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Working @ Quartess
Working @ Quartess |the experiences & motivations of Kah-kin Yau Why did you apply for a position at Quartess? Quartess published a vacancy for an ERP consultant Infor CloudSuite Industrial ERP (Syteline). As Infor Gold Channel partner, they sell and implement this ERP solution for the manufacturing industry. I knew Quartess, since I have worked at Infor for the last 6 years (with great joy) with Infor Syteline. Because I also knew that Infor CloudSuite Industrial is a strategic product for the Cloud strategy of Infor as well as that mainly the Channel Partner organization is selling this product worldwide, I was excited for this opportunity with Quartess. At Quartess I feel being part of a team, an important aspect for me. Also I do have the opportunity to develop the team's knowledge and skills (and my own obviously). This is important, also since we are continuously growing to be able to support our growing number of customers. The team has a common goal: to help our customer use their business software in the best possible way to support their business processes.What Product do you work with and what do you like about? I'm working -as mentioned above- with Infor CloudSuite Industrial ERP (Syteline) and have been doing so for more than 10 years. I've done many implementations, both in the Netherlands and abroad. It's a very complete manufacturing ERP solution which can handle complex processes.  But it's also very scalable and flexible.  After 10 years, I know the product inside out and that's only possible because it's an open and user friendly ERP system.How quickly did you feel being part of the team?  Straight from day 1, and that's fairly special since it's a team with busy consultants that are on the road and at customer sites. I have to be honest, I had to personally adjust to the situation as well (It has been a while since I've made any coffee rounds or ate cake at the office), but I felt at home really quickly. I've received the same feedback from my new colleagues. It's also nice that the average age is much lower in my new team.What about your work-life balance? Having started at Quartess with new and current projects, it took obviously some time to find a new balance.  But now, 4 months later, I can say I still spend plenty time with my family and at the same time work on site and be flexible for my customers.  I normally  try to achieve a 40% home office and 60% at customer site time balance. At Quartess I will also need – and want- to spend time at the office with the team instead of working from home, but I like that and it isn't a requirement.  The office is close to my home. On the days that I'm working from home, I can spend more time with my children and take them to school, from school and cook a nice dinner at the end of the day.Do you need to travel a lot? I do enjoy travelling and since the start of this year, I'm also travelling by train, for instance in Germany. It's much better for the environment, very comfortable and you can do some work as well. It's important to make the right agreements with customers. Luckily, it's much easier nowadays to work in virtual teams and use online meetings and tools and I can help most of my customers without being on site all the time.What makes working at Quartess fun? I really love the fact that it's a nice and real Dutch company. Despite the fact that our customers are in the meantime all over the world, our approach is still very Dutch-like. Simply pragmatic, efficient, honest and customer focused. This helps both with working with customers in the Netherlands and Europe and with the atmosphere and teamwork at Quartess. I'm also looking forward to the further growth, and the challenges and opportunities we will therefore soon encounter. It will be fun to be part of that, as well as to see the further development of Infor CloudSuite Industrial because also at Quartess we keep close contact with Infor Product Management. Read more
Customer meeting Infor Visual ERP June 14th 2019
Customer meeting Infor Visual ERP June 14th 2019 For our customers on Infor Visual ERP, Quartess organizes a customer event at Infor Barneveld June 14th 2019. This is your chance to be informed first hand by Mr Rich Lagoy (Visual product director) about the future of Infor Visual ERP, the specifically developed ERP system for the discrete SMB manufacturing industry. In addition there will be sessions about possibilities for digitalizing your processes by the use of additional software like RFPlus and Easy Invoice.Please be invited to register here for the event as well as to find more information on the program.You are most welcome to join us at this event and we look forward seeing you in Barneveld! Read more
Infor Factory Track shop floor automation
Quartess | New customer and new employee The year 2019 has started very successful for Quartess. We reached an agreement for licenses and implementation of InforCloudsuite Industrial ERP with a well known German Engineer-to-Order machine building company.  CSI will replace a legacy system and will be deployed on-premise this time, including the German Country pack to be able to comply with German fiscal- and financial rules. The CSI ERP application will be used in the German language.Standardization of company processes, alongside better and more integrated support of these processes with the modern and user friendly Cloudsuite Industrial ERP application, are main drivers for the decision.The implementation will start in February in a joint effort between the customer and Quartess. Quartess also added a new and with CSI very experienced ERP consultant / solution architect  to her team to be able to grow the CSI part of the business further. We welcome our new colleague and are looking forward working together with him on many successful projects at existing- and new customers. Read more
Quartess | Seasonal greetings 2018 Quartess can look back at a great 2018. We have done many projects  (Infor Visual ERP, Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP & Tableau) with customers in The Netherlands, the UK and Germany and thank all our relations (both customers and suppliers) for their business and trust.On the edge of 2018-2019 we closed a large deal for a multi-site Infor ERP implementation which was even more a great way to end 2018 and to start -in a few days- 2019. It will be a busy year. Merry Christmas and a prosperous & healthy 2019 on behalf of the Quartess team!  Read more
