iBase-t to Expand Digital Ecosystem Leveraging Amazon Web Services


Agile MES solution can be deployed quickly through AWS Quick Start to accelerate digital transformation at complex manufacturers 

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – April 28, 2020 iBase-t, a leading provider of manufacturing, quality, and MRO solutions that enable digital continuity, today announced the availability of Solumina’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution as an Amazon Web Services / AWS Quick Start application. This expanded distribution channel offers an ideal platform to further iBase-t’s vision of how an MES is defined and delivered faster through an agile approach. 

The importance of operating as a digital enterprise has never been so acute of a focus than it is today. As the world battles COVID-19, organizations are challenged to seamlessly integrate disparate operations, systems, and applications through digital ecosystems – those that are agile enough to ideally be operated and managed by remote workers. This strategy can improve efficiency and collaboration while unlocking new intelligence for improved, near real-time decision support, especially for organizations that are resource-constrained. 

iBase-t customers can keep their digital transformation programs on track by embracing AWS’s proven global infrastructure, breadth, and depth of services. As one validation point, the AWS Quick Start can deploy iBase-t’s Solumina MES on AWS in about 1.5–2 hours. 

“Working closely with AWS is part of our strategic shift to better leverage the cloud and microservices to ease solution delivery, provide greater application support, and improve end-user collaboration,” said Naveen Poonian, Chief Executive Officer at iBase-t. “We are committed to investing in new technologies that can accelerate and support agile MES deployments and deliver faster value through proven ROI at a lower risk.” 

Learn more here: https://aws.amazon.com/quickstart/architecture/ibaset-solumina-on-aws/.


About iBase-t
iBase-t is a leading provider of manufacturing, quality and MRO solutions that enable digital continuity across the enterprise. With 30+ years of experience in highly engineered, regulated industries, iBase-t simplifies the complex by empowering customers to gain real-time visibility, take control, and drive velocity across their operations and extended value chain. iBase-t works closely with industry leaders, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Patria Belgium Engine Center. Learn more at www.ibaset.com

iBase-t to Present Featured Webinar: Why Today is a Great Time to Retire a Legacy MES

retire legacy mes

iBase-t to Present Featured Webinar: Why Today is a Great Time to Retire a Legacy MES

WHAT:  This webcast will explain why legacy MES applications with a monolithic architecture have become outdated and are being replaced by modern solutions that can be implemented in 90 days or less. Attendees can gain insight into the future of the MES industry, and how to best plan their migration to a next-generation platform capable of delivering a quick ROI. 

WHO:  Becky Kelderman, Director, Solution Consultant at iBase-t, will present “Why Today is a Great Time to Retire a Legacy Manufacturing Execution System.” As a Solumina application specialist, Kelderman has 20 years of experience managing manufacturing operations, enterprise systems, training, and quality. Her industry experience spans micro-electronics assembly, welding and sheet metal manufacturing, chemical and plastics, and major mechanical assembly. 

WHERE:  Register to attend this webinar: https://info.ibaset.com/webinar-retire-legacy-mes.

WHEN: Live broadcast will occur on Wednesday, April 29th from 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EST / 15:00 – 15:30 GMT.



About iBase-t
iBase-t is a leading provider of manufacturing, quality and MRO solutions that enable digital continuity across the enterprise. With 30+ years of experience in highly engineered, regulated industries, iBase-t simplifies the complex by empowering customers to gain real-time visibility, take control, and drive velocity across their operations and extended value chain. iBase-t works closely with industry leaders, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Patria Belgium Engine Center. Learn more at www.ibaset.com

KPI Metrics Are Changing (Once Again) – Can Your Systems Keep Up?

radical change

I just read about new research findings on how the KPI metrics used in the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry vary significantly in some respects with those tracked in all other industries. While traditional metrics such as net profit margin, workplace safety, and current capacity utilization are consistently seen as critical across all industrial markets, the A&D industry places much greater attention on manufacturing cycle time, on-time delivery, and the speed of new product introduction (NPI). 

This makes sense. In complex discrete manufacturing, a low volume production environment, the impact on cycle time and on-time delivery is acutely felt if targets are not met – especially when operating with a high backlog. These KPIs will have a big impact on NPI, so they should be managed with a similar focus. They are well aligned to make sure every product is always delivered with the right specifications, to each respective client, every time.

Then along came the coronavirus. I suspect production lines across the world are now focused on a different set of metrics, such as what percentage of my staff are healthy and able to show up for work today? More specifically, how is this pandemic impacting my suppliers, their staffing, and what parts or product components are now at risk? 

This scenario planning got me thinking. Those with a flexible approach to KPI tracking and the systems that can support an agile strategy will likely perform far better than the rest. With such a rapid change of operating environments, how well are your data gathering and metrics reporting capabilities keeping up?

