Write your ticket to business transformation

If business transformation is the best way to respond to disruption in your industry, what does that practically mean? Is there a step-by-step approach to mastering this?

 

The short answer: Yes, there is. But it’s not canned. You need to create it yourself, with the people and resources around you. It can be accomplished. Other companies have done very well transforming how they work and create value.

 

For company leadership, transformation is clearly personal, but it’s much the same across the organization. Transformation calls for resourcefulness, courage, and agility. You need to be ready to learn, question established ways of thinking and doing your job, and get more creative in serving customers.

 

Yet, disruption is not all hardship and discipline. There is a lot to look forward to. As Thomas Honoré and Tune Hein point out in their book, “Disrupt or die: Your guide to digital leadership challenges,” creative disruption may help us solve the world’s energy needs, accelerate medical treatment or healing in hospitals, or make our governments more service-focused and effective.

 

Today’s transformative technologies help companies channel disruption into strategies they can adopt and pursue. For instance, what we used to call “big data” is really an opportunity to use analytical and intelligence tools to make sense of the data masses in your company. You may find that you need the right kind of data to start with.

 

For example, some manufacturing transformations have begun with the companies collecting live data from their machinery and production environments, and subjecting them to analytics to see how their industrial assets and production processes perform at any moment, in any shift. Retail companies have augmented their stores of customer histories and transactional data with up-to-the-moment research into current developments in customer preferences and markets.

 

Based on real-time data and analytics from their operations and market segments, manufacturing and retail companies can better understand how disruptive events might affect them and how they can ride the wave – introduce faster, more targeted innovation, for example, or build closer customer engagements around a better customer experience.

 

Other technologies may be helpful in fueling transformation, as well. The internet of things (IoT), 3D-printing, robotics, and even cloud computing and modern mobility can play a role in transforming your business and ensuring its long-term viability. One of your early challenges is selecting an area of the operation that offers ample opportunities for improvement and using it as a proof-of-concept for a well-planned, low-risk transformation initiative, using technologies you can easily access.

 

After that, you can steer the transformation of your processes, business groups, products, and other parts of the operation into the direction that’s best for the company and its customers.

 

Download a free excerpt from “Disrupt or die: Your guide to digital leadership challenges” here. You can also view and download our infographic about disruption and transformation in the manufacturing industries.

A guide to solving compliance problems for discrete manufacturers

Non-compliance has the ability to destroy the reputation of any company, and its balance sheet, overnight.

Manufacturers are trying their best to combat challenges from low cost overseas competitors, by rising up the value chain and embracing the demand for higher quality standards.

Manufacturers are under greater pressure than at any time in history; trying to meet the ever-higher quality standards of their blue-chip customers, while fighting off competitors from low-wage offshore locations – and staying afloat in a stagnant economy.

Unsurprisingly some companies are buckling under the strain, especially as their compliance burden grows. After all, “every company is just one bad decision or just one ‘bad employee’, away from scandal”.

Let’s take a look into how discrete manufacturers can effectively manage the problem of compliance:

Business Process Modeling

Innovations in supply chain management and reporting software have enabled manufacturing companies to achieve better compliance performance through enhanced certification and specification tracking procedures. Working with your suppliers, the crucial information can be transmitted electronically, and then sorted, organized, and filed according to shipment dates and parts numbers.

Documenting these business processes should be done with a tight reference to IT systems, and needs to not only include the processes themselves, but also how system security and data audit is management, software such as Columbus Rapid Value, and Dynamic Security Management can help you to check those boxes.

Version control is also critical for ensuring that changes are managed and published correctly.

Quality management

A major concern of discrete manufacturers is that defects can take years to surface. With the need to continually release new models to stay competitive and satisfy customer demands, managing defects plays a significant role in the ability to stay competitive and profitable.

Quality management is key to a manufacturers’ ability to respond more effectively in product recall situations, ensuring consumer safety and mitigating risk and litigation exposure.

Processes must also include the appropriate control points to ensure that quality of materials, conversion processes and finished goods are as expected. Where a non-conformance is identified, root cause analysis needs to take place and corrective actions initiated and managed through to conclusion. This process can be supported by having full supply chain visibility and therefore being able to trace back to the start of the operation.

Traceability

The key purpose of traceable manufacturing is its ability to help manufacturers easily determine when a problem occurred and its associated details. It takes two forms. The first is known as product tracking, which is the capability to follow the path of a specified unit of a product through the supply chain as it moves between organizations. Products are routinely tracked for obsolescence, inventory management, and logistical purposes.

The second form, product tracing, is the capability to identify the origin of a particular unit and/or batch of product located within the supply chain by reference to records held upstream in the supply chain. Batch segregation helps in sorting out problems because when you determine which batch is bad, you only have to get rid of that single batch rather than destroying all of the products. This helps companies save on resources.

Traceability is another key component to maintaining compliance with manufacturing regulations.

