterprise mobility to be top of the CIO agenda. The analyst organisation adds that consumerisation (i.e. the impact of technology designed first and foremost for consumers) has driven the enterprise mobility market over the past few years, and Ovum has identified a number of key trends in mobile consumerisation that will likely have the biggest impact on businesses in 2015. One of these is that the ‘mobility mismatch’ between employers and employees will persist, even as enterprise IT departments get to grips with consumerisation. For example, the rate of bring your own device (BYOD) behaviour (i.e. employees using personal devices to access corporate data) continues to grow, but it is not being embraced by IT at nearly the same rate. Ovum also comments that more businesses will increasingly think beyond BYOD – the distinction is formal versus informal and managed versus unmanaged. Informal (unmanaged and largely unrecognised) BYOD usage is expected slowly to be displaced by a more managed approach, due to the introduction of more formal support models for employee-liable connections and devices in larger companies, as device management solutions for smartphones mature. On a more negative note, Forrester findings predict that 60 per cent of brands will discover a breach of sensitive data during 2015. According to the analyst, at least 60 per cent of brands will discover a breach of sensitive data in 2015, with the actual number of breached entities being as high as 80 per cent or more. What's more, most firms are also anticipated to botch the responses, and we could quickly see substantial fines and lawsuits become the norm. Why? Forrester finds that only 21 per cent of global security technology decision-makers report that improving incident response is a critical priority. However, there is some good news within the realms of data security. In the battle to win, serve, and retain customers, data security and privacy can be a key competitive differentiator, according to Forrester. The analyst organisation comments that privacy abuses and intentional or accidental breaches of sensitive data undermine the trust relationship between an enterprise and its customers. It adds that if your customers don't trust a brand to rigorously protect and genuinely respect their sensitive data, they will take their business elsewhere.

Ed Holden Editor

Another anticipated development over a slightly longer timeline, highlighted by Gartner, is that more than 50 per cent of users are expected to use a tablet PC or smartphone first for all online activities by 2018. Mobile devices are increasingly becoming the first go-to device for communications and content consumption, according to Gartner. In the emerging economies, users are adopting smartphones as their exclusive mobile devices while in developed economies, multi-device households are becoming the norm, with tablets growing at the fastest rate of any computing device. As such, Gartner predicts that, by 2018, over half of users will go to a tablet or smartphone first for all online activities. And there can be little doubt that we will continue to hear about further developments from the world of Big Data. Indeed, this has become such a keen area of discussion that we have dedicated eight pages of this edition to investigating this phenomenon in depth. The team at Manufacturing & Logistics IT sincerely hope you find this report – as well as the other content contained herein – interesting, thought-provoking and of value to your business. Moving on to more festive thoughts, it only remains for all of us at MLIT to wish you an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas and New Year. We look forward to engaging with you again in March, but, of course, in the meantime we will continue to report on trends within the manufacturing and IT space at www.logisticsit.com

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IT December 2014

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

Special Technology Report 5

Editor: Ed Holden

Big Data

Manufacturing 14

Contributors:

Infor: A mixed forecast: the new norm for Cloud

Paul Carreiro, Infor

Exel: EFACS provides cast-iron benefits for MRT Castings

Barry Drummond, DynaSys

Gartner: 4.9 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use in 2015

David Taylor, Zebra Technologies Europe Tim Eusterman, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility Darrel Williams, Honeywell Vocollect Solutions

Special Technology Report 20

Publisher: Dean Taylor

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management

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

24

DynaSys: Looking at the wider planning picture with IBP

Printing & Labelling

Production: Carolyn Pither

28

Zebra Technologies Europe: UDI makes its mark SATO strengthens print engine line-up, delivering exceptional throughput and easy operation

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

Epson Europe: The fear factor can stifle competitive edge

IT Manager: Ian Curtis

Special Technology Report

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

Printing & Labelling

Automatic Data Capture 38

Honeywell Scanning & Mobility: The Perfect Service Visit – optimising the customer value equation

Special Technology Report 40

AIDC/Mobile Computing

Voice 44

Honeywell Vocollect Solutions: Warehouse Automation – 3 reasons why you shouldn’t fear your job

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. No liability is accepted for any action arising from the contents of this publication; readers are advised to check any manufacturer’s or supplier’s claim for products. The publishers do not endorse opinions expressed in any article by an outside contributor. While every care is taken over photographs and illustrations, which are returned when requested, no liability can be assumed by the publishers for the loss of such materials.

Voiteq: All I want for Christmas is the perfect pallet

Warehouse Management 50

Visit Vanderlande at LogiMAT 2015

Special Technology Report 52

ISSN:1463-1172

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Transport Management


Big Data

Special technology report

Going large Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading analysts and vendors about Big Data, asking questions such as: how should the term be defined, what are the current key discussion points, what are the main benefits to the user and what can we look forward to in the near future with regard to further development?

ithin the data and analytics

W

Honeywell Scanning and Mobility, considers that

sphere, no term has attracted

Big Data can have a very different meaning

as much attention and

depending on its purpose and how it is used.

The rise of ‘non-traditional’ data

debate as Big Data over the

“What we call Big Data today might not be

However, as Gupta explains, the above generic

past two or three years.

considered as such in a year,” he reflected.

definition does not identify the specific

However, before we look to investigate the

However, he added that, in his view, probably

advantages that Big Data brings to the supply

benefits of what Big Data can offer companies

the most common definition of Big Data is the

chain. “Big Data is important in the modern

within the manufacturing, logistics and retail

gathering and storing of large chunks of

connected world as the collection of ‘non-

sectors, it seems only logical to get as firm a

information which can be analysed and

traditional’ data increases; information vital to

grasp as possible on the meaning, or meanings,

repurposed. “This information is very valuable for

accurate business decision-making can be

of the term, and then develop the discussion

businesses as it often gives crucial insights into

found not only in transactional data collection

from this vantage point.

market trends and customer behavior,” he said.

methods, but even more so in imagers, machine

“It is especially useful for the logistics and retail

vision, sensors, and scanners,” she said.

Dwight Klappich, research VP at Gartner:

industry, often predicting potential customer

Gartner, defines Big Data as high-volume, high-

questions, which in turn enables businesses to

Gupta added that the machines that produce

velocity and high-variety information assets that

provide the correct answer immediately – usually

these non-traditional data sets are now more

demand cost-effective, innovative forms of

before the question is even asked.”

than ever connected to one another in what is

information processing for enhanced insight and

called the Internet of Things (IoT). “The IoT

decision making. “Supply chain organisations

Defined generally, Richa Gupta, senior analyst

allows for continuous, real-time data transactions

have long been awash in data but lacked the

at VDC Research, comments that Big Data is

between devices such as barcode scanners and

tools to exploit this information to rapidly make

simply a set of data too large to be stored and

mobile computers,” she explained. “In many

better informed business decisions,” he said.

managed using traditional processes. She

ways, data capture solutions are facilitating the

“The emergence of new generations of analytical

points out that Oracle breaks down Big Data

Big Data phenomenon that then helps streamline

tools allows SCM organisations to move beyond

into three general categories: traditional

operational processes. For example, FedEx’s

simple after the fact reporting of what happened

enterprise data, social data, and machine-

SenseAware platform combines location

to using these to dig into why things happened

generated and/or sensor data. Gupta adds that

solutions (GPS) with temperature readings and

and to predict what might happen and what the

data capture technology contributes to the

real-time notifications if a shipment has been

results will or should be in the future.”

collection of this third category of data –

opened or exposed to light. FedEx is able to

machine-generated data – especially in retail,

analyse these data sets in order to rectify

logistics, and supply chain environments.

inefficiencies that would have been left

Rafael Hernandez, EMEAI Industry Marketing,

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Richa Gupta, senior analyst auto-ID & data capture,

Big Data

unidentified had the

the fourth ‘V’ stands for veracity, because we

time-consuming from a labour perspective, as

data not been

are often dealing with data sets that might be

well as being very expensive; they were the main

available. The IoT

incomplete, while still offering up considerable

pain points.”

uses AIDC technology

value to the user. However, Hughes-Rowlands

to provide continuous

believes that over time the phrase Big Data is

From there, Nejmeldeen pointed out that it

real-time data in all

going to continue to be something that means

moved beyond basic data management

parts of the supply

different things to various groups of people

whereby users could access and add data as

chain, facilitating

based on their different perspectives and

required. “Things developed to the extent that

optimisation. When

business needs.

data could be leveraged to ‘tell us things’,” he

combined with Big

said. “That’s really where a lot of the original

Data-driven platforms

While not necessarily an ‘official’ definition, Tony

business intelligence (BI) came from. The BI user

such as SenseAware,

Baer, principal analyst at Ovum, considers that

experience was really about being able to

scanners and sensors

Big Data could be referred to as the different

visualise and then describe the data, allowing

can be used to assure

types of data that companies often used to use

users then to be able to understand why there

visibility, traceability and quality control at all

just once, but potentially now have the

was, for example, a loss in sales at a particular

steps in the supply chain. These traits contribute

opportunity to leverage greater advantage from

point in time, or why things were erratic in a way

to successful short-term and long-term business

in the form of greater levels of analytics. Baer

that they didn’t necessarily understand at face

decisions.”

makes the point that operational data has

value. So, really it was about better diagnostics

historically been used to do things such as

and the ability of a typical user to be able to

register that a system is working properly or

access the type of valuable data they had never

New insights

prepare a customer’s bill. “Beyond that this is

seen before that played a big part in the Big

Carl Wiper, senior policy officer at ICO, reflects

data that businesses really didn’t have the

Data story.”

that it is difficult to produce a watertight

capability to collect, clean, store, analyse and

definition of Big Data. “This is because it’s really

aggregate in an effective and economical way

Nejmeldeen added that the term Big Data then

a phenomenon, rather than a specific

before,” he said.

started being applied, especially within Healthcare in the US, within the context of

technology,” he said. However, he added that it is normally explained in terms of the ‘three Vs’ –

According to Baer, another definition refers to

unstructured data, comprising a lot of information

volume, variety and velocity of data. In addition,

data that is coming at an order of magnitude that

available in different forms, and often not very

Wiper comments that the use of multiple

previously wasn’t easily accommodated by

easy to access. However, he added that, today,

algorithms to find correlations, the tendency to

traditional SQL-type relational databases. “By

more and more data in Healthcare has to be

use ‘all the data’ rather than a sample and the

being able to access and manage greater

searchable, including video data, so these many

repurposing of datasets are notable features of

volumes of data in faster, efficient and affordable

pieces of information are now feeding the

Big Data analytics. “Big Data analytics have the

ways, companies now have the opportunity to

definition of Big Data within Healthcare.

potential to provide new insights, and promote

take different approaches in order to improve

innovation and the development of improved,

business processes,” he remarked. As an

more finely tuned services,” remarked Wiper.

example, Baer added that Big Data might

Multiple sources

“As the regulator for data protection, the

enable companies to ask different questions;

The last definition outlined by Nejmeldeen –

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is

questions that could move them towards some

which is one Infor has been largely focusing on –

interested in Big Data when it involves the use

of the goals they already have, but in a more

is the realisation that users have data coming

of personal data. We want to make sure that the

effective way through utilising a methodology

from multiple sources. “This data is usable,

benefits of Big Data don’t come at the expense

that gives them a business and operational edge

although not always very connected,” he said.

of privacy and trust.

as opposed to taking traditional routes.

“However, if you piece it all together it can tell you a lot about what you should be doing in order to improve your business and operational

In a similar vein, Richard Hughes-Rowlands, EMEA product marketing, Zebra Technologies

Genesis

Europe, comments that one of the standard

Dr. Ziad Nejmeldeen, head of Infor Dynamic

ways of defining the term Big Data is to think of it

Science Labs, comments that there are at least

So Big Data may mean you have a large amount

as divisible in terms of the ‘Four Vs’. He goes on

three or four major current definitions of Big Data.

of data, it might mean it requires some very

to explain that the first ‘V’ refers to the volume of

“The concept began with the creation of a

serious computational power, but it may also

data because of the sheer amount that is now

hardware infrastructure as well as the arrival of

mean that you have a manageable amount of

available. The second ‘V’ stands for velocity,

computer power that was able to process much

data but the data is all very disparate meaning

which refers to the sheer amount of changing

greater levels of data than before,” he explained.

you need to find a way to make all the different

data. The third ‘V’ stands for variety, which points

“That stage really was the genesis of Big Data.

types of data talk to one another in order to get

to the large number of different data types. Then

Before then, using and managing data was more

the best answers and recommendations.”

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Big Data

Special technology report

Therefore, from a Big

making using analytics as 6 and 7 on a 1 to 7

come to the fore. “This is because companies

Data technology

scale (7 is the most important and 1 is the least

don’t want to share all available data sources

provider perspective,

important). “This underscores how important

with all their partners,” he remarked. “It needs

Nejmeldeen maintains

supply chain analytics is to support fact-based

to be selective, relevant and within the

that there needs to be

supply chain decisions,” he remarked.

boundaries of necessary levels of security,

a team on the science

confidentiality together with legal

side who can do that

Hernandez considers that the ability to gather so

responsibility. Therefore, there needs to be

at the back-end, plus

much information about customer behaviour and

well-defined ways of sharing what is relevant

a team that is able to

industry trends can be invaluable, especially in

and appropriate depending on the needs and

visualise how to make

such competitive industries as logistics and

rights of different parties within the integrated

all these different

retail. However, he adds that gathering and

supply chain.”

sources of data

storing this data does not provide any long-term

accessible in an easy-

impact. “It’s the analysis of this information that

One of the things Nejmeldeen finds interesting

to-use and meaningful way. “Within Infor, this is

gives the competitive advantage – it helps to

about the position of Dynamic Science Labs

where Hook & Loop comes in,” he explained.

predict what the customer wants and exceed his

within Infor is this group does not sit within any

“Hook & Loop has been thinking about this issue

expectations,” he said.

one of the particular product areas or within

Richard HughesRowlands, EMEA product marketing,

of disparate sources of data and how to create a

any specific target industry sector. “So as we

user interface that allows users to move from one

hear problems from a set of customers in one

data source to another as easily, seamlessly and

Connectivity

micro-industry, this allows us to think about

intuitively as possible.”

Hernandez made the point that gathering and

how that same problem, in terms of how we

analysing this information often requires multiple

approach it from a solution standpoint, could

devices in different locations; therefore

be used somewhere entirely differently,” he

Enriching the use of traditional applications

connectivity and access to real-time information

said. “If you look at something like inventory

is crucial. “Different resource platforms have to

optimisation the things that hospitals care

Moving on to some of the key talking points

be communally linked, even connected with

about are going to be different to the things

within the Big Data arena, Baer believes Big

ERPs from other factors in the supply chain,” he

that retailers or manufacturers care about.

Data is going to help enrich how companies

said. “The information gathered using these

Whether it’s about maximising profit or service

benefit from their traditional applications. He

platforms has to be swiftly analysed and fed

level, or quality of care in hospital, certainly

maintains that from the results of deeper levels

further into the business. This in turn influences

you have different objectives. Nevertheless, in

of analysis through the medium of Big Data,

demand planning which affects the supply chain

terms of the underlying mathematics and the

companies could potentially craft improved

and logistic process.”

way we go about solving these problems, and

strategies with regard to inventory forecasting,

in terms of some of the fundamental data

logistics planning and so on. “The analytics that

Hughes-Rowlands believes that as Big Data

that’s required to do that, many user

companies perform using Big Data can help

methodologies become increasingly well-

requirements relate to the same type of

them to fine-tune or more radically change

defined, practical and actionable,

solution metrics. So it allows us to think about

some of the strategies that they would

standardisation issues related to increased

creating a solution that we can then leverage

otherwise have to plan by using their traditional

levels of security and the sharing of data will

multiple times in multiple industries.”

systems,” he said. Klappich points out that Gartner conducts an annual supply chain management technology ‘user wants and needs’ study. “When companies were asked about the importance of different supply chain initiatives to their organisations in the next year, companies identified building endto-end visibility and enhancing decision making with analytics as their top two initiatives,” he said. “Given that end-to-end is only achieved through descriptive, diagnostic or predictive analytics this means that Big Data analytics ranks as one of the most important initiatives to supply chain organisations over the next year.” Additionally, Klappich explains that more than 60 per cent of the respondents ranked enhancing decision

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Big Data

today Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides for

up the customer’s call quickly to knowing what

Drivers for development

companies such as Infor very effectively. “So,

customers want by being involved in things like

In terms of some of the main drivers behind the

finally solutions can now be built that can not

social media.”

development of Big Data, a Gartner study found

only make predictions but can also evaluate all

that 89 per cent of respondents felt that supply

the possibilities under those predictions, and

chain complexity was going to increase over the

make valuable recommendations,” he said.

Intelligence at the point of interaction

next several years, with 47 per cent of those saying complexity would increase significantly.

According to Hernandez, developments in Automatic Data Collection have been key in the

and competitive pressures along with

The right type of presentation

globalisation were sighted as key things driving

However, when these optimisation solutions are

connectivity and intelligence at the point of

increased complexity which if not managed

in place and in the hands of end-users,

interaction. “Several years ago, we felt highly

properly can drive up the costs of doing

Nejmeldeen’s concern is that they may not

satisfied identifying an asset by a barcode,” he

business as well as increasing business risk.

understand where Infor’s recommendations are

remembered. “The barcode was read by a

While under-performing companies often look to

coming from. Moreover, he adds that even

scanner, and this serial number transmitted to a

reduce complexity, leaders said that exploiting

though the company could claim to be using a

computer: the asset was identified. Now, we

complexity is a potential source of competitive

particular piece of software, there are so many

have intelligent tags that not only give us a serial

advantage. “These companies look to Big Data

overrides that users could make. “After all, at the

number, but also a full traceability report with

and analytics to help them determine where to

end of the day they have to justify to their bosses

historic data including the interaction with

go leveraging information to make faster and

why they made a certain decision,” he said, “so

temperature or shock sensors. Information is

more informed business decision where

they may feel a lot more comfortable making a

collected by a portable computer giving basic

underperforming organisations continue to focus

bad decision of their own rather than doing

GPS information but also information about user

on ex post facto reporting to tell them where they

something they have been told to do but don’t

behaviour, battery life, and unsuccessful scans –

are,” said Klappich.

fully understand.” Therefore, in Nejmeldeen’s

all enabling predictive maintenance. The amount

view, it is about presenting Big Data to users in a

of data collected, transmitted, stored and

Hughes-Rowlands reflects that we are all

way that they can appreciate and understand.

analysed have increased dramatically.”

consumers of one sort or another, and we will

“This is where it’s critical that we bring in the

have had both good and bad experiences when

design team from Hook & Loop to add that

In parallel, Hernandez observes that retailers

using IT solutions. “When experiencing positive

translation layer from science to user,” he

want to use this data to personalise the offer.

results we then want to apply these back into our

remarked.

“They want to know more about potential

Customer expectations, the velocity of change

Big Data process, especially related to

business world,” he said. “For example, how can

customers; what are they buying and why. This

we make our Business-to-Business solutions as

information gives retailers the knowledge to

easy to use or as low cost or as fully connected

Moving goalposts

make the purchase easy and satisfactory. From

as consumer systems or devices. These needs

Many companies are now aiming to reach their

paper based systems we are now in a full

are some of the things that are driving innovation

existing goals in a more efficient way, but,

tracking mode. From collecting ‘the minimum

within the B2B space. So consumerisation, falling

according to Baer, some of the goalposts would

information needed’ we move to ‘choosing the

costs and connectivity are definitely some of the

have moved. In his view, customer engagement

level of information’ depending on process

key drivers for technological developments such

is probably the best example of this.

capacity.” Hernandez added that manufacturers

as Big Data.”

“Traditionally, engagement with customers was

plan the production based on accurate and on-

mainly managed and optimised based on how

time deliveries and automatically track all items

customers approached you through your call

through the production flow. Transportation

hurdles for the

centre, your website or your bricks-and-mortar

organises the most effective routes through the

development of the Big

store,” he said. “But today it’s largely about

GPS coordinates – moving goods between

Data concept around 10

engaging with their lifestyle, which means

intelligent distribution centres, which know

years ago was having

monitoring attitudes and behaviour through

exactly where each asset is located. Retailers

access to the required

social networks or location-based interactions

agree with terms of sale for products located in

sources of raw data.

through mobile data. To gain benefit from this

external facilities that will be delivered by non-

Another hurdle was not

involves performing different types of analytics in

owned fleets. “The customer constantly

having the level of

order to ask ‘are my customers happy’ or ‘am I

increases the demand and this is why value-

infrastructure that would

going to lose them?’ So, again, it’s worth

added services are becoming increasingly

be cost-effective and

emphasising that the goals around customer

important,” said Hernandez. “The business that

strong enough to handle

satisfaction and the sale of goods haven’t

can meet and exceed customer demands and

all the computational

changed; it’s just that the goalposts have shifted

often offer something extra will be the one who

power required; which

from relating to whether your call centre picked

gets the customer in the end.”

Nejmeldeen points out that one of the major

Carl Wiper, senior policy officer,

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Big Data

Different flavours

Special technology report

different products and services,” he explained.

which it is analysed and

“Customers can then compare the vendors and

presented.”

choose the best fit for them – whatever their Gartner recognises different styles of analytics

requirements might be.” He added that, when it

within the domain of Big Data:

comes to businesses, Big Data allows them to

Integration

gather more information about the customers

So, how does one

Descriptive analytics (What happened?).

and market trends which can then be stored,

integrate all of these

Tools such as dashboards, business activity

analysed and effectively used for competitive

vastly different types of

monitoring, complex-event processing,

advantage.

data sets together in a

meaningful way? For

geospatial analysis, pattern analysis.

