erp for chemical industry

Digitization of the Chemical Industry-Role of an ERP system

Digitization of the Chemical Industry-Role of an ERP system 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Chemical companies are more frequently moving towards fully adopting newer, digitized technologies and away from legacy systems and processes historically operated in silos.
  • A well-functioning Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system helps chemical companies in all parts of their operations- procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, vendor management, aftermarket, and more.
  • Implementing an ERP system doesn’t need to be costly or daunting, provided companies go for the right system and take the help of experts.
  • The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for chemical companies, with the sector providing most of the raw materials used in sanitizers and personal hygiene products.

While digital transformations have been a big help for the advancement of every industry; many sectors are still looking for new ways to utilize these technologies to their fullest. The chemical industry is on the cusp of legacy and advanced software and systems. Many companies have departments working in silos, manual documentations, slow change management mechanisms, data discrepancy issues, and an overall fall behind when it comes to digitization and automation. Chemical companies can address these issues and many others by investing in a high-end ERP system.

According to PwC’s 23rd Global Annual Survey, 42% of chemical company CEOs prioritized and invested in digital operations and related technologies.

This statistic indicates that now’s the time for chemical companies to systematically restructure their IT base and look at ERP as an option and a way forward to sustainable growth. After all, every sector is looking to leverage digitization to their benefit, including the chemical industry.

Here are five benefits of an ERP software system for chemical companies:

1.Digitization of Processes Leading to Accelerated TimelinesAn intricately designed yet easy-to-implement ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP comes equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based features that can automate many processes such as documentation, reporting, log entries, etc. This will reduce manual intervention (providing personnel with time to invest in more innovative aspects) and mitigate errors. Digitization in the chemical industry also helps expedite processes as the data can be accessed, altered, and verified in real time. With Microsoft Dynamics ERP, chemical companies can realize the vision of going agile.

2.Fortifying Supply Chain Management (SCM) A comprehensive ERP for the chemical industry can facilitate better management of your supply chain by interlinking the departments and creating a data pool between finance, sales, and delivery. This way, you will digitize and monitor the procurement of raw goods, oversee warehouses, manage inventory more efficiently, channel communication between different stakeholders, and streamline the workflow.

Figure 1: A Multi Pronged ERP System to Integrate Different Departments in a Chemical Company

A Multi Pronged ERP System to Integrate Different Departments in a Chemical Company

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3.Better Response Time and Quicker Time to MarketAn ERP for the chemical industry provides companies with a competitive advantage by giving better process and resource visibility, interconnecting departments, and avoiding bottlenecks. ERP also enables chemical companies to identify their slow-to-move inventories and find quicker delivery options. This considerably reduced time to market. The overall product development process in chemical manufacturing companies is also expedited, thanks to the automation and optimization features of ERP systems, and this also results in quicker time to market.

4.Dynamic Change ManagementThe chemical manufacturing processes are subject to changes at different levels, from pre-formulation to production and packaging. These changes take time to get recorded and notified in a legacy system-backed environment, leading to delays. With an ERP, chemical companies can be more flexible and dynamic in their change management approach. As data becomes centralized and systems become integrated, more collaboration can occur, expediting the communication network in a change management ecosystem. Even at the supply chain and aftermarket levels, ERP allows better visibility across several stakeholders, enabling manufacturers to respond quickly to any changes.

5.Better Customer Service and Enhanced Customer Satisfaction Like any other industry, the chemical industry strives to satisfy its customers- be it other industries, retailers, or end-users. With an ERP system for chemical manufacturing, companies gain insights into customer preferences and can anticipate market needs. Companies choose ERP systems designed to respond quicker and better to customer demands. With the ever-changing customer expectations scenario, chemical companies need to invest in a system that gives them better customer visibility and agility to respond.

ERP is a solution of possibilities, and chemical companies can turn these possibilities into opportunities. To survive, sustain, and thrive in this era of digitization, the chemical industry can use this software to integrate and collaborate better than ever before. It can also help to work with experienced consultants to maximize performance and reduce costs. While every company has different problems and requirements, well-designed chemical ERP software can efficiently address some issues.

Key Takeaways

  • The chemical companies must analyze their as-is IT infrastructure and identify the right ERP system for their requirements.
  • ERP is a dynamic, flexible software; thus, chemical companies can evaluate many aspects of their operations comprehensively with the help of a single system.
  • With learned ERP experts, chemical companies can go places in terms of operating smoothly and delivering consistently.

