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JUNE 2017

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

Special Technology Report: DEMAND FORECASTING/PLANNING/S&OP Interview: NEWBURGH ENGINEERING

Also in this issue: The benefits of Voice-directed technology for maintenance & inspection tasks Meeting customer demand and building

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT June 2017

 

      

Interview 5

Editor: Ed Holden

Newburgh Engineering

Special Technology Report 8

Contributors:

Demand Forecasting/Planning/S&OP

Stuart Hall, Epicor Software UK and Ireland Matthew Robertson, NetDespatch

Planning

Nick McGrane, K3 Syspro Richard Watkins, Delos Partnership

18

Epicor: Planning and scheduling software – meeting customer demand and building

Paul Swaddle, Pocket App

foundations for the future

Gunnar Gburek, TimoCom

Maxoptra route planning leaves Total Hygiene flushed with success

John Bradshaw, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions

DynaSys: Wander leaps to cutting-edge DSCP from antiquated planning system NetDespatch: It’s do or die: retailers must meet customer expectations through collaboration

Dirk Gelbrich, DENSO Publisher: Dean Taylor

Manufacturing

26

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

K3 Syspro: The evolution of the digital supply chain in the changing manufacturing landscape Capgemini enables digital collaboration on a global scale at Barry Callebaut Delos Partnership: When implementing a new system, implement the future and not the past

Production: Carolyn Pither

Supply Chain Management

32

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

App: Mobilising and managing supply chains on the go Gartner: Debunk supply chain myths to optimise visibility

IT Manager: Ian Curtis

Transportation Management 34

Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Effective, digital, connected: Logistics 4.0 accompanied by TimoCom TimoCom: Why manufacturing companies should make logistics their core competence again

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

Warehouse Management 36

Vanderlande: Unlocking the potential for robotics

Voice 38

Honeywell/BEC: The benefits of Voice-directed technology for maintenance & inspection tasks

Automatic Data Capture/Mobile Computing 41

Forrester: Healthcare industry lacks visibility of process status impeding digital transformation DENSO: Quad-core vs hexa-core – why a sports car is not always faster than a hatchback

ISSN:1463-1172

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Gartner survey reveals the number of enterprise mobile apps is not accelerating

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Newburgh Engineering

Interview

Engineering excellence with IT Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Matthew Jewitt, business systems director at contract manufacturer Newburgh Engineering, about the company’s extensive IT portfolio and how this helps to leverage major efficiency benefits for the company.

N

ewburgh Engineering specialises in contract manufacturing that supports the defence, nuclear, oil & gas, power generation and rail sectors. The company mainly produces lower-volume, higher-value parts supplied for use in safety - and mission-critical environments. The quality parts produced are highly complex, with sizes ranging from 22 m long to just under 4 m diameter. Newburgh was established in 1939 and has grown substantially over the years due to high demand, particularly in the defence and nuclear industries.

Newburgh had two UK facilities; in Rotherham and Bradwell. Two years ago, the business diversified into two operations; with Bradwellbased Newburgh Precision Ltd. focusing on the nuclear market, and Newburgh Engineering based in Rotherham. The Rotherham site houses the larger production capabilities; supplying a diverse range of solutions for a wider customer base.

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Newburgh has achieved the exacting quality systems standards AS-9100 and ISO-9001 and comprises a workforce of over 60 people.

processes more effective and more profitable, as well as giving our customers better results.”

Shop floor data capture IT development Matthew Jewitt is the business systems director at Newburgh. His role involves managing all the systems that support the activities of the business over the two sites. This can range from design and production IT through to quality systems, as well as business development responsibilities. Previously, Jewitt was the company’s sales director and still has a lot of contacts within that area. He has also worked with the engineering team over the years, and so has acquired a broad range of experience within the business. “This really helps when deploying new systems and integrating them with our existing portfolio,” he said. “As a business, we are constantly looking at IT and other systems with a view to making our daily

The overall structure of the business – from the purchase order receipt to delivery – is run by the company’s Javelin MRP system, provided by the Vero software. “We have been using this system for about 15 years and over this time the solution has gone through various iterations,” Jewitt pointed out. “We are also currently looking to bring production / resource scheduling side of the system on stream. Over the past 12 months we have put in place a shop floor data capture regime utilising barcodes to give us more detailed information regarding all our working practices and the progress of parts as they progress through our production facilities.” Additionally, Newburgh recently went live with a scheduling module within the MRP system. “This will help us to control our resources, aid

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Interview

Newburgh Engineering

as from the solid models. These design packages have been used by the company for the past ten years, with regular upgrades having been implemented on a regular basis.

Data consolidation

our capacity planning and help us to be more reactive and receive better information regarding current lead times, suggested lead times for new work and also some what-if scenario planning,” explained Jewitt.

Production In terms of production machinery, Newburgh has a range of CNC machines. These run in conjunction with a DNC system provided by Seiki Systems. “This system controls the program management and delivery to the machines on the shop floor and also the delivery back into the system of the programmers once they have been proven – i.e. when everybody's happy with the results,” Jewitt pointed out.

Design programming On the design side, Newburgh uses Edgecam and Autodesk Inventor. The company makes solid models using Autodesk inventor or using customers’ solid models. It then uses Edgecam for producing CNC program codes that run the production machines. Edgecam is provided by Vero Software. The Autodesk AutoCAD system is provided by Quadra Solutions. The team of programmers uses this system to produce CNC codes from customers’ drawings and instructions as well

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One of the biggest changes in the business over the past 12 months has been the implementation of Microsoft SharePoint. Jewitt provided the background. “Previously, we had information stored on hard drives spread throughout the business. SharePoint has helped us to control everything better by moving all our data into one usable place where everybody can access and add information. It’s now much easier for people to find things, and it also allows us to build in a lot of systematic controls such as contract reviews.”

quality and calibration. Soon, we will also run our environmental system through SharePoint. This will improve the level of process automation all round. And because it’s a Microsoft product, everybody is familiar with how to use it almost immediately. Basic functionality features such as Word and Excel are so widely used and understood.”

Quality management Jewitt added that Newburgh has worked closely with Tower DMS, which has developed a SharePoint management software platform for engineering industries. Based in Sheffield, Tower DMS has configured and customised SharePoint for the company’s specific needs. “This has supported our journey towards achieving the quality standard AS-9100,” he explained, “and anyone who knows how challenging that can be will appreciate the effectiveness of the types of controls that we have put in place.”

Jewitt added that there are also greater levels of control that we can leverage with the company’s ISO systems. “It encourages us to ask the right questions when we go through Reporting and KPIs contract review,” he said. “You can more easily document all business activity and prove that activities were carried out at a Because all Newburgh’s core information is certain time so that when we are audited or now stored in the same place, the company you want to review our activities in the future now benefits from broader and more all the required information is there in one consolidated reporting information. Newburgh suppository. This allows us uses Power BI to extract to do workflows as well, so We are constantly looking to data out of SharePoint in we can automate a lot of either enhance the IT systems we order to survey KPI functionality. For example, data. “This allows us to already have in place, or source make better informed when a contract is completed the customer new ones in order to continually management decisions automatically receives an drive us forward as a company.” because all the data is email to invite them to accessible and cross– Matthew Jewitt, Newburgh. referenceable within in provide feedback regarding how that the same system,” said particular contract ran. It's little things like that Jewitt. “People don't have to schedule facethat make our lives so much easier.” to-face meetings as often as before. We can simply access all the relevant data from SharePoint – it’s all there. When we do have Automation meetings to discuss, for example, KPIs and analytics-related topics, we simply pull up all Jewitt remarked that the system is highly the required information from Power BI; all the flexible. “Because all our key information is live data is available straight away. Another now stored on SharePoint we can rely on it for benefit is that through using this system we a raft of different system disciplines, including also avoid a lot of data duplication.”

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Newburgh Engineering

Interview

CRM Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is also run through SharePoint. “The first thing we did was to build up the list of customers and contacts so that when we started to enter orders in SharePoint the customers were already listed in the CRM part of the system,� said Jewitt. “We are essentially building up blocks of data that are fully integrated within SharePoint.�

Document Management As well as the routine presentation and email benefits of Microsoft Office Excel with PowerPoint and Office 365, Jewitt poined out that another advantage of SharePoint concerns document management and control. “If someone changes a procedure all elements that were changed are immediately recorded in SharePoint,� he said. “All the previous revisions continue to reside on the system so that if we need to know what was changed and when, all the changes can be listed. It can also indicate which individual made the alteration, as well as the date and time of the change. All this is information is recorded and retained automatically. This makes all our core business operations a lot easier and more transparent.�

             

Environmental management Newburgh has already gained the ISO-14001 environmental standard. To complement this, Jewitt explained that Newburgh is currently looking to add environmental management to its activities run through SharePoint. “However, before we make a final decision on this we need to take a step back and determine that this is definitely the right thing to do,� he said. “We have to make sure we are not just putting everything through the same system for the sake of it; it needs to be the best tool for the job in hand. This remains work in progress.�

culture, and I think SharePoint will make the ongoing management of this regime easier and more efficient for us.�

CMM Newburgh uses a number of coordinate measuring machines (CMM) by Mitutoyo, PoliGlobo, DEA etc., as well as standard measuring equipment for measuring solid models and determining their tolerance ranges. The software installed on these machines is provided by QCT. Newburgh has been using QCT software for over 10 years, and, according to Jewitt, it has proved highly reliable and beneficial over that period.

Data capture, warehouse management and printing & labelling

Health & safety

The road ahead

In terms of data capture/mobile computing devices, Newburgh has a number of data capture terminals that reside on the shop floor. All the company’s time & attendance processes are run through the Javelin MRP system, as well as the shop floor data capture element, which is a barcode system that relies on route cards on the shop floor. Warehouse Management (WMS) is also run through the Javelin. For printing tasks in the factory, Newburgh uses Ricoh photocopiers and printers for network printing tasks.

Following on from its ISO-14001 environmental standard accreditation, Newburgh now has the health & safety standard ISO-18001 in its sites. “There is quite a good fit between the environmental and the health & safety standards,� said Jewitt. “In both cases, you are essentially talking about risk assessments and outcomes, and the management of both disciplines. I believe SharePoint will be our tool of choice for this type of activity, and we are currently looking into how best to achieve this as effectively as possible. We already have a very strong environmental and health & safety

Jewitt stressed that Newburgh is a company never to rest on its IT laurels. “We are constantly looking to either enhance the IT systems we already have in place, or source new ones in order to continually drive us forward as a company,� he said. “For example, we are currently looking at preventative maintenance & inspection solutions, which could fit very nicely within our integrated SharePoint approach. We are also looking at sourcing a new production scheduling functionality to complement our existing MRP system. This is all part of our evolution towards more automated thinking. Our improvement journey continues apace.� 

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Special Technology Report

Demand Forecasting/Planning/S&OP

Managing the demand curve Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments and key discussion points within the Demand Forecasting/Planning/S&OP space – including those concerning planning unification, best of breed, integration, Cloud/SaaS and Big Data.

M

that can change in an agile manner on-the-fly.”

ajor developments, subtle

shortages respectively – are normally driven

enhancements and even more

through bonuses which encourage this

disruptive innovation

behaviour. Thus, over selling and under-

In terms of the main drivers for these types of

continues apace within many

forecasting gets congratulated. Sandbagging

changes, Castellina believes it is really about

technological disciplines on a

forecasts are caused by lack of trust of the

users having access to more user-friendly tools

very frequent basis, and the world of Demand

supply side. Hence, Sales & Marketing should

than they have had in the past. “I think this

Forecasting/Planning/S&OP solutions is

be rewarded on the basis of the accuracy of

requirement derives from the typical

certainly no exception. Indeed, there have

their forecasts. Where this is done, inventory

challenges that come along with planning

been some sizeable steps forward since our

levels decrease and customer service

today, using the tools that organisations have

last special technology report on the theme.

improves.”

had for a long time,” he says. “When you are using spreadsheets to manage your plans,

So, without further ado, Richard Watkins, managing director, Delos Partnership, begins

Nick Castellina, vice president and research

there are many challenges – particularly within

our discussion by emphasising that Integrated

group director, Aberdeen Group, references

larger organisations that are using multiple

Business Planning (IBP) now should embrace

the theme of connected, collaborative and

spreadsheets and multiple tabs that are

all parts of a business into a single plan, which

holistic planning. “Individual aspects of

supposed to be connected but often aren't

can be reviewed through simulations to help

planning should not exist within a silo; they all

connected all that well. This makes it difficult to

manage the increasing levels of uncertainty

need to be connected to make plans that are

work to a plan that is based on business reality

faced by all businesses. “The unexpected is

going to allow an organisation to drive profit

– you may be taking a long time to create

now the new expected,” he remarks. “This

margins and drive everything to work in lock-

plans, waiting on people to provide their

means integrating financial plans, people

steps,” he says. “If you are forecasting

inputs, and dealing with older versions and

plans, IT plans and engineering plans with the

demand and you want to ramp up production

different types of formulas that can be broken.

simple integration of Sales and Operations.

but don't have access to the material you need

So, there are challenges that come with the

However, the real challenge is to ensure that

to meet that production, you are still going to

types of tools. The market’s newer planning

the performance measures which drive

have gaps. So, organisations are trying to drive

tools are allowing organisations to get away

business behaviour are correct. Over and

their planning tools to more users within the

from those challenges.”

under forecasting – which cause inventory and

organisation and rely on data to make plans

Nick McGrane, managing director, K3 Syspro,

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Demand Forecasting/Planning/S&OP

• IMD (In Memory Database) that provides

planning applications. “What was considered

planning, scheduling

almost real-time simulation planning to

cutting-edge months ago is now increasingly

and execution piece

assess options and plan more rapidly as the

seen as the standard for being invited to the

that forms part of the

environment changes.

table by organisations looking at implementing

considers that the

enterprise solution is

• Advanced algorithms allowing user

supply chain systems,� he remarks. “Whilst

key at the moment.

interactions only when exceptions are

ROI has always been an important part of

“ERP solutions like

detected, prioritising activity for those areas

supply chain projects, the current unsettled

SYSPRO now ship

that require it.

environment has increased the focus on this

with extensive !%#$ " $ $! %!#"#%

Special Technology Report

• Enhanced mobility provided by the latest

aspect greatly. How rapidly a prospect will

forecasting, inventory

HTML user interfaces which allow users to

recoup their outlay and start to drive 'actual'

optimisation,

view data and collaborate seamlessly across

savings is becoming a key decision-making

advanced planning

any device in any location.

driver for prospective clients.�

and scheduling and

• Advanced analytics with the ability to slice

MES functionality,� he explains. “This enables

and dice data to make informed decisions.

the quintessential ‘one version of the truth’

