Manufacturing & Logistics IT - March 2017

Page 1

MARCH 2017

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


Also in this issue: p

BEC – Making the right connection ws






tu uf ac

manufacturers towards Industry 4.0

M an

Epicor – The megatrends that push


retail dilemma




Vanderlande – Robotics poised to answer food





Infor – Optimising the manufacturing supply chain

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT March 2017

Interview 5

Renault Sport Racing

Editor: Ed Holden

Special Technology Report Contributors:


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Andy Brown, Access Group Stuart Hall, Epicor Software UK and Ireland Michiel Schipperus, Sana Commerce David Titterington, Prodware

Manufacturing 18

Plasan grows using QAD Cloud ERP Reply launches Brick Reply – the new manufacturing operations platform for Industry 4.0

Publisher: Dean Taylor

Epicor: The megatrends that push manufacturers towards Industry 4.0 Manufacturing driving production increase in the UK, but IoT investment must not leave

Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd,

Britain behind Infor: Optimising the manufacturing supply chain Gartner: Worldwide BI and analytics market to reach $18.3 billion in 2017

Production: Carolyn Pither

BEC – Making the right connection Prodware: From dock to warehouse to customer with Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

Access Group: Thinking about ERP? A guide for mid-sized organisations Sana Commerce: Improve sales efficiency by leveraging the data in your ERP

IT Manager: Ian Curtis Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Transportation Management


Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK

Connecting worlds – logistics company Militzer & Mßnch counts on TimoCom TimoCom's transport platform helps to reduce CO2 emissions Henry Schein Animal Health targets efficient and safe driving with Ctrack vehicle tracking system

Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): Email (editorial): Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company plc,

ESSential BI software improves efficiency and profitability for logistics businesses

Warehouse Management


Vanderlande: Robotics poised to answer food retail dilemma Peli BioThermal Crēdo Cargo now available worldwide

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.

VDC Research: Dimensioning solutions in the spotlight as warehouses strive to modernize

Supply Chain Management 46

Maersk and IBM unveil industry-wide cross-border supply chain solution on blockchain

Automatic Identification & Data Capture ISSN:1463-1172







IoT heading for mass adoption by 2019 driven by better-than-expected business results

Renault Sport Racing


Accelerating IT development Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Pierre d'Imbleval, chief information officer, Renault Sport Racing, about how the organisation’s IT estate plays a critical role in its success – covering everything from design and prototyping through to manufacturing, logistics and data analysis.


enault and motorsport can boast a pedigree that stretches well over a century of technological innovation and on-track success. Over that time, Renault has developed many an iconic racing car, drivers have become household names and many prestigious victories have been enjoyed on the track aided by Renault’s technological triumphs. The Renault Sport Formula One Team’s F1 programme forms the core of Renault Sport Racing, the entity encompassing all the company’s motorsport activities, from Formula E to Formula Renault 2.0 and including customer racing programmes.

team is to maintain the speed of development – from design and aerodynamics to the actual manufacture of the part to fit on the car in time for the next race,” he said.

Focus on creativity From an IT perspective, d'Imbleval explained that this requires a very high level of reliability and performance – both in terms of the IT hardware and software that Renault Sport Racing uses on a regular basis, and also in terms of the reliability of the company’s user community to ensure Renault Sport Racing can maximise its working time focusing on creativity, simulation and then 3D prototyping.

Maintaining speed of development So, from a design perspective, what does chief information officer, Pierre d'Imbleval, consider to be some of the main critical daily challenges for Renault Sport Racing? “One of the main daily challenges for a Formula One

Design process In terms of the IT estate that is so critical to Renault Sport Racing’s success, d'Imbleval pointed out that the design process really

starts with the aerodynamics study. “For this we use the CATiA 3D product design solution from Dassault Systèmes to design the parts,” he explained. “We then use CFD (computational fluid dynamics) to run simulations before the parts are 3D prototyped and put into the wind tunnel. So, IT makes a big contribution to this very critical part of our design process.” Once the shape of the car part has been designed, d'Imbleval explained that these parts are then 3D prototyped, before they are fitted to a smaller scale model of the car. “We use 3D printers – provided by one of our solution partners, 3D Systems – to print the parts, said d'Imbleval. “The model is then put into the wind tunnel so we can start to run the simulations. Then, through correlation we continuously improve the shape of the car – in accordance with FIA regulations, of course.” When the external shape of the car is finalised, the process moves to Renault Sport



March 2017




Renault Sport Racing

Racing’s design office, which sets about transforming the shape into real parts. d'Imbleval explained that the parts are manufactured in the composite workshop or using the metal machine tools the company has at its site in Enstone, Oxfordshire. “This is where the industrial process begins in terms of making real parts from the initial design,” he said.

ERP Once the parts designed with CATiA and are ready to be manufactured, Renault Sport Racing then switches to the ERP world. “The ERP system we use is Microsoft Dynamics 365,” said d'Imbleval, adding that, from a functional standpoint, this covers everything from the beginning of the manufacturing process to parts distribution,





March 2017

logistics and raw material management. It also includes the financial package that Renault Sport Racing uses on a regular basis.

Cloud Two years ago, Renault Sport Racing decided to move the infrastructure part of the ERP system into the Cloud environment. d'Imbleval elaborated: “The strategy we have is to let our solutions partner Microsoft Azure take care of this in order to ensure that everything regarding the performance of the solution –

d'Imbleval explained that Renault Sport Racing’s ‘upstream’ world is everything regarding engineering – the design office work, aerodynamics, stress analysis and

One of the main daily challenges for a Formula One team is to maintain the speed of development – from design and aerodynamics to the actual manufacture of the part to fit on the car in time for the next race.”

simulation. The company’s ‘on-stream’ world is everything related to what could be described as classical ERP features – manufacturing, planning, procurement, purchasing, finance etc.

for example, increased storage requirements or the need to increase the performance of the servers – is acted upon. Also, from a disaster recovery standpoint, we recognise that a supplier like Microsoft is able to invest

Renault Sport Racing


all that is necessary to take care of the ERP infrastructure; allowing our own IT staff to focus on bringing more business value through the ERP solution to the user population instead of spending too much time on technical issues.” d'Imbleval pointed out that the upstream/engineering part of the business will probably remain on-premise for a while, mainly due to regulatory requirements. “We are not permitted to massively compute into the Cloud,” he explained. “However, the downstream part – the ERP and all the typical office-related functionality, including email – has been operating in the Cloud for the past couple of years. We use Office 365 very effectively, and through that move we would like also to maximise the benefit of the collaborative environment within Office 365 – SharePoint, One Drive and the extended capacity of Cloud services – for our users.” The IT group in the UK is also developing custom software; for example, to monitor the performance of the car on track. “The solution is very .net-oriented,” explained d'Imbleval. “There is also a regulatory obligation to use telemetry software from supplier McLaren Technology Group for the Formula One teams. This is an area that all the Formula One teams need to comply with, and develop their own software to maximise the performance of the car from that data.”

Big Data The next big IT challenge for Renault Sport Racing, and the F1 industry in general, is Big Data, according to d'Imbleval. “We generate massive amounts of data each time the car runs on the track,” he said. “For this reason, the next major project for us is to gain greater benefit from all this data, and to use things such as machine learning to identify patterns and behaviours that are much easier to detect through Big Data than by simply relying on a human being. So, we want to use those technologies to explore new areas of performance for our team. Through the use of Big Data, we also want to work closer with the

experts and engineers who have a deep understanding of the Formula One racing business. However, for this to be realised, we need the right IT infrastructure and IT architecture that will make accessing the diversity of data sources much easier.”

set up the design of the car and we need to improve the car over the season then all that process takes place in-house.”

Future plans

d'Imbleval pointed out that Renault Sport What of future plans for Renault Sport Racing? Racing’s Big Data project is ongoing. “We “Formula One is a world that generates an recently introduced a few new initiatives within impressive level of creativity and willingness the organisation, and what we aim to do now is to explore new ways of improving car federate those initiatives within a real-team and performance,” reflected d'Imbleval. “But at the a real-project environment to ensure we are not same time, from a process standpoint, we consuming resources in an isolated manner. want to mitigate the risk of too much We want to bring these capacities together to innovation. So, from a process standpoint we address the first-priority challenges we have would like to carefully explore new things, from a data standpoint – for while from a technological example, in terms of race It’s a careful mix of both standpoint we are keen to strategy or tyre model explore innovative areas. risk mitigation regarding simulation. This is the kind of It’s a careful mix of both domain where we would like to processes and advanced risk mitigation regarding explore Big Data and machine technology to bring improved processes and advanced learning technology.” technology to bring performance to the car.” improved performance to Most of Renault Sport Racing’s the car.” design, manufacturing and testing activities take place at its site in Enstone. “This is really So for the future, concluded d'Imbleval, the IT to maximise the speed and reduce the time staff would like to help the business side to between when we complete the design mitigate that risk while exploring business process to when we test the car for real or process automation that will bring speed in through simulation,” said d'Imbleval. “This is the way we design and manufacture the car, why most of our resources are in-house. We while respecting the fact that you cannot be have suppliers we partner with, but once we late when the race starts.”



March 2017



Special Technology Report


Broadening horizons Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent trends and ongoing areas of development within the world of ERP – including those concerning integration, Cloud/SaaS and Big Data. he Enterprise Resource Planning


incredible rate of change in essentially all

(ERP) landscape has changed

global industries, ERP must be flexible. It must

substantially in recent times, and

interoperate, extend and integrate with little

Opening up ERP

this momentum shows no signs of

effort – for the needs ERP addresses today are

Michiel Schipperus, CEO, Sana Commerce,

slowing down. To get the

out of date tomorrow. Thinking of ERP more as

explained that Sana Commerce looks at the

discussion started in terms of some of the key

a platform that includes core processes and

ERP space from an e-commerce vendor’s

areas of development and debate within this

data but can be extended securely to address

perspective, and what the company sees is

all-important technology space, Evan Quinn,

customer last mile needs is where ERP is

user organisations and vendors seeking to

principal director – marketing, QAD, made the


open up the ERP much more widely across the organisation. “This is really driving increased

point that innovations such as Cloud, Big Data/advanced analytics, Internet of Things

Quinn believes that depth will beat breadth

value from what is already a very valuable but

(IoT) and modernised, mobile user experiences

long-term in ERP. “Some of the larger ERP

underutilised tool,” he said, adding: “ERP is

have been hot subjects over the past few years

providers are throwing all kinds of

really on the cusp of giving more decision-

in ERP. However, he added that perhaps we

technologies, an array of technology widgets

making power to people across the business,

have put the cart before the horse. “At least in

and kitchen sinks, into their portfolio,” he

rather than just being something used by a

the manufacturing sector, there are plenty of

remarked. “They have forgotten about the most

handful of people in the back office or supply

companies stuck in the death spiral of ERP –

important fundamental of ERP, which is having

chain. After a long time in the shadows its true

that is, stuck in an old version because of

ERP that matches and flexes to your business.

potential is finally being unlocked.”

unwanted but apparently necessary custom

Too many ERP solutions lack the feature depth

code, poor data quality or misunderstood data,

for a given vertical industry, and those ERP

and inflexible processes,” he said. “Getting rid

purveyors seem bent on developing beautiful

of the old and moving to the new ERP takes

demo ware and not addressing customers’

The role of Cloud ERP ecosystems

discipline, training and a willingness to think

needs. Pushing into industry-specific and even

Schipperus believes much of this ERP

differently about the notion of ERP.”

sub-segment specific capabilities is what ERP

transformation is down to the creation of

needs. Those vendors paying real attention,

broader Cloud-based ecosystems with ERP at

Quinn added that, historically, ERP has been a

not just lip service, to vertical depth will survive

their core. “It’s become much easier for

monolith. He elaborated: “Today, given the

and thrive long-term.”

valuable add-ons, including e-commerce, to be





March 2017


Special Technology Report

developed in-sync and integrated with ERP

want a more personalised and tailored ‘journey’

switch tasks. “There

systems – ‘feeding’ off its rich data for the

and so on.�

has more an increase

business’ gain,� he said. Schipperus also

in the demand for

made the point that mobile development and

fully integrated applications, so that

which is furthering the opportunity to put this

ERP in the customers’ hands

valuable data in the form of business

Schipperus believes that, ultimately – and

time switching

intelligence and insight in the hands of wider

although they don’t know it – customers should

between tasks and

ranging people when they need it to make

be leveraging the data within the system

applications,� he

important decisions.

instead of duplicating it and trying keep two

said. “For example,

sources of truth, which is not sustainable. “With

within Microsoft

the necessary apps and user-friendly

Dynamics 365, Power

Merging worlds

interfaces, certainly in a B2B setting the ERP

BI which was is an

Schipperus added that, from Sana

can become a customer facing tool. Give

integrated but standalone application has now

Commerce’s perspective, the worlds of e-

customers more choice, in line with what they

been embedded into each application,

commerce and ERP are also merging together.

need, and build loyalty. Give customers more

ensuring users have all the tools to complete

“Some ERP systems are expanding into these

information, make them more in control of the

their daily tasks in a timely manner.�

areas, realising that they can become more to

buying process and you can remove pressure

organisations as a combined offering,� he

internally in the organisation.�

use of apps based on ERP data is expanding,

users don’t waste

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

According to Titterington, there has also been an increase in the demand for mobile

explained. “As e-commerce becomes much

applications in the business context, with the

more important to businesses too, it makes

ability to work from where-ever you are. “Work

years, ERP has been the vital backbone and

Movers, shakers and partners

over time many third-party applications –

Schipperus explained that Sana Commerce

without the once clearly defined boundaries,�

including ours – have integrated with it. Now

partners with Microsoft and SAP, and is seeing

he said. “This means employees expect more

that we’re seeing the market move to Cloud

both these vendors really invest in the Cloud

from technology at work and true mobility

and development ecosystems being created

and develop partner-based philosophies

within ERP applications is key to this.�

vendors like us on the periphery of ERP can do

around development of tools that hook into the

even more to develop really intuitive tools and

ERP. “They’re really empowering partners like

Brendan Read, senior industry analyst – digital

help customers extract more and more value

us to get the maximum out of their ERP

transformation, Frost & Sullivan, commented

from their ERP.�

solutions, through their ecosystems hosted on

that companies now expect simplified

Cloud platforms like Azure, where you’re

architectures from their ERP systems that can

collaborating and sharing tools to build

be readily upgraded and/or changed to evolve

Digital transformation

systems really closely knitted with these ERP

without consultant and vendor assistance.

Schipperus considers that more digital

platforms,� said Schipperus. “Take Cortana

“They are looking for ERP products that reduce

business being done also means more use of

with Microsoft for example. It’s a great function

complexity and manual tasks to permit smarter

digital technologies; whether that is new

to have within an e-commerce system and

working, and also to help managers make

employee processes, supply chain

being part of the Azure platform we’re able to

faster and more effective decisions,� he said.

collaboration or sales channels to customers.

look at building tools like this into our own

“All of these new digital processes and digital


more sense for vendors to offer both. “For

absolutely interwoven

“Think how fast technology is changing.

