Epicor: how to increase agility to aid growth
Renowned organisational consultant Warren Bennis said: “Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.” These words have never been truer than they are today in the age of information. Indeed, businesses are hard-pressed to keep pace with constantly accelerating changes in technology, global markets, and the ways in which business is done.
In other words, agility is the name of the game - as is growth. Businesses that are agile enough to roll with change and keep growing to meet increasing customer demands are set to rise to the top. Meanwhile, those that lack agility may slow down and fall behind their competition. Of course, cultivating agility while advancing business growth is a complex undertaking - and becomes even more challenging when growth isn’t planned.
When unplanned growth leads to a lack of agility
A recent survey from Epicor and MORAR Consulting revealed several potential threats to manufacturers’ growth ambitions, one of which is that unplanned growth may result in unexpected consequences which would have a negative impact on the business. As an example, companies that don’t plan for growth may find that problems occur more often and take longer to resolve, indicating a lack of agility. Without accurate forecasts, they aren’t able to adequately prepare for the challenges of growth. And if they can’t respond quickly, they might end up losing opportunities to competitors.
Serious risks to the business can also occur as a result of unplanned growth and a subsequent decrease in agility - such as loss of focus over product direction. In periods of unplanned growth, there is a clear danger that management’s time becomes increasingly consumed by mounting day-to-day workloads. In the worst case scenario, this can degenerate into an endless series of reactive firefighting tasks. If that happens, little time is left to think about strategy and the longer term direction of the product offering. If this focus is lost, the company becomes vulnerable to up-and-coming competitors as they introduce products with new features, and present a clearer, more compelling story to potential customers.
Increasing flexibility and agility to enable faster growth
The good news is that the right business software solution can help you avoid these risks - as well as drive growth - by providing the agility you need to quickly meet changing market demands and stay ahead of the competition. For example, flexible ERP solutions from Epicor provide accurate information and insights in real-time - driving smarter, faster decision-making; enabling greater responsiveness to opportunities as they arise; and freeing up management to focus on strategic planning.
Andy Archer is Regional Vice President UK and Ireland at Epicor Software
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.