• Cloud strategy helping to leverage best in

Garsmeur adds that change is the only constant, but the pace of that change is

maxim we talk about so often, as well as

class technology whilst enabling end user

accelerating and this is leaving manufacturers

assuring maximum efficiency in both planning

organisations to be business focused rather

and distributors stretched and without the

work and executing it on the shop floor, with

than spending their time supporting

ability to respond rapidly to these ever-shifting

real-time feedback supporting the supply chain

operational systems, patching servers and

requirements they struggle to manage their

and the financial well-being of the business.�

other non-value add tasks.

supply chains and to satisfy their customers’ requirements. “This unsettled environment has

In terms of the main drivers for these changes

led vendors to focus on technological

Online analytics

and developments, Garsmeur comments that

advances that deliver the ability to plan more

McGrane adds that there is an eye on the

DynaSys’s prospects are expecting mobility

rapidly and accurately, whilst deployment of

future too. “Online analytics may well replace

and Web 2.0 as a standard part of their

solutions becomes quicker and simpler,� he

traditional statistical algorithms in predicting future sales and stockholdings,â€? he says. “That smart, connected 5-axis machining centre may have already told the tooling supplier it has run out of bits by the time you get back to your office, or told the machine manufacturer it has developed a vibration when doing a rough pass – on aluminium only‌â€? McGrane makes the point that many of the things happening now have been available for some time. “SYSPRO has had fully integrated forecasting and inventory optimisation functionality for nearly 10 years, and advanced planning and scheduling functionality for nearly 20,â€? he says. “I do, however, think that the talk of Industry 4.0, Big Data and the like have caused people to look around a bit more at the extant systems and data they have, and are looking to extract value from those circumstances.â€? Pascal Garsmeur, product manager for demand & supply chain planning, DynaSys, comments that, in terms of what will be increasingly important from a technology standpoint will be the added value coming from:

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Special Technology Report

!$#%$!  $ $! %!#"#%%

Demand Forecasting/Planning/S&OP

says. “Advances

manufacturers better balance orders with

the planning process as a 'core model', each

such as IMD for rapid

machinery and workforce capacity on the

plant can benefit from best practice and not

'real-time' planning,

shop floor, and how can they ensure the right

having to re-design the process for every site.

templated

materials and right volume of suitably skilled

Using a planning solution that is deployed

deployments based

people are ready for speedy dispatch to the

through the cloud, each site can utilise the

on years of best

right production area without any expensive

core model with a rapid and stable roll-out of

practice and many

production hold-ups? Garsmeur focuses on a

the solution.”

hundreds of

number of key areas:

implementations to

• Ensure there is proper co-ordination of

streamline

demand and supply using a Master

‘Full truck load’

deployment,

Production Schedule (MPS). This ensures

Also, with regard to logistics professionals,

increased

demand is matched with the capacity of

how can they best plan and schedule their

collaborative features

machines, labour and material availability.

fleets in order to best serve their customers

and web access are all focused on allowing customers to more rapidly recoup their spend whilst improving

• Combine efficient production planning with Lean strategies.

while maintaining ‘full truck load’ and scheduling the most fuel-efficient routes

• Execution should be properly prepared with

wherever possible? Garsmeur believes one

anticipation of capacity, resources and

way to achieve this vision is to run a

inventory level. This anticipation is one of

distribution requirement plan that will take into

So, what methodologies should be embraced

the main benefits of best in class

account full truck loading, logistics cost

to ensure a more accurate forecasting and

production planning solutions.

optimisation and the simulation and definition

their supply chain operations.”

• To define the best plan, balancing demand

of an allocation model shared between

following points:

& supply, powerful simulation capabilities

distribution sites and production sites.

• Implement a structured Sales & Operations

are required. For instance, evaluating the

planning regime? Garsmeur makes the

planning process that is supported by the

infinite capacity plan versus the finite

Stuart Hall, sales director, Epicor Software UK

Executive team.

capacity plan (including stock policy,

and Ireland, observes that ERP systems, like

production constraints, service level...).

most other software supporting the

• Be driven by exceptions. • Use different planning levels and levels of

• Evaluate the risks arising from inventory

manufacturing industry, are changing. “What

anticipation due to capacity smoothing.

granularity.

was considered innovative in effective

• Accurately classify products (Production

integrated manufacturing management 20

Segmentation).

years ago is now considered clunky, out-of-

S&OP and IBP

date and not up to speed with the frenetic

dependent on the product life-cycle phase

Moreover, how can companies roll-out best

demands and pace of the modern industrial

(launch, maturity, decline).

practice planning & scheduling

sector,” he says. “That’s why the move

methodologies throughout multiple plants?

towards advanced planning and scheduling

(Sales, Marketing) to add their intelligence

And how can both the business and

software is vital. This software can, if used

to the forecast. This is a combination of the

operational arms of a business better manage

properly, be particularly effective in reducing

solution design (a nice and simple GUI)

production and demand planning for the

human error and the capacity for customer

and the business process (don't make it too

good of the whole enterprise? Garsmeur

order mistakes – giving those in control

onerous – let the planners be responsible

believes this is the main objective of the

advanced warning whenever an order is

for creating the base forecast and Sales to

planning process known as S&OP (Sales &

placed and highlighting when they’re running

add and review)

Operations Planning) and IBP (Integrated

low on a product necessary for that order.”

• Use appropriate forecasting methods

• Focus on making it easy for non-planners

• Invest in the training and development of

Business Planning) to provide global supply

planners. For example, CPIM to provide a

chain visibility and the ability to create a

Hall adds that many manufacturers find

broad understanding of supply chain.

balance between the demand and supply not

themselves guilty of over-committing to meet

just of one plant but for the whole supply

customer demand; and, as a result, find

stakeholders work together, specifically

chain (multiple plants, multi distribution

themselves struggling to meet customer

planning, sales, manufacturing & finance.

centres). “Ideally, this balancing act should

expectations. “This scenario can be avoided

include both value and volume to allow

by having the right planning and scheduling

for the sales team to ensure they have 'skin

informed decisions,” he says. “Once this

software that provides managers and

in the game'.

balanced global supply chain has been

business leaders with up-to-the-minute

created, the actual scheduling and execution

business data helping to predict future

And with regard to effective production

should happen more rapidly and with fewer

bottlenecks, staff and resourcing issues, and

planning & scheduling; how can

hiccups or unexpected surprises. By building

possible order conflicts,” he explains.

• Build a cross-functional culture to ensure all

• Include forecast accuracy as part of bonus

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Artificial intelligence Hall also makes the point that the artificial intelligence (AI) element of more recent planning and scheduling software frees up workforce capacity with many tasks being handled automatically. “This allows time to be spent more effectively within the business and help to keep costs down,” he says. Andrey Reiner, expert in asset management, Capgemini, considers the Internet of Things (IoT) and greater levels of connectivity – and about data being collected and meaningfully translated into information that can then produce more accurate forecasts and better plan demand in the supply chain. He adds that this type of methodology can also be used to better manage the workforce; those people who could be very short-term event driven; orders

execute the manufacturing operations or those

Unification of planning

coming in on the demand side, things

Tim Payne, research VP, Gartner, points out

happening with the schedules in the plant,

From a planning perspective, Reiner considers

that one of the big trends Gartner has seen

deployment decisions to be made in the

that better connectedness of data concerning

develop over the past three years is the

network, delays from suppliers or in terms of

the workforce, machinery, the supply chain and

unification of planning. “This type of planning

shipments between facilities – this all needs to

third-party logistics etc. can provide

model moves away from the practice of putting

be planned. However, you also want that linked

organisations with a better, more fully rounded

together a demand plan, then preparing a

to your tactical plan. You have a number of

real-time view. For example, he explains that

network plan and then the production plan,

resources and can flex them to some degree –

there are now concepts whereby all of a

and from these plans putting together a

the people, the material, the machines,

company’s key operations can be viewed in

schedule,” he says. “People used to talk about

capacities etc. – but you also have an optimal

real-time on multiple panels. So, there is now

integrated planning, but it's really about the

plan; maybe a blend regarding cost, service,

greater real-time visibility and everything is

unification of planning. Certainly, many leading

profitability and so on, as well as a higher-level

becoming more connected.

companies recognise that breaking up

plan in terms of what I might want my supply

planning degrades the quality of the plan.

chain to look for in the future. And all these

Planning likes to be joined up.”

things increasingly have to link together. So,

with responsibilities for asset management etc.

In the case of the more technologically mature

both horizontal and vertical planning are

organisations and how they use their planning

important.

tools, Reiner explains that, in the case of

Payne then spoke about the importance of

workforce scheduling software, for example,

both horizontal- and vertical-type planning.

people and tasks can be automatically

“We often talk about horizontal integration –

“A company might have a business plan and a

scheduled on the basis of qualifications or of

demand, inventory, replenishment, production

strategy that links, for

time availability etc. – so, there can be a

planning, production scheduling and maybe

example, to its plans

considerably high level of automation within the

even order promising and workforce planning.

to build a new

system. However, Reiner points out that there

The idea is to integrate planning across the

factory, new

will still be a need to interact with the system in

different domains of manufacturing, logistics,

production line or the

instances where there is an exception;

workforce, finance etc.; doing that internally

idea of bringing in a

something that occurs that is not part of the

within the enterprise but now also increasingly

new product for a

normal routine. So, management by exception –

wanting to do that outside of the organisation –

new market. This

interacting with the system only when something

what we call multi-enterprise planning that

should then link down

out of the ordinary or unforeseen occurs – gives

involves customers and suppliers.

to when these things will be available and

more freedom to the company with regard to a greater level of automation. However, adds

“There is also vertical integration to consider,

how they could be

Reiner, it also requires more trust of the system

because companies have planning happening

used, because you

on the part of the company.

at different levels of detail and granularity. It

will need to execute

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people-less planning,� he says. “We have found what that means is not automation of everything, but rather automation of different aspects. Planning is like a decision-making process – what am I going to make, where do I need to make it and how much inventory am I going to have to hold? So, these companies are starting to think a little bit more about those types of planning decisions and considering which aspects can they automate. Maybe there are certain types of planning decisions they can fully automate. Then, they will look for machine learning and other capabilities and advanced analytics to enable that. Maybe in terms of other decisions – such as where they will need to collaborate on something and get some buy-in on what-if scenarios – they could possibly automate the preparation of those scenarios and then feed that into an appropriate collaboration environment.�

on that strategy. For many years, the scenario

they can't run scenarios across their supply

has been about creating a plan and then

chain, they can't collaborate adequately if

handing it to execution. But things happen and

everybody is using different solutions,� he

there can be a lot of firefighting. So companies

says. “They might also be using different data

The best of breed debate

want this to be more intelligent and more

models, process models and analytical

Is there still an argument for best of breed

responsive in a way that keeps them closer to

models, and so interfaces are firing all over the

planning & scheduling/demand forecasting-

their corporate goals.

place. It makes getting a single version of the

type solutions? McGrane points out that he has

truth – a unified plan that people can work on –

seen and used great best of breed products,

“So, there is this vertical integration that has to

that much harder. Also, there are often gaps

and great built-in ERP functionality. “Given its

happen, and if you look at some of the

between the applications, which are filled with

proximity to the coal-face and multi-faceted

planning solution vendors’ roadmaps they are

spreadsheets. So, there is that kind of

functionality though, APS is particularly difficult,

trying to do the horizontal integration end-to-

unification drive.�

and requires strong leadership to adhere to a

end, unifying their solutions. They are also

market-relevant roadmap,� he adds.

working on more of the vertical integration. If

Payne also addresses the topic of

they are in the middle they might be trying to

digitalisation, and what that might mean for

Just like the manufacturing sector in general,

go down and get more granular – something

individual companies. “We see two major

and ERP systems, Hall reflects that the world of

that we call respond planning. If they are

groups here – first, many companies that are at

planning & scheduling is changing. “Unlike

already there they might be trying to go up and

a lower stage of maturity have fragmented

previous production and planning systems,

get into the optimised planning, which involves

planning and different parts of the planning

today’s modern ERP software automatically

better use of resources. And there are vendors

process happening in different places, with

plans production based on several factors

that are involved in the long-term functionality,

spreadsheet trying to oil the wheels between

such as plant capacity, and available materials

which is what we call configure planning. So,

those things. Digitalisation for them could mean

and personnel,� he

many vendors are trying to build out more of

getting to a unified planning solution; getting to

says. “In most cases,

those layers that allow for that type of vertical

something that everyone can work in to have a

this will render best of

alignment; because that is what the market is

single version of the truth. Strictly speaking,

breed solutions

asking for.�

this isn’t really digitalisation; we call it a

unnecessary.

planning system of record. It's really about putting a robust foundation in place.�

Hall adds that some

Single version of the truth

of this change of

In terms of other drivers for change, Payne

Payne adds that if a company is already at

course comes down

points out that end-users increasingly do not

stage 3 maturity or above, digitalisation then

to a couple of

want lots of different solutions from lots of

often means automation of planning. “Many of

relatively simply

different providers. “They are fed up with the

those companies will say they have initiatives

tenets.

fact that they can't plan in an integrated way,

for automated planning, lights-out planning or

“Manufacturers need

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more than ever to

players within the ERP systems space catching

demand planning solution or just another type

ensure their ERP

up in terms of the planning capability they

of solution. They might think doing it with

systems and

offer; in some instances, through the

spreadsheets or trying to do it with their ERP

Advanced Planning &

acquisition of a best of breed planning

system isn't good enough, and therefore want

Scheduling (APS)

solutions provide and in other instances

a demand planning tool. So, they want to buy

processes are the

through a rigorous R&D regime.

that capability but that's only the first stage on the journey towards integrating or unifying their

latest possible versions,� he says. “At

Garsmeur observes that most of the major Tier

planning. Because they want to join up their

the same time,

2 ERP companies already use a best of breed

planning if they are going to choose vendor A

prospective

solution approach with regard to Demand &

for demand planning, vendor A better also be

purchasers need to

Supply Chain Planning (DSCP). “A number of

able to provide the inventory, replenishment

properly research and

the larger ERP solution providers have

and production planning capability that the

analyse the system before buying it. It is

acquired best of breed solutions (for example,

user is going to need further down the line in

crucial that manufacturers pick a system that

QAD, Infor and Oracle) and developed

order that the user doesn’t have to go with

will be suitable for their specific needs and

interfaces with these solutions to their ERP

vendor A for demand planning, vendor B for

challenges. Picking a tailored ERP system with

solution(s),� he says. “Other ERP providers had

something else and vendor C for something

the right sort of planning and scheduling

developed best of breed solutions

else.�

capabilities might take longer, but will bring

incorporating functionality from several

greater efficiency and practicality in the long

acquisitions, such as SAP. However, the

Payne adds that companies are becoming

run.�

majority of mid-market vendors either partner

smarter, realising they need a certain type of

with a specific specialist provider or provide

functionally today while also knowing this will

For example, Hall explains that while it might

weaker forecasting functionality contained in

need to be able to fit the next piece of the

take some time to find a system that will

their core ERP products.�

jigsaw and the bit after that if they are really

 #"% "! "#%""# ! %$"%$ $"" %

going to build a solid foundation upon which

support planning and scheduling across

they can become more differentiated or more

multiple factories or plants, this is a core requirement of many manufacturers – so it is