Dwight Klappich, research VP,

Diagnostic analytics (Why did it happen?).

As Big Data develops and becomes more widely

end users, the issue

Tools such as data mining, visualisation,

adopted, Hughes-Rowlands thinks the key end

(and the solution) is in

root-cause analysis.

results to the user would be better value and

the analytics, states

Predictive analytics (What will happen?).

better experience. “Ultimately, all businesses are

Gupta. “Companies such as FedEx are now

Tools such as statistical forecasting,

providing something for a consumer,” he said.

hiring ‘data scientists’. These professionals

machine learning, simulation,

“And the consumer naturally wants to gain

specialise in analysing and presenting Big Data

crowdsourcing.

benefits as a result of suppliers adopting Big

in a way that contributes to effective decision-

Prescriptive analytics (What should

Data; even if it’s simply knowing that a parcel is

making. Any firm seeking to use Big Data to its

happen?). Tools such as optimisation,

going to arrive at a certain time on a particular

advantage will need to invest in a specified

heuristics, business rules, decision analysis.

day. So, by aggregating all the available relevant

team of data scientists for this purpose.” In

data together for particular uses, I think

Gupta’s view, the future of the AIDC market will

While there have been point solutions in these

consumers will increasingly enjoy a better

depend on participants’ ability to address these

various areas, Klappich believes the greatest

customer experience.” Hughes-Rowlands added

prevalent issues head-on. “As data volume and

value is when SCM organisations can exploit

that the more informed you are as a consumer

variety are continuously increasing, it is no

these capabilities more broadly. He maintains

the better you will feel about the product. “That’s

longer enough for a scanner to read a

that, without question, companies have derived

always been the case,” he remarked. “One of

barcode,” she said. “Data capture solutions

value such as improved customer service,

the most simplistic examples of meeting the

providers will need to innovate and make

process efficiencies and reduced costs using

customer’s requirements is if you’re standing

investments in solution development that goes

traditional descriptive analytics (i.e., after-the-fact

waiting for a lift it’s good to know it’s on the way

beyond hardware in order to meet increasing

reporting). “The greatest value and impact is

and you can see the lighted panel telling you the

demands of today’s connected, Big-Data-driven

when organisations can begin to first understand

floor it’s currently on. By connecting together all

Internet of Things world.”

better why things happened and then use this

the systems and the intelligence you have at

insight to look out in time to make better forward-

your disposal within the supply chain, consumers

Continuing the integration theme, Nejmeldeen

looking decisions,” he said. As an example,

will be happier, and, as a consequence, this

makes the point that if a start-up company

Klappich points out that in transportation

should translate into repeat business.”

decided it wanted to build any sort of Big Data

descriptive analytics might inform a company

solution – for example, an inventory optimisation

that it has a higher than expected number of late

solution – the first thing it will need to do is

shipments. Then, in diagnosing this, the

Living up to expectations

upload a lot of data. Then, once this has

company could find its carrier capacity

And what of remaining challenges in general

occurred, he explains that there needs to be a

constraints have led to a higher than expected

with regard to the Big Data space? According to

way of going through this ‘unclean’

turn-down rate. Klappich adds that, while this is

Gupta, there are undoubtedly challenges in

unstructured data and making it more

valuable information in itself, the greater value

managing Big Data, particularly with respect to

structured and useable. “This process can, in

comes when companies apply predictive

AIDC technology. “Data capture is not the same

some instances, be a longer process than the

analytics to better plan freight in the future to

concept now as it was ten years ago,” she said.

entire Big Data solution implementation,” he

secure capacity, and prescriptive analytics to

“What started out as just barcode scanning has

said, adding that Infor has the benefit of being

determine what is the optimal way to address

now evolved into capturing a variety of non-

able to go directly to its SkyVault data platform

this challenge going forward.

traditional data types. Solution providers have to

where all of the relevant data services have

work twice as much to live up to expectations as

provided it with data from a clean source ready

clients place frequent demands for multipurpose

for use. “So we have the data and, secondly,

Better choice and value

scanners and software that support a range of

we have clean ready-to-use data.”

Hernandez considers that access to more

data capture functions, not limited to simple

information gives more options to customers and

track-and-trace. This leads into the next

offers them a better choice. “It provides access

challenge that participants in the supply chain

Legislation and legal issues

to vendors from all over the world who offer

face. Big Data is only as useful as the way in

Have changes in legislation or other wider legal

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Special technology report

Rafael Hernandez, EMEAI Industry Marketing,

Big Data

aspects influenced

particular product is safe and within a certain

service SkyVault. Thirdly, he commented that

the development of

date threshold for consumer use. This type of

Infor has many thousands of customers who can

Big Data over the past

legislative issue can force companies to change

benefit from this software doing something either

year or so? Klappich

their behaviour. In this regard, we may see Big

on the prediction or optimisation side that it

believes it is not so

Data – because of its ability to track, trace and

doesn’t currently do. “We are not simply looking

much that changes in

analyse the storage, sale and dispatch – being

to build entirely new solutions that sit remotely

legislation have

increasingly deployed in order to remain

from the user’s existing Infor experience,” he

influenced the

compliant with these types of rulings.”

said, “we are looking to understand what else

development of tools

users would like Infor to accomplish through the

as much as these

Also, in terms of data protection Hughes-

ERP system they are using, and then

issues have

Rowlands stresses that companies have to be

supplement this with greater levels of

accelerated the

sure they are sharing the right amount of relevant

optimisation and flexibility.”

adoption of Big Data

data with the right people, and not disseminating

tools to help companies more effectively deal

the data it has at its disposal irresponsibly, or

with these changes. “For example, in the US new

even in some cases illegally. “This is one of the

Security and confidentiality

hours of service rules have forced both shippers

areas where Big Data can have a lot of value,

Are there any enduring security or confidentiality

and carriers to analyse the impact of these rule

and it’s one of the current big challenges for the

concerns within the world of Big Data? Klappich

changes on their operations and to evaluate

Big Data concept,” he said.

has not seen these types of concerns as much in

various approaches to dealing with these

SCM as in other areas such as consumer

impacts going forward,” he pointed out.

retailing. “We have seen some push-back on the

Hernandez observes that specific laws such as

Differentiators

part of carriers to companies exploiting things

those surrounding food traceability have clearly

What are some of the key differences regarding

like Big Data to benchmark carrier rates and to

been forcing some of these developments.

brands and types of Big Data solutions currently

create aggregated carrier score cars,” he said.

However, in general, he thinks the Internet is the

available? Hernandez comments that Big Data

“However, these initiatives are nascent and so

main driver behind these trends. “Legislation is

management often requires specialised

far have not caused any notable issues.”

usually behind technical capabilities or global

companies to solve issues of search, collection,

trading trends,” said Hernandez. “Countries and

sharing, storage, analysis and security in all

Wiper’s main concern is around transparency

governing bodies follow the global commerce,

phases. “The company that understands these

and fairness, when the analytics involve personal

suppressing custom barriers, allowing the free

factors will ultimately offer the best solution for

data. “Increasingly data is collected without

circulation of goods and services through

their customers,” he said. “The end customer,

people necessarily being aware of it; for example

different countries. Today we see applications for

manufacturing company and retailer have to be

from connected devices (the so-called Internet of

collaborative networks or sharing services where

focused on their core activity and rely on external

Things), from location data or metadata from

people are travelling using resources out of

suppliers to manage and solve the inherent

people’s Internet and social media activity,” he

traditional channels like taxi or bus transportation

issues that come with handling large portions of

said. “Big Data can repurpose this data in

companies; what if tomorrow we see people

information.”

unexpected ways, in order to profile people and

selling, or renting, or sharing products or

make decisions about them. Given the

services by themselves, far away from traditional

Hughes-Rowlands considers that one

complexity of the analytics, Big Data can seem

retailers?”

differentiator would be the open/closed nature of

opaque to the people whose data is being

systems, whether you are locked in, not whether

collected.” Wiper added that Big Data creates a

Hughes-Rowlands reflects that we hear about

you can put together a best of breed type

big challenge for the organisations collecting

data breaches involving everything from credit

solution or whether you are looking for someone

and analysing it. “They have to provide

card companies to banks. “No one wants to be

to do it all for you.

information to people about how they’re using

the next organisation leaking their Big Data,

their data. How do they explain what they’re

which could have not only legal consequences

Nejmeldeen points out that Infor is building

doing in a way that people can understand; for

but also prove to be a PR disaster for the brand

solutions that have the flexibility to look across all

example when they’re downloading an app? If

in question,” he said. “I think the main point here

the industries. “Then, as we serve and learn from

the organisation is relying on people giving

is about consumer protection through the

issues related to customers in one micro-

consent, how can they ensure that it’s

protection of data. On the legislation side, one

industry, from a solution standpoint we can also

meaningful and valid?”

thing people can be concerned about when new

think about how the way we solve those

EU regulations will be introduced involving, for

problems could also be of use in another micro-

According to Wiper, Big Data challenges

example, the tracking and tracing of goods in

industry,” he said. Secondly, Nejmeldeen

organisations to be as innovative in giving this

the supply chain or in the warehouse or on the

explained that Infor has access to clean data

important privacy information, as they are in

factory floor. This could be driven by the need to

with its ERP solutions having been integrated via

carrying out the analytics. ICO discusses this,

ensure that the content list of ingredients for a

the company’s middleware ION and Cloud

and other data protection issues, in its paper on

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Big Data

Special technology report

Big Data and data protection. Hernandez stresses that storing and sharing customer data is definitely something that has to be regulated and closely monitored. “Knowing who is accessing the information is key in this process,” he said. “Therefore, establishing suitable access points, privacy rules, channels of transmission, storage and data governance rules, security protocols (and data encryption) is absolutely crucial for the security of the data.”

Making the best decisions In terms of other concerns, the biggest from Nejmeldeen’s perspective would be the potential

being put on the delivery van at the point of

with further technological developments from the

for user overrides in the system. “Therefore, one

dispatch,” he said. “In view of this potential

vendor community, means the uptake of Big

of the things we are building into our software is

constraint, the company decided to RFID-track

Data increases substantially over the next few

the ability for it to monitor its own performance,”

every single part in the process, including

years.

he said. “As part of that, because someone

readers on the delivery vehicles. RFID now

using a system may want to override or change

covers everything from the company’s own

Big Data is still in an early adoptive phase. There

the recommendations that that system is making

internal logistics processes to its various

may be some level of disillusionment as people

the system needs to be able to track not just its

suppliers downstream. Everything is identified

look to implement Big Data and adapt it to their

own recommendations but also all the overrides

and all the data that’s collected can be analysed

own specific challenges, but I think it will

that may have taken place, together with what

in order to further improve processes where

continue to offer up many real benefits.”

actions were actually executed. The system

possible.” Hughes-Rowlands also believes standardisation

needs to be able to report on all of these findings in order for the end-user to make the best

Hughes-Rowlands adds that the ultimate benefit

will be a key driver of adoption, allowing for rapid

decisions in the future and to reduce the number

of this methodology is that, because there is now

deployments and interaction between disparate

of overrides. Or, if the user is making the

a substantially reduced risk of items going

systems. “With products like Zatar from Zebra

overrides for good reason then the system needs

missing, customer satisfaction is extremely high.

Technologies, we're addressing the challenges

to learn from this in order to improve its own

“This may not strictly tie-in with the Big Data

that Big Data brings,” he said. “Collecting,

operation and recommendations.”

concept,” he reflected, “but it’s a good example

aggregating and securely sharing information

of how processes can be massively improved by

from multiple sources to applications that will

identifying and tracking every item and part

ultimately bring a better customer experience

In practice

through the supply chain to the end user and

and drive repeat business.”

Among the many real-world examples of where

then using that large volume of data to delight

companies are benefiting from a Big Data

the customer whilst minimising the cost of

Baer points out that there are some new-

methodology Hughes-Rowlands cites the

incomplete deliveries.”

generation applications that are emerging. “But these are additive – they don’t mean companies

example of a manufacturer of bespoke kitchens.

are going to have to replace their existing ERP

He explains that the company designs

system, CRM system and so on. The new

units, builds them in

Future innovation and development

its factory then

What might be some of the sweet-spots of further

processes and will be very niche-specific.”

delivers and installs

development and innovation within the world of

them. “Because of the

Big Data? Hughes-Rowlands believes we will

Wiper has noticed that some companies are

sheer number of

continue to see some interesting applications

putting a lot of work into developing what could

separate parts that

coming from new sources. “There is a lot of data

be called an ethical approach to Big Data that

need to be delivered

of different types that is becoming available,” he

respects privacy concerns. “This isn’t just about

to the customer’s

said, “and this data is in many cases becoming

complying with the law, it’s about avoiding

address, the company

a lot cheaper to obtain, connect and deliver to

reputational risk,” he said. “It’s also about

was aware there was

customers. So, the awareness of the benefits of

building trust with their customers, and

a risk of certain parts

these various data sources and the increasing

positioning themselves as good custodians of

going missing, or not

cost-effectiveness of obtaining them, coupled

personal data. We see this as a positive trend,

customers’ kitchen

Dr. Ziad Nejmeldeen, head of Infor Dynamic Science Labs,

www.logisticsit.com

applications will be deployed for specific

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Special technology report

Big Data

and we’ll be interested

Nejmeldeen believes that within a couple of

be at home in order to take receipt of the

to see if it becomes

years the Internet of Things concept will really

package they can plan their day’s activities

more widespread in

come into its own. He elaborated: “The Internet

accordingly. “The basic tracking of goods may

business over the next

of Things is all about objects and people talking

not be Big Data, but things such as the

year or two.” In

to each other in a meaningful way. The basis of

gathering of data related to delivery patterns,

Wiper’s view, Big Data

the concept isn’t entirely new in that sensors

quickest routes and the most efficient delivery

is also driving an

have been fitted to devices for some time.

services and then being able to analyse this at a

increasing business

What’s really new, and what will be the real

higher level has a Big Data resonance,” he

emphasis on data

game changer, is the greater uptake of mobility

remarked.

quality and data

solutions together with the availability of much

governance. “A lot of

greater computer power. If you look at Infor

Privacy and Data Protection issues can be more

the issues that chief

Ming.le Agile Project Management, the market is

challenging in some cultures or regions,

data officers are

already firmly on the road to the Internet of

observes Hernandez. “It is no longer just a

concerned with are also data protection issues,”

Things. Infor Ming.le has been described as a

question of what information to collect and how

he pointed out. “We think that getting data

workplace social collaboration tool, but I think

to store it – users are becoming increasingly

protection right helps companies to improve their

it’s really much more than that. It’s about assets

concerned with who will have the access to that

data management.”

that the manufacturer would have with sensors

information and which data belongs to whom,”

that have been put into those assets that are

he said. “It is often difficult to establish who the

Klappich observes that in transportation and

tracking all sorts of progress. When a task has

owner of the information is. When a retailer is

logistics predictive analytics has been of

been completed this event should be

gathering data about a particular customer,

interest. However, until recently Gartner has

reportable. And when you have machines and

does the customer own the rights to that data or

only seen very advanced companies looking at

people all in communication with each one

is the party that captured and stored the

these types of tools. “For example, freight

another, from a Big Data optimisation

information? Which types of information are

forecasting is largely done on spreadsheets

perspective you now have this prospect of

private and which ones can be captured and

today, if done at all; but with increased volatility

being able to know when a particular object has

shared? These are all quite controversial issues,

and capacity constraints,” said Klappich. “This

completed a certain task at a certain time.”

especially with raising security concerns among

Tony Baer, principal analyst,

is no longer good enough, companies need more robust tools.”

customers.” Additionally, Nejmeldeen explained that if an object fails or is at risk of failing – maybe due to

Also, Klappich explains that things like traffic

a worn part that the object’s sensor has detected

Focusing on tomorrow

and weather pattern analysis to help build better

– the Internet of Things methodology means a

To conclude, Klappich makes the point that Big

operational strategies are being used by

technician with the right training and

Data and analytics are not entirely new

advanced companies, although they remain

qualifications can be immediately alerted. “So,

concepts. “We have had some sophisticated

nascent. “We find that logistics largely trails

with the Internet of Things we have this ability to

point solutions in certain areas for many years

other areas of the business such as

manage people and inventory together,” he said.

now,” he remarked. “What is newer is the

manufacturing and sales in using predictive

recognition that analytics must become a core

analytics and there are numerous use cases

competency of SCM organisations that want to

where this will prove beneficial. For example

Growing expectations

maintain or improve competitive advantage.

take traffic pattern analysis for a major city.

Hughes-Rowlands reflects that customer

What this says is that organisations must view

Today many companies have advanced route

expectations are certainly becoming greater.

data as a strategic asset and they need to build

optimisation tools that define the optimal path to

“As a consumer myself, I sometimes get

the organisation and competencies to manage

follow given certain constraints. But many of

frustrated when I receive parcels delivered from

and exploit data strategically.” In Klappich’s

these cannot factor in things like traffic

multiple delivery companies and only one or two

view, developing things like a Big Data analytics

congestion at points in time which, if

of them can tell me exactly where my parcel

centre of excellence is one step on this journey.

considered, might suggest different routes that

currently is and when it will be delivered,” he

He adds that companies also need to break

reduce idling time sitting in traffic jams.”

said. “Many of these companies can only give

down functional and systemic barriers within

the customer a delivery day, while the actual

their own organisations to fully leverage end-to-

Hernandez comments that off-the-shelf or

anticipated time of delivery can be within a

end data. Last but not least, he maintains that

specific ad hoc developments will be dependent

window of several hours. The companies that

SCM organisations need to re-orient their

on different factors. “All main IT software

can provide more accurate information are likely

attention from mostly focusing on ‘what

providers are investing huge amounts into Big

to be those who are tracking everything all the

happened’ to placing more emphasis on what

Data – not only to solve technical issues, but

time.” So, Hughes-Rowlands believes that,

will and should happen tomorrow and the next

most importantly to make the access to right

increasingly, consumers will come to expect a

days, weeks and months.” Big Data is largely

data as easy as possible for their users,” he said.

more accurate time of arrival so if they need to

about the future. 

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Industry-specific software built for the cloud

Infor CloudSuite™ integrates enterprise applications that are specialized for your industry vertical, designed to work beautifully together, and delivered securely in the cloud.

Copyright ©2014 Infor. www.infor.com. All rights reserved.


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Opinion

A mixed forecast: the new norm for Cloud Paul Carreiro, managing director – EMEA, Infor, looks at the extent to which manufacturers are embracing the Cloud in 2014, and why a new generation of Cloud apps are expediting adoption rates. fter years of debate and

A

numerous predictions as to when Cloud computing would reach widespread adoption, it seems that 2014 was the year

where it finally came of age. With 78 per cent of UK organisations claiming to have formally deployed at least one Cloud-based service, and with saturation levels having increased by 61.5 per cent since 20101, it is difficult to dispute claims that the ‘fluffy stuff’ has hit the mainstream. The drivers behind this acceleration are three-fold. First, a reduction in the cost of Cloud computing has made it increasingly difficult for companies to ignore. Research shows that most organisations rapidly realise significant cost savings that actually increase over time as a result of the many indirect costs related to on-premise software. In fact, a recent IDC study showed that Cloud

solutions offer an average payback period of

benefits since moving to the Cloud.

seven months, and five year ROI of 626 per cent, a level that few other investments can match2.

Paul Carreiro: “Through a flexible, subscription-based delivery model, businesses can considerably lower IT expenditures while continuing to benefit from visibility across the global supply chain with system-wide transparency for all key stakeholders—from suppliers to customers.”

