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High Tech Manufacturing

Supply Chain Resiliency is Critical for the Volatile Semiconductor Market

Guest Author:  Paul Dennies, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. The semiconductor market has always been very cyclical, so after a relatively weak 2019, companies were projecting and hoping for good results for 2020.  In the first half of 2020, there was increased usage of cellphones, tablets and computers during the lockdown, and now an increase in sales is occurring as economies have started to re-open.   The Covid-19 shutdowns and trade embargoes and tariffs between the U.S. and China have made a lot of semiconductor companies start to re-think their supply chains, with many expecting a massive adjustment moving forward. With the U.S. looking to limit U.S. technology equipment companies from doing business in China, you are seeing some seismic shifts in the semiconductor supply chain.  Companies like TSMC and Samsung are increasing investments in the U.S. while decreasing investments in China. At the same time, China is starting to develop its own home-grown semiconductor supply chain with increased government investments.  OSATs (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test providers) are also under similar pressure and are on the move, causing further disruptions to the industry. The semiconductor industry has always been a globally distributed market. It is known for its ability to quickly integrate and adopt new technologies into the supply chain to meet shifting customer demands and requirements.  Supply chain volatility and disruptions have also been par for the course for this industry.  Successful semiconductor companies have strived to build systems to create and manage resilient supply chains.  With a high level of supply chain volatility predicted for this market in the upcoming years, the ability to create resilient supply chains across new boundaries, locations and technologies has now become a driving factor for success in the future. Let Oracle be your technology partner in your move to a more resilient supply chain. We have a comprehensive set of modern cloud solutions for the semiconductor industry that enable you to achieve your goals for a zero latency supply chain and integrated business planning and execution.  To hear more about how Oracle has helped others in the semiconductor space, be sure to attend this IndustryWeek webinar Thursday at 9am PT.

Guest Author:  Paul Dennies, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. The semiconductor market has always been very cyclical, so after a relatively weak 2019, companies were projecting and hoping...

Customer Stories

Cohu Harmonizes their Manufacturing and Supply Chains by Moving to the Cloud

Duplicate applications across your business due to acquisitions. Different supply chains for every business unit. Highly customized legacy applications that are showing their age.  Maybe you can relate to this scenario.  It was the situation faced by Cohu, a leading manufacturer of semiconductor and PCB test and inspection equipment. They operate a worldwide business with engineering spread across the U.S. and Europe, multiple manufacturing sites in Asia, and partners and suppliers around the world.  Due to a large number of acquisitions over the years, Cohu was dealing with multiple business units each running different systems and processes for managing their supply chains and manufacturing. They decided it was time for a change. To eliminate redundancies, improve quality, and drive greater efficiencies across their organization, Cohu decided to standardize on a single, modern cloud solution that would give them common best-in-class processes for managing their manufacturing and end-to-end supply chain operations.  Attend this Sept 10 webcast to learn more about the results of Cohu’s journey to the cloud.  Craig Halterman, CIO of Cohu, along with executives from Oracle and Anark will discuss the lessons learned and benefits Cohu is seeing by moving to a single, integrated cloud platform to harmonize their ERP and supply chain management.  We hope you can attend this Cohu case study webcast.  

Duplicate applications across your business due to acquisitions. Different supply chains for every business unit. Highly customized legacy applications that are showing their age.  Maybe you...

Automotive

Insights into the Connected Digital Enterprise at NAMES20

In today’s challenging business environment, manufacturers that have invested in digital transformation have a leg up on the competition. They are able to digitally connect their operations to better understand their supply chain, manufacturing operations, and customers.  By taking advantage of the latest technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, and predictive analytics, smart manufacturers have instrumented their business to provide enhanced visibility into every facet of their operations.  Even when products leave their shop floor, they are still able to know where their products are and how customers are using them through a combination of digital logistics, smart warehouses, and remote asset monitoring. Digital transformation of manufacturing operations is a key element of the move towards Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 is about leveraging big data and AI to enable smart, autonomous systems to drive the next wave of business improvements.  From dramatically increased manufacturing efficiencies to data-driven insights that will drive innovation, the benefits of Industry 4.0 are widespread and will have a large impact on the future of manufacturing around the world. If you want to delve deeper into this topic, we recommend that you attend the North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES20), being held virtually this year on Sept. 9 and 10.  Industry 4.0 will be woven throughout the conference in topics such as 'Supply Chain Strategies', 'Building a Competitive Advantage', and 'Leveraging Technology as a Difference Maker'.  And we are honored to have Oracle Group Vice President John Barcus as one of the featured speakers at this event.  His session is titled ‘Enabling the Connected Digital Enterprise’ and is scheduled for 1:45pm CT (2:45pm ET) on Sept. 9. We hope you can attend!  

In today’s challenging business environment, manufacturers that have invested in digital transformation have a leg up on the competition. They are able to digitally connect their operations to better...

Automotive

Congratulations to Titan International, Western Digital, and Oracle Hillsboro, Winners of the Manufacturing Leadership Awards

Guest Author: Brian McDonald, Global Director, High Tech Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. The Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers, issued a press release announcing the list of world-class manufacturing companies and individual leaders that received recognition as winners of the 2020 Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Awards. ML Awards winners will be recognized at the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala, which will take place as a virtual event on October 8, 2020. Here is the ML Award press release and the full list of ML Award winners. “The top winners of the 2020 Manufacturing Leadership Awards are great examples of the ways global discrete manufacturers are driving innovation, and they demonstrate the power of adopting modern manufacturing technologies”, said John Barcus, Global Vice President, Oracle Industry Strategy Group and member of the Manufacturing Leadership Council. “Congratulations to Titan International, who won its award for the Industrial Internet of Things, Western Digital for Collaborative Innovation, and Oracle Hillsboro for Supply Chain.” Here are details of the award-winning projects: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Leadership This category honors those who improve production and supply chain processes by adding connectivity to plant equipment to enable more timely maintenance, operations, and quality. Titan International won with its project, “Connected Factory with lloT-driven, Real-Time Production Planning. In this project, Titan has taken full advantage of the cloud to break down organizational silos, standardize processes and manage financial, supply chain and manufacturing data. By automating manual processes and using data from sensors to improve insights into inventory, Titan's production and shipping teams are saving time by streamlining processes. Titan has introduced this automation to additional production areas”, said David Martin, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. For more info, view this Titan video. Collaboration Innovation This category honors those that demonstrate collaboration and leadership across the company. Western Digital won with its “Collaboration Project across the Merger of 3 Fortune 500 Companies”. In this project, Western Digital (WD) acquired SanDisk and Hitachi Global Storage (HGST) in 2013. The project was initiated to align the company, the business units and most importantly, the processes, such as forecasting. By aligning forecasting, for instance, Western Digital is able to align communications across the 3 companies and across silos within those companies”, said Bill Roy, Senior Director of Enterprise Performance Management at Western Digital. Roy hopes this is just the beginning of more strategic projects at Western Digital. “I am passionate about problem solving. If there's a problem, I want to fix it. So, one of the things I love is to go out to the business, talk to the users, talk to the executives, and figure out what challenges they’re having. And then I take that back and work with the team and figure out what can we do differently.” Learn more by watching this Western Digital video.  Supply Chain Leadership This category honors those who rethink and re-engineer how they source materials, manage suppliers, produce products, and deliver to customers. The Oracle Hillsboro manufacturing plant won with its project, “Oracle Supply Chain - Five-Day Lead Time for Servers”. “This project was kicked off to do the impossible — to deliver customized, highly complex products, consisting of hundreds of parts, fully tested, and dependent on multiple suppliers — in 5 days or less ... over 95% of the time. Before embarking on this project, lead times were still high at 8-12 days, so reducing the timeframe to 5 days was an aggressive, but business critical objective”, said Jag Sharma, Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Logistics Operations at Oracle. “We wanted to increase customer satisfaction. And it is much easier to communicate a fixed lead time to a worldwide sales force.” Learn more about this project in this Oracle Hillsboro plant article.  The 80 projects and individuals on the list of Manufacturing Leadership Awards winners represent both small and large enterprises in a wide range of manufacturing markets. They all leverage best-in-class processes, technologies and engaged teams to set themselves apart from the competition. Congratulations to all!  

