Software Selection for High Tech and Industrial Manufacturing

Enterprise software is one of the main tools modern manufacturers leverage to grasp opportunities that arise from successfully meeting challenges. This paper explores how the right software addresses these challenges, and posits a number of key selection factors that will optimize ROI on software investment.

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KEY QUESTIONS: What are the most important questions you should ask when selecting business software? P7 What are the key business challenges for manufacturers today? P4 How does the right software address the challenges of your industry? P6 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IFS WHITE PAPER Antony Bourne, Vice President, Global Industry Solutions, IFS, May 2017 CONTENT PREPARING MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT ......................................................................... 3 COMMON BUSINESS CHALLENGES ................................................ 4 COMPLIANCE ISSUES .................................................................... 4 RISING MARGIN PRESSURES ......................................................... 4 CONSUMER DEMAND .................................................................... 5 STANDARDIZATION ....................................................................... 5 DISRUPTIVE INNOVATIONS ............................................................. 5 HOW THE RIGHT SOFTWARE ADDRESSES BUSINESS CHALLENGES ............................................................................... 7 10 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SELECTING ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE .................................................................................... 8 WHAT ARE PEERS SAYING? .......................................................... 10 READY FOR SERVITIZATION AND WHAT’S NEXT? ........................... 11 ABOUT IFS .................................................................................. 13 3 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH- TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT BY ANTONY BOURNE, VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS, IFS PREPARING MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT In today’s accelerating and volatile global marketplace, manufacturers and high-tech companies understand that change is constant—and a constant challenge. The nature of technological innovation and prevalence of economic uncertainty have transformed the environment for manufacturers from one that was rather slow-moving and monolithic to today’s fast-paced, hypercompetitive, time-sensitive, customer-demanding, increasingly nuanced global commercial ecosystem. Competition can come from anywhere on the globe at breathtaking speed, and risk and opportunity are usually, if not always, closely coupled. (It’s always interesting to note that the Chinese word for crisis contains the characters for both risk and opportunity). Keeping risk at bay, and identifying and seizing opportunity are traits of companies that thrive in this difficult environment and steer a steady course in seas where potential crisis lurks. In our digital, data-driven world, software —particularly enterprise resource planning (ERP) software—is one of the principal tools organizations leverage to keep the enterprise ship sailing boldly forward. ERP systems are one of the core business applications used by almost all companies that operate above a minimum complexity. The basic concepts and functionalities have been developed and implemented for more than 30 years, but the term ERP was coined by Gartner in 1990. In the original definition, which came from manufacturing resource planning (MRP II), ERP systems’ functionality normally covered finance and accounting (general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable), purchasing, HR management, sales or customer order management, and operations management. Gartner now speaks of postmodern ERP, which it describes as “a technology strategy that automates and links administrative and operational business capabilities (such as finance, HR, purchasing, manufacturing and distribution) with appro- priate levels of integration that balance the benefits of vendor-delivered inte- gration against business flexibility and agility. This definition highlights that there are two categories of ERP strategy: administrative and operational.”1 1 www.gartner.com/it-glossary/postmodern-erp a technology strategy that automates and links administrative and operational business capabilities (such as finance, HR, purchasing, manufacturing and distribution) with appropriate levels of integration that balance the benefits of vendor-delivered integration against business flexibility and agility. This definition highlights that there are two categories of ERP strategy: administrative and operational. POSTMODERN ERP IS… RISK OPPORTUNITY 4 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT Because these systems are central to today’s enterprise operations, their selection must confirm that the features and functionality they provide take into account the rapidly changing nature of global manufacturing and help address the challenges that poses. As Gartner notes, companies “need ERP systems that support flexibility rather than inhibit it.”2 They need software that enables business agility. This paper explores some of the common business challenges faced by today’s manufacturing and high-tech organizations, how the right software addresses these challenges, and posits a number of key selection factors that will optimize ROI on software investment for those in the sector. COMMON BUSINESS CHALLENGES While each manufacturer has its specific needs and requirements, the nature of today’s competition presents a number of challenges that tend to be common across manufacturing organizations. Here are a few of the most prominent: COMPLIANCE ISSUES Regulations and regulatory compliance are particularly important in the manu- facturing