14

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December 2014

An evolving landscape

Secondly, the flexibility and scalability

But despite its eminence, Cloud adoption

provided by Cloud solutions are compelling

looks very different to the picture painted by

as manufacturers focus less on cost cutting,

industry soothsayers five years ago. While its

instead placing greater emphasis on

value proposition has remained consistent –

innovation in their quest to pursue growth

easy provisioning, flexible scaling and cost

strategies; whether that is setting up a new

savings – what Cloud computing represents

subsidiary operation quickly and easily, or

has now evolved into something new. Early

bringing a new product to market in line with

on, the term Cloud was used to describe,

changing customer demand.

almost exclusively, the Public Cloud. Today, Cloud computing encompasses a range of

Finally, the security concerns expressed in

hybrid offerings.

earlier debates have proven in many cases to be unfounded. On the contrary one recent

Enterprises now have an expanded set of

study found that 94 per cent of SMEs have

options. Rather than switching everything

actually experienced increased security

wholesale to the Cloud, they can choose to

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Opinion

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

manage their Cloud infrastructure in-house,

often require integration back to core systems

also opting to partner, rather than own, the

or opt for a managed Cloud whereby their

such as financials, CRM, order management,

most secure Cloud environments.

provider is responsible for the day-to-day

inventory, HR, manufacturing and supply

management of systems. Modern

chain. This means that the benefits of

infrastructures typically span a mixture of

reduced maintenance and lower costs might

Public Cloud and Private Cloud, on-premise

be heavily impacted by high consultancy and

systems, as well as Cloud-esque hardware

integration costs. So in order for the

In our experience, the Cloud market is now

such as bare metal servers which offer

momentum we’re currently seeing to continue,

reaching a tipping point whereby the risks of

flexible server capacity.

such challenges must be addressed.

delaying a move to a Cloud model are

Through taking selective, incremental steps,

The best brains in the industry have already

the fact that 90 per cent of all UK businesses

organisations get to maintain control over

responded to these challenges by offering

are expected to be using at least one Cloud

their systems, and pay only for what they

Cloud solutions which encompass lightweight

service by the end of 20153.

actually use. Put simply, the Cloud of the

middleware, based on a loosely coupled

past was very much a one-size-fits-all

architecture, to ensure straightforward and

For evidence that the model works you only

concept. Today, it is about designing an

low cost integration with other systems. This

have to look at brands such as NetFlix,

infrastructure which reflects specific needs

new breed of Cloud applications also contain

Pinterest and Etsy who have built their entire

and preferences.

social collaboration to facilitate greater

businesses in the cloud, and become

sharing of information, and engage millennials

household names within months. When

into the workforce; analytical capabilities

pitched against costly datacentres;

The tipping point

mounting. Testament to this tipping point is

The eye of the storm

which contextualise data and transform

cumbersome agility-stifling systems; sluggish

But while the Hybrid Cloud approach that

insight into foresight; and crucially, deep, end-

disaster recovery plans; and increasing

2014 has witnessed offers a multitude of

to-end micro industry-specific functionality to

pressure to minimise environmental

benefits, it does throw a number of

eliminate the gaps associated with one-size-

footprints, it is clear that resisting change

complexities, specifically integration

fits-all systems. To compound security and

has become the dicier punt. 

challenges, into the mix. Cloud applications

manage risk profiles, the market leaders are

1 2 3

Vanson Bourne on behalf of the Cloud Industry Forum Randy Perry, IDC Whitepaper, “The Business Value of Amazon Web Services Accelerates Over Time,” December 2013 Vanson Bourne on behalf of the Cloud Industry Forum

Infor is fundamentally changing the way information is published

Solutions offered

and consumed in the enterprise, helping more than 73,000

ERP, Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Asset

customers in 200 countries improve operations, drive growth,

Management, PLM, CRM, Financials, Product Configuration

and quickly adapt to changes in business demands. Infor offers

Management and more.

deep industry-specific applications and suites, engineered for speed, and with an innovative user experience design that is

Industrial markets served

simple, transparent, and elegant. Infor provides flexible

Chemical and Pharmaceutical, Distribution, Equipment

deployment options that give customers a choice to run their

Service & Rental, Fashion & Textiles, Food & Beverage, High

businesses in the Cloud, on-premises, or both.

Tech & Electronics, Industrial Manufacturing.

Infor CloudSuite is transforming enterprise software by delivering

Countries served

business-critical applications with the benefits of Cloud

Worldwide.

computing. Infor CloudSuiteTM Industrial, for example, offers the industrial manufacturing industry access to applications within the Cloud environment, combining beautiful software with rich

Website: www.infor.com

industrial manufacturing functionality. Infor has over 25 million users and 2,000 customers whose solutions are hosted in the Cloud.

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Corporate Profile

Infor

15


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

EFACS provides cast-iron benefits for MRT Castings range of additional process steps including

a review of several systems and a quick,

assembly of non-cast products which now

positive decision for EFACS E/8. “In the end,

represents 10 per cent of all business.

only EFACS E/8 offered us the flexibility and

Managing director Phil Rawnson explains the

customisation that we were looking for,” said

many challenges facing the business. “We

Rawnson. “Everything else would have

have a huge variety in the nature and size of

required us having to change our processes

orders. This is compounded by the range of

to fit a prescribed way of working and that

complexity involved, from 2 to 30+ process

simply wasn’t an option for us.”

steps, which can see a given casting resource tied up for anything between 2 hours and 2 weeks.” In addition to the resulting

Phil Rawnson: “For demanding customers, particularly in the medical and defence sectors, we are required to prove and document production process control and traceability. Because we can now demonstrate this consistently with data from EFACS E/8, this has led to our ability to break into new markets which would have been simply impossible beforehand.”

Increased visibility and capacity

scheduling complications MRT has to deal

Central to the many benefits already achieved

with the unknowns inherent in the very nature

are the increased visibility and increased

of casting itself. Further challenges come in

capacity utilisation across the entire business.

the form of optimising set-up times, managing

“Data is now accessible to every team

incoming/outgoing subcontracted orders,

member, wherever they need it and at the

tools which wear at different rates, as well as

level they require,” Rawnson pointed out.

routine and unpredicted maintenance.

“And because the data is in real-time for us, we can use this to examine different ‘What-if?’ scenarios when we have a need to react to

Drivers for change

something, be that a last minute change by

Prior to investing in EFACS E/8 from Exel

the customer or a problem with an asset or

Computer Systems plc, the task of meeting

supplier.” Now not only can the impact of

these challenges fell to a 20 year old

taking on a new order be seen at a

bespoke, in-house green screen system. As

production planning and scheduling level,

the company grew in size and in the nature of

EFACS E/8 can also help determine the

amily-owned and run since 1947,

its business, it became clear the system was

competitive advantage of potentially investing

and situated on its Andover site

struggling. Not only could it not deal with any

in a new plant asset and/or taking on

since 1965, MRT Castings is a

element of assembly, it couldn’t cope with the

highly successful and rapidly

growing need to centralise the expert

growing foundry business. The

knowledge distributed throughout the

F

company is on course to double its £4.2

company in individual departments.

million turnover in this current year, largely as

Consequently MRT was not as agile or

a result of diversifying into more value-added

responsive as it needed to be. The resulting

products, demonstrating the highest

lack of visibility meant that customers couldn’t

production quality levels, and consistently

be responded to in a timely fashion and

remaining agile to achieve true competitive

establishing the current state of an order

advantage.

resulted in people constantly walking around the shop floor.

Unlike traditional foundries, MRT offers a variety of casting processes from sand and

Addressing the millennium bug highlighted

gravity die castings through to complex high

the company’s reliance on one person to keep

pressure castings for order sizes ranging in

the system going. This coupled with

batches from between 5 and 50,000.

increasing customer demand for greater

However, the 600+ products demanded from

traceability, quality control and

its broad customer base can also require a

responsiveness, led to a visit to a trade show,

16

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

assemblies and bought-in components.

Doubled output The cumulative benefit is that in the last year alone, MRT has doubled output with a much smaller increase in resources while reducing lead times by 30 per cent and achieving an overall reduction in its time to market for new products. Speaking of new products, Rawnson describes how EFACS E/8 has also been of assistance here. “For demanding customers, particularly in the medical and defence sectors, we are required to prove and document production process control and traceability. Because we can now demonstrate this consistently with data from EFACS E/8, this has led to our ability to break duplication/variation issues inherent in

into new markets which would have been

previous manual paper systems. EFACS E/8

simply impossible beforehand. Looking

At the heart of delivering this visibility is the

also makes it possible to track and know the

forward we expect to see even faster change

implementation of touchscreen/barcoding

location of every order, even when this is

and greater pressures and we have every

hardware throughout the shop floor. This has

physically split at different locations across

confidence that the scalability and flexibility of

removed a huge paper trail from the shop

the business which is especially important for

EFACS E/8 will help us meet and overcome

floor as well as the potential data

more complex orders involving different sub-

these challenges.” 

additional staff.

Exel Computer Systems plc

Exel’s experience and extensive industry knowledge ensures that the company is best placed to assist its customers to achieve competitive advantage through the employment of a state-of-theart business solution. In a constantly changing business environment Exel is a provider that you can trust, and with continual product investment, a company which will be around in the future. Solutions offered Exel’s EFACS E/8 business solution is a highly flexible, browserbased, platform independent ERP suite built using the latest internet technology. Exel’s solution incorporates a broad range of business functions including Product Management, Change Control, Manufacturing, Field Service, Finance, Business Intelligence, Reporting Tools, Mobile and Touchscreen Applications, Document Management, CRM, Workflow, and many more. Exel’s Eagle Field Service system leads the way as a complete

www.logisticsit.com

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

Corporate Profile

Exel Computer Systems plc, a UK software author, has been developing, implementing and supporting business software solutions since 1985. With hundreds of successful implementations and thousands of users around the world, Exel’s customer base spans industries as diverse as food, aerospace, engineering, nuclear, automotive, electronics and packaging.

mobile management solution providing real-time information and resources to field based engineers delivered directly to their mobile or touchscreen device, as well as unprecedented levels of control and visibility to management. Eagle Field Service provides a fully integrated range of modules from a single software author.

Website: www.exel.co.uk

IT

MANUFACTURING

December 2014

&LOGISTICS

17


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Opinion

Gartner says 4.9 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use in 2015 artner, Inc. forecasts that 4.9

billion in 2020 (see Table 1). The automotive

will be regarded as standard, and this will

billion connected things will

sector will show the highest growth rate at 96

rapidly filter down to mainstream products

be in use in 2015, up 30 per

per cent in 2015. From an industry perspective,

and services. “However, CIOs must

cent from 2014, and will reach

manufacturing, utilities and transportation will

understand that the most disruptive impact

25 billion by 2020. The

be the top three verticals using IoT in 2015 – all

and competitive threats — and, equally, the

Internet of Things (IoT) has become a

together they will have 736 million connected

greatest competitive opportunities — arise

powerful force for business transformation,

things in use. By 2020, the ranking will change

not from simply digitalising a product or

and its disruptive impact will be felt across all

with utilities in the No. 1 spot, manufacturing

service, but from creating a new business

industries and all areas of society.

will be second and government will be third,

model and value proposition,” said Steve

totalling 1.7 billion IoT units installed.

Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

“The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of

“Government will take the No. 3 spot as it

“Organisations must straddle the tension of

Forces (Cloud, mobile, social and information),

invests in smart street and area lighting for

all the information available from smart things

and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing

energy saving reasons,” said Tully. “Utilities will

by balancing their desire to collect and

businesses. They have no choice but to pursue

move to the No. 1 position because of

analyse it with the risk of its loss or misuse.”

IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerisation

investment in smart metres.”

G

of IT,” said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. This sudden

Connected things, such as automated teller

expansion will boost the economic impact of

machines and airline check-in machines,

the IoT as consumers, businesses, city

have previously existed. But, new and novel

The IoT highlights the tight linkages between

authorities, hospitals and many other entities

devices, and many ordinary objects, are also

information security, information technology

find new ways in which to exploit the

being reinvented with digital sensing,

security, operational technology security

technology. Gartner estimates that IoT will

computing and communications capabilities.

and physical security like never before.

support total services spending of US$69.5

This functionality provides both new and

Executives now face a decision regarding

billion in 2015 and $263 billion by 2020.

previously passive objects with a ‘digital

the future of security in their enterprise and

voice’, and the ability to create and deliver an

who governs, manages and operates it.

information stream reflecting their status and

Gartner said that by the end of 2017, over

that of their surrounding environment. Such

20 per cent of organisations will have digital

developments radically change the value

security services devoted to protecting

Consumer applications will drive the number of

proposition, creating new services and usage

business initiatives using devices and

connected things, while enterprise will account

scenarios and driving new business models.

services in IoT.

2.9 billion connected things will be in use in the

It is likely that within the next few years, some

The IoT will bring into the digital security

consumer sector in 2015 and will reach over 13

level of built-in intelligence and connectivity

architecture dozens of new platform

Consumer drivers

Tight linkages

for most of the revenue. Gartner estimates that

options, hundreds of variations on hybrid

Table 1: Internet of Things Units Installed Base by Category

IT/IoT integration, new standards per

Category

2013

2014

2015

2020

Automotive

96.0

189.6

372.3

3,511.1

Consumer

1,842.1

2,244.5

2.874.9

13,172.5

Generic Business

395.2

479.4

623.9

5,158.6

Vertical Business

698.7

836.5

1,009.4

3,164.4

Grand Total

3,032.0

3,750.0

4,880.6

25,006.6

industry, and a new view of an application. IT leaders will have to accommodate the differences in technologies across those areas and develop a multifaceted technology approach to IoT risk and security. In addition, with some machines producing enormous amounts of data and other sensors sending a handful of bits per day or week, IT leaders will need to balance digital business requirements with digital security realities. 

Source: Gartner (November 2014)

18

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December 2014

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Special Supply Chain Management

Technology Report

Linking the chain 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

work out the level of supply required to meet

challenged is the reality that there aren’t many

professionals, being able to

the demand,” he said. “However this misses

tools out there that can pull all the available

accurately anticipate demand and

the financial component that determines if you

data together, not only from a demand,

deliver to schedule and to correct

are putting in place a profitable plan. Ask any

supply and financial perspective but also from

specification has never been so

production manager and they will tell you

a business process management perspective.

critical. The good news is that the technology

there are many ways of meeting demand –

“I think new technologies around social

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

the goal is to find the most profitable way of

business collaboration are really needed for

software solutions can facilitate better and

meeting your customer service objectives.”

this because the creation of an effective plan

F

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

faster demand trends than ever before. Manufacturing & Logistics IT invited some of

Kinder also made the point that demand itself

even happen over one week – it’s a

the most prominent figures in the world of

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

continuous sequence of conversations and

supply chain management solutions to share

promotion, or introduce a new product, you

events,” he remarked. “With social

their views on where the current functionality

change demand,” he said. “Equally, demand

collaboration built into the S&OP process you

sweet spots are within this fast-developing

is changing from external factors such as

get documentation, you get auditability, you

technology space.

seasonality, weather, sporting events – even

can track the changes and you can better

what recipe was shown on Celebrity Chef. So

understand how to make better-informed

Andrew Kinder, senior director, industry

in terms of S&OP or ‘Integrated Business

business decisions at every stage.”

strategy at Infor, observes that Sales &

Planning’ as it is increasingly known, what you

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

are striving for is to assess different demand

Karin Bursa, vice president of Logility, also

in supply chain but believes many

and supply scenarios in a financially driven

recognises that S&OP and supply chain

manufacturers remain stuck in second gear in

context and putting the business in the best

analytics are two significant initiatives that are

terms of how they manage their S&OP

possible position to respond when actual

driving tangible results in today’s dynamic

process. “All manufacturers can do demand-

demand and supply conditions present

economy. “Companies of all size are focused

supply matching at a basic level, but for many

themselves.”

on improving their current S&OP process or are working to implement one,” she said. “As

this is still a spreadsheet exercise and their approach is to start with demand then try to 20

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According to Kinder, where manufacturers are

they move along the maturity path, it quickly

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Technology Report

Special Supply Chain Management

becomes clear

he said. “To deliver a good omni-channel

ongoing R&D to ensure our solutions develop

spreadsheets are

experience for customers, where all channels

to take advantage of appropriate new

error prone and

of purchase interconnect seamlessly,

technologies and meet changing business

require too much

requires a SCM system which can exploit the

and market requirements,” he said.

manual effort to

mobile model and deliver true visibility of

support such a

real-time stock, powerful forecasting and

For Kinder, new standards have been set

critical collaboration

rigorous fulfilment procedures.”

around data integration, analytics, mobility

process and drive Karin Bursa, vice president,

and social business and around the way companies can interact with consumer

their long-term profitable growth

Drivers

information through tablet PCs and

objectives.”

What have been some of the main drivers

smartphones. “This is all driving greater

behind these developments? According to

supply chain visibility, flexibility and speed,”

Bursa, companies are faced with greater

he commented. “It’s interesting to see how

harnessing the power of S&OP is dependent

challenges today than ever before from a

our customers take these new technologies

on making sure everyone speaks the same

highly dynamic global economy to rapidly

and become very innovative in their use- they

language and works from a single

changing customer needs, supplier risks, and

see how the solutions can be applied to their

comprehensive plan toward agreed upon

aggressive competitive markets. “The supply

real-life business and operational scenarios;

goals in operational, tactical and strategic

chain has been identified as one of the

the light bulb goes on and they think ‘yes I

horizons. “Objectively evaluating the tradeoffs

greatest opportunities to successfully meet

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

of multiple business scenarios in an

these challenges,” she commented. “It is

that they bring their ideas and use-cases

environment of disconnected data from

recognised that with the right people,

back to us – this is all part of the vendor-user

multiple sources can be daunting,” she

process and technology the supply chain can

feedback loop that creates further

remarked. “We see the role of integrated

make a significant impact on both top line

innovation.”

supply chain analytics increasing as

growth and bottom-line profitability.”

Bursa added that

companies look toward technology and

Verdeyen believes a key driver for adoption

automation to help them turn data into

Williams’ view is that, clearly, development in

is simply the maturity cycle in SCM software.

information as they compare multiple paths

the mobile device arena has been the

“Many companies have realised that the days

forward. At Logility, we provide robust

catalyst, but changes and developments

of highly customised, highly tailored systems

solutions that extend the visibility, increase

have resulted from a combination of end-user

drive a long-term cost to own and ultimately

the accuracy and deliver the insight needed

demand and creative R&D by solutions

present a barrier to future upgrades,” he

to drive supply chain innovation and support

providers. “At BCP, we always pride

said. “As the consumerisation of IT takes hold

growth strategies that rely on a responsive

ourselves on our understanding of our

in the SCM space, expectations of system

and more cost efficient supply chain.”

specialist market and being at the forefront of

usability and accessibility (any device,

new developments, investing strongly in

anywhere) drive purchasing decisions.”

In the view of Mike Verdeyen, chief technology officer for IBS, cost of ownership and business value are key considerations in the SCM systems space. “Cost of ownership speaks to anything from how a company acquires and runs SCM software to how well/easy that software works with the rest of the enterprise and existing ecosystem,” he explained. “Business value speaks not only to how well the solution addresses the needs of the business but also how easy it is for the business to get that value – usability and user experience plays a big role here.” Tim Williams, distribution divisional director of BCP, considers that the omni-channel challenge has to be the hottest topic around at the moment. “At its root is the development of mobile devices and their escalating use for doing business throughout the supply chain,”

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Special Supply Chain Management

Technology Report

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

organisations are looking for more loosely

The Cloud

Integration

coupled integration – which is exactly the

How has the Cloud-based Software as a

Has the process of system integration

architecture one which the Internet is based –

Service (SaaS) model impacted the Supply

changed to any notable degree recently; and

multiple systems with common

Chain Management software solutions

if so in what ways? Williams considers that it

communication standards so that when you

market? According to Verdeyen, the SCM

is still much easier to deliver seamless

make your purchase from Amazon it doesn’t

market is rarely on the cutting edge of

operational excellence with a core end-to-end

matter that the information you see on screen

technology adoption. “SCM is core to a

ERP system as the business backbone rather

is from many different sources.”

business and companies are naturally conservative in their adoption of new

than trying to stitch together disparate best of breed solutions. “There really still isn’t a silver

Social technologies are also getting more

technologies and methodologies. Having said

bullet to resolve all the issues that come with

infused into business systems, Kinder points

that, SaaS and Cloud seem to have finally

trying to integrate lots of separate systems

out, and this makes it easier and faster to

started to make inroads in the SCM space. As

and technologies,” he said. “A single

share information internally and also with

the reputation for reliability in SaaS and Cloud

technology platform reduces business risk

supply partners and end customers. “Through

solutions becomes more widely accepted,

and technical complexity in the business –

this kind of ecosystem everyone involved can

companies will no longer feel there is a need

hence fewer opportunities for things going

become more real-time with their decision-

or value in running their own data centre.”

wrong.”

making,” he said. “And it’s not just about people communicating with each other; it can

Kinder believes many companies do see

In Kinder’s view, the most significant change

now also be about machines communicating

advantages in a subscription model – no

is in the ease of sharing data between

with you through modern control technology,

upfront capital costs, faster to deploy, fewer

systems on common standards. “Where once,

telling you, for example, when maintenance is

internal IT costs. “At this stage we are still

organisations strived for a single data model

due, when a particular part needs replacing,

seeing this mostly in very small companies

they now

what that part number is and even how to fit

who are just getting started and lack technical

acknowledge that

it. All this adds to the efficiency of the

resources or very large companies who are

the information

manufacturing process and, as a

deploying SCM solutions in combination with

needed for full SCM

consequence, the efficiency of the whole

other on-premise ERP solutions,” he added.

visibility resides in

supply chain.”

“However, this is still a young market and I expect Cloud deployments to grow for

multiple systems –

Tim Williams, distribution divisional director,

22

IT

yours, your

Verdeyen reflects that integration

reasons other than just the economics –

customers’, your

methodologies among vendors of SCM

Cloud offers new opportunities for supply

suppliers’, your

solutions have certainly evolved. “Vendors are

chain visibility across the enterprise,

distribution channel,”

offering standard APIs accessed in modern

especially when private cloud arrangements

he said. “You can’t

ways (REST+JSON),” he said. “Having said

within a supply chain ecosystem are

solve this with one

that, this is an area where, in the field, you will

considered.”

data model. Instead,

continue to see a blend of modern and legacy

From Bursa’s perspective, today’s enterprise

MANUFACTURING

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December 2014

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Technology Report

Special Supply Chain Management

environment is growing more complex and

mobile devices – with the same level of

Forget the

every company is unique in their market,

functionality and integrity for users. And it’s

PowerPoint slides

challenges and opportunities. Her view is that

not as simple as you might be led to believe.

and spreadsheets

the Cloud model provides companies with a

It’s easy to do simple things that don’t really

and give them an

choice in deployment methodology and

deliver much, but much harder to develop

integrated view of

services that best suit their individual needs

software that’s effective. And it always needs

the business that

and allows them to evolve as their business

to be optimised for mobile use – simple

provides the basis

changes. “We have seen tremendous interest

modification of the standard PC version is not

for a more informed

in Logility Cloud Services as companies

the answer.”

discussion on the

evaluate all options,” she pointed out. “These

tradeoffs of multiple

Andrew Kinder, senior director, industry strategy,

services change the economics and

Williams adds that BCP has been supplying

prioritisation of supply chain improvement

web ordering solutions to customers for many

initiatives by breaking down the barriers of

years, however its popularity has soared with

A related opportunity

cost, flexibility and speed to deployment.

the introduction of BCP’s mobile version and

remains around

They also allow companies to migrate as their

the company has even introduced an App

better more accessible supply chain

business needs change either moving from

which wholesalers can make available for

analytics, according to Bursa. “There is

SaaS to hosted to on-premise or the other

their customers to download free from Apple

tremendous power in the ability to visualise

way around. This flexibility without losing the

Store or Google Play. Williams continued:

where the business is heading to both assess

breadth or depth of capability makes a multi-

“Key of course to the success of mobile

the opportunities and mitigate the risks,” she

delivery option model very appealing to

offerings is not only functionality, but

said. “These capabilities combined with

companies.”

transparency of information so you can see

ongoing performance management and alert

what stock is available, where it is, what new

notifications will change the way you view

deliveries are due and the whole spectrum of

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

Mobility

orders that are being placed – and use that

prevent a late order than to report it.”