Infor Inspire Amsterdam 3 april 2019
Customer Event | Infor Inspire Amsterdam 3 April 2019 registration is open Elevating human potential through innovation in science and technology: Register hereTimes change. Software functionalities, upgrades, and roadmaps are also constantly evolving. Keeping up with the latest technology for your industry can be challenging—but can also open up new possibilities for the success of your organisation.Join us on 3 April in Amsterdam for Infor Inspire, to hear practical advice from experts and get the tools to not only survive, but also excel in this ultra-competitive digital age.See how new technologies can help you overcome obstacles and take advantage of growth opportunities.Be inspired and see what’s possible when you add technology that maximises human potential.Get ideas to improve your competitiveness in the market.Let's visualise what’s on the horizon and see how you can make the most of the technological solutions like Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP and/or Infor Visual ERP you work with. Read more
Infor Inspire Amsterdam 3 april 2019
Customer Event | Infor Inspire Amsterdam 3 April 2019 Join Infor leaders and innovation experts in Amsterdam -the RAI Convention Centre- for Infor Inspire on 3 April 2019—a one-day regional event—to experience how our emerging technologies, cloud deployment, social and mobile capabilities, and beautiful, purpose-built applications are designed for progress and transforming the way people work. Save the date Infor Cloudsuite Industrial (Syteline) & Infor Visual ERP customers for Infor Inspire! More to follow soon. Read more
Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) intro movie | ERP for manufacturing For more than 25 years already, Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP is the ERP application for the manufacturing industry. Applied world wide. Ongoing extended with additional functionality and technically renewed. Therefore we can say Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP is unique in its sort by combining a wealth of manufacturing experience with availability as modern real multi tenant cloud product at the same time. Watch the 2 minute short video for a first impression. Interested to learn more? we welcome your inquiry! Read more
Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP versie 10
Infor Cloudsuite Industrial version 10: going for standard! Later this year, Infor will release the new version 10 of Infor Cloudsuite Industial (fka Syteline) . Packed with lots of new functionality, as always with a new release,  there will be communications and detailed overviews  as soon as  this version is generally available for new and existing users. More in general, it is clear that Infor is practicing their credo ‘last mile functionality’, meaning specific functionality for niches and/or countries is built into the standard. This is important for two different reasons: First, Infor Cloudsuite Industrial  is a product available as a multi tenant cloud offering and in this ‘set up’ , real customization (changing source code) is just not possible. Therefore the standard functionality of CSI needs to be ‘a fit’ for most targeted industries and countries. The big advantage of course, the user is not locked into a specific  version and can make use of new features and functions immediately when they are available without having to go through the burden of upgrading. And this pays of: investigations show companies on latest releases perform better.Second, the more ‘last mile functionality’ is built into the product (now even several localization components are brought into the standard product), the more easy implementations can be realized (compared to risky and costly customization's) and the better the product is usable in an international setting. So, when you are currently a user of Syteline, it is certainly worthwhile to investigate how the new standard product can support your business. With or without the aim to go to the cloud, because although the cloud is becoming ‘the new normal’, there is no necessity from a product standpoint of view to do so. Quartess can assist you with such ‘back to standard’ projects; currently we are bringing a Syteline user to the multi tenant cloud with the latest Infor Cloudsuite Industrial version  in a multi country setting.  Please contact us if you want to know more about Infor Cloudsuite Industrial, about Quartess or about a migration to the cloud with Infor Cloudsuite Industrial. Read more
Infor Visual Shop Floor application
Infor Visual ERP version 9.05 released Development for  Infor Visual ERP is at high speed. September 5th 2018  Infor  introduced version 9.05, already the 6th version of version 9 which was introduced originally in the spring of 2017. Infor increased the pace of introducing new releases of Visual with the customer in mind, in this way being able to respond quicker to specific customer wishes and at the same time introducing gradually new functionality based on the Infor Visual ERP roadmap.Version 9 offers a lot of additional functionality. Whether it is the enhanced document lifecycle functionality, providing graphical insight in the supply chain as well as methods to standardize and measure performance, or –related to the GDPR legislation- a function to make personal and privacy  sensitive information in the system visible. Also the all new web based shop floor module does deliver huge value. And there is many more of courseQuartess sees huge interest with existing customers to migrate to version 9; both in the UK and in the Benelux we have helped already (and are helping) many companies doing so.Are you interested in a full overview of the new functionality? Please contact us, we can provide you with all the information you need as well as help you with the migration.  Read more
