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Overview of SIMATIC IT Preactor APS

Discuss About The Providing Location Based Services Mobile.

The software named SIMATIC IT Preactor APS consists of a range of solutions for scheduling products (softwares) and planning production which helps in coordinating the manufacturing processes. This gives the client better control and visibility for increasing utilization and efficiently delivering products in time by reducing inventory wastes. The software is capable of scheduling package and planning capacities.

The software helps in providing a better production visibility. It helps in improving efficiency and utilization. It helps in reducing work in progress and inventory costs. The software is capable of analysing impacts and changing management. It also helps the company to provide better customer service. The new version of the software has some improved capabilities. Improved capabilities such as Encryption, OData sources, improved calendar handling and storage, integration of Microsoft Report Viewer 2015, Configuration enhancements and data highlighting and filtering has been added to SIMATIC IT Preactor APS. The new version of SIMATIC IT Preactor APS enables the organization to tightly integrate with the Unified architecture of SIMATIC IT (“Production Planning and Scheduling Software” 2018). It also has the capability to integrate efficiently with third party products. It also provides feature rich dashboards and reports for easy understanding of the complex data.

SIMATIC IT Preactor APS is capable of providing better scheduling benefit such as better utilization of resources, reducing the setup changes and changeovers and providing a detailed analysis of the production load. The organization that utilises the software gets the added advantage of getting a faster modelling of what-if scenarios and improved manufacturing delivery timings.

The software also has PIO and PESP distribution tools. It helps in the distribution of Workflow scripts and ImportExport (PIO). This feature allows the saving of the required scripts in the hard disk of the specific system which helps the user to send the data to the customer or is distributed in the company. After receiving the script, the receiver can easily download the data into the database. In case the script is an update, the software has the capability to overwrite the previous version and add the new version with a new name. In short, the software tool has the capability to implement a new system even when similar multiple scripts are required.

The data editor that is present in the software has the capability to rearrange, remove or add displayed fields giving the user the power to display the data in whatever way he or she wants. Grouping, filtering and sorting features are present for enhancing the data usage capability.

Features of SIMATIC IT Preactor APS

Several companies have benefited from using this software. Organizations like Cosworth Racing, Wall Colmonoy and Yorkshire Fresh Salads have already tasted success after incorporating SIMATIC IT Preactor APS in their business functions. One success story is given in the following section.

Cosworth Racing is an organization that provides design solutions and engine technologies to motorbike racing, World Rally Car, CART and Formula 1. Before implementing Preactor, the company relied on Infinite Capacity System that dated back to 1971. Later, the company split its core manufacturing teams by assigning different lead times to each team. The company used Microsoft Project and Excel sheets to schedule it personnel but the process was time consuming and manually not feasible. With the integration of Preactor, the team found its first benefits during group meetings when the software took all the what-if scenarios and submitted it to the group in a hard copy (“Products - Preactor International Limited” 2018). The company could now focus on all the definites instead of estimating all the scenario risks. Due to the software, the scenarios can be effectively evaluated on a daily basis and accurate information can be interpreted giving the company a new determination to move its business in a certain direction.

There are similar products from other competitors such as SAP ERP, Microsoft Dynamics GP, xTuple, Oracle E-Business Suite and NetSuite ERP. Two competitors are taken as example and their functions are compared in brief.

SAP ERP is used for business planning and is suitable for all kinds of businesses. Unlike the Preactor, This software has human resources and customer management module built into the software.

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a business tool that can be used for small as well as large businesses. It is business management software and has several functions that has similarities with Preactor software such as billing and invoicing, forecasting and budgeting, core accounting and financial reporting.

Give an overview of E-commerce, M-commerce and E-business. Discuss how companies that work using the E-business model can obtain a competitive advantage in relation to traditional businesses. Explain how traditional companies can implement the E-business model while keeping their traditional status. Also discuss how a traditional business can fully convert to an E-Business (dropping its traditional status). Analyse the benefits of Ecommerce for the customers of such business.

E-commerce involves transaction (commercial) which involves information transfer through the internet. It involves a wide number of businesses such as corporation services, exchange of goods, auction sites and retail sites that are consumer based. The technology allows individuals to exchange services and goods through the internet and is not barred by time and distance. It is used by companies to improve their marketing positions and establish a marking presence. The technology is used with a wide range of applications such as web services, File transfer protocols, shopping carts and online catalogs.  Business to business activities are included in e commerce as well as emails to consumers and subscribed e newsletters (Strauss 2016). This technology provides a number of benefits to the organization like international reach, ease of accessibility and availability of goods and services to a wider audience.