The Dynamic Nature of What to Measure

As we try to make sense of the world we now live in, it has become painfully clear that a lot of things are changing quickly. Now is the time to adapt. Thoughts on optimizing a profit margin have shifted to how to keep businesses running and not run out of cash. 

It is in times of change where it can be helpful to take a step back and re-think how you define success. What is it that your company or business unit is trying to accomplish? How can this goal now be achieved, given the recent changes? What is your critical path to success, and what are the metrics you need to track to achieve that goal? 

These are great questions to ask now. I suspect they are being considered across the world. Those in the manufacturing industry must find a way to continue with production. How can you enforce the necessary safety and compliance standards while now working with fewer staff yet maintain the same level of product quality? What can be operated remotely? If customers can’t take delivery now, what sort of delays can be put in place to better align your cost of carry? What should be done today to best position for a ramp up when we are in a post-virus lockdown condition when production lines need to run at near capacity?  

The Emergence of New Metrics

Not only have our business conditions changed, but so too have expectations on what can be measured. This shift has been led by an explosion in the availability of highly granular data. 

We live in an “Industrial Internet of Things” world. Everything is now “smarter,” from the cars we drive to the systems we run to the factories we manage. Therefore, the choice and methodology of tracking KPIs must change also. This includes placing much greater of a focus on not only what has happened, but what will happen in the future based on data insights collected every day. 

The days of a decade passing between the conception of a new product and its delivery are long gone. So too have the days of setting up metrics at the start of running a business, and then assuming they don’t need to change. 

Innovation is being driven by advances in augmented reality, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence, which has forever altered the mindset of A&D executives. Each of these new technologies unlocks new business opportunities – and new KPIs to be measured as part of achieving that vision.

KPI Systems Must Catch Up

As is the case during times of dynamic change – we know what we want, but sometimes the existing infrastructure can’t keep up with expectations. To an extent, this is happening with all the Industrial Transformation initiatives now in deployment. It is also the case with what KPIs are being measured and how that measurement is being achieved.

Read more about what is Industrial Transformation (IX)?

In order to move forward, manufacturers must consider that a whole new series of innovative KPIs are now needed to best manage our business. Only then can we achieve the full vision of smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0. 

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Now is the Time to Double Down Existing Technology and Investments

Now is the Time to Double Down Existing Technology and Investments

As we enter the fifth week of California’s shelter-in-place program initiated by our state’s Governor, I have had much time to contemplate on how to best navigate the new era of history we are all now creating. Waking up and changing into jeans and a t-shirt before hosting my staff meetings is starting to seem normal. Another thought that is abundantly clear is to make the most of what we have and not to gamble on long shots – at least today. This philosophy is something I have taken to heart. It translates into a strategy today where you should “double down” on your existing technology and investments. 

It doesn’t matter if you are running a household, a charity, or a business – in times of uncertainty, risk management is critical. In the best of times, it is usually best to be prudent with important decisions. In challenging times of disruptive events such as the coronavirus, it is paramount to avoid taking unnecessary risks at all costs. Life is difficult enough while just trying to maintain the status quo!

For example, if you are running a manufacturing organization serving the aviation industry, now might not be a good time to consider venturing into a brand-new product line. Buyers, in times of uncertainty, tend to stick with existing suppliers or providers. Relationships already exist. Each side has earned the trust of the other, so a set of expectations has already been established during regular business conditions. This way, as conditions change, the mutually decided upon new path is much easier to find agreement on.

iBase-t’s Dedicated Focus on Existing Customers

My expectation is that our customers feel the same way. The best use of their time is to explore how best to leverage greater functionality, value, and capabilities from the iBase-t solution that is already in place. By doubling down on what you already have, the learning curve is minimal, and the relationship already exists. Instead, your precious time can be focused on identifying new opportunities. 

This was the rationale behind our launching Performance Plus, a program that I made available only to existing customers. We recognize times are tough, so we want to help. We are giving our customers up to 4 hours of our professional services time to work together and see what new performance or capability improvement might be possible with your existing technology investment. 

Now might be a great time to better understand how your operations are performing. Or, it might be a good time to do a “deep dive” on inventory turns, quality performance, or operational analytics to gain new insights that could lead to a few extra points on your bottom line in the future. This crisis we are in the middle of right now will pass. When it does, the rush will be on to ramp up quickly and effectively while maintaining some sort of social distancing as part of the process. 

New workflows might be needed, as well as the ability to operate remotely for the foreseeable future, in some instances. Most manufacturers already have some sort of operations management and analytics systems/technologies already installed – now could be the right time to double down and see what else can be done with this existing investment, including how operations can be managed to perform better by a skeleton staff. 

Have you already embraced a “double down” strategy on your existing IT or OT infrastructure? Do you have a couple of “aces in the hole,” so think now is the time to leverage what you have already? If so, please share your stories! 