sector. For example, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, the average manufacturing firm in the United States pays nearly twice the compliance costs of the average U.S. firm; small manufactur- ers pay nearly three times as much as the average.3 Additionally, as global trade increases, international standards take on greater importance. These can range from multiple ISO standards to directives that have been intro- duced by the European Union (EU) that are moving toward global recognition as de facto or de jure international standards. In certain vertical sectors such as medical device manufacturing, validation processes are critical. Keeping compliance with such regulations is an ongoing concern for manufacturers, not only from an adherence perspective, but also from a cost of documenta- tion perspective. RISING MARGIN PRESSURES Regardless of the specific sector, margins for manufacturers are being squeezed from multiple directions. In developed markets, top-line growth has slowed or declined, whereas in emerging markets, margins are threatened by rising labor costs, more expensive commodities, and cost of distribution.4 As such, manufacturers need more granular information on what margins are being made when they’re taking or closing orders. If margins change based on a supplier’s increasing costs, the manufacturer needs to be made aware of that proactively, as it happens, so that action can be taken in response. 2 “Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies,” Gartner (Christian Hestermann, Nigel Montgomery, Chris Pang, Michael Guay, analysts), November 24, 2014. 3 “Regulatory Reform,” National Association of Manufacturers, www.nam.org/Issues/Regulatory-Reform 4 Margin Unlocked, EY, 2013. + + Sn Ag Cu Si AlFe 5 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT GREATER VISIBILITY AND MORE GRANULAR INFORMATION A more project-based approach is rapidly emerging in manufacturing. Years ago, designers and engineers were just treated as overheads within the business. Today’s manufacturers want to know how much time and effort —specifically and from where—have gone into designing a new product. How much time (and money) was spent with a customer working on a product design? How much did we budget? What resources have been used so far? How many can we expect to use? This process can entail anything from finance doing credit checks to engineers doing drawings to prototype production to manufacturing set-up. Visibility of the time/expense plan is increasingly crucial for many manufacturers, and granular detail is key. CONSUMER DEMAND Many manufacturers must now account for individual consumers as well as traditional industrial customers. This trend is particularly growing in the environmental arena (perhaps to a greater degree in Europe than America), where consumers are demanding verification that what they are purchasing has been manufactured in a sustainable way. Increasingly, it’s important for manufacturers to have eco-footprint information within their systems to report their carbon footprint, recyclable packaging used, etc. And products down to component level need to be completely traceable. Further, they need to comply —and demonstrate compliance—with standards like REACH and RoHS, and EU directives like those on energy labeling, ecodesign and energy-related products (ErP). This information needs to be reportable internally, to share- holders, and increasingly to the public at large. STANDARDIZATION Particularly as operations extend across disparate locations or geographical borders, manufacturers and high-tech organizations are looking for ways to standardize their business processes across multiple sites for consistency and cost reduction factors. This need extends from design to production to service, and applies to smaller manufacturers (e.g., a company building a product at two different local sites) as well as to global enterprises that may manufacture in one country and assemble in another. DISRUPTIVE INNOVATIONS Disruptive innovations are those that help create new markets and value networks, eventually disrupting an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), and displacing earlier technologies. When new tech- nologies emerge, the decline of industries is neither rapid nor immediate; but successful manufacturers understand that growth demands innovation, and innovation in the sector cannot occur without embracing technologically- advanced manufacturing capabilities.5 Perhaps the most visible of today’s disruptive technologies is additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing. In the future, smaller, highly specialized 3-D printing companies will emerge to serve a local area on demand. 5 Disruptive Manufacturing, Deloitte LLP, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ca/ Documents/insights-and-issues/ca-en-insights-issues-disruptive-manufacturing.pdf. 6 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT So instead of manufacturers buying components such as spare parts and having them shipped from afar, or buying a machine and putting it into the warehouse and taking up stock and cost from a financial point of view, they could wait until a part failed, send a command, and have it printed on demand within hours. At the moment, quality issues are the principal impediment to broad adoption of 3-D printing, but these issues will abate over time. Yet, while the technology has significant and transformative advantages (e.g., rapid proto- typing, reduced lead times, rapid innovation, rapid manufacturing, mass customization, use of unique materials), it also brings new risk: according to studies, by 2018, 3-D printing will result in the loss of $100 billion due to counterfeiting of parts.6 This in turn will lead to more innovation to counter that risk, as manufacturers look to embed “plant DNA” in products to check for validity and contract adherence. The Internet of Things (IoT) is another development moving rapidly from the consumer marketplace to manufacturing. Sensors are being embedded to provide machine-to-machine communications