GDPR is Coming

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline is upon us – literally. The fines are quite steep if a business is caught not complying properly… I’ve read upwards of 20 million dollars — or 20% of gross profits.

No one is ignoring the potentiality of such penalties. However, I must admit, getting a handle on the “ins and outs” of the GDPR regulations and compliance with them is daunting. I feel I’ve barely scratched the service, and I’ve been putting in a solid amount of due diligence.

Which is why when I come across a simple article, such as Timothy King’s article, 5 Steps to Fast-Track GDPR Compliance: Tips From an Industry Insider, I read it with gratitude.

Most businesses these days are capturing and storing data – functionality is based on the ability to do so. And the internet has made international business available to everyone; you probably have your eyes on this already. But just in case…

5 Steps to Fast-Track GDPR Compliance: Tips From an Industry Insider covers the following:

  • Documentation
  • Traceability
  • Security
  • Anonymization
  • Organizational Awareness

Though there is a lot of cautionary information, there is also the benefits with the article ending with a “Benefits of GDPR Compliance”.

It is an easy to understand article – I recommend taking a look.

And if you’d like some help with making sure your business systems are ready for GDPR compliance, be sure to give us a call.

(read entire article)

Food and Beverage ERP Cookbook

Discover how SYSPRO ERP Software Provides Solutions That Simplify the Complexity of Managing a Food and Beverage ERP in our Exclusive Cookbook

SYSPRO is the leading ERP software provider to the Food and Beverage industry. With innovative solutions industry-built to address the unique needs of food and beverage companies, SYSPRO gives you all the tools you need to effectively, profitably, and safely run your business. Download our exclusive Cookbook filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to navigate the food and beverage industry.

This ERP Cookbook includes:

  • Custom recipe cards to help you navigate the daily obstacles your business is faced with: regulatory compliance, financial management, inventory, lot traceability, quality, and recipe and formula management
  • The critical ingredient for food and beverage business – SYSPRO ERP for Food and Beverage Industry Brochure
  • Getting the mix right – an eBook to help you navigate compliance complexity
  • A tasty result – Case Studies featuring SYSPRO ERP software customers and their successes with SYSPR

Us this link to download our ERP Cookbook:
Food and Beverage ERP Cookbook

Improve Process Performance and Realize Significant Cost Savings

In today’s strategy + business post by Dan Priest, Kumar Krishnamurthy, and Alex Blanter, The New Automation Is Smart, Fast, and Small, they write:

Intelligent technologies such as robotic process automation, machine learning, and natural language processing systems offer companies new opportunities to improve process performance and realize significant cost savings. These technologies can be implemented in short sprints, focused on a specific problem, with manageable costs.

They go on to state that small automation implementation resources can be quickly brought online to fill in system gaps.

The potential impact is striking: Small automation can improve the productivity of individual processes by 80 to 100 percent (the top of the range reflects a transition to a touchless solution) and overall functions by 20 percent or more.

It is an excellent article, especially following what we saw at this month’s Modex 2018 show. It speaks of the challenges and mentions three steps recommended for company leaders to consider when upgrading ERP systems or implementing smaller “gap fill” systems; focus on value, consider the future of work, take a big picture view.

If you have an ERP/CMS/WMS in place, or you’re considering how to improve process performance of systems already installed, you’ll find very valuable information in this post. (Click here to read post.)

MODEX 2018 delivers opportunities to future-proof food processing plants

As the speed of manufacturing and supply chain operations continues to accelerate, the future of the industry depends on today’s forward-thinking decisions. From illuminating education to next-generation technology and equipment in action, MODEX lets you see what’s coming — and take advantage of it to “future-proof” your supply chain for years to come.

Powered by MHI, Charlotte, N.C., MODEX 2018 took place April 9-12 in Atlanta, connecting over 850 leading providers to showcase key industry trends and innovations.

In fact, MHI, Charlotte, N.J., and Deloitte Consulting LLP, New York, teamed up to produce “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption,” an annual industry report that provides an up-to-date perspective on emerging supply chain trends.

Here’s a rundown of some of the latest innovations in equipment and solutions introduced and showcased at MODEX 2018:

Strategic partnership improves WMS implementation

Worldwide Chain Stores (WCS), Chicago, and Operations Resource Group (ORG) Consulting, Brentwood, Calif., announced a strategic partnership, creating offerings of next-generation WMS with an implementation methodology that ensures greater accuracy and improved efficiencies.