As we all struggle to navigate the best path forward, one thing continues to resonate strongly. The common enemy right now has shifted to a virus that is causing a huge disruption across the world. Together, we can find a new course, and in the end, be better adapted to handle future disruptions as they will undoubtedly unfold.

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Announcing Performance Plus: A Complementary Services Offer from iBase-t

iBase-t Performance Plus Offering

Never in modern history has the need to respond quickly to change been validated as a critical strategy for business survival. It goes without saying that what we are experiencing today is unprecedented. Changes must be implemented on nearly a daily basis. For complex manufacturers, this includes a reliance upon systems operability, effective communications, and the ability to execute upon contingency planning and process change management quickly and effectively. 

To that end, iBase-t recognizes that our customers now face challenges, unlike anything that could have been anticipated just 60 days ago. We also understand that the best way for us to navigate through these challenging times is to count on each other. 

In recognition of this alignment, we are launching “Performance Plus,” a new professional services program only available to existing iBase-t Solumina customers. As a customer, you are eligible over the next 60 days for a complimentary four (4) hours of Professional Services evaluation. This Performance Plus program is an opportunity for you to perform any one or more of the following:

  • Upgrade Simplification Assessment To help you plan an appropriate future product upgrade
  • Finding Shop Floor Efficiencies with Solumina (5S)Extract greater value from Solumina
  • Performance Tuning:  To optimize existing applications, products or services
  • Product Review Assistance or Planning: To assess your current iBase-t footprint, or to perform ROI calculation support
  • Architecture Planning or Assessment: To help with any future technology or product planning 

Take advantage of Performance Plus how you see fit. There are no obligations or hidden costs. This is our way of trying to help you to best ensure your operating systems are performing at full capacity, and that you are taking advantage of the full capability of your iBase-t solution. 

Given the need to maintain shelter-in-place requirements, these services can only be provided remotely by our trained experts. Whatever we can do to help, we’ll do our best to make it happen. 

Please reach out to your account contact to learn more and schedule this service. Alternatively, customers can contact us here – please be sure to reference Performance Plus in your inquiry. 

Performance Plus Program Specifics

This promotional offer will be available for 60 days and will expire on June 5th, 2020. Offer is open to all iBase-t customers that are current with their maintenance program. Only one “instance” will be offered per customer, defined as a separate business unit or billing entity. iBase-t reserves the right to make changes to this promotional offer as needed and will do its best to provide this offer in as timely a manner as possible.

Learn More About iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing Suite
If you’d like to hear more about our Digital Manufacturing Suite, including the MES solution, complete the form below and one of our solutions experts will connect with you.

5 Ways to Determine Success Metrics in Digital Transformation

success in digital transformation

When pursuing a goal, the first step is to identify what success looks like. As they say, how can you know where you are going if you haven’t taken the time to set a course? LNS Research recently conducted an in-depth study of the factors that separated aerospace and defense (A&D) companies that have been successful with their industrial transformation programs. From reading their findings, several conclusions can be drawn from the data, including how you can best measure success in digital transformation. 

Those organizations deemed “leaders” excelled in these five ways – these attributes might, therefore, be important to include in your success metrics of how you measure industrial transformation success.

Do More 

The first characteristic that becomes abundantly clear is that the organizations embracing more projects as part of their digital transformation strategy tend to be achieving greater results. This isn’t something that should be shocking to hear. If you go after more initiatives, there is a higher chance more will be successful, leading to a greater ROI on that investment. 

Some might think it is a lower risk to only go after a quick win, such as by targeting low-hanging digital “fruit.” With that first win might then come justification to do other projects. Successful companies, however, think differently. They choose projects with a broader functional scope, a wider-ranging focus, and with bigger overall gains in a shorter period of time. Essentially, they are going “all in” with their approach and allocation of resources.

One example of such a goal might be to better engage with suppliers and customers in joint initiatives to extend gains across the entire value chain – from suppliers to end-users. This measure of success in digital transformation might include setting up a digital ecosystem capable of bringing together both suppliers and end-users, delivering the potential to both increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs, a powerful combination.  

Read more on this topic here: Create a Digital Ecosystem by Taking a Cue from the Tech Giants.

Top and Bottom 

Some seek to implement digitalization from the top down. But they sometimes bog themselves down with big-bang projects that take half an eternity to execute. Others hope to avoid this fate by adopting a bit and piecemeal approach starting at the bottom and gradually working up. 

A bolder strategy is to embrace both. Yes, executive support is needed, but it also takes subject matter expertise from plant management and staff to ensure success. By involving every level of the organization chart, digitalization projects can be tailored to achieve immediate results while dovetailing with an overarching strategy that brings about end-to-end transformation. 

