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 »
Project portfolio management (PPM) is a process to obtain project management information of all resources, time, budget, and labor skills in order to align, manage, and review these elements–and to ensure deliverables are being met in terms of project milestones, in accordance with the work breakdown schedule.
In a time of economic and business uncertainty, PPM may be the prescription to obtain successful IT project management results. However, IT departments in many organizations are viewed by some in senior management circles as a huge money pit, a kind of necessary evil that generates little in terms of ongoing business development or growth.
The needs of the changing business, economic, and technology landscapes have given organizations that manufacture precision and complex products an added incentive to see how they can manage to contain rising costs, and stay competitive against global competition and market volatility. The findings were quite unlike those experienced by tradiditional discrete manufacturers, since discrete manufacturers do not deal with the same intricacies of mass customization as ETO manufacturers. It was with this as a backdrop that I and fellow TEC analyst Leslie Satenstein engaged in conversation with Global Shop Solutions ERP engineer Marc Atnipp in order to review their product One-System as part of a recent TEC Certification exercise. Read the rest of this entry »
Recent uncertainty in the global economy is not only having a negative impact on international economies, but an equally deleterious effect on global supply chains. As with the international economies they serve, global supply chains are interwoven and inextricably linked to one another. For instance, if one link is severed in the supply chain it can cause a ripple effect which could collapse the entire chain. I’ll look at some of the concerns for potential supply chain collapse, and some strategies to limit your exposure to such a risk. Read the rest of this entry »
Manufacturers serving such retail giants as Wal-Mart or Costco are exposed to severe challenges—not only because of the economies of scale these outlets demand, but also because of the investment required in technology and capital equipment to manage the sheer volume of manufactured goods. Read the rest of this entry »
The proliferation of “big box” retail outlets across the suburban landscape has been part of the retail environment for more than a decade. As population target demographics have shifted away from urban centers into suburban areas, retail organizations have capitalized on this trend. Read the rest of this entry »
In this blog post, I’ll examine how growth-oriented organizations will build their IT infrastructure around ERP, and then integrate systems in other related areas to optimize their ERP capabilities.
In the Beginning There Was ERP
The recent TurtleSpice ERP series featured on the TEC blog features a fictionalized company within the process industry going through the decision process to determine what ERP system would best meet its needs. In the case of Turtle Spice, it was deemed that an integrated process ERP system would be the logical starting point to create a technology infrastructure—the premise being that as a growing concern, production and sales volumes are increasing, and clients are placing increased demands which cannot be met without a system by which planning and order execution can be organized. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll get to the downloadable SOX segregation of duties matrix in a moment, but first let me address a question from one of our readers. Read the rest of this entry »
Manufacturing organizations are under pressure to anticipate customer requirements and to quickly respond to an increasing array of changing market demands. Such organizations are meeting these challenges by implementing a variety of production strategies across multiple product lines. In doing so, they aim to maintain market share through growth and acquisition of companies that will complement their existing product offerings. As a result of this strategy, companies that have tried to integrate their legacy discrete ERP systems across their newly acquired organization have found this approach to be akin to the popular expression “like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.”
Perhaps you may have not heard the term engineer-to-order (ETO) before, but perhaps your business is one of thousands that designs and builds custom equipment that is very precise, adheres to very specific tolerances, is highly technical, and produces low volume and, generally speaking, expensive products. Some examples of such products include ships, aircraft, production machinery, etc.
The typical ETO organization Read the rest of this entry »
For all you baseball fans living in the US and Canada, you can probably appreciate that we are quickly approaching what is referred to as “the dog days of August.” This is when the pennant races are close, and almost every game has added significance for a team’s chances of making it to the playoffs.
As I was enjoying one of those rare idyllic days lying in the backyard hammock and reading the sports page, it occurred to me how the good teams are not just about one or two great players. Rather, they are comprised largely of players whose natural athletic ability may not necessarily match that of the few superstars on the team, and who may not be found basking in the limelight, but who consistently work hard and practice on a daily basis. These are the players that, when given the opportunity, can deliver the key play or get the big hit when the game is on the line.
This made me think about how in a manufacturing environment, the most unlikely areas can contribute in a critical situation. In many organizations Read the rest of this entry »
As recent media reports suggest, the dreaded “R” word—recession—is looming large across the horizon of most western and global economies. Many organizations have had to scale back their spending and reduce costs. Due to the cyclical nature of our economy, certain industries will fare better than others. Read the rest of this entry »
Introducing “Green” to Projects
There is a growing trend in IT organizations to reduce the environmental footprints that are typically generated from large enterprise IT project initiatives. To achieve this goal, a group of prominent IT organizations Read the rest of this entry »
A brief journey of what functionality ERP engineer-to-order systems must support.
Just like the mythical character in the film E.T., who was far from home in an unfamiliar environment, companies that have years of experience working with a discrete ERP system sometimes feel that they are out of this world in trying to adapt the system to the unique elements in the engineer-to-order (ETO) world. Read the rest of this entry »
In this final installment of the Project Management Communication series, we look at a vital project management tool. This system has provided visibility to senior management, as well as justification for projects based on the expected value of each product in its planning stage, and in projects both in progress and completed. Read the rest of this entry »