‘Complete’ suite

innovative in the market. “So, the best of breed

essential that the chosen system incorporates

Watkins comments that many ERP systems

argument sort of goes away when you are

this need. “Again, this comes back to choosing

providers now try to provide a ‘complete’ suite

trying to build that foundation – the planning

a system that is modern, agile and flexible,�

of products to cover everything in a company;

system of record,� he says.

says Hall. “These qualities are vital so the

from clocking on into the People and Payroll

software can manage several different sets of

system to working out the Vision and Strategy

data and operations across different locations.�

of the business. “However, not all ERP systems

Integration

are strong – from a functional point of view – in

Have ways of best integrating these types of

Castellina believes best of breed still has a role

all areas,� he says. “In the area of Forecasting,

systems with other solutions developed to any

to play because in many instances the ERP

Promotional Management and Finite

notable degree over the past year or two?

tools may not have the required capabilities

Scheduling, there are a number of smaller and

Castellina believes that the development

dedicated to planning. “If organisations are

specialist software providers who understand

debate really depends on the particular

using ERP for planning it's probably because

their specific area, and it makes sense to

software vendor in question, and the ERP

they think it's good enough, but I think they can

integrate these with standard ERP systems,

system that a particular customer is using. “I

get more value from specific planning tools in

which will carry out the basic transactions

think better integration is becoming more and

many instances,� he says.

necessary to run a business.�

more available over time as the planning vendors continue to develop their tools,� he

Reiner believes the progress that has been

Payne considers that the traditional distinction

says. “That type of progress is something that

made by the best of breed planning solution

of saying do I go with my ERP vendor or do I

will always continue.�

providers is good in terms of the systems’

go best of breed has really changed. “With

ability to integrate with ERP. “When we talk of

regard to non-ERP vendors in the planning

Watkins considers that integration is getting

scheduling software, these planning systems

solutions market, roll back a few years and

easier, as the formats are simple and the

will typically come with an adapter that

they would say we do scheduling or we do

speed of interaction can be much quicker.

connects to an ERP system,� he explains, “so

demand planning etc. However, there has

McGrane believes the changes are subtle

there is some minimal integration effort

been such an extension that they either are

and apply to feedback. “For example, it may

involved, but we know how the integration

able to be what we call a planning system of

have been acceptable a few years ago to

works so the integration effort will be minimal.�

record or it's on their roadmap. This is because

dump MRP data out to feed an APS, schedule

Reiner has also witnessed some of the key

end-users increasingly don't buy just a

away and execute,� he says. “Now, it is

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correctly proposed more often than not that

distraction of having to administer their

want a unified data model. As mentioned

the APS will perform a schedule, and these

Demand & Supply Chain Planning solution.

earlier, it really shouldn’t be broken up.�

data (particularly dates) will be fed back into

The Cloud vendor supports and optimises the

the MRP to drive it – perhaps as MPS entries

hardware and systems allowing clients to free

Payne observes that all vendors talk about

– thus ensuring that supply and demand are

up their valuable in-house resources to work

Cloud, but says it is important to bear in mind

lined up appropriately.�

on more valuable strategic projects and

that there are different types of Cloud options

accelerate their journey towards the Effective

available. “You may have been a traditional

Enterprise.�

on-premise solutions provider and now you

Garsmeur maintains that end users are

offer them as Cloud solutions. But this might

looking for mobility and Web 2.0. “That is the reason why we are offering more and more

McGrane comments that SaaS has made

simply mean you are hosting the solutions; it

Cloud-based full web solutions,� he says,

software much more accessible. “According

may be the same software and it may be the

adding that integration tools such as Dell

to the annual manufacturing report

case that you haven't really done anything

Boomi now allow communication between

(http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/what

different – so you are essentially offering the

almost any systems – whether on-premise or

-are-manufacturers-main-barriers-to-investing-

same capabilities that you were with your on-

Cloud.

in-ict/) funding is the primary barrier to 67% of

premise solutions.

manufacturers, even if the return is

SaaS/Cloud

guaranteed,� he says. “By moving the Capex

“On the other hand, if they are true Cloud

to Opex, they can mitigate the cost barrier.�

solutions actually built for the Cloud, like the hosted Cloud models they will be Cloud with

Continuing the Cloud theme, has the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and the Cloud

Richard Watkins: The Cloud concept is

subscription pricing, but will usually come

concept in general had any notable level of

helping companies support their global

with better user interfaces, more social

impact on the planning-related software

ambition to trade globally. There are still

collaboration capability and will probably

solutions market so far? “Yes, definitely,�

problems with accessing some countries

have an in-memory database. So, it will likely

remarks Castellina. “As I mentioned when I

using the cloud, but, on the whole, this is

be faster and perform better. They will

spoke about holistic planning and connected

getting less of a problem. With Sales and

probably have different planning paradigms

planning, you have to work across

Customer Orders happening all around the

and will usually be much better at running

geographic boundaries and across functions.

world, the cloud is making things easier.

multi-enterprise because there will be a range of integration protocols built in as part of the

Having a Cloud solution makes it easier for

Cloud platform. Also, companies will be able

your employees to access the system, so I think Cloud technology certainly has a

Under threat?

to use the elasticity of the Cloud to scale up

significant utility within the planning and

Is SaaS and the Cloud a threat to the on-

when they need to for greater performance

forecasting function.�

premise model? “I wouldn’t commit to saying

etc. They don't really get that with on-premise

that Cloud is going to take over,� says

solutions that are hosted in the Cloud – they

Castellina, “because there are organisations

don't perform in the same way.�

Strategic choice

that prefer an on-premise tool and there are IT

Garsmeur also believes the emergence of the

departments that prefer an on-premise tool.

SaaS/Cloud model has had a huge impact on

But Cloud is certainly a viable option and is

One foot in the grave

the planning related software solutions

something that can add tremendous value.�

McGrane’s view is that on-premise has one

market. “Moving to the Cloud is more than a

! $%!$!%!!$ #$  #$! #""$#%$ $%

14

IT

Payne reflects that the on-premise planning

cars versus oil powered cars,� he says. “The

decision, it is a

model is certainly under threat from Cloud,

advantages are there for both oil and on-

strategic choice and

but he doesn’t think on-premise will

premise but the companies that produce

goes to the heart of

disappear from the market as a deployment

software and cars are pointing consumers in

how companies

model. “Some vendors will continue to offer

only one direction. I’ve heard through the

define their

an on-premise option and a Cloud option,�

grapevine that SYSPRO is building future

business,� he says.

he says. “However, I don't think the hybrid

versions for the Cloud and I know many other

“DynaSys Cloud

model is so viable. If organisations want

software companies are doing the same – just

DSCP provides the

more of a unified planning model they either

making Cloud software. Despite the

freedom to

need solutions that are all on-premise or all

advantages on-premise may have over Cloud,

companies to focus

in the Cloud. They don’t really want their

on-premise is quickly becoming outdated.

on their products

demand planning in the Cloud and their

Cloud is much more agile and suited to IR4

and customers

supply planning on-premise. The two things

and the SaaS subscription model suits a lot of

without the

need to be together because companies

businesses. Operational expenses are much

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easier to work with

the quality of data and the massive amount of

organisations can potentially derive major value

than capital

non-qualified information available,� he says. “As

from Big Data.

expenditure. With

with all data, this is another input to the planning

SaaS being on a

process and there is still a need for that to be

Castellina makes the point that Big Data isn't a

cost-per-user model,

reviewed by the planner.�

technology as such; rather, it is a term for saying we are dealing with more data more quickly

businesses can

$#%$% $"%!#"#%

forecast costs much

Reiner believes Big Data has potential in the

today as a business community. “The planning

easier and there are

planning and scheduling world. “Big Data is

tools that are being built are designed to handle

no spare licences

really about understanding and contextualising

larger amounts of data and make that more

going to waste. On-

information that is coming through in large

consumable. So, I think on the BI side of things

premise is usually a

volumes, and in terms of applying that to

that is certainly an aspect that is being taken

cheaper cost per

workforce planning I can't see at this point of

care of, as organisations like to be able to plan in

user, but just less

time it having a great effect,� he says. However,

a more agile manner rather than having to run

he recognises that there is a desire to evaluate

reports overnight. I think faster computing

convenient.�

what it can offer, pointing out that it can involve

options certainly do have an impact on

Watkins considers that Saas/Cloud is

asking fundamental questions such as is the

planning.�

definitely in competition with on-premise

data correct and invalid, who owns the data, who

solutions, and is being presented as such.

understands what the parameters mean when it

Payne considers that Big Data is predominantly

“But, if you look at the cost of a Cloud solution

comes into your data warehouse and what can

a maturity play. He elaborates: “You can

based on monthly payments, then the cost of

the data be used for? “The potential is definitely

increasingly use the data sources you have

on-premise is always very

there,� he says. “In the case of smart metering,

inside the company and get more granular. In

competitive/cheaper,� he says. “This must be

for example, you can class all the messages that

terms of demand sensing, for example, you

related to software companies trying to keep

come from the smart meters as Big Data and

would really be looking at the orders rather than

prices high for early adopters.�

consider what meaningful questions can be

aggregating and saying I have a demand for

asked of that data in order to inform our

1000 this month and next month, and for the

Garsmeur believes there is a threat for on-

decisions going forward.� Reiner adds that there

previous month I had a demand for 1200.

premise systems as more and more

is a role for organisations such as Capgemini,

Instead, you can create a statistical forecast by

customers are looking for a SaaS/Cloud

together with systems integrators and business

crunching at the order line level coming – seeing

solution and the flexibility this gives them.

consultants, to point out where and how user

the demand patterns. For example, there might

“The Opex versus Capex model appears to be gaining significant traction within the supply chain sphere,� he says. “A good illustration of this is the increasing number of vendors who are only offering Cloud-based solutions. Most of DynaSys' net new customers are opting to deploy their SCP solutions in the Cloud as they look to concentrate on their core competencies. Conversely, we don't see a strong trend of moving to a hybrid SaaS/on-premise solution.�

Big Data Is Big Data having an effect on the development and benefits of today’s forecasting and planning solutions? “Not yet, in my environments,� comments McGrane, “but you would have to think it is coming.� Garsmeur makes the point that Big Data is having an impact through the use of new forecasting methods such as predictive analytics. However, he adds that there is not a direct link between Big Data and a good Demand Planning tool. “One of the reasons is

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be more demand on a Monday than on a

Sullivan’s Connected Industries Growth

Tuesday, it might drop again on a Wednesday

Partnership Service, offers an overview of AI

and come back up on a Thursday. This can

and its relevance to business in 2017. The

Transportation: Planning and route optimisation

really help the short-term decision-making

study assesses the commercial viability and

With regard to a specific solution within a

process – you will probably need to put more

impact of retail applications for AI, either

specific vertical sector, Frost & Sullivan recently

stock in the warehouse on the Friday ready for

through integration with existing workflows or by

recognised BestMile with the 2016 European

the up-kick on the Monday if you are going to

creating new ones. It also explores strategies

Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product

meet your service levels. So, there is a Big Data

for navigating AI as a retail or information

Innovation, Based on Frost & Sullivan’s analysis

element in saying there is a lot of structured data

technology (IT) vendor, and the imperative for

of the fleet management software market.

that you have inside the enterprise, which you

both to adopt a data-focused mind set. Key

BestMile is one of the first providers of fleet

can crunch.�

market participants include Amazon, Ocado,

management solutions for autonomous vehicles.

IBM and Softbank.

Its open source integration protocol means that its solutions are compatible with vehicles

New and external data sources

“Improving and refocusing the customer

manufactured by various automakers, and its

experience online and offline must be the

software with any type of hardware. It delivers

Payne adds that there are also new and external

guiding principle for all retail businesses,� says

on-demand and fixed route planning services

data sources that are starting to come to the

digital transformation research analyst, Vijay

through a B2B2C Cloud platform that enables

fore. “You could, for instance, start looking at

Michalik. “Large tech-driven firms and retail

the real-time automated dispatch of vehicles,

weather data and that could have a big impact

tech start-ups are leading growth, particularly in

route optimisation, and energy management.

on where and how you sell products. A lot of

e-commerce, and data network effects may

The interface for its platform is accessible to both

products are weather sensitive and different

mean that laggards never catch up. Older e-

operators and passengers, providing real-time

demographics react in different ways to that.

commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers must

updates and functioning as a booking portal.

Also, you might have social data coming through

urgently adopt these technologies to regain

in terms of a sentiment that is being shown on

their competitive footing.�

"With no driver required to man the vehicle, fleet management becomes of strategic importance

rating websites. So, if you have your foundation working fairly well and you are running the

Retailers and tech industry players are investing

in order to improve capacity utilisation, reduce

business adequately, you can start to look at

in AI and creating opportunities that will disrupt

operational and marginal costs, optimise routes

some of these other sources of structured and

incumbents. Emerging use cases include:

and vehicles utilisation.� says Frost & Sullivan

unstructured data and see whether there are

• Chat Bots and Virtual Assistants: These AI

research analyst, Ankita Mukherji. "Improving

other cause-and-effect patterns that you could

tools of direct customer engagement allow

connectivity between all modes of transportation,

unearth to help you to improve your plan.�

for a seamless experience when ordering

BestMile’s solution will play a strategic role in

products. Chat bots have question-answer

journey planning services." The Award for New

and recommendation capabilities that make it

Product Innovation is part of Frost & Sullivan’s

a highly scalable yet personal sales channel.

Best Practices Awards which recognise

AI and retail

• Marketing and Segmentation: AI models can

companies in a variety of regional and global

progress in artificial intelligence (AI) and

use data sets to predict and prioritise the

markets for outstanding achievement in areas

machine learning, fuelled by the combination of

most successful campaigns and channels,

such as leadership, technological innovation,

Cloud, Big Data and new algorithms, is

and provide these insights to decision

customer service, and product development.

transforming the retail industry. Frost & Sullivan

makers.