Are mobility solutions such as mobile

information, together with accurate

computers and tablet PCs etc. having an

forecasting and strict fulfilment operations to

Verdeyen considers that consumerisation will

impact or influence on Supply Chain

deliver a true omni-channel experience for

continue to drive changes in solutions. “Look

Management? Verdeyen maintains that ‘taking

customers – that’s where a truly integrated

for social capabilities to start having more

down the walls’ has become a requirement in

solution comes in. Trying to stitch together

impact and for standards-based, inter-

all enterprise software. “Mobile solutions have

lots of disparate systems to give true

company collaboration to emerge among the

driven a requirement to have system access

transparency is very difficult.”

early adopters,” he remarked.

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

On the data side, Williams observes that

Kinder believes that, together with

all IT systems in today’s enterprise.”

online in general, and mobile in particular,

developments related to Big Data (a theme

mean that a lot more information is available

covered in depth within a separate report

Williams believes the ability to access real-

about customers, their buying patterns,

within this edition), it is a steady march

time information and place orders at the touch

successful or unsuccessful purchases and so

towards an increasingly real-time supply

of the button from wherever you happen to be

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

chain. “Feeds into the supply chain

at whatever time of day or night suits you is

system is capable, to analyse behaviour and

management process will continue to

now becoming a must. “It’s no longer just a

better match supply to demand.

improve, through use of real-time sensors in

business scenarios.”

from any device in any location,” he said.

manufacturing and distribution operations,” he

case of being able to log on to a PC or lap

said, adding that further developments in

top to place an order

Mike Verdeyen, chief technology officer,

over the Internet.

Future trends

predictive analytics and social business

Customers want to

So, what might be the next key developments

media will continue to enhance the demand

be able to do it from

to look out for in the world of Supply Chain

side and rapidly assess the most profitable

their tablet or

Management solutions? Bursa believes that

response. Kinder also maintains that mobile

smartphone while

Sales & Operations Planning, also known as

deployment will permeate all aspects of

they’re away from

Integrated Business Planning, will continue at

supply chain operations, “so that if you’re out

their desk,” he said.

the forefront on strategic initiatives. “This is

there on the shop floor or in the field working

“For solutions

where you knock down the silos that exist in

with suppliers you will be able to take even

providers this means

your business and get everyone on the same

greater advantage of the speed of information

developing versions

page,” she explained. “It allows supply chain

to support your decision-making”. 

of their software

experts to put critical and insightful

which work on

information into the hands of their executives.

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23


Supply Chain

Opinion

Looking at

the wider planning picture with IBP By Barry Drummond, business development manager, DynaSys. he diversity of information system technology used within modern manufacturing organisations makes it critical that data is easily and rapidly synchronised across different parts of the business. But more than this, it is important for users within each separate department to be able to effectively share data and work as part of a unified team across the whole company – for the greater benefit of the organisation as a whole.

T

In the UK, many manufacturing companies are now taking a keener interest in Integrated Business Planning (IBP), often referred to as the next evolution of Sales & Operation Planning (S&OP). However, although IBP has now become a sizeable part of the current discussion regarding planning optimisation, many companies within the UK are still yet to master the fundamentals of today’s S&OP technology, and so are a step or two behind fully appreciating what IBP has to offer. As a general summary, S&OP is largely about ensuring a company is able to put in place better sales, production and forecasting plans based on a greater level of cohesion and cooperation between the sales and production/operation arms of the business; rather than suffering operational and costrelated constraints as a consequence of them working largely in their own silos.

Whole new level

Barry Drummond: “And as the term ‘Integrated Business Planning’ suggests, this methodology can facilitate greater levels of communication, not just among these different parts of a single business site – R&D, marketing, sales, finance, production, logistics etc. – but over different sites or associated businesses.”

24

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Once the basic S&OP principles have been embraced and understood, IBP can then move in to take things to a whole new level. For example, with IBP companies can make decisions not just based on the sales, production or stock levels, but can also look at financial implications and at the same time in order to better determine how financials align with budgets and profit margins and a host of other cost-related data. But more than that, IBP can also allow organisations to better synchronise their whole business and operational strategy; not just with an added focus on financials, but also on everything from marketing and sales,

to R&D, production and logistics. Naturally, this can hugely improve the whole financial, production and supply chain decision making process. And as the term ‘Integrated Business Planning’ suggests, this methodology can facilitate greater levels of communication, not just among these different parts of a single business site – R&D, marketing, sales, finance, production, logistics etc. – but over different sites or associated businesses. Of course, it is likely that a company’s various sites, or the sites of other associated businesses, are not all going to be using the same IT systems. They may be reliant on the same ERP system, but for other aspects of planning and running the enterprise they will very probably use a range of different solutions. For example, different departments may use an advanced planning system from a vendor such as DynaSys, plus sales automation software etc. The Sales team may want to look at sales on a weekly or daily basis, while the Production Department might be looking at sales by week, and will want to look not in family groups but rather in consumer units because that’s how they are going to plan and organise production. In order to achieve these distinct tasks, different departments might deploy a Best of Breed solution, and each Best of Breed package may communicate and operate in its own very distinct language. However, while this may derive tangible benefits for the individual departments, this can potentially cause issues when viewed from an integrated perspective across the wider business.

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Supply Chain Evolution Enable Your Supply Chain Initiatives Control supply chain complexity Optimise your internal and external collaboration Increase turnover and proďŹ t margins

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Supply Chain

Opinion

Connecting disparate systems With this in mind, DynaSys’s planning system has an integration hub that allows DynaSys to connect all the disparate systems within a client organisation and use all these various sources of information to facilitate a better short and longer-term planning strategy that encompasses the activities, goals and responsibilities; not just of the different departments, but of the organisation as a whole. Because our integration hub operates on very open standards DynaSys can pull-in information from any ERP system – whether it’s an Oracle, SAP or other vendor’s solution, and of course we have direct integration to QAD Enterprise Applications. It can also pullin data from other systems such as financial spreadsheets, CSV files, EPOS data, or even data from third-party systems. DynaSys solutions allow better communication between several remote sites too by providing real-time updates across not only internal departments but

geographically distributed sites too. The integrated and modular DynaSys DSCP suite is available ‘On Premise’ and in the Cloud. DynaSys Cloud DSCP solution provides multiple benefits – from automatic upgrades and rapid implementation to per-user pricing and global accessibility.

In today’s mission-critical manufacturing environment, where greater efficiencies related to time, cost and accuracy are more important than ever, wider and more reliable integration across the whole network has never been more critical. 

Corporate Profile

DynaSys – Demand & Supply Chain Planning Solutions

26

Founded in 1985, DynaSys, a division of QAD, is one of the leading European providers of collaborative Demand & Supply Chain Planning solutions. DynaSys provides expert business decision-making software to market leaders of all sizes, including forecasting, planning, optimising and performance analysis. DynaSys has proven experience and a unique knowledge of forecasting, planning and optimising the overall supply chain. To support customers in improving their productivity and profitability, DynaSys constantly enhances its solutions to accelerate both implementation time and return on investment. To respond to market complexity and to ensure customers benefit from technological innovations, DynaSys invests heavily in research and development to develop decision-support systems that are highly customisable, powerful, functional and ergonomic. DynaSys ‘Single Click Collaborative’ technology offers customers the flexibility they need for rapid, shared decision-making processes.

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Solutions offered The collaborative and integrated DynaSys DSCP solution addresses the following processes: Sales Forecasting (Demand Planning). Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP). Distribution Resource Planning (DRP). Network & Inventory Optimisation. Production Planning. Procurement Planning and Optimisation. Industrial markets served Food & Beverage. Life Sciences – Pharmaceutical and Medical Device. Retail. Distribution. Industrial Manufacturing. Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.dys.com/en

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Success story

Supply Chain

BCP – Business Computer Projects Ltd.

A technology innovator, BCP has been at the forefront of software development for over 30 years, offering costeffective, fully scalable solutions which enable real business benefits and an excellent return on investment. As a software author, BCP can tailor solutions to suit clients’ particular business requirements rather than offering a ‘one size fits all’ approach. BCP continues to be a leader in introducing Voice technology to the UK warehouse industry, having implemented the first wall-to-wall Voice solution in the UK food and drink sector 13 years ago. zOver 90 per cent of BCP Voice customers realise the benefits of Voice across all warehouse operations. Solutions offered BCP’s Accord software suite addresses the complete range of supply chain activities, including procurement, multichannel fulfilment, stock management and financials, with powerful business analytics and dashboard-driven, userconfigurable graphical reporting.

Operating across mobile, Cloud/SaaS and on premise, Accord delivers seamless integration, real-time operations and true visibility across the whole operation, empowering companies to improve business efficiency and facilitating overall growth in revenue and profitability. Accord’s Voice-directed WMS provides wall-to-wall Voice control across the warehouse or for individual operations, as required, and is available as part of a full Accord solution or standalone to integrate with third-party systems. Suitable for any business which operates a warehouse, Accord Voice WMS is scalable to meet the needs of small to large organisations and offers significant benefits over bolt-on middleware solutions, allowing users to maximise warehouse efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service levels. Industrial markets served BCP solutions benefit companies of all sizes throughout the supply chain – wholesalers, distributors, retailers, manufacturers – be they single or multi-site, single or multi-channel. Countries served Mainly UK and Ireland.

Corporate Profile

Business Computer Projects Ltd (BCP) is a leading UK software house delivering proven Supply Chain Execution solutions and Voice-enabled WMS that empower businesses to maximise efficiency and customer service.

Website: www.bcpsoftware.com

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Seamless operational excellence across Cloud/SaaS, mobile and on premise

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Printing & Labelling

Opinion

UDI makes its mark By David Taylor, business development manager Manufacturing UK & Ireland, Zebra Technologies Europe.

David Taylor: “…the application of UDIs together with the wide deployment and use of auto-ID technology and Cloud computing will increasingly become a real game-changer.”

B

ack in September 2013, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would become mandatory for medical device manufacturers supplying into the US to mark their products with a unique device identification (UDI) code. The categories for different types of devices are designated Class 3, Class 2 and Class I. Class 3 usually refers to devices that support human life and present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury upon failure. This category includes implantable life-sustaining or life supporting devices such as a heart valve or a kidney dialysis machine. Class 2 refers to devices that are used in medical procedures and that could cause serious harm upon failure or incorrect use. There is also sub-class within Class 2; ILL, which refers to implantable and life sustainable devices.

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Class 1 refers to devices that are not intended to support and sustain life, and may not present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury. For example, this category might include things such as a packet of sterile cotton wool, or an operating theatre convenience kit that includes swabs, compressors and scalpel blades. Items classified under Class I will not require UDIs but will need a mark that identifies the device type and the manufacturer. The class definition of different types of device isn’t being left to the manufacturer; the FDA has compiled a comprehensive list of types of devices that fall into each category. The original ruling for implementation was issued on 24 September 2013, with the deadline for compliance of Class 3 devices being 24 September 2014. In two years’ time the ILL and Class 2 deadline will come into play, followed by a 2018 deadline for Class I compliance. In simple terms, the UDI itself consists of two main sections. There is a device identifier, which is a mandatory fixed portion of the UDI that identifies the labeller (a term used by the FDA to describe the manufacturer or, in some cases, the subcontract manufacturer). The other section indicates the specific version or model of

the device. This unique number has to be registered with the FDA. A device identifier is often referred to as a GTIN (global trade identification number), and global supply chain Standards organisations such as GS1 are pivotal in regulating these numbers.

Wider trend Interestingly, the idea behind the GTINs or UDIs is fast becoming a wider trend. Similar legislation for medical device marking in the EU is already being tabled by the EU Commission, and the NHS in the UK plans to move all procurement onto an e-commerce platform. Moreover, anything that it buys has to have a GTIN. So, there is now a growing trend towards identification and traceability within clinical healthcare at all levels. This includes everyone from manufacturers of devices such as artificial heart valves at one end, right through to suppliers of food for distribution in hospitals at the other.

Technology Organisations such as GS1 are creating standards for the data, and these standards

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Printing & Labelling

Opinion

are being adhered to by the ISVs who provide the software services. Many of these ISVs also provide the service of registering the data back with the FDA and making sure it’s not just a case of putting the right label on the right product but making sure everything is fully compliant. Some ISVs can even archive data to ensure that if anything happens further down the line there is an audit trial saying we know this data was used at this point on these devices. Zebra offers printing & labelling solutions capable of being interrogated remotely and confirming that they are using compliant templates for the data. They can also check that the data they used was in the correct format and can report that back independently of the software that generated the print job in the first place. This gives solid assurance that everything is being done correctly, which is critically important in an industry such as healthcare. The wider picture regarding auto-ID also offers major track & trace benefits. Healthcare institutions have the ability to use auto-ID technology to associate

whatever devices have been used with a particular patient, or whether a batch of devices need to be disposed of due to some doubt about their reliability, etc. Moreover, in two or three years’ time mobile computing devices will likely be used at bedside or in theatre to scan and identify the actual unique number of the device that is used in the procedure and associate it with that particular patient’s records.

Cloud benefits The benefits of the widespread use of UDIs and auto-ID technology will be further enhanced by Cloud computing. Data can now be more readily available through a web browser, without individual healthcare institutions having to store data on, and retrieve data from, their individual servers. This data management trend also has a Big Data feel about it, in terms of the way substantial amounts of relevant data accessible from various sources can help health professionals to plot trends related to device usage etc. Within a year or two,

healthcare professionals could find it a lot easier and quicker to view wider data trends concerning, say, the usage of particular classes of device within certain medical procedures, and the success rates of different devices. A Cloud solution available as a Software as a Service (SaaS) package can also negate the need for extra computing power within a facility, as well as reduce the potential security risks of installing different pieces of software within the company on-premise. Also, because with Cloud/SaaS there is normally no upfront capital expenditure involved, healthcare institutions can commit to a variable cost model where they pay a small cost for every label and data packet that is processed. So within healthcare, the application of UDIs together with the wide deployment and use of auto-ID technology and Cloud computing will increasingly become a real game-changer in terms of everything from traceability and cost savings, to safety and accountability. 

Zebra Technologies value and expand the range of applications served. At Zebra

for innovation and reliability. Zebra offers an extensive range

Technologies’ research centres, engineers develop, modify

of asset-tracking technologies incorporating mobile

and enhance products and solutions based on feedback from

computing, data capture, barcode, wireless LAN, RFID,

customers, input from our partners and careful study of

location systems and Zatar™, the Cloud-based Internet of

market trends.

Things (IoT) platform. These technologies give life to the

enhancements.

smart and connected enterprise by transforming the physical elements of a business into the digital. Zebra also designs

demand and at the point of issuance.

Complementary and advanced products that meet specific industry needs.

and sells printing devices, including barcode, receipt, card, kiosk and RFID printers, which print variable information on

Complete solutions to meet business process

Real-time identification and location solutions through technologies in RFID and UWB.

With these technologies and devices, Zebra and its global

Industrial markets served

network of partners are helping organisations know – in real

Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Retail, Healthcare,

time – the location, motion and state of assets, people and

Government, and Hospitality.

transactions throughout their operations. Organisations can then use this data to make critical business decisions,

Countries served

improve customer interactions and generate new forms of

Worldwide.

business value. Solutions offered

Website: www.zebra.com

Zebra Technologies meets the business needs of its customers with products and services that deliver superior

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Corporate Profile

Zebra Technologies Corporation is a global leader respected

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Printing & Labelling

Product news

SATO strengthens print engine lineup, delivering exceptional throughput and easy operation

S

ATO, the barcode printing, labelling, and EPC/RFID solutions provider, has released its new high-performance S84ex and S86-ex print engines for case carton, pallet and individual product identification, and print and apply applications. The new generation of SATO print engines offers significant industry advancements in quality imaging, exceptional throughput, and easy operation, setup and maintenance. The new print engines incorporate two-colour LCD and LED displays which help operators understand print status from a distance. A simple standalone mode also provides independent operation via LCD control. Font and printer settings can be uploaded or downloaded without the use of software tools via SD/USB, and remote printer settings can be handled via web browsers.

Flexibility and convenience “The S84-ex and S86-ex offer flexibility and convenience, providing customers with numerous interfaces as well as tool-less maintenance, and optional wireless LAN and Bluetooth allow for even greater connectivity in continuously changing operating environments,” stated Noriyasu Yamada, SATO’s chief product planning officer. “SATO launched its first print engine in 1985, and has always remained S86-ex.

The S84-ex and S86-ex

offer flexibility and convenience, providing customers with numerous interfaces as well as tool-less maintenance, and optional wireless LAN and Bluetooth allow for even greater connectivity in continuously changing operating environments.” – Noriyasu Yamada, SATO. committed to continual improvement. As a pioneer in the field, we were able to call on 30 years of experience to design a flagship that goes beyond the expectations of our customers.”

and maintain their systems to ensure continued operations. Print head replacement is simple due to a tool-less design, lengthy cable and easy access. Locking side covers allow for quick and easy replacement of platen rollers, and the sensor cover’s design and non-stick surface help service engineers or operators easily clean or replace parts without the necessity of tools.

User-friendly The new models utilise a number of redesigns that make it easier for operators to use

Through a variety of enhancements and model options, SATO’s new print engine family provides both reliability and flexibility

S84-ex with cover open.

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Product news

across industries and applications including: •

Food and Beverage – Tracking and traceability, regulatory compliance, ingredient labelling, allergen caution notices, food safety management. • Pharmaceutical – Tracking and traceability, security labelling, GTIN, FDA, UID and GS1 standard compliance. • Health and Beauty – Traceability, ingredient labelling, pallet/carton management. • Retail – Traceability, inventory management. • Logistics – Automation, routing, freight forwarding, shipping, inventory control. The S84-ex and S86-

ex are available in 4-inch, 6-inch, direct thermal transfer/thermal transfer and direct thermal-only models, as well as a Ribbon Saver model (S84-ex only). 

Printing & Labelling

ABOUT SATO SATO is a global provider of integrated Automatic Identification and Data Collection solutions that leverage barcode, two-dimensional stacked & QR code, colour code, digital watermarking, and UHF/HF/PJM RFID technologies. SATO delivers end-toend solutions to businesses as a single point responsibility for hardware, consumables, maintenance management, application software, each designed to enhance customer value. SATO solutions enable better business efficiencies and environmental protection to contribute to the development of a sustainable world. Founded in 1940, SATO is publicly listed on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan. It has sales and support offices in over 20 countries and is represented globally through a world-class network of partners. For the fiscal year ended 31 March 2014, it reported revenues of JPY 96,773 million (Euro 721 million*). *Conversion is based on an average exchange rate of 1 Euro = 134.21 Japanese Yen.

S84-ex.

SATO

Solutions offered SATO partners with other world-class companies, from third-party equipment manufacturers, to integrators, adding value to our customers' businesses, while leveraging all of our partners' strengths. You can rely on us to deliver the right solution for your business needs. Industrial markets served • Manufacturing. • Transport and Logistics. • Retail. • Healthcare. • Government. • Automobile. Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.satoeurope.com

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Corporate Profile

SATO is a pioneer and leading global provider of integrated Automatic Identification and Data Collection solutions that leverage barcode, two-dimensional stacked & QR code, colour code, digital watermarking, and UHF/HF/PJM RFID technologies. SATO delivers innovative end-to-end solutions to businesses as a single point responsibility for hardware, consumables, maintenance management, application software, each designed to enhance customer value. SATO solutions enable better business efficiencies and environmental protection to contribute to the development of a sustainable world.

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Printing & Labelling

Research

The fear factor can stifle competitive edge A major research project undertaken by Epson Europe, involving nearly 6000 European businesses, reveals that 85 per cent believe that fast implementation of new technology is a key competitive advantage, yet 50 per cent say a fear of failure prevents it.

A

ccording to the research, only a third of companies across Europe are prepared to grasp the competitive advantage offered by new technology by making investments ahead of the competition. Along with 'fear of failure', European businesses not making the most of technology opportunities cited insufficient internal support (63 per cent) and lack of funds (65 per cent) as major barriers to new investment.

mainstream as a printer or projector, or on something more high-tech such as a wearable device – cannot go amiss in today's competitive environment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for European

was a major difference among the countries and sectors explored. Overall, German and Italian businesses are able to make new technology work faster for them, with an average 12 week lead-time between

Lack of internal support and fear of failure, in terms of getting

it wrong, are common concerns; but with careful consideration of business needs, the identification of opportunities for improvement and careful product specification, these concerns can often be allayed and the business benefits reaped.” – Rob Clark, Epson Europe.

