Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Into Africa : Celtrino Looks To The Future

Just as the Irish winter begins to bite, my thoughts return to a recent business trip to Lagos Nigeria where their winter is quite a different story altogether. Previous travels in rapidly developing economies had prepared me for the infrastructural challenges I’d find. However, I’ll readily admit that my wardrobe is ill-equipped for attending formal meetings in 35o Centigrade!

 Planning such a trip took months of preparation. Fortunately, we were brilliantly assisted in our efforts. The Irish Government led a trade mission to Nigeria and Ghana in early December 2015 provided a fantastic support eco-system to Celtrino in terms of preparation and day-to-day on the ground activities.

 It was a real high impact tour de force performance by Minister Coveney (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine), His Excellency Seán Hoy (our Ambassador To Nigeria) as well as event  organisers Julie Sinnamon (CEO of Enterprise Ireland) and Aidan Cotter (CEO of Bord Bia) and their talented teams.

Celtrino In Lagos With Minister Simon Coveney

 

(Photo From left to right: H.E Seán Hoy; Ken Halpin; Minister Simon Coveney; Julie Sinnamon)

 

 

During the packed 2 day visit I had great meetings with a diverse set of key players of relevance to Celtrino (including a pitch to 40 leading Nigerian Financial Service Providers). The focus of our meetings was the potential fit for our newest e-Commerce Marketplace services which offer scalable trading systems to the FMCG sector. The meetings went exceptionally well. The senior people I met responded very favourably to our proven track record and the modular nature of the service offerings.

 Culturally, I found Nigerians extremely friendly and professional in this ambitious dynamic changing country. In some ways, it helped that there are an estimated 40,000 Nigerians already living in Ireland and that Nigeria is well represented in Celtrino’s multicultural workforce comprising 14 different nationalities.

 In servicing the infrastructural trading systems needs of our customers as they grow their businesses, Celtrino plans to play its part in helping to generate €545 million of target Irish export revenues to Nigeria by 2018.   Onwards and upwards!

Why it’s nuts to bolt-on to your ERP system

Red Robot 2

Attempting supply chain automation within an ERP system can be a costly mistake. But there is a better way.

They say a camel is a horse that has been designed by a committee. Much the same can be said for many ERP systems, especially those systems installed in medium sized manufacturers.

Manufacturers have let themselves be painted into a corner regarding their ERP platform. Bolting-on even more functionality to their ERP system is time-consuming, expensive, and a heavy drain on internal resources.

When that bolt-on functionality revolves around the supply chain, the logic is even more tenuous. Adapting and extending ERP systems calls for a specialised skill set. It’s rare for people with those skill sets to be equally adept at the intricacies of supply chain management and supplier on-boarding.

Times are hard, so why add cost and complexity to an already complicated environment when there’s something that’s already out there, and it’s tried, tested and proven.

That something, is the on-line supply chain transaction platform. Simply put, such platforms are a means of securely exchanging transaction-related documents electronically. They include: purchase orders, invoices, shipping notes, goods inwards, received notes, statements and everything else. Supply Chain Transaction Platform Info

How can we help?

Doing the heavy lifting of the hundreds of thousands of supply chain transactions outside the ERP system sharply reduces the cost and complexity. It reduces the time-to-benefit, and provides richer reporting functionality than the typical manufacturer would achieve on their own.

ERP

With Celtrino’s own on-line supply chain transaction platform, all of your supply chain activity is located, transacted and logged in the cloud. It feeds the ERP system with data that is known to be 100% clean and validated. Performance reports are available across a wide range of metrics. These metrics provide a high level of control and accountability right across the organisation.

By automating these paper-based processes, you push decision-making authority closer to where the work happens. There is no more logging into disparate systems or trawling through reams of paper to access critical KPI data.

Front-line managers can get the metrics that they need in order to be more efficient, while senior managers and the CFO get instant access to information to help with more strategic decision-making.

All this is achieved without burdening the ERP system with yet another layer of cost and complexity.

The message for manufacturers?

Fence off your ERP system, and instead invest in supply chain transaction automation where it will deliver the greatest ROI, on a built-for-purpose platform that specialises in such transactions.

www.celtrino.com

Visit us for more information or follow @Celtrino

 

supply chain automation, accounts payable automation, saas, b2b, automated accounts,

Accounts Payable Automation and “What’s In It For You?”

Help your Accounts Payable department to save any time spent chasing lost documentation, by seeing the light and embracing the cloud!

sky-sunny-clouds-cloudy copy

The Staff who work in your accounts payable department love their job. It gives you peace of mind to think that they get your payable’s paid on time. You also like how they know where in the process, any invoice is at every moment in time right?

Wrong!