Industry analysts compare market participants

Frost & Sullivan also states that exponential

comments that as AI leverages Big Data to

• Inventory and Supply Chain Optimisation: In

and measure

automate, predict and personalise, retail is

addition to increased accuracy and

performance through

testing and implementing these applications to

timeliness over traditional systems, AI tools

in-depth interviews,

garner robust competitive advantages.

can predict future supply-demand scenarios.

analysis and extensive secondary research.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the key focus for AI in retail is customer relationships. In times of

“In the AI age, data is digital gold and data

concerns for the retail sector in the UK where

inequality will prove a major battleground,� says

sales posted biggest quarterly fall since 2010,

Michalik. “Optimisation across all business

the refashioning of this industry comes as a

functions will require an ever-growing pipeline

breath of fresh air, with many opportunities to

of data collection that will demand new

Planning in the near future

come.

hardware, software and networking

What are likely to be

investments. The market must also pay

some of the key

‘Global Artificial Intelligence Opportunities in

attention to security requirements for AI and

developments in the

Retail, 2017’, new research from Frost &

customer-analysis data collection.�

world of Demand

16

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Demand Forecasting/Planning/S&OP

Special Technology Report

Forecasting & Planning solutions over the next

Castellina anticipates more connected planning;

result in more

year or two? Watkins makes the point that in

connecting the individual aspects of planning to

application

the FMCG arena in the USA there is more

each other. He also foresees the continuing

development, more

around the development of forecasting

development of Cloud solutions from a planning

information being

consumer demand at EPoS level and then

perspective, and believes agility in planning and

available to the

working out replenishment to the store from

forecasting will develop further – “being able to

people who execute

DCs and back to the factory using the usual

make changes on the fly to ensure that you are

work orders, and

algorithms for replenishment. “This has yet to

doing things related to realistic business

more information

take off seriously in Europe, but will do over the

conditions�.

being available to people who supply

next five years,� he says. “It requires a genuine

services to you.�

commitment to be collaborative, and in turn it needs trust.�

Expanding the time horizon

!%$"! $%!" #"!" %$ %#""$# #%!#"#%

Reiner anticipates more ongoing developments

Payne considers that,

Garsmeur comments that the continuing focus

regarding solutions that can help companies to

in terms of

on 'new' planning processes such as IBP and

better understand their operations; not only

algorithmic supply

DDMRP seem to be creating a lot of interest at

today in real-time but also in terms of better

chain planning, we

the moment within the marketplace. “How

understanding what will likely occur tomorrow,

will see more predictive and prescriptive

much of this is long term and how much is due

next week, next month and next year. “So, it's

analytics. He also believes we will see a lot

to them being the current 'in vogue/trendy'

about expanding the time horizon and the

more machine learning, neural networks and

areas within the Supply Chain market will be

solutions that support this need,� he says. For

deep learning. “This will help with digitalisation

determined over time,� he said.

example, he makes the point that if I am a

and with degrees of automation,� he says. “A lot

service organisation and I am providing services

of end-user companies today are worried about

Garsmeur adds that, longer term, IoT and

to a number of companies and a company asks

the productivity of their planners. Many of the

smart things will interact to make decisions

if I can service a new fleet they have, or all these

planners are doing lots of manual tasks and

within certain parameters of acceptance. “If

stores that they have, as a service organisation I

slipping in and out of spreadsheets, and as

there are standard deviations of exception,

need to be clear about whether I have the

companies embrace new business models and

then you'll want human intervention, but if

capacity to handle this request. It shouldn't take

look at digital products and services and new

there's not, then these things can just interact

me three months to answer the question; it

markets they are increasingly realising they can't

and essentially run it for you,� he says.

should be a very quick response because

go on like this; they can't have this low level of

“Ultimately, it's about how we leverage these

otherwise I am likely to lose the business to

planner productivity where they are nurse-

different and better data sets to improve

somebody else. So, I need to think about

maiding the technology a lot of the time. That all

forecasts, to better understand our forecasting

visibility in terms of longer term capacity –

needs to be done at a higher level of

and how demand and supply interact.�

whether it's the capacity of my own workforce or

productivity. The planners can then do more

the capacity of my supply chain; because third-

value-added things such as looking at the

Hall believes Cloud-based systems and the

party logistics companies have limits – they are

different trade-offs and scenarios or developing

continued proliferation of Cloud migration will

asked to do all sorts of things that can affect the

their relationships with other key stakeholders

no doubt have a large effect on planning-

margins of the organisations they are supplying

within the company.�

related software solutions in the future, and

services to. “At some point, the supply chain

indeed in some cases are already starting to

can start to fail, so there needs to be a long-

Payne adds that there is also an issue regarding

do so. He adds that there are several reasons

term view of what your demand will likely be and

talent; having the right people for planning. “If

for this; including ease of communication and

you need to be able to give organisations within

you have more machine learning and you are

ability to pull down your business’s scheduling

your supply chain a view of what they need to

encoding more of the knowledge of your senior

data at a moment’s notice to any device.

plan for,� he says. “They have limited capacity

planners, then you are less likely to lose that

and need to plan in advance. If the supply chain

knowledge when they retire or move on. Another

Hall also comments that planning and

starts to break down it can have a knock-on

issue is planner turnover. It can be hard to keep

scheduling software is a constantly shifting and

effect sometimes involving liability and health &

younger planners in the role – many don't want

changing landscape. “It can be hard for

safety issues from a workforce management

to stay with one company, they want to move on

manufacturers to know which system can align

perspective. This is largely why long-term

to something else. So, encoding more of that

most closely with their business needs,� he

planning is so important.� So, with regard to

best practice knowledge into the algorithms

says. “Because of this, systems that can be

technology, Reiner explains that companies

means companies can hold onto that

responsive and demonstrate flexibility and

want a very quick and simple way of

knowledge more effectively, and this helps them

agility will always be sought after and in high

communicating between all the parties involved

to retrain and be far more value adding that they

demand.�

in the supply chain. “This need will probably

often are today.� 

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lanning 

Planning and scheduling software – meeting customer demand and building foundations for the future By Stuart Hall, sales director, Epicor Software UK and Ireland.

ontinuous and rapid change in

flow of business, and increase communication

the UK manufacturing industry

across a company, or the implementation of a

in the last few decades has left

manufacturing execution system (MES) to

the industry almost

support the efforts of workers on the ground,

unrecognisable. Products and

and increase productivity.

C

processes remain a priority, but advancements in technology and the raised

Planning and scheduling software is another

expectations of today’s empowered

such solution. It connects all parts of a

consumers have driven manufacturers to

business’s manufacturing arm, allowing

invest heavily in digitally transforming their

accurate and real-time forecasting of

businesses through new integrated

customer demand, and scheduling of

technology solutions.

resources – from people, to machines, and raw materials. It is proving to be a vital asset

Today, more than ever, the ability to deliver

that allows businesses to optimise

high quality products, on demand and on

performance, reduce wasted time, decrease

time is what makes or breaks manufacturers.

unsold stock taking up space in expensive

We have seen a shift in consumer behaviour

warehouses, and ultimately boost profitability.

from passive consumers, where the brand once had the power, to empowered       

choice, are constantly connected through

Up-to-the-minute information

their always-on digital companions, and who

Competing customer orders and contention of

expect to be able to get what they want, when

resources and supply have historically been

technologies is rapidly increasing, and the

they want it, and where they want it.

an issue for manufacturers, often leading to

line between the digital and physical worlds is

missed delivery deadlines, and even

blurring in most elements of our daily lives. An

overproduction. Planning and scheduling

example of this is the burgeoning world of e-

New challenges

software controls these situations by

commerce, where many consumers prefer the

Consumers can be, and are largely, fickle

providing manufacturers with up-to-the-minute

experience of purchasing products online,

when it comes to brand loyalty, and attracting

information, and automated recommendations

instead of visiting a physical store.

and retaining customers has become

given on what raw materials need to be

increasingly difficult and complex. This is

acquired, and how resources can be used

Manufacturers are undergoing a similar

posing new challenges for manufacturers as

most efficiently. It also effectively predicts

transition with their customers, who are keen

they make moves towards a connected future

potential bottlenecks and issues with orders,

to receive the same services offered by

via automation, and robotic assembly.

enabling manufacturers to take action and

internet giants such as Amazon and eBay–the

consumers, who have an abundance of

resolve future issues before they escalate

ability to buy online, choose the delivery date

Modern technology solutions have become

further – preventing delayed or incorrect

and time, and then track the order through its

critical in helping manufacturers meet

customer orders.

delivery process. Mass customisation is another trend forcing manufacturers to work

customer demand. Whether it’s an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to aid the

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The demand for new and more efficient

smarter, as there is no margin for error when

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P

lanning 

producing and delivering a personalised

burden for businesses, requiring not only

artificial intelligence and cognitive

product. Once a commitment to a customer is

human skill, but large amounts of man hours

technologies, will only continue to drive the

made–whether creating a custom-made

in order to realise the business benefits. The

manufacturing industry forward, and the

product or agreeing to a specific delivery

implementation of software does not reduce

rate of evolution and innovation in the

date–it is vital to meet it, or risk losing the

the need for skilled workers, but it provides

sector will show no sign of abating.

customer to one of your competitors.

Real business benefits It doesn’t matter if you are running a make-toorder, make-to-stock, or a just-in-time business, planning and scheduling software

In the push towards Industry 4.0, the rapid advancement of connected technologies, such as high-quality sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies, will only continue to drive the manufacturing industry forward, and the rate of evolution and innovation in the sector will show no sign of abating.”

needs to be pushed up the list of importance. Scheduling can provide real business benefits – minimising production time and

these workers with the tools to perform their

Investing and implementing in advanced

cost, and maximising factory efficiency.

roles more efficiently, reducing time spent on

and scalable technology solutions now –

However, it must extend beyond scheduling

manual tasks, and enabling them to

such as ERP, MES, and planning and

the manufacturing process and ensure the

disseminate the most relevant data to the

scheduling software – will allow

right resources are allocated across all

workers on the shop floor.

manufacturers to see immediate tangible business benefits, but will also lay a solid

parts of the business, and each business unit is working in the most efficient way. Traditionally, scheduling was a huge time

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In the push towards Industry 4.0, the rapid

foundation from which they can take

advancement of connected technologies,

advantage of everything Industry 4.0 is set

such as high-quality sensors, robotics,

to bring. 

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P Maxoptra route lanning 

  

planning leaves Total Hygiene flushed with success otal Hygiene (Clos-o-Mat), the

T

supplier of specialist wash and dry toilets for the elderly and disabled, is reaping the rewards following the implementation of a

high-tech system to manage its mobile service operation. The Cloud-based Maxoptra dynamic route planning and scheduling software has already helped the company increase the productivity of its service engineers by more than 30%, improve customer service, and make significant inroads in the journey towards a paperless office. "Prior to the implementation of Maxoptra, service engineers would schedule their own workload and plan their own routes," commented Michael Delaney, service administration supervisor at Total Hygiene. "Despite the vast experience of our UK wide service team, this wasn't always the most efficient way of working. Moving to Maxoptra has allowed us to take control back to the office and we are now able to provide clients with timely updates further improving the service we offer." Total Hygiene (Clos-o-Mat) manufacture,

hospitals and healthcare facilities, retail

Total Hygiene originally selected Maxoptra as

install and maintain the Clos-o-Mat wash and

outlets, including Morrison's supermarkets,

it integrated with the company’s TomTom in-

dry automatic shower toilets. With more than

and private residences.

cab navigation system supplied by

55,000 units sold to date, some of which are

Communicate Better. Total Hygiene is

still in daily use at least 30 years after

"Maxoptra's simple to use interface and visual

currently using Maxoptra's manual planning

installation, Clos-o-Mat is the only

planning tools makes life easy for our

option, assisted by intelligence driven routing

manufacturer in this sector based wholly in

planners," continued Michael. "In fact,

and scheduling algorithms. As engineers are brought online the move to Maxoptra's

“

Maxoptra's simple to use interface and visual planning tools makes life easy for our planners. In fact, Maxoptra is so straightforward you can be up and running in minutes. Although easy to implement and easy to use the functionality offered, especially the ability to auto plan diaries, is immense.� – Michael Delaney, service administration supervisor, Total Hygiene.

automatic planning will be made and the system integrated with the company's asset management system. "My experience with Maxoptra has been very positive," concluded Delaney. "The system has done everything we hoped it would and

the UK and with a dedicated in-house service

Maxoptra is so straightforward you can be up

the support has been second to none. We

team. Offering nationwide coverage, the field

and running in minutes. Although easy to

have increased productivity, improved

based engineers install and maintain

implement and easy to use the functionality

customer service and we are confident that

equipment in tourist attractions, such as

offered, especially the ability to auto plan

the continued use of Maxoptra will contribute

Wembley Stadium and Cadbury World,

diaries, is immense."

to a rise in profitability." 

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Become a Factory of the Future

With more than 40 years of industry knowledge and experience, Epicor provides proven software solutions to help manufacturers grow their business. Epicor can help you:  Become

more agile and productive waste and inefficiencies  Streamline operations  Cut

It takes future-thinking leaders and leading-edge software to become a factory of the future. Epicor will help you get there.

epicor.com/uk | info.uk@epicor.com | T. 01344 468468

Please visit epicor.com/uk/futurefactory/ to download “The Factory of the Future” eBook and discover how disruptive technologies and megatrends will shape manufacturing.

Copyright ©2017 Epicor Software Corporation. All rights reserved. Epicor, the Epicor logo, and grow business not software are registered trademark or trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation in the United States and certain other countries.


P

lanning 

   

  

Wander leaps

to cuttingedge DSCP from antiquated planning system ander Ltd. is a Swiss food

W

market has changed around

approval for the update to QAD EE and

and beverage

the company. Wander has

DSCP.�

manufacturer, best known

been innovating product

for its wide variety of

lines but fallen behind in

Ovomaltine-based

technology. In addition to an

products. The company is strategically

outdated QAD ERP system,

positioned in the market as a manufacturer

Wander was using an old

and distributor of quality Swiss-made

program for its Demand and

products. Wander directly supplies the retail

Supply Chain Planning (DSCP).

market in Switzerland and exports products

The system had not been

through independent distributors into several

updated in more than 12 years.

European countries. In addition to its

DSCP systems have significantly

Ovomaltine product lines, Wander markets

evolved in that time and it

and distributes Twinings Tea and Caotina in

became obvious that the

German-speaking countries in Europe.

company’s existing system’s

The solution: Value approach analysis gets parent company sign off for DynaSys DSCP A QAD Q-Scan was the first step in getting ABF’s approval for the upgrade to EE and DSCP installation. Each of Wander’s

“

Accurate and timely planning is crucial to building an effective enterprise and replacing an outdated planning system. DynaSys DSCP has proven a great choice for us.� – Andy Eichenberger, demand planner, Wander Ltd.

departments and functions was assessed and determinations were made on areas that excess money or time was being spent or any gaps in the process.

