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Vecta Consulting
  Vecta on Automation
Production-limited, cost-limited or sales-limited, we are always under pressure to improve the customer relationship, minimise overhead and labour, maximise yield, yet reduce material, energy, transportation and waste disposal costs.

Process and transaction automation, control and management are key tools. Increasingly that automation has to be closely integrated with enterprise-level business systems if the full benefits of that technology are to be realised.

Companies and organisations must excel on three key dimensions:
  • product leadership
create outstanding products that provide a better user experience than competitive channels or products
  • customer intimacy
understand and do exactly what it takes to keep a customer loyal
  • operational excellence
manage key business operations effectively and efficiently whether in-sourced, co-sourced, or outsourced.
Automation has been, and remains, a key tool for manufacturing companies. "Lights out, 24/7" production the dream of many.

Developments in hardware and software technology are changing the economics of automation so that the capital cost is usually less important than the associated engineering costs, especially when automation systems are integrated with enterprise level business management systems.

The Internet has introduced technology with enormous potential to reduce costs by disintermediating a wide range of interfaces allowing errors and misunderstandings to be all but eliminated. Using web access to the data releases staff from the chains of their desk and the mobile internet alows them access to pretty much everything, even when on the move.

Efficiency gains in Supply Chain Management have encouraged businesses to add Customer Relationship Management software to their systems. Full, seamless, integration of plant-level automation with enterprise-level business managemt systems is becoming increasingly possible and compelling.

In the case of e-commerce or e-government, is the user experience compelling enough to entice users away from phone and face-to-face encounters in most cases?

Which type of process automation system is now most appropriate for your plants? Do those systems have the right architecture to permit close and value-effective integration with your enterprise-level systems?

If your plants are running near full capacity, are there innovative ways to increase yield or reduce downtime and avoid major capital?

Is there a role for improving the dynamics control of major plant equipment so as to reduce energy, reduce wear, or improve product quality?

Can you reduce costs and improve quality by further automation or the use of advanced process control techniques?

Which approach to Manufacturing Execution Systems will best integrate information from plant and enterprise systems and gain other benefits? Will integrated approaches deliver the best solution or will technologies like XML and Web Services allow System Integrators to deliver working "Best of Breed" solutions?


Our Process Automation Experts Network is dedicated to exploring developments in process automation and enterprise integration. This involves projecting the evolution of enterprise and plant level functionality and identifying strategic business needs. It also requires identifying issues related to supplier and partner selection. And, perish the thought, we can help when a system project goes wrong.


Our extended network ensures we have the expertise to help you solve just about any business or technology problem.


Vecta Consulting Limited, Mulberry House, 2 The Spinney,
Cottenham, CAMBRIDGE, CB24 8RN

Tel: +44 (0) 1954 250222, Fax: +44 (0) 1954 252333

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