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What Is ERP’s Role in Supply Chain Management?

In recent years, supply chains have become more complex and more widespread. This has driven industrial businesses to integrate enterprise resource planning (ERP) within their supply chain management (SCM) systems, thus enhancing existing systems with more information and actionable data.

Here are five ways, according to Laura Ross at thomasnet.com, that ERP systems can be used to augment SCM processes.

  1. Customer Service. Integrated ERP solutions have the potential to transform an organization’s ability to deliver high-quality customer service.
  2. Efficiency. ERP software amasses all of an organization’s data into one, centralized database, enabling informed, intelligent decision-making and highlighting areas along the supply chain that are operating inefficiently, such as warehouse space wastage or production bottlenecks.
  3. Risk. In the face of such uncertainty and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, organizations will be more eager than ever before to improve supply chain transparency and implement more effective resource planning. ERP systems can help organizations to mitigate the effects of disruptive, unanticipated events.
  4. Inventory Management. Inventory management is a top concern for organizations. One wrong calculation could disrupt the entire supply chain, causing delays, unhappy customers, and production bottlenecks. On the other hand, hoarding excess inventory wastes warehouse space and racks up unnecessary costs.
  5. Production and Shipping Tracking. ERP systems effectively log and track every step of the production and shipping journey. The software can also determine the most appropriate packaging method and specify the criteria for quality control.

 

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10 cloud ERP implementation challenges during COVID-19

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) cloud systems can help your company create digital transformation and open the door for more opportunities. There are a few challenges that take place, however, when implementing a new system – especially in the current economic struggle. Eric St-Jean shares an article on TechTarget of 10 cloud ERP implementation challenges during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Resistance. Stakeholders may not want to move forward with an ERP implementation because of the pandemic. To mitigate this resistance, you need to show how the ERP project will save the company money, position your organization to increase revenues, or both. Explain that you can mitigate some of that uncertainty, however, by using the tools and strategies of past implementations for today’s reality.
  2. Employees distracted with personal responsibilities. With schools and day cares closed, many employees now have additional responsibilities, such as helping their children with schoolwork and caring for young children. It is best to work with your employees to understand their challenges and find options for them that allow the employees to continue contributing to the project.
  3. Data security. A successful cloud ERP implementation depends on good security, and that can be hard to come by right now. While you may not be able to provide a secure physical work environment for remote workers, you can take steps to mitigate the risk.
  4. Internet and cellphone access. For employees living in the city, getting fast internet access and good coverage on their cellphone can be pretty easy. For employees who live in remote areas, these can be challenging and costly
  5. Hardware needs. Depending on the functionality you are implementing, employees developing and testing the ERP system may need to have access to hardware, such as scanners.
  6. Sudden illness. Even under normal circumstances, there’s always the risk that a member of the team will fall ill. To prepare for the worst-case scenario, you should have employees document their work and update their status on a regular basis.
  7. Training. It will be important to have different training methods available to employees, such as live training over videoconferencing software, documentation, tip sheets and e-learning.
  8. Multiple time zones. Some of your ERP implementation team members may work in other countries and time zones, which presents challenges when scheduling meetings. Try to arrange core hours where everyone is available.
  9. Meetings without body language. Someone’s physical reaction to information they are receiving or sharing can often give clues about how the person feels on the topic. With so much information sharing now being done remotely, it’s not always possible to see a person’s physical reaction.
  10. Communication. With so many employees working remotely, it’s even more important to develop a good communication plan at the outset of the project.