Benefits of SIMATIC IT Preactor APS

M-commerce involves the selling and buying of goods with smartphones, PDAs and other handheld devices. It is widely known as the next generation technology for e-commerce and provides the user with the added benefit of connecting with the internet on the go.  It uses a protocol known as the WAP or Wireless Application Protocol. The technology is applied in financial services that makes use of mobile banking. It is also used by telecommunication services and information services for account reviews and bill payment.

E-business is the technology that is used for commercial business processes on the internet. The technology includes collaborating with business colleagues, production control management, payment processing, customer services and selling and buying products through the internet. Businesses nowadays are using the internet to conduct their business processes due to its wide reach and increasing capabilities.

Companies that make use of E business model have an added advantage over companies that follow the traditional model. E business model companies have a lower start-up cost as well as overhead cost than the traditional models who have to invest on a physical store. The E business model can improve profitability by eradicating the need for utilities, staff and location rent. Businesses which follow the traditional model have to later spend more money on building their E-commerce presence. Development of the website puts extra costs on the traditional business model. Unlike companies which use the traditional model, e business model eliminates the need for inventory control lowering the overhead costs. Consumer convenience is another aspect that needs to be considered. The effectivity of this aspect is determined by the type of business that the company is dealing with. Online retailers such as Amazon has shown that a convenient shopping experience can be provided with the help of e Business model. But some customers still choose the physical examination of products before buying. Moreover, doctors, attorneys and dentists cannot provide their service properly online. Companies using the E business model have a better marketing strategies that are more effective than the traditional business models (Bryman and Bell 2015). Traditional business models have to depend on both online demographics as well as local marketing strategies to expand their business. E business models make use of social media, search engine ads and SEO to create brand awareness. Traditional business have to print ads and spend money on hoardings to target new customers. Other advantages provided by E-business models to companies are faster transaction speeds. For a traditional business model, the customer has to potentially go to the store, possibly stand in a queue and then come back with the product which takes up valuable time. E business models are open 24x7 and can be accessed anywhere (Barnes Jr and Wounder 2013).

Success Stories of SIMATIC IT Preactor APS

The E business model can be implemented by traditional businesses by not removing their traditional status. Most of the times, the lower overhead costs of E business model is enough reason for the traditional business to change its model. First, the company’s operations need to be documented. The processes need to be planned on how the client order will be received and processed needs to be checked. To preserve the traditional model of the business as well as incorporate the E business model, extra personnel need to be recruited (Camarinha-Matos, Afsarmanesh and Rabelo 2013). The website needs to be developed next and the store needs to be revamped so that attractive photos of the store can be put up in the homepage. The traditional marketing strategies should be replaced with E business marketing strategies such as focusing in social media ads. Articles and blogs can be written to target more customers in the physical store. Consultants need to be hired to optimize pages and conduct SEO strategies.

For fully converting into the E-business model (leaving the traditional model completely), the company needs to switch to the new business model from the traditional model step wise or in phases. The company can also make the switch all at once phasing out the old procedures to include the new one. Switching all at once is efficient as it helps the company to get a new market share for the business. At first the proposition of switching abruptly can be frightening, but in the long run, it can be profitable for the business. The core values of the product, services and brand of the company needs to be analysed first. The key metrics need to be identified. New channel opportunities need to be identified and applied with the existing channel gap (Eid and El-Gohary 2013). The key deliverables for integration and support, projection and service access need to be identified and documented. The new model strategies need to be aligned with the old traditional strategies. A transition plan needs to be designed and customers need to be encouraged to follow the new model of the business (E-business model). The experts and personnel need to be trained accordingly and deliverables related to sequenced, cumulative, realistic and logical aspects need to be designed properly.

The first benefit that the customers will experience due to the E-business model is availability to a wide range of services and products. The virtual store can include a lot of items without the inventory costs and space constraints (Laudon and Traver 2013). Customers will also experience better convenience as they can avail a service or product from any part of the world anytime. Due to the lack of middlemen, the customers will also get to save their money and time. Product information can also be compared and reviews can be checked to understand the product benefits.

