Change in the Manufacturing Sector Dominates Keynotes on Day One of IQMS Pinnacle User Conference

Pinnacle presenters from ARC Advisory Group, Oracle, and IQMS examined the impact of sustainable practices, big data, mobile computing, and the cloud on manufacturers

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Change in the manufacturing sector was the leading topic of keynote presentations on Day One of the Pinnacle conference for customers of IQMS, a leading manufacturing ERP software and manufacturing execution system (MES) authority. Collectively, presenters from ARC Advisory Group, Oracle Corporation, and IQMS examined the impact of sustainable practices, big data, mobile computing, and the cloud on manufacturers' business strategies and technology implementations.


IQMS' Pinnacle user conference runs April 5-7, 2016 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The event brings together manufacturing executives, enterprise resource planning (ERP) technical experts, and industry thought leaders in 40 sessions examining manufacturing technology and business best practices, as well as how to get the most of IQMS software.

The Sustainable Value Chain

Manufacturers of all sizes need to start thinking about how to build sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their value chains, advised Steve Banker, vice president of supply chain management at research firm ARC Advisory Group.

Banker opened his keynote by pointing to statistics from the Governance & Accountability Institute, which indicated that the number of S&P 500 companies publishing CSR reports had jumped from just 20% in 2011 to 72% in 2013. He advised that, although CSR and sustainability are practiced primarily by very large corporations today, mid-market manufacturers will face market pressure to adopt their own practices within in the next few years.

Banker examined top CSR priorities, including environmental sustainability, fair trade, and the ethical treatment of workers, among others. He then looked at how manufacturers could use information about their operations and supply chain to gain insights into issues, such as the high production of greenhouse gasses, potential use of conflict minerals, and labor violations.

Capitalizing on Big Data

Data is the next industrial revolution, according to Will Childs, director of cloud and SaaS business development and strategy at Oracle. In his keynote, Childs observed that big data is driving new business opportunities, such as the Uber driving service, which owns no cars; Facebook, which is one of the world's largest content publishers but doesn't own content; and Airbnb, which provides vacation rentals but doesn't own any properties. The real power of these businesses is their big data.

The challenge, Childs noted, is that the volume of data is growing too quickly for businesses to fully take advantage of it. According to Childs, 90% of today's data was created in the last two years, but we are only analyzing about half of 1% of it. The limiting factor is human beings, he said, and this will only become more so as Internet of Things devices accelerate the growth of data to about 40 zetabytes by 2020. For context, 1 zetabyte is 1,000 exabytes, and 1 exabyte is equal to a stack of 1,600,000,000,000 books—enough to reach the moon.

The solution, Childs predicted, will be the use of machine-to-machine (M2M) learning and artificial intelligence. Already, M2M learning is playing a role in robotics on factory floors, and he expects additional uses to be introduced over time.

Mobile Computing and the Cloud

In his keynote, Gary Nemmers, president and CEO of IQMS, examined the changes in manufacturing environments that have driven significant new developments at IQMS, most notably mobile computing and the cloud. He highlighted the new WebIQ user interface, which gives IQMS customers the flexibility to access IQMS' EnterpriseIQ manufacturing ERP system, anywhere from their computer, smartphone or tablet of choice. Following Nemmers' presentation, Dan Redunz, IQMS CTO, provided a live demo of WebIQ, which debuted at Pinnacle.

Nemmers also discussed IQMS' recent rollout of "Choice is the New Cloud." The program gives customers options for deploying EnterpriseIQ as a cloud-based subscription service, licensed software managed in the cloud by IQMS, or an on-premises implementation of licensed software. He then reviewed other key initiatives aimed at optimizing customers' experiences in working with IQMS. These include:

The new Customer Advisory Group, which complements the IQMS software enhancement request (SER) process in giving users a voice in the direction of the IQMS's product direction and roadmap.
The new IQMS Customer Success Group, chartered with ensuring that customers have the training, knowledge and resources to maximize their operational efficiency and effectiveness using EnterpriseIQ.
The expanded IQMS Partner Program aimed at serving the growing number of customers across North America, Europe and Latin America.
The recent implementation of the cloud-based Five9 Virtual Contact Center to quickly routing customers to the right support representative to get the answers and assistance they need.
Nemmers observed that company changes over the several months have contributed to significant growth for IQMS. Financially, the last three quarters in a row have been the strongest in the company's history.

About IQMS

IQMS uniquely combines ERP and manufacturing execution system (MES) functionality to give manufacturers a comprehensive end-to-end suite for running the business, backed by the real-time performance and scalability that companies demand. Developed specifically for mid-market repetitive, discrete and batch process manufacturers, IQMS provides robust capabilities for addressing strict customer and regulatory certification and compliance. IQMS achieves this by delivering traditional ERP functionality for accounting, sales orders, material requirements, inventory and purchasing, plus extended native features for CRM, human resources, production scheduling, shop floor control, warehouse and quality modules. With offices across North America, Europe and Asia, IQMS serves manufacturers around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.iqms.com.

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