Wander’s history dates back to 1865. The

age was creating an increasing risk

An analysis was then

company employs a staff of 250 at its

that the entire platform might fail.

presented to suggest

manufacturing location in Neuenegg, close to

where improvements

Bern, Switzerland. The company is part of the

“We knew our old planning system

TwiningsOvo group within Associated British

was not serving us well any longer

money saved and

Foods (ABF). Associated British Foods earns

and we would benefit from updating

profitability increased.

ÂŁ13.4 Billion in annual sales and has 130,000

our DSCP system as we upgraded to

employees worldwide in 50 countries. ABF

QAD Enterprise Edition (EE) for our

“The Q-Scan gave us

includes many brands; such as Twinings,

ERP solution,� comments Steffen Grill,

the ammunition we

Silver Spoon, Kingsmill, Patak’s, Jordans

IT manager, Wander Ltd.

needed to convince our

Cereals, Speedibake, Dorset Cereals, Ryvita,

“We wanted to replace it but we have

parent company of the

Blue Dragon and Mazola.

to meet our parent company’s very

value of upgrading to

strict ROI criteria and internal

QAD EE and replacing

justifications to be approved for

our old planning system

present and future project funding,�

with DynaSys DSCP,�

adds Ueli Trachsel, finance & IT

adds Grill. “After we

manager with Wander Ltd. “Going

received approval from

with a ‘Value

our parent company,

Approach’ was

we did the entire

The challenge: Outdated and increasingly unstable planning system needed replacement Wander has been successful for many years

critical to get

with its core Ovomaltine powder, but the

high level

22

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might be realised,

project in one attempt – which took more

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P

lanning 

   

  

planning and implementation resources but we got everything done as one. Having the DSCP pre-configured solution was very helpful. We were able to do the work within very clean timelines. The ‘go-live’ process went very well. We were able to ship products and get invoices out the first day.� “Our relationship with QAD was a bonus,� notes Stefan Stucki, head of controlling, Wander Ltd. “It made the conversion from our outdated system to DynaSys DSCP much easier – we didn’t have as steep a learning curve.� Wander’s onsite product team worked closely with a QAD project manager using a QAD standard product model solution implementation, Easy On Boarding (EOB).

The benefits: Planning is quicker and more accurate, system risk is eliminated and costs are reduced The first and most immediate benefit Wander Ltd. saw with the installation of DynaSys

• Reduced recurring costs for DSCP

QAD really helped during the project,�

DSCP was the elimination of the platform

maintenance & support compared with

concludes Trachsel. “They understood our

risks associated with its outdated system.

previous system hosting & support.

needs and how the product could address

Operating costs were also reduced and

• Faster and easier data extraction.

those needs – it’s what really made the

Wander now has richer functionality than

• Reduction in required stock with increased

project successful.� 

was available before.

forecasting accuracy and better management of expiring stock.

Andy Eichenberger, demand planner,

• A common and familiar user experience

Wander Ltd., commented: “The new DSCP

between QAD EE and DynaSys DSCP,

system is a very different way of working

which decreased the learning curve for

than the old system. After managing our

users. The initial value

system for 12 years without an update, we

approach assessment

now have the latest DSCP. With DynaSys

estimated a value return

DSCP we have transparency and the ability

of over $40,000 each

to change things as needed rather than

year for DSCP.

being boxed into a rigid, unresponsive system. We can play around and use the

“Our long-term relationship with

system as we want and need.� Other benefits Wander has seen with the new DynaSys DSCP system include: • 50% time savings in managing product supersession impact when one product replaces another. • Easier and quicker capacity planning with

HIGHLIGHTS: Company: Headquarters: Industry: Products:

Wander Ltd. Neuenegg, Switzerland. Food and Beverage. Ovomaltine powder, bread spread and malt extract. Solutions Utilised: DynaSys Demand and Supply Chain Planning (DSCP).

a simple and more reliable set up.

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P

lanning 

It’s do or die:

retailers must meet customer expectations through collaboration By Matthew Robertson, Co-CEO, NetDespatch. Whichever delivery channel retailers choose

n the age of instant gratification and

I

personalised experiences, consumers are

Barriers to innovation

to develop – and there were many identified

increasingly expecting more and more

Our research found that innovation is primarily

by the retailers in our survey – working

from retailers, particularly from the

hampered by three key barriers. The first

together for the same cause is key. Being

delivery stage in the buying cycle. This is

barrier is cost, the second is technology, and

open and sharing information, best practice

what makes partnerships so critical in today's

astonishingly for just under 3 in 10 retailers

and what has been achieved has been a

competitive commercial environment. Today,

(29%) their delivery development plans are

key part of the huge innovations the market

delivery is a key differentiator in winning

hampered by the partners they are working

has seen in recent years. If retailers want to

customer spend and a crucial part of a

with. Indeed, many retailers say that their

continue to meet and beat customer

brand's proposition and marketing strategy.

delivery partner could do more to help them

expectations this is a trend that has to

improve their business by sharing more

continue. With all this in mind, what are the

Our own research, which was conducted in

information with them.

main things to keep front of mind?

conjunction with eDelivery, showed that 42%

The fact that partners can be an obstacle

of the survey's respondents – around 50 out

against progress is jaw dropping. The

• Ensure a partnership approach.

of 120 retailers – would work with numerous

challenge though is not insurmountable. It is

• Confirm that you are offering what the

partners to best meet consumer expectations.

imperative for retailers to strive to offer what

This highlights that despite the operational

customers expect and therefore, partnerships

challenges such a structure might pose, a

are vitally important.

customer actually wants. • Work with suppliers across the board and aim for transparency and flexibility. • Don't overpromise – be honest.

significant number within the industry believe

• Embrace the power of click and collect to

that it is necessary nonetheless to take on

Click and collect is an example of an area

multiple partners in order to meet the ever-

that is primed for collaboration and which can

increasing demands of consumers.

play an important role in improving the

drive revenue for both online and offline channels. • Test and innovate when it comes to

customer experience. Click and collect also

delivery services.

On the positive side, new delivery models are

offers a huge opportunity for retailers and

being trialled and introduced by various

their delivery partners to work more closely

retailers pushing the limits of delivery, with

together to improve the customer experience,

I believe that with consumer expectations

innovations such as the delivery subscription

especially since it can drive additional spend

only going in one direction – towards

model expected to grow substantially.

instore.

creating more demands on the delivery

On the downside however, our research

Collaboration in this area in particular can

companies to have effective and beneficial

found that there is more to be done in terms

help deliver a quicker and more seamless

partnerships in place. This more often than

of exploiting additional innovations. 7 in 10

buying experience for consumers – many of

not will require working with numerous

retailers are not yet using lockers services,

whom are now often time poor due to busy

partners. Offering distinctive, fit for purpose

more than half are not offering same day,

lives. Happier customer's increases loyalty

delivery services is vital to win customers'

Sunday or evening deliveries, and 40% are

and spending which will benefit partners; so,

hearts, minds and purses, but it does

not offering click and collect.

click and collect has the potential to provide

require a close partnership approach. 

aspect of the retail experience – it is vital for

benefits for retailers, partners and customers. 24

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Driving Supply S Chain EfďŹ cienccy

Forecastt - Plan - Optim mise

To better forecast, plan, simulate and optimise your Supply Chain, yoou need a comprehensive, integrated and collaborative solution that encompasses saales forecasting and multi-level disstribution, production and procurement plann ning. An expert in Demand & Supply Chain Planning solutions for over 3 30 years, DynaSys offers the DSCP suite, a solution that will optimise the strateg gic, tactical and operational levels of your extended Supply Chain. BeneďŹ t from our unique expertise in Supply Chain to help deliver your organ nisational strategy.

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


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Opinion

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

*,*+#'&+(,of the digital supply chain in the changing manufacturing landscape By Nick McGrane, managing director, K3 Syspro.

ou have to be able to hold your

Y

There is no doubt that intelligent and

The data that can be gleaned from ERP is

nerve if you work in the supply

integrated ERP systems, such as we provide

worth its weight in gold. As well as providing

chain. Dealing with the

at K3 Syspro, enable strong supply chain

traceability, it also provides relevant

production and distribution of

models to function.

information to help manufacturers with

requires patience, knowledge and strong

They allow businesses to offer additional

recycling of materials, components and

team management. And you’re not just

services (such as aftercare) as ERP and its

products – something that is becoming

dealing with your own staff, but everyone

integrated solutions can now link the

increasingly important in the Circular

else’s too, with the added dimension that

necessary business functions throughout the

Economy.

the chain can also stretch right across the

chain from end to end; an added value in this

globe.

day and age for both the customer and the

everything including regeneration and

goods in today’s world

company. Efficient data sharing also provides

Mind the gap – from digital supply chain to supply network

We talk now about the digital supply chain,

for the interrelationship of all business

although the word digital is assumed as

elements in the chain. This works for both

Given technology is a ‘given’ perhaps we

technology is embedded in all of our

suppliers and customers. It is easy now to

should now be talking about the supply

processes as surely as our DNA is in our

find out exactly where goods are through

network rather than the digital supply chain.

human form. The question is: Where can

efficient tracking systems, and customers now

But whatever you call it there is no doubt it is

this technology take us, and what are the

have the capability of rating everything from

vital that manufacturing and logistic

implications of this ‘digital’ revolution for

delivery to quality – thus providing feedback

companies get it right.

UK industry?

up and down the supply chain.

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Opinion

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

But the future isn’t, in my view, just about ERP

isolation. It needs to be built on solid key

within these sectors. Changes coming include

business foundations.

AI (Artificial Intelligence), the increasing use of cloud-based technologies and the use of

Managing customers, forecasting and

cobots (collaborative working with robots).

synchronising supply and demand and meeting and co-ordinating customer requests

Engineering technology and the result of

are all must haves and not nice to haves. So

robotic handling, automation and

too is providing a structure for bringing

advancements such as machine learning also

products to market in unison with customers

allows companies to be able to consider

and suppliers. Then there is the returns

reshoring and bringing their manufacturing

process. It’s a lot to think about.

closer to home. Such cross-functional data enables businesses to revolutionise their

Our strategy at K3 Business Technology

supply network.

Group has been to develop solutions in close partnership with third party vendors with

Of course, being totally connected is not

expertise in specific fields. These run through

without its risks. There have been several

from the factory floor and providing Shop

recent incidences of large companies having

Floor Visibility right through to understanding

their systems hacked, which is why it is so

the customer journey through data analytics.

important to choose your technology

We provide everything from document

providers and experts carefully. The supply

management solutions, integration products,

network is no longer just about your own

right through to CRM, HR, Finance and data

technology, it’s about what is also happening

management solutions.

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

• Allowing all parties in the supply chain to

with both data and interconnectivity in your

better manage the resources.

supply chain. At K3 Syspro we have over

It is possible to develop several supply chains

three decades of knowledge and expertise

within a single organisation. Each can be

• Better planning for future needs.

helping manufacturers not only to implement

focused on a defined market with a cost

• A better customer retention record.

ERP technology but to help them to manage

structure and responsiveness level which is

their businesses effectively and transparently,

appropriate to the segment it serves, and this

It is clearly evident why it is so important

we have also developed integrated solutions

is where having the right technology is vital.

for companies the get digital supply chain

that provide seamless technology for every

Whatever stage you are at with introducing

right.

part of the supply chain.

new technology into your business, make sure you talk to the right consultants who can

ERP systems enable strong supply chain

A strong supply network, supported by the

advise you appropriately on best-fit solutions

models to function but they cannot stand

best technology, contributes to overall

and how these will integrate with your current

alone. An integrated approach to the

organisational resilience. In today’s uncertain

technology.

network is a must if manufacturers and logistics companies are to make the most

economic conditions with Brexit and the general state of flux in international markets,

All of this means the digital supply chain is

of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and all

this is vital. So too is being adaptable and

now more important than ever. Our Ebook

that comes with it; e.g. Smart and

flexible. Does your ERP system allow for

looks at the current position of digital supply

Connected Factories supported by the

change? Will it integrate easily with updated

chains and how they fit in and sit within value

Internet of Things.

software? What do you have in place to keep

chains. The aim is to try to bring some clarity

you ahead of the game and ahead of what

and offer practical tips and advice to navigate

Technology is only as powerful as the

your customers require?

through the confusing and daunting

people who use it. Visit our website

information with which manufacturers and

www.k3syspro.com to download our Ebook

logistics companies are often presented.

to find out how you can ensure you’re

Beyond simply planning – finding the best of breed solutions for your business It is no longer about logistics planning, but

ahead of the supply chain and not the

What people tell me is there are five things businesses want from technology in the supply chain:

weak link. 

being in a business where understanding the best of breed ERP system can put you ahead

• Improving time to market for products.

in a highly competitive environment. Supply

• Cost reductions across different business

chain management doesn’t happen in

www.logisticsit.com

functions.

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

) *&(&,*()#*$,digital collaboration on a global scale at Barry Callebaut apgemini, the global player in

C

consulting, technology and

Comprehensive approach

Higher level of real-time collaboration

outsourcing services, has

“We chose to work with Capgemini because

enabled Barry Callebaut, the

of their experience and comprehensive

Maarten De Schepper, business development

manufacturer of high-quality

approach to a global roll-out. Capgemini has

manager digital, Capgemini in Belgium, said:

chocolate and cocoa products, to maximise

a uniquely collaborative change

“As a forward-thinking organisation, Barry

the value of Google’s G Suite in more than 30

management style, extensive project

Callebaut wanted to move away from using

countries.

experience and end-to-end expertise for

predominantly email and cumbersome

every stage in the implementation process,�

databases for collaboration and knowledge-

The one year migration project has also seen

comments Steven Vandamme, chief

sharing without compromising document

Capgemini provide strategic, technical, and

information officer of Barry Callebaut.

security. We are pleased to see that the

change management services to support

implementation of G Suite has brought the

Barry Callebaut’s close to 10,000 team

Peter Boone, chief innovation officer at Barry

entire organisation a higher level of real-time

members around the world. The resulting

Callebaut, is convinced: “We can now really

collaboration and as a result, increased

improvements in real-time communication and

build on each other’s thoughts and I think

productivity.�

document control plus the ability to work

that this has also improved our levels of

together seamlessly as one team wherever

service and the kinds of products we offer to

Capgemini has worked with Barry Callebaut

colleagues are based, has enabled greater

our customers.�

since 2012. The two companies continue to

responsiveness to meet customer needs.

work together on the creation of new

“

collaboration tools and the implementation of

We can now really build on each other’s thoughts and I think that this has also improved our levels of service and the kinds of products we offer to our customers.� – Peter Boone, chief innovation officer, Barry Callebaut.