Worldwide Chain Stores
312-264-1960

www.wwchainstores.com
Operations Resource Group Consulting
925-234-9201

http://org-consult.com

The Evolution of the Software Layer That Sits Between Automation and Higher-level Warehouse Management

So while the robots drew the eyes at Modex, it’s really the evolution of the software layer that sits between automation and higher-level warehouse management that bears some closer watching. The traditional lines between automation, WCS, and WMS continued to blur at Modex 2018, and there are new vendor offerings coming into the market with advanced analytics that are quite different from the monitoring and reporting typically found within WCS deployments. The need to better manage both labor and machines in digital-age fulfillment centers, along with the intensive piece picking and order cycle pressures that entails, is driving the evolution of this crucial software layer.

Roberto Michel of Modern Materials Handling (MMH) has a wonderful, brief wrap-up of Modex 2018. Robotics & virtual reality were the flashiest, attention grabbing elements at this years trade-show. However, as Michel points out, a system that manages the automated machinery and the human labor is central to a successful distribution. If anything, automation, robotics and virtual reality has added more moving pieces that need to be overseen – and when you factor in the HR requirements and financials… it can be quite overwhelming.

Use the link below to read Michel’s complete article – and remember, with the recent additions to Operations Resource Group team, any requirements you now have for warehouse management and customer relationship management – we are your complete enterprise resource planning ally. We work with you to design a system tailored specifically to your needs and operations.

(read complete wrap-up)

ERP must work harder to build competitive advantage for companies: Steve Murphy

Skimming through some ERP news items, because there is always something new to learn on a Saturday afternoon, I came across this very quick read on The Economic Times website. I was about to move on to more pertinent information since this seemed to be about ERP opportunities and business in India, which isn’t our current core market concentration.

However, something at the end Steve Murphy says caught my eye:

One of the key opportunities for ERP to become far more responsive and useful to its customers is the development of Internet of Things (IoT). In the near future every aspect of a manufacturing and engineering company’s business is set to be revolutionised.

This falls right in line with our methodology for business system consulting and implementation. (Yes; ORG also does the work along with consulting and analysis.)

We embrace the philosophy that eliminating as many middle layers or steps as possible will optimize performance and efficiency in any process.

So much thought seems to get caught up in the “bells and whistles” of ERP, CMS, Warehouse & Distribution Logistics Systems — the automated processes of business systems. However, our years of experience continually reminds us that the real brilliance of automated systems comes from adapting them to business systems already in place; not bending the company and people to the “will” of the program. This is what should be attractive to any company considering ERP opportunities and growth.

As is also stated in the interview, Murphy states, “ERP must work harder to build competitive advantage for companies, serving the user and providing information to the right people at the right time, to take action in the right way.”

Use this link to read Shelley Singh’s brief interview with Steve Murphy.

Reason to upgrade? Your ERP security

When implementing a new business system for automated processes, ERP security is a top-level item of concern. It is usually a given that your CRM and ERP security is cost effective in the long run. It is a worthy investment.

What about when your systems are launched? It sure is nice – and serves the bottom line – to have accessibility to data from multiple platforms and users. This ease of accessibility is probably one of the convincing points that got this new system approved. However, you only want to give access to the immediate and necessary team members.

In a very quick – and very informative article – Suryanarayan Kasichainula states:

Latest cloud-enabled ERP systems handle data from multiple devices and are accessed by multiple users across multiple platforms. This increases the vulnerability of the system and its processes.

As ERP and other cloud based systems become more popular, they are more likely to be targeted by nefarious coders. There is a reason the Windows system had far more trouble with attacks and viruses then Apple; popularity.

Operations Resource Group uses our same world-class methodology to assess upgrading your ERP/CRM systems as we do with helping you choose one and get it online. It is a relatively simple matter to upgrade your system and keep your ERP security locked-down tight. Let Kasichainula’s quick read (2 minutes) start an important discussion now.

Use this link to read Kasichainula’s complete article in Cyber Media (India).

The Internet of Things (to Come)

The Internet of things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Wikipedia

In an Information Week article this week, CTO Rick Veague states: “IoT (Internet of things) data on its own can provide insight into equipment health, asset status, the current location of a connected device, and other individual data points. But in order to deliver the benefits of digital transformation, it must be integrated with operational systems, and in most businesses, that means enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.”