Internet of Things – a game changer

with ERP data,� he

Empowering their agile ERP partners is a really

According to Read, companies are looking for

said. “Access to the

smart way for these vendors to stay ahead of

ERP tools that will allow them to efficiently tap

ERP is about driving

the game. They remain focused on the

the Internet of Things. “IoT is a game changer

all stakeholders to

powerful ERP core and their customers take

for ERP as well as for CRM systems in that it

have maximum

advantage of a growing network of tools to

supplies real-time usage data from connected

control. Employees

shape how they drive ERP value.�

devices,� he said. “IoT systems manage

transformations are

need to be more (" ()!+ " ( )& #$ $+

and home life are now integrating further

product replenishment, including with data as

productive through

David Titterington, account manager,

granular as when specific product types were

access to information

Prodware, commented that end users are

consumed, service; and support, alerting users

and processing

always looking for ways to reduce

of potential issues; and by providing wear-and-

power, customers

administrative burdens and the time it takes to

tear patterns that could help with procuring



March 2017



Special Technology Report

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


parts, scheduling

Nick Castellina, vice president and Research

repair personnel, to

Group director, Aberdeen Group’s Business

Growth development

make design,

Planning and Execution practice, commented

One trend that has re-emerged, according to

manufacturing, and

that the Cloud continues to be an important

Lewis, is the use of ERP to help develop


part of the ERP conversation, pointing out that

growth. “Forward-looking manufacturers are

improvements. IoT

over the years, he has witnessed an

paving the way to increased capacity and

usage data permits

increasing number of organisations switching

reinforcing the infrastructure to manage larger

companies to provide

to a Cloud solution for their next deployment

volumes,” he said. “Investing in modern ERP

highly targeted and

rather than an on-premise solution. Another

solutions helps manufacturers identify growth

hopefully successful

area of development highlighted by Castellina

opportunities and take action to seize those

offers to customers

is the verticalisation of ERP, where many ERP

opportunities and capitalise on them quickly.

that will result in fewer

vendors are building solutions that are now

First, advanced analytics help spot trends in

returns and greater

better suited to more tailored industries.

markets, including upward swings in regions or


“There is now greater maturation of

among target markets or new products. Once

functionality when it comes to individual

upward trends are spotted, changes can be

industries’ use of ERP, he said.

made to enhance the product line, expand into

However, Read added that IoT complicates the supply chain when there are complex products

new regions or focus greater attention on a

and multiple vendors involved. “Customers

Castellina added that there is also a lot of talk

target market in order to tap into the potential.

want the vendor who they transacted with to

about Industry 4.0 and how ERP can be used

Because modern software promotes efficiency

manage their entire purchase,” he said.

to support that technology. Additionally, he

and increases productivity, manufacturers can

“Sellers have to organise their vendor

explained that there is much discussion around

often increase output in these new areas,


the Internet of Things and desire to have one

without adding headcount.”

complete source of information for automating Stuart Hall, sales director, Epicor Software UK

a manufacturing organisation from end to end.

Andy Brown, SCS divisional leader, Access

and Ireland, said that with new trends such as

Castellina also observes that there is a lot of

Group, stated that when it comes to ERP, the

IoT, 3D printing, robotics and increased

focus on usability, cleanliness, the ability to do

one thing that today’s end users care most

automation in the manufacturing sector, he is

more with data and the ability for end users to

about is having access to information in real

seeing ERP solutions continually evolve in

consume that data more effectively.

time so they can make better decisions. “To

order to keep pace. “In 2017, expect to see

make the most of this data you’ll need great

more applications that analyse business data

Phil Lewis, vice president, solution consulting

business intelligence tools, and increasingly

collected from various sources to offer

EMEA, Infor, made the point that ERP has seen

also the ability to manage and analyse Big

business insight,” he said. “Applications will be

incredible change and progress recently.

Data,” he said. “From a production and

able to support improved collaboration and

“Cloud has become table stakes, although we

planning perspective, it will mean having

facilitate data access through responsive

do continue to see some customer

robust processes in place to capture data on

interfaces. In addition, artificial intelligence (AI)

requirements for on-premise deployment as

the shop floor.”

and advanced analytics will transform business

well,” he said, adding: “Gone are the days

applications, making them even more

when customers will endure three-year

According to Brown, the ability of applications

predictive and prescriptive.”

implementations which go out of budget.”

and machines to share data – often referred to

Hall explained that Epicor is also continuing to

Lewis explained that Infor is continuing to see

process. “With

see ERP systems extend to the Cloud.

strong demand for specific last-mile industry


According the Hall, these systems will eventually

functionality ‘out of the box’ as nobody wants


become Cloud only (Software-as-a-Service or

customisations. “The importance of consumer-

outsourced, ERP

SaaS-based), or available as a hybrid solution.

grade interfaces (and the attendant

systems need to be

In addition to being a cost-effective solution, Hall

improvement in productivity, and therefore

able to talk to live

commented that a SaaS model provides great

competitive edge) also continues to drive a lot

machines, analyse

flexibility and access to data at any time from

of interest,” he said. Lewis added that what

constraints and track

any location. “Businesses of all sizes are

Infor’s prior focus on integration (with the likes

any operating

transitioning their infrastructure and data

of Infor ION) has now evolved into is a

malfunctions so that

ecosystems into the Cloud to minimise the

reflection that the company sees the future of

production planners

burden of upgrades and management; freeing

businesses not just within the four walls of the

can arrange for

up valuable resources to focus on innovation

company but across the Network of suppliers

delivery times to be

and business growth,” said Hall.

and partners.

altered or supplies of

as Industry 4.0 – has become central to this





March 2017

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


Special Technology Report

materials redirected,�

of these platforms,� he said, adding that the

According to Phelan, enterprises must become

Brown pointed out.

advantage of staying vanilla to some extent is

more flexible and agile to seize business

“The same applies to

that users are able to take advantage of those

moments. “Traditional ERP approaches are no

labour capacity; they

developments in a slightly easier fashion than if

longer tenable to meet the pressures to

have to be able to

they heavily customise.

support increasingly dynamic business needs

identify bottlenecks

as digital business models evolve,� she said.

and predict

Speer added that, for organisations who want

“All ERP initiatives are now postmodern ERP

shortages if they are

the benefit of the public Cloud while also

initiatives as a result of the market forces that

going to meet their

retaining all of the familiarity of the product that

have transformed the traditional ERP world. A

OTIF {On Time & In

they are already using – including the

well-defined ERP strategy that responds to the

Full} promise.�

customisations they have made – a ‘lift and

disruptive challenges created by changes in

shift’ may be the best way forward. “We are

the business strategy is key to success with

seeing a number of SAP customers move onto

postmodern ERP initiatives. A business-owned

strategic alliance director, Capgmini UK,

Amazon Web Services,� he said. “As far as the

ERP strategy is crucial to properly evaluate

commented that organisations with an existing

end-user is concerned, it is still SAP offering

and select the right solutions and services from

on-premise ERP solution (this might include or

the same user experience and all the

the many options available before launching

touch other areas such as finance, supply

customisations that may have been made to

deployment activities. ERP investments are

chain or HR) – SAP and Oracle e-business

SAP. However, what is largely invisible to the

long term, so after implementation it is equally

Suite, for example – maybe looking to upgrade,

end-user is that SAP is running on Amazon

important to manage and govern the ongoing

and using this as a justification to move into the

Web Services, which can provide a much

operation and evolution of the solutions to meet

Cloud. “These organisations have two main

lower total cost of ownership and other

new and changing needs – always with the

options; they can re-implement with SaaS or


goal of optimising business outcomes.�

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

James Speer,

they can do a ‘lift and shift’,� he explained. For organisations looking to move to SaaS, Speer

Chris Devault, manager of software selection,

believes it is important to understand that

Panorama Consulting Solutions, made the point


although SaaS can be configured, it cannot be

that software publishers are driving the current

Have ways of best integrating ERP with other

‘customised’. “These organisations have to

push towards Cloud applications. “Major

systems developed to any notable degree over

consider how they can move from a heavily

players in the industry such as Oracle,

the past year or two? Schipperus believes the

customised ERP into a vanilla SaaS ERP, which

Microsoft, Epicor and Infor are combining

key challenge is integrating, not interfacing,

inevitably involves a higher degree of business

typical on-premise ERP system functionality

with ERP. He commented: “There’s no doubt

change,� he said.

into one platform that will eventually be their

that integration between ERP and a widening

solution for all industries,� he said. “Vendors

range of other systems is absolutely vital.

Shashi Subramanian, management consultant,

are looking to reduce the overall entry cost of

What’s in question is the quality and type of

Capgemini, commented that companies

software and by implementing out-of-the-box

integration being used in many cases. We call

looking for an alternative ERP model should

best practices they are attempting to drive

this the difference between interfacing and

ask themselves where they are in terms of their

down implementation costs and duration.�

integration. Interfacing involves extracting data

innovation and differentiation activities and

out of the ERP system to use within other tools

goals, and how they can best ensure that they

Pat Phelan, research VP, Gartner, made the

or for analysis. However, this is limiting in that

can continue to do that in the future. “So, they

point that postmodern ERP strategies offer

you’re missing the value of the ERP’s full data

need to determine whether the best option

more ways to satisfy business needs with

set. It’s also

would be to move into the private Cloud or

greater agility and flexibility. Yet, she

dangerous in that it

move to a SaaS service,� he said. “If

stressed that postmodern ERP is not easy.

creates duplicate

companies want to constantly innovate and

“The greater number of options creates

data and logic which

differentiate then it could sometimes restrict

challenges that many IT enterprises have not

can quickly become

their ability to do this if they move to a SaaS

focused on in the last decade or more,� said

difficult to maintain

model. This is definitely worth bearing in mind.�

Phelan. “One of the most significant is

and out of date.

integration — not just application integration

You’re creating extra

but the management of data and process

work essentially. True

high level of competition among the vendor

integrity. As postmodern ERP becomes

integration is where

community and constant improvements are

pervasive, many enterprises will face

the integrated tools

being made within their core platforms. “Part of

increasing complexity, risk and cost that they

are actually driving

the conversation is about which elements of

had not foreseen and are not equipped to

within the ERP.

functionality requirement should become part

deal with.�

They’re plugged into

Subramanian made the point that there is a

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



March 2017



Special Technology Report

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


them and using the

Quinn pointed out that the well-designed,

journey to task completion regardless of the

processing and logic

document and flexible API is what has

systems involved. It is this

within the core

changed in the realm of integration,

interface/experience that has seen the most

system. Nothing is

extensibility and interoperability for ERP.


extracted, copied or

“Integrating ERP solutions not using

duplicated; all activity

modernised APIs is like using a hammer to

Constant improvement

occurs within the

drive in a tack,� he said, adding that Cloud

Subramanian made the point that many ERP

ERP, utilising its true

integration, like Dell Boomi, has also

companies are investing in the next wave of

value and ensuring

changed the game.

both capability and architecture. He

the best possible

commented: “They are on that journey so not

information is available.�

all parts of their solutions are currently as

Flexibility, relevance and cost-effectiveness

refined as they would like. There are a number of leading players in the complementary

Titterington explained that Prodware sees a

solutions marketplace; warehouse

Single stack approach

lot of third-party products acting as

management solution providers such as

Schipperus added that, whether within one

connectors between applications bringing

Manhattan Associates and JDA, for example.

system or tightly integrated separate

together detached systems. “Of course, it

These companies are also constantly

systems, Sana is seeing more customers

has become increasingly important to

improving their solutions and the functionality

wanting a single stack approach to e-

provide your workforce with a consistent

on offer. Then, there is of course the

commerce. “This is becoming imperative

user interface and experience in order to

conversation about how ERP and WMS

and is why we’re working so closely with our

increase productivity and collaboration

solutions etc. can integrate together. For the

ERP partners Microsoft and SAP to deliver a

between teams,� he said. “With Microsoft

most part, there are now many instances of

single solution,� he said.

Dynamics 365 users can purchase

these different types of systems integrating well

individual role based applications which

together. Some challenges still remain but in

Castellina commented that the goal of an

integrate seamlessly with each other using a

general integration is improving all the time.�

ERP strategy is really to have a one-stop

Common Data Model. So, businesses get

shop for all of the data users need within

flexibility, relevance and cost-effectiveness.�

their business from end to end. “So, either

Speer said that within the context of integration, the whole concept of digital transformation is

micro-vertical type functionality is being built

Devault commented that major ERP vendors

important to consider. He commented: “In the

into the ERP system, or users are being told

continue to enhance out-of-the-box

case of organisations who claim to have a

by the vendor that their ERP system can

capability by developing new functionality

digital transformation agenda and strategy, the

effectively integrate with the point solutions

within their systems, channel partners also

conservative or less visionary organisations

they require; solutions that are maybe more

are continuously developing enhancement

often tend to think about this more in terms of

robust than those that are contained within

functionality for their clients. “Some IP from

some sort of veneer customer experience

the ERP solution that they have purchased.�

channel partners does make it into

solution that maybe allows them to do both

enhancements when/where appropriate,� he

B2B and B2C business through typical

Castellina added that some ERP vendors

said. “Vendors are also assessing and

channels such as mobile and the web. I think

can only take users so far when it comes to,

acquiring third-party products that are

the more forward-thinking organisations need

for example, warehouse management,

proven in the market place, embedding

to look at digital transformation much more

where it might be deemed necessary to look

these solutions into their ERP.�

holistically; not just in terms of breadth but also

to an additional solution to help beef-up the

in terms of depth.

user’s IT capability. “But the goal is to still

Lewis remarked that integration – and the

This means going

retain that one source of information,� he

user experience of the integrated system –

right down into the


now needs to be seamless. He added:

back office and the

“Tools such as Infor Ming.le that take the


Read has observed that companies and

user through applications that all contribute

systems of record;

vendors are looking to deeply integrate their

to the completion of a task, across disparate

including ERP.

ERP solutions with other adjoining

groups of people and can even take data

applications, such as CRM and CPQ

from applications or machines themselves –

“This means that

(configure, price, quote). “They want single

mean that integration under the hood has to

whether you're an

and actionable view of their business

be world-class. But even more important is

employee, whether

processes,� he remarked.

that it must be invisible to the end user and

you're a customer or

that the integration should allow a smooth

whether you're a





March 2017

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


Special Technology Report

business partner you

example, BEC has enabled warehouse

“You might have ten years of customer history

have that real-time

functionality in Raleigh’s ERP system so the

stored in the ERP. Having this at your fingertips

joined-up integrated

company hasn’t had to purchase a WMS. As a

within a mobile app is critical to performance.

experience across

result of bringing this into the ERP system,

This is particularly vital in B2B sales

any channel anytime

Raleigh now has the real-time business

environments where customers may have

anyplace anywhere.

intelligence it would not have had if it was part

bought frequently and loyally from a

For that to happen,

of a separate system.

manufacturer or supplier on a week-by-week

organisations need a ' + & '$+ ( (#( '*!+!)* )&$+

basis over many years.”

solid platform that Quinn made the point that the notion of mobility

systems; including

Mobile/back-office integration

ERP. For instance, if

Has the increased trend for the integration of

“Except for field service and those types of

you are a utility company and you are

mobile/field service devices with back-office

specialty apps, HTML5 has already changed

embarking on an IoT (Internet of Things)

ERP systems provided improved business and

the game for ERP,” he said. “Users of all time,

strategy how do you consolidate and

operational benefits for the end user?

those travelling often, work-from-home types

aggregate that data in a way that doesn't

Titterington commented in the affirmative. “One

and those with midsize form factor preference

overwhelm the ERP but at the same time gives

of the biggest customer complaints with field

can now use all or most of a modernised ERP

recent meter readings? Similarly, if you’re an

service is poor first-time fix rates followed

solution from whatever device they like. There

employee how do you get access to pay slips

closely by cost,” he said. “With machine

will remain, however, function, role or job

on your mobile phone if you're out of the field

learning capabilities, you can also distinguish

specific ERP capabilities that work better on a

as soon as they are available – given that ERP

fault patterns, forecast when a maintenance

native mobile framework.”

is often buried deep down in the business.

issue is likely to occur, and detect a solution.

links all these different

has driven the change in ERP, not vice versa.

We always suggest reviewing these areas as it

Briggs commented that there are two aspects

“I think the main point here is making sure that

saves your customer time and money whilst

to consider – the first being recording

each of these mission-critical systems of

optimising your own business performance.”

processes and transactions in real-time in

record, including the ERP, are integrated with

For manufacturers who are diversifying into

order to facilitate increased accuracy and

the rest of the business in the most efficient

servicing what they produce, Titterington

productivity for people who are doing the work.

way to enable these types of scenarios.”

explained that Microsoft Dynamics 365 for

“The obvious benefits of this are increased

Field service provides monitoring through the

productivity and accuracy of data,” he said.

Internet of Things allowing companies to

The other aspect, according to Briggs, is

Information sharing through a single solution

replace costly break-fix service with a

managers and shift supervisors, etc being able

proactive service which follows self-healing

to access business information, reports,

Andy Briggs, technical director, BEC (Systems


dashboards etc from mobile devices such as

Integration) Ltd., commented that the better

mobile phones and iPads. “The information is

ERPs try to address all of the business needs

Schipperus explained that field sales is one of

to hand – they don’t need to dial in or call

in terms of putting together various operational

the areas that has been highly automated and

somebody up in order to see this up-to-date

or application strands such as CRM, Sales &

digitised through apps and devices. However,

information,” he explained.