 

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Chuo Spring Adopts Infor ERP Solution at Overseas Sites to Improve Business Visibility and Standardize Operations Globally

Infor Japan K.K., Japanese subsidiary of Infor, recently announced that Chuo Spring Co., Ltd., an automotive components manufacturer, has adopted at its Indonesian sites Infor CloudSuite Industrial, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for manufacturing industries. This will enhance business visibility and standardize its operations globally. Per the press release, Chuo Spring made the decision to use Infor CloudSuite Industrial as a dedicated core system for its overseas sites, and deploy the solution in its Indonesian sites, in recognition of its ability to adapt Japanese standardized operations to sites overseas and support centralized management and global operations from its Japanese head office. Kenta Koide, vice president, member of the board, Chuo Spring Co., Ltd., says of this adoption, “To enable continued expansion at Chuo Spring, we needed an ERP solution to visualize our overseas site data in real time and enable data-driven business decisions. In addition to the rich functionality and proven achievements for global manufacturing businesses offered by Infor’s ERP solution, we were impressed with its versatility, flexible licensing structure, and development environment enabling easy implementation and meeting local requirements.”

 

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How to protect ERP data when access to corporate networks is both ubiquitous and for sale on the dark web

With the current pandemic, remote working has become a new norm for the majority of the workplace. With this new way of doing things, networks may be vulnerable to malicious acts in software viruses and especially information gathering in the dark web. Piyush Pandey shares an article on SecurityMagazine.com how to protect your enterprise resource planning (ERP) data in these conditions. Ensuring ERP data security, privacy and compliance can no longer rely solely on network threat monitoring. It requires layed identity defense to limit access to and within mission-critical appliances.

Here are some ways to protect your ERP data from being sold to networks in the dark web:

Start with securing your crown jewel ERP systems. “Organizations looking to accelerate their data security maturity can choose to lock down access across their ERP systems for a “quick win.” According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 67 percent of 2019 data breaches arose from credential theft, social engineering attacks, or errors that enabled malicious actors to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.”

Continuously monitor privileged user activity and behavior. “With Attribute-based access controls (ABAC), organizations can set fine-grained access controls that mitigate risks. Privileged users, such as system administrators, need superuser access to do their jobs. While ABAC provides some level of control that can limit the data they access, their job functions require them to add users, delete payees and engage in other potentially risky activities across the ERP ecosystem.”

Creating layered defense at the identity perimeter to strengthen data security. “By establishing dynamic, attribute-based controls, companies can more precisely define access to ERP resources. Data masking or hiding sensitive information not necessary to the job function creates an additional security layer. Users not only are limited in their access but by masking the data, the access granted eliminates excess access risks associated with visibility of unnecessary, sensitive data. An organization’s payroll manager may not need to see employees’ account information to process the payments. Thus, limiting access and masking data create a double layer of defense.

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Europe’s Largest Retail Floral Supplier Modernizes ERP Environment to Stay Ahead of Competition

Dutch Flower Group (DFG), the world’s largest flower and plants trader, has selected Infor CloudSuite M3 for its subsidiaries Bloom – Green Partners, Van Dijk Flora, Superflora and JZ Flowers to help automate business processes to improve the use of resources and increase efficiency. With the need of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to help further automate operations and finance, Infor was the best fit for the Dutch Flower Group to meet their needs. “After a thorough analysis, we selected Infor because of their proven industry-specific solution and great fit with the team,” said Michel van Hout, CIO at Dutch Flower Group. Per the press release, with Infor CloudSuite M3, Dutch Flower Group is investing in its future by enhancing its backend technology to better meet the growing needs of its industry and customers.

 

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De Menken Keuken Selects Infor M3 ERP Solution to Support Growth and Boost Future Goals

De Menken Keuken has selected Infor M3 ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to support growth, increase efficiency and help provide business continuity. De Menken Keuken produces a wide range of salads, sauces and meat products for retail, catering and hospitality customers. This is done mainly under private label. Its portfolio includes the Albert Heijn supermarket brand Saladespecialiteiten, carpaccio from de Vleeschmeesters, and a selection of tapenades and hummus spreads. Per the press release, By standardizing with Infor M3, De Menken Keuken can migrate from its existing IBM AS/400 solution to a modern, innovative, and industry-specific system that can help them navigate challenges while helping control costs, reduce manual work and boost efficiency.