Guest Author: Brian McDonald, Global Director, High Tech Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. The Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers, issued a...

Automotive

Having a Digital Thread Drives Manufacturing Efficiency

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Today’s manufacturer cannot function efficiently if they have silo’ed operations, broken communications, or inconsistent product information. And optimizing one line of business (LOB) within their operations does not solve all their efficiency problems. Manufacturers need to adopt a holistic digital transformation strategy. Though it is not practical to transform the entire value chain activities in one go, to begin with, enterprises need to build a strong foundation. That foundation, upon which the rest of the digital transformation rests, is the digital thread. The digital thread is a single data platform that unifies all elements of the enterprise by breaking down the walls between your disparate systems. It enables the accurate collecting and governing of all the corresponding data and allows this data to seamlessly flow between all of your business systems and processes. Through our experience developing and selling enterprise applications, Oracle has seen firsthand the value of having a digital thread, and we developed the Oracle Product Hub Cloud so that we and others can have a digital thread connecting all product data throughout the product lifecycle. With the strong foundation that Oracle Product Hub Cloud provides, you can have a single data source that enables streamlined data sharing and governance across both your on-premise and cloud applications. For a more in-depth look at the benefits and use cases around adopting a digital thread, I encourage you to read this Weaving the Digital Thread article by CIMData, a strategic management consulting firm focused on product lifecycle management (PLM). CIMData is a big believer in the importance of a digital thread and discusses Oracle’s approach and how it contributes towards a successful PLM strategy.   

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Today’s manufacturer cannot function efficiently if they have silo’ed operations, broken communications, or inconsistent...

Customer Stories

Leading Steel Manufacturer looks to the Cloud to Modernize HCM

ArcelorMittal is a leading steel manufacturer based in Luxembourg that ships over 84 million tons of steel annually to customers in the automotive, construction, household appliances, and packaging industries. It employs over 190,000 people around the world while generating annual revenues of $70 billion.  ArcelorMittal was interested in improving its recruiting, people management, and other human resources systems. They had a patchwork of outdated recruiting, training, and performance-review tools that came up short with regards to the needed functionality and visibility into HR competencies across their operations. They looked at a number of HR solutions and ending up choosing Oracle Cloud HCM due to its advantages in providing an end-to-end system for managing its workforce. Oracle Cloud HCM’s e-recruiting capabilities help ArcelorMittal more effectively compete for talent, especially in highly competitive markets that are home to high-tech companies and startups. And instead of logging into five systems to conduct a performance review or using three systems to plan employee training, managers can use a single system - Oracle Cloud HCM - for every aspect of human capital management throughout the employment lifecycle of each employee. "The [human capital management] basics, like those built into Oracle Cloud HCM, were much stronger than those of the competition. Oracle clearly understood how things should work.” - Koen Mols, HR Excellence Program, ArcelorMittal Read this HCM success story to learn more about why ArcelorMittal chose Oracle Cloud to modernize their HR systems and processes.  For more information about how Oracle can help your business with modern, integrated cloud applications, visit oracle.com/industries/industrial-manufacturing.

ArcelorMittal is a leading steel manufacturer based in Luxembourg that ships over 84 million tons of steel annually to customers in the automotive, construction, household appliances, and packaging...

Automotive

Leveraging Technology to Reduce Business Decision Latency

Guest Author: Enrique Lopez-Tello, VP, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Given the current business environment, it’s easy to see that you need to be diligent in watching out for unexpected events that can impact your company’s performance. The time it takes to analyze and decide on the best course of action after one of these events is what we call business decision latency. As time goes by after a critical event has happened, your ability to optimize the results of your decisions steadily declines.   There exist 5 "Moments of Truth" that increase or reduce latency in business decision processes. We already discussed these in my previous blog post: The 5 Areas of Business Latency that can Derail Your Integrated Business Planning and Execution. So, the question now is what can you do to reduce business decision latency? The short answer is: Continuously leverage advanced technology to improve your business decision processes Focus on the areas where new technology investments will have the biggest impact  There exist today a variety of advanced technologies that add value to business decision processes by reducing latency. Here are some areas associated with business decision making where you can reduce latency with technology investments: Prediction Early warning systems may not prevent a disruptive event from happening but detecting that event as soon as it becomes probable will give you more time to prepare for it. If you do not have this predictive approach to unexpected events then some events will hit you by surprise and obviously this is not good for your business. Using predictive analytics in a control tower for your business is just the start. You must also monitor unstructured and semi-structured data sets to enrich your early warning systems: not only data streams coming from your sensors, but, where appropriate, also video signals, social media, news feeds, etc.  Detection Some relevant data on changing conditions you certainly are already monitoring. But you should continuously try to identify other critical areas of your business and proactively monitor them for unexpected events as well.  You should also go beyond the traditional approach of just analyzing “data at rest” and explore ways to do real-time analysis of “data in motion”, otherwise known as “fast data.” Having the ability to analyze “fast data” as it is happening gives you a leg up on detecting unexpected events in real time.  This challenge of incorporating “fast data” into your analytics can be addressed by the latest in advanced in-memory database technology complemented by AI-powered rules engines to uncover relevant events from general “data noise” and bring them to your attention in real time. Relevance Getting a message on your phone that a truck delivery to one of your factories will not happen could be of little value to you unless you understand the relevance of this info. Data points like this are more valuable when you also understand the context of the impact on your business.  Case 1 - Your projected on-hand will remain at a safe level until a new delivery happens.  Case 2 - Your projected on-hand will fall below safe levels. Then a new delivery of this material should be expedited to solve the potential problem before it happens. Case 3 - The material needed to assemble a critical product to make your annual sales is no longer available.  Then your management team should get together fast and use an S&OP cycle to decide which customers will be hit and which ones can you still save. Modern, integrated supply chain, logistics and manufacturing solutions can support this type of contextual information and provide the business processes needed to escalate critical production issues like the one seen in Case 3. Adaptation In some cases, the course of action to address an unexpected event could be automated by adopting industry best practice and developing specific automation rules (often assisted by AI technology). You could also benefit from 'what if' simulation tools that help define alternative scenarios and assess real end-to-end plan feasibility, results, and risks. The beauty of today’s advanced technology is that you can do this across many business domains including finance, quality, services, operations, and sales. Action  The challenge for every business is turning plans into action seamlessly. The best approach is to have “loosely coupled” coordination at different levels to move plans into action. This allows coordination needs to adapt to the needs of real time execution.  Of equal importance is having visibility into the plan - a single data model that allows contextual views of the plan for all participants. Then to reduce latency, you should invest in technology that enables your organization to adapt quickly to changing conditions as the plan evolves into execution and implementation.   Taking Your First Step Where do you start? You need to do a little legwork to decide where your organization has the biggest shortcomings in the areas discussed above. Then investigate and invest in the technology that will give you the biggest return on investment. For some organizations, improving prediction, detection and analysis will be key.  For others, investing in better planning and plan execution will be paramount. There are many paths to reducing latency in your business, and each organization will have a slightly different journey. Oracle has invested heavily in developing modern technology solutions like Integrated Business Planning and Execution that enable you to reduce business latency and optimize planning and operations. We encourage you to learn more about Oracle’s comprehensive offerings for manufacturing, automotive, and high tech companies.  