Marketing Management, Enterprise Asset

he added that what is essential is that these

Management, WMS, Supply Chain and Service

remote tools absolutely link into the ERP and

& Maintenance – i.e. putting together different

are not just synchronising data.

systems that may have been separate systems

Offline working Lewis said mobile is a critical consideration in

with integration links into one common

He continued: “The full ERP data, processing

all areas. In the case of Infor’s Mobility for

environment. In this way, said Briggs, all the

power and pricing logic should be accessible

Field Service (Infor MFS), Lewis explained

information can be shared across the business

in real time to make them really useful, but also

that a key improvement is the ability for offline

through one solution rather than many. “The

to stop multiple versions of data being created

working – enabling field workers to update the

better ERPs are achieving this by having a

that then require constant updates back into

information on each job as they complete it.

common architecture upon which all of these

the ERP to ensure data is not lost. Doing this

“This becomes important when back-office

modules are built,” continued Briggs. “This is

also enables external sales agents to work with

analytics are carried out on data later,” he

called ‘Service-Oriented Architecture.’ – the

the correct data around customer specific

said. “Understanding exactly how long each

platform that brings all of these parts together

pricing, stock availability, order history and

job takes can improve job allocations in the

as it has been written purely to achieve this.”

customer agreements, which we see great

future. The data can also be used to assess

demand for in manufacturing sectors such as

potential training requirements between

food & beverage.

different staff.”

In the case of BEC’s customer Raleigh, for



March 2017



Special Technology Report


However, Lewis

comes down to the type of organisation. “In

already have significant investments in ERP

stressed that it is not

larger businesses with lots of ERP history, the

applications – some are in the process of

just a case of

adoption process has been to tailor ERP to

implementation while others are rolling it out

information in the field

their business processes,� he explained. “It’s

globally or renovating their existing

feeding the back

hard to reverse this and move to Cloud which

deployments. “Movement to one or more of the

office. “Information

generally speaking offers more ‘vanilla

three Cloud-dependent HOOF scenarios is

flows two ways,� he

flavoured’ platforms. For younger, or smaller, or

fuelled by market-disruptive technologies

said. “This cuts the

generally more agile organisations, Cloud ERP

including ‘as a service’, the Internet of Things

time of repair and the

may offer less in bespoke functionality but it

and in-memory computing technologies,� she

burden of maintaining

makes up for this by being far quicker to

said. “The rearchitecting of traditional ERP

plant significantly. If

deploy and use. For these organisations the

solutions by mature ERP vendors, a surge of

operational data is

priority is not always finding the system that is

contemporary Cloud/SaaS vendors and the

more quickly

the ultimate fit for the business, but one which

proliferation of shadow IT are changing the

updated, then back office processes are

can be introduced easily, has regular and

market landscape. These changes are forcing

quicker – invoices are the obvious example.�

uniform upgrade cycles and fits 90% of its

CIOs and their stakeholders to rethink their

requirements without expensive

ERP roadmaps and lifecycle.�

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

customisations. So, ERP in the Cloud or not?


It’s still an open choice. However, we do see

Titterington said that as Cloud computing has

And what of the current state of play regarding

Cloud being the future of ERP, but with many

redefined the traditional ways in which

Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud

different timescales and adoption approaches

enterprises operate, UK business have been

models in relation to ERP? Andy Brown,

to consider.�

transforming their operating models with various Cloud computing technologies such as

Access Group, made the point that it is

SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. “A greater emphasis on

important to be clear about the difference between Cloud and SaaS in the first instance.

‘Keeping the lights on’

service delivery has compelled distributors, as

“Most customers want to be able to access

Quinn explained that some competitive new

well as manufacturers and retailers, to

their ERP application from anywhere, at any

Cloud-only ERP vendors have emerged. “Some

reassess and redefine their role and to adapt

time,� he said. “This does not necessarily mean

established historically on-premise vendors

to the changes in the way technology is being

that they want to pay for it via a subscription, or

that jumped to the Cloud relatively early have

implemented and used,� he said. “The growing

to use it via a web browser. A traditional on-

put themselves in a better position,� he said.

shift to the Cloud and SaaS ERP deployment

premise system may still be hosted elsewhere

“Some of the laggards are playing catch up

has focused the mind of IT managers on

and accessed remotely, without being fully

and losing share. IT departments and their

mobility, cost control and responsiveness as

web-enabled. Web functionality sometimes

business partners recognise that most ERP

central themes in their procurement.

comes at the expense of speed, which is not

vendors are going to know how to run their

Specifically for distributors, the Cloud can

acceptable when it comes to real-time

ERP better than the customers’ IT department,

provide benefits in reliability, consistency,


and even more securely. Defensive IT

predictability of capex and real-time updates in

departments are afraid of losing jobs and

inventory levels and pricing.�

Brown pointed out that a hybrid model can

political capital. Enlightened IT departments

work very well. “Bolt-on modules, such as

see the opportunity to shift ‘maintenance’ and

Lewis commented that Cloud has gone

payroll, business intelligence, or CRM, can be

‘keeping the lights on’ to the ERP vendor, and

beyond being the new normal and is pretty

designed to be pure Cloud standalone

redeploying the IT team into more strategic

much the default requirement for a lot of high

applications, while having the ability to connect

efforts that increase the value of IT.�

growth businesses looking for ERP. “Indeed, it is pretty much default for all business,� he

with a central ERP function,� he said. That said, Quinn added that the notion that a

added. “We have around 7000 customers on

Schipperus stated that Cloud and on-premise

Cloud ERP vendor will automatically install

Cloud, totalling around 66 million users. This is

models are both valid. “Cloud and ERP have

changes blindly is “a terrible idea�. “ERP

because Cloud is all about growth.�

together moved mountains in recent times,

impacts business processes,� he said. “There

especially in terms of giving a greater number

needs to be an open and opt-in approach for

Lewis explained that according to a recent IDG

of smaller and mid-sized businesses access to

new capabilities. The blind updates we

survey of senior IT decision makers, 73%

these tools,� he said. “However, it’s still a two-

experience in Facebook could prevent a

believe Cloud will change the way new

horse race with ERP being divided between

company from closing its books on time in the

services are delivered and consumed, 73%

Cloud and on-premise.�

realm of ERP.�

say Cloud will increase speed of service

According to Schipperus, the reason for this

Phelan made the point that most enterprises

delivery and 82% say Cloud will enable new





March 2017

and efficient ways to reach customers.


Special Technology Report

However, for ERP in particular, Lewis remarked

Even so, Read remarked that Cloud ERP

remains, as it has always been – garbage in

that Cloud is now table stakes for any

systems have not yet been fully embraced by

garbage out. A commitment to business-driven

discussion. “Any business looking to

the marketplace. “The reasons include that the

data quality, nurturing, filtering, proliferation,

implement new ERP systems wants agility,

Cloud systems may lack the full range of

security and management is the only

speed, flexibility, scale and fast ROI – and that

features provided by on-premise systems,� he

guarantee to value. You might have the coolest

means Cloud,� he said.

said. “Companies also may be reluctant to

Big Data tool and brightest data scientists on

surrender control to the Cloud. They will want

the planet, but if your company is not culturally

assurances that the cloud ERP platforms are

data driven and you aren’t managing your

Greater flexibility and easier data access

going to perform reliably and securely before

incoming data properly you will be wasting

trusting their applications, and their

plenty of money.�

Hall commented that more and more

businesses, to them.� Titterington considers that business intelligence

enterprises are opting for the SaaS model as they look to swap their CapEx for OpEx and

Devault believes end user adoption is the key

(BI) is an essential tool for collecting,

streamline their upgrade processes to

to any successful ERP implementation. “Over

classifying and evaluating information from all

ensure that they can take advantage of the

the last few years, vendors have made it a

levels of an organisation. “BI applications can

latest features and functionality. Hall added

focus to improve dashboards, role centres and

filter through data from across the supply chain

that it provides great flexibility and access

homepages,� he said. “Infor specifically has

– from suppliers and materials to production

to data at any time from any location, as well

the ‘customer experience’ as a new mantra.

and shipping,� he pointed out. “BI and Big

as a reduction in the total cost of ownership.

Making systems easier to navigate and intuitive

Data has become the driving force of more

Hall also explained that SaaS enables

in use is becoming protocol. Enabling users to

and more software implementations. They

employees to more easily access

personalise dashboards, create custom

enable manufacturers and distributors to make

applications remotely, “which is now

queries and collaborate with other users

real-time, informed decisions to improve shop

considered somewhat of a necessity

without involving IT resources is essential.

floor efficiencies – providing insight into

considering today’s highly mobile workforce

Cloud/SaaS deployments tend to have more

production line yield trends, product

and the need to remain connected anytime

best practices build into the system, simplifying

configurations, BOM profitability, cost to order,

and anywhere�.

and streamlining the end user experience.�

inventory levels, external trends, sales strategy

Read is seeing Cloud ERP emerge as a

Castellina commented that the Cloud model is

popular option to on-premise development.

very much an established viable deployment

“Cloud ERP offers a compelling value

option today. He added that, from a security

Lewis maintains that the discussion on Big

proposition of lowered costs, greater

perspective, most of the previous concerns in

Data has already evolved. “Two years ago, it

scalability, and swifter and less error-prone

this area have been washed away. “One of the

was about collecting the data; now it is about

implementations,� he said. “New Cloud

primary goals of an ERP vendor is to ensure

how it is used or analysed,� he said. “Next-

solutions can go live in as little as three

that it is providing customers with a secure

generation enterprise software won't just

months. Adopting or switching to Cloud ERP

solution that is not going to be subject to

collect, report, and distribute information – it

also avoids making costly upgrades once

security breaches or subject to downtime,� he

will anticipate problems and respond with

the applications are installed in order to

said. “So, in many ways end-users understand

solutions. It will uncover opportunities and

keep them current with new technologies

that a Cloud solution is actually more secure

recommend next steps. It will drive strategies

and market trends. Companies use these

than just relying on their own internal firewall.

in all areas of business, from recruiting and

development, turnover and forecasting, resource management and more.�

staffing to asset

occasions to move to the Cloud to avoid the

management and

costly, capital-intensive, and timeconsuming tasks of integrating existing on-

Big Data

pricing. Overall, ERP

premise systems or rip-and-replacing them

How can technology trends such as Big Data

driven by Big Data

with new on-premise solutions.�

help to gain the best out of ERP systems

will use data science

(either existing or upgraded)? Quinn believes

to identify, analyse,

Read added that the Cloud ERP demand has

that realising benefit from Big Data or

and solve complex

been driven by the midmarket, but enterprises

advanced analytics is more cultural than

business problems.

that have on-premise ERP systems are

technological. “Companies that want to be

Examples might be

gradually adopting Cloud ERP. “For example,

data driven – and that is a position held from

staffing allocations,

it’s being used by the automotive industry for

the CEO and board on down – have plenty of

inventory optimisation

functions and tasks to support new products or

choices in the analytics realm; maybe too

or parts tracking.�

services that require agility, innovation, and

many choices,� he said. “The key regardless of

speed,� he explained.

when you adopt advanced analytics, however,

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

Hall considers that



March 2017



Special Technology Report


technology advances

together. Some supermarkets, for example, use

in manufacturing

Big Data to forecast demand, but how does

The road ahead

have made data

that translate into actually being able to

What might be the next

accessible in a way

forecast demand accurately and ensure the

innovations/developments to look out for over

that it has never been

stores and the warehouses have the necessary

the next year or two? Schipperus commented

before. “Information

available stock. How Big Data and ERP link

that, in many ways, it is ERP’s rich historic

can be collected in

together is something that companies are

data that holds the key to improving the future

real time, in points

doing in different ways to varying levels of

customer journey – based on buying patterns,

through the

efficiency, but the essential idea of utilising

product choices etc. “ERP’s ability to offer Big


large amounts unstructured data in order to

Data insights into customer behaviour, not

process,� he said.

structure a more complete end-to-end view

only in a static business analysis environment

“The issue now is

that can help companies make better

but also as part of an intelligent process, is

what to do with all of

decisions and enjoy better business outcomes

essential to our world at the customer

that data, and how

is a very relevant one.�

coalface,� he said.

and turn it into actionable insights. Regardless

Castellina commented that Big Data is really

Quinn believes we will continue to see

of size, end-to-end visibility is something that

about making data more consumable and

adoption of IoT and advanced analytics.

many manufacturers strive for, yet struggle

more usable for the business user. ERP

“They walk hand in hand, but companies will

with. However, in this new age of Industry 4.0,

systems are well-established suppositories for

need to modernise their ERP to fake full

it is now possible for manufacturers to achieve

a wide range of information for businesses, but

advantage,� he said. Quinn considers that we

this via a combination of Big Data and IoT-in

Castellina makes the point that organisations

will also see virtual reality and 3D printing

other words, achieving end-to-end connectivity

are faced with more and more data concerned

continue to gain traction in manufacturing. On

across the entire manufacturing process and

with more and more things – and much of this

the tech front, however, he believes edge

throughout the supply chain. Leaders in

data is unstructured. “Big Data and in-memory

computing, as an adjunct to Cloud, will begin

manufacturing are at the top because they

computing are making it easier for businesses

to have an impact. “Want Big Data to fly

understand the value in collecting data, which

to use that data to make decisions quicker and

without impeding ERP? Move to the edge.

helps them to make more accurate business

more effectively,� he said, adding: “Big Data is

Want slender versions of ERP to support

decisions. Through connectivity between

about being able to consume more of that data

smaller remote operations? Can you say

machines, devices and manufacturers, data

more quickly, and being able to use it in a lot

Edge?,� he remarked.

can be gathered to take advantage of the

of different ways. We often hear a lot of talk

newest advances in technology, allowing for

around how Big Data can be used for

Lewis explained that Infor has been

higher productivity and efficient processes.�

managing customer data and identifying trends

pioneering co-innovation – partnering with

and looking at ways to maximise your revenue.

new customers in industries that need

So, there's a lot of opportunity for organisations

disrupting – to create completely new

of all types.�

capabilities and improved functionality. “This

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

businesses can take the information collected

Two ways of thinking Subramanian believes Big Data is certainly an

has been most dramatic in retail, but there is

ongoing area of development within the ERP

Briggs explained that much of the BI in BEC’s

no reason why it cannot be applied to

marketplace. He elaborated: “If you look at Big

solutions to date has focussed on users; for

industries such as aerospace and automotive

Data within the context of bringing unstructured

example, the performance/productivity of

or process manufacturing,� he said. “Indeed,

data together, having a data lake and being

operatives. “We expect that we are going to

in some areas such as the heavily regulated

able to analyse and predict things in order to

see much more use of the masses of data that

pharmaceutical industry, these kinds of

derive benefits such as greater visibility of

can be gathered through our production line

partnerships hold a great deal of promise.�

customer demand etc., this is somewhat

systems – sensors, measuring, testing

different to the tradition idea of ERP, which is

equipment, robots etc., giving the ability to

Lewis added that outside of manufacturing,

more about relying on more structured data

monitor all business process, transparently

but heavily influential, has been Infor’s work

and working through a well-defined set of

across many sites,� he said. “The large

with leading retailers – transforming the way in

processes. Philosophically, these two ways of

volumes of quantitative data will enable very

which they interact with customers – driven by

thinking about data are very different.

accurate measurement and forecasting of

customer demands. “Infor believes the

resources - labour, energy, materials etc., and

manufacturing industry needs to learn the

“However, of course in order for companies to

provide immediate real-time quality and

lessons of its retail cousins in the way

make sense of what they need to do from

reliability measures with triggers for anomalies

manufacturers interact not only with their

prediction through to execution there has to be

and exceptions, which can then be handled

existing customers today but perhaps

a place where these two philosophies come


customers more directly in the future as





March 2017


Special Technology Report

aim to provide better quality information,

and automate communications and

quicker information and better connected

collaboration. “Companies are more in tune

Titterington commented that Microsoft

information. He added that Capgemini is also

with their supply chain to the point of sharing

Dynamics 365 is a new approach that brings

seeing a resurgence in interest in RFID; for

access to each other systems,� he said.

together Microsoft’s CRM and ERP solutions

example, a number of leading retailers have

“Getting real-time data and responses from

into one platform with specific, purpose-built

successfully implemented this technology and

vendors, and even customers, brings

apps for business functions such as Finance,

are in the process of expanding the scope of

enormous upside potential. Tools used for

Sales, Customer Service, Field Service and

their investments. Another area where

internal and external collaboration will

Operations — with built-in insights,

Capgemini is seeing increasing awareness

continue to improve and be implemented.�

intelligence, and workflows. “All Dynamics

revolves around a number of dimensions of

365 apps, plus the wider portfolio of Cloud

information data collection for ERP inventory.