Also Read: ERP Solutions to Rev Up Oil and Gas Industry

References: PwC’s 23rd Global Annual Survey

Five Steps to Transforming Manufacturing Operations

Five Steps to Transforming Manufacturing Operations

Five Steps to Transforming Manufacturing Operations 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Lasting effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continue to disrupt numerous manufacturing operations as the year draws to a close. Companies not only surviving, but thriving were those already undergoing a digital transformation to their manufacturing operations.

“Digital transformation is the transformation of business, industrial products, operations, value chains and services that are enabled through the augmentation of people, knowledge and workplaces through the expanded use of digital technologies. It’s about the people in the workplaces, the processes, the technologies and services,” Janice Abel wrote in an ARC Advisory Group blog post.

Today, digital transformation is all about rethinking the way your company functions. Is it a series of departments that act like independent nations, each competing for scarce resources and seldom sharing information? Or is your company a unified operation where department names are merely labels and the data created by one is open and accessible to all?

At the end of the day, digital transformation in manufacturing is all about enhancing customer service. Taking good care of your customers leads to more sales, better growth opportunities and higher profits. Achieving that goal requires breaking down barriers and ensuring free-flowing information between all employeesF.

Sharing this data in a timely fashion requires a manufacturing execution system (MES) and a manufacturing operations management (MOM) process. MES is computer software, while MOM may be software or an overarching process. An MES helps track raw material consumption during production. A material resource planning (MRP) package helps you prepare your production inventory.

According to an ARC survey, most manufacturers deploy MES solutions to connect the information in different silos and plants. While there is some visibility, data silos remain even though artificial intelligence (AI), machine intelligence (MI) and other digital methods are being used to varying degrees.

Driving Digital Transformation

Ongoing supply chain disruptions are having a huge impact on manufacturing companies. When questioned about the resilience of their manufacturing and supply chains, the overwhelming response was “not very,” according to a recent blog by Forbes.

Forbes posted some response numbers from the Fictiv 2021 State of Manufacturing Report about existing supply chains:

  • 94% of respondents had some concerns
  • 55% worry that increasing digital operations increases security risks
  • 47% state that supply chain management overhead costs are too high
  • 42% believe that working with global markets creates intellectual property risks
  • 31% think that lack of visibility into operations creates risks and uncertainty

The Fictiv report quoted by Forbes concluded: “The way we manage supply chains and manufacture goods has been forever altered.

Cost overruns were a key concern for 81 percent of recipients while 55 percent were worried about information technology security with their current supply chain.

“Whatever the issue, it’s clear the old way of operating is no longer optimal,” Forbes states. Using digital methods to manage manufacturing has essentially replaced the older methods, at least according to this survey.

  • 95% of respondents believe digitally transforming their manufacturing operations is essential to their company’s future
  • 91% of respondents reported an increase in digital transformation spending
  • 77% defined their digital spending boost as “dramatic” or “significant.”

A Different Perspective

Digital technology enhances productivity, reduces costs and boosts innovation. Manufacturing companies that pay careful attention to their data are able to use it more efficiently to help find and develop new revenue streams.

Figure: 1 How the Internet of Things (IoT) is integrated with Operating Technology (OT)

How the Internet of Things (IoT) is integrated with Operating Technology

At its core, the currency of automation, optimization and profound transformation can help turn new business models into an “as a service” economy, I-scoop suggests.

Many companies transform their manufacturing operations by using the internet of things (IoT) coupled with operational technology (OT) and automation on the production floor. IoT sensors in many devices let computer programs track data as each potential product makes its way through the production process.

Mechanical engineers are able to maintain equipment to more refined levels of precision. Software engineers are using the data provided to reduce waste and find new ways of boosting efficiency. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software uses the data to ensure machines are scheduled efficiently. The ERP software helps ensure a near continuous flow of material, even when humans aren’t present.

Learn more about the impact of digital transformation on manufacturing operations.

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Roadmap to Your Digital Transformation

The first step for companies yet to embark on their digital transformation is creating a roadmap. Without understanding what direction you want your business to go and how to get there, any results are likely to be far less than desired.

At a bare minimum, formulating a plan ahead of time helps:

  • Set priorities
  • Manage change
  • Identify and allocate resources

A well thought-out roadmap can help plan your entire journey, or identify problems and new opportunities as you work towards your goal.

Major steps in creating a digital manufacturing roadmap include:

1.Clearly define and help your company’s current position and its digital strategy. Stating concrete, achievable goals and then communicating them with partners, employees and clients helps everyone understand what they need to do so that everyone benefits.

2.Defining your financial baseline. Making demands of whatever system you choose to go with, only to balk at the resulting price, is no benefit to anyone. Having a plan to only move to the next digital manufacturing transformation phase when you reach specific financial goals makes financial sense and motivates to reach those incremental goals.