Guest Author: Enrique Lopez-Tello, VP, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Given the current business environment, it’s easy to see that you need to be diligent in watching out for unexpected events...

Automotive

Another Benefit of Moving to the Cloud - Framework Extensibility

Guest Author: C Prasanna Venkatesan, Director, Advanced Technology Industry Solutions, Oracle. Cloud computing is being adopted at an unprecedented pace as more and more companies move to the cloud to benefit from more frequent product releases, subscription pricing cost savings, built-in backup and recovery, and automatic software integration, among other advantages.  Yet in this journey to the cloud, some companies deliberate on adopting off-the-shelf cloud software. Companies are naturally looking for software that will seamlessly fit their unique business needs.  Indeed, studies have consistently shown that feature availability runs neck and neck with pricing as the top factor affecting a company’s choice of cloud software.  Luckily, Oracle provides a solution that bridges the feature gap that exists for some customers in off-the-shelf cloud software.  The ability to configure and customize Oracle’s suite of cloud applications means companies can move to the cloud with ease, confident that their unique requirements will be met.  Experience shows that more than 80% of customer requirements can be met with standard capabilities built into cloud application software.  The remaining 20% can be addressed by the Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework, which can customize everything from the application look and feel to exposing application level interfaces that make the transition to the cloud that much easier.  The Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework enables all cloud interfaces to be exposed directly to customers, reducing manual integration development tasks such as: Creating physical connections Data transformation Entity cross-reference or trading partner cross-reference between cloud applications and other external applications Routing and orchestration  Event management A comprehensive view of currently available features of the Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework for Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud is shown in the image above.   Oracle customers have leveraged the Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework to address a variety of different requirements across their business including:  Enabling deeper analytics, reporting and seamless data export  Extending user interface (UI) customizations and data models  Defining detailed behavior of applications with various workflows, rules and option settings Allowing easier file uploads and downloads in specific file formats Creating custom web and mobile applications to meet the needs of their employees and partners Case Study: $10+ Billion Hardware Distributor An underappreciated complexity in supply chain management is reverse logistics.  This $10+ billion distributor of high end, enterprise-grade hardware found itself with a challenge when transitioning to the cloud to modernize its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities.  Despite being one of the largest value-added resellers of high-end enterprise grade systems, the company got to the pinnacle of its industry by pioneering a uniquely high-touch approach. Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework allowed the company to create its own unique set of “default fields” that would be part of a Return Material Authorization (RMA) initiated by a customer or a sales representative.  With the help of Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework, this distributor was able to automate its unique RMA process as well as many other capabilities that Oracle SCM Cloud offered, which had previously been on the backburner.   The Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework is one of the benefits of adopting Oracle’s comprehensive and integrated collection of industry-leading enterprise SaaS applications.  To learn more about how the Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework can help you solve your unique business needs, check out this Oracle Cloud Extensibility Framework white paper.   

Guest Author: C Prasanna Venkatesan, Director, Advanced Technology Industry Solutions, Oracle. Cloud computing is being adopted at an unprecedented pace as more and more companies move to the cloud to...

Automotive

Oracle Named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center for the 9th Year in a Row

Oracle is proud to be named a 'Leader' in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Customer Engagement Center, based on our ability to execute and our completeness of vision. For service organizations, there has never been a more important time to deliver the right service at the right moment to keep customers happy and engaged. Today, marketplace differentiation has shifted away from merely standing out based on the goods or services you sell, to distinguishing yourself based on the quality of the experiences you deliver at each customer touchpoint. In today’s “experience economy,” customer expectations could not be higher. When customers have the need for service, it’s critical they get the right support at the right time, in the right manner. Partnering with the right technology vendor to achieve this type of class-leading service experience is critical to driving your business growth. We're honored for Gartner’s recognition of Oracle’s track record of continuous delivery of innovations, with a focus on predictive service, which is an area we believe will become a central focus across multiple brands and industries. Customers also expect to interact with brands over the channel of their preference. Delivering high quality interactions across an ever-growing number of channels requires an intense focus on service consistency. Oracle offers a stable, cost-effective path to adopting new channels of engagement, while ensuring consistency of experience through a unified agent desktop, knowledge management, and automation. Customer loyalty is the foundation for long-term business success, and one of the best times to build long-term customer relationships is when customers need your help. Oracle is happy to be recognized for our continued determination in helping great brands deliver exceptional service experiences. Tackling a wide variety of unique challenges energizes us and drives our leadership and innovation. If you’re a service organization looking for a partner to help you overcome obstacles and elevate your customer experience, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about Oracle’s position in this year’s Magic Quadrant, click here to download the full report.      

Oracle is proud to be named a 'Leader' in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Customer Engagement Center, based on our ability to execute and our completeness of vision. For service organizations,...

Automotive

Blurred Lines for the Automotive Supplier

Guest Author: Pat Mariles, Senior Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Automotive suppliers are facing unprecedented challenges in today’s evolving automotive industry.  Their lines of business are being blurred as they realize they need to find new innovative approaches, embrace new business models and become more agile as they fight for survival in this changing marketplace.  Suppliers realize they need to work more closely with automotive OEMs and collaborate on automobile features and capabilities. Their boundaries are being pushed with a shift from supplier innovation that has historically been centered on product and manufacturing (quality, price, on-time delivery) to now working to better understand the automotive end customer – the driver.   This shift in focus for automotive suppliers to the end customer means collaborating with automotive OEMs on major new functionality such as the rollout of advanced technologies (e.g. voice command interfaces, driver analytics), mobile access (e.g. access to car features and data via mobile phones), and autonomous driving. As a result, automotive suppliers will need to work hand in hand with the OEM’s design and development process, adopting new business models that enable them to develop innovative products that deliver a more enriched driver experience.  Of course, such changes affect the supply chain.  Improving real-time operational efficiencies across the extended supply chain in the front and back office are imperative.  By embracing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and IoT, suppliers are better equipped to be optimized, proactive and productive as they adopt Industry 4.0 capabilities. One of the many Oracle customers that is embracing Industry 4.0 is Titan International. Titan, a leading wheel manufacturer, is changing their operating model and becoming a more innovative manufacturer. By deploying Oracle IoT, ERP, and SCM, they have transformed their daily operations to have access to real-time inventory availability and accuracy.  Such real time inventory accessibility has a profound impact throughout the manufacturing process.   Titan now has insight into their shop floor analytics. They have installed digital workflows and their shipping processes are more efficient.  Overall, they have achieved an increase in collaboration, transparency and coordination in all facets of their operations.  As a result, Titan is innovating more and beating the competition.  Read this Titan success story for more insight into their move to modern applications in the cloud.  The bottom line is automotive suppliers need to quickly adapt to today’s evolving automotive market in order to survive.  To do this, they must continually strive for greater agility and innovation with a focus on working more closely with automotive OEMs to meet the needs of the end customer – the driver. Oracle is your technology partner in this journey. We have a comprehensive set of modern cloud solutions for the automotive industry that enable you to adopt Industry 4.0 practices and processes in your company to become a more nimble supplier for the quickly evolving automotive market.

Guest Author: Pat Mariles, Senior Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Automotive suppliers are facing unprecedented challenges in today’s evolving automotive industry.  Their lines of...