Devault added that manufacturing

business solutions like Office 365, share a

Subramanian explained that the first is ‘how

companies are increasing their use of

common data model to make it easier to

will my processes benefit my customer?’. “For

software tools for research and design. He

build, collaborate and grow,� he said. “I see

example, if I know where my stock is within

continued: “Social media comes into play as

more line of business managers making and

the store, can I offer these products to my

the Internet of Things provides access to

influencing IT decisions, this subtle but

customer in such a way so as to provide an

data that can be leveraged in numerous

important change in procurement of tech is

improved customer experience?,� he said.

ways. Distribution companies are

driving more app based approach but without

“Then, if I want the customer experience to be

collaborating with customer for more

the disjointed challenges for IT, hence the

consistent, and have the software and

accurate sales forecasting which can lead to

Common Data Model.� Titterington added that

hardware in place, how do I ensure that my

better MRP calculations giving companies

augmented reality (AR) is quickly becoming

store operations are optimised in order to

the ability to optimise inventory levels and

an important technology in the workplace,

ensure staff are fully focused on providing the

locations. Mobility continues to be an ever-

bridging the digital world and the physical

best customer experience? For example, how

improving component in the ERP space.

world. “During the next few years I think AR

do I do receiving, and how do I move stock

From sales teams having better access to

will become more commonplace impacting

from the back room to the front room? Then, if

production and available to promise data to

business activities such as cost effective and

this is what I need to achieve in the stores

field service technicians being able to order

more lifelike training for engineers,� he said.

how do I intelligently orchestrate all the stock

replacement parts on the fly.�

business models evolve,� said Lewis.

coming in from my vendors across my Castellina commented that there will be a lot

warehouses and logistics centres through my

Hall commented that Epicor believes in the

more talk around defining what the Internet of

3PLs and plan for it in a manner that is the

rise of smart factories. “Simply put, this is the

Things is and how it can benefit

most efficient? Finally, how do I ensure that I

computerisation of manufacturing-machines

manufacturing businesses in practice. He also

can connect seamlessly with all my suppliers

that are technologically advanced enough to

anticipates the continued development of

and customers? All this information feeds into

communicate with each other, monitor

ways by which users can derive maximum

the ERP system, so the more efficient I

physical processes and make decisions,� he

value from connected devices. Overall,

manage these processes the more efficient

explained. “Industry commentators believe

Castellina believes we will continue to see a

my ERP will be for my business.�

that there are many benefits of creating a ‘smart’ manufacturing environment, including

developing trend regarding the further consumerisation of ERP; making the solutions

Phelan commented that all scenarios will

greater productivity, more detailed product

easier to use and spreading their reach wider

coexist during the next 10 years, and an

specifications, and the potential to reach a

across business functions within customer

organisation may move through several

wider customer base. However, to take full

organisations. “I

scenarios over that time (e.g., on-premises

advantage of these ‘smart environments’ it is

think it's all about the

monolith to hybrid to flip). “Therefore, CIOs

essential for manufacturers to use


and ERP leaders must understand these

technologically advanced ERP systems that


scenarios, help their enterprises understand

can support this kind of machine interaction

towards better

what they mean, then jointly decide which

and extract relevant necessary data. Wholly

usability and better

paths to follow and execute upon their chosen

smart factories may be some time off yet but

decision-making,� he

strategic direction,� she said.

industry is definitely realising that creating smart production processes is a ‘smart’ way


to cut costs and increase efficiency.� *# (+ &* *'(*'$ *'* ) )'% " '# !%*'%$+

believes there will

Enormous upside potential

continue to be

Devault considers that, in the short term, we

developments that

will see vendors using technology to improve




March 2017



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

/23268*05&38using QAD Cloud ERP ounded in 2006, Plasan Carbon

million per year supplying carbon fibre hoods,

Composites is at the forefront of the

roofs, splitters for front spoilers, rockers, and

carbon fibre automotive

rear lifters for Corvette Stingrays and Dodge

components movement and the



leading provider in North America.

The company transformed into a high-volume

Production of the carbon fibre components is

manufacturer three years ago, in response to

a combination of robotic automation and

new vehicle fuel-efficiency standards

highly skilled hands-on finishing work. Plasan

requiring American-made cars and light

expects to increase to $150 million annual

trucks to average 34.5 MPG by 2016 and 54.5

revenue in the next five years as they expand

MPG by 2025.

their volume and customer base. system that could handle all aspects of the

Lightening the weight of an automobile, without compromising its integrity, is one of the most effective ways to increase fuelefficiency. Every 10% reduction in weight

business, work well now and be able to grow with Plasan – and we needed it quickly,”

The challenge: Starting up a new company with looming customer contracts

comments Phillip Austin, Plasan’s systems manager. “We knew we didn’t want to invest

results in a 7% increase in gas mileage.

money, personnel and time in an on-premise

Carbon fibre components are lighter and

Plasan was in the enviable position of starting

solution. Leveraging a cloud ERP was the

stronger than standard auto body materials,

up a new company with two major OEM

best choice for us.”

providing a great growth market for the

customers already in place. There was

The team started investigating cloud ERP

foreseeable future.

enormous pressure to get up and running as

companies. QAD’s excellent reputation and

quickly as possible.

automotive industry expertise made them the

General Motors and Chrysler were customers

top contender very quickly.

since the formation of the company, and

“As soon as we got the contracts with GM

“QAD is a major power in the automotive

Plasan currently has sales approaching $100

and Chrysler we realised we needed an ERP

sector and their Cloud ERP is a well-

If we used on premise ERP we would need to double, triple, even quadruple our ERP team to support our 24/7 operations, plus invest in hardware. Thanks to QAD Cloud ERP we don’t even have to think about that." – Phillip Austin, Plasan





March 2017

Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

established product,” continues Austin. “Knowing QAD’s reputation and having worked with the company in the past – it was an easy choice.”

The Solution: Implementing QAD Cloud ERP while starting up a new company with a new manufacturing facility

Many things had to happen simultaneously in the hectic time Plasan was getting up and running. The company set up a new 200,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in Walker, MI. While working on the logistics of the factory floor, the QAD Cloud ERP system was being put into place. There was a critical deadline to

satisfy both GM and Chrysler contracts. • “We needed to be up and running quickly, so we focused on tracking production, financials,

The system has proven to be very stable

“Our focus is on expansion,” continues Austin.

and responsive with excellent uptime.

“We need to speed up our manufacturing

It is easy to implement additional

process to increase volume which will allow

functionality such as lot tracing.

us to expand our customer base. QAD Cloud

Little customisation has been necessary

ERP is helping us capture the data we need

purchasing, and order entry,” notes Austin. “It was invaluable to be able to begin with an ERP implementation that required very little customisation. The entire process took less than three months with the QAD Cloud ERP

QAD Cloud ERP is perfect for our company. It requires little customisation, implements quickly, accommodates our future growth and places the power and expertise of QAD at our fingertips.” – Phillip Austin, Plasan’s Systems Manager

team’s help, while ensuring great options are available for future plans.”

Benefits: QAD Cloud ERP’s effectiveness starts strong and grows with Plasan

“Our first four years in business have proven

making future upgrades easier and less

to determine where we can make changes


and improvements in our processes and

QAD Cloud ERP has made a separate

better streamline inventory. QAD Cloud ERP

disaster recovery plan unnecessary which

will support our rapid growth and it’s a

eliminates a huge expense.

comfort knowing QAD’s knowledgeable staff

The system has all the functionality and

is out there supporting us, versus Plasan

been instrumental,” states Austin. “We haven’t

accreditations needed now as well as for

having to run the system.”

had to invest in expert programmers or

future international expansion with its

expensive hardware.

variety of languages, currency and EDI

very successful and QAD Cloud ERP has

capabilities. QAD always has us covered with knowledge,

QAD supplies training to systematically

training and backup.” Just some of the

increase knowledge and ensure our

benefits of QAD Cloud ERP are:

super-users are fully utilising QAD Cloud ERP’s capabilities. •

All manual systems are being eliminated


and the engineering, maintenance and


routing departments are now also being managed through QAD Cloud ERP. •

The QAD Cloud ERP solution seamlessly links our R&D location to our

/23268!20#568 !5()5341738 2/ 70"8 8 72. -2017038 -15(514%78 6.-310$8 !20#568 4#078 05.-,138 !5()567613 5/-145638-14/437.8 8!/5-.8

manufacturing site.



March 2017



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Product news

7)/$8/2-6,+738 04, 8 7)/$ – the new manufacturing operations platform for Industry 4.0 s a specialist in the design and


implementation of solutions based on new communication channels and digital media, Reply has announced the

release of Brick Reply, a new manufacturing operations platform (MOM) for Industry 4.0 to make production process flexible and connected. Brick Reply relies on a completely open service-based architecture capable of interfacing with both machinery and sensors and coordinating the production processes within the factory. The solution's single point of control, Brick

such as augmented reality (AR) and IoT. It can

Hub Connector, enables communication

also be configured to fit lean manufacturing

between traditional production processes –

scenarios based either on ‘work islands’ or on

including production, planning and quality

one or more production lines. Factory layouts

In combination with emerging technologies

control – and today's increasingly intelligent

can be easily modified and integrated with

such as machine learning and Big Data, the

physical devices, such as sensors,

specific product structures, which are defined

features offered by Brick Reply – which also

machinery, robots and installations. Core

within the ERP management system or directly

comprise production planning, maintenance

functionalities include the real-time collection

in Brick Reply.

management and business intelligence –

and monitoring of data and comprehensive

Opening the door to interesting manufacturing scenarios

open the door to some highly interesting

analysis using Big Data and in-memory technologies.

Digitising business processes Brick Reply can be used in a number of ways, all with the aim of digitising business


The solution's single point of control, Brick Hub Connector, enables communication between traditional production processes – including production, planning and quality control – and today's increasingly intelligent physical devices, such as sensors, machinery, robots and installations.�

processes in the manufacturing field. Its flexibility and ease of implementation enable production managers to enjoy real freedom in

The Brick Reply platform can be utilised in a

manufacturing scenarios. These include

configuring their manufacturing processes

variety of operating modes, from a fully

predictive data analysis for the purposes of

and specifying both work flows and the nature

Software-as-a-Service or Cloud-based model

preventative maintenance and advanced

and quality of data collected in real time from

to delivery via dedicated client infrastructures

performance analysis, both of which can

production lines.

(on-premises). The solution can also be

make a major impact on production and on

deployed in mixed situations in which some


As it is based on an open platform, Brick Reply

services interacting with field devices reside

can be incorporated both into traditional

on local infrastructures, while other services

contexts and into situations where new

are completely Cloud-based.

technologies and devices are already in use,





March 2017

QAD Cloud ERP Cloud ERP Exclusively for Manufacturing Companies

“The all inclusive price of QAD Cloud ERP is lower than the average cost of a traditional licensed on-premise solution� - Aberdeen Group QAD Sir Stanley Clarke House 7 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom, B32 1AF +44 (0) 121 506 6500

\\\ Manufacturing \\\


+78(7*21076.38that push manufacturers towards Industry 4.0 By Stuart Hall, sales director, Epicor Software UK and Ireland.

isruptive technologies and

The revolution is far from surprising. By

to make it easier to collaborate and is

megatrends are shaping the

2020, there will be 30 billion connected

helping to attract the discerning millennials

future of manufacturing. The

devices on earth1. This is leading to the Big

generation, which is anticipated to account

fourth industrial revolution—

Data mountain growing beyond recognition.

for 75%4 of the global workforce in 2025 and

Industry 4.0—has been


Machines communicating with people – and

will play an important role in manufacturing

gathering momentum in recent years and is set

other machines – are creating so much data

as it continues to evolve.

to be transformative in 2017. Industry 4.0 is the

that we have generated more in the past two

digitisation of the manufacturing industry and a

years than in the previous 5000 years of

realisation of the potential of the Internet of

human history2.

Megatrend #2 – The globalisation of future markets

and data science. Done right, Industry 4.0 will

It is now up to manufacturers to unlock this

Companies will expand their operations

enable manufacturers to improve efficiencies

data. The information generated by the

around the globe, with worldwide exports

whilst reducing costs.

increase of connected devices and

expected to triple by 20305. Exports from

machines represents a significant

emerging and developing countries will

opportunity. By determining how to best

quadruple, and regional and bilateral trade

identify, capture and interpret this increased

agreements are likely to further open the

volume of data, it can help organisations

world’s borders. The share of GDP generated

understand their market and customers

by the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India,

better, as well as gaining market share.

and China – will grow6. Sub-cluster countries

Things (IoT) combined with artificial intelligence

comprising Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and

1-2018 2// 8 05(82//846.4,214563"8&7 207846826870285'834*64'4,2618,56%70*76,7" &+707846'50(21456817,+65/5*$" 5)70214562/817,+65/5*$"826.8*/5#2/ (7*21076.38207856828,5//434568,5-037 +438&4//8.04%78,+26*738468+5&8&78.5 #-346733826.8+5&8&78461702,18&41+ ,-315(703826.83-))/4703 8

1. 2. 3. 4.


In today’s fast moving global markets,

Turkey (MINT) and Mexico, Indonesia, South

manufacturers need to respond quickly to

Korea, Turkey (MIST) are in a position to

changing demands and maximise new

outperform the advanced world. Technology

market opportunities. From all indications, we

will continue to be a big enabler of

are in an era of significant convergence,

globalisation. Not only through eCommerce

where information technology, operational

and the opening up of additional markets, but

technology, and global megatrends are on a

also with regards to having enterprise

collision course. This will drive changes in

resource planning (ERP) systems in place to

how we do business and how we interact

support cross-border trading and multi-

with customers and suppliers.

country manufacturing processes.

Megatrend #1 – Demographic shifts

Megatrend #3 – Scare resources

We are seeing population growing in some

Thanks to increased energy use and

nations and shrinking in others3, a growing

requirements, we’re going to need more

middle class, consumer markets shifting

power. Resources are growing scarcer

from the west to the east and an ageing

despite the focus on climate change and

population with fewer people entering the

sustainability, and there will be continued

manufacturing field. Take heart though as

reliance on fossil fuels. The majority of

the technology we are developing continues

critical raw materials will be likely supplied

The Internet of Everything is the New Economy. September 29, 2015, Cisco EY, “Global generations: a global study on work-life challenges across generations,� Jan. 2015




March 2017


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Industry 4.0, ERP and the transition ahead

to-machine communication, additive

technologies, and using technology

These four global megatrends, when combined

Industry 4.0 challenges the way that

platforms to streamline processes and

with new and converging technologies, will

manufacturing – at its very core a risk averse

improve efficiency to facilitate this shift.

require manufacturers to transform themselves.

sector – functions with centralised and offline

We are quickly entering an era of a new type of

systems that are not inter-connected. We would

customer –a global customer who could be

further predict that their factories will soon evolve

based anywhere in the world rather than in the

to become ‘smart’ with the capability to self-

countries that manufacturers have traditionally

manage issues and internal processes. Crucially,

Manufacturers will feel the challenges of a

traded with. This new customer is more mobile,

manufacturers need to address whether their

decreasing talent pool. There won’t be enough

more aware, and more demanding.

existing ERP environment is ready to support

by China by 20307 and certainly outside the US and Europe. This could potentially be

manufacturing, and robotics.

mitigated by innovative recycling

Megatrend #4 – Knowledge and gender gap

skilled people to perform the jobs of the future8.

their journey towards Industry 4.0.

The available pool of workers will likely come

In addition to the changing demographic of

from developing countries as we see greater

customers, new game-changing business

For manufacturers, growth in an Industry 4.0

percentages of the population earning post-

models will cause continued disruption. Just take

environment will be intrinsically linked with a

secondary degrees in their more developed

a look at what Uber has done to the taxi industry,

business’s ERP system. Certainly, the

counterparts. An ever-increasing mobile

Airbnb to the hotel industry, and Amazon to the

boundaries between production and

workforce will continue to present challenges to

retail sector. The frantic pace of change in every

management must disappear, and ERP and

employers and may lead to a global struggle

industry demands business owners to adopt

manufacturing execution systems (MES) must

for talent. Their wants and needs are very

new ways of thinking and execution.

form an integrated unit if businesses are to

different to those of the generation before.

realise the growth opportunities presented by

Attracting millennials requires enhanced

There is a tremendous opportunity for

this new age of intelligent manufacturing. Taking

mobility, technology that meets their

manufacturers. However, it can only be realised

a critical look at the existing IT environment in

expectations with a sophisticated user

by using emerging information technologies like

your business is the first step towards

experience and having more flexible working

social, mobile, analytics, and Cloud alongside

understanding how ready – or unprepared – you

patterns than ever before.

operational technologies like sensors, machine-

are for Industry 4.0.

