Last month saw K3 Syspro’s 2017 Customer Day take place at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. If you haven’t already been to the centre, then do try to find a reason to visit in 2018 as it’s an incredible facility that represents one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing.
Our one day event was a fantastic opportunity to gather 100 of our UK customers together in one location to share our latest developments and highlight the many ways in which we, along with our partners, can help businesses maintain their competitive advantage in a world that is rapidly moving towards full digitalisation and Industry 4.0.
The theme for the day was Connecting the Dots, and through a series of presentations and workshops, a number of important industry themes were explored, all of which impact on the manufacturing sectors that were represented by our attending customers, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical devices, packaging and food and drink. The day saw two of our customers present how SYSPRO has and is continuing to help them remain competitive.
I wanted to share some of the key topics that were discussed on the day:
Productivity and performance
There was a lot of talk about productivity and performance. The Government’s message to UK businesses is simple: if the UK is to successfully trade with and operate in the European market post Brexit we, as a nation, must raise our productivity levels. Despite the fact that the UK has built a global reputation for our industrial sectors, we simply can’t compete against our European counterparts when it comes to productivity.
The Government’s drive to boost UK productivity levels, coupled with Industry 4.0, will force the UK manufacturing industry towards integrated and automated ‘smart’ factories, leaving businesses with little choice other than to automate their shop floor and production processes or risk losing out to their competition – whether that’s here in the UK or overseas.
During the day, we discussed the role that ERP systems, such as SYSPRO, can play in boosting productivity and performance by helping businesses integrate the value chain, better understand customers, enhance automation, become more responsive, and facilitate a transformation to the factories of the future which will ensure that the UK manufacturing industry survives – and even thrives – when we’re no longer part of the EU.
Visibility and transparency
Two interconnected themes that came up time and time again throughout our Customer Day were visibility and transparency. End-to-end visibility is essential in helping businesses track and manage quality across their entire supply chain networks. ERP systems provide what no other individual business solution can: real-time workflow visibility from the shop floor through to senior management, delivering clarity, transparency and integration throughout a business’ entire operation.
By providing seamless end-to-end integration and full transparency across multiple functions, departments and locations, ERP puts businesses in a much stronger position to make the right decisions and move closer towards digitalisation.
Closely linked to visibility and transparency is the theme of traceability, which many of our customers were keen to talk to us about on the day. In a rapidly developing global manufacturing industry, the ability to confidently trace all the components in your supply chain has never been more critical. Whether it’s for the purposes of meeting industry regulations, improving customer satisfaction, immediately identifying and rectifying any problems in the supply chain or enhancing the quality of manufacturing operations, traceability is now becoming standard thanks to ERP’s ability to connect all the individual processes and parts of a business together and provide access to real-time data 24/7 all year round.
Another theme that we explored at length on the Customer Day was that of collaborative partnerships. We recognise that to be optimally positioned for a fully digitised industrial new age, our customers need to have access to a wide range of integrated IT and business solutions. We don’t claim to be ‘all things to all men’ and have, instead, carefully selected a number of partners who are highly-respected providers of software products that add value to our customers and their end users.
Our rationale behind this approach is simple: we believe that our best-of-breed partnerships give K3 Sypro and, more importantly, our customers a competitive advantage. Our partners share our vision to deliver economies of scale and efficiencies for our customers. Together, we aim to make our customers more efficient, responsive, agile and, most importantly, profitable.
Attendees of our Customer Day were invited to listen to presentations from two of SYSPRO’s global strategic partners: Prophix and LYNQ. Prophix is a leading global provider of Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software including budgeting and forecasting tools and software. James Hanson, VP Business Development from Prophix highlighted the importance of using data analytics to learn from the past, adapt as a result of the lessons learned, and then be able to predict the future. He stressed that while businesses cannot completely predict what might happen in their industry, they need to be as robust and prepared as they possibly can be and that by having the right tools in place and access to the right data, businesses will be much better positioned to predict as much as possible, as well as then react in the most effective manner.
LYNQ is a global provider of Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software targeted at small to medium-sized manufacturers across a wide range of industries. Supply chain visibility was the theme of the presentation delivered byMark Gregory, Chief Executive Officerfrom LYNQ who spoke about the key steps to Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) and how these steps provide visibility across the entire production process, enabling companies to be able to schedule and track production and then analyse and improve processes.
So, as I hope you will conclude from this blog, our Customer Day was a great success and the feedback we’ve had has been entirely positive. Why not take a look at our overview video from the day here. I’d like to thank all of our customers who attended and also give thanks to our third-party providers and partners who supported the day and offered demonstrations and workshops. Now to get planning for next year’s event – well maybe I’ll leave that until after Christmas.