Looking forward, looking up: Manufacturing insights 10 Trends to watch as you modernize and optimizeThe future looks bright for manufacturing. In the latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturers’ optimism has risen substantially; almost 95% of respondents say they are positive about their own company’s outlook. This optimism is reflected in the UK, as well, with the EEF forecasting 1.4% growth in UK manufacturing in 2018.What’s driving that growth and what do manufacturers need to be mindful of to keep things moving in the right direction? Here are ten trends to watch:Regulatory reformThe passing of tax reform is expected to have great impact on manufacturing, according to NAM’s Boerstling. The vast majority of NAM’s members (94.6%) expect to increase capital spending, increase wages, and hire more workers with the passing of tax reform. But, there’s still work to be done around trade and immigration, both of which could greatly impact manufacturing.In the UK, Brexit still looms, creating quite a bit of volatility. Lee Hopley, Chief Economist for the EFF, the Voice for Manufacturing and Engineering in the UK,  reports that in a recent survey, UK manufacturers expect to see more risks to their business over the next year than they saw in the previous quarter. Hopley attributes this reaction to policy challenges and politics around the Brexit negotiations.Growing global economyRegulatory reform and the current political environment are creating a business climate with a focus on the possible. “I wasn’t confident that we were going to see a big boost in 2017, but the outturn has been better than we anticipated,” says Hopley, during a recent IndustryWeek webinar, sponsored by Infor.  She sees stronger growth across manufacturing sectors, particularly those that are investing in new technology. Internationally, she sees continued optimism about global growth prospects, which translates to greater export opportunities for manufacturers.Continuing Skills gapNAM reports that there are close to 400,000 unfilled jobs in manufacturing today, and that number is expected to grow to 2 million by 2025. Infor’s Nick Castellina, Director of Product and Industry Strategy for Discrete Manufacturing, adds that 78 million US employees will retire from manufacturing within the next 10 years, and 82% of manufacturing CEOs say the skills gap will affect their ability to meet customer demands.The solution to this problem needs to be multi-pronged. The government has a part to play, with passing education and technical training legislation, as well as the creation of apprenticeships—5 million over the next 3 years, according to Robyn Boerstling, Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation, and Human Resources Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).But, manufacturers need to tackle the problem, as well. Manufacturers need to create more work-based learning programs and their own apprenticeships. Technology has a role to play in closing the skills gap, as well. Today’s generation of workers want to work with solutions that are user-friendly and that resemble the technology they use in their everyday lives. Their impression is that they won’t find that sort of technology at manufacturing companies. So, it’s time for manufacturers to make technology a key differentiator.Infor’s Castellina reports that executives at digital leaders say they have 90% of the talent they need; they can find the people they need and keep them working at their companies because they’ve made technology a priority.More connected supply chainRoughly 80% of the data that organizations need to effectively run their global supply chains is stored externally, according to Castellina. To remedy this situation and gain greater visibility into products, better manage demand, and collaborate more effectively with partners, the next generation of supply chain will be digitally connected. It will function as an interconnected network that’s agile, responsive, and efficient. Most of these supply chain interactions will happen across cloud-based commerce networks and be supplemented with analytics to better manage demand, keep costs low, and ensure profits.Tightening of cybersecurityCybercrime is predicted to cost global businesses .1 trillion by 2019. Preventing all cyberattacks isn’t possible, but manufacturers can—and must—continue to tighten their security to safeguard their data and operations.The Cyber Security Information Act of 2015 created a framework for cybersecurity and established the structure for businesses and government to work together on the issue. The US government spent  billion on cybersecurity in 2017, and expects to continue to increase spending. Manufacturers need to build collaborative relationships with government on cybersecurity, but they need to work on the issue themselves, as well. Employees need to be educated on the importance of cyber safety and companies need to tighten the reins on what comes in—and goes out—of their operations. There’s much for manufacturers to learn from incidents like the Equifax data breach in terms of best practices and approaches.Manufacturing CFO becomes more strategicWhere in the past, CFOs were part of the back-office operations, that business model is shifting within manufacturing. Today, and moving forward, CFOs are becoming partners to the line of business and driving strategy to enable them to grow the organization and perform their jobs more effectively. Manufacturing CFOs are increasingly becoming involved in technology decisions around cloud, mobility, business intelligence, and overall business and technology strategy. They’re playing a key role in determining the technologies and business processes that can help the organization grow into new markets and fight off competition in existing ones.Mass customization of productsCustomers are demanding products that are more configured and tailored specifically for them. That’s something that’s not going to change. The key for manufacturers is collaboration. They need to work more closely with their customers to find out what exactly they want, and then to communicate clearly what they’ll be getting and how much it will cost. On the back-end, manufacturers need to know if such customization is profitable and how they can deliver on that promise. To make all that work, Castellina sees manufacturers transitioning these processes from their ERP systems to front-office configure-price-quote or business-to-business e-commerce applications. These applications make it easy to manage customization and to collaborate more effectively with customers.Growth of servitizationThis term may be new to many manufacturers, but the concept isn’t. Servitization is a transformation journey that manufacturers are taking as they search for new, incremental revenue streams. It translates to manufacturers