Significantly, a potential 21 per cent productivity gain, achievable through improved technology implementation, was also identified by European businesses, reinforcing Epson's belief in the value of the innovative new business technologies it is now delivering across Europe.

businesses looking to increase efficiency, but with clear benefits on offer, there is a need for businesses to better understand the efficiency and productivity gains that the right new technologies can deliver."

implementation and productivity improvements being seen. On the other hand, French businesses are slowest at getting new technology to deliver productivity gains, averaging a four and a half month lead-time.

Time to implement Significant returns "European businesses have an opportunity to invest wisely in order to enhance creativity, productivity and the overall efficiency of their business. The commercial returns can often be significant, but we understand the barriers companies' face and the reasons why they hesitate," said Rob Clark, vice president, Epson Europe. "Lack of internal support and fear of failure, in terms of getting it wrong, are common concerns; but with careful consideration of business needs, the identification of opportunities for improvement and careful product specification, these concerns can often be allayed and the business benefits reaped.” He continued: "Smart technology investments – whether on something as

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Across the countries surveyed, an overwhelming 88 per cent of European businesses agreed that technology improves productivity after a bedding-in period. The question of how long this takes

When it comes to industry differentiators, those in the retail industry ranked the fastest, taking only 12 weeks to generate productivity improvements from new technology, followed by education (at 15 weeks) and healthcare (at 16 weeks). Clark added: "At this time of year, when 2015 budgets are likely being discussed and allocated, EU businesses must carefully consider how IT budgets are strategically spent. The return on investment in terms of the enhanced efficiency and accelerated productivity should be a key priority for EU businesses looking to maintain that competitive edge." 

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Special technology report

Printing & Labelling

The r ight impression Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading vendors and analysts from the printing & labelling sector about recent, ongoing and possible future developments in this important technology space. he printing & labelling solutions

T

various mobile operating systems, and

sector has to be fast-changing in a

seamless integration with various transaction-

number of ways, largely to meet

enabling solutions and contactless

changing end user needs and

technologies like Near Field Communication

Validation and verification

desires; for example, their need to

(NFC). Demand is rising for portable solutions

David Taylor,

remain compliant in the face of changing

that are not only WiFi- or Bluetooth-enabled but

business development

regulations in different parts of the globe,

can also seamlessly communicate with

manager –

greater workforce mobilisation, and their

disparate solutions both on-premise and in the

manufacturing &

growing awareness of the data visibility

field. As the diversity of consumer and

supply chain at Zebra

benefits achievable by networking a greater

enterprise-grade devices increases, the need

Technologies, reflects

number of objects and devices used within the

for mobile printers to be platform and OS-

that one key current

warehouse and manufacturing space. There

independent will rise.”

talking point is the

Mari Waldron, EMEIA printer product marketing manager,

validation and

are also fresh developments regularly brought to market by the solutions vendors and the

Janet Suleski, research director supply chain &

verification of integrity

wider platform community.

PLM at Gartner, points out that the complexity

of the data that is being applied to products and

of managing label and artwork data has grown

assets. “There is an increasing pressure on

From the perspective of Richa Gupta, senior

tremendously over the past decade or so.

stakeholders within manufacturing and supply

analyst, auto-ID & data capture at VDC

“Because of the international expansion of

chain to be able to guarantee that the items they

Research, the conversation recently seems to

companies in sectors such as food & beverage

are producing or handling can be tracked

have moved beyond print technology and

and consumer products, together with their

accurately,” he said. “In some industries the

technical specifications to device management

need to meet multiple regulatory requirements

label is now seen as being part of the product as

capabilities, Cloud-based platforms, and

in multiple environments simultaneously, it has

opposed to a simple identifier – those with zero

managed services. “While hardware continues

become increasingly complex to coordinate all

defect tolerance in production are now applying

to be at the centre of most investment

of the data management that is needed for

that stricture to their labelling. This starts with the

discussions, users are increasingly evaluating

efficient and compliant label and artwork

management of the source data, but is also

the role that these

management,” she said. Suleski added that

heavily affected by the quality and management

systems have to play

Gartner has also seen consumer products

of the machines applying identification marks or

as part of the broader

companies adopt some of the selling patterns

labels. This demand for consistency carries

automation

of fashion companies, and as a result there are

through to the materials used and processes that

infrastructure setup,”

products with labels that have shorter and

validate their correct application.”

she said. “Workforce

faster life cycles. “So, life cycles have shrunk at

mobilisation and

the same time as the need for accuracy has

Taylor adds that Zebra has seen some

related requirements

become more complex, both in terms of the

impressive use of its print engines in in-line

will spur current and

content of the labels and in making sure

applicators with real-time visual verification of the

anticipated product

products that are shipping to specific markets

label. Errors are captured by package rejection

development

and geographies have the right labels applied

on the conveyor or more recently with twin-head

enhancements,

to meet regulatory compliance requirements for

applicators where one backs off while the other

requiring support for

those precise locations,” she remarked.

continues. “Our Link-OS enabled printer ranges

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager,

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Printing & Labelling

Special technology report

are capable of connecting out to a

operations is to leverage the capabilities of

colour laser machines

predetermined URL where they can either be

‘smart’ printers, which are printers that integrate

will use NFC as a

remotely managed or – where compliance is a

the power of a personal computer. “Smart

means of

driver – confirm the formats and data that they

printing takes advantage of the memory and

authentication with the

are printing in real time,” explained Taylor. “We

processing power available in advanced printers

company’s B-Guard

have an API (application programming interface)

to run printing operations independently, without

pull printing solution.

that allows the user to define the behaviour of the

a PC or network connection to another host

Additionally, Johnson

unit and even archive the bitmap image that was

computer,” she said. “Smart printers can run

believes printer

sent to the print head.”

software applications and can function as PLCs

manufacturers are

to control other devices, including scales,

responding to the

In terms of key industry drivers for these kinds of

scanners and label applicators. By using the

increased use of

developments, Taylor reflects that this heavily

computing power that’s in the printer,

mobile devices in

depends on the particular industry or vertical

organisations can reduce their IT hardware,

business by providing

and whether they have legislative compliance or

networking and support requirements, lower the

wireless and Cloud print solutions as standard,

just mandates to their suppliers. “Food labelling

total cost of printing operations, and create work

allowing workers to print important documents

can be caught up in compliance issues,” he

processes that improve productivity and reduce

directly from smartphones and tablets. He adds

pointed out, “for example, the EU has ruled by

opportunities for errors.” Intermec by Honeywell

that Cloud support also enables users to print

December 2014 all consumers are given

introduced the widely used C# programming

directly from and scan to the Cloud. Additionally,

comprehensive ingredient listing information for

language into its SmartPrinting solution last year.

Johnson makes the point that the demand for

foods sold non-packed or pre-packed for direct

This makes it possible to design sophisticated

portable printing has also increased, as today’s

sale. Not only has the format and content of the

graphic interfaces for the applications, which

workforce is becoming more agile. “At Brother,

data changed, but the number of end-users

make them even easier to use. Intermec by

we have seen a significant increase in sales of

affected has increased too. Unpackaged goods

Honeywell Smart Printers include a

our range of portable printers in the past year,”

in hospitality or retail are now affected where

comprehensive selection of rugged, industrial

he said.

previously it was just packaged food. Another

fixed printers as well as the industry’s only Smart

pitfall is the demands of the (bigger) end

mobile receipt and label printers.

customers where failures in label integrity can result in fines or rejected shipments.”

Andy Johnson, product and solutions manager,

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager for Citizen Systems Europe, considers that iOS

As regards drivers for change, Waldron believes

integration is a major talking point, as is Cloud

end users are forever looking for ways to make

integration of systems. “That’s because

As extended supply chains become more global

their operations more efficient. “Because smart

customers increasingly demand the capability to

and businesses strive for new levels of

printers are programmable and can operate

print from mobile devices,” he said. In his view

operational efficiency, Ken Moir, marketing

without a computer or network connection, they

that is also why BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

director at NiceLabel, believes next-generation

provide tremendous flexibility in where they can

is receiving more and more attention. “We

enterprise labelling solutions are replacing

be placed and how they can be used,” she said.

haven’t yet seen any serious integration of BYOD

current generation label designers. “Public and

“Using the printer as a controller or

but it will come,” he said, adding: “Currently,

Private Cloud technologies are making it easier

programmable logic controller (PLC) eliminates

manufacturers are providing more market-

to instantly deploy and centrally control labelling

the need for operators to trigger label requests

specific products than ever before and we’ve

solutions across the supply chain,” he said. “This

or other actions, and therefore reduces the

expanded the capability to print from mobile

technology also allows labelling solutions to be

opportunity for operator error. Industrial smart

devices. The consumerisation of IT in business

extended to business partners and suppliers

printers can be installed in harsh environments

and print on-demand at the point of purchase is

allowing for stronger collaboration and more

where PCs can’t, while mobile models can bring

revolutionising the use of small, mobile printers.

accurate labelling

new intelligence and hardware independence to

Recent research from the International Data

across the extended

workers in the field. As a result, organisations

Corporation (IDC) estimates that by 2015 around

supply chain.”

can optimise their business processes and

one-third of the global workforce will effectively

logically integrate printing into operations, rather

be mobile.”

According to Mari

than treating it as a separate, inefficient step.”

Waldron, EMEIA

David Taylor, business development manager – manufacturing & supply chain,

printer product

Andy Johnson, product and solutions manager

marketing manager at

at Brother UK, observes that NFC (Near Field

Blurring of work and personal time

Honeywell Scanning &

Communications) is a relatively new technology

Schüßler makes the point that we are surrounded

Mobility, one growing

in printers and label printers, but one that is

by devices with mobile capability in our everyday

trend among

gathering pace within the industry as users look

lives. “We are accustomed to it, so it is only

companies with

to make printing as quick and simple as

natural that customers expect the same

barcode printing

possible. He added that Brother’s new range of

capability from printing and labelling,” he said.

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Special technology report

Printing & Labelling

Another driver in

hands of everyday users has driven expectations

management supply chain.

Schüßler’s view is that,

of connectedness in our work environment.

The good news is that almost all of the software

with the increasingly

“Having a smartphone that connects you in real

vendors we have spoken with have standard

mobile workforce,

time to a vast number of sources of information

application programming interfaces (APIs) to the

there’s a blurring of

does make you question why systems in your

large ERP systems available today, such as SAP

work and personal

work aren’t so accessible,” he said.

and Oracle; and other ERP systems as relevant

time, which brings us

Richa Gupta, senior analyst auto-ID & data capture,

to their specific industries.”

back again to BYOD.

Taylor adds that The Internet of Things – or

“Of course, a strong

Internet of Everything, as it is now being referred

driver is always the

to – can, from printer perspective, be seen in two

Single source of the truth

need to make cost

ways. “First, any asset that is given an identity

Moir observes that enterprises are focusing on

savings, and mobile

(barcode, RFID tag, etc.) gets a ‘digital voice’,”

driving labelling directly from their ERP systems

printing can achieve

he explains. “We now expect to be able to

such as SAP/Oracle and connecting to their

this,” he said. “If a

identify what an item is and discover (or even

master data. “They are leveraging, not changing,

product can be labelled where it already sits,

add to) its provenance. Devices that are used to

their existing business processes,” he said.

without having to be moved to a labelling station,

mark assets should themselves be connected

“Label printing with label content data driven

that saves a lot of time and manpower.”

and remotely accessible to confirm they are

directly from ERP transactions, the single source

doing what they are supposed to be doing.”

of the truth, improves labelling data accuracy

Matt Parker, independent auto-ID analyst,

Secondly, Taylor makes the point that not only

and increases efficiency. Label Lifecycle

believes if one looks at the end user marketplace

are our printing devices connected but we can

management helps enterprises manage

– the organisations that are actually buying

now gather data from any suitable network

versions, revisions and compare/track changes.

printing, labelling and marking systems today –

connected device where a ZATAR

This is especially critical for regulated industries

the overwhelming desire is one of extending

(http://www.zatar.com/) gateway is present. “We

such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, chemical,

network reach. “There are very good reasons for

can create a device profile called an Avatar and

food & beverage etc. Universal smart label

this; one being that anything that is networked is

users can develop their own analytics using the

templates, one template instead of hundreds,

visible,” he said. “Once you can see it then you

ZATAR API,” he said.

work across many brands and models of

can monitor it, you can measure it and therefore

printers.” Moir also pointed out that by

you make changes and improvements based on

Janet Suleski’s view is that the market can mainly

implementing an enterprise-centric labelling

the information you’re receiving. So in the auto-ID

be broken down into at least two main areas,

strategy, companies benefit from more

sector specific to printing & labelling, once again

and companies need two different strategies to

efficiency, greater accuracy and improved

we’re seeing a tremendous increase in the

deal with this. The first area is concerned with

customer responsiveness. “They dramatically

number of systems and projects that are coming

the labelling and artwork that goes on to a

reduce the total cost of ownership of their

in, but on the back of this desire for increased

physical product, and the second is the labelling

labelling processes and reduce downtime,” he

network reach. This is because ultimately the

that goes onto the packaging in which the

added.

means of doing that is by applying a code of

product is shipped; i.e. carton label

some kind to an inanimate object. While it may

management. “There are currently two separate

The big change in Schüßler’s view is that mobile

not be physically networked via an industrial

pools of solutions that are used for addressing

solutions have now been broadly accepted by

Ethernet, having a code on it that is readable –

these areas,” said Suleski, “and many

management as well as workers. “This has led to

either by an automated system or a manually

companies would like to source these types of

the availability of many products on standard

operated scanner – means for that split second

solutions from a single provider; although that’s

platforms, which in turn have encouraged yet

an item becomes networked, in my view. It’s

not where the market is currently.” In terms of

more users to move towards providing mobile

visible on the system; you can know its location,

coordinating with some of the back-end systems,

capability,” he said.

what its status is and what it’s doing, and you are

Suleski explains that the most direct link is with

“The latest generation

therefore able to make changes and adjustments

ERP as the system of record for product masters

of portable printers

based on that information.

and synchronising changes in product label and

have been made

artwork management with changes in the

smaller, lighter and

product masters. “Many companies have

more robust, while

The back end

conducted this process manually, but this can

incorporating greater

In terms of the relationship between printing and

cause a number of errors to be made over time,”

functionality,

labelling systems and back-office systems such

she adds. “Some companies have undertaken to

performance and a

as ERP and WMS, what do our commentators

clean up the errors that have been made, but

longer battery life; this

consider to have been some of the recent key

they would like a more automated way of

additional functionality

developments? Taylor believes that, without

maintaining that synchronisation between all the

has included WiFi and

doubt, the ubiquity of smart computing in the

different moving parts of their label and artwork

Bluetooth. Mobile

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Ken Moir, marketing director,

www.logisticsit.com


Printing & Labelling

Special technology report

printing is now a major

Matt Parker, independent auto-ID analyst.

mobile printing and we expect to see more

focus for

Things to watch

innovations both in the linerless label materials

manufacturers and

What might be the next key developments to

as well as on the hardware side.”

Cloud computing via

look out for over the next year or two within the

mobile devices is

Printing & Labelling space? Gupta reiterates that

As consumer industries require a much richer

leading customers to

innovation in the printing & labelling systems

and higher level of intelligent packaging, Parker

request facilities to

market is not going to be restricted to hardware

believes it is obvious that we are going to enter

print from mobile

alone. “Expect to see a stronger demand for

a level of requirement for intelligent labels that

devices, which is why

device management capabilities, data security,

are put on parts, components and materials to

the market leaders are

integration with Cloud-based platforms, and

eliminate that point-in-time issue he spoke of

expanding their

managed print services,” she said. Johnson

earlier. “Again, it comes back to the requirement

capability to print from

expects the mobile print market to grow

for an extended network reach,” he said. “There

mobile devices.”

significantly in the coming years, as Juniper

will be a situation that drives the need for

Research predicts that the number of employee-

increased visibility of previously inanimate

Matt Parker believes today there is much tighter

owned smartphones and tablets used in

objects that were just scanned and were just

handshaking between the printing & labelling

business is expected to exceed one billion by

visible for a certain amount of time. Something

device and the overarching management

2018. “The most important factor in the speed of

to look out for in the near future will be an

system. “Again, it comes back to this concept of

this growth is education, as most smartphone

intelligent label with a more feature-rich sensor

an extended and richer network depth,” he said.

owners are unaware that they can print from

embedded in it, as opposed to a traditional

“Anything that is hanging off a central planning

their device,” he said. “If we raise awareness of

RFID tag. This intelligent label could possibly

or management system needs to be able to

these features amongst end users, and make

communicate over a much greater distance,

respond and adjust what it is doing based on

mobile printing as seamless as possible, then

and give much greater levels of information

information that is coming down. Equally, what it

this will contribute to a rapid increase in those

within a certain zoned environment or area of

is producing needs to be readable; if the printer

using it.”

the shop floor or warehouse. We are already

is producing something that causes an onward

seeing this sort of technology adopted in the

problem because the barcode, RFID tag etc. is

Moir believes the extended supply chain will

unreadable for whatever reason, then that can

continue to get ‘more connected’, and that

cause issues.”

Cloud technology, Big Data and the ‘Internet of

Suleski thinks we will see continued interest in

things’ will all play an increasingly large part in

companies wanting to source their label and

Therefore, Parker maintains that one of the

the printing & labelling space. Schüßler’s view is

artwork and packaging design and engineering

improvements we are seeing beyond the

that we can expect to see the same evolution

solutions from a single vendor. “There are

handshaking and interaction systems in the slave

that we have seen in mobile phones – smarter,

currently three or four different kinds of software

devices is the materials on which barcodes are

lighter, systems that are more app-based. “With

vendors that are serving the label and artwork

being printed. “There is now a much greater

the increasing availability of inexpensive off-the-

management space – in particular, I am

variety of materials that can have codes printed

shelf mobile devices, portable and mobile

referring to the specialist ERP and product

on them,” he explained. “Some of these

printers will offer wider scope to businesses,

lifecycle management (PLM) vendors,” she said.

materials are able to withstand extremes of

particularly smaller, faster paced businesses or

“Many companies consider label and artwork

temperature, can be used outdoors as well as

those on the move such as retail, logistics and

management to be part of the PLM process, so I

indoors, are tear-resistant and tamperproof. We

the restaurant sectors,” he remarked.

believe we will see more consolidation of label

should consider those kinds of things as well

healthcare space.”

and artwork management capabilities into PLM,

because when we are talking about the types of

Waldron sees linerless printing as a clear trend

although at the moment

flow-based processes found in manufacturing,

that seems to be getting stronger, and observes

there is still very much a

logistics or retail we constantly should be

that linerless label materials have improved over

place for market

thinking about the next stage in the process. The

the years. “The technology has matured and the

specialists. When talking

communication and interaction between the

applications work very successfully nowadays,”

to companies and their

printer and WMS may be absolutely fine, but if

she said. “The drivers for this trend are

future needs, many of

this interaction is producing something that is

environmental – liner is not recyclable – but also

these relate to basic

going to cause a problem on line-side further

related to health & safety and operational

ongoing requirements

down the process then that’s going to be an

efficiency: the liner can cause a slip hazard in a

for cleansing and

issue. So manufacturing is an interesting sector

warehouse or a retail store. Some users have

synchronising their data,

because we have to think about the ‘soft’

also been able to achieve clear ROI on investing

and putting the most

elements as well is the hard elements in terms of

in linerless technology due to the time saved by

effective workflows in

the physical printed output.”

not having to peel backing paper off labels.

place to speed-up their

Linerless is now also becoming popular in

processes.” 

www.logisticsit.com

Janet Suleski, research director supply chain & PLM,

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Opinion

The Perfect Service Visit – optimising the customer value equation By Tim Eusterman, senior director of industry marketing, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility.

impact of this performance metric.

n Q1 of 2014 Honeywell Scanning &

of the ‘Perfect Service Visit’ as a function of

Mobility collaborated with The Service

customer satisfaction. The idea of the ‘Perfect

Council to survey 260 field service

Service Visit’ is one that has its roots in the

But what are the other components that make

operations leaders around the world. The

compound metric used in distribution

up the Perfect Service Visit? In our survey, we

impetus of the survey was to see how

operations to describe the ‘Perfect Order’.

chose three more well-known metrics that also

these leaders were executing on the primary

The perfect order metric, a compound metric

contribute to customer perceptions of a high

points of business focus uncovered in mid-

widely regarded as a combination of four

quality, high value service experience. These

2013 research done by The Service Council.

individual measures, is well understood and

were – 1) On-time Arrival, 2) Repair/Visit

In that research, respondents indicated that

often debated depending on the type of

complete within 4 hours or the SLA, and 3)

revenue growth was the top priority focus and

distribution operation.

Billing Accuracy.