3.Ensuring internal Agile processes are ready to go. Breaking your production process into smaller chunks lets you create products and services faster by having processes run concurrently instead of sequentially.

4.Assessing your technology and talent. Understanding what equipment you need, and what skills are required to operate it, lets you start training existing staff or adding new employees ahead of time. Having people who know what they are doing as you implement each phase ensures your digital transformation proceeds smoothly.

5.Choosing the right digital transformation partner. Having a partner experienced in your industry means they’re likely familiar with any problems you may face. Having seen them before, they already know what solutions work and what is a waste of your money. The right partner can also help you set short- and medium-term goals, ensuring your transformation is progressing according to plan.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a new digital transformation pays numerous benefits in the long run. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to rapidly respond to customer requests for new or unique products, resulting in more efficient MAAS (manufacturing as a service).

The most important thing to remember when looking to complete your transformation is the need for a detailed roadmap and ensuring you have a digital transformation partner who understands your industry and can help you overcome any hurdles along the way.

The Road to Success Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Based on a wonderful piece from our friends at McKinsey, describing the effort needed by businesses moving forward after COVID disruptions. A reminder that businesses able to maintain a certain level of speed during the transition can create a significant long-term advantage.

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Migrating to the cloud through lift and shift

Migrating to the cloud through lift and shift

Migrating to the cloud through lift and shift 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Most businesses had never heard of cloud computing before Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced the term on Aug. 9, 2006 even though it originated in the 1960s. During an industry conference, Schmidt was talking about the potential of network-based computing. “It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing,” Schmidt said.

Now, more than 15 years after the term “cloud computing” was born, the numbers show its effectiveness. A report from Hostingtribunal states:

  • 94% of enterprises (i.e., companies with more than 1,000 employees) are already using a cloud service
  • 66% of enterprises already have a central cloud team or cloud center of excellence
  • 50% of enterprises spend more than $1.2 million each year on cloud services
  • 30% of all IT budgets went to cloud computing in 2018
  • By 2025, data stored in cloud centers is expected to top 100 zettabytes (i.e., 100 trillion gigabytes)

A majority of these end-users prefer to “lift and shift” their applications into dispersed cloud server banks. Lift and shift gained prominence in the early days of cloud computing when organizations used this approach to shadow on-premise applications into the cloud.

Lift and shift is a common and simple first step toward embracing the power of cloud.

In simple terms, lift and shift means moving an application without changing the workload framework or software architecture from the existing hardware and operating system when it moves to the cloud. It is essentially rehosting your software on someone else’s distributed computing network. This approach helps companies save time, money and resources required to redesign the applications.

In this article we will touch upon the merits of the lift and shift approach and in the process find out whether moving to the cloud is worth it?

Advantages of Using Lift and Shift

The lift and shift approach is designed to help companies wanting to explore cloud computing without replacing their current software. This method is cost effective, rapid and has higher acceptance from its users because the functionality of the application remains the same.

Advantages of the lift and shift approach include:

  • Application familiarity – Moving an existing application to the cloud means the functioning and usability of the application to end users does not change.
  • Low migration costs – The program is not modified, eliminating the need and cost of rearchitecting the application.
  • Faster deployment – Since there is no need to rebuild the application, speed of delivery is higher compared to building an app from scratch.

For example, consider a Plant Manager in charge of Production Scheduling. This person has a lot to do. They need to maximize their productivity. When the company is expanding and needs to scale up its software, some form of cloud computing—public, hybrid, private or multi-cloud—is the more efficient method than doing it on-site. Replacing an existing program with a newer, unfamiliar one is likely to be met with resistance from staff unwilling to learn new methods of performing the same tasks.

Lifting a familiar program from in-house computers and shifting it to remote servers reduces the fear of change while balancing the need for agility and scalability. According to a 2018 study by IDC, 66% of the end users preferred to lift and shift their production scheduling application to the cloud for higher efficiency compared to 33% who favored keeping it on-premise.

Figure: 1Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) perceive lift and shift.

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) perceive lift and shift.

How do Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) perceive lift and shift?

When IDC conducted its 2018 survey, 45% of independent service vendor customers preferred the lift and shift cloud migration method for moving business applications. Combined with cloud computing, 69% of end customers understand the positive implications of using cloud-based software. These include agility, scalability, cost effectiveness, efficiency and others.

Is Cloud Computing Worth the Cost?

The most important reason to move company software to the cloud, even at an initial infrastructure as a service (IaaS) level, is cost reduction. Companies save money by lowering hardware maintenance for servers, adding computing power and virtual machines plus the expense of managing the infrastructure on-site.