changing their business models to one where they don’t just sell products; they also provide support for the products they already sell. To make this transition, manufacturers need the tools to efficiently schedule service technicians and manage the demand for those services, to ensure their interacting with their customers effectively. Technicians will need information at the point of service and to be able to do everything they need to do while at the customer’s site. Finally, the CFO will need analytics tools to ensure the new model is profitable.ERP system as focus of digital transformationDigital transformation is about connecting people, processes, technology, and products, so they’re more connected, you can make better decisions, be more collaborative, and ultimately, create a more effective manufacturing organization. There are many different ways for a manufacturing organization to change the way it operates and promote efficiency. But, the ERP system has always been the heart and soul of every manufacturing organization, and there’s no reason to change. All the information a manufacturer draws from and all the technology that it’s connecting as part of its digital transformation should be connected to its foundation—its ERP system. That ERP system can be implemented in the cloud, which is a core component of digital transformation. And it can (and should) have analytics embedded in it. That’s the way to build a digital transformation on a solid foundation.Continued emphasis on Big Data and Internet  of ThingsData is the true currency of manufacturing. The more data manufacturers have, and the more they can use it effectively to make better decisions, the better positioned they are for growth. The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to be a key driver of innovation. The number of connected IoT devices worldwide will jump 12% on average annually, going from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 127 billion in 2030. The IoT will create opportunities for manufacturers to build more embedded devices to deliver to customers. From the product design phase, they’ll need to consider what services and revenue an IoT-connected product can generate through its lifetime.There’s also the data side of the IoT to consider. Those devices are going to generate a tremendous amount of data, which is where the importance of Big Data and analytics come in. The IoT is a toolset for connecting data and assets. But it’s going to take powerful analytics to make sense of all that data and make it useful and meaningful for determining what new service models or revenue streams to pursue, as well as how to operate more efficiently.If manufacturers pay careful attention to these 10 trends, they can position themselves for greater operating efficiency and growth in the coming year.Note: Earlier published on , February 27th 2018 Read more
Industry 4.0: Separating hype from true innovation While definitions for Industry 4.0 are numerous, it’s essentially: “The marriage of physical and digital technologies such as analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies, and the Internet of Things (IoT). This marriage of the physical with the digital allows for the creation of a digital enterprise that is not only interconnected, but also capable of more holistic, informed decision making,” according to Deloitte. Data collected from the physical world (like machinery) is used to generate insights, which are then reapplied to the physical world. Deloitte says, “These feedback loops generate abundant opportunities for new products and services, better ways to serve customers, new types of jobs and wholly new business models.”The magnitude of changeIs it possible to separate the hype from reality and obtain a true picture of the magnitude of change that has already hit manufacturing and what is yet to come? No. Hype and reality are tightly intertwined. Hyperbole and optimism have combined and evolved into to a new generation of stories that elicit amazement and envy. We’re bombarded with articles describing manufacturing plants performing near-miraculous feats: Robots think, machines communicate, cameras fly, inventory is never out of stock, and orders are always on time; a customer can imagine a product, and in the blink of an eye, the product is produced and delivered.And yet, this isn’t even smoke-and-mirrors or fanciful dreams. For some, these are already realities. Considering science and technologies that already exist, as well as the results of early adopters, experts who live and breathe innovation are projecting that this level of change will certainly get much bigger.In fact, the analysts at Capgemini predict that smart factories could add from 0 billion to .5 trillion in value to the global economy in the next five years.Prognosticating beyond that, however, proves challenging. The subject matter is moving at an alarming rate of change, making it difficult to definitively quantify results. Even timely surveys, like the ones referenced in this paper, might already be outdated by the time their statistics are published—as more factories deploy IoT projects and boost profits.While manufacturers must learn to live with a degree of ambiguity as to what exactly the future has in store, the simple truth is that technology as a driving force in manufacturing is not going away any time soon. We don’t even have consensus as to what we call this “new technology” that’s changing the way we design, make, and deliver products to customers. The German government coined the phrase, “Industry 4.0” as a nod to the “fourth industrial revolution.” Industry 4.0 originally encompassed machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and connected devices. The equipment industry used to call this telematics.Then the sensor market exploded and the IoT was the next big thing. Soon, the “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT) came about as result of the need to distinguish industrial applications from more consumer-oriented applications. The UK prefers the term “4IR,” for fourth industrial revolution. There are also smart factories and smart products, as well as smart Millennials who insist on highly intuitive software that behaves like their smart phones.No matter what you want to call this wave of disruptive technology, it’s real and about to drastically change your factory—if it hasn’t already. Now is the time to ramp up technology investments in order to keep pace, seize unfolding opportunities, and enjoy the benefits of Industry 4.0.NOTE: Earlier published on  May 17th 2018 Read more