 

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Don’t Make These 15 Common Mistakes When Building Your Company’s ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are the ideal tools to help a company run more smoothly. ERP systems can integrate all the important business processes including HR, sales, marketing, finance and supply chain. This readily accessible tool can save time and money, but only if implemented and used correctly. To help you on your journey to building an ideal ERP, be sure to avoid these 15 mistakes noted by the members of Forbes Technology Council.

  1. Over-Customization
  2. Making Technology-Out Decisions
  3. Not Incorporating Automation And Data Analytics
  4. Failing To Capture Historical Institutional Knowledge
  5. Not Aligning Business Needs And Operational Goals
  6. Only Viewing ERP As An Asset Management Tool
  7. Ignoring Opportunities To Re-Engineer Business Processes As You Build
  8. Trying To Fit Your Business To The ERP
  9. Straying Too Far From Your Core Functionality
  10. Over-Dependence On ERP
  11. Failing To Define Workflow Processes For Each Department
  12. Not Testing Your Proof Of Concept First
  13. Overlooking Data Governance
  14. Underestimating The Required Time And Resources
  15. Excluding End-Users From The Decision-Making Process

 

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Tips For Managing A Successful Remote ERP Implementation

With this current pandemic urging people to stay home, online shopping has become more of a demand. This may be a good thing at first, but businesses have either shut down, changed courses or forced to find alternative means to operate. Shipping, logistics and supply chain management are more important than ever to maintain. Jay Deakins, Founder and CEO of Deacom, shares an article on Forbes some tips for managing a successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation remotely.

Understand Your Team’s Bandwidth. “Every company is different, and only your team can determine if now is the right moment to upgrade your ERP software. It will require an initial investment of dollars, time and resources, but done right, it will streamline all of your operations, from formulation and product development through production, shipping, warehousing, sales and accounting.”

Embrace Technology For Improved Efficiency. Deakins says of his team, “Though our team traditionally managed about 80% of an ERP implementation remotely, until recently, we still sent team members to be on-site at a customer’s facility for three critical events: the project kickoff, the conference room pilot and the go-live launch. We are now conducting the entire process remotely using tools such as GoToMeeting and webcam-enabled tablets, and we have been pleased to discover a few unexpected benefits from this transition.”

Pandemic or not, an ERP implementation is a major undertaking for your entire team, but its return on investment is worthwile. With the help of technology and a strong and motivated team, there’s no reason that you cannot achieve a smooth and successful remote ERP launch.

 

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Altaïr Group to Deploy Infor M3 for International Growth

Infor recently announced that Altaïr Group, a French chemical group composed of six leading companies in the field of cleaning products, fabric softeners, insecticides and repair pastes and putties, has decided to deploy the enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, Infor M3. It will become the standard system for managing processes and sharing information between the group’s various entities. Per the press release, Altaïr Group has entrusted Infor to support the deployment of the M3 solution and outsourcing the IT servers and setting up a data centre in Lille, France, to serve the various entities of the group. This will help centralize information, improve communication between subsidiaries and share best practices. Infor M3 will help manage operations related to purchases/sales, production (manufacturing of chemical formulas and packaging), logistics, quality control and finance.

 

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Simple Trends That Will Continue to Drive ERP

Darren Roos shares an article at Manufacturing.net about the impact that enterprise resource planning (ERP) has for organizations. When paired up with other strong technological players such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), open APIs and the cloud, ERP systems can be so powerful. Roos shares the following trends and their impact on ERP.

APIs Open for Business
“Open APIs allow a wide range of client-side functions to be integrated into systems easily and quickly. They allow development to happen at pace because there are no hidden complexities, and they permit inbound and outbound connections to the digital core with the greatest possible flexibility and speed.”

Success in the Cloud
“Only by going fully cloud can organizations really reap the benefits. In doing this organizations will allow themselves to take full advantage of the AI and open API trends already noted.”

At Your Service
“Expect the term ‘servitization’ to become much more widely known as the business approach it describes takes a firm hold. Traditionally, manufacturers make ‘goods’ which are sold to customers by intermediaries. That is changing, and manufacturers are moving closer to their customers.”

 

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