Comparison with Competing Software

The NYC cab drivers were worried that their positions can be trailed by the GPS technology designed in the new system for hours at a time. Most drivers operating in New York City work as independent contractors. In other words, they have their own cab to operate in. Most of them take their cabs out for personal transportation when they are not working. Giving away their personal GPS coordinates during off duty times is a major privacy challenge. The cabbies are also against the 1300$ payment charge due to the new system and the five percent fee for each and every transaction which is carried out by the customer via credit cards. Moreover, they are deeply unsatisfied with the new system as they were not involved during the design process and decision making stages.

After analysing the situation, their concerns were justified in certain cases. The GPS tracker should not stay online 24x7 as it directly hampers the right to privacy of the cab drivers who have their own cabs. The system should be designed as such that the cab drivers can turn off their GPS tracker whenever they are off duty. The tracker can be started again when they want to make their location available. Secondly, for every new system that are in their implementation stage, a resistance can be expected for every situation. In this case, the cab drivers called a strike but to stay at per with the competition that they are facing from other rivals such as Uber, the new system is justified. The Designing team should work closely with the representatives of NYC Taxi Workers Alliance to design a system that works in the interest of both the parties.

For an easier transition to the electronic system, the decision and design team should have worked with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and New York City's Taxi & Limousine Commission closely to understand their grievances and wants. The cabbies could have been updated about the payment charges from before so that they could get the time to arrange the amount. Moreover, their privacy should not have been hampered due to the new system. For a smoother transition, instead of discussing the issues with the entire team, some representatives of the cabbies could have been appointed and asked for further suggestions on the issue. As they are the one serving their customers face on, their grievances should have been the first priority for the designing team.

Many cabbies expressed the opinion that the technology being installed in their cabs was inevitable, no matter what their opinion. Do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not?

The mentioned assessment can be agreed upon. First of all, with the rising number of competitors like Uber, New York City Cabbies were facing a huge technological gap in delivering their services. A totally new system was urgently required to bring them at par with the competitors who use GPS systems and extra services to lure prospective customers. Moreover, an alternative to the mentioned new system is still not viable to implement. Customers nowadays book their cabs while sitting at home. Such a technological innovation is only possible if an isolated GPS system is installed in the cab. Even if some cabbies are unwilling to implement a system directly into their cabs, the GPS system is necessary for them to stay ahead of the competition and attract new customer bases who have come to visit New York City.

As a customer of a cab service, would you appreciate the benefits provided by the new system in New York City? Would it help provide you with a favourable view of the city in general? List the benefits and provide your view of each.

The advantages that can be experienced due to the new system can be appreciated as a customer who is availing the service. The new system will definitely provide an encouraging vision of the city. The new system will eliminate the need for chasing down a taxi down the street or hopelessly praying for a cab to pass by one’s location. The anew system will help customers to get a cab within minutes. The new system will also offer other favourable services such as entertainment and will definitely help the cab drivers to earn more revenue. Business-law, as the new system can be operated by credit cards, passengers do not have to think about cash in hand and processing time delay. The need to track down a paper receipt will be unnecessary and the cab drivers would not have to write down the transactions manually which will be beneficial for both the driver as well as the passenger. Also, the new system will attract new customers who are new in the city as such a service has not been implemented anywhere else in the country. The new system will automate a lot of tasks that is conducted by the passengers as well as the drivers. Due to the new system, passenger will be able to enjoy a lot of flexibility and freedom. The new system will also provide increased safety to the customers. By tracking the cab drivers with the new system, it has the potential to reduce crime and ease the process of reporting such crimes to the concerned authorities.


Barnes Jr, M.L., Wounder GmbH LLC, 2013. System, method, and computer program product for providing location based services and mobile e-commerce. U.S. Patent 8,611,919.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Camarinha-Matos, L.M., Afsarmanesh, H. and Rabelo, R.J. eds., 2013. E-business and Virtual Enterprises: managing business-to-business cooperation (Vol. 56). Springer.

Eid, R. and El-Gohary, H., 2013. The impact of E-marketing use on small business enterprises' marketing success. The Service Industries Journal, 33(1), pp.31-50.

Laudon, K.C. and Traver, C.G., 2013. E-commerce. Pearson.

Production Planning and Scheduling Software - Preactor .... [online] Available at: [Accessed 2018].

Products - Preactor International Limited - A Siemens Company. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2018].

Strauss, J., 2016. E-marketing. Routledge.

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