“Clearly there will be winners and losers in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and investors should be concerned about companies who are not able to provide the information they require.” – Carbon Disclosure Project Global 500 Report 2008 (also known as CDP6)
To today’s enterprises, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission—amongst various sustainability issues—is one of the highest priorities. Some companies, as I have seen, have set up strategies to address GHG emission issues. At the operational level, companies are modifying accounting systems to report GHG emissions and to accommodate carbon trading; implementing energy management systems to reduce energy consumption; and optimizing supply chain management systems to increase transportation efficiency— to name just a few approaches. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog series introduced the burning issues of food safety and the resultant need for a holistic and proactive safety strategy (rather than to reactively recall plagued products). The previous post also talked in more detail about Lawson Software’s holistic approach entitled The “4Ps” of Food Safety.
In this part, Rory Granros, process industry and product marketing manager at Infor, also strongly opines that in order to protect product safety, companies need a holistic and proactive Product Compliance Strategy. Read the rest of this entry »
EIM/ECM 101: Cutting through the Confusion
If you’re like many people who’ve been put in charge of looking for your company’s next compensation solution, you may be somewhat bewildered about the different applications available. There has long been a confusion surrounding enterprise incentive management (EIM) and enterprise compensation management (ECM) solutions. The reason is that, technically, both types of solutions enable some of the same results—one of which is to provide a payment to an employee for services rendered. However, the reasons behind these payments can differ substantially (e.g., commissions versus bonuses versus spiffs, etc.). Read the rest of this entry »
In my previous blog I discussed two approaches to bringing down your cost: cost cutting and cost reducing, with regards to the overall supply chain network. The most effective way of cost reduction in supply chain is through the collaborative effort of the whole organization. As discussed previously, the supply chain has various areas where cost reduction can be done, but for this blog, I want to focus on cost reduction with better or best inventory management processes and practices.Basically inventory can appear in a variety of forms, such as raw material, goods in process, and finished goods. Read the rest of this entry »
Tough times demand tough decisions and sacrifices even from seemingly untouchable corporations. Most of us were likely discouraged (if not necessarily disappointed or surprised) by Microsoft’s mid-January 2009 layoffs announcement, the first ever in the company’s illustrious (at least when it comes to financial performance) history.
Whether related to these layoffs or not (some will argue the former) one day after that shock came the news about Microsoft’s fundamental shift in its business intelligence (BI) product strategy. The giant has apparently carefully evaluated and then rethought its BI portfolio, breaking apart the business performance management (BPM) family of products. To that end, Microsoft will include the monitoring and analytic functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, while seriously backpedaling (if not completely unplugging) the development of its nascent financial planning & consolidation application.
My analyst relationship contacts within Microsoft sent me an elaborate email message at the time. They wanted to make me aware of a significant change in Microsoft’s strategy for delivering BI capabilities that the giant hopes will enhance its customers’ ability to experience truly Pervasive BI (PBI) within their existing investments. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes all of us are well aware that the global economy is in a downturn. We hear it in the news, on blogs, in articles, and we see it around us with massive layoffs and lower consumer spending. So while we have heard all about these problems, what is the solution to fix these issues from an enterprise point of view? Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog series explained Deltek’s ebullience despite a hostile and depressed environment. The continued cash-generating operation has been complemented by in-house developments, acquisitions, and partnerships.
The previous blog post also talked about the recent developments (and anticipated future developments) at Deltek’s Professional Service line of business, which is largely represented by Deltek Vision [evaluate this product]. Parts II & III will analyze the recent developments (and anticipated future developments) at Deltek’s remaining lines of business. Read the rest of this entry »
In an earlier post, What Does the “P” in PLM Really Mean?, I discussed what the word “product” means in product lifecycle management (PLM). In this post, I am going to move onto the next letter, “L” for lifecycle.
According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of lifecycle is “a series of stages through which something (as an individual, culture, or manufactured product) passes during its lifetime.” In a typical manufacturing environment, these stages include conception, design and development, manufacture, and service. Ideally, a PLM system should manage the entire lifecycle that covers all the stages. Originally, however, the concept of PLM was designed to address product definition authoring and, later on, define data management issues for the design department. Not every stage receives equal attention under the PLM umbrella, and the application maturity of each stage is not yet at the same level. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series introduced the SAP-sponsored expert panel discussion that explored reasons to maintain IT investments even during difficult economic times. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) article by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson entitled “Investing in the IT That Makes a Competitive Difference” was the main supplement and starting point of the discussion.
