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Traceability Should be Easy

August 02, 2017

[Following on from The Impact of Paper Records on a Consumer]

Food traceability is not a simple problem and can potentially have disastrous outcomes for everyone in the supply chain, from producer to consumer. Yet we still allow paper to dominate as the source of information. The crux of the problem is that paper does not control anything. It is just a written record, there's no validation, and no control.


Servitization and the Customer Service Supply Chain—the View From a Primary Supplier

August 01, 2017

I ended my "Servitization and the customer service supply chain" article with a commitment to follow the chain from a primary supplier through to the consumer and then share with you what I've found. To recap, the questions I am interested in getting answers to include: are manufacturing businesses using customer experience to differentiate themselves? If they are, how are they doing this, and how are they impacted by the customer service they receive from their suppliers?


The Impact of Paper Records on a Consumer

July 21, 2017

[Following on from The Impact of Paper Records on a Retailer]

For the consumer it's relatively simple. Shoppers continue to scrutinize products based mostly on their fat, salt and sugar content. They rarely concern themselves about the risks of food safety until it affects them personally. Should they be worried? Well, as a person who spends the majority of his life understanding how the producers work and control their product's quality, the answer is probably not. 


The Impact of Paper Records on a Retailer

July 07, 2017

[Following on from The Impact of Paper Records on a Food Producer]

Retailers are the face of food quality to the consumer. We all remember a product being removed from a shelf in a supermarket and the newspaper headlines from a major recall. Do we remember the producer's name? The answer is most likely not. So retailers are continuously checking and auditing their food suppliers. Although, with the number of product lines now stocked it is an almost impossible task. 


Epicor Awarded Membership of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce

July 07, 2017

Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry specific enterprise software solutions to promote business growth, is delighted to have been awarded membership of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce (SCOC). Established in 1857, the SCOC is a membership organisation that supports, connects and grows local business in the Sheffield region. Its aim is to ensure that decisions made by local and central government are in the best interests of Sheffield's businesses and the region as a whole. Commenting on the recent membership award and plaque presentation, Chris said, "Epicor is delighted to have received this honour from the SCOC."


Many Food Safety Numbers are Still Recorded on Paper

June 20, 2017

Why, in this day of smart devices, tracking technologies and internet connected 'things', do we still rely on people writing numbers down on sheets of paper when it comes to food tracking and traceability? Take a simple food company producing products for a variety of retailers. Each product contains multiple ingredients and is likely to go through multiple stages of processing. Ingredients arrive on pallets, batch numbers are recorded and labels written and stuck on the packages to be cross referenced to the supplier batch references. The ingredients are then stored, picked and moved into production. Batch numbers are recorded again as they are moved and used.


The Impact of Paper Records on a Food Producer

June 16, 2017

[Following on from Many Food Safety Numbers are Still Recorded on Paper]

Inevitably, control of food quality and traceability rests solely with the producer. Often retailers punish producers who fail to deliver on traceability with fines, exclusion from range reviews and, ultimately their removal as a supplierGiven the consequences of failing an audit or causing a recall, it astounds me that paper is still one of the most common ways of recording traceability. Producers are under pressure from retailers regarding traceability, and rightly so. They have to suffer the audit and demonstrate their competence in proving traceability.


Celebrating Epicor BisTrack Customers’ Success

May 10, 2017

It takes a lot of hard work to enter such established awards, let alone win them. Winning takes business acumen, investment in people and the right technology to drive business forward, improve customer service and encourage growth. Which is why, when our customers win prestigious awards, by extension, I feel immense satisfaction. That was certainly the case at the recent Timber Trades Journal (TTJ) Awards in London, where Epicor BisTrack customers, James Latham and Brooks Brothers, scooped home some impressive prizes.  


Work the Way that Suits You Best with Epicor iScala 3.1

May 02, 2017

The most obvious and far-reaching change with the latest version of the Epicor iScala ERP solution is in its revamped user experience. The new look and feel makes it easy to tailor the user interface to the specific needs and business functions of the individual, group, department or company. It also accelerates many tasks, from accessing applications and information to data entry and modification.


Epicor iScala 3.1—Changing the Way You Work

April 28, 2017

The latest release of the Epicor iScala ERP solution offers significant improvements focused on improving user experience, capabilities and value. It beefs up security. It’s much easier to use and its user interface can be adapted to suit individual users, teams or companies. It also introduces the first of a new breed of online and offline mobile application for Google Android and Apple IoS. This automates and simplifies key day-to-day warehouse operations, and more apps will follow. Other areas greatly improved in this release are Finance Management, and Service and Contract Management.


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.


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 Service published research comparing customer satisfaction performance in eight European countries which "showed that, on average, the UK performs highest for customer satisfaction."