Automotive

The Future of Supply Chains is Zero Latency

Guest Author: Swapan Ghosh, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Today’s supply chain networks are complex. They span across multiple ecosystem partners, spread across multiple geographies, and are managed by multiple stakeholders. Supply chain managers often do not have full visibility into their extended supply chain as most of them lack real-time information about their supply chain events across the entire network. This information latency makes the supply network less responsive to recent events, leading to poor, less effective decision making. Information latency can be classified into three main classes: capture latency, analysis latency and decision latency. Capture and analysis latency is caused by technical delays in collecting, transferring, storing and processing the information, whereas the decision latency (cognitive latency) is caused by delays in decision making which can be attributed to perception, evaluation and response delays by managers. By significantly reducing information latency, we can create a living and breathing supply chain network which can more proactively respond and mitigate supply chain events throughout the network. We call this the Zero Latency Supply Chain. We define Zero Latency Supply Chain (ZLSC) as an end-to-end (E2E) supply chain network that maximizes the value of and minimizes risks across supply chain processes by sensing and orchestrating supply chain events on a near zero latency basis across multiple stakeholders and trading partners. A ZLSC solution has 3 core components: A real-time collaboration framework to receive and process supply chain events A supply chain orchestration engine to orchestrate supply chain events with ecosystem partners Predictive insights to make business decisions and mitigate risks.  For better transparency and visibility, a ZLSC solution can also incorporate a blockchain-based distributed ledger to log all events. As a best practice, a ZLSC solution should also offer 3 key functionalities: identify and resolve, simplify and automate, and track and trace real-time supply chain events: Identify and resolve supply chain events Provide better coordination and collaboration with E2E ecosystem partners for real-time decision making. Identify supply chain exceptions proactively and allow supply chain managers to take necessary actions. Facilitate in monitoring and managing product quality across the supply network. Simplify and automate supply chain processes: Automate supply chain processes for better efficiency. Manage supply chain process exceptions proactively and help supply chain managers to resolve exceptions expeditiously. Streamline problem resolution processes by predefined workflows, business rules and mitigation strategies. Ensure compliance through comprehensive track and trace: Ensure transparency and visibility across the E2E supply chain transactions. Automate compliance and regulatory requirements for multiple geographies. Reduce custom clearance time drastically and improve supply chain efficiency. Despite the complexity of modern day supply chains, ZLSC provides a framework for you to quickly detect supply chain disruptions, so you can promptly respond to unplanned events, streamline and automate supply chain processes, and optimize your supply chain to meet the needs of your customers.  Oracle is a leader in providing modern, cloud-based supply chain solutions to manufacturers around the world. We encourage you to learn more about our Zero Latency Supply Chain solution as you think about modernizing and improving the management of your end-to-end supply chain.

Guest Author: Swapan Ghosh, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Today’s supply chain networks are complex. They span across multiple ecosystem partners, spread across multiple geographies, and...

Automotive

Digital Transformation is Incomplete without Optimizing Your Data

Guest Author: Vijay Natarajan, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Manufacturing organizations often struggle with item and parts proliferation, product data quality, and data completeness. This leads to myriad business and operation pain points around limited visibility into spend data, ineffective supplier negotiations, subpar sourcing strategy and the inability to use enterprise data to make real-time product decisions. Organizations often end up inheriting data issues from legacy systems even after implementing digital transformation projects, resulting in the inability to achieve the maximum benefits and savings of embracing digital technology and moving to the cloud. As part of any transformation project, organizations should also focus on data enrichment in order to realize the sustained savings that will result from improved data quality and completeness. Some of the complex questions organizations face during transformation projects tie directly to improving data quality and completeness: How do I fund new supply chain transformation avenues? How do I avoid inheriting legacy data issues resulting in business and operations inefficiencies during transformation projects? How can I monitor benefits, ensure sustained savings and enable on-going parts reuse and parts master governance? In evaluating the best approach to improving data quality, organizations should look for solutions that have the following capabilities: Data Enrichment and Advanced Classification: Automated tools that use Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning to enrich part attribute data from engineering drawings, PDF data sheets, and other unstructured data sources and automate classification using pre-defined libraries (e.g. UNSPSC). Cognitive Analytics to Reduce Part Complexity: Though machine learning models, use enriched part attributes merged with supplier, price, and volume data to identify parts and supplier rationalization opportunities. Expedited Data Transformation: Automate configuration and migration using predefined classifications and enriched data models during transformation in order to uncover part rationalization opportunities and promote long term reuse. By leveraging the above capabilities as part of a transformation project, organizations can realize significant short-term cost reductions as well as long-term efficiencies around improved product data search and re-use, enriched data quality, easier industry standard classification, and better decision making around preferred parts and suppliers.   About Deloitte Consulting By looking more deeply into your business, Deloitte Consulting LLP helps bring bold strategies to life in unexpected ways. Through disruption and innovation, our clients are able to transform from market followers to market leaders. For more information on how Deloitte can help you with improving data quality with product data analytics, visit Deloitte DesignSource.  

Guest Author: Vijay Natarajan, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Manufacturing organizations often struggle with item and parts proliferation, product data quality, and data completeness....

High Tech Manufacturing

Webcast: Building a Resilient Semiconductor Supply Chain

Due to rising costs, the speed of technology turnover, global supply chain disruptions and a more demanding and diverse customer base, traditional organic growth in the semiconductor industry is lagging. Semiconductor companies must look at ways to improve operational efficiencies and shorten design cycles as well as innovatively expand their product portfolios. Oracle has been a leader in enterprise software solutions supporting the semiconductor industry for over 20 years.  We provide a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, helping drive operational excellence in almost all areas of business, including engineering, finance, supply chain, marketing, sales and talent management. Our solutions utilize a modern cloud platform that combine robust SaaS applications with embedded technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) to streamline business operations and drive innovation. Please join us for our upcoming live webcast on June 30 to hear about Oracle’s Semiconductor Supply Chain solution as well as learn how SiTime moved to a modern supply chain solution in the cloud and the benefits they realized by getting end-to-end visibility into their extended supply chain. Register now for this webcast and we look forward to you joining us on June 30!

Due to rising costs, the speed of technology turnover, global supply chain disruptions and a more demanding and diverse customer base, traditional organic growth in the semiconductor industry...

Automotive

How Artificial Intelligence is Improving Quality Management and Control

Guest Author: Aniello Pepe, Director, Industry Solutions Group, Oracle. We all know the impact of quality in manufacturing and how a defective product can jeopardize the reputation of even the most established brands. Highly visible cases in the automotive industry include the huge vehicle recall tied to Takata airbags and the Toyota vehicle recall due to accelerator pedal issues. These and other product defects cause heavy financial impacts on manufacturers and – in the Takata case – resulted in the company bankruptcy. Even less significant product defects can impact the financials and the reputation of manufacturers.  Quality management and control are universally applied business practices that rely on well established, theoretically founded methodologies and techniques. But the practical application of concepts has to face the intrinsic difficulty for control, analysis and data interpretation. Here artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques can now play an important role, similar to how AI and ML are being adopted across other business areas. Inspection and Validation Quality inspections are typically related to checks on dimension, weight, aspect (e.g. level of finishing, color, etc.), capabilities (e.g. elasticity, impermeability, resistance, etc.) and features (e.g. device functionalities). Most of these checks can be automated using sensors or measuring equipment, while others requires some more sophisticated controls that are hard to automate and typically require human intervention that can add to costs and be error prone.  Consider, for instance, visual checking the quality of final packaging. Or other checks requiring the use of other human senses like hearing (e.g. detecting “strange noises”) or even taste (e.g. organoleptic properties in food & beverage). In these cases, appropriate sensors can collect raw data (e.g. video, audio) but then data interpretation is required, since there are often no clear rules to define what’s good and what’s not. Here ML techniques – based on training from a number of cases to derive a model that is continuously updated from the experience of any new cases – are being effectively applied with a high level of confidence.    Cause Analysis and Prevention Complementing human effort to improve, automate and accelerate quality checks is not the only or most important application of ML for quality management in manufacturing. For many years researchers and practitioners have addressed the issue of preventing quality problems in manufacturing, formalized in a number of techniques and procedures – like total quality management (TQM) and others. Many of these either focus on improving the intrinsic quality of production processes or attempt to facilitate the analysis of the root causes of quality problems (e.g. Ishikawa diagrams). However, the real issue behind these efforts has always been the inherent complexity of actual manufacturing environments with the need to take into account a large number of internal parameters that can be summarized in the 5M framework (man, machine, material, method, and measurement). ML techniques can now provide a valuable tool for root cause analyses (RCA). Indeed, at the core of ML is the capability to find correlations from large sets of information, which is exactly what is needed in RCA. The digitization of business processes – not only manufacturing, but also design, logistics, service, finance – together with the continued adoption of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is transforming the production world, providing a vast, rich set of data that modern ML techniques can readily leverage.   Oracle is Here to Help Oracle understands the importance of quality in all stages of manufacturing and is a leading vendor with regards to incorporating AI and ML technologies into our business solutions. Oracle has embedded ready-to-use AI capabilities in key applications including enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and IoT analytics. For example, our Smart Manufacturing industry solution leverages AI to provide a robust platform for quickly resolving maintenance issues, reducing downtime, and improving product quality. For more information about Oracle’s AI-powered solutions for manufacturers, check out our Adaptive Intelligent Applications for Supply Chain and Manufacturing.  