As a business to business (B2B) company, Barry Callebaut needed to equip its

digitisation has introduced needs that can no longer be addressed through traditional

order to provide anytime, anywhere, any

methods of delivering workplace services,

device real-time capabilities to its virtual

enterprises need to rethink the way they

teams across the globe. The company chose

address employee satisfaction, collaboration and productivity. Collaboration technology is

across the entire organisation in order to

integral to remaining innovative in today’s

create a mobile-friendly environment,

digitised workspace. The teams at Barry

enabling them to respond quickly to

Callebaut now have full control over

customer requests and manage content in

information exposure and are able to

real-time.

manage internal and external flows of data.

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Callebaut’s teams are well organised and even more productive. 

G Suite at a glance

Capgemini to implement Google’s G Suite

&LOGISTICS

Cloud Platform, in order to ensure Barry

In an environment where widespread

workforce with the right collaboration tools in

28

additional applications hosted on Google

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

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Every manufacturer knows the value of data at every step of the supply chain process.              



GET SMART WITH SYSPRO ERP. Keeping your supply chain connected from end to end.

Now that’s smart.

Download our Digital Supply Chain eBook at: www.k3syspro.com info@k3syspro.com | 0161 876 4498


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Opinion

*(,& #**('&( a new system, implement the future and not the past If you want to transform your company, do not follow the path that some systems providers lead you down, writes Richard Watkins, managing director, Delos Partnership. organising things, and making decisions -

today, plus a bit. They then do a Fit/Gap

exhaustedly.

analysis, and then specify and configure the proposed solution. They carry out a

The environment is thrilling, stamping out the

conference pilot to provide a ‘User

fires that flare up every day. The adrenaline

Acceptance Test’ and sign-off, train the users,

pumps through the veins. But cracks appear

migrate the data and go live. This is fine, if

as customers do not always get their product

you actually want to implement what you do

on time. Quality starts to suffer. The hidden

today. But if you want to make yourself ‘World

factory is huge.

Class’, then the approach must be different.

The managing director is persuaded by the

The key is to get your people to understand

ll companies, more than ever,

A

finance director to get a new ERP system. This

and develop a World Class model – what we

need to be more competitive,

will bring order and control to the chaos.

call ‘Company II’. This must specify the roles,

more productive and more agile

Believing their business is somehow unique,

responsibilities, policies, procedures,

in an aggressively competitive,

they trawl through as many ERP systems as

measures and behaviour which you want to

uncertain world. Many

possible to find the perfect one. They get a

adopt in the future that will make you world

successful companies are emerging from a

consulting partner to ask their people what

class. For instance, Company II must include

state where they are very ‘entrepreneurial’.

they want – they say more accurate forecasts,

things like:

They are highly successful, but largely devoid

finite scheduling, inventory optimisation, and

of formal systems and for too long they have

finally they still settle on one of the three or four

been using spreadsheets for their daily

normally selected. In truth, any business just

systems will not work without the data being

business. Complex activities like forecasting,

needs to know what customers want, what you

> 98% accurate. This requires a culture

planning, stock control, bills of material and

have got, and turn that into a plan of what to

change.

costing are manipulated in multiple

make and buy, and then count it all up.

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

1. Ensuring the data is accurate. Business

2. Acceptance of the need to operate with

spreadsheets.

formal ways of working, otherwise there will

Too simple and risky

be automatic chaos. That requires a

The business relies on John knowing how the product gets put together. Liz knows where

Some software companies bring an

fundamental behaviour change to respect

the components are in stores. Geri as sales

implementation approach that is often too

formal ways of working.

manager spends time in the factory and

simple and risky. They ask the client what

customers’ offices, making her orders get out

they do today (As-Is analysis) and what would

of the door. Meanwhile George, the MD,

they like to see in the future (To-Be analysis).

If the sales people are rewarded to forecast

spends all day developing products,

What they want in the future is what they do

low and sell high, then the system will be

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3. Creating consistent performance measures.

www.logisticsit.com


Opinion

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

driven by unrealistic forecasts. They should

abnormal demand, and provide realistic

brave new world – Company II – should be

be measured by forecast accuracy. That

promises to customers based on Available

built around a three-stage cascade

will require a change in behaviour.

to Promise, to guarantee delivery.

education process built around pilots – not user acceptance tests. The project team

4. If the factory gets measured on output, then they will not follow the plan – they should

7. The value stream should be redesigned to achieve a velocity of at least 10%.

be measured on schedule achievement and right first time. 5. The company should stop working in

develop the model based on external education on best practise; they educate the senior team and then the managers. The

8. The processes and systems should create

managers develop detailed processes and

an end to end integrated world class

then educate users. There is a project team

supply chain based on partnerships, that

pilot, a managers’ pilot and a users’ pilot.

functional silos; people should work as

ensure visibility based on trust, and provide

The education and training ensures people

teams, with common goals.

a competitive edge.

know what to do when they go live. They can then start to be world class – living in

6. The planning system should recognise

The implementation of the change to the

the future. 

          

                                                                                                                                     

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Supply Chain

Opinion

Mobilising and managing supply chains on the go By Paul Swaddle, co-founder, Pocket App.

A

ll types of transportation services, whether trucking, public transport, aircraft, charter & shuttle bus services, railroads or shipping, and the warehouses that support them, are drowning in paperwork. Paper forms such as vehicle and equipment inspections, delivery confirmations, mileage tracking, safety inspections, and so much more, are a part of a logistics company's work. If an organisation is using paper, it's costing them hundreds of hours of unnecessary work every year. That's why mobile devices and applications have become the go-to tools for logistics and transportation professionals. With mobile apps, they can ditch the paper, stay connected, and manage their supply chains from anywhere. A range of new supply chain mobility devices and applications help companies do everything from track assets and shipments, to execute transactions and processes, and collaborate with internal and external partners. Tapping into these tools helps logistics executives improve supply chain functionality, productivity, and efficiency—no matter where they are.

Delivering and receiving crucial data in real time How do logistics mobile apps help? Perhaps the biggest advantage of a logistic mobile app is the ability to deliver and receive crucial data in real time to both business employees and customers. Apps can also be used to record and store valuable data which can yield more responsive business decisions. This makes it easier to perform accounting, billing, and regulatory reporting tasks. In addition, paper waste is eliminated, manpower is reduced, and human error is diminished. Which in turn will improve profitability and will enhance your bottom line. Also, access to accurate tracking and notifications which can be sent automatically at each stage of transportation will enable 32

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individual employees to be tracked with the built-in GPS enabled technology. This means that managers will always have direct contact with their drivers. This can be particularly useful with traffic management. That's because GPS technology can allow for real-time road updates which can certainly save time and money. Lastly, the opportunities to improve customer service by utilising logistics mobile apps are virtually endless. With the installation of an app, you can allow customers to track shipments, arrange updates to deliveries, or even live chat with a company representative. Businesses may also use an app interface to communicate their latest product news and offers with their customers. No matter what mode of transportation an organisation supplies or supports, converting to transportation and warehouse mobile apps for logs, inspections and work orders will generate savings. Moreover, they will get rid of redundant data entry, lost and illegible paperwork, and enjoy more accurate data than ever before.

Key benefits So, to conclude, the three key benefits of mobile applications for transportation and logistics organisations are: • Automation of existing paper-based processes – One of the main benefits which mobile technology introduces to the transport and logistics industry is the automation of existing paper based processes. Nowadays you can eliminate paper forms usage replacing them with instant mobile reports. This will save you time and you will be sure that your data is safe and sound and collected in one place. • Dynamically track vehicles and the cargo – The current generation of mobile technology allows logistics companies to dynamically track vehicles and the cargo and real-time insight enables customer service

improvement. Previously logistics companies were able to track deliveries each time they arrived at a key destination in their journey (depot, port, or at the customer's location). The current generation of technology makes it possible to track an individual parcel on a meter-by-meter, second-by-second basis. This is a great opportunity for customers especially for business companies. It also makes it possible to monitor the transport processes and to not only identify issues when they arise, but also to predict problems before they appear. • Flexible delivery process – The ability to change delivery schedules and routes while in-flight is another great benefit. It offers consumers and business customers a level of flexibility in control process. In addition to increasing control of supply chains it creates opportunities for new levels of partnership between logistics provider and customer, increasing customer retention. Different while-in-flight-processes make it possible to offer customers greater flexibility in scheduling services, as well as enabling the creation of new, more customised services for customers. Real-time information updates and recommendations based on this factor also help in business. Mobile applications are becoming an integral part of the workflow in the transport and logistics area and at Pocket App we offer many mobile apps for the sector that will optimise dispatch operation, inventory management, record keeping, tracking goods, performing inspections and more. Feel free to drop us a line if you feel our expertise could help your organisation. 

www.logisticsit.com


Insight

Supply Chain

Debunk supply chain myths to optimise visibility

V

isibility is susceptible to the perils of myths due to the nature, complexity, confusion and hype surrounding it. Despite the clarity it seeks to provide to organisations, supply chain visibility is shrouded in myths arising from a combination of vendor hype and anecdotal evidence. 4. “These myths distract us from the real issues and solutions surrounding supply chain visibility, causing us to make decisions based on assumptions that are wrong, expensive or even dangerous,� said Christian Titze, research director at Gartner. “In doing so they stifle innovation and slow progress toward real goals, accomplishments and outcomes. By separating the truth from fiction, supply chain leaders can make more informed decisions about their visibility and multienterprise initiatives and investments.�

5.

Top 10 myths Titze debunks the top 10 myths of supply chain visibility: 1. We can live without supply chain visibility No, you can’t. It should be every organisation’s goal to achieve supply chain visibility for multiple supply chain functions across the organisation; including your partner networks. Supply chain visibility capabilities lay the foundation – the capturing of plans, events and relevant supply chain data – to generate value and mitigate risk for an organisation. 2. Visibility can be achieved by our ERP Companies sometimes still utilise enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to address supply chain visibility; however, such applications give only enterprise-level visibility at best and not the anticipated outside-in, networkcentric view. Consider ERP as one part of an overall visibility approach. 3. Visibility is equal to collaboration

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6.

7.

Supply chain provides the architectural setup, connecting the company with its many business partners and systems in their networks. However, many companies have confused the concepts of collaboration and visibility, which creates misconceptions and puts obstacles in the path to a more effective supply chain. We need just one visibility platform or vendor Currently, no single vendor offers software with end-to-end supply chain visibility capabilities that address multiple supply chain management processes along a comprehensive set of use cases. Companies will likely purchase or use multiple supply chain visibility software packages to support their multiple use cases and achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility. Vendor offerings can be easily evaluated and compared Supply chain organisations and their partners may approach visibility initiatives with different use cases, legacy technologies and readiness levels. The capabilities and attributes of supply chain visibility software differ from typical business process software, so a new set of selection criteria is required during the review process. All visibility platforms are going multitenant Cloud Cloud adoption for supply chain visibility solutions heavily depend on the use case. Cross-domain use cases, like risk, are only utilising a multitenancy model. However, planning use cases show a preference for a dedicated single tenancy environment. Enterprises should not expect all supply chain visibility platforms to go to multitenant Cloud in the near future. Cloud is less secure than on-premises capabilities It’s important to remember that security is not one monolithic entity and to identify where security responsibility lies. The majority of Cloud providers invest

significantly in security technology and personnel, and realise that their business would be at risk without doing so. 8. Visibility deployments are simple Deploying supply chain visibility capabilities should be faster and easier than deploying core business applications, such as ERP or customer relationship management (CRM). However, Gartner research shows that the average implementation timeframe for supply chain executional use cases is about 5.1 months and 2.3 months for risk use cases. Implementation requires several months – not weeks, as some expect. 9. The network aspect is a secondary criterion Choosing which network to join is critical. Organisations are often surprised to find that their business partners are not on the desired visibility software platform, requiring additional work for onboarding and integration. 10. Visibility automatically delivers business benefits Business benefits do not come automatically, but are built on improved access to data, insights and agility. Supply chain visibility helps organisations to realise benefits that can be measured directly, such as inventory optimisation, and also indirectly, leveraging that insight for faster and more accurate business decisions.

Gartner client research   !!! ! ! !!!! !!!!! 

!  !! !!!  

! ! !!  !!!  !!   !! !   !!!  !!! !!  !!  ! !  !  ! !!!  !  

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Opinion

Effective, digital, connected: Logistics 4.0 accompanied by TimoCom By Gunnar Gburek, company spokesman & head of business affairs, TimoCom.

T

Transparency, security and competitive advantages

A clear example is the new up- and download feature the IT service provider included in its business directory with more than 38,500 companies from 44 European countries. With this feature, customers can upload frequently requested documents to their profile so that potential business partners can download them. With it, the long wait for the necessary documents of transport orders such as e.g. letterhead, EU licence or goods in transit insurance no longer exists. Apart from saving time, making the documents available to download gives the company a competitive advantage: transparency. The more detailed and descriptive a business profile is the more trust is aroused and consequently the possibility of doing business increases. Since only verified customers have access to the documents via a secure SSL connection to TimoCom's applications, data security is ensured.

All that can be digitalised will be digitalised in the future. Information flow between all participants is optimised, while at the same time, work processes become faster and more transparent. The use of new technologies is an important characteristic of TimoCom and requires a high degree of adaptability from transport platform users – a requirement which the people involved in logistics are known for. Innovations in TimoCom's application portfolio based on efficiency for the user, are gratefully accepted and quickly implemented.

Interfaces to save time and plan reliably Whilst the business directory offers an optimal solution to create a network of already acquainted and potential business partners within the transport platform, TimoCom also connects individual technologies with each other. Interfaces are available in two different areas in the application. With the first, TC Connect, many users can transfer freight and vehicle offers from their own planning software directly into the transport platform with one mouse click. The rest of the customers can

he digital age of the industry sector has begun and brought with it new challenges. The concept logistics 4.0 characterises the industry and sets the scene for networking and process optimisation, men and machines, that is, transparency in favour of effectiveness. The European transport platform developed by TimoCom recognised the signs of digitalisation 20 years ago and assumed a leading role in this area. With up to 750,000 international freight and vehicle offers daily, the TimoCom transport platform is an ideal assistance system for optimising vehicle and warehousing space.

       

view these offers and contact the provider. With the second interface solution, TimoCom enables more than 210 telematics providers to display their position data in TimoCom Tracking. Together, customers benefit from the comfort of tracking the status of their vehicle in just one map. In other words: switching between different programs from various providers belongs to the past. In addition, it is possible to grant business partners permission to track one's vehicle. This way both can see where the vehicle is at any time. Here too, security plays an important role and even involves HGV drivers.