Now that we are finished dreaming let’s face the facts. The Accounts Payable process can be challenging, particularly if all you have to work with is a manual, paper-based AP process. That’s where Accounts Payable Automation comes in.

AP people are hard-working (we like them a lot) but they spend wasted time chasing lost documentation and requesting copies of invoices which is impacting on their work flow. You may not be aware of that fact but it’s true, go ahead and ask them.

We have spoken to enough companies before and after they changed over to accounts payable automation to know its true. So below I will outline the facts of how AP automation can make a difference:

The Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation on behalf of your AP staff:)

1.You can reduce your costs by streamlining your accounts payable process and you can deliver an immediate reduction in administrative costs

2.You can have an efficient world class accounts payable department that processes invoices with greater efficiency and accuracy than can be achieved with a manual, costly and error prone approach

3.You can improve profits (hooray!) by reducing accounts payable processing transaction costs, taking advantage of supplier discounts and eliminating late-payment penalties

Lady with money

4.You can clean up your data as only approved invoices are fed into your back office system reducing errors and speeding up the accounts payable process

5.You can eliminate paper and help to save the environment by automating your Accounts Payable process.  You will eliminate the need to track, trace and store paper invoices making your staff extremely happy.

Celtrino Accounts Payable Solution Here>

Each step of the Accounts Payable process is time consuming and the cost of one error can be significant.

Automating your AP process will allow you to take advantage of the cloud based technology that is currently evolving. It will tidy up the paper trail and make your accounts payable staff very happy.

In short, it will free up your staff to be more productive in the areas that matter like revenue growth. Which is never a bad thing.

If you would like more information then check out our  white paper “The Business Case for Accounts Payable Automation” to find out more.

www.celtrino.com

 Visit us for more information or follow @Celtrino

 

Supply Chain Issues Cost UK Tech Firms Dearly

Supply Chain Issues Cost UK Tech Firms Dearly

Although tech giant Apple may have a superb supply chain to thank for much of their continuing success, a recent report by insurance provider Zurich suggests that medium-sized UK tech companies are not so fortunate. In the document, entitled ‘Weakest Link: UK Plc’s Supply Chain’, analysts reported that 88% of the 500 businesses surveyed had experienced at least one significant and costly disruption to their supply chain.

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Celtrino’s Cloud has a Silver Lining

“Celtrino is growing, we need to be more scalable, we need to be in the cloud.”

That was the simple directive I received from our CEO over two years ago. At the time, my initial instinct was to advise him that we were already in the cloud, in “our cloud”, and after 10 years of optimising and fine tuning “our cloud” and our resources and processes we were really firing on all cylinders now, so thank you very much Windows Azure, but maybe we’ll pass for now. But I didn’t, mainly because despite the success of our own private cloud platform, I agreed with his vision.  Cloud computing was like a snowball that had been pushed down a hill, still small at that stage but growing in size and velocity and it was on a crash course for IT services. As Head of IT, the allure of having the ability to scale our IT platform without having to consider the logistics of rack space, or power units, or hardware contingency planning and having on-demand access to IT system resources via state of the art, internationally accredited data centres was simply irresistible.

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Celtrino Achieves a Microsoft Silver Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Competency

Celtrino earns distinction through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

DUBLIN, Ireland — June, 19th, 2012 Celtrino today announced it has achieved a Silver ISV competency, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft Corp. customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft silver competency, partners must successfully demonstrate expertise through rigorous exams, culminating in Microsoft certifications. And to ensure the highest quality of services, Microsoft requires customer references for successful implementation and customer satisfaction.

Microsoft Partner Silver Competency

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Irish Government Confirms Commitment to Cloud Computing Development with €1.2 Million Research Fund

Irish Government Confirms Commitment to Cloud Computing Development with €1.2 Million Research Fund

The Irish Government has announced details of a €1.2 Million research programme designed to encourage investment into cloud computing. Headed up by Dublin City University, the Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre hopes to increase Ireland’s profile as a home for cutting edge developments in the field of outsourced computing. The fund is part of the wider ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ being implemented as part of Ireland’s economic recovery plan.

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Supply Chain Efficiency Benefits Ignored According to Survey

Supply Chain Efficiency Benefits IgnoredThe 2011 edition of the annual Engineering & Manufacturing Supply Chain Survey has been published this week based on the responses of 120 UK-based senior supply chain managers and makes for interesting reading.

Over one-fifth (22%) of respondents admitted that their procurement and sourcing procedures and mechanisms required improvement. By improving the inbound purchasing system, this group of supply chain managers believed that their businesses could recognise a number of efficiencies and cost savings not available in their current methodologies.