Guest Author: Aniello Pepe, Director, Industry Solutions Group, Oracle. We all know the impact of quality in manufacturing and how a defective product can jeopardize the reputation of even the...

Automotive

May 26 Webcast on Integrated Business Planning and Execution

Optimizing sales and operations planning (S&OP) is an important business process for manufacturing companies. It allows organizations to more quickly adapt to unexpected supply and demand events, and thanks to advanced technologies like AI-assisted analytics and IoT sensor data, manufacturing companies now have all the components needed to better integrate their end-to-end planning with operations execution. Oracle is a leader in enterprise performance management and supply chain management and has been investing heavily in Integrated Business Planning (IBP).  Our comprehensive solution, Oracle Integrated Business Planning and Execution (IBPX), provides advanced, end-to-end planning and analytics capabilities so manufacturing companies can better define, plan and achieve their business performance objectives. Oracle has helped many manufacturing companies to:  Integrate planning and execution to eliminate business latency and allow for smarter decision making Consolidate sales, operations, financial and supply chain planning into a single, centralized hub Improve visibility across your organization to quickly gain real-time business insights and conduct more accurate planning and forecasting Please join us for our upcoming live webcast on IBPX on May 26. You'll hear about real-world IBPX case studies where companies have been able to quickly react to manufacturing disruptions and adapt their business planning to optimize results. Register for this webcast and learn how Oracle IBPX can help you transform your business.  

Optimizing sales and operations planning (S&OP) is an important business process for manufacturing companies. It allows organizations to more quickly adapt to unexpected supply and demand events, and...

Automotive

A 3-Step Approach to Successful Product Innovation

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Innovation is the lifeblood of any corporation. With fast-changing technology, growing global competition, and ever-increasing customer demands, manufacturers today must adapt and innovate faster or they will eventually perish. The digital transformation trend is further accelerating this pace of change, and you need to ensure you have the tools and processes in place to foster continuous innovation. Innovation is hard, and many product innovation projects fail. Failure can occur in many ways and at various stages. Some of the common reasons for failures include not capturing product-market fit well, poor design, poor product quality, misalignment among business units, and not learning from past mistakes. For organizations to succeed at product innovation, they need to bring people together, establish objective criteria for investment decisions, follow a good process, and produce products of high quality.  Properly implementing and managing the end-to-end innovation process is a key part of bringing winning products to market. You need to have the right tools and processes in place to streamline product innovation management, execute the manufacturing process while improving quality, and deliver higher customer satisfaction to customers. As a best practice, you should execute a closed-loop innovation cycle that spans 3 phases: Manage, Mitigate, and Monitor. Manage: Better manage the fuzzy front-end of innovation Centralize innovation management and rationalize ideas into viable products Collect ideas and collate them into proposals and investment portfolios Objectively vet portfolios to pick winning projects Collaborate with manufacturing, partners, and suppliers to come up with the best designs Mitigate: Communicate effectively and improve product manufacturing Capture quality issues early, identify root causes and eliminate bottlenecks Model-based communication of information to avoid delays and misunderstandings Accurate dissemination of information to manufacturing, suppliers, sales, and service Effective management of engineering change orders Monitor: Measure product performance, customer satisfaction, and market needs Know in real-time how the product is performing through IoT data Social channel monitoring to understand customer sentiments around the product Social channels and other macro-economic trends monitoring to understand evolving markets Monitor competitive landscape information on the internet This closed-loop innovation cycle of manage, mitigate, and monitor enables you to avoid many of the missteps associated with product innovation and gets you on a path towards bringing more successful products to market. It’s a balanced approach that helps you establish strong processes for vetting new product development, optimizing manufacturing, and better understanding your customers’ needs. Oracle has invested heavily in developing modern enterprise-grade applications for manufacturers. For more information about our approach to successful product innovation, visit Oracle Connected Digital Innovation.

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. Innovation is the lifeblood of any corporation. With fast-changing technology, growing global competition, and ever-increasing...

Automotive

The Impact and Adoption of Artificial Intelligence – A Business Survey

Is your business a leader or laggard when it comes to the adoption of intelligent automation?  The Harvard Business Review Analytics Service recently surveyed hundreds of business executives on the topic of intelligent automaton technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). HBR asked them how much they are investing in intelligent automation, where it’s having the most impact, and what benefits they are seeing from their investments.   What they found is most businesses are planning to dramatically increase their investment in intelligent automation in the next three years in order to improve the efficiency and quality of their business processes.  Business leaders believe that intelligent automation can provide a strategic advantage and integrating AI into their business is critical for their long-term success.   Where are businesses investing?  The three most popular areas that respondents identified as benefiting from intelligent automation are:  Operations (77%) Customer service (63%) Decision support (62%) What technologies are the most important? Respondents ranked these as the top technologies that are most important to their business’s future: Predictive analytics (80%) Cloud services (78%) AI and ML (68%) Robotic process automation, chatbots (59%) If you are working on your company’s AI strategy or developing a digital transformation plan, then I encourage you to read this Rise of Intelligent Automation survey. Understanding how other companies are thinking about intelligent automation and how their strategies for adoption differ from your own are important in helping you refine and enhance your own business plans around AI and intelligent automation investments.

Is your business a leader or laggard when it comes to the adoption of intelligent automation?  The Harvard Business Review Analytics Service recently surveyed hundreds of business executives on the...

