Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (


Diagnostics, Asset Management April 10, 2009

Add to cart: Targeting the right customers requires marketing/supply chain synchronization

The recession has left industrial manufacturing companies among the hardest hit. As business from current customers slows down, these manufacturers are turning to unconventional methods that make them easier to be found by prospective clients.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Mobility April 1, 2009

Tool talk: Mobile workers report back with BI-enabled smart devices

As mobile computing technology proliferates, the demand for business intelligence (BI) capabilities is on the rise. Users want pervasive “actionable intelligence” delivered via smart phones, tablet PCs, and other sub-notebook devices to a remote, mobile workforce.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Manufacturing IT, MES March 23, 2009

Data talk: “Smart form” technology eases EDI/ERP order information transfer, validation

ADX says its CommerceMail solution is based on .PDF “smart” form technology that enables transaction document data to flow seamlessly into a company’s ERP system, eliminating data entry errors and costly data validation and error correction.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Diagnostics, Asset Management March 19, 2009

Headache remedy: Why outsourced maintenance is a service worth considering right now

Ensuring that equipment operates at peak performance is strategic to almost any business, which means maintenance is strategic to the business as well. Outsourcing will raise plant uptime and reduce your stress. Service providers can set up the processes quickly using the knowledge base of your own organization.  

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics March 10, 2009

Data explosion: The IT department has a long way to go to achieve green

Explosive growth in data center capacity to handle the flood of electronic transactions has the EPA projecting data center energy consumption will nearly double by 2011 from 2006 levels. In addition to elevated carbon footprints, this significant increase in power consumption raises the risk of power failures and limited availability.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics February 23, 2009

Humble beginnings: KPIT Cummins offers Tier 2 manufacturing IT services and the capacity to please

India-based KPIT Cummins is a young and visionary company with specialized IT solutions for the industrial manufacturing and automotive sectors. As an SAP partner, its services span global supply chain management, intelligent equipment management, and strategies for faster time-to-market.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
HMI, OI February 18, 2009

Sickening staples: Peanut butter recall highlights our need for a culture of responsibility

The story behind salmonella-tainted products from Peanut Corp. of America has resulted in consumer wariness for all peanut-based products. Could some of the losses resulting from this tragedy have been prevented via enhanced traceability? The answer is a resounding “yes,” as the retail industry has developed a set of standards for the traceability of various food products that rely upon EDI, data synchronization, bar-code labels, and RFID.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Diagnostics, Asset Management February 13, 2009

Managed services: TCO model captures the cost benefit of B2B outsourcing

The slow economy and rapid growth in technical areas means companies will have to invest capital at a time when it’s in short supply. That’s where managed services can be viewed as an attractive alternative. But some companies are still skeptical of the perceived risks and costs associated with a managed services provider. A new total cost of ownership (TCO) model offered by B2B e-commerce provider GXS helps companies answer the question: In-house, or outsourced?

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
Manufacturing IT, MES February 11, 2009

No coding required: Cross-platform ERP vendor taps open source community dialogue to continually deliver system enhancements

Open source ERP vendor xTuple wants you to be clear about what’s meant when talking about open source software—and be clear about the benefits. First: It’s not necessarily free.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
System Integrators February 1, 2009

Chemical suppliers streamline SC data exchange using Integration-as-a-Service platform

The chemical industry championed an innovative approach to supply chain management (SCM) in 2000 when 22 global chemical companies pooled resources to create Elemica. An independent entity, Elemica was launched to deliver solutions for spanning the complete order-to-cash cycle. It’s not surprising that the chemical industry would be prime mover in this regard.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (
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