Smart Customization & the need for Infor CPQ Smart Customization helps manufacturing companies for parts of their business to move from EtO to CtO. Customers demand unique products, with CtO you'll have less risk, less costs and shorter lead times. A configurator like Infor CPQ that integrates seamlessly with ERP (like Infor CSI) & CAD is a prerequisite for CtO. See below for a customer story, originally posted on http://blogs.infor.comHow Infor CPQ opens a window to a better customer experience for Milgard Windows & DoorsMilgard Windows & Doors is an excellent example of how an advanced configure-price-quote (CPQ) solution can do much more than help sales personnel configure orders; it can also drive fundamental transformations in how a company does business.During a recent webinar, Milgard Windows & Doors CIO, Vinod Nair, discussed what the company was looking for in a next-generation CPQ solution and how Infor CPQ delivered capabilities that created a smoother, more intuitive, and productive experience for dealers, customers, and the company’s own sales personnel.Tacoma-based Milgard Windows & Doors offers a full line of vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum windows and patio doors for builders, dealers, and homeowners. The company has approximately 3,800 dealer locations nationwide, and needed a CPQ tool that would scale to accommodate growth and provide a smoother overall user experience with a faster, more accurate quoting process.Their primary requirement for a CPQ tool was to deploy a solution that made it easier for dealers and customers to do business with the company. Its legacy PC-based CPQ tool was often the barrier to a smooth business engagement. Because it wasn’t integrated with the back-end ERP systems that managed window production, this tool would often create mismatches with the pricing generated by the ERP systems. Dealers could create an order, but too often that order would conflict with the ERP system of record.The tool also created other glitches in the customer experience as well. In many cases, a dealer would begin a quote and find that an order quickly increased in complexity — requiring them to contact a Milgard Windows & Doors salesperson to complete the process. However, the dealers couldn’t share the partially completed order with the salesperson, who had to start the process again from scratch.The lack of integration also complicated new product introductions. When new products came to market, the company had to update all versions of the standalone quoting tool and its back-end systems. This posed an ongoing challenge for IT to keep the two systems in sync.With the launch of Infor CPQ, Milgard Windows & Doors paved the way to a smoother experience for dealers, customers, and their own sales team. Because Infor CPQ integrates with their ERP systems, the company has a seamless quoting and ordering process with no discrepancies between what dealers and customers see and the pricing and production cycles managed by the ERP systems. The generated quote automatically triggers the appropriate bills of material and routings required to fulfill the order. Also, the sales team can log in on behalf of the dealer and customer to collaborate on a partially completed order, rather than starting from scratch. Dealers, end customers, and the sales team all get a single, consistent experience. Where it used to take months to train a new user on the legacy CPQ system, users can now get up to speed within a much shorter timeframe. The solution also provides a 2D visualization of the final product, which helps eliminate any surprises and addresses potential design issues prior to production.The CPQ and ERP integration also reduces IT’s ongoing administrative workload. With one solution to maintain and manage, IT has a more streamlined way to execute system upgrades and new product launches. The solution is also highly scalable, allowing IT to on-board new dealers and locations much more efficiently. In addition to having happier, more productive users, the company is also ready for a more mobile future. With Infor CPQ, the company is positioned to support mobile users who want to gather and input requirements onsite with the customer and generate a quote immediately.The work Milgard Windows & Doors did prior to deployment is one of the reasons that its Infor CPQ solution has had such a meaningful impact on its business. The company invested a lot of time and effort working with dealers to understand what they needed in a quoting solution. The team gathered requirements, proposed designs, and incorporated dealer feedback into its final deployment to ensure that users would have the smooth, seamless customer experience that would help differentiate Milgard Windows & Doors from its competitors. As Nair puts it: “Infor CPQ was easy to use, intuitive, and accurate, which met our goal to make the buying experience as stress-free as possible for our dealers and their customers. The Infor solution also supports a more efficient and effective sales process, which is helping open us up to new opportunities and partnerships.” Read more
Schuite & Schuite Druckfarben GMBH selects Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP Schuite & Schuite Druckfarben GMBH, a well known German producer and supplier - with Dutch roots- of professional ink for full color printing companies,  has selected Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP. The implementation will be realized in the coming months,  together with  Infor gold channel partner Quartess.  Key in the decision is amongst others the fact that Infor Cloudsuite Industrial is a real multi tenant cloud application. “This will save us a lot of hassle”, according to Bauke-Jan Schuite, CEO of Schuite & Schuite.  “ICT should be supportive to our business, not the other way around. With Cloud Suite Industrial we will see that happen. It has lots of functionality, which we will start using gradually over time. CSI does comply to German fiscal and financial rules as well and can be used mobile. Also we will always be working with the latest version of the software, an important characteristic of multi tenant cloud. With Infor Cloudsuite ERP we enter the digital future and it will further strengthen our market position. And that fits perfect with our company goals!” Read more