Using managed services can significantly lower a company’s operating costs, directly impacting its bottom line.

In terms of actual savings, the combined benefit of minimal hardware support, higher efficiency, better manageability of resources could result in a 20 – 30 % average savings on virtual machine (VM) resource configuration alone.

Upgrading an existing application on the cloud provides an integrated platform. Other resources—such as Microsoft’s ecosystem—can be leveraged, adding agility and improving speed by up to 33%. Savings can be much higher.

For example, a multinational insurer was able to save 80% on the cost of a specific development testing environment in an application suite by lifting and shifting it to the cloud. Achieving similar results demands meticulous planning and the ability to gauge savings beyond dollar value. The wider definition of savings must also include intangibles such as the value of time and money from the faster rollout of products enabled by new cloud-enabled capabilities.

Why Microsoft Azure is best suited to lift and shift your applications

There are many cloud computing platforms to choose from. Organizations looking to adopt a cloud model need to ensure everything works correctly after the move. This means interdependencies that exists between applications, data in the system and the workload continue to function even though they are now remote.

Microsoft has a transparent lift and shift process that give you a heads-up on the cost estimates before a company makes the decision to migrate. Microsoft offers a cost calculator that assesses all dependencies and variables involved in the lift and shift process. It helps better assess the migration from a complexity and cost perspective. After analyzing your requirements and determining the effort involved in the lift and shift process, the calculator determines the cost and sequence required in migrating to Azure.

Microsoft’s Azure Migrate can help plan your cloud migration with ease, ensuring you are on top of every move. The service details the mechanisms involved in the process. It provides guidance and insights to smooth your cloud journey.

Benefits of using Azure Migrate include:

  • Discovery and assessing on-premises virtual machines
  • Inbuilt dependency mapping for high-confidence discovery of multi-tier applications
  • Intelligent right sizing to Azure virtual machines
  • Compatibility reporting with guidelines for remediating potential issues
  • Integration with Azure Database Management Service for database discovery and migration

With Azure Migrate, you can be assured that your workload and application will smoothly be lifted and shifted to the cloud without any adverse impact on the business. With the right guidance and tools from Microsoft, the ROI can be maximized, while your application performs seamlessly with the highest security and reliability.


Companies unwilling to make wholesale changes to their computer software environment can still take advantage of many cloud computing benefits: they can move their existing programs to the cloud using the lift and shift method. Working with Azure Migrate allows the software and data to move with minimal impact on daily operations.

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how to choose the right erp system

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes 700 500 Xcelpros Team


While demand for an effective ERP system is the highest in the manufacturing industry, more and more companies are leveraging the right ERP software to increase collaboration and streamline operations. Here’s an overview of how helpful a modern ERP software can be.

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes

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4 KPIs that impact the growth of a Chemical company

4 KPIs that impact the growth of a Chemical company

4 KPIs that impact the growth of a Chemical company 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Quantifying progress is important for any industry to know they’re on the right path. The chemical industry should focus on specific KPIs to measure its growth and to make sure it is moving in the right direction.
  • Continuous improvement is important, understanding which KPIs to focus on will ensure that companies are able to assess their performance and make adjustments wherever necessary.
  • KPIs should be communicated by upper management so that employees fully understand their tasks and everybody has a clear set of goals.
  • While the chemical industry might be seen as having fairly standard KPIs, it’s essential to understand that every company is different and will likely focus on different information.

The chemical industry has always operated within certain conventional settings and boundaries. With digital technology advancing so quickly, however, more and more chemical companies are thinking outside of the box in an effort to become more agile. These thought leaders are looking for better ways to quantify their manufacturing KPIs, generate insights and boost revenue.

According to the American Chemical Council (ACC), the US economy is expected to grow by up to 3.7% in 2021 and that chemical production will rise by as much as 3.9%. With this kind of growth expected, it’s more important than ever for chemical manufacturing and distribution companies to recognize and prioritize the most important KPIs for the chemical industry. While every performance marker is important there are a few KPIs that can have a greater impact on the overall production and aftermarket aspect of the business. C-level executives from these companies need to look closely at which performance measures make the most sense for them. Below are 4 KPIs in the chemical industry that could have a huge impact on a business’s bottom line.

1.Operational KPIs

It’s important to be able to measure the operational performance against benchmarks to achieve the desired results in manufacturing, including both quality and maintenance. Measuring important KPIs like scheduled uptime vs. total scheduled operational time lets organizations to calculate things like manufacturing schedule compliance, percentage of quality compliant products, and production rate per product type against the planned demand. This helps organizations achieve a high Overall Equipment Effectiveness(OEE) and optimize costs.