5. 6. 7. 8.

Sustainable Development Goals, “UN projects world population to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, driven by growth in developing countries,” July 29, 2015. Economywatch, “The BRIC Countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China,” June 29, 2010. BP, “BP Energy Outlook 2030,” January 2013.



March 2017



\\\ Manufacturing \\\


26-'2,1-046*8.04%46*8)05.-,1456 increase in the UK, but IoT investment must not leave Britain behind K manufacturing contributed to a

Ben Boswell, EMEA director at WWT said: "It's

complex undertaking. Many IoT initiatives rush

1.1% increase in total production

great to see this return to optimism in UK

to deploy technology and fail to pay attention to

between November and

manufacturing, but the level of uncertainty in

the critical underlying IoT infrastructure. This

December 2016, according to

the market means that every effort must be

can lead to a fragmented solution that may not

Office for National Statistics

taken now to make the sector sustainable.

be secure, sustainable or scalable. At worst, an

Strategic application of IoT technologies across

IoT solution is barely more than a gimmick and

the business lines of manufacturers can have a

becomes an added cost burden which fails to

These latest figures come among the highest

significant impact on productivity and cost.

unlock business outcomes.

levels of optimism seen in the sector since

Over in the US, we've seen a global

U figures.[1]

June 2015. Yet as the weaker pound continues to be a double-edged sword for British industry, the manufacturing sector must become a priority area for innovations that will help UK businesses to compete globally, says systems integrator World Wide Technology (WWT). The stated aim of the government's new industrial strategy is to determine priority

It's great to see this return to optimism in UK manufacturing, but the level of uncertainty in the market means that every effort must be taken now to make the sector sustainable. Strategic application of IoT technologies across the business lines of manufacturers can have a significant impact on productivity and cost.” - Ben Boswell, World Wide Technology.

areas of investment in science, research and innovation to support the UK's world leading

manufacturer lined up to achieve $1 billion in

"At their best, though, these solutions offer a

sectors. New research suggests that the

annual savings beginning this year. The data-

competitive edge simply through the smart

global manufacturing sector will invest $20.59

driven rigour of the connected factory is helping

analysis of routine processes. With optimism

billion into Internet of Things (IoT) solutions by

them to reduce machine down-time through

high but potential bumps around the corner, the

2021, and that the Asia-Pacific region will see

predictive maintenance and automated repair,

time has never been better for government and

exponential growth in this area.[3] The capacity

for example.”

industry alike to prioritise the innovations that


will deliver sharply focused and sustainable

of the sensor-based technology to boost productivity and profitability must not be

Boswell continued: "But applying IoT – and

ignored in Britain.

achieving these considerable savings – is a

[1] [2] [3]


business outcomes for years to come."




March 2017

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\


)14(4346*8the manufacturing supply chain This year’s M3 User Association UK Conference (M3UA UK), held at Best Western Plus Meriden Manor Hotel in Solihull, West Midlands on 1 and 2 March, was again wellattended; exceeding last year’s numbers with a total over 120 people attending over the two days. he event – which focuses on the

Birmingham airport; meaning people can fly in

latest technology developments

and only have a 4 or 5 km drive to the venue.


and application examples related to Infor’s M3 ERP solution, together with the complementary solutions

and activities of a number of Infor’s solution

Food & beverage roundtable

partners and associates – featured a packed

This year, M3UA held its first sector SIG

schedule of customer presentations, as well as

(Significant Interest Group) round table

product updates and live demonstrations.

discussion focusing on food & beverage ERP

There was also a Gala Dinner and Charity

and edge application solutions. Even though

Auction on the evening of the first day, which

this was a 30-minute schedule it was clear from

raised nearly £1500 for cancer charities, plus a

an early stage that there is a need for a regular

close-up magician who provided the

focused food & beverage SIG covering

entertainment before dinner was served.

subjects and drivers such as IoT in food & beverage, industry consolidation and its

During his welcome speech, Trevor Howard,

impacts on IT etc. M3UA Conference chairman,

general manager at the M3 User Association,

and CIO of ABP Food Group, Robin Irvine, said:

reminded delegates that M3UA is an

“The short discussion demonstrated that the

independent non-profit user group and so is not

food & beverage sector, regardless of the

tied directly to Infor or other vendors. He added

output product, has very similar operational IT

that the 110-strong membership is made up

strategy challenges, and we can learn much

ERP and supply chain solutions with new

primarily of M3 users, together with 15 solution

from each other.”

systems capable of managing a sophisticated array of services more effectively preparing

vendors, and pointed out that Association membership has grown significantly over the

Irvine and Andrew Dalziel from Infor will be

the company for rapid and consistent growth.

past two years primarily due to the success of

coordinating future quarterly discussions and

Reynolds also wanted to increase confidence

its UK and the Benelux conferences.

face-to-face meetings to drive this SIG agenda

in decision-making abilities by providing

forward. “It’s our vision that the discussion

management teams with fast access to

Howard said the event was popular from

output will not only be informative for the M3UA

relevant, detailed information. Additionally, it

several perspectives – for example, many

food & beverage members but that Infor and its

wanted to implement integrated solutions that

users or prospective users like the opportunity

development strategy can also take

could manage increased demands from both

to talk with other companies about their

advantage,” added Irvine.

internal and external customers and meet

experiences of deploying M3 and

business needs throughout the warehouse,

complementary solutions provided by system

call centre, supply chain and finance

partners and associates. Howard added that visitors also like the varied mix of


Supply chain optimisation

presentations discussing the latest

One of the many user presentations at the

Calder explained that the benefits of

developments within the M3 suite, together

event looked at how Reynolds Catering

implementing M3 included reduced costs

with user case studies. Additionally, he

Supplies drives continuous solution

associated with recovering incorrect orders

highlighted the fact that they have the

improvement through optimising its supply

and improved customer satisfaction with

opportunity to network with vendors and

chain with Infor M3. Richard Calder, Reynolds’

specific Infor Process Flow Integrator

fellow users alike. Another benefit of the 2017

IT & business systems manager, explained

applications, such as email order confirmation.

event was that the hotel is close to

that the company wanted to replace its legacy

He pointed out that Reynolds could also





March 2017


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

complete picks faster and with greater accuracy by developing applications to examine picking efficiency and conveyor box fill with the data warehouse and associated reporting. Other benefits included: Improved speed and detail of financial reporting, leading to better credit control and a reduction in the information received by management, which has improved decision making and efficiency; and reduced risk of product waste by being able to reclassify and adjust shelf life at item and lot levels with Inform M3’s re-inspection time and sales functionality. Calder added that Infor ION will become a key part of Reynolds’ business-case justification

number of debtor days; more detailed

5+68 /7.+4//"8 6'508 85'8)05.-,18(262*7(761"8*2%7828)0737612145681+218/55 7.821 56*546*8.7%7/5)(76138&41+468 8

“because if we want new functionality, we won’t have to pay for any modifications or additional integration work�.

Ongoing developments

the way that industry-driven enterprises serve their customers. This new solution is made

John Gledhill, Infor VP of product management,

possible through the purpose-built middleware

gave a presentation that looked at ongoing

Infor ION, and Infor EDI Managed Services

developments within M3 ERP. One of his key

solution, which provides a fast and secure way

messages to users was to move to version 13.4

to manage data. The integration is now

Another user presentation was given by ABP

and get Xi enabled. “It really does deliver

available as a standard service to organisations

Food Group’s CIO, Robin Irvine, who spoke

value,� he said. Gledhill explained that since

using the M3 enterprise resource planning

Active monitoring

about the company’s use of 24/7/365 M3 active

2015 there has been a multi-tenant version of

(ERP) system, and serving the fashion, food &

monitoring. Irvine commented that most

M3 running in Infor’s labs. “So, at the same time

beverage, distribution and manufacturing

companies put a significant amount of effort and

as developing 13.4 our technology teams have


funding into ensuring that their data centres,

been developing multi-tenant Cloud-type

communications links and hardware estates are

technology with M3 sitting on top of it,� he said.

The presentation then looked at Infor CRM, with the point being made that the solution enables

available to serve the business. This approach, he said, goes hand in hand with any method of

In terms of what’s next for the solution, Gledhill

users to maximise the impact of every

delivery; be it on-premise, full Cloud or hybrid.

outlined some of the highlights regarding what

interaction – across the entire customer

“In most cases, all the user actually experiences

Infor has recently introduced and what users

lifecycle – whether in the office or out in the

is an application window,� remarked Irvine, “and

can look forward to in the short term. He

field. Infor CRM is built for business, with

unfortunately this can be the layer which is often

explained that Infor has upgraded its

industry-specific capabilities, deep integration

forgotten about when pulling together an

CloudSuites to Xi, and will introduce an ION

and a high level of flexibility and control in how

application and hardware support and

integration with GT Nexus. He added that after

users can deploy, use, and pay for the solution.

monitoring strategy.�

September Infor will have some improved

The solution also benefits from seamless

integration with Infor Supply Chain Execution.

integration with back office systems via Infor

Irvine explained that the ABP Food Group has

ION and modern architecture with an adaptable

completed that monitoring circle by engaging

platform to meet unique company and

with Essist, which is providing 24/7/365 manned monitoring and first-line support for ABP’s critical

Premier functionality updates

customer needs.

M3 ERP and edge applications layer. “This

Ole Rasmussen and Raj Gupta of Infor gave a

With this modern engagement solution, users

provides added confidence to our support

presentation looking at a number of key

can manage all aspects of their online

organisation and allows our internal teams to

aspects of M3 functionality and recent

business. They can also create a website that

drive forward the areas that add true value to

developments in these areas – including Infor

helps them tell their brand story; easily manage

business and product,� he said, adding: “I am

EDI, Infor CRM and Infor Rhythm for

content, promotions, and catalogue

happy to highlight the merits of taking


assortments; access applied analytics; and streamline the ordering process with full

advantage of a monitoring solution from Essist who have very quickly become a trusted

Infor has announced that a new solution for EDI

visibility into order history, pending approvals,

extension to our IT support teams.�

is now available for Infor M3 clients to simplify

and draft orders.



March 2017



\\\ Manufacturing \\\


50/.&4.78 8and analytics market to reach $18.3 billion in 2017 lobal revenue in the business

flocked to new modern tools because

streaming data generated by devices,

intelligence (BI) and analytics

they could be used without IT assistance,

sensors and people to make faster

software market is forecast to

the increased need for governance will

decisions. Vendors need to invest in

reach $18.3 billion in 2017, an

serve as the catalyst for renewed IT

similar capabilities to offer buyers a single

increase of 7.3% from 2016,

engagement. Modern BI tools that support

platform that combines real-time events

according to the latest forecast from Gartner,

greater accessibility, agility and analytical

and streaming data with other types of

Inc. By the end of 2020, the market is forecast

insight at the enterprise level will

to grow to $22.8 billion.

dominate new purchases.


source data. 6. Interest in Cloud deployments will continue to grow – Cloud deployments of

2. New innovative and established According to Gartner, modern BI and

vendors will drive the next wave of

BI and analytics platforms have the

analytics continues to expand more rapidly

market disruption – The emergence of

potential to reduce cost of ownership and

than the overall market, which is offsetting

smart data discovery capabilities,

speed time to deployment. However, data

declines in traditional BI spending. The

machine learning and automation of the

gravity that still tilts to the majority of

modern BI and analytics platform emerged in

entire analytics workflow will drive a new

enterprise data residing on-premises

the past few years to meet new organisational

flurry of buying because of its potential

continues to be a major inhibitor to

requirements for accessibility, agility and

value to reduce time to insights from

adoption. That reticence is abating and

deeper analytical insight, shifting the market

advanced analytics and deliver them to a

Gartner expects the majority of new

from IT-led, system-of-record reporting to

broader set of people across the

licensing buying likely to be for Cloud

business-led, agile analytics including self-

enterprise. While this ‘smart’ wave is


being driven by new innovative startups,

deployments by 2020. 7. Marketplaces will create new

traditional BI vendors that were slow to

opportunities for organisations to buy

The modern BI and analytics market is

adjust to the current ‘modern’ wave are

and sell analytic capabilities and speed

expected to decelerate, however, from 63.6%

driving it in some cases.

time to insight — The availability of an

3. Need for complex datasets drives

active marketplace where buyers and

Gartner believes this reflects data and

investments in data preparation –

sellers converge to exchange analytic

analytics becoming mainstream. The market

Business users want to analyze a diverse,

applications, aggregated data sources,

is growing in terms of seat expansion, but

often large and more complex

custom visualisations and algorithms is

revenue will be dampened by pricing

combinations of data sources and data

likely to generate increased interest in the


models, faster than ever before. The

BI and analytics space and fuel its future

ability to rapidly prepare, clean, enrich


growth in 2015 to a projected 19% by 2020.

"Purchasing decisions continue to be

and find trusted datasets in a more

influenced heavily by business executives

automated way becomes an important

"Organisations will benefit from the many new

and users who want more agility and the

enabler of expanded use.

and innovative vendors continuing to emerge,

option for small personal and departmental

4. Extensibility and embeddability will be

as well as significant investment in innovation

deployments to prove success," said Rita

key drivers of expanded use and value

from large vendors and venture capital-

Sallam, research vice president at Gartner.

– Both internal users and customers will

funded start-ups," said Ms. Sallam. "They do,

"Enterprise-friendly buying models have

either use more automated tools or will

however, need to be careful to limit their

become more critical to successful

embed analytics in the applications they

technical debt that can occur when multiple


use in their context, or a combination of

stand-alone solutions that demonstrate

both. The ability to embed and extend

business value quickly, turn into production

Gartner believes the rapidly evolving modern

analytics content will be a key enabler of

deployments without adequate attention being

BI and analytics market is being influenced by

more pervasive adoption and value from

paid to design, implementation and support."

the following seven dynamics:

analytics. 5. Support for real-time events and

1. Modern BI at scale will dominate new buying – While business users initially





March 2017

streaming data will expand use – Organisations will increasingly leverage

Infor software helped make the world’s largest % machine 15 more efficient. CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, increased uptime at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most complex particle accelerator. That’s progress.

\\\ Manufacturing \\\


!8– Making the right connection t this year’s M3 User


Association UK Conference (M3UA UK), held at the Best Western Plus Meriden Manor Hotel in Solihull on 1 and 2

March, BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., the UK-based supplier of data capture solutions for supply chain logistics and manufacturing, was the event’s Diamond Sponsor, together with solutions partner Honeywell. This year’s conference exceeded last year’s numbers; with over 120 people attending over the two days. BEC and its solutions partner Honeywell featured prominently in the proceedings during both days, being actively involved with customer case studies and solution discussions, as well as running a dedicated presentation and demonstration suite.

Raleigh Distribution Centre case study One of the case study highlights at the M3UA UK Conference was a presentation given by Steve Wigley, the Raleigh Bicycle Company’s recently retired distribution manager. Wigley explained that in order to move away from largely paper-based processes and to map out a project to automate its entire warehouse,

#5%7 8 +78 7318 7317068 /-38 704.76 26508 517/8468 5/4+-//"8%76-78'5081+43 $720 38 8 3708 335,4214568 !56'7076,7

7'1 8 !826.8413835/-145638)201670 567$&7//8'721-07.8)05(46761/$84681+7 )05,77.46*38.-046*8#51+8.2$3"8#746* 2,14%7/$846%5/%7.8&41+8,-315(708,237 31-.473826.835/-14568.43,-334563"8238&7// 2380-6646*828.7.4,217.8)07376121456826. .7(563102145683-4178 )4,1-07.

Raleigh contacted BEC. BEC proposed a twophase project using its eSmart WMS software

Voice for M&I

underpinned by Honeywell hardware to

During a seminar presentation titled ‘Vocollect

update the goods-in and goods-out sides of

Voice Recognition Solution for Maintenance &

Raleigh's Parts and Accessories business.