Automotive

Oracle Named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Manufacturing Execution Systems

We are excited to announce that we have been recognized as a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Manufacturing Execution Systems for Oracle Manufacturing Cloud. Oracle takes great pride in this distinction, as customer feedback continues to shape the cloud solutions that we provide to manufacturers around the world. In its announcement, Gartner explains, “The Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice is a recognition of vendors in this market by verified end-user professionals, taking into account both the number of reviews and the overall user ratings.” To ensure fair evaluation, Gartner maintains rigorous criteria for recognizing vendors with a high customer satisfaction rate.  Here are some excerpts from customers that contributed to this distinction: “Magnificent cloud platform. Enables [us] to work with a maximum agile method. Provides all necessary information to undertake the management of manufacturing and supply chain.” – Product Development Engineer, Manufacturing Company "The interface is simple, understandable and easy to learn. You can control every stage of the purchasing and production processes and see the analysis.” –  Purchasing Specialist, Manufacturing Company “We have migrated from EBS R-12 and whatever processes were there in EBS are present in [Oracle] Manufacturing Cloud. Moreover its user interface is much better and [more] attractive than EBS and users are happy.” – Head of IT, Manufacturing Company "It is very good product to manage and track the manufacturing operations. It is also a bridge between employees and suppliers as well. Implementation is very easy and technical support is good." - Product Development Engineer, Manufacturing Company Read more reviews for Oracle Manufacturing Cloud here. Oracle Manufacturing Cloud is a part of Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud – a comprehensive suite of supply chain applications that enables manufacturers to manage their supply chains with the scale, security, innovation, and agility that today’s companies require. Oracle SCM Cloud provides end-to-end technology that takes you beyond supply chain operations and into integrated business planning. We are very proud to be honored as a 2020 Customers’ Choice for Manufacturing Execution Systems. To learn more about this distinction, or to read the reviews written about Oracle Manufacturing Cloud by the business professionals who use it, please visit the Customers’ Choice announcement. To read about Oracle research recognition and being named as a leader in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems, see our Gartner Magic Quadrant for MES blog post. To all of our customers who submitted reviews, thank you! These reviews provide valuable feedback about our cloud solutions, and we look forward to building on the experience that earned us this distinction! If you have an Oracle Cloud story to share, we encourage you to join the Gartner Peer Insights crowd and weigh in.   Attribution and Disclaimers:The GARTNER PEER INSIGHTS CUSTOMERS’ CHOICE badge is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc., and/or its affiliates, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Gartner or its affiliates.

We are excited to announce that we have been recognized as a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Manufacturing Execution Systems for Oracle Manufacturing Cloud. Oracle takes great pride...

Automotive

The 5 Areas of Business Latency that can Derail Your Integrated Business Planning and Execution

Guest Author: Enrique Lopez-Tello, VP, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. A recent study from consulting firm McKinsey found that “only 20 percent of respondents say their organizations excel at decision making. Further, a majority say much of the time they devote to decision making is used ineffectively”. Latency in your decision making processes is one cause of this ineffectiveness. Excessive delays hurt your ability to react quickly to changing business and operational conditions – a clear lost opportunity that can impact your top and bottom line. Of course, business decision processes always have some latency, but there are clearly ways to reduce latency, sometimes significantly. And taking this action starts with a deeper understanding of business latency, which I will cover in this post. Business Latency Defined Colin White and Richard Hackathorn were two of the pioneers using the term business latency in the context of how to use information technology to mitigate its negative impacts in organization performance. Today the concept of latency has been addressed by many across different industries and business processes. In this post, I’d like to discuss why latency is relevant specifically within the integrated business planning and execution (IBPX) framework used by manufacturing organizations to develop business plans and then execute on those plans.  We'll use the following definition for business latency in this context for discussion purpose: Business latency is the time that your organization wastes from the moment when the unexpected event affecting future performance happens to the moment in which your organization acts on this information by either 1) leveraging the opportunity that this event represents, 2) discarding the event as useless after analyzing its impact, or 3) implementing actions to mitigate the impact of this event. A very simple way of defining what is a relevant event is one with the potential of impacting the results of your business plan. Types of Business Latency Colin White identifies three business latency areas: Capture Latency: how long takes to notice the new data event. Analysis Latency: how long takes to create information and insight from this data. Decision Latency: how long takes to decide on the next best action. Newer technologies allow us to expand upon these three latency areas as it applies to the IBPX business model. Some comments about this diagram:  Advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics, allow us to talk about a moment in time before an event happens, where we have a very high probability of predicting that the event will occur. Let us call this t-1 – when the event is “predicted”. There is also a difference between decision latency (deciding on the next best action) and having that decision implemented by your organization. An event is “managed” when you have decided what to do (t3). Then you need for your decision to be “implemented” (t4). In fact, it is during this transition when you could see significant loss in the potential business value that you plan on obtaining. Bain & Co states that executive decisions could lose up to 40% of their original value when moving plans to action. Therefore, it’s possible to define 5 different latency areas as you think about making improvements within your existing IBPX framework: Prediction Latency (t0 - t-1) is the time interval between when you predict the event and when it occurs. This latency is counter-intuitive because ideally you want to increase this value so you can minimize the time between the event occurring and implementing your course of action. Capture Latency (t1 – t0) is the time interval between when the event occurs and when you detect it. The general goal here is to have this time reduced as much as possible.  Analysis Latency (t2 – t1) is the time interval between when the event is detected and when it is filtered (processed) by the organization. Similar to Capture Latency, the smaller the better.  Decision Latency (t3 – t2) is the time interval between when the event is filtered and when it is managed (i.e. a course of action is decided upon). Again, the smaller the better.  Implementation Latency (t4 – t3) is the time interval between when the event is managed and when it is implemented. In general, the smaller the time the better.  How easy it is to optimize these five latency areas will depend on a number of factors including the nature of the event, the IBPX technologies you are using, and culture within your organization. But the key is to look at each latency area, figure out where there are inefficiencies in your organization, and then determine what can be done to improve them. This will enable you to be more responsive to events in the future and be able to adapt more quickly to changing business conditions and external shocks to your business, whether related to your supply chain or customer demand. In my next post, I’ll expand upon latency further with some real-world examples and discuss how Oracle’s IBPX solution addresses these and other business challenges when it comes to manufacturing planning and execution.  

Guest Author: Enrique Lopez-Tello, VP, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle. A recent study from consulting firm McKinsey found that “only 20 percent of respondents say their organizations excel at...

Customer Stories

Oracle Cloud helps Titan International Transform into a Smart Connected Manufacturer

Oracle is proud to support manufacturing companies around the world with our agile and integrated cloud solutions. One of these companies is Titan International - an American manufacturer based in Illinois with a presence in over 15 countries. They manufacturer wheels and tires for agriculture, construction, and other off-road needs. Titan was struggling with having legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) systems that were expensive to upgrade and lacked flexibility and scalability. They saw the value in moving to a modern cloud solution and, after looking at a number of vendors, chose to standardize on Oracle for ERP and SCM as well as using Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) for monitoring shop floor operations and inventory.  “To better support our customers, we needed to move from multiple systems to a single platform that would give us better visibility into our business,” said Jeff Blattner, Director of IT at Titan International. “We wanted to standardize on an ERP system that could grow with us and ensure our systems are always up-to-date. Oracle Cloud Applications gives us access to constant innovation and enables us to benefit from emerging technology, such as IoT, to gain an advantage over the market.” In less than 12 months, Titan successfully implemented Oracle Financials, Procurement, Supply Chain Planning and Manufacturing Cloud at their Quincy, Illinois facility. They are now getting more timely and accurate information with better visibility into their operations and are seeing both cost improvements and quality improvements thanks to the Oracle implementation. Watch this video to hear more about why Titan chose Oracle Cloud for their financial and supply chain operations. For more information about how Oracle can help your business with modern, integrated cloud applications, visit oracle.com/manufacturing.

Oracle is proud to support manufacturing companies around the world with our agile and integrated cloud solutions. One of these companies is Titan International - an American manufacturer based in...

