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D!conomy – CeBit’s Ideas and Solutions for a Digital World

April 10, 2017

As the great and the good in IT flocked to Hanover for CeBit 2017 last week, I was grateful not to have to walk the floor and instead I reviewed the key themes at the event, from the relative comfort of my desk.  Amongst event keynote subjects, like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), a topic which CeBit calls 'D!conomy' caught my attention. D!conomy appears to be the show's attempt to redefine digital transformation underway as a part of Industry 4.0.  The 'd!conomy - no limits' keynote focused on how limits of collaboration across company and industry borders are being redefined-including the human-technology interface. 

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Intermediate Services—the Start of Your Servitization Journey

December 18, 2016

In my September post, the ironically titled "Are British factories an Endangered Species" (and for the record the answer is an emphatic NO!) I proposed that servitization was a route through which business could grow and simultaneously deepen the relationships they have with their customers. While the biggest benefits of the servitization transformation are realised when the business starts to offer advanced services (outcome focused on capability)-providing intermediate services (outcomes based on product condition) is probably a good place for most business to start their servitization journey.

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Servitization and the Customer Service Supply Chain

October 05, 2016

In my recent article "Are British factories an endangered species?" I talked about how UK manufacturers can use the process of servitization as another way of staying ahead of the competition. Whether a manufacturer is offering intermediate services such as a helpdesk, periodic maintenance, repair and overhaul; or advanced capability-based services such as "kilometres moved" offered by companies such as MAN Truck and Bus UK or Alstom's Train-Life services, customer service will be a key component of the "service" provided. So what is the state of customer service in the UK? In April 2016 The Institute of Customer Servicepublished research comparing customer satisfaction performance in eight European countries which "showed that, on average, the UK performs highest for customer satisfaction."

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Are British Factories an Endangered Species?

September 19, 2016

There is no doubt that the manufacturing landscape in the UK is tricky:

  • The cost base for UK manufactures is at an all-time high
  • International competition has never been more acute
  • Production operations have never been easier to transfer overseas1

With the rate of change accelerating fast the outlook for large chunks of UK manufacturing is far from rosy. The basic business model for large numbers of factories up and down the country can't be sustainable in the long term.

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Brexit — Change and the Need for Agility

June 30, 2016

As the dust settles after the referendum in the UK last week, companies are facing the challenge of sifting through the uncertainty and concerns surrounding the impact of the result that the UK will leave the European Union (EU).  "Brexit" is now a reality and the global markets have already felt the impact of the vote. Many businesses are wondering how this decision will alter the way they conduct business with partners, suppliers and customers at home and abroad. The process of exiting the EU will take time. The UK will remain a member of the EU while it negotiates its exit and enters into other trade deals with the process expected to take up to two years to complete. During this time the UK remains a member of the EU and businesses will need to continue to comply with EU regulations and existing reporting requirements.

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Users helping users at the upcoming UK and EMEA EUG conference

June 17, 2016

We're looking forward to meeting a full house of Epicor users and partners during the Epicor User Group (EUG) conference for the UK and EMEA next week. Taking place on June 22 and 23 at Staverton Park HotelDaventry, UK, it promises to be a busy and exciting event. Designed for users to share experiences, best practice and tips for how they get the most out of their Epicor solutions, the EUG event features opportunities for further education around a selection of products such as the Data Management Tool, Advanced Requisition Management, Excel Connect and Epicor Commerce Connect. 

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How to Eliminate Inefficiency to Propel Your Growth—and Protect Your Brand

May 24, 2016

As a manufacturer, you understand that to grow in today's competitive global markets means that your business must operate with increasing efficiency. However, this can quickly lead to a catch-22 situation that perhaps you've experienced: while you're working to become more efficient to drive growth, unplanned growth happens-such as surprise surges in demand that you just weren't prepared for. And suddenly, you find that your operations are overwhelmed and becoming less efficient instead of more so. As a manufacturer, you understand that to grow in today's competitive global markets means that your business must operate with increasing efficiency. 

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