2.Regulatory KPIs

Adherence to local and global regulations is one thing chemical companies should never compromise on. KPIs for regulation compliance enable chemical manufacturing companies to record, measure and maintain records required for various rules and requirements. It’s imperative for chemical companies to set up and follow KPIs related to Regulatory Affairs (RA) in order to determine the long-term efficiency of their compliance processes.

Figure: 1 Primary Areas with Impactful KPIs: Chemical Industry

Primary Areas with Impactful KPIs: Chemical Industry

3.Inventory Utilization KPIs

While maintaining higher than usual inventory levels adds to overall costs, stock-outs can create even greater bottlenecks in production. This is the main reason it’s so important to maintain optimal inventory levels. Adhering to throughput rate and buffer levels can help chemical companies consistently achieve the inventory levels required to keep production going without increased inventory costs. Inventory KPIs also help in maintaining consistent inventory turnover rates.

4.Customer Experience KPIs

This measurement is now growing extremely popular in every industry, including chemical. More and more companies are looking to connect directly with their end-users in order to understand buying habits, trends, and ultimately determine what their customers want. This lets companies focus on producing the right products for their target markets.

Bonus – Environmental impact and sustainability KPIs

A lot of conventional chemical manufacturing methods and processes are still highly resource-intensive, with the potential to cause serious damage to the environment. Moving forward, chemical companies need to research and invest in greener, more sustainable models of working. This can be achieved by setting up KPIs and ensuring proper governance.

According to their website, BASF (the largest chemical producer globally) has the goal of growing CO2 neutrally until 2030.

Similarly, the Dow Chemical Company has plans to stop the waste by 2030, by enabling 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused, or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships. The company invests and collaborates with partners who have similar interests and can provide infrastructure and technologies to accelerate global recycling.

Focusing on these performance markers and goals not only helps in showcasing strategies for chemical companies to go greener but can also set an organization on a much shorter path to success. By protecting the environment and offering a better customer experience, along with producing and managing products much more efficiently will help companies in this sector achieve new heights.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilizing customer experience KPIs can help companies better understand their customers’ buying habits along with market demand and the impact of their efforts.
  • Chemical manufacturers need to set up KPIs not just for the production chain, but the entire lifecycle- from procurement of raw material to end-user.
  • Organizations need to be more conscious of resources and the impact on the environment. Chemical companies are taking note of this and the right step in this direction is to set up environmental goals and KPIs.

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Challenges of biotechnology to resolve banner

The Challenges of Biotechnology to Resolve

The Challenges of Biotechnology to Resolve 700 500 Xcelpros Team


With the new strains and mutants of the COVID-19 virus being reported from countries all across the globe, the biotechnology industry is facing immense pressure to churn out the right vaccinations and provide effective medical assistance. While the industry had been booming exponentially before the pandemic, new challenges arise as they move to the ‘new-normal’. Here are the top biotechnology industry challenges to solve.

Challenges in Biotech

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How Modern Digital Tools Can Help Transform Biotech companies

How Modern Digital Tools Can Help Transform Biotech Companies

How Modern Digital Tools Can Help Transform Biotech Companies 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

Technological changes are impacting Biotechnology now and in the future to come. New-age companies are leveraging modern biotech tools to aid business productivity and growth.

Some key aspects involved in the transformation of the biotech sector are:

  • Machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and ERP systems residing on a unified platform.
  • The combination of these technologies is reducing the time it takes to create and produce diagnostic procedures and medicines.
  • The impacts of these technologies on operational excellence is reducing failure rates and permitting the production of therapies tailored to specific patients.

A Short History of Vaccines

According to The World Health Organization (WHO)’s History of Polio Vaccination, the first polio epidemic struck the U.S. in 1894. The polio virus wasn’t identified until 1908, and Jonas Salk’s first vaccine tests started in 1952. Polio wasn’t declared eliminated from the Americas until 1994.

Using modern biotechnology, Operation Warp Speed was announced on March 30, 2020. Moderna published its initial Phase I/II trial data on July 14, 2020, followed by Pfizer on Aug. 12. The previous record for vaccine development was four years for mumps, a BioSpace article states.

Machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and other next-generation computing tools are among the changes expected to have a big impact on the biotechnology manufacturing processes now and into the future.

How will improvements in computing technology impact the biotech sector? By reducing the time it takes to bring new products such as medicines and testing methods to market, an article on Northeastern University’s Graduate Programs Blog states.

The advent of other digital tools such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) means sensors on various biotech production devices are now measuring and adjusting the rate of chemical flows, temperatures and other variables previously monitored by people.