Automotive

Five Ways Industry 4.0 Aligns with Lean Manufacturing

Guest Author: Scott Renner, Director, Industrial Manufacturing, Oracle. Lean manufacturing environments are poised to gain the most with advanced industry 4.0 technologies like industrial internet of things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and big data analytics. After decades of the Lean vs Material Requirements Planning (MRP) wars and differing opinions on technology’s role in shop floor control, the new era of manufacturing intelligence is changing the game for both. Problems with Lean A company’s manufacturing philosophy provides no immunity to the recent changes in the marketplace. Customers want more customization, connectivity, quality, and value. In many ways, these market dynamics play directly to the strengths of lean manufacturing. But many lean operations lack the analytical data from both the value chain and the production process. The lean company’s disposition is to eschew investments in technology when other techniques can make improvements. Without question, lean manufacturing has had much success in the refinement of production processes over years of Kaizen. But market pressures are demanding even more agility and cost reduction. Enter Industry 4.0 The cultural identity and philosophy of lean manufacturing is very compatible with embracing digital transformation. The ability to reflect on current processes and continuously make improvements that ultimately deliver value to the customer is at the very heart of the business value around advanced technologies. There are five major dynamics of lean manufacturing and industry 4.0 that directly align: Value-Chain Visibility: The hyper-connectedness of Industry 4.0 enables data-based decisions that illuminates complex interrelationships and supports continuous improvement. Customer Centricity: An inward challenge in reducing waste in many lean operations is to ask if a customer values an activity. Collecting and analyzing data from digital market channels informs what the customer desires and enables close interaction through the order conversion process. This helps to smooth out demand and production balance. Continuous Improvement: A primary tenant in lean manufacturing is the constant improvement of process and product, driven by classic waste categorization. Most transformative improvements involve multi-variate problems that are often separated by time and space. Today’s analytical tools identify non-intuitive correlation and root cause to these complicated problems. Agility: The basic structure of lean manufacturing is to be demand driven where the customer directly generates the pull queues for production. Industry 4.0 promises to take agility to the next level with decentralization of production, manufacturing and customer co-location, and simplified and autonomous work that has integral and self-guided instructions. Data-Driven: Many lean manufacturers manage operations by the Six Sigma process and focus on process control and improvement through statistical methods. Digital technology super-sizes the importance of data collection and ability to identify correlated and causal conditions in the manufacturing process. The Marriage of Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Unlike traditional MRP execution systems, industry 4.0 combines the physical and the digital world, in real time. This real-time, omnipotent intelligence creates the ultimate platform for the breakdown of work for flexibility and productivity, thereby balancing and optimizing production by communicating part to part - forming the ultimate Kanban system. For a better understanding of how Oracle is helping companies effectively leverage industry 4.0 technologies, visit our industrial manufacturing, automotive and high tech industry sites.  To hear about a lean manufacturing success story, view this Lean Manufacturing Case Study Webcast.

Guest Author: Scott Renner, Director, Industrial Manufacturing, Oracle. Lean manufacturing environments are poised to gain the most with advanced industry 4.0 technologies like industrial internet...

Automotive

How to Increase Inventory Accuracy across your Supply Chain

Guest Author: Oracle Partner RF-SMART When it comes to managing inventory, there are key indicators you can use to determine the efficiency of your supply chain. Whether you’re a manufacturer or retailer, a large multinational or growing start-up, it’s in your best interest to achieve high inventory accuracy - and as quickly as possible. In doing so, you’ll improve your customer satisfaction rate, and ultimately, your bottom line. WHY INVENTORY ACCURACY MATTERS Accurate inventory boils down to having a reliable, up-to-date view of your stock – whether it resides in a warehouse, manufacturing site or retail store. But it’s not enough to only have this information available for office staff and selected individuals; for a seamless and connected supply chain, every worker that interacts with your inventory should have real-time visibility of your stock. The impact of this can quickly spread:   Quicker Order Fulfillment - From the minute a new order comes in, staff need timely and reliable data to accurately pick, pack and ship the relevant products. Your level of inventory accuracy will determine how quickly these tasks can be carried out – and how prone they are to errors. The ideal scenario is for a worker to determine the location and quantity of any given product at a moment’s notice. Ultimately, inventory accuracy will be a significant factor in governing how quickly your customer receives their purchase. As you’ll already know, delivery time is a crucial factor for any competitive business, and it has a tangible effect on customer satisfaction, as well as retention. Efficient Warehouse - At an operational level, having visibility of accurate data means that staff can carry out day-to-day tasks in a more productive and efficient manner. A common pain point from the warehouse floor is workers having to spend unnecessary time walking back and forth in search of items that were misplaced, out-of-stock or have now expired and are no longer fit for sale. With inventory accuracy, these challenges can be mitigated. Reliable Stock Counts - The relationship here is somewhat cyclical – by counting stock correctly, we gain accuracy, and with greater accuracy, we can count more efficiently. The trick to facilitating this is getting the correct technologies and processes in place. If your current method involves pausing warehouse operations and delaying order fulfillment to perform counts, you’re leaking efficiency. Solutions like mobile data collection can give you the power to count designated zones at a time whilst keeping your operations up and running. And by counting more regularly, closing the warehouse for grueling annual stock takes becomes a thing of the past.  Cost savings – Cost savings are inevitable when you have a more productive workforce that can fulfill orders with greater efficiency (it’s estimated that mobile data collection can boost daily productivity by up to 35%) and accurately. Your team is doing more with less mistakes – saving time and money. BARRIERS TO INVENTORY ACCURACY It can be challenging to move away from routines and practices that are embedded in your operations. One common example is the use of manual paper-based processes. Many businesses still record goods received at the warehouse on paper first – then manually input this data into their ERP. In doing so, they create two opportunities for human error: jotting down incorrect item information when goods arrive and entering inaccurate data into the ERP later on. This practice contributes to the overarching issue of poor visibility. The bottom line is that if you can’t accurately record and retrieve inventory data in real-time, problems are likely to arise throughout your supply chain.  WAYS TO ACHIEVE GREATER ACCURACY The first step towards inventory accuracy is understanding your existing processes. By identifying where inefficiencies already exist in your operations, you can create a strategy for tackling and optimizing the relevant factors.  To start with, determine the number of touchpoints you currently have for each product during its journey through the warehouse; your goal is to minimize these to as few as possible. The more times you interact with a product, the more likely it is to be misplaced or incorrectly recorded in your ERP. If you’re using paper-based processes to track your inventory, working to decrease the number of touchpoints is a good way to temporarily reduce the risk of human error. Another important step is to ensure that item names, numbers and descriptions are consistent in all places they appear. For example, if the information on a pick slip doesn’t match the label on the product or storage bin, workers will have to spend more time looking. They may even pick the wrong item by mistake – resulting in a return and poor customer satisfaction.  A more advanced way to uniquely identify items is through barcoding. By applying barcodes to your products (and their respective storage locations), warehouse pickers can quickly and accurately correspond them to the items on their pick slips. With this option there is no room for ambiguity, unlike item names and descriptions.  MOBILE INVENTORY MANAGEMENT The next step is implementing a mobile inventory management solution. In practice, this involves using handheld devices in the warehouse and on the shop floor, which allow workers to scan your stock at every touchpoint. From receiving, to counting, to picking and shipping – mobile inventory management lets you feed real-time data into your ERP at every stage of the journey. Workers can immediately look-up item quantities and locations, helping them pick and pack orders more efficiently, and sales and support teams can provide customers with accurate product information faster – increasing satisfaction. Most importantly, mobile inventory management will allow you to eliminate error-prone paper-based processes, saving you time and money. By using the handheld devices as soon as stock enters the warehouse, workers no longer need to perform manual counts or data-entry, significantly reducing the risk of human error. Mobile solutions are also much more intuitive and easier to navigate than comprehensive ERP systems, meaning they can be adopted by warehouse and shop floor staff very quickly. Training becomes a faster process - especially as employees no longer must learn to use multiple systems. THE ADVANTAGES OF THE CLOUD Whilst mobile inventory management addresses many of the functional challenges obstructing inventory accuracy, without fluid access to inventory data, the risks for human error and manual processes still linger. This was the case for Oracle customer Albelli. With significant growth projected for the coming year, this European manufacturer and e-retailer needed a scalable solution that would support their expansion. Albelli decided to switch from an on-premise ERP to Oracle SCM Cloud, simultaneously implementing RF-SMART’s mobile inventory management solution. They knew that by migrating to the cloud, they would no longer have to worry about data back-up’s or limited accessibility. As Oracle SCM Cloud can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection on a multitude of devices, Albelli’s team could now respond to live issues in the warehouse at any time of day without the need for a VPN. Through leveraging these benefits, they can now support a two-day delivery window for their customers.  CONNECTING MOBILITY ACROSS YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN So, what would a cloud-based mobile inventory management system look like for you? It’s clear that greater connectivity can have a significant impact on your balance sheet - but how does it impact your supply chain? Distribution - From the point of receiving goods, workers use handheld devices to scan stock as it enters the warehouse. Product information immediately updates in Oracle and will continue to do so with every subsequent touchpoint. When putting items away, your mobile inventory management solution will suggest the preferred location for storage based on the integration to Oracle SCM Cloud. With picking, you can pre-select pick paths and preferred locations. Packing and shipping activities are also logged, meaning you can accurately update your customers on the status of their orders. All of these efficiencies will result in cost savings, greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction. Manufacturing – Wondering how mobile inventory management can enhance your ability to produce goods? For a start, solutions like RF-SMART allow manufacturers to track every stage of the assembly process. Tasks can be categorized into stages of completion, and all components used in the build can be recorded. This enforces best practices whilst maintaining a real-time record of quantities produced. Label Printing - It’s often the case that businesses work from several data sources, making it complicated to combine content for product labels. On top of that, multiple printers are usually in use at the same time for different purposes - each with their own template requirements. Both of these factors provide frustrating limitations that make label printing far more difficult than it has to be. You can overcome these challenges with the help of integrated label printing. This technology grants businesses the power to print labels from their ERP as well as third-party systems – all from one interface. Existing printers can be connected to form a network. These solutions also offer drag-and-drop design tools that are much easier to use than most native printer applications. By opting for consistent labelling and a more connected printing solution, businesses can achieve higher inventory accuracy and efficiency. TAKING THE FIRST STEP Supply chain technology can help you achieve a more connected enterprise – but whether it’s worth the investment and effort of changing your business practices is up to you to decide. If you can relate to any of the challenges we’ve covered, it’s worth exploring what steps you can take to improve your inventory accuracy. From operational best practices to implementing technology, it comes down to embracing change that is proven to benefit your business.  About RF-SMART RF-SMART is a global leader in mobile inventory management solutions with over 35 years of experience. Working directly with Oracle’s Product Team, RF-SMART developed a real-time application that delivers functionality for Inventory, Manufacturing and PAR Management for Oracle SCM Cloud. To date, they have improved accuracy, productivity and profitability for over 800 cloud customers worldwide.  