As I mentioned in Part 1, in a nutshell, the panel logically (and not surprisingly) argued that enterprises should use IT tools to innovate and create differentiation, especially during a difficult economy. Moreover, a long-term SAP analyst relationship contact privately solicited my opinion on the extent to which these esteemed academics understand our industry.
According to the “you asked for it” motto, here is the continuation of my thoughts that was parlayed into a blog post to be shared with our readers too.
The recent economic slowdown has illustrated how interwoven our global economies really are. The demands to increase enterprise performance has accelerated. Whether it’s to find new opportunities to increase or maintain market share, or to generate new revenue opportunities, each of these areas represent additional challenges in fulfilling customer expectations and demands. Read the rest of this entry »
Food production and distribution is a serious and strategic business, and I am not aware of anyone in my surroundings that takes it lightly; food can not only delight us, but can also make us quite sick and indisposed. While my inner circles (pets included) have luckily not been casualties of recent salmonella, E.coli, and whatnot outbreaks from tainted chilly peppers, tomatoes, spinach, pet food, or most recently peanut butter, the 2008 year-end holidays were not much fun for my family.
Namely, the “G.I. bug” that our 18-month-old likely got in her playgroup spread so quickly and violently to anyone who was in contact with her (including the broader family members that stopped by to just traditionally exchange holiday gifts). Sure, viral gastroenteritis might likely have had nothing to do with what we ate at the time, but the feeling of being listless and other unpleasant (and unspeakable) G.I. bug symptoms were quite similar to those that food poisoning outbreaks can “treat” us to.
Food processing and distribution are not be the only market with burning product safety issues, since similar issues can also apply to the drug and pharmaceuticals sector or consumer packaged goods (CPGs); remember lead-tainted toys or antifreeze-laced toothpaste coming from China? Still, we all seem to be the most sensitive about food-related breaking news, possibly due to the likelihood of those hitting home (perhaps even in a willful way by bio-terrorists).
Thus, some food processing market experts have lately been frustrated by companies’ focus on location and lot control, serial number tracking, and traceability as the panaceas to solve product safety issues. Read the rest of this entry »
We all agree that being “green” (more environmentally conscious) is great. But businesses often struggle with exactly how they can get closer to this wonderful color. To a certain degree, product lifecycle management (PLM) can help manufacturers with their “green initiatives.” There is an excellent Green PLM blog series—written mainly by Kate Bourdet, at Dassault Systèmes—explaining what PLM has to do with green, more or less from a product lifecycle activity point of view. In this blog post, I will provide some complementary writing from a slightly different angle.
Upon his inauguration, President Obama reiterated his campaign pledge that improving the US health care system is among the top issues to be addressed during his first term in office (and beyond). In response, many people are expressing support, as well as some degree of skepticism. At the forefront of Obama’s promise is that technology will play a key role in bringing about improvement: he initially vowed that $10 billion per year over the next five years would be invested toward creating electronic health records (EHRs) for every US citizen.
The majority of voices have seemed to be strongly in favor of spending whatever it takes to update health records, citing cost-savings, better delivery of health care (resulting in improved health and more saved lives), and job creation as some of the major benefits of making the transition from old handwritten records to standardized electronic records.
There does, however, seem to be some grumbling about the projected cost of and difficulty involved in creating electronic records. Several deterrents have been noted, including an ongoing shortage of sufficiently skilled IT professionals available to help with nation-wide implementation; privacy issues, such as identity theft; and, the fact that few hospitals and doctors have already started using “computerized record-keeping systems” (presumably suggesting that not only implementation, but also user training will need to be addressed for any benefits to be realized).
Part 1 of this blog series revisited Agresso’s post-implementation agility capabilities as a major tenet for the vendor’s continued growth in a hostile and depressed environment. The continued organic growth has been complemented by in-house developments, acquisitions, and/or partnerships.
More important, however, is the issue of whether Agresso has become a legitimate force to replace larger (and better known) competitors’ installations. Read the rest of this entry »
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Many years have passed since corporate social responsibility (CSR) made its entrance as a major issue for companies. Performance on social and environmental levels has also become important for organizations to consider. Since CSR’s inception, many initiatives have arisen.
Businesses around the world have sought to take account of sustainable development to conform to the general trend across industries toward better management of global regulatory requirements and a reduction of environmental impact. On the other hand, since globalization has become a crucial aspect of organizations economically, organizationally, politically, technologically, and culturally, it has pushed them towards making adjustments in order to incorporate these new requirements into existing processes.