“Robot scientists using AI can test more compounds and do so with improved accuracy and reproducibility and exhaustive, searchable record keeping,” Steve Oliver, a systems biologist with the University of Cambridge, said in May 20, 2018 Nature article ‘How artificial intelligence is changing drug discovery”’.

Using AI, scientists can create and analyze large quantities of outcome data, highlighting differences between healthy cells and those damaged by diseases such as cancer. “We are turning the drug-discovery paradigm upside down by using patient-driven biology and data to derive more-predictive hypotheses, rather than the traditional trial-and-error approach,” Niven Narain, co-founder of Berg, a biotech firm near Boston, said in the Nature article.

The bottom line of using AI and machine learning is improving biotech firms’ profits by dropping the failure rate from its current 90 percent and reducing the cost of developing new drugs.

Cloud computing and virtual meetings permit sharing information and making informed decisions. In terms of analyzing data, the physical location of a scientist, manager or worker is no longer a barrier to their contributions to a biotech effort. Online collaboration also allows smaller firms to share information and gather insights from academic organizations and government research organizations, permitting access to many more stakeholders, the Northeastern article states.

The strength of a company surfaces when all of these different applications work together through seamless integration with an ERP platform, without creating security threats or data integrity issues.

Tech and Clinical Trials

As clinical trials migrate to better service levels for all patients, clinical trials become more about converting data into actionable intelligence, Michael Kleppinger of Syneos Health said in an XTalks article.

Other biotech leaders stated that clinical trials are now using master protocols, basket design and adaptive trial design, all of which require computing power to make it work. This includes virtual trials that expand the potential patient population, Ken Light of OmniComm Systems told XTalks.

“If you think about it, if you’re only getting partial data, be it from a CRO (contract research organization) or EDC (electronic data capture) system or CTMS (clinical trial management system) or your financial systems or wherever that data is housed and sitting, how are you able to make informed decisions on partial data? In my mind, it’s like trying to throw darts with a blindfold on,” Joe Erline of Saama Technologies told XTalks.

Modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems combine data from departments such as purchasing, inventory and finance. The software allows chief financial officers and other top executives to make better decisions by seeing a larger picture using multiple data streams.

Non-traditional data sources are also broadening access to some data types

Among the recent products cited are internet-connectable smart watches including Apple iWatches ™ and Fitbit ™ exercise trackers, all of which obtain and record physiological data. Running the data through machine learning algorithms allows top executives to predict how well certain therapy molecules will work and determine the molecules’ toxicity and treatment effectiveness, all much faster and more economically than in the past.

Figure: 1 Medicine at FDA: The Scope & Significance of Progress in 2020

Medicine at FDA: The Scope & Significance of Progress in 2020

Tech and Personalized Treatment

One area directly benefiting from computer advancements is the cost of personalized genetic testing to consumers. These tests are now down to the range of $100 -$2,000 depending on the nature and complexity of the test, MedlinePlus states. For comparison, the 1990’s Human Genome Project cost $2.7 billion.

In terms of biotechnology companies, this major price reduction means personalized treatment plans are now realistic options. Using drugs based on a specific patient’s genetic and molecular makeup, the theory is these individualized medicines should be more effective at treating that patient than a more broad-spectrum drug, a different XTalks article states.

More than one-third of all new drugs approved in 2020 were personalized. This was the third time in the last four years this approval level was reached, the Personalized Medicine Coalition mentioned in PR Newswire.

In 2020 alone, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 19 personalized therapies, one cell-based immuno-therapy and eight diagnostic applications the agency’s “Personalized Medicine at FDA: Scope and Significance of Progress in 2020” states. One of them was the first chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell-based immuno-therapy for treating patients with refractory mantle cell lymphoma. This method holds promise for better cancer care.

The FDA also released seven guideline documents related to the manufacturing and clinical development of gene and cell-based therapy products. Another highlight of the 2020 report was the approval of a pan-tumor liquid biopsy next-generation sequencing-based test as a companion diagnostic device for multiple biomarkers in cell-free DNA isolated from plasma specimens. The method permits testing without using more invasive methods in some patients.

Updated Biotech Can Boost Food Production

Variations of the same general gene-editing tools of biotechnology used to develop therapies for treating humans can also be used to create more robust crops. Among highlights cited in March 2020 BCC Research report “Agricultural Biotechnology: Emerging Technologies and Global Markets” is that DNA sequencing, RNA interference, synthetic biology tools, and gene editing will all have an impact on growing that market through 2024 and likely beyond.

The effect will be the ability to provide higher yields with equal nutritional value for humans and livestock in smaller spaces. At the same time, improved biotech methods applied to agriculture will permit growing crops in harsher climates than those currently farmed.