Inspection (M&I), John Bradshaw – business development manager for the Honeywell

Some of the key benefits of the project

Vocollect M&I solution, and works in

include: 99.9% stock accuracy levels, up from

partnership with BEC and Infor – explained

96%; increase in worker productivity; real-time

that, from a speed and accuracy perspective,

stock control; the creation of flexible pick-

Voice-directed working has for a number of

face; and faster training of new staff and

years proved a highly efficient method for

seasonal workers. Due to the success of the

picking and replenishment in the warehouse

Honeywell and BEC system, Raleigh now

and distribution centre. However, he made the

plans to extend the solution across the rest of

point that an increasing number of companies

include aerospace, truck fleet, automotive,

the business. For example, for cycle picking a

in a range of industrial sectors are now

process control, utilities and rail.

system is currently being written by BEC and

realising Voice can also be used to achieve

this is anticipated to go live by the beginning

similar benefits concerning maintenance &

Bradshaw outlined what he described as three

of April this year.

inspection (M&I) tasks. Relevant sectors

‘buckets of goodness’ concerning the use of





March 2017


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Voice for M&I. “The first bucket of goodness

last year who were asking for a true-life

“After all, this is our core focus, and one

concerns the utilisation of Voice to optimise

example of how they could connect external

whereby we have built a solid reputation.

process and workflow steps. The second bucket

systems and hardware directly into the M3

Also, because we are a small, tight-knit

of goodness is ergonomics. Bradshaw

ERP layer to provide added value without

organisation, this gives us a high degree of

highlighted that the engineer in a demonstration

expensive interfacing projects. BEC and

agility and flexibility.”

video he showed during his presentation was

Honeywell accepted the challenge of setting

able to use both the Voice technology and his

up a complete demo suite, providing hands-

Philip Jarrett, director of sales and marketing at

hands to use tools for the task at hand – in this

on demonstration of BEC’s warehouse

BEC, said the M3 User Group event helps to

case, maintenance tasks carried out on an APU

management system, touch screens,

forge a stronger, mutually beneficial relationship

(auxiliary power unit) for aircraft. The user in the

scanning hardware and the Honeywell

between BEC, Infor and M3 end users. He

video also benefitted from the ability to capture

Vocollect Voice solution.

added that this type of forum gives BEC even greater credibility within the Infor community.

M&I information on his iPad and see that information on the screen before he submitted

The membership received a very clear insight

the data back to the host system.

into Voice-automated WMS systems, which was gratefully received by many who

The third bucket of goodness concerned

attended the repeating sessions throughout

compliance and information. Bradshaw

the two-day event.”

Networking benefits Trevor Howard, general manager at the M3

explained that many organisations have to

User Association, highlighted the value that

conform to various regulatory and standard

the M3UA recognises in M3 partners and

requirements, and this information can be captured and used in real-time.

Close links

independent associates such as Honeywell and BEC. He said many users or prospective

Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC,

users like the opportunity to talk with other

said the M3 User Group event ensures BEC

companies at the event about their

keeps close links with M3 end-users. “For

experiences of deploying M3 and

many years, we have been one of the most

complementary solutions provided by system

M3UA Conference chairman, Robin Irvine,

popular go-to companies for data capture


commented: “We listened to the membership

functionality built into M3,” he remarked.

True-life example

BEC eSmart® Voice WMS Enabling Complete Door-to-Door Voice Solutions 9 Increase worker productivity by up to 35% 9 Reduction in picking errors by up to 50% 9 ROI typically within 6-12 months 9 Built with voice technology at its core, not as an add-on 9 Based on our proven eSmart Warehouse platform 9 Real-time dashboard reporting & status updates 9 Seamless integration into any host ERP system 9 %HQH¿WV WKH IXOO FRPSOHPHQW RI ZDUHKRXVLQJ SURFHVVHV


Call BEC today and speak to the experts: March 2017 +44 (0)1254 688 088 or visit





\\\ Manufacturing \\\


05(8.5, 8158&207+5-378to customer with Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite David Titterington, account manager, Prodware, discusses the IoT supply chain.

he Internet of Things (IoT) is often


frequency identification) technologies to

thought of as electronics or

transmit data such as fleet location in real-

wearables – the kind of

time. Detailed visibility of an individual item

technologies that are used and

can be provided directly from the

customised by an individual

manufacturer to the retailer. Not only can

consumer. However, there is a much bigger

distributors automate shipping and delivery

story – the IOT supply chain.

by exactly predicting arrival time; they can monitor vital details like temperature/humidity

The IoT supply chain growth

control, which may impact the product intransit. IoT technologies can also bring in

Industry research by Gartner highlights that

other data like weather conditions, traffic

the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to impact

conditions with possible re-routes, and driver-

businesses with its exponential

specific data (i.e., driving pattern, rest times,

implementation reaching 26 billion devices by

average speed).

2020, “…IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding

Combining real-time sensory data with

US$300 billion, mostly in services, in 2020. It

environmental data can provide superior

will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic

intelligence to all supply chain stakeholders.

value-add through sales into diverse end

This allows decisions to be made that drive

The benefits stretch beyond just operational

markets.” This increase will “significantly alter

overall productivity allowing operatives to be

efficiency, by allowing devices to ‘talk to each

how the supply chain operates.” As devices

proactive. For example, information about a

other’ in the right way, IoT can help supply

are embedded with technology that can

traffic jam before the trip starts has much

chain professionals:

communicate and interact with other devices,

higher value than getting the alert when the

supply chains will be impacted. Specifically,

fleet is already stuck in the traffic.

how supply chain professionals access

Applications such as Prodware’s Mobility suite


can feed information directly from the

people in and out of cities.

updates allowing proactive monitoring •

business management system to remote

Increasing visibility throughout the supply chain Logistic systems are made up of many

Reduce product losses with real-time Reduce fuel costs with optimised fleet routes by monitoring traffic conditions in

workers in the field on nearly any device.

real time and re-routing fleet •

Manage warehouse stock by automatically monitoring inventory levels

IoT supply chain benefits

to reduce out-of-stock situations •

Establish customer insight with

moving parts, products can be handled and

Steve Fox, senior director of Microsoft’s

transported between manufacturing,

worldwide Azure Apps and IoT practice has

embedded sensors which can provide

suppliers, the distribution centre, retailer, and

highlighted how IoT has evolved from a trend

visibility into customer behaviour and

finally to the end customer (and sometimes

to facilitating real business processes to solve

back again). With so many transaction points

problems. At a conference we attended, we

within the supply chain, operators need a

saw real life case studies from how

States deadhead miles (non-revenue

responsive and informed supply network.

Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite has benefitted an

miles) can account for up to 10% of total

oil and gas business with increased

fleet miles, according to the EPA, and

How does IoT facilitate the agile supply chain?

product usage •

operational intelligence, to how IoT is powering ‘smart cities’ with rich reporting

28% for private fleet •





March 2017

pressure, humidity and the movement of

Monitor equipment and carry out preventative maintenance

which monitors temperature, pollution, air IoT is further enabled by GPS and RFID (radio

Increase fleet efficiencies – in the United

Monitor temperature stability to reduce


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

waste; many products need to maintain a

business process software, to successfully

As the largest Dynamics partner in EMEA, our

certain temperature during transit – the

combine IoT data with business transactional

focus is to ensure that Microsoft Dynamics is

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the

data in one shared database.

delivered and used by our customers to help them achieve their business goals. Since

United Nations, highlights that one third of food perishes in transit every year

ERP and supply chain management have

being founded in 1989, Prodware has

Identify inefficiencies – For example, a

been partnered for quite some time. IoT

developed, deployed, integrated and hosted

container may land at a warehouse but

technology enhances ERP and CRM

IT solutions for businesses. A leader in the

not be unloaded until several hours later.

solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV

EMEA region, Prodware has 1275 employees

With IoT, operation directors can establish

and Microsoft Dynamics 365 by intelligently

who help 19,000 clients, with Prodware offices

when a container has been received and

connecting people, processes and data via

in 15 countries.

the time lag between arrival and inputting

devices and sensors. This deeper

into the system, to set KPIs and correct

intelligence can come to life in many

Working for over 25 years in ERP sales and


different ways when it comes to supply chain

account management within the distribution

data and intelligence – from automation of

and supply chain industry, I have gained a

Deeper intelligence into supply and demand

the manufacturing process to improved

wealth of knowledge which helps me

will not only benefit manufacturers,

visibility and best practice within the

understand and anticipate the sector

distributors, and retailers, but also consumers,

warehouse. Connected devices enable

challenges and make sure the business

as their demands can be more thoroughly

organisations to work smarter, plan better

management solutions implemented meet

understood with a further level of intelligence.

and foster more intelligent decision making

these through qualified advice. I help both


SMB and Enterprise customers ensure they

Bringing it all together – IoT and the supply chain

are competitively placed in their market by No matter what size company you are, it is

using the best technology and processes. To

very important to find a partner that can

find out how your business can benefit from

The real value of the IoT for businesses is in

address your needs and can be by your side

integrated technologies contact me at

connecting the infrastructure to broader

throughout all stages of your change project.


A Microsoft Gold Partner, specialising in ERP & CRM M business management g solutions for manufacturing & distribution

Based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV & Microsoft Dynamics 365

Building Systems of Intelligence



March 2017



\\\ Manufacturing \\\


+46 46*82#5-18 8A guide for mid-sized organisations By Andy Brown, SCS divisional leader, Access Group.

large enterprises took years to implement

comprehensive analysis and reporting

and seldom delivered on their promises.

capability, and ideally will provide you with dashboards to enable you to manage

Today, things are different. A modular

information from different sources via a

approach to ERP has brought flexibility and

single interface. The quality of this

agility to mid-market organisations, putting

reporting, however, is of course dependent

them in a stronger position to compete

on the data that goes into it.

against larger competitors. If you’re a smaller company, it’s now possible to find a

If you want real-time information about

scalable solution that can accommodate

what’s happening on the shop floor, make

your growth as a business. So if you’re

sure that your ERP system has a robust

considering moving to an ERP system, here

system of capturing and managing data. It

are a few points to consider.

should be able to give you live information about your machines, your workforce and


f you are running a business in the manufacturing sector, you’ll be facing a whole raft of challenges. The cost of

your production rate so that you can identify

Will it work with the systems I already have?

materials, always crucial, must be even more tightly scrutinised in the light of a

any bottlenecks and address them quickly. [subhead] Can I access it from anywhere?

Every element of your ERP solution should

A cloud-based ERP solution will allow you to

weakened pound; your sales forecasts need

be right for you. There are many advantages

access your information from anywhere, at

to be managed with care in a volatile

in dealing with a single software vendor;

any time. This may be via a mobile device or

economy, and the balance of inventory,

most importantly there is just “one throat to

a web browser, or simply through an

production rate and orders still needs to be

choke” when it comes to accountability – if

interface that connects remotely to your

perfectly tuned.

something goes wrong, then you know

application. If you’re buying single modules,

whose job it is to fix it. That shouldn’t mean,

consider how you wish to be able to access

The chances are that you’ll already be using

however, that you have

some software products to help you,

to throw out everything

whether that’s accounting software, a stock

and start again. A good

management system, a CRM application or

ERP vendor will offer

a production planning tool. If you’re a small

you individual high-

or medium sized business, however, you

quality modules that will

may not have yet taken the step of buying

connect easily with

an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

your existing


applications. For

those and make sure

Ultimately, an ERP solution should offer you the individual solutions you need, bound together to produce a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.”

that your chosen solution can match your requirements for each. Make sure you are clear about the difference between cloud and SaaS. The chances are you’ll want to be able to

example, you should be able to link your

access your ERP application from anywhere,

It’s important to note however, that ERP has

new order management module with your

at any time but this doesn’t mean that you

changed immeasurably in the past decade

existing CRM, or your accounting software

have to pay for it via a monthly subscription,

and become far more relevant to mid-market

with your HR application. It shouldn’t be

or that you need to access it via a web

companies. Initially developed to bring

necessary to take the leap to a full ERP

browser. A traditional “on premise” system

together all the key functions in a business,

solution in one go.

may still be hosted elsewhere and accessed

from HR and finance to planning and

remotely without being fully web-enabled. If

production, these gained a bad reputation

Can I get the information I need, quickly?

you do choose a web-enabled system, check

when gargantuan projects installed across

Any ERP solution you choose should have a

that it doesn’t come at the expense of speed.





March 2017

\\\ Manufacturing \\\


()05%7832/7387''4,476,$8by leveraging the data in your ERP By Michiel Schipperus, CEO, Sana Commerce. also available in your online sales platform. This allows you to give your clients full access to all

Real-time orders and automated order processing

their details—from order history, invoices and shipping addresses to personalised product

One of the major advantages of an integrated

catalogues. Because everything is

e-commerce solution is that orders placed

interconnected, the moment a detail is

online are immediately processed by the ERP,

changed, added or updated in your ERP, it is

without the delay of a scheduled

also updated or added to your web store—and

synchronisation interval. The results? No pricing

vice versa.

mistakes, inventory availability issues, or forgotten charges or costs. Because orders can’t get lost during a complex synchronisation

4,+47/8 ,+4))70-3 8 2628+238+7/)7. 3,507385'8(26-'2,1-046*8#-34673373 /2-6,+84617*0217.856/467832/738)/21'50(3 158*072183-,,733

processes, integration offers a drastic reduction

Freedom for your clients and your sales team

in errors that need to be fixed manually.

Why keep your specialists busy processing regular orders and answering standard

Bill of materials

questions about stock status, invoicing and n an increasingly competitive market, online

pricing? Making this information accessible for

Manufacturing companies know all about the

sales platforms are no longer a choice:

customers doesn’t only empower clients — it

complexity of composite product structures.

they’re a necessity. It goes without saying

empowers employees as well, by giving them

With an integrated online sales platform,

that a good web store will greatly enhance

more time to focus on specialist tasks like

intricate BOM or kitting/assembly products can

the customer experience with added

bespoke orders and technical support.

easily be broken down into their respective


convenience, access and transparency. But a

parts, allowing clients to order individual parts

good web store should also be powerful

and have them listed as separate line items on

enough to enhance the performance of your

the invoice.

sales team.

Integrated e-commerce for the manufacturing industry

It all starts with your ERP—the heart of your

While it’s true that many manufacturing

business. As your single source of truth, your

businesses are already working online in one

ERP stores all your most important business

fashion or another—whether in the form of an

Manufacturing businesses also deal with

data and logic regarding products, inventory

online product catalogue or a simple website

many elaborate shipping variables that make

and clients. An integrated web store works

with company and contact information—the

calculating shipping costs a feat. How many products fit in a box? How many boxes fit on

seamlessly with your ERP and leverages your

nature of orders tends to be so complex that

detailed product data and customer

many of these companies do not yet offer

information, translating to increased efficiency,

full online service. There are just too many

streamlined process and more sales.


Real-time shipping calculations

An integrated solution solves this issue,

Give your clients the gift of access

because it leverages the data and business logic stored in your ERP to ensure that your online sales channel

Integrating your web store with your ERP

aligns with your existing commercial

means that the data and logic in your ERP is






March 2017


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

VAT, currencies and units of measurement

it was time for an online sales solution. Integrated e-commerce was the answer,

Working with VAT, different units of

Mike Vermeer, commercial analyst at Pelican

measurement and multiple currencies is

Rouge explains. “Sana’s real-time integration

rarely simple, especially when you’re doing

with Dynamics AX made sure that the

business across borders. Luckily, your ERP

complex pricing structures and custom

system is equipped to make these

customer data were seamlessly integrated

calculations, and when your web store is

into the web store.”

integrated with your ERP, it also has the a pallet? How heavy is the shipment? What

same functionality.