Our approach was to emulate this compound

These three metrics were added to the First-

metric idea to determine which aspects of a

time Fix metric and we asked our survey

It is well-known that those field service

field service visit will help companies to drive

respondents to rank them in order of their

operations achieving higher levels of

and define a strategy to improve customer

perception of importance to their customers.

customer satisfaction are rewarded with

satisfaction overall. As a leading data point

The rankings were one to four with one being

superior customer loyalty and improved

and indicator, we began the survey into

the most important and 4 being the least

revenue growth. What is less clear is what

customer satisfaction with First-time Fix rates.

important. As you can see in Table 1 below,

exactly drives that high level of customer

The Service Council has documented the

there is a slight departure from the ratings in

satisfaction, how field service leaders are

connection between First-time Fix rates and

North America with other regions of the world.

measuring it, and what is the interactive

customer satisfaction and shows that

However, between First-time Fix and On-time

nature of those specific metrics.

companies achieving less than 50 per cent

Arrival, the rankings are quite close. On

First-time Fix have an average customer

average for all regions, On-time Arrival

In pursuit of greater understanding of the

satisfaction rating of just 57 per cent. When

averaged a 1.85 ranking while First-time Fix

connection between high levels of customer

compared to companies that have a 90 per

came in at an average ranking of 2.0.

satisfaction with improving loyalty and

cent or greater First-time Fix rate and a

revenue growth, we wanted to understand

commensurate customer satisfaction average

Table 1 highlights metrics that the customers

how field service leaders perceived the idea

rating of 94 per cent, it is easy to see the

of the surveyed organisations rank as being

I

driving revenue growth at the point of service was the top strategic challenge for 2014.

the most important from a field service perspective. It is fair to conclude that in North America these first two metrics are very closely ranked and are likely to have similar impacts on customer satisfaction. The point in creating a compound metric such as the ‘Perfect Service Visit’ is to acknowledge that customer satisfaction is likely based on multiple aspects of performance by a field service technician. Additionally, there may be interactions between these metrics that create other lesser or greater results depending on the level achieved on one or more individual metrics. In

38

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www.logisticsit.com


Opinion

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE starting point to truly improve bottom line

Metric

North America

First-time Fix

1.8

EMEA

Latin America

APAC

2.2

2.1

1.9

performance. In general the linkage between customer satisfaction, the right to earn more loyalty and the revenue growth associated with that, is clear. The next step is to define the

On-time Arrival

1.9

1.8

1.9

1.8

customers, the specific services they desire and their measures of customer satisfaction.

Repair/ Visit Complete within 4 hrs or SLA

2.8

2.3

2.7

2.7

Those companies that do this best, and build their customer facing and back office workflows to accentuate those customer

Billing Accuracy

3.5

3.7

3.4

3.7

values, will not only win the hearts and minds of their customers, but they will earn the right to create a long-term, profitable relationship

other words, a company may have a perfect

teams dig into the most important elements of

that increases value for both parties and

score on the most important metric to a

their services that drive the highest level of

builds a moat around the customer against

customer, but a less than 70 per cent of target

customer satisfaction for their customers, they

the ever increasing competitive threat.

for another may completely undermine the

cannot begin to make specific investments to

perfect score.

improve the workflows that impact these

Thirty-three per cent of respondents were from

results. Regardless as to whether the answers

North America, 29 per cent from EMEA, 24 per

Naturally there are many more facets of a

are improving workflows that are customer

cent from Latin America and 14 per cent from

customer facing interaction that are going to

facing or those that are between the back-

Asia Pacific. The companies were of various

impact the perception of value and

office operation and technician,

sizes with 40 per cent of respondents with less

satisfaction other than these specific metrics

understanding what specific customers seek

than 50 field personnel, 33 per cent with 50-

above. However, until field service operations

in one of more types or service offers is the

500, and 27 per cent with greater than 500. 

Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (HSM) is a leading manufacturer

Industrial Printers.

of high-performance image- and laser-based data collection

Software.

hardware, including rugged mobile computers and barcode

Wearable Scanner and Mobile Computer.

scanners, radio frequency identification solutions, Voice-enabled

RFID.

workflow and printing solutions. With the broadest product

Vocollect Voice Solutions.

Corporate Profile

Honeywell Scanning & Mobility

portfolio in the automatic identification and data collection industry, HSM provides data collection hardware for retail,

Industrial markets served

healthcare, distribution centres, direct store delivery, field

Collection & Delivery.

service and transportation and logistics companies seeking to

Healthcare.

improve operations and enhance customer service. Additionally,

Field Workforce.

HSM provides advanced software, service and professional

Ports & Intermodal.

solutions that help customers effectively manage data and

Postal.

assets. HSM products are sold worldwide through a network of

Retail.

distributor and reseller partners.

Warehouse.

Solutions offered

Countries served

Barcode Scanners.

Worldwide.

Mobile Computers (including rugged mobile computers). Vehicle Mount Computers. Wireless Infrastructures.

www.logisticsit.com

Website: www.honeywellaidc.com

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Special technology report

AIDC/Mobile computers

Communicat ion on the move Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with leading vendors, analysts, systems integrators and distributors about current issues, developments and possible future trends in the world of auto-ID and mobile computing technology. he world of auto-ID and mobile

T

supply chain those types of devices are

too much because I think consumer-grade

computing has changed

second nature to them. We are seeing more

devices are normally just not durable enough

considerably in recent times, not

of our customers enquiring whether we can

in the manufacturing and warehouse

least with regard to the choice of

provide support for Android platforms.”

environment; so we wouldn’t recommend it in

operating system. Johan Hed,

Hampson believes an increasing number of

the industry sectors where we tend to

product manager at Handheld Group, has

people are more intuitively aligned to Android

operate,” he said. “Rugged handhelds may

lately seen an increase of Android-based

as opposed to Windows-type systems now,

be more expensive than consumer devices,

applications on the market. However, he

and he thinks the popularity of Android is

but these days most providers of industrial-

maintains that for the immediate future, over

forcing manufacturers to offer it as an

grade devices are offering three-year

the next year or two, Windows and Windows

alternative. “Three years ago there wasn’t

contracts, so our customers know the fixed

Mobile will still remain dominant. “As a result

really on alternative, but there has been a big

prices from day one. They buy their handheld

of Windows 8 and Android we can see a

groundswell of popularity there now so

computer and it comes with a support

trend and desire to control computers in the

certainly Android is driving change,” he

package that includes abuse cover; so your

same way as consumer products; that is,

remarked.

costs are fixed and you have no surprises for three years. Consumer-grade devices could

through capacitive touchscreen technology,” he added. “Resistive touch technology will

Hampson is also seeing changes for NFC

have problems in the warehouse environment

however remain an important technique in

(near field communication). “Now it’s not just

in terms of breakages and damage, so I can’t

humid and rainy environments due to

traditional barcodes or RFID; NFC is coming

see many employees wanting to use their own

challenges offered by the combination of

into the frame little bit more now,” he said.

device in that kind of environment. It’s not

capacitive touch and water.”

“There isn’t an established application for it

really an applicable technology for use inside

just yet in the warehousing environment but I

the four walls.”

Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC

think people are hedging their bets and

(Systems Integration), agrees with Hed to the

looking at dual technologies from a future

Eric de Greef; product marketing manager

extent that one key area of change is

proofing point of view.”

Mobility EMEIA, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility, believes smartphones from the

Android’s increasing prevalence in the autoID space. “Increasingly it is becoming the

Additionally, Hampson has his finger on the

consumer space have been influencing the

platform of choice for a lot of users within a

pulse of the ongoing BYOD debate, although

role of enterprise mobile devices. “Honeywell

mobile computing arena,” he said. “If you look

he doesn’t consider it to be too big an issue

Scanning & Mobility has noticed that

at it from a people perspective the younger

within the manufacturing and warehousing

smartphone culture and ‘Bring your own

generation is growing up with Android now,

arena. “A small number of our customers

Device’ (BYOD) has now influenced the

so increasingly for the workforce within the

have talked about it, but we don’t dwell on it

development of devices in the AIDC industry,”

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AIDC/Mobile computers

Tony Hampson, managing director,

Special technology report

he said. “A few

Capture at VDC Research, makes the point

of what is going on in the

examples are full

that there is a marked shift in scanning

manufacturing/warehouse environment. In his

touch screen

technology adoption in the barcode scanner

view, the questions to ask are; do I really

devices, no more

marketplace – from laser scanners to camera-

know my inventory in real time? Do I really

physical keypads or

based imaging solutions. “The value imaging

understand what is happening on my

Android operating

solutions offer, beyond just reading barcodes,

production lines at any given moment? Do I

systems entering our

particularly seems to resonate with

really know where the workers are and what

space.” Another

enterprises that have customer-facing

they are doing? “We believe the objective of

evolution, according

applications and those that need to scan

mobile technology is to help solve these

to de Greef, is 2D for

different types of codes,” she said.

questions,” he said, adding: “Do I know my

reading barcodes

inventory? Do I know what is coming into the

with a dedicated

Within manufacturing today, in addition to

warehouse? Do I know where things are in the

imager rather than

discussing social media, mobility, Big Data

warehouse? There is a clear need to capture

what he describes as the ‘less user-friendly

and the Cloud, Daniel Dombach, director of

information related to items coming into the

camera’, also allowing capturing barcodes

the EIA industry solutions group at Motorola

warehouse using technology such as 1-D and

from smart phones. From the software side,

Solutions, observes there is a clear trend

2-D barcode data capture devices. We

de Greef has witnessed the growing interest

towards embracing Industry 4.0; a high-tech

currently see quite a steep adoption curve of

and deployment of remote device

strategy that promotes the computerisation of

RFID, though not so much at item level and

management software.

the industry. “The goal is to have better

not on lower cost goods.”

visibility of every tool and mobile device and In terms of what has driven these

every element in every machine used within

Dombach adds that capturing information

developments, de Greef’s view is that the

the factory or warehouse environment,” he

through the use of cameras on mobile

younger generation is so used to using

explained, adding: “This sounds like a great

devices is also important in order to maintain

smartphones that the market is clearly seeing

concept, but so far we have yet to see any

a visual record of the condition of a product.

a trend towards a device without a keypad,

large scale implementations. When we talk to

“For example, certain goods might be

something which is pocketable, no longer 500

manufacturers one of the key areas they feel

damaged when they are delivered to site. You

grams, but below 200 grams. “Some

they should invest in is asset management in

can take a picture with a mobile computer to

companies want something they can put in

order to better understand their tools,

document the damage and create a report.

their pockets with more capacity in radio

machines and vehicles – to know where and

All these solutions provide an opportunity to

transmission, maybe also the ability to make a

what state they are in at any given time. Of

fill in forms with additional data providing

movie or colour pictures that can be sent

course, unplanned downtime can be

better overall quality of information.”

back to base,” he said. “Let’s say the

extremely costly in the manufacturing

smartphone is entering into our world, into our

environment. If a company has better visibility

Mike Pullon, CEO of distributor Varlink,

traditional automatic identification and data

of its assets it can better safeguard itself

reflects that here are things current

capture world. We see a trend where

against unpredicted events.”

happening in the AIDC space that many

customers want to have the smartphone-like

observers didn’t necessarily see coming a

user experience that is combined with rugged

In terms of warehousing, Dombach believes

few years ago. “Proprietary operating systems

form factor and all the necessary pre-

there is a desire for many companies to make

or a proprietary approach to terminal

requisites such as long battery life, ability to

a transition, as warehousing becomes a cost

programming was definitely on the wane, and

connect with back-office platforms.”

factor. However, he explains that making

open systems – particularly in the form of

intelligent use of your warehouse through

Windows – meant

In terms of mobile network, de Greef makes

mobility helps create an opportunity to

that everybody was

the point that full 3G is now the minimum for

differentiate yourself in the market and

now moving towards

communication in order to allow fast and

delivers a competitive advantage. “By using

the same core skills

accurate data transfer and voice

mobility solutions in an effective way you can

and you saw a

communication. He added that even LTE or

move your warehouse away from being a cost

common approach

4G is now considered allowing even video

centre to becoming a more positive and

from manufacturers.

streaming. “The open platforms allow end

profitable business centre for the business,”

So I wouldn’t say all

users to access Google Mobile Services and

said Dombach.

products are the

download eventually some useful applications,” he said. Richa Gupta, senior analyst, AutoID & Data

www.logisticsit.com

same but essentially Mobility is on the agenda of every CIO, plant

you could move from

and logistics manager. Dombach points out

one platform to

that the expectation is to have better visibility

another. However

Daniel Dombach, director of the EIA industry solutions group,

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Special technology report

AIDC/Mobile computers

what I think we’re

now believes it has actually become

With regard to customer relationship

seeing now is almost

mainstream. “If you look at Twitter every day

management (CRM), Dombach explains that

a three-way bet

there’s a constant stream of messaging from

service technicians dealing with customers

taking place.

vendors on the IOT and what it’s going to do;

out in the field need to be able to quickly

Microsoft is clearly

from control of assets to maximisation of

check whether a customer has an order

the incumbent,

uptime for all sorts of productivity gains,” he

history with the company, or a maintenance

Apple to some

said. Are we seeing massive adoption of IOT?

history for the device being repaired.

degree is the thing

“The interesting thing is I don’t think we know

“Technicians might be picking up a job

that people aspire to

for sure,” considered Pullon. “This is because

started by the service engineer the previous

have and Android

once the machine is on the network and gets

day, so they will need to know what tasks

has been very

an IP address, and if someone wants to

have already been performed,” he said. “Are

quietly building up a

harness that power it’s there. Yes there are

there frequently recurring errors in the field, or

massive user base.

some configuration tools that some

a quality problem on the production line which

So if you look at hardware instead of that

companies have been selling for network

needs to be rectified? Connectivity can really

consolidation around core principles and core

control for some years that we didn’t see a

help complete such jobs better and faster,

ideas what we now have is manufacturers

massive uptake on, but IOT doesn’t even

which helps to meet and improve profit

having to have a three-way approach to

require a manufacturer’s involvement with the

margins.”

product development.”

tools necessarily. A good systems engineer in

Eric de Greef; product marketing manager Mobility EMEIA,

a company with a focus on uptime could be

Hampson considers there is now a lot more

And Pullon doesn’t think that is any clearer in

implementing an IOT strategy without

focus on management reporting or KPIs (key

the world of mobile printing and companion

necessarily the manufacturers, distributors or

performance indicators). “Being able to

scanning. “Instead of being able to

even the resellers being aware of it. And it’s

access that sort of information remotely is

consolidate we now see some of the core

going to be interesting to see how vendors

where the changes are,” he said. “If you look

manufacturers having to work hard on having

and their partners can add value to their

at the basic transactions that take place in the

SDKs developed, available, robust and

solutions sale when actually a lot of the power

warehouse – goods receiving, put-away,

working to enable people to hook up printers

is now in the hands of the end user.”

goods receiving, picking etc. – that hasn’t really changed because there is a limited

to an operating system platform of their

number of ways you can move product

choice,” he said. “And scanner manufacturers have to become quite inventive and creative

Back-office

around through the supply chain. However,

in producing companion scanners which

Dombach explains that another important

what is changing is the emphasis on

deliver the same sort of productivity gains that

thing is to have connectivity to a back-office

presenting this information in the form of

traditional barcode scanners plugged into a

system. In the warehouse it will likely be the

management reporting dashboards, and

terminal would give, but aimed at a

warehouse management system (WMS), and

being able to remotely monitor that whilst you

completely different customer base whether

on the manufacturing shop floor it will likely

may not be actually in the warehouse. Today,

it’s in retail, distribution, manufacturing or any

be the manufacturing execution system

the warehouse manager can review the

sort of automation environment. I’m not sure

(MES) or ERP system. “This necessitates a

dashboards and statistics anywhere in the

that prior to the advent of the iPad and prior

network infrastructure to which the devices

world and know exactly what’s going on within

to the proliferation of installations involving

connect via wireless LAN,” he pointed out.

the four walls, even though he’s not there

Android devices I don’t think we were

“The important thing is that you have

himself. Technology is enabling that through

particularly seeing that trend. So that’s been a

connectivity and visibility. If you are

3G and 4G providing much faster

kind of sea change

scanning items that come from trucks into

connections.”

and one that we

the warehouse you must ensure, ideally in

have to adapt to in

real-time, that you can send that information

Hampson added that, in the past, KPI

terms of the number

into the WMS. What is in the warehouse

information was there but it was less visible

of items we keep in

needs to be recorded in the WMS and what

and only a small number of people had

stock.”

is recorded in the WMS must be in the

access to it. “However, these KPIs are now

warehouse. You need to be able to find it. If

instantly available to a much wider

Pullon adds that the

you have a broken link, then you could have

community; with display boards and

core ideas behind

dead inventory, which is costly because you

technology throughout the warehouse,” he

the Internet of things

will not be able to sell it. Because the key

pointed out. “We’re seeing more and more big

(IOT) have been

phrase here is real-time, the connectivity of

screen display TVs in the warehouse

talked about for

the mobile device to the backend system is

environment, with the dashboards that anyone

several years, but he

critical.”

can see rather than being the preserve of an

Johan Hed, product Manager,

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AIDC/Mobile computers

Special technology report

individual or a privileged group of people.

considers we will see more power-efficient

development there

From the operator’s point of view, there is

devices, which means longer operating time

not super-fast, but

nothing to hide behind; your statistics are on

alternatively lighter devices while maintaining

we are starting to

the screen for everyone to see along with the

uptime.

see retail, especially fashion retail, picking

statistics of your co-workers. Basically, this

up on this.”

technology provides greater visibility and, as

Gupta points out that VDC expects growing

a result, can provide a company with

convergence between the AIDC and factory

competitive edge as well.”

automation worlds in the coming future,

In manufacturing

particularly with regards to camera-based

and warehousing,

Gupta considers that consumerisation of IT is

solutions. “With fixed-position imager use

Dombach believes

the biggest driver for growing imaging

almost mimicking the application capabilities

there will be

technology adoption in support of data

of traditional machine vision systems, expect

noticeable

capture applications. “The need for

manufacturing enterprises to leverage these

improvements in the

enterprises to future-proof their technology

technologies for quality assurance and

level of automation in warehouses. “Over the

investments, capture images, decode the

control, surface inspection, and defect

next two or three years the warehouse

wealth of information locked in different

elimination in the production line,” she said,

environment will see the adoption of visual

barcode symbologies today and facilitate a

adding: “Continued innovation and

aids to help workers perform certain tasks,”

broad range of applications beyond traditional

application development centred on camera-

he said. “For example, prototypes of

track-and-trace are driving VDC’s predictions

based imaging technology will make one-for-

computer glasses are running in various

for continued interest and investments in

all imagers a popular investment option.”

countries. With these it becomes possible to

Richa Gupta, senior analyst, AutoID & Data Capture,

share more information with the worker in

these multi-faceted solutions,” she said. Hampson believes that in the area of barcode

more convenient ways, saving even more time

In de Greef’s view, the industry may continue

scanning there is definitely a move towards

while improving picking accuracy. However,

to be talking about the Cloud, but this is still in

2D scan technologies. “That’s definitely

alongside this, the level of Voice-directed

terms of a project-based status. “Of course,

happening now,” he said. “We sell a lot more

picking deployments will continue to rise.”

the industrial end user still needs the strong

image-based hardware than traditional laser-

connection with back-office platforms and the

based solutions.”

Dombach believes we will also see more automation in terms of robotics in warehouses

above mentioned software tools will stay around and supported by global and major

In terms of mobile devices, Pullon thinks there

where applicable. He adds that workforce

players,” he said.

is now recognition among the established

management in manufacturing will grow as

manufacturers of handheld terminals that they

well, as more companies try to optimise

will need to be even more innovative and

production by moving away from producing

Eye on the future

more cost-effective than perhaps they have

out of inventory and moving more towards

And what might be the next key

been in the past. “It isn’t enough any more to

actual demand. “It is really important to

developments to look out for over the next

say commercial devices are robust,” he said.

optimise your workforce and have technology

year or two within the AIDC/Mobile

“The ongoing discussions are now very much

in place that enables you to know the

Computing/RFID marketplace? Hed sees a

to do with the balance of power in that

capabilities of particular workers and how

trend towards more connected devices, and

handheld space – does it reside with some of

they could be best utilised at any given time,”

not only in terms of UMTS (Universal Mobile

the consumer-grade device manufacturers or

he said, adding that this also takes us into the

Telecommunications System, the third

is there a way that the power balance within

area of Six Sigma. “When looking at waste we

generation mobile cellular system for networks

the commercial sectors could reside with the

usually talk about the seven wastes that make

based on the GSM

specialists we deal with that offer industrial-

up unprofitable activity within a company:

standard) but also

grade devices? So we’re seeing ongoing

defects; overproduction; waiting; inventory;

the LTE (Long-Term

developments in form factors and ergonomics

motion and processing and transportation,”

Evolution, commonly

etc. in a way that has been absent for some

he said. “But we now need to add another

marketed as 4G LTE)

time to try and get the reseller community

waste to this list, based around capturing all

mobile phone

really galvanised. This process will continue

the data from all the manufacturing machines

standard. These, he

for some time.”

and RFID chips in a way that ensures the most effective type of Business Intelligence

believes, will be Mike Pullon, CEO,

standard for

Dombach reiterates that Industry 4.0 remains

and Analytics functionality is used to provide

products in the

the big topic for the moment. “From there you

people with the right amount and type of data

nearest future.

have a very short step to the Internet of

needed to derive valuable benefit.” 

Additionally Hed

Things,” he said. “So we will continue to see

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V OICE technology

Opinion

Warehouse Automation: 3 reasons why you shouldn’t fear your job By Darrel Williams, regional director, Honeywell Vocollect Solutions.

examples of full warehouse automation – such

will mobile payments push us further towards

as the Marks & Spencer centre in Castle

a global, fragmented distribution centre?

Donnington - continue to draw favourable news headlines.

2. It lacks flexibility

Without doubt, the increased application of

Automation works best within fairly rigid, fixed processes with

technology can help warehouse workers to complete tasks. But replace them entirely? Looking many years into the future, rather than just the present, there remain some very significant barriers that should make most warehouse managers

predictable

The ever-changing face of retail demands change in warehouse processes, that much is clear. But perhaps rather than full automation, warehouses can find a middle ground that makes the best of both human and machine capabilities.”

examples above show that such processes don’t really exist for most warehouses. We are seeing unprecedented SKU churn and the expected life span of any (consumer)

think twice about full

product is shorter than ever in part due to

automation.