The Bottom Line

Emerging and evolving computer technologies such as AI, when combined with enterprise business applications, are helping biotech companies work faster, creating new products in less time and with dramatically lower costs, than ever before.

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Importance of Robust ERP in Sustaining Manufacturing

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustainable Manufacturing

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustainable Manufacturing 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • ERP has been critical to the manufacturing sector, from business strategies to meeting increased demand for specific products.
  • While the manufacturing industry has long been reliant on ERP systems for effective business operations, recent events have highlighted their importance.
  • Experts are looking at comprehensive ERP products that can help them meet rising demand and elevate their business platforms for success in the future.

If the manufacturing industry had to describe 2020 in one word, most might go with ‘unprecedented’. Things like disruptions to Supply Chains, wildly fluctuating changes in demand, and shortages of materials have led to a state of disarray for organizations of every size. These organizations are looking to maneuver efficiently through these challenges and meet changing demands while remaining in compliance. This means that manufacturers’ top management bodies weigh options to reshuffle their business processes and strategies to accommodate sudden changes.

Going forward, businesses will need to change their production plan from top to bottom as the demand for certain goods like automotive, non-essential goods, and construction materials have gone down. In contrast, things like chemicals, ventilators, sanitizers, hygiene products, PPE, and various pharmaceutical raw materials have dramatically increased. This shift in demand calls for realignment and systematic operational implementation of business processes with a fortified ERP system.


of the manufacturing industry expect COVID-19 to impact operations.

Source: National Association of Manufacturing (NAM)

Shown below are some of the biggest concerns the manufacturing industry has at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Disruption of supply chains due to travel restrictions
  • Low or no availability of raw material
  • Skeleton crews on the production floor owing to the fear of exposure to the virus
  • Loss of revenue due to stalled production all over the world
  • Realignment of the workforce to accommodate working from home
  • Rapid change in demand patterns for certain consumer goods
  • Downward or backward fiscal growth.

The future sustainability of organizations of all sizes in the manufacturing sector will depend on current investment in tools, software, and systems to streamline, realign, and effectively manage business and production operations. Sustainable manufacturing practices can surely help companies boost their profits.

Figure: 1Challenges Faced by The Manufacturing Industry Due to Covid-19

Challenges Faced by Manufacturing Industry Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

The resulting wake of Covid-19 has compelled decision-makers from businesses in the manufacturing sector to reevaluate their business processes and automation to deal with supply chain bottlenecks effectively. This is where the implementation of an effective ERP system comes into play.

Listed below are just a few key strategic ways that a comprehensive ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain and Finance can help fortify the end-to-end manufacturing life cycle for companies in this industry.

1.Addressing Bottlenecks in the Supply Chain ERP systems have proven essential to optimizing the supply chain and providing top-to-bottom visibility of production cycles to avoid situations like stock-outs, inventory glitches, and logistical issues. Enterprise Resource Planning tools have become highly critical to businesses as global supply chains are disrupted. ERP systems help mitigate damages by overhauling the demand-to-supply strategy and optimizing the supply chain accordingly. ERP systems are also highly crucial in collating and classifying production data for complete visibility to workers on the shop floor and beyond.

2.Boosting Automation to Compensate for Skeletal Workforce Thanks to restrictions still in place, many factories continue to operate at 50% workforce or even less to maintain social distancing to mitigate exposure risks. This means that more manual operations are becoming automated, requiring planning, changes in hardware and software, training, and proper deployment of automation protocols. This can all be managed with the help of a robust ERP system.

3.Managing Change in Demand Since the pandemic, there has been a swing in need for certain commodities, such as automobiles, sanitizers, hygiene products, and ventilators. These rapid changes in the market require an ERP system that helps streamline raw material purchases, billing cycles, payroll solutions, last-minute logistical changes, generating a bill of material, and much more.

Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Comprehensive platforms like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance or Supply Chain help Improve efficiency and productivity for businesses in the manufacturing industry. The systematic tools assist with planning, logistical management, change analysis, data collation, capacity requirement management, and responding to rapidly changing needs.

Figure: 2Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP System During Covid-19

Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP System during Covid-19

Key Takeaways

The numerous changes that developed since the onset of Covid-19 have created significant setbacks for any business in the manufacturing industry; Savvy organizations that can use the right ERP software while investing in intelligent solutions will be in the best position for growth when this is all over. Here are some final points to remember when you think of ERP in the manufacturing industry.

  • The top executives and decision-makers in the manufacturing sector need to invest in smart manufacturing ERP software solutions to combat the changing demand and supply patterns.
  • Analyzing global and local goods and commodities requirements will be essential for running a manufacturing plant.
  • Manufacturers need to rethink their supply chain and inventory management strategies and implement proven and systematic resource planning tools.