How ERP can help

Admittedly such a project will take time, effort, finance and a genuine partnership with the correct software developer – as different manufacturers will require different solutions, and each niche industrial sector will have different regulatory and compliance challenges.

However, “an integrated ERP system … will give you the necessary support in adhering to the regulations, will not slow you down, but will free you to concentrate on manufacturing” says David J Caruso, a long-time specialist in manufacturing, supply chain and technology transformation strategies. Caruso has worked on ERP implementations for global brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Sun Microsystems, Rolls-Royce Motors and American Standard.

Learn more about how ERP can help to solve common discrete manufacturing problems, such as managing compliance by taking a look at our discrete manufacturing series below.

The discrete manufacturing series

Our series focuses on five common problems discrete manufacturers are currently facing, and how to solve them, including case study examples of where discrete manufacturers have implemented our solutions and seen success. The full series includes tip sheets – available for download – on:

How manufacturers can build additional revenue streams

How manufacturers can improve time-to-market

How to successfully manage mixed-mode manufacturing

How manufacturers can maximize the use of assets

How manufacturers can manage compliance effectively

Tridea Health Check for Microsoft Dynamics GP

Does your Microsoft Dynamics GP solution need a health check?

Does Microsoft no longer support your Dynamics GP solution?

Are your users struggling to access critical information?

Is your solution incompatible with your current hardware?

Have your business processes recently been modified?

Are you missing out on the newest features of Dynamics GP?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your Microsoft Dynamics GP solution could use a Tridea Health Check.

Over time, your business strategies, resources and needs change, ultimately affecting your technology solutions. Tridea Health Check allows you to take a proactive approach to ensure optimum productivity and availability of your line of business systems. Tridea will assess your Microsoft Dynamics GP system and the associated business processes to identify functional optimization opportunities.

Tridea health check includes:

Functional check-up:

  • Interview of key users and business area leaders within the organization to analyze how the solution is being used, current business needs and requirements.
  • Review of various solution parameters to assess whether the solution is configured in the most optimal way, based on the interviews with the staff and how they are processing within the solution.
  • Review your current GP version to see if you can benefit from a newer release of Microsoft Dynamics GP.
  • Review of how the organization is staffed and what processes are in place for providing support to their user community, for the purpose of recommending efficiency-gainers or cost-savings.

If interested in setting up a Tridea Health Check for your organization, visit our website submit the form below to get started!

www.trideapartners.com

5 reasons discrete manufacturers struggle to maximize the use of assets

Discrete manufacturers struggle to maximize the use of assets

Yet again, the discrete manufacturing industry is under pressure. With increased competition and a more demanding customer base forcing many manufacturers to look for new ways to increase their bottom line, it’s no surprise asset life extension is a popular topic.

Manufacturers can enhance their success by creating a proactive asset management culture, taking a more sophisticated approach to maintenance that optimizes asset performance and value. This is crucial for businesses to ensure that they can meet demand and reduce production costs.

Below are 5 common scenarios found in many discrete manufacturing organizations where maximizing the use of assets is a difficulty.

1. Reactive maintenance
Reactive maintenance is characterized by poor equipment performance, unpredictable breakdowns and ongoing minor plant stoppages. The poor condition of the equipment results in quality defects and stoppages, which in turn leads to unexpected production losses and overspend of the maintenance budget. Together, these can cause deficits that run into millions.

2. No proactive maintenance
When very little or no proactive maintenance exists, a “fire fighting” maintenance regime results, whereby temporary repairs or “band-aid” solutions are regularly applied to keep the equipment running.

3. Limited planning and scheduling
When planning and scheduling is reactive, it is often the planned activities that get dropped from the daily work schedule. Proactive strategies seem to be of little value to an organization struggling to meet the pressure to keep the plant running. It is hard to move into “asset management” mode and accurate equipment history is often not available.

4. Maintenance vs production mentality
When maintenance and production teams aren’t working together – or, worse, are in conflict – then any impetus for positive change soon dries up. Maintenance personnel are blamed for failures, morale is low and staff are too busy fixing things to conduct any inspections or preventative maintenance.

5. Lack of support
To improve asset performance, you need the strong support of leadership and management teams in order to stop the fire fighting and target long-term sustainable asset management. The journey must start at the top of the organization.

Good leadership is critical to the team’s overall success. Your leader should be able to articulate the common sense of purpose, and unite all members of the team so that you are working towards this purpose. The asset management team should be seen as a force to be reckoned with, yet should remain approachable and open. All site employees should be aware of the team’s existence and know how to contact them with any ongoing plant issues or frustrations.

How to successfully maximize the use of assets
The goal in improving asset performance is simple. To enhance the overall operations of the plant or facility and improve business performance.
More specifically, there are three key success factors for any asset improvement program:

Loss elimination
This involves tracking production losses and assets with high maintenance costs, and then finding ways to reduce those losses or high costs. Efforts should be focused on the largest and most critical opportunities.