Cloud as a Foundation for Digital Readiness in Manufacturing Cloud as a Foundation for Digital Readiness in ManufacturingApril 20, 2018Manufacturers are bombarded daily with promises of a digital revolution and system-wide reimagining. The potential is astounding. IT consulting firm, Capgemini, even predicts in a recent report that smart factories could add 0 billion to .5 trillion in value-added service offerings to the global economy in five years.Such impressive numbers and the technologies on offer, like Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence, are capturing the imagination of visionaries. But, pragmatic and results driven manufacturers will be looking for the proven tactics that will bring definable process results and quickly offer a measurable Return on Investment while setting firm foundations for their digital strategy.Manufacturers know they must first go beyond the hype and examine core, foundational issues. These may be process pains that have been a nuisance for years, but didn’t make it to the top of the priority list as personnel devised work-arounds and “made do” with the inefficiencies.For many manufacturers fixing these fundamentals requires updating their ERP solution, the heart of the enterprise, and transitioning to cloud deployment. Cloud deployment provides the enterprise-wide process improvement manufacturers need today. Cloud deployment’s elasticity, and fast implementation are also critical elements of being digital-ready.Why is cloud deployment the logical starting point for a short-term transformation, and long-term digital journey?Keeping pace with fast changing pressures and rapid changeManufacturers face escalating market pressures with endlessly changing trends and evolving customer demands. To respond, manufacturers may need to put in place regional divisions, leverage mergers and acquisitions, form partnerships, add distribution hubs, or build new facilities. These tactics require setting up new systems, hardware and software.With the traditional on-premises approach the IT department is burdened with procuring and managing the hardware, servers, security, and back-up systems. Software solutions can be time-consuming to implement, especially if the ERP is a generic one-size-fits-all which needs to be highly modified to suit an industry. These “old-school” processes are no longer practical. Cloud deployment, in contrast, leaves the system set-up to the cloud provider, meaning the system is ready to go within weeks.Storing vast amounts of dataLegacy solutions deployed on premises seldom offer the storage capacity needed for digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT).  IoT applications involve sensors embedded in products or equipment to capture and communicate a continuous flow of data about location and conditions. This requires the virtually unlimited storage capacity of the cloud. Trying to manage the massive amounts of sensor-generated data within your own on premises system would require substantial investment in hardware—and people to manage the systems.Visibility and flexibilityDigital manufacturing is all about data, visibility, and access to data. It involves connecting to other systems, solutions, and even other devices, like shipping containers and material handling equipment. In order to be digital-ready the organisation must have a core ERP that is flexible. That means getting rid of the cumbersome modifications that make updates and upgrades difficult. You need a system which can easily integrate and connect with other systems. In the past, ERP providers were concerned about keeping data within the organisation, not in sharing. Today, visibility must extend beyond the four walls of the plant to the supply chain network, colleagues, co-manufacturers, and partners. Turning to a modern ERP solution in the cloud makes this level of enterprise-wide connectivity easier.Fully modern today, fully modern tomorrowA manufacturer with an outdated ERP solution is likely experiencing multiple pain points which are draining profits or making it difficult to keep up with the competition. Some may try to fix these issues, one at a time with add-on solutions. Trying to adapt a digital framework one edge app at a time is slow and inefficient, whilst it may have had its place when early adopters were needing to prove digital concepts with pilot programs, digital concepts are now proven and beyond requiring protected boundaries to limit risk.Now, it makes more sense to deploy system-wide improvements at once, starting with the ERP solution. No other tactic will be so far-reaching and offer the ability to resolve multiple operational roadblocks all at once. Perhaps one of the most substantial benefits of cloud deployment is that manufacturers won’t have to worry about upgrades and keeping the software modern. Cloud solutions are updated on a continual basis so that the software always contains the latest functionality.Consistent customer-centricityAn enterprise-wide approach is also the most practical way to improve multiple customer touchpoints, addressing the entire customer journey, not just order entry or field service dispatch. Customers engage with manufacturers at multiple levels, at many different intersection points in the buying cycle, from early product inquiries to aftermarket service and repeat sales or upgrades. The customer expects a consistent experience throughout the process, not a highly attentive pre-purchase phase that suddenly drops off the moment the status switches from prospect to customer. With a new, advanced ERP solution in place, the customer experience will be consistently modern.Concluding thoughtsManufacturers today are enticed by the exciting dazzle of disruptive technologies which promise big benefits. Also, the pragmatic manufacturer often is concerned about ROI, achieving early wins, and proven methods for solving day-to-day operational pains. Deploying a modern ERP solution in the cloud takes care of both aspects. The cloud deployment offers the starting point for digital activities that are visionary and high impact, like IoT. The enterprise-wide advanced functionality of a modern ERP solution also brings the very practical applications that the manufacturer needs now in order to be competitive and please customers.Want to find out more about this topic?Join Infor’s thought Leadership session: Cloud as a Foundation for Digital Transformation at the CIO Summit Europe in Paris on the 14th of May, 12:05 pm – 12:30 pmNote: Originally published on  Read more