Focus on Business, Not Technology

There are many who extol the virtue of implementing a specific technology. But many companies make a mistake by either choosing a technology and then trying to adjust their digital transformation planning around it, or by choosing a vendor based on what existing agreements are already in place. In some cases, years are wasted along with a lot of costs with no results based on these fateful decisions. 

Transformation can come from many ways, such as being enabled by innovation, a new business model, or a new process, system or technology. Stay focused on end results. Attaining overall business objectives must always remain top-of-mind when you measure success in digital transformation. 

Limited IIoT

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications are growing in popularity. But if they are implemented piecemeal without being regarded as just one element of a broader digitalization program, trouble can result. Yes, IIoT is an important strategy. But it must only be regarded as one facet of digital transformation, as an enabling technology that is part of your overall business strategy. 

Seamless Integration – Such as With a Digital Ecosystem

Digital transformation demands a strong foundation capable of bringing together both IT and operational technology (OT) systems. It engenders a high degree of commonality across plants that can simplify the implementation of best-in-class applications. Becoming a digital enterprise is a critical requirement of being an agile organization that can respond quickly to change while remaining diligent in implementing process improvement and operational excellence as a sustained strategy. 

The good news is that solutions now exist to achieve each of these objectives – the leaders have proven this by achieving their leadership status. Such systems can establish digital continuity from divergent data streams across the enterprise. If you have already achieved these milestones, congratulations on achieving your leadership status! For everyone else, now is the time to catch up. As is the case with innovation cycles, best not to get too behind, as the rate of advance tends to accelerate as new opportunities for business growth are unlocked by tomorrow’s digital enterprises.

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What is Industrial Transformation and How is it Changing Manufacturing?

what is ix

One of my recent articles, “Why is Industrial Transformation so Difficult?” points out the sharp differences that exist between business and industrial transformation. It covered how complex discrete manufacturers and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) providers are implementing a digitalization strategy to transform their business. But, change is slow in coming. It is far more difficult to bring about this transformation in the industrial sector compared to the consumer marketplace. This article will take a closer look at what is Industrial Transformation, and how is manufacturing changing as a result?

Characteristics of Industrial Transformation

According to LNS Research, industrial transformation (IX) is a proactive and coordinated approach to leverage digital technologies to create step-change improvement in industrial operations. IX can be a subset of the overall trend towards a digital transformation that is sweeping the business world. Its characteristics include taking a new perspective on how to operate digitalized processes versus the previous approach of incremental and continuous process improvement
IX involves a unique set of challenges. These relate to the coordination, management, and implementation of a new technology and business framework across the extended and distributed operations networks that typify the complex discrete manufacturing space. When coupled with a labyrinth of disparate IT and operational technology (OT) systems, it is clear to see that IX in this sector is no simple matter.

Moving Out of Pilot Purgatory

This is not to say that most are failing with the transformation process. LNS Research defines the top 20 percent of the manufacturers operating in the aerospace and defense industry as leaders. These organizations are already seeing significant value from their digital technology implementations. An additional 20 percent are achieving some success as measured in tangible business benefits and speed of operations.
The chasing pack, on the other hand, is either stuck in pilot purgatory, achieving unclear results, are failing to generate a significant return on investment (ROI), or are being overly conservative in a time of severe market disruption. For instance, about a quarter of the respondents indicated they have no plans related to IX. Another 3 percent intend to begin the process within three years, and 10 percent plan to begin within a year. That’s close to half of all organizations in the sector that are already lagging far behind.

IX Implementation Involves a Business Transformation

The need for action is highlighted by the fact that most A&D executives believe IX to be a three-to-five-year endeavor. Those being most successful also consider that it consists of about ten separate elements.

Those that are leading the way have a laser focus on using digitalization and industrial transformation to eliminate operational efficiencies and re-architect their most inefficient business processes. They seek to align new technology to deliver greater customer value and competitive advantage.
This shows up sharply in their concentration on value and business benefits over technology implementation. They work backward from how best to improve business performance and then implement those technologies most closely align with these objectives. This differs sharply from lagging competitors who hope that one technology project will wield miraculous transformational progress.

Taking A Wider View

What most clearly marks the A&D leaders is the scope of their IX programs. Those who fall outside of the leadership group often attempt to reap immediate rewards by targeting low hanging fruit. Smart connected assets and smart connected products are a couple of examples. While these are valid targets, they can sometimes tie up too much industrial transformation attention due to the lure of rich and relatively fast rewards.
Market leaders, on the other hand, take a much broader view. They look at IX to attain comprehensive and smart connected operations that range from one end of the organization to the other and throughout the supply chain. As such, they are instituting technology platforms that help them integrate MES, ERP, PLM, manufacturing and IT systems as a means of becoming a truly digital enterprise with a digital thread. They see this as the surest route to changing the face of Aerospace and Defense manufacturing and achieving a lasting industrial transformation that carries them forward into the coming decade.

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