Perhaps the most surprising finding of the Supply Chain Survey was that only 54% of the managers surveyed were convinced that improving their supply chain would also help improve their business’ balance sheets. For many years supply chain management experts have been advising companies on creating efficiencies for improved return on investment but the message appears to have been ignored by many in-house managers despite many success stories across most industry sectors.

Ian King, business director of engineering and manufacturing at DHL who commissioned the report believes that although most respondents believed their supply chains could be improved, supply chain improvements extend beyond cost reductions. Commenting on the results of the survey King said, “it seems that one area they [those questioned] might be overlooking is the impact that improving supply chain efficiency can have on their supply chain.”

At a time when the costs of raw materials are rising steadily and resources are becoming more scarce, businesses need to focus on the costs that they can control. Although the prices a supplier charges cannot be fully controlled, the way in which products are sourced, inventoried, assembled, catalogued or warehoused can, and any costs reduced through introducing efficiencies equate to a direct positive effect on the balance sheet.

2012 is currently being promoted as the year of the cloud, where hosted supply chain management systems have reached the level of maturity and stability required to become a ‘game changer’. For the 54% of supply chain managers who believe efficiencies improve their business’ profitability, now might be the time to investigate such platforms and recognise those savings.

e-Invoicing Up 20% Globally According to New Report

A new study commissioned by e-Invoicing provider Basware in conjunction with consultancy Billentis has found that the use of electronic invoices for B2B transactions rose by 20% during 2011. The report found that although many businesses elected to implement e-Invoicing for their own benefit, legislative changes in several countries also had a large part to play in the increased rates of adoption.

e-Invoicing Up 20% Globally

Mexico led the way with legislative changes, mandating that any business trading over a certain threshold must exchange electronic invoices – an approach set to be adopted by Greece, Spain, Norway and Kazakhstan during 2012. The Scandinavian countries, the Benelux union and German also introduced legislation designed to encourage the uptake of e-Invoicing, although most adoption throughout these states was as a result of businesses identifying their own economic benefits for doing so. Finland went one step further by insisting businesses submit invoices to state bodies electronically.

The study also found that the legal status of electronic invoices still varies between countries. In Japan and China, although electronic invoices can be exchanged, they are regarded legally as a copy requiring a paper invoice to be raised for regulatory purposes. Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia however grant electronic invoices the same legal status as a paper version.

Commenting on the results of the report, Karri Lehtonen, Vice President of Basware said, ‘Legislation regarding financial records varies between regions. Paper based invoicing requires a business to understand these legal variants to trade globally. e-Invoicing technology removes this headache as it automates compliance with countries’ different legal requirements.’

Further to Lehtonen’s observations, the use of an outsourced global platform for electronic invoicing has the potential to transcend diverse national legislation allowing businesses to focus on their customer’s requirements, without constructing complex EDI systems to cross borders. As more countries make e-Invoicing mandatory, the process will become more complex for businesses operating in multiple markets; a cloud-based platform such as Celtrino’s Smart Admin reduces the technical and regulatory burden on a business whilst allowing them to trade anywhere and everywhere.

Two Supply Chain Management Predictions for 2012

As seems to have been the case every year for the past half decade, 2012 is predicted to be the year that cloud computing finally takes off.  Analysts believe that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has finally reached the requisite level of maturity to ensure that manufacturers will finally be able to outsource many of their ERP functions.

Supply Chain Management Predictions for 2012

SaaS providers have managed to extend the functionality of their systems to mimic and replace those available in onsite equivalent ERP platforms immediately negating many of the concerns of business decision makers. Attention to improving platform and data security has also led to increased customer confidence further helping to boost uptake.

Ray Wang, principal analyst for the Constellation Research Group reckons SaaS for manufacturers will also need to demonstrate a high degree of interoperability to facilitate integration with existing on-premise systems. By hooking directly into the existing computer systems, manufacturers can extend and expand their systems without the usual costs associated with an in-house deployment or upgrade. As a result Wang believes that SaaS will reach a natural tipping point this year leading to an explosion in uptake.

James Leibel of technical consultants Cap Gemini is also expecting to see an explosion in embedded wireless tracking throughout the supply chain. These tracking devices, such as RFID and Near Field Communications (NFC) smart tags will help manufacturers keep an accurate inventory at every point of contact with minimal manual intervention, thereby reducing the potential for human error creating stock level issues. NFC and RFID tracking does however require additional investment in hardware for tracking the tags but Ray Wang reckons “Manufacturers will be applying sensor data to anything from predictive maintenance to improved demand forecasting.”

Finally all of the analysts appear to agree that manufacturers will make “healthy” investments in technology to underpin their operations and provide future-proof capacity. Analysts have been wrong in the past, but this year their claims seem highly credible.