Inforum 2018 Washington DC September 24-27 The Inforum 2018 Infor user event will be organised in the USA, Washington DC, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. As an Infor Cloudsuite Industrial (fka Syteline ERP) and an Infor Visual ERP  user you are most welcome to join this event from September 24th- 27th. No better place to get inspired about the possibilities of going digital when you are in the manufacturing industry, to hear about what the future will bring at Infor and to network with your peers. Benefit from the early bird discount till June 26th and register here. Read more
The role of Infor Business Innovation in GDPR compliance By John Vicari, senior director, Infor Business InnovationThe European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data.“Personal data” is defined in the GDPR as any information relating to a person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, online identifier, or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity of that person. In other words, any data or processes that can identify the subject comprise that individual’s personal data.Playing a crucial role in supporting the requirements of the GDPR at Infor is Business Innovation, Infor’s enterprise information technology (IT) team. This group is responsible for providing and maintaining an information processing capability that supports Infor’s business globally. With more than 500 employees supporting over 130 locations, the Business Innovation team plans, operates, and supports Infor’s IT business and technical requirements, enabling business users to carry out their roles efficiently, productively, and securely.While IT usually brings to mind computer support, Business Innovation’s responsibilities extend far beyond the help desk. Business Innovation’s major areas of responsibilities are listed below and include managing risk associated with technology information, and ensuring that Infor’s internal infrastructure is secure.Sales, marketing, and “deal” managementFinance & accounting managementHuman capital/talent management consultingInfrastructure (compute, storage, network, telco, messaging, security)Data management (business intelligence, data governance, data warehousing)Technology information riskProduction management, support, and QAArchitecture and applications developmentAlthough many obligations need to be fulfilled to meet the requirements of the GDPR, Business Innovation started with the first step for compliance: mapping the data flow to enable us to assess our privacy risks. This includes understanding and documenting the following:What kind of personal data is collected (e.g., name, email, address)?How is it collected (e.g., form, online, call center)?Where is it stored?How is it processed?Is the data encrypted?Who is accountable for personal data?What is the location of the systems/filing systems containing the data?Who has access to the information?Is the information disclosed/shared with anyone (e.g., suppliers, third parties)?Does the system interface with or transfer information to other systems?How long do we keep it?The delivery of the principles and rights in the GDPR will not be possible if we do not have a complete understanding of personal data and its associated processing.Data management best practiceThe Business Innovation team is assessing other capabilities and components needed to fully address the data management requirements of the GDPR. These components fall under these five categories:ManageCase management: Systems required for managing data subject requests, complaints, and communications related to emergencies and data breachesControls management: Systems to manage the control for all aspects of personal dataPrivacy compliance: Systems that manage data protection assessments, identify risk gaps, demonstrate compliance, and record data purposeTraining: Training solutions/systems that can demonstrate understanding of the GDPR and compliance requirementsActData security: Implement systems that protect data via the use of encryption, pseudonymizing, and other security technologiesData maintenance: Systems to manage data quality, including updates of data throughout the data lifecycle. This includes data deletion and suppression as a required functionBreach response: The deployment of systems that will detect, manage, and resolve breaches (identify breached data, identify impacted users, and notify all relevant parties)SecureNetwork: Deployment of detailed and integrated network and cyber security procedures, systems, and processes to provide enhanced levels of network securityApplication: Deployment of systems to ensure all applications that store, process, and manage personal data are secureInfrastructure: Deployment of systems to protect all IT infrastructure, including cloud solutions, use for data management, processing, storage and archivingIdentifyData discovery: Systems that assess structured and unstructured data across the enterprise identifying personal dataData mapping: Systems that “flag” all data related to an individual and show how all elements are tied togetherConsent: Systems that manage, track, and demonstrate all GDPR consent provisionsAnalyzeActivity monitoring: Identify how data is being accessed and used and by whom and how value can be derived from itOmni-channel management: Systems to manage and coordinate data coming in from multiple channelsArchive management: Systems to ensure archived data is managed and deleted in accordance with retention policesIndividual rightsOne of the key changes brought about by the GDPR is its impact on the rights of individuals with respect to how their data is used. Since the GDPR gives individuals more control over the ways in which Infor processes their personal data, our responsibilities are greater than ever to ensure we’re absolutely clear on our data management.Individual rights under GDPR are the “right of access,” “right to rectification,” “right to erasure” (or the “right to be forgotten”), “right to restriction of processing,” “right to data portability,” and “right to object.” In a functional sense, these rights require Business Innovation to provide the technology and processes to:Connect individuals to their personal dataCategorize personal data by type and processing purposeMap or tract the full lifecycle of personal dataPerform search and retrievalEnable rectification, redaction, erasure, anonymizationEnable freeze and suppressionEnable the transmission of personal data from one technology stack to anotherWith over 16,500 employees and 90,000 customers in more than 170 countries, Infor faces an exciting challenge with implementing the new data protection laws of the GDPR. However, while challenging, there are also a wide range of benefits to be realized because of the GDPR. The technical and process improvements necessary to meet the new GDPR requirements will result in dramatic efficiencies in how Infor manages and secures personal data.Note: Originally pubished on Read more