for applications such as remote monitoring and control, enabling manufacturers to get information and act upon it remotely. This is speeding maintenance while driving down costs (e.g., no longer having to send engineers into the field for maintenance on remote installations) through preventive maintenance and improved asset management (i.e., asset self-management). Other examples of disruptive innovation range from those becoming more established (e.g., cloud computing) to nascent but potentially revolutionary developments such as nanotechnology. As with 3-D printing, nanotechnology has the potential to localize global supply chains with very direct paths from raw materials through to finished products.7 Into our era of Industry 4.0 and the smart factory comes Blockchain, a secure distributed electronic ledger that connects parties in a network of trust and integrity to facilitate the transfer of assets and the information pertaining to those assets. Blockchain is already beginning to alter the way transactions are carried out by bringing parties together in a trusted network without a third party and by recording each transaction sequentially and securely. Usually associated with Bitcoin, a range of industries are now see- ing the business benefits it can bring. These include: Efficiency: As transactions are completed directly between the relevant parties with no intermediary and with digitized information, settling the transaction can be quick. Added to this is the ability to operate ‘smart contracts’ which automatically trigger commercial actions based on satisfying the criteria laid out in the contract. This can dramatically streamline processes and in doing so, remove time and cost from transacting. Auditability: As each transaction is recorded sequentially and indefinitely, it provides an indelible audit trail for the life of an asset even between parties. This is especially important if source data is essential in verifying an assets authenticity. 6 “Gartner Says Use of 3D Printing Will Ignite Major Debate on Ethics and Regulation,” Gartner press release, January 29, 2014. 7 “Manufacturing’s three biggest disruptive technologies,” The Manufacturer, November 6, 2014. LO W MEDIUM HIGH 7 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT Traceability: Tracking goods in a supply chain can be advantageous when seeking to trace where components are currently residing. Information relating to the component can then be relayed to or from the new owner for possible action. Transparency: Lack of commercial transparency can sometimes lead to delays in commerce and a breakdown in relations. By providing details of transactions against the commercial construct, further trust can be enlisted within the process and so provide a more stable relationship based on transparency rather than negotiation. Security: As each transaction is verified within the network using indepen- dently verified complex cryptography, the authenticity of the information can be assured. Assured information is one of the fundamental keys to unlocking the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a closed loop cyber autonomous process linking assets to actions. Feedback: With full traceability throughout the lifecycle of an asset, asset designers and manufacturers can accommodate through-life asset manage- ment into their products to make them more effective. This can allow for information returning from shipping, installation, maintenance and decommis- sioning. Blockchain is yet another ‘disruptor’ that can provide enormous opportunities for digitally savvy companies who adopt it fast. HOW THE RIGHT SOFTWARE ADDRESSES BUSINESS CHALLENGES The right business software supports manufacturing’s ability to meet emerg- ing challenges and respond to constant change by providing the foundation for enterprise agility. The concept of manufacturing agility involves the devel- opment of manufacturing capabilities to achieve sustained competitive advantage in an unpredictable environment.8 Agility is the product of three foundational blocks—vision, knowledge, and flexibility—that effectively designed and developed software facilitates across the business. VISION Vision is the ability to link business strategy and growth aspira- tions to technology investment, and to make informed decisions that prove effective over time. Clear vision enables a manufacturer to correctly assess and balance the risks and opportunities of disruptive technologies. The right business software helps focus and clarify vision. KNOWLEDGE Knowledge is the ability to identify, understand, and predict new sources of threat or opportunity across daily business operations and projects. Knowledge enables business insight, the most valuable form of which comes from the ability to assemble a clear, compre- hensive, and accurate view of the past, present, and future status of 8 Sud-on, P., Abareshi, A., Pittayachewan, S., and Teo, L., “Manufacturing Agility: Construct and Instrument Development,” World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 82 2013, p 755. The right business software supports manufacturing’s ability to meet emerging challenges and respond to constant change by providing the foundation for enterprise agility. 8 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT assets, infrastructure, and employees, across even the most complex global operations and projects. The right business software gathers, assembles, and disseminates knowledge in real time, where and when it is needed. FLEXIBILITY Flexibility is the ability to take action rapidly when things happen, expectedly or unexpectedly, founded on technology that makes rapid and responsive change possible. The right software is a critical part of this technology. Vision and knowledge are not fully empowered unless an organization has the flexibility to rapidly change its shape or focus to seize new opportunity or mitigate risk. Flexible business technology is necessary for this, but so too is a business culture that embraces rather than hinders change and rapid response. 