Thanks to Sana Commerce, Pelican Rouge has seen an increase in both efficiency and

kind of transport is required?

order value. For Pelican Rouge, the benefits Where a typical interfaced website will have trouble processing so many complex

Future-proofing your business

of integrated e-commerce are clear. “One system has to be leading in your e-

shipping variables, an ERP-integrated

Sana has helped scores of manufacturing

commerce journey,” Vermeer concludes,

platform allows your ERP to answer those

businesses launch integrated online sales

“your ERP.”

questions while your customer goes through

platforms to great success. Pelican Rouge,

the order process online. That means your

for example, was contacting 40,000

clients will automatically know exactly how

customers by phone every month and was

their order will be shipped, when it will arrive

only able to place orders during business

and what it will cost—all without having to

hours—not very convenient for a leading

involve a sales rep.

international coffee manufacturer. They knew

Integraate your web store annd provide your customers with 24/7 acccess to:


Success story

Connecting worlds -

logistics company Militzer & MĂźnch counts on TimoCom TimoCom, the European transport platform, is known for more than just efficiently combining freight and vehicle space; it also simplifies innovative networks and digital operations. Militzer & MĂźnch, an international logistics service provider, makes use of these benefits.


ogistics service provider Militzer & Mßnch has been working together with TimoCom for over ten years. "With TimoCom, we have a trustworthy partner at our side to help us with our daily work in road transport,� said Tom Rosman, CEO of M&M Militzer & Mßnch GmbH. For example, the company’s own transport management system was recently connected with the transport platform thanks to the TimoCom TC Connect interface, so that bids are now automatically transferred to the freight exchange. Rosman continued: "Even in the short time after we integrated our dispatch software, we have noticed it does more than save us time, it also simplifies our work processes. Another optimisation is the up and download function for documents on the transport platform. We

encourage all our partners to upload the documents used the most, so that we always have them when we need them. This saves us quite a few work steps, and paves the way for a more digital, and especially paperless work process. Every single one of our locations practises conscientious use of resources."

Networks beyond borders The logistics service provider, with headquarters in St. Gallen, has approximately 2000 employees in around 100 companyowned locations across 30 countries. In addition to its own locations, the large Militzer & MĂźnch network also features its preferred partners, which the company uses when assigning jobs. It is a place where a lot of languages and cultures meet. To bring them

all together, TimoCom created a closed user group exclusively for the company; assigning jobs and exchanging information is now managed without an issue. It is a simple principle: group members enter their offers, which at first are only available to Militzer & MĂźnch locations. Once a set period of time has passed, these offers also become visible for the preferred partners' network. Militzer & MĂźnch can thus create its own international company network on the TimoCom platform, connecting worlds.

TimoCom at a glance 3(1 1(7 1)2 7'5-7 40-#4067 ( 73/ 457 7+1(*45!7/*6+34.3/35$73572,6 -6 6.1*(652745-7+1556+231571) 4**.3+42315/7)1072,672045/*102735-'/20!%

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M&M Militzer & MĂźnch ,67" "7"3.32 607 7" 5+,7$01'* 6(*.1!/7401'5-7 &&&76(*.1!66/7427 && .1+42315/7357401'5-7 &7+1'52036/% 20426$3+7*402560/,3*/7357(45! 4--323154.7+1'52036/76 *45-72,67+.1/6 5327562#10 %7"3.32 607 7" 5+,71))60/ $.1 4.7430745-7/,3**35$7/60 3+6/74/7#6.. 4/7014-745-7043.7.6-735.45-7204))3+ 7454./17*01 6+27.1$3/23+/7)1071572,67 4/2 6/274 3/7357 '04/34745-7 102,7 )03+4% ,67+1(*45!73/74+23 67#32,747+.1/6 532 562#10 71)7.1+42315/7357 4/26057 '01*6 2,67 1((15#64.2,71)7 5-6*65-652 2426/ 745-73572,67"3--.6745-7 407 4/2 4/7#6..74/73572,67"4$,06 7+1'52036/%7 ,6 +1(*45! 7)1'5-6-7357 & 7,4/732/ ,64- '40260/7357 2%7 4..657 #32 60.45- %





March 2017

Success story


TimoCom's transport platform helps to reduce CO2 emissions imoCom, the European transport platform, renders a valuable contribution to environmental protection with its many applications and optimises vehicle capacity utilisation. The Italian company GreenRouter recently investigated the impact of logistics software on CO2 emissions and economic efficiency, showing results which could lead to a future trend.


The Italian start-up company GreenRouter uses the tool with the same name to measure and analyse the CO2 emissions of the supply chain of individual logistics companies. The case study shows a reduction of CO2e emissions of 23% (carbon dioxide and equivalent exhaust fumes) per driven kilometre in the first two years using the TimoCom transport platform compared with the four years without the platform.

The study commissioned by TimoCom's customer Ernesto Rampinini srl, an Italian transport and logistics company, evaluates the use of natural resources in relation to the degree of utilisation of the lorries and the kilometres driven. In order to obtain valid results, two different periods were taken into consideration: the years between 1999 and 2003, in which the company did not use the IT provider's applications yet, and from 2004 onwards, using TimoCom's transport platform.

Simultaneously, the vehicle utilisation rate increased by 30%, which not only confirms the efficiency of TimoCom products, but also means a 15% profit increase for customers through the avoidance of empty runs. Considering that TimoCom is available with a flat rate and vehicles can be managed from several workplaces, it can be concluded that environmental friendly technologies do not have to be expensive per se nor reduce profit; on the contrary.

In addition to the classic function of the freight and vehicle exchange to avoid environmental pollution and costly empty runs, other applications in TimoCom's portfolio are part of the tools that can already be used to help to preserve the environment. One is the new ‘Documents’ feature within the company profile. By uploading the frequently required documents, necessary to carry out transports, the dispatcher can save valuable time. In addition, the digitalisation of documents reduces paper consumption, thus saving precious resources. TimoCom Messenger is also integrated in the transport platform. With it, users can chat individually with potential business partners or send binding quotes. Since several conversations take place simultaneously, there is the possibility of closing a transport contract within a shorter period of time.

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:



March 2017




Success story

Henry Schein Animal Health targets efficient and safe driving with Ctrack vehicle tracking system


enry Schein Animal Health UK, a national distributor of veterinary supplies, has teamed up with Ctrack, an Inseego company, to develop and implement an advanced telematics solution for its UK van fleet. Web-based tracking system Ctrack Online will be used across more than 100 delivery vehicles that operate nationwide to improve road safety, reduce fuel consumption and enhance transport planning. Ctrack Online – combined with Driver ID, invehicle driver behaviour feedback and performance monitoring – will replace a legacy telematics system. The vehicle tracking solution will be used by Henry Schein as a planning tool for delivery schedules, so new customer orders can be incorporated in the most efficient manner possible. This will enable the company to optimise available resources, while keeping mileage to a minimum. In addition, Geo Zones will be placed around each customer location to create waypoints that trigger email alerts when a van arrives to confirm successful order completion.

Feedback Meanwhile, a driver performance indicator – using a green, yellow or red band for each driving exception with an overall score calculated for a simple ranking system – will allow Henry Schein to quickly and easily track and give feedback on employee performance. With each van fitted with a Driver ID in-vehicle reader, the company will be able to separate driver and vehicle data to better understand individual standards and identify areas of improvement. As a result, Henry Schein is planning to use the information to underpin an incentive scheme that rewards best practice in terms of safe and green driving.





March 2017

have been using vehicle tracking for some Henry Schein will also take advantage of time, Ctrack Online offers higher levels of Ctrack Online's Live Productivity Dashboard usability and reporting capabilities that will and Executive Dashboard to view and ensure we can effectively monitor, measure understand daily activity, as well as gain and improve added operational insight performance. Our aim and business is to continue providing intelligence. The Live Ctrack Online offers a the highest levels of Productivity Dashboard proven means of gaining added service to our provides a real-time, visibility and control over a fleet customers, while colour-coded graphical to achieve real performance minimising representation of activity environmental impact during the previous 24 improvements.” hours in a single display, – John Wisdom, Ctrack. and protecting our staff and other road users." while the Executive Dashboard offers a John Wisdom, European managing director detailed overview with drill down of Ctrack, said: "Ctrack Online offers a functionality to monitor key performance proven means of gaining added visibility metrics and trends. and control over a fleet to achieve real performance improvements. As a result, an Higher levels of usability increasing number of businesses, such as Henry Schein Animal Health, are choosing and reporting capabilities our vehicle tracking system to better Rob Morris, vice president of operations at manage their vehicle operations to improve Henry Schein UK and Western Europe, efficiency, enhance road safety, increase commented: "We are committed to having utilisation and boost customer service." an efficient and safe delivery fleet. While we

Success story


ESSential BI software improves efficiency and profitability for logistics businesses


nterprise Software, the IT and management information provider for the logistics industry, has used its ESSential BI tool to help Canute Logistics to improve its profitability by more efficient operation. Sally Gilder of Enterprise Software said: "ESSential BI is a management information tool which has been integrated into our TMS solution. It provides business intelligence around planning orders, building loads and route planning which allows logistics companies to plan their operations and analyse performance much more effectively and quickly." Developed following six months of detailed evaluation, the tool can identify issues such as empty running and inefficient load planning, and provide the data to enable the logistics operator to improve efficiency, so making savings and improving profitability. "ESSential BI has been a real game changer as it is hugely important for us to be able to guarantee consistency in operation for our customers,” said Alan Ringrose of Canute Logistics. "We have been using the system for the past 12 months and it has produced great results for us, improving performance across the board." Canute Logistics, part of the Canute Group, operates from 14 depots across the UK and has found ESSential BI has not just improved driver and depot efficiency generally, but has delivered major savings in terms of management time.

generating operational and KPI reports, providing flexible and dynamic information which enables us to react quickly. It saves a huge amount of management time – and is much more effective and accessible than creating and populating spreadsheets to create management information.” Canute has even used ESSential BI to help them identify the best strategic locations for their operations, ensuring optimum accessibility and efficiency. Using the tool is also proving vital when it comes to tendering for and winning new business.

Making continuous improvement a reality

"In a recent pitch for new business having this tool was vital as the customer wanted to be able to access a shared dashboard with KPI and management information,” said Ringrose. “If we hadn't been able to offer this via ESSential BI we may not have been able to meet the requirements of the Tender.”

"The tool provides real-time information to enable us to make continuous improvement a reality,” added Ringrose. “It is great for

Logistics is a hugely competitive industry. Having instant and easy access to real-time management information which can also be

shared with customers, to confirm a service level agreement is being met for example, is no longer a luxury but more a necessity.

Improved operational planning "ESSential BI really opens up people's eyes to the potential of data for the effective management of their business", said Gilder. "It can be used in various ways by all departments of a business; providing increased efficiency in operational planning, as a communication tool to share information with customers, and even as a strategic planning tool to pinpoint the optimum location of depots – as Canute have demonstrated. Information is power, and providing data via ESSential BI empowers our customers to make the right decisions for their business, ensuring maximum efficiency and profitability.”



March 2017



Warehouse Management



Robotics poised to answer food retail dilemma As more young entrants to the job market display a reluctance to take work in warehouses, recruiting skilled employees will become increasingly difficult for food retailers. Collaborative robotics is set to answer this challenge, and the groundwork is already being laid. ! " " " " ! ! !" ! ! " " ! " !" " " " ! ! " ! ! " " !" !" " " " ! " ! ! ! " " " ! "


n today’s food retail market, consumer expectations are at an all-time high. Online shopping habits not only fuel the expansion of distribution centres (DCs), but create exciting opportunities to develop new business models to meet demand. In a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute, it assessed the impact of automation on the workplace and analysed how technology could potentially take over the ‘predictable’ activities carried out by people. One of the factors it identified as influencing the pace of automation was ‘labour market dynamics,’ with respect to the ‘supply, demand, and costs of human labour as an alternative to automation1.’

significant.’ It also suggests that ‘automation is needed to boost global productivity and raise GDP,’ which is a hard claim to ignore. Indeed, by automating any number of processes within a DC, it is already possible to increase operational efficiencies, improve ergonomics, reduce picking errors and shorten lead times. Such market trends have already been analysed by Vanderlande’s director food retail, Remko van Gils: “I believe we’re going to witness the automation of all DC processes. Finding alternatives to the dwindling workforce is going to set unique challenges for our customers. “For example, in the next five to ten years, we will see a decline in the volume of people willing to drive trucks – a key part of the supply chain. This means being proactive and exploring such advanced technology as driverless trucks. However, we can already look to automation within the DC itself.�

Collaborative robotics The report highlights the potential for automation at a geographic level. With this in mind, McKinsey detects that ‘the technical automation potential of the global economy is





March 2017

For many in the industry, robotics may hold the key to overcoming these challenges. A recent report in The Wall Street Journal by

Robbie Whelan2 highlighted the potential impact of robotics on the US food retail market. In the majority of cases, automation and robotics were the pivotal factor in driving down labour, time and footprint costs. However, according to Whelan, only 8% of DCs owned by the largest North American grocers are partially or fully automated. Over the coming years, a technological paradigm shift is expected as rising labour costs – coupled with a shrinking workforce – begin to take hold. This will rapidly create the need for food retailers across the world to start robotising the process steps in their supply chain. Whelan argues that attitudes are already changing, and as competition intensifies, the reluctance to invest in automation may give way to a renewed demand for innovation. Van Gils explains: “We already have proven technology, and it is possible to robotise a significant portion of the supply chain with our automated case picking (ACP) solution. This works by automatically (de)palletising groups of products. Not only does the technology exist, but it will become increasingly prominent.�

Warehouse Management

Gradual integration As attitudes continue to shift, Van Gils adds that the baton will be passed to robotic technology in a gradual way: “Our long-term vision is that food retailers might not need any workers in a DC where collaborative robots are installed. However, this will take time, and DC processes change slowly. In the next five years, it is easy to imagine that the volume of people per workplace will decrease in tandem with the scarcity of labour.” Initially, adding a robot to a manual workplace will not fully remove the need for manual labour. Existing robots are not able to perform all human tasks, but in time, they will advance and take on more work, enabling human operators to support multiple robots. One of the main drivers will remain the availability of people and the requirement to fulfil day-to-day deliveries. As technology continues to advance, the 1. 2.

opportunity exists to fine-tune the approach to robotics, process by process, product group by product group. It is most likely that incremental investments in collaborative robots will come first by installing a low number of robotic units. For example, to perform order picking. One of the unique advantages to food retailers of investing in collaborative robots is their adaptability. As algorithms improve, it is predicted that robots will gradually ‘learn’ more, increase their capabilities and assume the full function of a person within a warehouse. With the heightened need for automation, demand for new solutions will develop rapidly. Growing market acceptance will subsequently drive volume growth, which allows new technology to become more price competitive.



transition to robotised logistics, while existing warehouse operations continue undisturbed. In addition, collaborative robots can also be retro-fitted on to manual work spaces. In this context, today's robots can assume certain tasks while ensuring that manual operations can be resumed at any time. With this approach, it even becomes possible to build robotised, individual item picking solutions.

Exciting opportunities

“Robotics is going to be a central topic over the next few years, and food retailers should see this as an exciting opportunity,” concludes Van Gils. “The advantage of the ideas we’re developing is that with ACP we’re already able to robotise the core processes connected to product flows. Next to that, we have started our Smart Item Robotics platform to develop collaborative robotics solutions and hope retailers will want to take the next step with us.”

As today’s robots learn to handle more processes and product types, smart integration is crucial. This also enables the seamless

Vanderlande will be exhibiting solutions from the Smart Item Robotics platform at ProMat 2017 (3 to 6 April) in Chicago.

‘A Future That Works: Automation, Employment and Productivity’ – McKinsey & Company ‘Fully Autonomous Robots: The Warehouse Workers of the Near Future’ – Robbie Whelan (The Wall Street Journal)

Reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation

Adapt to a rapidly changing market with flexible and scalable solutions > 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? Visit us during Logimat 2017, Stuttgart Germany from 14 to 16 March and experience how together we can continuously improve your operations. Learn how automating your DC makes life easier and faster! >

2017 Meet us at stand no. 1J21

Warehouse Management


Product news

Peli BioThermal Crēdo Cargo now available worldwide


eli BioThermal’s advanced new pallet shipper system, Crēdo Cargo, is now available to buy and rent for the first time with the highly engineered, passive temperaturecontrolled bulk shipper offering high performance and robust reliability for the global transportation of pharmaceutical payloads. Following an intensive design, testing and qualification process the pallet accepting bulk shipper is in full production. The production version was unveiled at the 16th Annual Temperature Controlled Logistics, Europe event, held at London’s ExCel exhibition centre recently. Peli BioThermal reports that Crēdo Cargo provides many unique design features within the temperature controlled packaging sector including utilising PCM (phase change material) coolants incorporating innovative slot-in system mechanism designed for rapid loading and unloading, and has a duration in excess of five days. The reusable system, designed specifically to accept a full ISO pallet, is helping to revolutionise the temperature-controlled bulk shipper market.

controlled bulk shipper, which he believes will transform and change cold chain bulk shipments for the pharmaceutical manufacturing and life sciences industries. He added that the Crēdo Cargo is a pallet accepting shipper, “so it’s load and go of the payload from a client’s temperature controlled warehouse into the protection of the Crēdo Cargo and safe transit on to the final destination”.