Risk management
Better manage the risk of your strategic objectives in the areas of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), quality, production and reputation. Common tools to identify and reduce risk include:
• FMEA – Failure modes and effects analysis
• FMECA – Failure modes, effects and criticality analysis
• VAA – Vulnerability assessment and analysis
• RCM – Reliability centered maintenance
• RBD – Reliability block diagram

Life cycle asset management
Studies show that as much as 95% of the total life cycle cost (LCC) of an asset is determined before it is put into use. With this in mind, the Reliability Engineer (if you have someone in this role) should be involved in the design and installation stages for new assets and modification of existing assets.

The discrete manufacturing series
Our series focuses on five common problems discrete manufacturers are currently facing, and how to solve them, including case study examples of where discrete manufacturers have implemented our solutions and seen success.

In our tip sheet ‘How manufacturers can maximize the use of assets’, we explain various steps that you can take to ensure you’re leveraging the use of existing assets to generate maximum ROI. You can download a copy of the tip sheet here.

For more information or to contact us visit Tridea Partners website.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations – Have it your Way!

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 you now have options to deploy the applications for your business. Based on your needs you can now deploy D365 for Operations via the cloud, a hybrid instance (cloud and edge) or on-premise (local business data).

In this blog, we will take a closer look at each of these options enabling you to decide which deployment option is right for your organization:

Cloud

D365 for Operations has been available for nearly a year as a full Cloud offering and Microsoft is seeing an unprecedented global adoption of cloud business. There is no doubt that the future of business processes lies in the cloud and that Microsoft can provide customers with the best value with our cloud services.

 

Cloud and Edge

Businesses require uninterrupted execution of some of their mission critical business processes i.e. a manufacturing facility where workers need to keep the production line humming and avoid production delays, especially in lean manufacturing scenarios. Also, some geographies require that transactions and personal information be captured and stored locally.

Microsoft recently announced the plans for a hybrid cloud deployment meant to accommodate these specific scenarios, so that organizations can combine the best of both worlds – cloud and local. Dynamics 365 for Operations plans to enable organizations to run their business processes from application servers at the edges, meaning that transactions are supported by local application services and business data is stored locally.

The Microsoft cloud connection ensures data aggregation, financial reporting, intelligence, and more. The cloud instance also provides the local installation with data failover in the Microsoft cloud, automated deployment and continuous updates, and elastic compute capacity to infuse “intelligence” into the business process when needed.

This deployment option, “cloud and edge”, is a true differentiated option that combines the power of cloud and on-premises in a unique way to offer scale, continuity, and intelligence.

Local business Data

Meanwhile, some organizations simply are not ready to store their company’s mission critical data in the cloud. This requirement, in many cases, is due to industry regulations, country or geographic cloud adoption, recent data center investments, or an organization’s enterprise standards. For these customers, Microsoft has announced a new deployment option that will not require their business data to be stored in the cloud. This deployment option, “local business data,” will support running your business processes on-premises, supporting local transactions and storage of local business data, without replication of your business data to the Microsoft cloud. In these cases, the typical replication of business data in the Microsoft cloud (referenced in the cloud and edge scenario) is simply switched off. With this option, customers now have choice – an option to turn ON or turn OFF cloud synchronization of their business data. If customers turn OFF cloud synchronization, no business data leaves their trustee’s boundaries. Also, functions like, embedded Power BI, Aggregated Views and Azure Machine Learning services based efficiencies are not available when Cloud Data synchronization is turned OFF. Customers can choose to take advantage of the embedded intelligence functions by simply turning ON data synchronization to the cloud.

For the “local business data” deployment scenario, the application servers and SQL database will run in a customer’s (or its partner’s) data center.

Choosing the right deployment option

You should select the deployment scenario that makes sense now but also have the flexibility to change later. You can move in either direction depending on your business needs. For example, you might start with a local data center and move to the cloud when it’s time for your hardware refresh.

From both a technology and licensing perspective, Microsoft strives to provide choice and flexibility:

  • New and existing customers will have paths forward to license both local business data and cloud and edge deployments. Existing investments will continue to be accounted for in our licensing.
  • Customers can license local business data deployments via a Dynamics 365 for Operations license with Software Assurance/Enhancement Plan or a subscription model.
  • Customers with active Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plans or Software Assurance, may upgrade to local business data as they remain entitled to access new versions and updates.
  • Transitions to Dynamics 365 cloud subscriptions are available to customers with active Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plans or Software Assurance.
  • Cloud and edge software and services will be licensed under the existing Dynamics 365 cloud subscription licensing model.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the planned scenarios, including use cases, components, and strengths:

The scenarios “cloud and edge” and “local business data” are planned for release in the summer of 2017.

To learn more about how Tridea can help you get the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution, contact us at info@trideapartners.com .