10 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SELECTING ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE To see whether software under consideration is meeting the needs of today’s evolving manufacturing environment, the following questions are key: 1. DOES THE SOFTWARE SUPPORT RAPID BUSINESS CHANGE? An organization’s software should help it plan for change. Change is constant and the most dominant characteristic of today’s business environment, so the ability to plan for the unknown makes it possible for agile companies to thrive. Long-term planning is not about being able to predict every future, but being able to respond fast and smartly enough to capitalize on change. Effective software facilitates the ability to change —not only forecast information, but also supply and demand output, quickly, and provide visibility into what impacts the change will make. In today’s markets, where new product introduction is increasingly essen- tial to growth, enterprise software should help facilitate and control new product introduction. 2. DOES THE SOFTWARE PROVIDE ESSENTIAL ACCESS TO DATA—THE RIGHT DATA FOR THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT TIME? Data-driven decision-making is central to enterprise operations, but the proliferation of data can be overwhelming for users. Well-designed soft- ware delivers data to users in ways they can use it, wherever they are, whenever they need it, without delay or variation. Having data in a single place, accessible from any device, is key. A company doesn’t want to have to hold up production because it’s waiting for signoff from a production supervisor who is traveling on another continent. If he or she can review it on a smartphone, the company can act now. With older software systems, this wasn’t possible. 3. DOES THE SOFTWARE ALLOW FOR FUTURE GROWTH? The boundaries between manufacturing and distributing organizations have been slowly disappearing; more manufacturing companies have been distributing and servicing their products, which has led to tighter integration of ERP, CRM, and supply chain management (SCM) solutions. 9 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT Many companies that today are manufacturing only may be looking to add service to their portfolios. These companies are served by software that meets their current need but also has the capability to handle future development in the system. 4. IS THE SOFTWARE APPEALING TO TODAY’S GENERATION OF WORKERS? As the manufacturing workforce ages, a younger generation is coming into the sector. The longstanding perception of manufacturing as a smokestack environment (i.e., dirty, greasy, unhealthy) is giving way to the reality of high-tech manufacturing, much more appealing to those that grew up in the digital age. When younger people come into manufac- turing, they don’t want to work with a green-screen application; they want something that they are familiar with (i.e. graphic sophistication, touch- screens, apps to download onto a phone). How will younger workers —soon to be a majority in the workforce—respond to the software presentation? 5. IS THE SOFTWARE USABLE IN TODAY’S CHANGING WORK ENVIRONMENT? Related to the question above, usability speaks to the way work is done differently today, which is something influenced by the younger generation, but certainly not limited to them. Increasingly, the workplace is where we happen to be, which may not be within the “four walls” of the organiza- tion. This has certain implications for software. Is it mobile? Can it be accessed and comprehended by sophisticated and casual users on multiple devices: laptops, tablets, smartphones and, in the coming years, wearable technology like watches? Does it provide role-based portals and interfaces? Is it intuitive to anyone who sits in front of it? 6. IS THE SOFTWARE’S CRM DISCRETE OR EMBEDDED? Customer relationship management is increasingly important in today’s manufacturing market, and nearly all software providers will have CRM as a separate but integrated package. But it’s still in a separate world. This becomes an issue when manufacturers set up more complex relationships (e.g., from opportunity to sales to contract delivery), which typically requires integration work. Further, there are user experience issues, including not being able to drill through CRM all the way to the back office nore from the back office into CRM. When CRM is embedded in the enterprise software, those issues are taken off the table. There is no need for integration work. Users can now drill through in both directions, which can be an important advantage. 7. DOES THE SOFTWARE PROVIDE DEPLOYMENT OPTIONS? Single instance, on-premise enterprise systems are rapidly being relegated to the past as hybrid models continue to grow toward the norm. Whereas the majority of those hybrids are a combination of core and point solutions (on-premise) from multiple vendors, increasingly manufacturers will use cloud-based point solutions as an essential part of the hybrid approach. This is inevitable, particularly as manufacturing operations take on global scope. Does your software provide real deployment flexibility? 10 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT 8. DOES THE SOFTWARE SPEED EXECUTION OF TASKS? While provision of real-time data is increasingly a given for enterprise software, is this translating into faster execution of essential work? Consider financials. It’s not uncommon to find manufacturers where it takes over a week to do month’s end financials. Frankly, it should not take more than a day or two. When companies aren’t able to close their books until the middle of the next month, something isn’t right with the software system. Software should enable companies to have information they can believe and trust, in one system, so when they print out a trial balance they believe the numbers generated. There shouldn’t be a need to wait for information (e.g., for production to indicate how much WIP they have, or accounting to report accruals). Real-time data is often over- looked these days, because companies are not used to it; but it’s still a shock when a company tells you it takes a week to do a month’s end report. 