News Feature | May 19, 2014

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News For VARs — May 19, 2014

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News For VARs

This week, industry experts offer advice on automating financial forecasting and budgeting, using business intelligence, innovation, automation, and integration to transform business, and the ROI from energy management solutions.

Ten Tips For Financial Automation Solutions

Automation has swept through the manufacturing industry, from industrial robots on the shop floor to warehouse management software in the warehouse. One area that manufacturers are still struggling with, though, according to Alan Hart of Centage Corp., is financial budgeting, forecasting, and analysis. In an Industry Week article, “Top Ten Tips for Automating Financial Forecasting and Budgeting,” he offers the Top 10 important features and benefits of a budgeting, forecasting, and business intelligence application that make the difference between a successful and failed solution. 

Technology That Can Transform Businesses

With so many external forces out of their control, your manufacturing clients must be agile and aggressive to have any chance of sustained success. According to a R&D article, “How to Transform Your Business,” “successful enterprises have discovered that four drivers are critical to sustained business transformation: business intelligence, innovation, automation, and integration.” Technology can accelerate this transformation, but it is merely a means to an end: data. Many businesses have already invested in some of the technology necessary to maximize data collection and management but have not yet created a platform to capitalize on cost-saving or margin-growing opportunities in the future. VARs can provide solutions to create platforms for their clients that allow for implementation of these four pillars.

Effective Energy Management Increases Profitability

In order to increase profitability, many organizations have recognized the need for a comprehensive energy management system. However, two key challenges — lack of visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs) and a legacy manufacturing IT environment — are preventing many companies from achieving their financial and operational goals. VARs can assist clients discover savings in their energy systems with creative technological solutions. Mary K Burgoon, manager of market development, Rockwell Automation, writes in the article “Getting Smart With Energy Intelligence” that “…many companies are beginning to deploy energy intelligence strategies to gain insight into the role of energy within their operations — from procurement through production.” Many businesses will be looking for solutions in this regard, as the operational and financial benefits of energy intelligence software warrant enough evidence to take action now.

IMTS Opens Registration

On May 9, 2014, Registration opened for the IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 Conference which will run Sept. 8 to 11 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. “Those who take advantage of the IMTS 2014 Conference stand to gain an edge by keeping up with trends, evaluating new product developments, and absorbing technical know-how from the industry’s thought leaders,” says Peter R. Eelman, VP of exhibitions and communications, The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT Talking Points

Greg Goodwin, LNS Research, writes in Manufacturing Business Technology that in response to BYOD (bring your own device) policies, personal devices—like smartphones—have allowed workers to erase (or at least blur) the line between work and play. He writes, “BYOD initiatives have forced more detailed policies on how corporate data can be shared, investments in emerging mobile device management (MDM) solutions, and purchases of secure file sharing services.” Also, increasingly, software vendors are creating user interfaces that mirror the experience of realistic video games. Referred to as “gamification,” these software applications are aimed at encouraging action and participation across different team collaborators. Goodwin concludes, “While the full potential of BYOD and gamified solutions is still down the road, it’s clear that these trends of consumerized IT applications will continue.”

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Manufacturing And Warehousing Tech Center.