Data protection ‘hosted in Germany’ When using so many new digital services, TimoCom focuses on the highest security standard to protect its customers. Only verified customers receive access to the transport platform and have an authorised TimoCom ID. On the platform itself, the users operate under the protection of the already mentioned SSL connection. Anyone who sells transport services or buys transport services and would like to benefit from the TimoCom's range of services can inform themselves on the IT service provider's homepage or receive information directly from our customer care service in their native tongue. 

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www.logisticsit.com


Opinion

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Why manufacturing companies

should make logistics their core competence again

I

ndustry is currently going through one of the most important technological transitions of the decade: 3D printing, machine-tomachine communication, the Internet of Things and Big Data influence the connections to customers and suppliers – and thus the individual supply chain. Even transport acquisition as part of this chain is changing significantly. The increasing digitalisation and automation do not only change communication but also influence the ways of consumer behaviour. The possibility to buy online at any time has an effect on the production as well as on the delivery.

acquisition. Here is where digital transport platforms offer the possibility to find available loading capacity and suitable transport service providers at short notice.

Laskowski, logistics manager of MC-Bauchemie Gruppe: "Outstanding quality, stable and realistic service commitments and flexible customer oriented solutions, alongside standard solutions are the key to a good customer relationship.”

Good reasons for digital transport procurement

Agile solutions vs. long-term planning

Find the right transport service provider at any time and keep the ability to react. According to Gunnar Gburek, head of business affairs at TimoCom, these are relevant arguments to take back transport logistics into one's own hands: "The future challenge will be, to deliver what customers want tomorrow – and possibly only tomorrow and not later. This does not necessarily mean a trend must emerge from which long-term business relationships arise."

Long-term planning for the production, trade and transport of such goods is becoming more and more difficult. Transport sellers from the manufacturing and trade sector must therefore consider the current ways of transport

The price itself is and will continue to be the decisive factor for many companies from manufacturing and trade when it comes to choosing a service provider. It is mainly about not losing one's flexibility, explains Lars

Optimising the supply chain by influencing transportation Whilst the consumer, i.e. customer behaviour, can only be controlled to a limited extent, the supply chain can be optimised by regaining control over it. Digital transport platforms offer the possibility to request transport quickly, easily and securely within a clearly defined user group. If someone is looking to start assigning transport orders digitally, they should not only keep an eye open for a high number of offers or an intuitive user interface, but also neutrality and security standards. The latter helps to support the company's compliance guidelines. 

TC T Av ran ail sp ab ort le O in rde Ju r ® ly! :

Perfect for production peaks. When you find reliable transport companies for your transport orders quickly. You too should test Europe's largest transport platform now for up to 4 weeks for free.

Customers, whom we have convinced:

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Warehouse Management

I

Insight

Unlocking the potential for robotics Workforce availability is set to be a major challenge for e-commerce distribution centres (DCs) in the next 5 years. However, collaborative robots (‘cobots’) are already being primed as the best possible response. The question is: how can the link be made between today’s technology and a fully automated future?

A

s the growth in online shopping continues, the response from retailers – particularly within their DCs – continues to be dynamic. Every year, the retail market shifts further towards an alignment with e-commerce, creating new business models and putting additional pressure on traditional warehouse processes. Due to the rapidity of such trends, space and labour constraints are a common challenge to operators of e-commerce DCs. Not only are storage and retrieval methods important considerations, but the processes within DCs are also labour intensive. As Western workers continue to be better educated, companies struggle to find skilled people to perform routine and repetitive tasks.

This combination of factors has pushed the idea of collaborative robotics – or ‘cobots’ – to the front of the queue as a viable solution. According to a report by DHL Trend Research, “…logistics workers will benefit from collaborating with robots, while customers will see faster service and higher quality.” Automation has made significant inroads into increasing operational efficiencies, improving ergonomics and reducing picking errors. However, automation at this level may have run its course, and DHL Trend Research argues that existing material handling solutions merely “postpone” finding an answer to the challenges outlined above. Excitingly, the reality of cobots is close at hand. A future in which robots perform the menial activities within a DC – while being managed by human operatives – is quickly becoming a possibility. Over the next few years, the question is regarding how DCs 36

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June 2017

can reduce their operational risks while making the transition to cobots?

Intelligent technology It is most likely that the introduction of cobots will be a gradual process. Initially, the focus is expected to fall on robotising the DC processes that are most straightforward and labour intensive. For complex single item picking, DCs will need to invest in innovative and smarter solutions. With this in mind, Vanderlande recently presented its first smart item robotics (SIR) concept at LogiMAT 2017. “In September 2016, we started to prepare the SIR showcase based on our customers’ needs,” says Vanderlande’s director ecommerce Ruben Jakobs. “The feedback was amazing due to the fact that we’re being so proactive about robotic technology. This is because the e-commerce sector is going to need cobots that can handle individual items, not whole cases.” Vanderlande’s SIR solution currently sees a robotic arm positioned on top of a traditional order pick workstation. Guided by a series of state-of-the-art cameras, the arm is able to pick individual items and transfer them to a separate tote, thus mirroring the actions of a human operator. However, Vanderlande is already preparing the solution to handle many additional applications. “I think the reason to invest in such a solution is two-fold: to reduce costs and account for a lack of available workforce,” adds Jakobs. “Our SIR innovation was positively received, because it’s not only low risk, but a human operator is still required. As such, our shortterm vision is that it may only require one operator to oversee a number of workstations, for example.

“We’re also conscious that our customers are looking for intelligent technology. That is, their products need to be picked and packed in a smart way. E-commerce companies handle a substantial number of items, and for me, cobots will be doing the majority of work with individual products.”

Gradual integration Vanderlande’s SIR solution is expected to help e-commerce companies integrate cobots in a gradual way. After all, today’s technology is not yet at the stage at which a direct replacement of human operators can

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Warehouse Management

be made, and robots are not equipped to handle all processes and product types. Therefore, the smart integration of human and robotic working environments is required. “We’ll factor in robots depending on what we can achieve from a technological viewpoint,” says Ruben. “In the end, we want to retain the interesting activities for humans in warehouses. In the meantime, cobots can begin to take over the physical workload while ensuring that DCs can revert to a manual operation at any time.” DHL Trend Research depicts a future in which physical tasks are performed by cobots and “the operator may perform the first part of the task while the cobot finishes the rest,” such as moving heavy items. The report even foresees a DC in which “workers will be given higher-level tasks, such as managing operations, coordinating flows, fixing robots, and handling difficult orders”.

Exploring the potential One of the benefits of cobots is that individual units can be retrofitted to existing workstations. In this way, it is helpful to ecommerce companies beginning to explore the potential for robotic technology in their DCs. It removes the risk from such a venture, and allows for the flexible deployment of both robots and operators. Vanderlande’s SIR solution also delivers a range of additional benefits in these circumstances. There is no requirement to ‘teach-in’ products, while item handling is both smooth and secure. In addition, one of the key features is the robot’s ability to intelligently stack items efficiently, in a similar way to a human operator.

I

Insight

confident that in six months, we will be able to use the latest technology to create an even more advanced solution. The speed of innovation is truly exciting. “At the beginning of this process, we spoke to many e-commerce companies to define their constraints and how can we help. That was the trigger to start the SIR project. Now, we’re thinking about how best to help our customers implement this technology in a gradual way. Ultimately, the time to act is now, and the benefits are already tangible for such a lowrisk solution.”  *Robots in Logistics: a DPDHL perspective on implications and use cases for the logistics industry (Author: Tom Bonkenburg)

Advances in robotic technology show no sign of slowing down, and the next few years are set to be an exciting time for the industry. “I think there will be significant developments in cameras and software,” says Jakobs. “I’m

Reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation

Need to adapt to a rapidly changing market? Is the pressure on your warehouse increasing exponentially with the intense growth of e-commerce? Do the high number of stock items and short lead times compel you to take action? Need to optimize the flexibility of your processes? Experience how together we can continuously improve your operations and learn how automating your DC with flexible and scalable solutions makes life easier and faster! > vanderlande.com


V OICE technology

Opinion

The benefits of Voice-directed technology for maintenance & inspection tasks By John Bradshaw, business development manager for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions. aintenance and inspection

M

Similarly, in the warehouse and DC environment,

far greater picking and replenishment accuracy

(M&I) tasks undertaken for

the workforce traditionally picked and

than paper, together with the added

plant and equipment within a

replenished goods to a well-defined set of rules

convenience and flexibility of hands- and eyes-

diverse range of sectors have

involving paper pick lists. In the last 10 years,

free operation. The safety benefits are also

developed a series of well-

however, many warehouse operations have

clear: operators are not obliged to spend time

established steps over the years with the aim

discovered the benefits of Voice-directed

looking down at a pick list, searching for the

of improving the process by which engineers

solutions for picking and replenishment tasks.

next location whilst driving, or juggle clipboards and devices whilst picking heavy items. With the

and technicians capture and share information. In maintenance, repair and overhaul operations

Solutions consisting of Voice-directed

hands- and eyes-free benefits of Voice-directed

(MROs) such as aerospace, truck fleet,

processes offer substantial proven benefits over

picking, operators are more aware of their

automotive, process control, utilities and rail,

the conventional paper pick-list methodology.

surroundings.

these tasks have traditionally been conducted

Particularly for end-to-end DC Voice solutions

using tried-and-tested paper-based

using trained voice recognition, these

instructions and check lists.

advantages include substantial time saving and

With over 20 years of experience in Voicedirected solutions for the DC, Honeywell’s Vocollect Voice solution has proven to be a game-changer within the warehouse. As a natural progression, the core benefits offered by Vocollect Voice-directed solutions are now being recognised increasingly as a major benefit for activities in other industry sectors – M&I/MRO being an excellent case in point. Honeywell has developed a solution specifically designed for the requirements of processes outside of the DC: Vocollect Voice for M&I. For example, one Vocollect Voice M&I client is using the solution to capture information for the purpose of engine maintenance on an auxiliary power unit (APU), the engine that sits at the back of an aircraft and which provides critical auxiliary power. Vocollect Voice guides the engineer through a series of steps as part of a visual M&I process.

                      

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Vocollect Voice is used both to capture information and also to direct the engineer’s

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Opinion

V OICE technology

working practices in a speedy and accurate

screen before submitting the data to the host

working so closely with Honeywell to uncover

manner. By using Voice, the M&I process is

system.

prospective sites where Voice-directed

The third – and increasingly the most valuable –

processes. Having enjoyed a successful

technology can be used within M&I tasks and

optimised in such a way that some highly significant productivity and efficiency savings can be gained. From a time-saving perspective,

advantage concerns compliance and

partnership with Honeywell for a number of

using a Vocollect Voice solution for M&I tasks on

information. Many organisations must conform to

years, we are delighted to be one of only two

this type of engine typically takes around 45

various regulatory and standard requirements,

partners selected to work with their Vocollect

minutes, compared with around 2.5 hours when

and with Vocollect Voice this information can be

Voice M&I team. We are very much looking

using conventional pen and paper

captured and used in real time. It can also be

forward to building upon our already established

methodologies. Comparably impressive savings

used for historical purposes; one case in point

reputation of expertise in implementing Voice-

are achievable on other types of plant and

within the aerospace industry is the requirement

directed data capture solutions into a variety of

equipment.

to keep detailed data for a number of years for

vertical markets and applications.”

Advantage: Voice

an air crash investigation.

retrieval in the event of an incident, for example There are three primary advantages in

M3UA UK The above article is based on the author’s

employing Vocollect Voice technology to an

Voice-directed solutions offer a highly

presentation on M&I given at this year’s M3 User

M&I/MRO process. The first concerns the use of

compelling value proposition for maintenance,

Association UK Conference (M3UA UK), held at

Voice commands and responses to optimise

repair and overhaul tasks in terms of time

the Best Western Plus Meriden Manor Hotel in

process and workflow steps. The second

saving, greater accuracy, improved health &

Solihull on 1 and 2 March. Honeywell works in

advantage relates to ergonomics; because

safety and better compliance. Vocollect Voice

partnership with BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd.,

Vocollect Voice is a worker-focused wearable

has evolved into a strong solution for MRO since

the UK-based supplier of data capture solutions

solution, maintenance personnel are able to use

first being embraced within the warehouse

for supply chain logistics and manufacturing.

tools more conveniently and safely, without the

environment.

BEC was the event’s Diamond Sponsor, together with Honeywell. 

need for carrying paper check lists etc. Technicians also benefit from the ability to

Successful partnership

capture critical M&I information on a tablet PC

Philip Jarrett, director of sales & marketing at

and check the information for accuracy on the

BEC, comments: “We are really excited to be

Streamline Your Maintenance & Inspection Processes With Vocollect Voice Solutions 9 Real-time visibility of site-wide operations 9 Enhance compliance with standard operating procedures 9 Streamline documentation with step-by-step process guidance for faster operator training 9 Improve safety and increase productivity with hands-free operation 9 Intuitive solution to motivate and retain technicians

Call BEC today and speak to the experts: June 2017 www.logisticsit.com +44 (0)1254 688 088 or visit www.becsi.co.uk

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V OICE technology

Success story

Puerto Rico distributor upgrades to Voxware’s VMS for real-time visibility and performance management Voxware, provider of Cloud-based voice solutions, has announced that Puerto Rico Supplies Group (PRSG) has upgraded its distribution centre to Voxware’s Voice Management Suite. With the new system in place, PRSG has improved the efficiency of its workforce and given its warehouse supervisors real-time visibility into its distribution operations.

The right products available at the right time

opportunities and goals every organisation we

centre director for Puerto Rico Supplies Group, commented:

Voxware was able to address both needs.