9. HOW BROAD AND DEEP IS THE SOFTWARE SOLUTION? Can the software system phase out the use of multiple systems, eliminating undue complexity and cost? Today many manufacturers are multi-modal: some products are made to order, some made to stock, some engineered to order, some assembled to order, and some config- ured to order. Can your software handle all these approaches? If you set an approach today, do you have the ability to easily change over in a week’s, month’s, or year’s time? A broad and deep solution will provide this capability. 10. CUSTOMIZATION OR CONFIGURATION? IS THE SOFTWARE EASY TO MODIFY? Because change will make it likely for a company to want to modify its software over time, how easy and how costly will it be to make that change? The best systems enable users to add their own fields, events, and so on without having to go back to the software provider for custom- ization. Configuration is part of the functionality out of the box and easy to do, not part of an upgrade or requiring additional costs. WHAT ARE PEERS SAYING? Finally, companies are well served by looking to respected analysts who assess the status of software providers. Of those who study enterprise soft- ware and systems, the best known and perhaps most highly respected is Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner. Gartner publishes Peer Insights9 that offer “impactful insights from real IT decision makers”. The insights are described as follows: “Free of vendor influence, Gartner Peer Insights offers detailed perspectives for every phase of the IT lifecycle—from evaluation and implementation to service and support.” Below are some of the things peers (Manufacturing CIOs, CFOs, CTOs) are saying about IFS Applications and why they bought it: 9 www.gartner.com/reviews/home 11 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT What do you like most about the product or service? • It's flexibility to make personalizations without having to customize the product, and move those personalizations forward with each new release (CIO, Manufacturing) • Very stable application with all modules tightly integrated. • The consistency of the experience over the years. • The security and the integrity of the system are up to the mark. What were the key factors that drove your decision? • Product functionality and performance • Strong customer focus • Breadth of services • Financial/organizational viability • Pre-existing relationships • Product roadmap and future vision • Strong services expertise • Strong user community READY FOR SERVITIZATION AND WHAT’S NEXT? Companies that have added service to their offerings, adapted their organiza- tions to enable this and acquired the requisite technology (often in the form of integrated, full-scope enterprise software) have confronted the question of ‘What’s next?—and reaped significant benefits. In fact, adding service contributes to much of what is the very essence of good business, viz. actively looking to the future and seeking to shape it, to create opportunities rather than merely grasp those that arise. Benefits reported include: Enhanced revenue—reported growth between 2x and 4x Better margins—increases of 3–10% reported Sustainable business growth—increases of up 5–10% reported Greater customer satisfaction—they are getting what they want More repeat business, greater market share, and a better reputation Predictable income streams 12 ERP SOFTWARE THAT PREPARES MANUFACTURING AND HIGH-TECH ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT Combining a comprehensive suite of enterprise software that covers ERP, EAM, ESM (Enterprise Service Management), FSM (IFS Field Service Management™), IFS Enterprise Operational Intelligence™ (IFS EOI™) and advanced analytics, IFS enables manufacturers to actively take part in the transformation process, giving them the capabilities and insights to make decisions based on real-time statuses to not only meet customer needs but also anticipate them. Being able to handle today’s business challenges is important; shaping what’s next is crucial to growth and continued success. ABOUT ANTONY BOURNE As Vice President of Global Industry Solutions, Antony leads a team of global industry experts who cover the IFS focused industries, and support sales, marketing and partner enablement. Antony is a lead spokesperson for IFS and represents the company in multiple internal and external events, analyst updates (including Gartner, IDC, and ARC), publications, blogs and press articles. He also has extensive experience of multiple industries (including Manufacturing, Construction, Life Sciences and High Tech), having dealt with hundreds of companies that have gone through the software selection and implementation process. This includes hosting customer advisory councils in conjunction with R&D, which ensures the product strategy is in line with industry expectations. Antony has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, including working in the manufacturing sector. Prior to joining IFS in 1997, he held business analyst positions with Ford Motor Company and AlliedSignal. During this time, he implemented ERP applications as well as business process improvements. Antony holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Glamorgan and is a member of Mensa. En 11 05 3- 1 Pr od uc tio n: IF S Co rp or at e M ar ke tin g, M ay 2 01 7. IFSworld.com COPYRIGHT © 2017 INDUSTRIAL AND FINANCIAL SYSTEMS, IFS AB. IFS AND ALL IFS PRODUCTS AND SERVICES NAMES ARE TRADEMARKS OF IFS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS DOCUMENT MAY CONTAIN STATEMENTS OF POSSIBLE FUTURE FUNCTIONALIT Y FOR IFS’S PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGY. SUCH STATEMENTS ARE FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS ANY COMMITMENT OR REPRESENTATION. THE NAMES OF ACTUAL COMPANIES AND PRODUCTS MENTIONED HEREIN MAY BE THE TRADEMARKS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. 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