Darrel Williams: The value of complementary skills.

throughput. The

volatility of trends and consumer demand. 1. It can’t predict the future What this means is that humans are required

an the job of a warehouse worker be

In just the past year alone, online retail growth

to intervene to add the necessary agility to

performed by a robot?

has grown by 15.8 per cent1, while 365 high

address the non-conformity that fluctuating

street retailers closed down in the first half of

demand causes. Take the wrapping and

C

Research by Deloitte

20142. This has led to a

storing of goods on pallets. Goods need to be

and the University of

huge change in floor

uniformly arranged to enable effective

space requirements,

automation. What if goods are mixed in a

increased need for

location, or on a pallet, become displaced or

express delivery, and the

even fall from shelves? Correcting these

rise of reverse logistics.

abnormalities is still very much a manual task.

Oxford predicts that the rise of technology could lead to the loss of nearly 11 million human jobs in the next 20 years. Manual work, such as that performed in a warehouse, is cited as

Looking many years into the future, rather than just the present, there remain some very significant barriers that should make most warehouse managers think twice about full automation.”

being particularly at risk.

All of which means new warehouse processes.

3. It’s expensive

Going forward,

Most warehouse automation systems take five

predictions abound as to

to ten years to achieve ROI. Can you be sure

whether the e-commerce trend will rise or fall.

that what you need to automate now will still

Such figures are bound to cause anxiety

Will Amazon’s high-street store concept take

be the case in two years, let alone a decade?

among warehouse workers, particularly when

off and lead to the hyper-local warehouse? Or

Realistically, most can’t.

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Opinion

V OICE technology

Building human-technology collaboration The ever-changing face of retail demands change in warehouse processes, that much is clear. But perhaps rather than full automation, warehouses can find a middle ground that makes the best of both human and machine capabilities. Voice directed work aims to bridge this human-technology divide. Using headsets, the worker reads out details of each individual step of the job they are working on, checking off instructions as they go. This type of working keeps staff agile and motivated, working to automated instructions yet able to adapt to new tasks quickly. It’s been shown to increase efficiency levels by 20 per cent in many warehouses, with a proven accuracy rate of 99.98 per cent.

without hedging all of their bets on full

warehouse. But to see real benefits in the

automation.

long-term, it’s the complementary skills, rather than the differences, where most

This combination of speed and accuracy allows businesses to meet the needs of an

Humans and technology both have their

increasingly demanding retail environment

undoubted roles to play in the future of the

1 2

attention should be applied. 

Centre for Retail Research; Online Retailing: Britain, Europe and the US 2014 BBC; ‘Number of UK High Street shops falls sharply’ – 9 October 2014

NEED IT IN STORE TOMORROW?

WITH VOCOLLECT VOICE YOU CAN.

WITH VOCOLLECT, VOCOLLECT T, EVERYTHING E EVERYTHING IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT AT THE RIGHT TIME. S See ee what what Vocollect can do do for for you you at at www.vocollect.co.uk w w w.vocollect.co.uk Vocollect can Run a Better Business with Voice

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Corporate Profile

V OICE technology

Opinion

Honeywell Vocollect Solutions

Solutions offered Purpose-built Voice-centric solutions for the mobile worker, including:

Honeywell is a leading provider of innovative Voice technology

The Vocollect A700 portable devices

solutions, helping companies with mobile workers run a better

The Vocollect SRX 2 headset

business with Voice.

Vocollect Voice software solutions: Voice Catalyst, Voice Console and Voice Artisan

Every day, our Vocollect Voice solutions enable nearly one million

Vocollect Enterprise (WMS/ERP) Connectors: Voice Express,

global mobile workers to move $5 billion worth of goods and

Voice Link & Voice Direct, Voice Direct for ERP (SAP) and

annually saves companies more than $20 billion.

Voice Interface Objects

Together with a global team of over 2000 certified

Industrial markets served

professionals, Vocollect solutions enable companies to further

No matter what industry you are in, Vocollect solutions offer

optimise operations, improve business decision capabilities, and

higher productivity, accuracy, and most customers realise a

deliver the industry’s premier worker experience in challenging

return on investment in less than 12 months.

industrial environments. Vocollect integrates with all major WMS, ERP, material handling systems and maintenance &

Countries served

inspection systems and supports the industry’s leading mobile

Worldwide

computing devices.

Website: www.vocollect.co.uk

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Transport & Logistics

46

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www.intralogistics-europe.com

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BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd. integrate seamlessly into any host ERP system to fulfil

Automated Data Capture solutions for use within the supply

business and commercial requirements.

chain and manufacturing industries. Based on the company’s eSmart Data Capture software suite, BEC systems offer

Through the development of innovative AIDC solutions with

complete end-to-end solutions that improve the productivity and

barcoding and Voice technology at its core, BEC offers a

accuracy of clients’ operations, whilst delivering increased

comprehensive set of services, from initial consultation,

profitability and quality with a rapid return on investment.

advice and design, through to delivery, implementation and after-sales support.

BEC has performed hundreds of successful implementations in mission-critical operational areas such as receiving, inventory

Industrial markets served

management, production control and shipping. The company’s

Manufacturing.

team has a wealth of experience in seamlessly integrating data

Food & Beverage.

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

Supply Chain.

Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and IFS.

Warehousing. Distribution.

With a notable list of clients which includes Kerrygold, Pilgrims

Engineering.

Choice, Reynolds, Hydrasun, Delice de France, Sellafield and

Pharmaceutical.

Raleigh, BEC customers vary from small and medium

Clothing & Apparel.

enterprises to blue-chip household names throughout the UK

Oil & Gas.

and Europe.

Nuclear.

Solutions offered

Countries served

Offering access to a range of cutting-edge data collection

Pan-European.

hardware from market-leading vendors, including Vocollect voice-directed technologies, BEC’s future-proof solutions

Corporate Profile

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

Website: www.becsi.co.uk

Vocollect Voice Solutions from BEC can increase worker productivity up to 30%, whilst reducing errors up to 25%

Work faster, better, smarter and stay ahead of the competition with Vocollect Voice Solutions from BEC. Call BEC today and speak to the experts: +44 (0)1254 688 088 www.becsi.co.uk


V OICE technology

Success story

All I want for Christmas is the perfect pallet Kellogg’s achieved the perfect pallet stack and up to 40 per cent productivity increase using Voice and Intelligent Volumetric Cubing from Voiteq.

s the iconic cereal brand

A

Voiteq worked with Cubiscan to ensure that all

continues to grow and expands

product size and weight data was fed into the

into new areas such as the

warehouse management system. Voiteq’s

snack market with its recent

VoiceMan solution receives order information

acquisition of crisp brand

directly from Kellogg’s warehouse

Pringles, its warehouse operations needed to

management system. It then cubes and

find new and innovative ways of maintaining

groups products into the appropriate

its impeccable customer service, lowering

customer-specific pallet stack, ensuring they

costs, increasing efficiency and protecting its

will be picked and built correctly and

shipments. Kellogg’s needed to standardise

transportable to stores without compromising

how its pallets were picked and stacked as

product integrity and within tighter delivery

well as making the process more efficient to

lead times.

cope with demand of a wider product Kellogg’s expected to see a 10 per cent

offering.

increase in productivity. They are now seeing Over 12 months ago, Kellogg’s embarked on

up to 40 per cent improvement as well as

an initiative to Voice-enable its two

increased customer satisfaction from major

Manchester depots, KW1 and Merlin Park,

retailers, and buy-in from the Norbert

which are managed and operated by third-

Dentressangle operators and management.

party logistics provider (3PL) Norbert Dentressangle. The company also looked at

Warehouse associates equipped with

which reduce the shipping of ‘fresh air’;

the cubing methods applied to containers

Honeywell’s A500 Vocollect terminals and

lowering delivery costs and helping Kellogg’s

and trucks, and knew that applying the same

SR20 headsets are then guided by verbal

and its customers with their green initiatives.

logic to its picked pallet stacks would enable

instructions telling them where to go, how

Importantly, the system ensures like products

them to fully maximise assets, truck space

many cases of each product to pick and how

are picked onto the same stack which

and product integrity.

to build the pallet. Each pick is validated at

minimises the pallet breakdown effort for the

the pickface and the warehouse management

customer, reducing their dock-to-stock times.

Looking at how the two initiatives could

system is updated as soon as a pick is

“We were extremely happy with the success

enable Kellogg’s to build the perfect pallet,

complete. The accuracy of the pick is

of the VoiceMan. Initially, there were pockets

Voiteq worked alongside the IT teams at both

ensured by using product and location check

of scepticism that improvements couldn’t be

Kellogg’s and Norbert Dentressangle to

digits.

made to our process, but by the end of the trial everyone across Kellogg’s and Norbert

integrate volumetric cubing into its VoiceMan Execution System as part of the Voice

VoiceMan also provides Norbert

Dentressangle were asking why we hadn’t

commands for associates to follow. “When

Dentressangle’s warehouse managers and

done this sooner,” commented Shaikh. “We

you pick to a cage it doesn’t have to be

supervisors with comprehensive visibility and

were trying something new by combining

uniform or square, but when we pick, our

control tools, including real-time dashboards

Voice technology and volumetric cubing;

pallets have to be cubed as they are double

and the ability to manage workload and

which meant we needed to work very closely

stacked to a height of up to 2.8m wherever

exceptions across the team; resulting in a

as a team. Voiteq showed outstanding

possible – vehicle utilisation being one of the

more efficient operation and freeing managers

knowledge and understanding of our

key drivers,” remarked Abzy Shaikh, head of

to focus on value-add activities.

business and used their VoiceMan Execution System to design a solution that directs our

UK and ROI distribution. The solution also takes the vehicle/pallet First, the master data needed to be correct. 48

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operators to build the perfect pallet.” 

height into consideration and builds pallets

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Success story

V OICE technology

Voiteq Honeywell Vocollect Voice Terminals and Headsets.

offices in the UK, France and the USA. Voice is Voiteq’s core

Voice on third party devices.

Corporate Profile

Voiteq is a leading global supplier of Voice-directed solutions with business and the company has helped its customers to reap the substantial benefits of hands-free, eyes-free work for over

Industrial markets served

15 years. By providing a more streamlined and ergonomic

Retail.

process that guides and validates operator activity, Voice

Clothing/Apparel.

systems enjoy high user acceptance while also delivering

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

improved productivity, accuracy, customer service and bottom-

Electronics & Appliances.

line savings.

Food & Beverage.

Voiteq believes that your business challenges aren’t solved by

Grocery.

technology alone but via a solution-based approach, taking all

Pharmaceutical/Life Science.

elements into consideration and building a package that

Automotive.

maximises your business benefit.

Dairy Agriculture.

Voiteq has the largest team of Honeywell certified Vocollect

Speciality Retail.

Voice specialists in the world and offers a range of ways to

Wholesale Distribution.

improve your warehouse and line-of-business operations with

Cold Chain.

Voice, including its award-winning VoiceMan Execution System,

Third Party Logistics Providers (3PL).

TDC Screen-to-Voice Application and InfoCentre Reporting Suite. Solutions offered

Countries served UK, Ireland, France, North America.

VoiceMan Execution System. InfoCentre Reporting Suite.

Website: www.voiteq.com/voice

TDC Screen-to-Voice Application. Voice-Directed Work Solutions.

A voice solution that makes business sense

HEAR HOW VOICE CAN HELP YOUR OPERATION AT

Voiteq is a leading global supplier of voice-directed solutions. Voice is our core business and we’ve helped our customers reap the substantial benefits of hands-free, eyes-free work for over 15 years. The simplicity of a voice operation provides a much smoother and more efficient way of working than other methods; resulting in improved productivity, accuracy, customer service and an increased bottom-line through the cost-savings made. Voiteq has the largest team of Honeywell certified Vocollect Voice specialists in the world and we offer a range ways to improve your warehouse and line-of-business operations with Voice; including our award winning VoiceMan Execution System, InfoCentre Reporting Suite and TDC screen-tovoice technology.

voiteq.com/voice Platinum Partner

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Warehouse Management

I

Company news

Visit Vanderlande at LogiMAT 2015 anderlande will be exhibiting at the international trade fair, LogiMAT 2015, to be held in Stuttgart from 10 to 12 February, displaying and discussing its wide range of warehouse automation solutions on stand 1J21 in hall 1.

V

Adapto – 3D shuttle concept Vanderlande launched Adapto – the multidirectional shuttle concept – at LogiMAT 2014. Due to the high level of interest expressed in Adapto during and after the show, the company has decided to present the system once again at next year’s event. The highly flexible Adapto storage, removal and transport concept offers a high level of flexibility and availability, enabling Vanderlande customers to optimise their service provision. Increasing labour costs, limited space and numerous small orders with short delivery times are just some of the many challenges that warehouse and distribution centres currently face. This results in a continuous search for solutions to reduce operating costs, increase productivity, optimise the utilisation of space and offer better service. Adapto is part of Vanderlande's total solutions package and the company believes it is the next logical step

Adapto.

in flexible warehouse automation.

Pick@Ease – the highly ergonomic workstation The introduction of the highly ergonomic Pick@Ease picking workstations on the market some years ago further reinforced Vanderlande’s high standing within the industry. Vanderlande had commissioned a study (certified by TÜV Nord) focused on people. The study looked into such variables as the influences and effects of different concepts on body movements, postures, muscle groups, circulation and mental behaviour. The results of this ergonomic study were then firstly transferred to all of the goods-to-man

picking systems. Pick@Ease workstations have been designed to cope with a range of capacities and enhance value-added services. The @Ease range has since been expanded, for example with the Pack@Ease packing workstations and the Stack@Ease loading aids for airports.

Further expansion of the product portfolio Vanderlande has acquired the German company, Smatec GmbH, to extend its existing product portfolio and create a technology centre for new products in its key markets. Smatec has over 25 years’ experience of warehouse automation technology and concepts. Its primary focus is on developing innovative systems in many variants, such as the pocket sorter. The modular state-of-the-art flat-sorter will be the first Smatec product to be added to Vanderlande’s extensive range of solutions for the warehouse automation market. It was developed for use either as a bomb-bay (for single items) or tilt-tray (for shoeboxes, as an example) sorter. It also offers such distinctive features as a small footprint and low cost per item, as well as a scalable investment and size. The bomb-bay sorter is suitable for 'flat' items, for example folded clothing and small products, such as multimedia items, books and letters. This makes it an interesting solution for both the fashion industry, and the post and parcel markets. 

Pick@Ease.

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Warehouse Management

Vanderlande is a leading material handling company with more than 60 years of experience. The company has successfully automated more than 1000 warehouses and distribution centres worldwide. Vanderlande specialises in designing and building intelligent IT-driven material handling systems and related services, which cover the entire distribution centre process, from Goods Receiving to Shipping. These solutions enable customers to organise their process in the most efficient, cost effective way. Vanderlande’s automated material handling solutions have low labour requirements, make efficient use of available floor space, and enable companies to deliver higher customer service levels, while keeping costs down. Vanderlande has sales exceeding EUR 700 million and employs 2700 people of whom more than 50 per cent have a college or university degree. Vanderlande operates from its headquarters in the Netherlands and Customer Centres in many countries.

Company news

Solutions offered Vanderlande specialises in designing and building intelligent ITdriven materials handling systems and related services, which cover the entire distribution centre process, from Goods Receiving to Shipping. Our solutions include order picking/order fulfilment systems, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), sortation systems, conveyor systems/internal transport systems and Warehouse Management and Control Systems (WMS/WCS). Industrial markets served Vanderlande has automated well over 1000 warehouses and distribution centres, which can be found in a wide range of industries, such as: food retail; non-food retail; fashion, footwear and accessories; media and games; office supplies; business-to-consumer; pharmaceuticals and personal care; parts & components and automotive. Countries served Vanderlande serves customers worldwide from its headquarters in the Netherlands and Customer Centres in many countries worldwide.

Corporate Profile

Vanderlande

I

Website: www.vanderlande.com

Leading in warehouse automation your challenge, our solution Vanderlande is dedicated to improving its customers’ business processes and competitive position by providing automated material handling systems and services. We improve our customers’ logistics processes and increase their logistics performance today, tomorrow and throughout the entire life cycle.

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Special Report Transportation Management

On-t ime deli ver y Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with some of the major players within the field of transportation management about current key talking points within this fascinating technology field. here are many ongoing

T

costs, increasing efficiency, and increased

of the major innovations will be to propose a

developments within the world of

control and visibility. “In order to tackle these

community-based application that facilitates the

transportation management solutions

issues, companies need to have a starting point,

communication between all parties, reduces the

space. Not least of these is the

and that starting point is meaningful data,” he

execution phase (lead time = time between the

‘Internet of Things’ (IOT), a concept

said. “AIDC and related technology is the

creation of a transport order and its execution),

that is, and will likely continue to become,

starting point of data collection – data that can

and optimises the transport plan on a qualitative

increasingly pervasive in a number of industry

be used to make smarter and more informed

(better sourcing) and quantitative (optimisation of

sectors. In the view of Chris Ayres, ISV

decisions. This access to and enablement of

the means) basis.

programme & development manager EMEA, and

data is a key driver for changes and innovation

vertical marketing manager Transport & Logistics

in the transport management space.”

Maquignon considers quality management and cost controlling to be the key drivers of those

at Zebra Technologies, IOT is the hottest topic at

changes; especially in a challenging economic

the moment within the transportation world, and he is convinced it will increasingly have a major

Scalability

situation where the need for a structured, cost-

impact on transport management and the supply

Fabrice Maquignon, managing director of

efficient and end-to-end supply chain is

chain in general. “The connection of mobile

Wolters Kluwer Transport Services, considers

reinforced. “Transportation software enables

devices, people, vehicles and other M2M

that one current trend is that companies are

manufacturing companies to provide greater

communication allows for end-to-end visibility in

looking for modern, web-based solutions that are

service to their clients, it is therefore becoming

the supply chain,” he said, pointing out that

easier to scale and integrate. “A transport

an important element of commercial strategies,”

Zebra offers the technology building blocks that

management system (TMS) in Software as a

he said.

enable the Internet of Things, through barcode,

Service (SaaS) mode is a growing trend for that

passive and active RFID and its own IoT platform

reason. It allows carriers and shippers not to

– Zatar (www.zatar.com). “Even our printers

invest in an IT structure on their side as the

Last mile

taken in isolation have been designed with this in

software is available on the Internet. It eases the

In a new VDC Research report titled ‘From the

mind, featuring our Link-OS platform which

communication between all parties involved and

Last Mile to the Last Meter’, Richa Gupta, senior

makes them easier to integrate, manage and

avoids human error in double entry data.

analyst at VDC Research, along with Michael

connect to the Cloud,” he explained.