Phillips, president and CEO, Voxware. “For

“We live and die by our

Replenishment is a core business process in

Puerto Rico Supplies, we were able to

productivity. Operating at high

the warehouse and Voxware VMS

demonstrate real value with our unique VMS

levels of efficiency is how we deliver our

Replenishment ensures the right products are

offering to solve their challenges. We are the

customers a superior experience. Before

available at the right time. The new

only Voice provider giving its customers real-

using Voxware, we didn’t have the real-time

replenishment workflow allows the picker to

time visibility into their operations as a standard

data we needed to identify productivity

directly report shorts automatically and assign

feature and our subscription service

arlos Falcon, distribution

C

issues as they were happening. With Voxware in place, we can see clearly and immediately the factors impacting productivity and that helps us make the timely adjustments needed to operate at peak efficiency.” Seen by many as one of the most innovative

work with is looking to achieve,” said Keith

Before using Voxware, we didn’t have the real-time data we needed to identify productivity issues as they were happening. With Voxware in place, we can see clearly and immediately the factors impacting productivity and that helps us make the timely adjustments needed to operate at peak efficiency.” – Carlos Falcon, distribution centre director for Puerto Rico Supplies Group.

and technologically-advanced companies of its kind in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Supplies

replenishment for an item to move up the

guarantees access to the latest hardware without having to make costly investments.”

began using Voice technology in its

priority list when necessary. Additionally,

warehouses in 2010. The company quickly

because Voxware allows customers to pay on

realised the benefits of Voice and wanted to

a subscription basis, PRSG was able to

Since PRSG’s item selectors were already

further drive productivity improvements by

implement Voxware without a substantial

accustomed to using Voice, the transition to

implementing a Voice-driven replenishment

upfront capital investment. The subscription

Voxware’s solution was seamless while also

workflow, but was unable to get the project

also includes the most up-to-date version of

offering improvements over the company’s old

started with its previous vendor. Additionally,

Zebra hardware, which meant PRSG

system. Instead of having to complete labels

the company’s Voice hardware was being

eliminated the need for an expensive out-of-

by hand, Voxware enables team members to

discontinued, forcing a large capital expense

pocket hardware replacement.

print labels with the company number and route number already in place to save time and

to replace the hardware should it stay with “We make it a priority to understand the unique

the previous vendor.

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eliminate a manual task. 

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Insight

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Healthcare industry

lacks visibility of process status impeding digital transformation Disparate, siloed content and processes, coupled with the dependence on legacy paper files, are affecting the digital transformation journeys of organisations in healthcare, manufacturing, financial services and government, according to a global survey.

• Manufacturing: content stored in too

he Forrester survey was

T

digital platform across industries. However,

commissioned by open-source

the top benefit varied across verticals:

pioneer Alfresco Software and

• Manufacturing: improved user experience

(67%) acknowledging that users need to

• Financial services: business agility (48%)

frequently or always reference external

• Government: more productive staff (67%)

information in a workflow application. The lack

"Digital transformation initiatives are being

Hampton continued: “The UK's recently

of content integration is most significant in

hampered by legacy technologies and the

announced Digital Strategy underlines the

manufacturing, with 83% reporting having to

bolting on of new solutions as a business

importance of and need for digital

scour multiple applications, systems and files

grows. Such an approach is creating content

transformation of businesses. Now is the

for vital information.

silos, affecting productivity and decision

time for organisations to kick their digital

making," said Paul Hampton, product

transformation projects into high gear.

The survey also found that organisations are

marketing director at Alfresco. "It is time to

Creating a cohesive and integrated digital

still reliant on paper legacy files, only 14%

leverage the technologies that will enable

business platform that will deliver the

have enterprise content that is virtually digital

effective content integration to deliver the

contextual information efficiently to users for

today. However, there are plans to convert to

right information, in the right context, in a

informed decision making and better

digital, data driven content in the next two

timely way."

customer service will be key.”

years, with half expecting to be virtually all-

Content silos continue to frustrate

digital then. Manufacturing and healthcare

organisations across industries. This was

Alfresco commissioned Forrester Consulting

organisations are more ambitious, with 58 and

most significant at the stage of process

to evaluate organisations' evolving needs

55% respectively intending to be virtually all-

initiation, where each cited a different pain

for technologies that support enterprise

digital in two years.

point:

content and business processes. The

• Government: poor integration across

survey was conducted with 158 IT

revealed that organisations have content and documents scattered

across many locations, leading to two thirds

There is a desire to speed digital transformation efforts as organisations recognise the benefits of marrying process and content into a single integrated and

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(53%) • Healthcare: better customer experiences (55%)

multiple data sources. • Financial Services: lack of immediately available content. • Healthcare: lack of visibility of process status.

many places. In the age of the customer, IT leaders must remove the barriers between process and content, and intensify integration efforts across the business to deliver greater productivity and agility.

Professionals at the director level or above in the US and the UK across manufacturing, financial services, government and healthcare sectors. 

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Opinion

Quad-core vs hexa-core – why a sports car is not always faster than a hatchback By Dirk Gelbrich, teamleader technical services auto ID, DENSO.

Not all processors are the same

processors became available, it was soon

production processes. The

Both quad-core and hexa-core processors are

work processes.

question of storage location,

multi-core processors, i.e. microprocessors

for example, can be

ptimised internal mechanisms

O

are a key part of high-quality

apparent that they would significantly speed up

which combine more than one complete main

While the aim has always been to maximise

answered through consistent material

processor core in a single chip. Multi-core

processor performance, the performance gain

monitoring. That is suitably complex. Many

processors have been developed to enable

does have its limits. After all, it depends on

dealers and logisticians thus rely on mobile

greater processing power. Costs also play a

implementation and the structure of the

data collection devices which are adapted to

role here, as it is cheaper to fit just one

software algorithms used. If databases supplied

modern requirements, and fitted with either

processor base on the motherboard, which

with available data come into play, additional

quad-core or hexa-core processors. Both

multiple processor cores then plug into. Multi-

mechanisms need to be looked at. According

variants have their pros and cons, which all

core processing has been on everyone’s lips

to Amdahl’s law – a model for accelerating

need to be weighed up when choosing the

for many years as a result of the considerable

programs through parallel design – the speed

right scanner.

advantages it offers. Once the first quad-core

increase/performance gain is limited by the amount of software capable of being parallelised. The model examines the relationship between the proportion of the program which can be processed in parallel and the acceleration resulting from parallel processing. And it is this very observation which is required in order for a multi-core CPU (Central Processing Unit) to be maximised. In general, hexa-core processors can achieve a greater performance gain than quad-core processors. Apparently.

A comparison from everyday life If the hexa-core processor represents a sports car with 350 hp, and the quad-core processor a hatchback with 82 hp, it shouldn’t be hard to work out which car reaches a faster speed on the highway. Apparently. In peak hour, however, both vehicles are stuck in traffic jams for the same amount of time, and proceed at the same speed. Stop-start. If the sports car and hatchback have a breakdown on the way and have to stop in the emergency lane to wait for help, they both wait for the same amount of

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Opinion

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

time. But as sports cars often contain special

processor it is operating with must also have

parts, it may require a special workshop to

long-term availability. The hexa-core processor

DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit

repair its damage, while the hatchback could

is already reaching its limits in this respect. It is

potentially be back on the road that same day.

well possible for a device to be launched on the

In this case, the hatchback will be faster than

market in early 2017, but for the hexa-core

the sports car. What this comparison shows is

processor installed in it to no longer be

that there are always additional conditions

available by the end of 2017. Updates can, of

which play a role in the overall picture.

course, be performed, but this requires time

Processor availability is a particularly important

and resources – something commercial

factor in the direct comparison.

enterprises want to avoid if not absolutely

The DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit, part of the Toyota Group, has been operating on the European market for more than 30 years, and specialises in mobile data collection in all its facets. The BHT-1600 with quad-core processor was recently launched on the market. It is state-of-theart, but also durable, and delivers optimum results.

necessary. There is currently no indication that the conventional quad-core processors

Thinking ahead

installed in modern mobile data-collection

components haven’t been adapted? That’s why,

devices will stop being available in the short

when choosing a data-collection device with

As more and more companies are starting to

term.

quad-core or hexa-core processor, it is

work with data-collection devices which

important to always consider whether, for

combine the advantages of a modern

The processing power of a quad-core

example, it is going to be performing table

Smartphone with mobile data recording, it is

processor is very high, and compatibility with

calculations or whether high resolution for

also important to take into account the device’s

other systems and devices is largely

games is more of a priority. However, the

life cycle. Smartphone life cycles are getting

guaranteed, though must always be checked

system interface is ultimately never the

shorter, as the focus in the telecommunications

separately. Comparing only the measurement

processor; it’s the humans. They are the ones

industry is different to what it is in retail and

values, the hexa-core processor yields faster

who decide whether they want to get to their

logistics. When designing and developing new

results, but its product life cycle is much

destination in a sports car or hatchback. And in

handheld terminals and scanners, a common

shorter, and its availability is not guaranteed.

the end, they are the most important and

requirement is that the product must be state-

Both processors are reliable. But what’s the

ultimate authority in the mix of performance

of-the-art, but also durable. As such, the

point of an advanced hexa-core CPU if other

gain, speed and processing. 

We have been working for 30 years to develop just one single scanner. Yours. DENSO. Driven by quality. DENSO has been a leading supplier of quality data capture devices in Europe for more than 30 years. The result is a diverse range of models without equal – scanners and terminals exclusively designed to meet your needs, whether with advanced Windows CE or RFID technology, or Android-based in the style of a smartphone. They are so rigorously tested that they remain in service almost longer than we would prefer. Find out more at denso-autoid-eu.com.

The new Handheld Terminal RFID Handheld Terminal

BHT-1200 RFID

BHT-1600


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Insight

Gartner survey

reveals the number of enterprise mobile apps is not accelerating ore than a quarter of

M

enterprises globally have not built, customised or virtualised any mobile apps in the past 12 months,

according to the latest mobile app survey by Gartner, Inc. This number is surprisingly high, Gartner analysts said, but it is still down from the year before. In the 2016 survey, 39% of respondents said they had not built, customised or virtualised any mobile apps in the previous 12 months. Speaking ahead of the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in Sydney next month, Adrian Leow, research director at Gartner, said that enterprises are responding slowly to increasing demand for mobile apps. "Many IT

mobile apps and are instead re-focusing on

lack of funds, worker hours and skills gaps.

teams will have significant backlogs of

responsive websites to address their mobile

Cost concerns are pervasive in IT

application work that need completing, which

needs."

organisations so this is not surprising, but it points to the need to enhance productivity

increases the risk of lines of business going around IT to get what they want sooner," said

Gartner's survey reveals that 52% of

with the budgets that IT development

Leow. "Development teams need to rethink

respondents have begun investigating,

organisations already have. Other barriers

their priorities and span of control over mobile

exploring or piloting the use of bots, chatbots

include a lack of business benefits and ROI

app development or risk further erosion of IT

or virtual assistants in mobile app

justification; however, a lack of understanding

budgets and the perceived value of IT

development, which is surprisingly high given

of customer needs may contribute to this.

development."

how nascent these technologies are. Gartner refers to these as postapp technologies that

In terms of spending, the survey revealed that

According to the survey, those enterprises

belong to an era where the traditional app –

organisations' actual IT spend on mobile apps

that have undertaken mobile app

obtained from an app store and installed onto

is consistently lower than they forecast.

development have deployed an average of

a mobile device – will become just one of a

Despite 68% of organisations expecting to

eight mobile apps to date, which has

wide range of ways that functionality and

increase spending for mobile apps, the

remained relatively flat when compared with

services will be delivered to mobile users.

average proportion of the overall software

2016. On average, another 2.6 mobile apps

Application leaders need to understand the

budget is only 11%. Those that plan on

are currently being developed and 6.2 are

different postapp technologies that are

increasing spending in 2017 expect to do so

planned for the next 12 months, but not yet in

emerging to ensure their mobile app

by 25% over last year. For the past few years,

development.

strategies remain relevant and succeed.

Gartner's research has shown that while organisations have indicated that they will

"While this response may be more indicative

increase their mobile app development

Re-focus

of greater awareness of these technologies

budget spend, the reality is that spending

than of anything else, it's still good to see that

allocation has decreased.

"It's encouraging to see significant growth in

enterprises have begun to consider these

the number of mobile apps that are planned,

technologies, because they will grow in

but most of this growth is in mobile web apps

importance relatively rapidly," said Leow.

Employee autonomy

commented Leow. "This indicates that some

According to the survey, the primary barriers

"Application leaders must turn around this

enterprises may be frustrated with developing

to mobile initiatives are resources related –

trend of stagnating budgeted spend on

as opposed to native or hybrid mobile apps,"

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Insight

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

mobile app development, as employees

Application trends will be discussed at the

The survey was focused on understanding

increasingly have the autonomy to choose the

Gartner Application Architecture,

organisations' activities around mobile app

devices, apps and even the processes with

Development & Integration Summit 2017

development, covering both business-to-

which to complete a task," Leow remarked.

taking place on 24 and 25 July in Sydney.

employee (B2E) and business-to-consumer

"This will place an increasing amount of

(B2C) apps, though the roles of the

pressure on IT to develop a larger variety of

respondents lean more toward expertise in B2E apps. 

mobile apps in shorter time frames."

More about the survey

Further detailed analysis is available for

Gartner's mobile app survey of 163 IT and

Gartner clients in the report: ‘Survey Analysis:

business leaders from across the US, EMEA,

The Mobile App Development Trends That

Latin America and Asia/Pacific was

Will Impact Your Enterprise in 2017’.

conducted from October to November 2016.

Product News

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Xplore launches

new XSLATE D10 rugged tablet PC

plore Technologies' flagship

X

Android rugged tablet, the XSLATE D10 with 10.1-inch screen, is now available with the upgraded Android 6.0.1

Marshmallow operating system. This latest OS improvement brings security, power management and mobile device management enhancements. The new Android 6.0.1, Marshmallow OS improves the battery life of the Xplore XSLATE D10 rugged tablet more than 10%, extending the use time beyond eight hours depending on usage and power management settings. Google's latest battery optimisation techniques work in combination with a new Marshmallow-specific application standby feature to prevent workflow applications from

indispensable to organisations seeking

It also comes with several collaboration tools

draining the battery and causing undue

greater worker efficiency and, therefore, faster

that enable hi-res image capture and video

disruptions to the user.

application responsiveness.

conferencing as well as multi-user login. The

A hot-swappable second battery option

The XSLATE D10 is noted for its user-friendly

tested, IP65-rated and ATEX/C1Z2-certified

provides up to 22 hours of continuous work

features, including a bright outdoor-viewable

Hazardous Location safeguards combine with

time. The upgraded XSLATE D10 tablets also

multi-touch display, eight standard I/O ports,

a 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD) to keep

provide IT managers and users with several

and 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi

workers productive – and their work protected

enhancements to the Android for Work and

technologies.

– in every environment. 

rugged tablet’s numerous MIL-STD-810G

Voice Assist APIs, each of which will prove

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20 – 21 September 2017 London, UK gartnerr..com/eu/supplychain

The World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders and Their Te Teams

ACT: Aspire, Challenge and Transform in a Disruptive World View the just announced agenda online featuring the top Supply Chain priorities including: så $EMAND å3UPPLYåANDå3/0 så $IGITALå,OGISTICå3TRATEGY så 4HEå&UTUREåOFå#USTOMERå3ERVICEåANDå#OLLABORATION så 3UPPLYå#HAINå3TRATEGYåANDå4R 4RANSFORMATION så 0ERFORMANCEå-EASUREMENTåANDå!NALYTICS … and much more!

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Join us at the Gartner EMEA Supply Chain To T op 15 dinner where the leaders will be revealed!

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