Automation is a buzz word I am hearing a lot as this year’s business begins. As with all great ideas, and I do support the idea of automation, practical implementation — is going to get the best results.

Veague’s article is a rich, informative, and quick read. I point out quick because time is so precious, and I often find myself questioning the value of weeding my way through the mass amount of information available. And thus I appreciate when a trusted resource, or individual, points me to a valuable piece of information.

This article, Use IoT to Accelerate Digital Transformation, is a very valuable read. He draws from real-world examples of deployments that already exist to give bullet points of advise.

  • Lower your barrier to entry.
  • Minimize risk.
  • Focus on incremental results.

Read the whole article here.

(By the way, did you get my Yardbirds reference? Age me much?)

What you gonna do with all that… Data?

I’ve noticed one aspect about successful ERP, CRM, and WMS installations or upgrades that is often overlooked, or not given enough emphasis, is storage and access to data. We all get excited when we see information from different departments and operations quickly called up, analyzed, and integrated into a smoothly run business operation. And let’s not forget the ease of recovery when things do go wrong. Hey, we’re still human. Best to acknowledge mistakes and accidents will happen, and implement systems of recovery. And what supports these business operation systems? Data!

You need a solid storage system as a part of your business operation. It needs fail-safe systems; backups and access are of key importance. How much attention to storage are you giving to your implemented business processes. There are many IT individuals I can introduce you to who attempted to call attention to a data storage system in need of upgrading, and their calls went unheeded — always another priority and/or expense to push the call aside… until a real emergency occurs. Penny wise; pound foolish.

An article we read today about Chapman University’s storage upgrade was very encouraging; reading that Chapman U “expects to cut storage management burden by 95 percent”. This article shows the amazing benefits of a well thought-out data storage system as an integral part of automated processes.

The article is obviously showcasing Pure Storage. And we think it is a good read to help strengthen the importance and benefits of a best of class data storage system. Upgrades, data access, backups and cloning, are key to any business process.

Read Full Article Here

Software/System Integration: Can’t we all just get along?

Are your CRM and e-Commerce systems hooked-up, sharing key data and working seamlessly together with your ERP?

We ask that question right at the top of our “Bridges” page on our website. ORG has known for a long time that system integration is the lifeblood of a successful ERP and CMS for any company – regardless of size. Because we’ve operated from this understanding for over 20 years, we’re experts at integrating systems and adapting them to your unique business needs. It is a key element to ORG methodology.

It is no surprise to us that Tom Kelly, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Oracle NetSuite, start’s his article on CPAPracticeAdvisor.com with, “Companies today realize they can no longer put up with the struggles of legacy accounting applications that don’t integrate with other vital software systems…”

In Kelly’s article, 3 Ways CFOs Can Accelerate Payback from New Technology, he also contends that unless top-level executives are driving a companies change to new technology and updated ERP/CRM systems, the integration most likely will fail. I think our experience with system integration is in complete agreement.

The beginning of a new year is a time for assessing goals; starting new projects for the over-all improvement. So if you are considering implementing ERP and/or CMS for the first time – or looking to upgrade your current systems to meet company growth, give us a call.  We’re happy to share our experience with you and help you start the new year on a strong foundation.

And take a look at Tom Kelly’s article. He’s addressing CFOs; there’s great information in there for everyone involved in your business systems.

3 Ways CFOs Can Accelerate Payback from New Technology

By Tom Kelly, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Oracle NetSuite

Companies today realize they can no longer put up with the struggles of legacy accounting applications that don’t integrate with other vital software systems, with systems that leave finance personnel laboring with Excel workarounds and a slew of manual processes. It’s no longer acceptable to base critical business decisions on the often outdated or inaccurate information of these legacy systems.

Though many recognize that implementing a modern cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is an obvious answer — many that take start the transition are surprised by marginal improvements, slow user adoption, and unchanged processes that still rely on excel workarounds.

To ensure a smooth transition to cloud ERP, CFOs need to lead the charge. Executive sponsorship at the CEO and executive bench level is essential for organizations to realize full ERP’s benefits. It’s not strictly about using new technology — it’s also about executives driving a shift to a more digital, data-driven culture and ensuring that users embrace the new system.

(read entire article)