Offering connectivity between shippers and a

Sack, intern with David Krebs, executive vice

network of logistics service providers has

president of VDC Research, comment that the

Regarding key drivers for development, Ayres

become an important element of a TMS

final-mile delivery presents a unique set of

maintains that the problems that companies face

solution.”

challenges ahead to the rest of the supply chain. “Packages often do not reach their

and the solutions they seek will arise from one or more of the following: compliance, reducing 52

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As a consequence, Maquignon believes that one

intended recipient on the first delivery attempt,

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Transportation Management

Special Report

resulting in items

or same-day logistics. He added that the

can ensure same-day deliveries more efficiently

been returned to

company does also operate in the next-day

and over a wider geographical area.”

distribution centre

delivery marketplace on the mobile solutions

hubs,” states the

side within the transportation management

Upton also considers that Bring Your Own

report. “This translates

space, although same-day delivery is what it

Device (BYOD) remains an interesting area of

to increased costs for

mainly concentrates on. “When you look at most

debate, although he believes it is a concept that

delivery service

types of transportation management systems

works in certain marketplaces better than others.

providers and reflects

available in the market there aren’t that many that

He commented: “For someone working in an

poorly on sellers,

mainly cater for that final mile piece,” he said.

office doing typical white-collar work and

resulting in

“This is probably because it’s considered quite a

engaging in social activities at the weekend,

pronounced

niche industry. However, both in the business-to-

having a smartphone has become an important

consumer

business and business-to-consumer space,

accessory in that, people are now able to access

dissatisfaction. The

demand for same-day delivery is one of the key

both social and work-related emails etc., which

last-mile delivery

growth areas within transportation today. If I buy

can both enhance their social and business

conundrum is not a

something from a department store, for example,

worlds. There may, of course, be implications

recent occurrence but

and I want it delivered within the hour, or I send

regarding security and supportability when using

has become cost-prohibitive, especially for

copies of a bound tender document to a

consumer devices for business purposes. For

retailers and their logistics partners with the

particular prospect and it has to be there by 12

example, it would be advisable to have an

explosive growth in e-commerce trade.” The

noon today, but I only finish writing it at 11am, or

activated passcode. There is also the possibility

report goes on to suggest the marketplace

if I have some medical devices that need to be

of the device getting damaged by, for example,

needs more proactive information sharing

transported within the short timeline, an efficient

being dropped onto a hard surface; potentially

between consumers and delivery personnel,

same-day service can be critical.”

compromising the user’s ability to go about his or

Chris Ayres, ISV programme & development manager EMEA, and vertical marketing manager Transport & Logistics,

which will alleviate frustrations and also trimmed down operational costs.

her daily tasks within the work environment. Upton added that same-day delivery is, of

However, with the rugged cases that are now

course, very much a premium-rate marketplace,

widely available, this can militate against serious

According to the report, data capture hardware

and customers pay for an express same-day

damage in many instances. So, although there

and software, along with improvements in

service based on distance rather than weight;

are some justifiable concerns regarding the use

delivery processes, will play a pivotal role in

the latter being the traditional next-day delivery

of consumer devices for business purposes, I

improving last-mile efficiency. “Further

mode of charging. “Nevertheless, there is a real

don’t believe they are absolute showstoppers.”

application of existing technology solutions and

surge of interest in same-day courier/logistics,”

taking advantage of recent

he said. “This kind of hybrid model of course isn’t

Also, in the blue-collar environment such as field

developments/advances can better address

without its challenges, because you’re talking

service and logistics, Upton observes some

many of the inefficiencies apparent in the last

about tighter time windows and less scope for

industry commentators arguing that BYOD is the

mile,” it states. VDC expects camera-based

planning than you would have working within a

future. However, he believes the reality is it’s not

images to be at the forefront of these operational

next-day model. With this in mind, we can

that simple. “On the one hand, from a customer’s

enhancements. “These solutions’ ability to

provide mobile device software that can

point of view, there can be issues concerning

capture images is a particularly desired feature

calculate the best routes that couriers should use

professional perception,” he said. “For example,

to determine liabilities associated with damaged

for making a same-day delivery.”

if a customer, whether a consumer or business

packages,” says the report, adding: “This is

client, receives goods and is asked to sign for

more relevant today than ever because of the

From a business-to-consumer perspective,

them on a small consumer-grade device by

explosion in the sheer number of packages that

Upton believes the move towards the same-day

running their finger

retailers and their logistics service partners ship

model is largely due to consumers increasingly

across a screen that

and transport each day across the globe, with

wanting almost instant gratification. “They know

has probably been

figures running into the billions annually.

that they can go onto iTunes and download a

touched by another

Therefore, it becomes hard to determine who to

whole album within less than 60 seconds; so

20 or 30 or so people

indemnify for damages incurred, especially

people’s digital expectations are starting to spill

that same day, that

given the many stages in the order fulfilment

over into the physical world,” he remarked.

can certainly leave a

process before the item gets to its final

“Organisations such as Google, Amazon and

bad impression.”

destination.”

eBay are heavily testing these kinds of demands in the marketplace. Eventually, I think we will end

Upton adds that there

David Upton, managing director of DA Systems,

up with a model we haven’t quite imagined yet,

is also the fact that in

points out that the area of speciality that DA

and I believe this won’t be the traditional same-

the field service and

systems mainly operates within is same-day

day courier or traditional next-day type model,

transportation

delivery; sometimes referred to as the final mile

but will be something in between; something that

businesses, couriers

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David Upton, managing director,

da systems

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will need to operate their mobile devices in some

Williamson considers it is certainly the case that

chain. This can result in a more connected form

challenging environments. “Therefore, some

cost reduction is one of the key drivers. “I think

of transportation, in his view.

consumer-grade devices, regardless of whether

one of the reason’s Internet-based transportation

they are fitted with a rugged case or not, can

management system usage is growing at such a

Web-based advantage

prove to be less resilient,” he said. On the other

rapid rate is because as supply chains take on

Rafael Hernandez, manager, EMEA industry

hand, if workers are told that their ruggedised

more diverse forms there is an increase of

marketing at Honeywell Scanning and Mobility,

business-grade devices are more or less

inbound freight coming to the UK from the

believes web-based solutions are the only way

indestructible, Upton believes they are not likely

continent now than we’ve seen over the past four

for users to manage their transportation systems.

to treat them as carefully as they should. One

or five years,” he said. “There is also more

“Online solutions offer a way of knowing, a way

way to overcome this potential issue, in his view,

outbound freight now, so it works both ways. As

of demanding services, and a way of delivering

is to give drivers some form of financial incentive

shippers set about optimising their supply chains

information,” he said. “The transparency they

to treat their mobile devices with more care. “For

and look at different possible lanes and routes,

provide helps to keep information flowing.

example, if the driver is charged with the first

and hauliers to become part of their transport

Customers have easy access to different

£250 of the repair costs, which could maybe be

network, the whole operation process can

services; often described in more detail,

taken out of a small bond, this can prove to cut

become very complex, with multiple modes and

providing a wide-spectrum of information from

down repair outlays considerably,” he said.

suppliers. This also brings the visibility issues to

picking options to delivery methods and special

the fore and how shippers communicate with

conditions. Shipments can be easily tracked,

David Williamson, UK key account manager at

these companies, how the hauliers communicate

again offering further visibility to the customer

Transporeon, has observed that the Internet

back to the shippers and how they also

through real-time information in a matter of

logistics platform format is becoming

communicate with the end customers. What they

seconds. Such practice is now a standard and

increasingly popular in the world of

don’t want to do is put layers of people, systems,

companies that do not provide a range of online

transportation management. “Through better

paperwork or spreadsheets into play. So,

services along with their usual offering, are very

collaboration between the shipper and its

increasingly, there is a move towards Internet-

likely to lose out.”

network of carriers, optimising individual loads

based solutions that can make communication

can be achieved more easily,” he said.

as seamless and real-time as possible for all

Hernandez added that transport and logistics is

“Companies working within the transportation

parties concerned.” Another driver, in

becoming a very competitive industry, and the

management space naturally want to reduce

Williamson’s view, is the requirement for little or

only way to keep up with increasing demand is

transport costs and ‘empty miles’ etc., and

no upfront capital expenditure when sourcing a

to integrate new technologies quickly. “Ability to

there’s only so much they can achieve by taking

transport management solution. “This is another

manage mobile workforce more effectively is

the physical cost out of the equation. The key

major advantage of the SaaS model for users,”

crucial,” he remarked. “Transparency is a

then is to find an IT solution that is best able to

he remarked.

growing trend and customers want to be able to

optimise the fleets involved. There are functions

access real-time information from their mobile or

within Transporeon’s Software as a Service

James de Roo, business development manager

the comfort of their home in a matter of minutes.

(SaaS) based Internet logistics platform that

UK at PTV Group, cites Cloud-based

With increasingly busy lifestyles, customers want

facilitate the better utilisation of fleets and the

transportation management solutions services as

to have as many delivery details available as

operations of the people involved. However, it’s

one of the key developments in recent times

possible – location and timing information being

important to point out that it’s not a software

because he believes it to be a highly attractive

crucial.”

planning tool. There are many software

deployment model when considering the

packages for software optimisation and route

benefits to the end customer – no least because

According to Hernandez, access to information

planning optimisation currently available, but

there is no need for lengthy implementation on

is vital not only for customers; mobile workers

these solutions tend to

premise. de Roo adds that there is also little or

need to be able to access all information in real-

look at a particular

no up-front capital expenditure required, and no

time. In Hernandez’s view, the easiest way to

company’s own

need for regular upgrades – users just pay a

ensure swift flow of information and full parcel

specific requirement –

subscription fee.

traceability is to provide devices that allow them

its own vehicles and

David Williamson, UK key account manager,

54

IT

de Roo also comments that meeting consumers’

seconds. He adds that such devices should

opposed to opening it

requirements at multiple locations with multiple

provide:

out to what other

transport modes at different times requires a

companies are doing

flexible transportation chain that can react

within the network.”

quickly to unexpected changes and

to know all the information inherent to the

circumstances. He points to apps and data

parcel to be shipped, and the customer to

In terms of the drivers

driven transport management services as a

for developments

means to ease the transparency and data path

such as these,

among every stakeholder within the supply

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

to send and receive information in a matter of

own routes – as

December 2014

Online access to central database in order

receive the item (LAN and WAN radio). •

Navigation system for planning and optimising their route scheduling.

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• •

• • •

Special Report

GPS to help navigate and allow accurate

speed. “So we make sure that our solutions

into one device to

parcel-tracking.

embrace these key elements/requirements,” he

cover at least 90 per

Barcode reader or RFID interrogator for

said. “We designed a platform idea so most of

cent of activities – 3G,

tracking the goods to avoid manual data

the features are embedded within the platform

4G, Push-To-Talk. He

entry which speeds up the delivery and

itself, i.e. communication (such as WAN,

added that mobile

minimises the error rate.

Bluetooth, WIFI), printing, navigation (GPS),

device management

Camera for reporting incidents and ability to

camera, device type (PDA, smartphone or tablet)

can monitor and

track signature as proof of delivery.

and operating system (Android, Windows or

manage devices from

Capability of mobile payment to provide

IOS). These are fundamental elements when you

the field over these

multiple payment options to the customer.

are designing a platform. This approach offers a

devices.

Ability to process all administrative

fast and efficient development cycle allowing the

information in order to provide most accurate

customer to choose from a range of hardware

With regard to

real-time updates.

and operating systems.”

possible market

Ebbie Khadem, managing director,

drivers for development, Khadem’s view is that Additionally, Hernandez comments that all

Khadem added that this approach allows Spirit

requirements have changed. “The role of a

administrative information (expenses, fuel, time

to develop applications rapidly with short testing

mobile phone used to be just to make a call,

management) will be reported to the back office

and validation as the only development areas will

then to be able to send and receive messages

using this device. “Just as important as the

be the business logic of a task or a process and

as well; now we want more.” Khadem added that

delivery vehicle is for everyday operations, so is

integration to the back office system.

there is now a requirement for one device to do it all. “So hardware has changed significantly to

the device,” he said. In terms of transport and logistics, Khadem

keep up with this need,” he said. According to

In terms of changing demands, Hernandez

considers that one key area of concern concerns

Khadem, there is a convergence and

reflects that customers are demanding more

how quickly and efficiently they can complete a

manufacturers are looking at that constantly – the

information and a higher quality of services than

task in the field. According to Khadem, the main

desire for one device to do everything and

ever before. “This generates an incredibly

drivers for this are the mobile application, back

provide additional cost savings etc. Therefore,

competitive environment, where companies are

office integration, information about the

one of the questions being asked is what

constantly looking to provide new solutions and

performance of the system and driver behaviour.

development tools can be used to make

adapt latest innovative technologies,” he said.

“A software solution must deliver this to the

everything easier in order for rapid cost-efficient

“Businesses have to continuously improve

business,” he remarked.

changes to be made.

performance in order to keep their position on the market. Industry leaders have to be fast in

Another current talking point, according to

adapting to changes and often exceed

Khadem, relates to subcontractors. “Most

Integration

customers’ expectations.” Hernandez also

transport companies don’t want to give them

In terms of the relationship between the more

considers that globalisation has provided many

expensive devices; they would prefer if they

field-based Transportation Management systems

opportunities for the transportation industry.

used their own smartphone,” he said. “This

and the back-office systems they integrate with

“Less restricted flow of goods between different

means the solution has to cope with the idea of

(such as ERP, CRM, WMS, Supply Chain

countries and even continents has opened many

‘bring your own device’ (BYOD). The application

Management Printing and Labelling devices etc.)

fast-growing markets to businesses, allowing a

should easily be downloaded on these devices

what do our commentators consider to have

speedy growth and development of a more

and hook up to the back office easily. As a

been some of the key recent developments?

complex international network of service

result, the level of training required will be much

Williamson points out that, in the case of

providers,” he said.

lower than the standard user training.”

Transporeon, this is one of the most critical areas. He commented: “Our platform can

Fabrice Maquignon, managing director,

Continuing the theme of BYOD, Khadem reflects

interface with all main back-office systems; ERP,

Efficiency, cost and speed

that in the past the WIFI infrastructure within four

WMS etc. It can also interface with legacy

walls has always benefited from BYOD, where

systems, if required. When transportation

the users have brought their devices and hooked

management solutions of various types aren’t

Ebbie Khadem,

on to the system at the place of work using the

able to interface with back-office systems things

managing director,

data security of place of work. “This saves the

can become very manual and time-consuming.

Spirit Data Capture

companies the effort of making devices available

When we say to customers we can provide a

Ltd., maintains that,

to the casual and contract workers,” he

detailed report for, from creation of an order in

from the customers’

commented.

their system, through to transport and delivery, and then say we can provide them with this level

point of view, the main demands are

Khadem also makes the point that most

of information – collection time, delivery time,

efficiency, cost and

manufacturers today try to bring in many features

POD etc. over a period of a week or a month –

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Special Report Transportation Management

within seconds, they often say that’s exactly what

element in the supply chain has to be in sync.

repetitive and thus

we need because in the past it had sometimes

He added: “With the increasing demand for

time-consuming,”

taken them four, five or six hours to put together

global operations, companies often hire multiple

said. “Implementing a

a report.”

different contractors during different stages of

TMS will automate the

the process. Sharing information internally but

tasks that have no or

Maquignon maintains that companies are

also with independent entities is crucial. This can

few added-value,

looking to replace multiple solutions from various

often be a tricky process due to different ERP,

which means more

vendors (separate applications for truckload,

CRM or IT systems used by the external

time to invest on other

LTL, parcel, and fleet operations) with a single,

contractors. The carrier has full responsibility for

aspects of

more integrated solution. He commented: “There

the parcel that is often handled by external

transportation

is a real trend towards a certain level of

contractors on various stages of the delivery.

management or on

application convergence as supply chain

During these stages The Cloud is key for sharing

customer service and

organisations need to better orchestrate end-to-

information. Communication between the mobile

relationship. Then,

end processes across functional domains, to

workforce and back office has to be accurate

only the management of exceptional issues is

connect people who are not from the same

and interactive – running like clockwork.”

done manually as everything else is automated.

departments and are using different systems

Rafael Hernandez, manager, EMEA industry marketing,

This helps supply chain managers to focus on

(ERP used by Finance & Accounting, WMS used

Khadem considers that back-office integration is

by warehouse workers…). In that case, the TMS

possible as long as the correct tools are

is the bridge between all of these functions that

available and everything can be transmitted in a

Ayres comments that advances in wireless

will enrich the communications and allow the

much easier manner. He adds that Spirit’s

technologies have allowed for larger and faster

sharing of real-time information and data. That is

platform is designed to get that done as soon as

data transfer between devices and networks. “In

why we work on end-to-end integrated solutions

possible. “Criteria for the initial request regarding

order to maintain the seamless data flow

by connecting processes and services that span

functional specifications is key, and should be

required in an end-to-end visibility solution, it is

a variety of previously independent functional

able to connect to anything as a back-office

essential that the components within the chain

areas.”

system,” he said.

are enabled with the latest wireless and related

Upton considers there hasn’t been any major

And what have been the subsequent benefit

printers have a host of connectivity options, and

revolution in terms of the relationship between

improvements for end users? Khadem explains

our Link-OS printers feature dual band

mobile device technology and back-office

that security is much easier due to mobile

connectivity which allows communication via

systems. “Interfaces have naturally evolved over

VPN/mobile device managements to make sure

Bluetooth when out in the field, and seamless

the years and moved to the web service type

firewalls are in place to avoid security breach.

connectivity to Wi-Fi when back inside the four

rather than the older FTP model,” he said. Ayres

And with wide-spread Internet access,

walls.”

points out that mobility brings efficiency and that

Hernandez points out that customers can extend

it is being widely adopted by organisations in

their search and be more selective with their

many areas of their operations; not only on the

choice of carriers. “Companies have to be able

Legislation

road, but also within warehouses and distribution

to provide flexible services – home picking,

Have changes in transportation-related

centres. “We are seeing ERP and other software

packaging, tailored tariffs depending on time

legislation (either locally or globally) influenced

vendors recognising this and building mobility

and destination and, most importantly, an option

the development of Transportation Management

modules into their software,” he said. On the

to change delivery details (time and location),”

systems over the past year or so? Ayres stresses

hardware side, Ayres explains that printers are

he said.

that compliance with legislation is critical within

optimising their transport plan and routes.”

technologies,” he remarked. “As such, Zebra

being designed around

the supply chain, and failure to comply can have

the changing needs of

From de Roo’s perspective, improvements in

serious financial and legal consequences. He

users – smarter battery

wireless communications and transparency have

adds that the upcoming EU Regulation

management, lighter

been particularly notable, enabling faster

1169/2011 effective December 2014 deals with

and smaller form

reactions and real-time optimisation as well as

highlighting allergens within food, but among

factors, increased

connection of fleets regardless of whether they

other directives also mandates origin labelling of

ruggedness, and of

use the same telematics provider or not.

unprocessed meats from livestock.

and management via

According to Maquignon, one of the main

Ayres also reminds us that the USA has the FDA

the Cloud.

improvements for the user is that the TMS

Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) which

enables to share real-time information across all

was signed off in 2011. This in effect requires

According to

the parties involved without double data entry.

those in the food supply chain to be able to trace

Hernandez, information

“Besides, connecting with carriers and other

foodstuffs ‘one step backwards and one step

is key, and each

trading partners can be labour-intensive,

forwards’. Ayres adds that anti-counterfeiting,

course connection to James de Roo, business development manager UK,

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especially in pharmaceuticals and fashion, is

demanding a similar level of tech-awareness

place due to

also high on the agenda of the supply chain, as

from carriers. “Demand for new services is

unforeseen

is avoiding the use of conflict minerals.

increasing and businesses should be

challenges such as

“Traceability solutions using technologies such

gathering feedback more effectively; this will

road works,

as RFID, serialisation and sensors can help

give a more solid basis for improvement,” he

accidents,” he said.

minimise these risks,” he said.

said.

“One of the main

de Roo explains that compliance and regulation

Ayres observes that customer requirements

come when you’re

issues concerning CO2 emissions changed the

are also changing. “Once it was enough to

using multiple

requirements of carbon footprint reporting, and

know what something is, but now customers

carriers and how you

that the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is

need to know more: What is it? Where is it?

can ensure all parties

currently working on carbon reduction schemes

What condition is it in? Has it been dropped?

concerned have the

with the Government and with the transport

Has it been kept at the correct temperature or

means to keep both

industry.

opened by someone other than an authorised

the end-customer

person? And so on. Again, access to

and the shipper informed of developments in

Maquignon points out that Wolters Kluwer

meaningful data and the decisions that can be

real-time.” In terms of general trends going

Transport Services complies with the changes in

made by analysing that data is only going to

forward, Williamson believes continuous

transport legislation and adapts its TMS

become more important in the next year or

improvement in the way goods are shipped

accordingly for customers. “The adaptation of

two, and likewise the technology that enables

and delivered to customers, both in the B2B

the CMR in Italy is an example, or fuel

this, such as connected devices and M2M.”

and B2C space – continue apace. “And with

surcharge, like the Heavy Vehicle Transit Tax

Ayres also sees an uptake in the

the growing trend for same-day delivery –

(replacement of the ‘Ecotaxe’) in France, or the

implementation of Internet of Things

often referred to as last mile delivery – this is

German tax regulation called

applications in this space.

now more important than ever,” he said. “This

challenges here

Richa Gupta, senior analyst, AutoID & Data Capture,

is where real-time tracking of orders by drivers

‘Gelangensbestätigung’,” he said. “We have

with regard to all their loads is important.”

adapted our module functionalities so that the

Maquignon agrees. “The Internet of Things will

TMS could indicate, calculate and analyse the

be an innovative topic to follow in the next

impact of those surcharges and taxes, for

couple of years,” he said. “It is the idea to

Upton, like Williamson, also believes there will

shippers to be well prepared for contractual

create objects that are connected with other

continue to be increasing interest in, and

negotiations with their road transport suppliers. A

systems so that decisions and actions could

acceptance of, same-day delivery. “This

last example is the carbon footprint calculation

be made.” Also, looking at the longer term,

marketplace is definitely on an upswing at the

that became mandatory in nearly all European

Maquignon believes an important change will

moment, and on a global scale,” he said. “The

countries. However, not all carriers have the

be that one day stop users will stop using

US seems to be leading it but we are certainly

ability to retrieve those data directly from their

computers or laptops, and rely only on tablet

seeing it happening in the UK as well.” Upton

vehicles. A theoretical calculation can be

PCs and mobile devices. “Mobility is very

added that he believes wearable devices will

provided by the TMS in order to cope with the

important to take into account,” he remarked.

also become increasingly prevalent in the

regulation.”

With regard to changing end-user

world of distribution and logistics. “The use of

requirements over the coming year or two,

devices such as Google Glasses certainly has

Maquignon believes the trending requirement

huge potential for delivery services;

The next move

for more connected and integrated end-to-end

particularly at the doorstep,” he said. “Here,

What might be the next key developments be

solutions will continue to grow, as the supply

the delivery person can benefit from having

over the next year or two? Hernandez reflects

chain continues to be more integrated into the

immediately visible and up-to-date information

that there is always room for improvement. “It

core strategic organisation of each company,

related to the customer and the particular

is important to innovate and make sure you

for the benefit of the end-user. He adds that

order in question. For example, maybe the

are one step ahead,” he said. “In such

what will also simplify the user-experience will

customer didn’t take out the extended

competitive environment, businesses have to

be to manage a TMS solution like an app.

warranty on the product when he or she bought it online because they didn’t want to

constantly ask what additional services can be provided to customers – even if the customer

Williamson considers that in B2C consumers

pay the extra £50. Here, there could be an

appears to be satisfied. Technology will

increasingly want to know the estimated time a

upsell opportunity in that the delivery person

definitely continue to play key role in improving

delivery is going to be made, and having this

could have an overlay in the glass pointing out

processes. Automation is the new fast-growing

communicated to them via text message or

that if the customer took out the extended

trend – I think we might see some interesting

phone call. “It’s all about having the

warranty on the spot it will only cost £20 rather

developments in this area soon.” Hernandez

technology in place to ensure you can keep

than £50. So, I believe there are many

also believes users are becoming more and

customers updated regarding any re-planning

efficiency and sales opportunities to be had

more tech-savvy, and are now quite often

and re-scheduling that might need to take

with this type of technology.” 

www.logisticsit.com

IT

MANUFACTURING

December 2014

&LOGISTICS

57


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Manufacturing and Logistics IT - December 2014  

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

Manufacturing and Logistics IT - December 2014  

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