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Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing

Three actions to take to see cloud computing benefits

Three actions to take to see cloud computing benefits 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Cloud computing benefits: At a glance

  • The decisive role of C-suite executives in a company’s digital transformation is crucial in driving business towards success.
  • When it comes to the goals and benefits of cloud computing, CEO’s need to take charge and be involved in strategy to make sure that the blueprint matches the company’s requirements.
  • CEOs need to align with the CTOs and CIOs to get maximum advantages of cloud computing and be sure that their digital transformation journey is a smooth one.
  • Partnering with a business advisor can make or break a digital transformation.

Introduction to the benefits of cloud computing

The last decade has seen accelerated growth and transformation in various industries as they embrace the digital thread. There has been a pressing need for companies to streamline processes and optimize operations to go agile. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic left a mark on every industry, making agility (and flexibility) an inevitable aspect of business growth. Remote work is the new normal, so the advantages of cloud hosting are even more apparent.

There are quite a few benefits and moves a company can make around their move to cloud computing. These strategic moves must start at the top and cascade down for maximum efficiency. This is where CEOs come into the picture as the catalysts of accelerated growth. You can take your company down the path of agility and explore the benefits of cloud computing. When these actions are taken while closely with other C-level executives, such as your CTO and/or CIO, the more likely you are to be successful in your transformation.



of IT budgets will be dedicated to the cloud within the next 12 months.

Source: Bloomberg

Any number larger than 30% of a budget is a significant amount. When a company makes such a big investment, there is a lot riding on the shoulders of the person in charge. Any CEO guiding their company through digital transformation can harness economic advantages of the cloud. Taking decisive actions while collaborating with other C-level execs can aid in the process. Read on to learn more.

Three game-changing actions CEO’s can take when it comes to cloud adoption

It is important to understand why the role of a CEO in cloud strategy is so important. To make cloud adoption a success for your company, a CEO needs to strategize transitional moves and make sure that all cogs in the machine are functioning properly for a smooth journey.

According to David Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, “Organizations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment” (from “Cloud Strategy Leadership” by Gartner).

Following these steps can help to ensure employees understand the importance of cloud computing and are comfortable with the change so that the company can see all the benefits from your digital transformation.

1. Communicate change within the organization, to the organization.

First of all, as a company executive, this might be one of the most important actions you can take to ensure a successful cloud implementation. As you know, any disruptive change within an organization creates certain resistance amongst employees. While some might be worried about their skills becoming obsolete, others may feel apprehensive about the security of cloud-based systems.

Basically, with direct communication, employees stay in the know-how and won’t be taken back by any steps in the process which may change their daily routine. This can occur through in-house campaigns, alignment with department heads, announcing new HR policies, and many other means of organizational communication- all helping to ensure a smooth cloud implementation.

2. Keep the financial flow stable.

Second, meeting the goals and benefits of cloud computing can only happen through proper funding. As a CEO, creating a financial funnel that supports every step in the company’s cloud transition journey is vital. Seeing  the advantages of cloud computing may take some time for your business. Because of this, being sure that the financial backing is stable and consistent is very important.

Figure 1: Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud Adoption Strategy Drivers


3. Create a cloud business strategy blueprint.

Third, transforming a businesses processes is only as efficient as the planning that goes into the transformation. Creating a strategy and supporting technology operating model to get optimal value from the move to cloud computing is crucial. Such a model harmonizes interactions between IT and business processes.

4. Partner with a business consultant to aid in strategy and execution.

Finally, there are companies whose sole mission is to aid other businesses in moving to cloud computing. Because this is the sole focus of these businesses, their expertise can be the one thing to make an implementation successful. Consider partnering with a business advisor or consultant to assist with planning, strategy, and change management during your move to cloud computing.

In summation, reaping the advantages of cloud computing can happen via high-level strategy. Seamless harmonizing amongst CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs can turn a digital transformation journey into a profitable benefit for the business.

Cloud computing benefits: Key takeaways

  • CEOs should be looking at cloud computing strategies from a long-term point of view and ensure that the company is allocated with the budget and resources for cloud implementation.
  • Proper communication is the key in migrating to the cloud: employees should receive communication from C-suite executives or department heads to develop trust.
  • Partner with a business consultant who has done this before and can provide expertise in planning and moving to the cloud.
  • Simply moving to the cloud won’t generate value for a business. Higher C-level executives should take lead in their company’s digital transformation to make sure the investment makes its return.

Take your first step towards moving to the cloud with a consultation from XcelPros.

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