Ben Cramer joins Quartess as partner to grow Infor CSI (fka Syteline) practice Starting February 1st 2018, ERP industry veteran Ben Cramer will join Quartess as a partner, with focus –together with Managing Director Jan Muller- on the growth of the Infor Cloudsuite Industrial (CSI) ERP practice. “We are excited and very happy to be able to welcome Ben to our team” says Jan Muller. “Ben has extensive knowledge of the Infor CSI ERP product (fka Syteline ERP) and is an experienced manager. Because of the fast growing market for multi tenant ERP cloud solutions, Quartess decided to add Infor CSI for the manufacturing industry to our product portfolio.Already operating as an Infor gold channel partner in the manufacturing industry with Infor Visual ERP, we now are able to combine almost 2 decades of ERP related manufacturing expertise with more than 2 decades of Infor Syteline ERP / Infor CSI product and manufacturing expertise of Ben. A very promising combination”.“Quartess have many years of experience with Infor Visual ERP and implementing ERP in the manufacturing industry” says Ben Cramer. “ Jan has asked me to join Quartess to accelerate growth with the Infor Cloudsuite Industrial ERP product. It didn’t take long to see that this is the perfect opportunity to work with the product I know very well and like very much, in a role and within an organization where I can add value with my knowledge and expertise. I am looking forward working with Jan, the Quartess team, prospects and customers, to further grow the Infor CSI customer base” Read more
It’s not that difficult to keep your ERP system alive By Jan Muller, Managing Director & Co-owner QuartessIt has been a while since you implemented your ERP system probably. Maybe 3 years, 5 years, or in many cases I know of, even 10 years or more. In these years, many things have changed in your company. Examples like new products, new markets, new people, even new ownership perhaps.So your organization must have changed because all of this also. And with that, ways of working and procedures.At the same time, in the external world things move fast. New technologies have been introduced and existing ones have matured. Internet of things, big data, smart customization, new production techniques like 3D printing, ‘cloud’, smart customization and big data to name some examples.But what about the effect of all these developments in the in- and outside world, and your ERP system? Do you have a structure in place stimulating people in your organization to think and discuss about the effect of all these changes on your ERP system? Now some of you might say: of course, obviously. Congratulations, you are in the front runners group. In our practice – Quartess focuses on the SMB discrete manufacturing market- I see both. I also see companies that struggle with this, with the negative effects you can think off.So what should you do?  Think back about the time you implemented the system. There was a key user group and a project leader that formed your implementation team. This team together with the consultants implemented the system and trained the end-users. Does such a team in your organization still have regular meetings about changes and how they affect your ERP system? They should! Every month, every 2 months, bring them together and have discussions.In addition, talk to your supplier as well when you want to adapt your ERP system. Some changes may have a potential big impact. And be sure you are running the latest version of your ERP software. Take advantage of the new functionality your supplier has put into the system you already have. The effect will be an ERP system that is kept alive and has far more chances to be seen by the users as a tool that supports them in doing their job. And that is what ERP is about after al. Or it will become clear that you'll have to look around for replacement of your current system. Also a valuable conclusion because you know now exactly why.  Read more
Van Halteren Special Products BV selects Infor Visual ERP The Netherlands based Van Halteren Special Products BV, part of the Van Halteren Groep, has decided to implement Infor Visual ERP. Quartess, the Netherlands based Infor partner for the SMB manufacturing industry will work the coming months together with Van Halteren on the successful implementation of the system.Van Halteren Special Products B.V. (VHSP) provides technical services and develops & builds high-tech components and solutions for the Defense market, both Army and Navy, and the Civil (rail) market. VHSP provides technical services from design, realization, operation, maintenance, repair and overhaul to midlife updates. Products and activities range from engines, transmissions, power packs, cooling systems and collective Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection, climate control and chiller units for armored vehicles, to naval applications and rail solutions. VHSP offers its clients solutions during the complete lifecycle of a product. Solutions are customized where necessary.Because of growth of their business, integration of back-office processes including financials, became increasingly important to the board of directors of Van Halteren. The need to replace the existing system became necessary therefore. Since another company within the group uses Infor Visual ERP successful, and Van Halteren has confidence in both the future of the product and the capabilities of Quartess, a thorough evaluation process led to the decision for Infor Visual ERP version 8.00.For more info on the Van Halteren Special Products activities please visit Read more