Extensive research and development The product is the result of intensive and extensive research and development collectively carried out by Peli BioThermal’s New Product Development team. The development process has been documented via a diary of innovation video available soon on the Peli BioThermal website. According to Peli BioThermal, the Crēdo Cargo is a robust, reliable, high performance pallet accepting system provides a tough external wall construction designed to absorb and deflect impacts and is purposefully designed for four-way pallet jack and forklift handling.

announce the production of the new Crēdo Cargo bulk shippers – this product is a real game changer in the industry. Our industry renowned qualification and testing process is second to none so customers can have the confidence in this product that possesses an easy to use coolant loading system and is flat-pack, modular and stackable.” The new bulk shipper, utilising PCM coolants coupled with the unique slot-in components, ensures high performance and consistent temperature stability in excess of 120 hours. Peli BioThermal believes its robust design makes it ideal for the rigours of global logistics applications. With a volume of 1856L and covering temperature ranges +2C to +8C, +15C to +25C and -20C, Peli BioThermal maintains that Crēdo Cargo sets new standards in the global, bulk shipper market. The latest qualification data reveals Crēdo Cargo’s capabilities and key benefits which are: • • •

David Williams, the president of Peli BioThermal, said the company was delighted to introduce its new passive temperature-

Greg Wheatley, Peli BioThermal’s vice president of worldwide product development and engineering, said: “It is very exciting to

• •

• • •

Innovative reusable pallet shipper utilising PCM coolants. Duration in excess of 120 hours, performance tested to ISTA 7D. Max payload capacity of 1000KG and pallet accepting design. 270 degrees single door access for ease of loading and unloading. Lightweight and sturdy impact resistant design with tough external wall construction to absorb and deflect impacts and built to withstand the rigours of global logistics applications. Designed to be flat packed and stackable for storage or for returns to base. Integral viewing windows to monitor condition of VIP panels. Quick and easy assembly.

It is available for the first time to rent via Peli BioThermal’s Crēdo on Demand programme, which offers a high performance, flexible rental programme for temperature controlled pallet shippers, with global reach.





March 2017

Warehouse Management



Dimensioning solutions in the spotlight as warehouses strive to modernise, according to VDC Research


imensioning solutions (also known as cubing solutions) are data capture devices that utilise multiple technologies to enable data capture and cubing of objects and items. According to VDC’s latest report, dimensioning solutions have been used for products and parcels for efficient storage, package sizing, and quality checks, mainly in the transportation and logistics industries. Since 2015, major third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL have been shifting away from traditional models in favor of newer dimensional weightbased pricing models. Competitive differentiation, optimising storage, compliance with dimension-based (DIM) pricing, optimising available assets, and order fulfilment were cited as the key drivers behind investments into dimensioning solutions. “The niche dimensioning market today consists of only a small number of participants and presents plenty of opportunity to automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) new entrants to expand their footprint in the warehouse,” said Shahroze Husain, research associate, autoID and data capture at VDC. Leading dimensioning solution vendors include CubiScan, Datalogic, Mettler Toledo, Postea, and SICK.

VDC’s research explains that dimensioning solutions are valuable to the operations of many wholesalers and distributors in order to optimise the limited space available to organisations today. “The e-commerce sales boom has made effective space management a top priority as companies grapple with cramped warehouses due to increased throughput,” said Husain. The shift towards ecommerce has also placed operational pressure on organizations to improve upon inbound and outbound processes via automated solutions.

operations as automation solutions and dimensioning can work very effectively together to increase storage density, accurately capture valuable data, and improve overall operational efficiencies. “Going forward, competitive differentiation, storage/asset optimisation, compliance with dimension-based (DIM) pricing, and improving service will be the major driving forces in adoption of dimensioning solutions for organisations. For vendors to stand apart and succeed in this space, the ability to offer local support, uninterrupted integration with existing systems, and regular software updates for systems are vital to ensuring success,” said Husain.

Continuing vendor R&D General interest in dimensioning solutions is restricted by the challenges of integration and high costs associated with owning, maintaining, and managing dimensional systems. VDC’s study shows that the inability of current investments to accurately measure irregular shapes, slow dimensioning speeds, scanning errors due to colour/shape, and hardware integration challenges are all additional hurdles that serve as barriers to adoption. Vendors are likely to continue to research and develop new solutions with the goal of improving speed, convenience, and efficiency, while also growing affordability. Solution providers believe dimensioning will become an integral part of the organisation’s

VDC RESEARCH AT A GLANCE Founded in 1971, VDC Research provides in-depth insights to technology vendors, end users, and investors across the globe. As a market research and consulting firm, VDC’s coverage of AutoID, enterprise mobility, industrial automation, and IoT and embedded technologies helps clients make critical decisions with confidence. Offering syndicated reports and custom consultation, VDC’s methodologies consistently provide accurate forecasts and thought leadership for deeply technical markets. VDC is located in Natick, Massachusetts US.



March 2017



Supply Chain

Success story

Maersk and IBM unveil industrywide cross-border supply chain solution on blockchain IBM and Maersk have announced a new collaboration to use blockchain technology to help transform the global, cross-border supply chain.


he blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk, the transport and logistics solutions provider, will be made available to the shipping and logistics industry. The solution will help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitising the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners. When adopted at scale, the solution has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars.

Some 90% of goods in global trade are carried by the ocean shipping industry each year. IBM and Maersk intend to work with a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities to build the new global trade digitisation solution, which is expected to go into production later this year. It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of trading by using blockchain technology to establish transparency among parties. The solution is designed to help reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and ultimately reduce waste and cost. Maersk found in 2014 that just a simple shipment of refrigerated goods from East Africa to Europe can go through nearly 30 people and organisations, including more than 200 different interactions and communications among them. In order to prove the potential value of a commercial trade digitisation solution, IBM and Maersk have worked with a number of





March 2017

trading partners, government authorities and logistics companies. For example, goods from Schneider Electric were transported on a Maersk Line container vessel from the Port of Rotterdam to the Port of Newark in a pilot with the Customs Administration of the Netherlands under an EU research project. The US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, and US Customs and Border Protection are also participating in this pilot. Damco, Maersk's supply chain solutions company, supported origin management activities of the shipment while utilising the solution. The international shipment of flowers to Royal FloraHolland from Kenya, Mandarin oranges from California, and pineapples from Colombia were also used to validate the solution for shipments coming into the Port of Rotterdam.

Decreasing fraud and increasing security "As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitize global trade, we are excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security," said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, Maersk. "The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems and create new innovative business models for the entire industry. We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries."

Improved workflow and real-time visibility on the status of each shipment International trading parties require both improved workflow and better visibility. They need a faster, security rich and more efficient way to handle the documentation processes needed to move goods across international borders. The costs associated with trade documentation processing and administration are estimated to be up to one-fifth the actual physical transportation costs. A single vessel can carry thousands of shipments, and on top of the costs to move the paperwork, the documentation to support it can be delayed, lost or misplaced, leading to further complications. How it works: • Blockchain, an immutable, security rich and transparent shared network, provides each participant end-to-end visibility based on their level of permission. • Each participant in a supply chain ecosystem can view the progress of goods through the supply chain, understanding where a container is in transit. They can also see the status of customs documents, or view bills of lading and other data. • Detailed visibility of the container's progress through the supply chain is enhanced with the real-time exchange of original supply chain events and documents. • No one party can modify, delete or even append any record without the consensus from others on the network. • This level of transparency helps reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and ultimately reduce waste and cost.

Success story

The solution enables the real-time exchange of original supply chain events and documents through a digital infrastructure, or data pipeline, that connects the participants in a supply chain ecosystem. This promotes sustainable transport by integrating shipping processes and partners, and establishing evaluation frameworks through increased transparency and trusted access. An industry standard API for the centralized sharing of data and shipping information via the Cloud was originally conceived by Frank Heijmann, head of trade relations, Customs Administration of the Netherlands, and David Hesketh, head of customs research and development, HM Revenue and Customs. In close cooperation with the European Commission services (Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs and the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union), it was further developed under the EU FP7 CORE demonstrator project. "The Customs Administration of the Netherlands see the data pipeline as a tool supporting the balance between trade facilitation and enforcement, where information sharing in supply chains is

optimized from a commercial perspective, and government authorities can re-use that information flow for supervision purposes," said Heijmann. "It supports the needs of trade and governments in global supply chains, as it improves efficiency, compliance and security. The supply chain visibility serves all of those needs." For shippers, the planned solution can help reduce trade documentation and processing costs and help eliminate delays associated with errors in the physical movement of paperwork. It will also provide visibility of the container as it advances through the supply chain. For customs authorities, the solution is intended to give real time visibility, significantly improving the information available for risk analysis and targeting, which may eventually lead to increased safety and security as well as greater efficiency in border inspection clearance procedures.

Supply Chain

change the way global trade is done," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, Industry Platforms, IBM. "Working closely with Maersk for years, we've long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognised the opportunity for blockchain to potentially provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem. Bringing together our collective expertise, we created a new model the industry will be able to use to help improve the transparency and efficiency of delivering goods around the globe." The solution developed by Maersk and IBM is based on the open source Linux Foundation's open source Hyperledger Fabric. The solution is expected to be widely available to support multiple parties across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem later this year. IBM hosts the solution on the IBM Cloud and the IBM high-security business network, delivered via IBM Bluemix.

Transformative technology “We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and



March 2017





IoT heading for mass adoption by 2019 driven by better-than-expected business results A new global study 'The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow' published by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, reveals that IoT will soon be widespread as 85% of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency.

hile the analysis confirms

investment, yet post-adoption, 32% of

IoT in the workplace has improved the

the clear business benefits

executives realised profit increases. Similarly,

effectiveness of their IT team, and 75% find

from investments in IoT,

only 29% of executives expected their IoT

it has increased profitability.

Aruba's report cautions

strategies to result in business efficiency

that connecting thousands

improvements, whereas actual results show

The industrial sector increases business

that 46% experienced efficiency gains.

efficiency and visibility through IoT-enabled


of things to existing business networks has already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organisations.

monitoring and maintenance: Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing at

• More than six in ten (62%) respondents in

Aruba, commented: "With the business

the industrial sector have already

The research questioned 3100 IT and

benefits of IoT surpassing expectations, it's no

implemented IoT. Using IoT to monitor and

business decision makers across 20 countries

surprise that the business world will move

maintain essential industrial functions was

to evaluate the current state of IoT and its

towards mass adoption by 2019. But with

identified as the most impactful use case in

impact across different industries. The study

many executives unsure of how to apply IoT to

the sector. Today, the use of IP-based

shows that while virtually all business leaders

their business, those who succeed in

surveillance cameras for physical security

(98%) have an understanding of IoT, many are

implementing IoT are well positioned to gain a

within industrial organizations is still in its

unclear of the exact definition of IoT and what

competitive advantage."

infancy, with only 6% having implemented it. However, when asked about future

it means for their business.

implementations, surveillance jumped five-

commissioned by Aruba, technology visionary

How Global organisations are using IoT

Kevin Ashton—who coined the term 'Internet

Aruba's research reveals varying levels of IoT

business efficiency and another 80% have

of Things'— presents the following definition:

maturity across different industry sectors. The

found improved visibility across the

"The 'Internet of Things' means sensors

following five vertical industries are leaders in


connected to the Internet and behaving in an

their adoption of IoT and have realised

Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc

tangible business benefits from a focused, use

Healthcare introduces IoT to improve

connections, sharing data freely and allowing

case approach to adoption.

patient monitoring, reduce cost and foster

unexpected applications, so computers can

[subhead italics] Enterprises create a smart


understand the world around them and

workplace for productivity and efficiency:

• Coming in as the third most advanced in its

become humanity's nervous system."

• Over seven in ten (72%) enterprises have

In his new eBook 'Making Sense of IoT',

fold to 32%. • Across the sector, 83% report increased

implementation of IoT, 60% of healthcare organisations globally have introduced IoT

introduced IoT devices into the workplace.

The expectations dividend

Indoor location-based services ranks as the second most promising use case to improve

devices into their facilities. • Across the sector, 42% of executives rank

When examining the business benefits of IoT,

employee productivity, after remote

monitoring and maintenance as the number

Ashton discovered that the real-world benefits

monitoring. Some 20% report remote

one use of IoT—higher than all other

gained from IoT exceeded even the original

operation of building lighting and

sectors. This underscores the importance of IoT-enabled patient monitoring in the

expectations. This 'expectations dividend' is

temperature as a key use case, but that

evident in two key performance areas:

number more than doubles to 53% when

business efficiency and profitability.

asked about future IoT implementations.

As an example, only 16% of business leaders projected a large profit gain from their IoT


IT March 2017



• Looking at the tangible results being

modern healthcare industry. • Eight in ten report an increase in innovation and another 73% report cost savings.

realized today, 78% say the introduction of



Retailers engage with customers and boost

cost of implementation (50%), maintenance

IoT deployments within their facilities and

sales using indoor location technology:

(44%) and integration of legacy technology

determine any potential threats that may be

• Just 49% of retailers are using IoT

(43%) were highlighted as key issues.


improved customer experiences. An

Most notably, security flaws were found

Ashton concluded: "Since its inception in

improved customer experience is likely to

across many IoT deployments. The study

1999, the Internet of Things has been

have a significant impact on customer

found that 84% of organisations have

ridiculed, criticised, and misunderstood. And

loyalty and ultimately, revenue.

experienced an IoT-related security breach.

yet here we are, less than two decades later,

More than half of respondents declared that

in a world where tens of thousands of

personalized offers and product information

external attacks are a key barrier to

organisations are saving and making

to shoppers was touted as the number one

embracing and adopting an IoT strategy. This

hundreds of millions of dollars from the

implementation for IoT, alongside monitoring

confirms that a holistic IoT security strategy,

Internet of Things, using cars that drive

and maintenance. Four in ten retailers

built on strong network access control and

themselves, subway stations that sense

ranked surveillance in their top three key

policy management, will not only protect

passengers, algorithms that diagnose deadly

use cases.

enterprises but also simplify the security

diseases using phones, and many other once

approach for IT.

apparently-impossible technologies. The

technology, but 81% of these report

• In-store location services delivering

future promises far more amazing things. The

Governments lag in IoT adoption, struggle with legacy technology but still reduce

The ability to capture and effectively use data

most important decision you can make now is


is described by Kevin Ashton as ‘what defines

how to be a part of it."

• The slowest sector to adopt IoT, only 42%

the Internet of Things’, but this appears to be

of municipalities have deployed IoT devices

another clear challenge for global

and sensors. A third (35%) of IT decision

organisations. While nearly all (98%) of

makers claim their executives have little to

organisations that have adopted IoT claim

A total of 3100 IT and business decision

no understanding of IoT, double the global

that they can analyse data, almost all

makers were interviewed in November and

average, suggesting that lack of education

respondents (97%) feel there are challenges

December 2016. The respondents were from

is the biggest barrier to mass adoption in

to creating value from this data. Well over a

organisations of at least 500 employees, and

this sector.

third (39%) of businesses are not extracting or

were from both public and private sectors, but

• While nearly half (49%) of government IT

analysing data within corporate networks, and

with a focus on the industrial, government,

departments are struggling with legacy

are thereby missing out on insights that could

retail, healthcare, education, construction,

technology, seven in ten IoT adopters in the

improve business decisions.

finance, and

Research methodology

IT/technology/telecommunications sectors.

public sector report cost savings and improved organisational visibility as the

Kozup commented: "While IoT grows in

Interviews were conducted both online and

major benefits.

deployment, scale and complexity, proper

via telephone using a rigorous multi-level

security methodologies to protect the network

screening process to ensure that only suitable

The data context and security challenge

and devices, and more importantly, the data

candidates were given the opportunity to

and insights they extract, must also keep

participate. Respondents were interviewed in

pace. If businesses do not take immediate

the UK, Italy, Germany, France, the

Alongside these positive returns, the study

steps to gain visibility and profile the IoT

Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Turkey,

also uncovers a number of obstacles that IT

activities within their offices, they run the risk

UAE, Saudi Arabia, the US, Singapore, Japan,

leaders feel are preventing IoT from delivering

of exposure to potentially malicious activities.

Australia, India, Brazil, Mexico, China and

greater business impact. In particular, the

Aruba is enabling customers to rapidly assess

South Korea.



March 2017





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