Guest Author: Oracle Partner RF-SMART When it comes to managing inventory, there are key indicators you can use to determine the efficiency of your supply chain. Whether you’re a manufacturer or...

Automotive

Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Execution

Guest Author: Aniello Pepe, Director, Industry Solutions Group, Oracle In my previous blog post, I highlighted how artificial intelligence (AI) can be applied both to do the same things better as well as to do things in a new way, with some examples on how that may apply to manufacturing. Here I wish to explore the concept a little further in the field of manufacturing execution. The Planning and Scheduling Challenge The goal is clear: using available manufacturing resources and available materials to achieve the target production plan in the most efficient way possible, in term of quantity, quality, time, and costs. The classical approach is typically prescriptive: given the known constraints and forecasted status and availability of the production means and supplies, a detailed schedule is created applying various techniques and algorithms to state the exact production sequence to apply, i.e. determining the sequence and routing of parts in work centers on the shop floor. As any strategist knows, no plan ever works as expected. Unexpected events can disrupt the best plan, and they often do. Indeed, sometimes the intrinsic complexity of the manufacturing context simply doesn’t allow you to take into account all possible constraints at the appropriate level of detail. Then plan recovering starts. How AI Can Help Plan Recovery Recovering from a disrupted plan is the daily nightmare for planners. An overwhelming amount of information about the running production environment needs to be taken into account in order to adjust the plan. At the same time, the impact of any change needs to be considered very carefully. AI techniques can be of great help at this point. They can be applied to go through all the available information from different sources, including IoT data gathered from machinery on the shop floor, to create recommendations for a course of action. Simulation via digital twins of resources and production lines, predictive analysis for maintenance, and what-if analyses against multiple parameters are just some techniques for intelligent decision support. Which Approach to Take? Of course, it depends on the maturity of your process and the set of tools you rely on. As usual, the safest approach to innovation is to start small and grow from there. I suggest making a soft schedule and constantly review it – in a continuous adapting mode - according to the indications provided by an AI-powered model of the production environment, taking into account all information from IoT sensors, digital twins, execution status and more. The Next Evolutionary Step A more aggressive approach is possible that relies more on autonomy and edge computing – moving more intelligence into the cyber-physical objects. It requires transforming your way of thinking about the planning and scheduling problem from the traditional top-down, prescriptive approach towards to a new bottom-up, self-adaptive one. This would entail giving up the development of a global plan and instead allowing shop floor resources to compete with each other to obtain orders to be worked. This relies on the concept of autonomous agents, representing both semi-worked parts and production resources, each competing to be worked or to get works to do and governed by the goal of achieving target KPIs (cost, time, quality etc.) at the best level.   The sum of local optimal results may not actually result in a global optimal result, but rather a sub-optimal one that constantly adapts itself to the actual shop floor conditions. This, however, is a far better result than a perfect plan that cannot be implemented and must be reviewed whenever there is any deviation.  How Oracle Can Help Oracle is investing in AI-powered apps for manufacturing to enable you to move up the intelligence maturity curve towards manufacturing operational excellence. For more information about Oracle’s AI approach, check out our AI Applications for Supply Chain and Manufacturing.  For more insight into how digitization is impacting manufacturing innovation, view Adapting Manufacturing for the Digital Age.

Guest Author: Aniello Pepe, Director, Industry Solutions Group, Oracle In my previous blog post, I highlighted how artificial intelligence (AI) can be applied both to do the same things better as well...

Customer Stories

Lean Manufacturing in the Cloud Success Story 

Oracle has seen thousands of manufacturers successfully move their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) applications to the cloud. The cloud gives you the combined benefit of being able to modernize your applications while also taking advantage of the security, scalability, and agility of cloud computing. Mecalac is a recent example. Mecalac is a construction equipment manufacturer based in France with operations in Europe and the US.  They specialize in construction equipment such as site dumpers, excavators and loaders.  After an acquisition in the UK, Mecalac realized they needed to update multiple systems in the UK facility to synchronize those operations with the rest of the company. They then wanted to standardize their business systems across all their facilities to enable greater flexibility and scalability across their operations as they moved toward more lean manufacturing.  They turned to Oracle Platinum Partner Inspirage for implementation expertise in deploying multiple mission-critical solutions, including Oracle ERP and SCM modules, in the Oracle Cloud.  The results were impressive, and we invite you to learn more about this lean manufacturing success story by joining us for a webcast on Tuesday, February 25 at 10am ET:  Enabling the Lean Enterprise with Oracle Manufacturing Cloud - A Case Study.  You’ll hear about what Mecalac learned in their move to the cloud, how long it took them to migrate, and the improvements they’ve achieved.   If you are considering a move to the cloud for your ERP or SCM applications, you should definitely plan to attend this live webcast event and discover how Mecalac was able to make it work.

Oracle has seen thousands of manufacturers successfully move their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) applications to the cloud. The cloud gives you the combined...

Automotive

Manufacturing Sessions and Demos at OpenWorld London

For those of you in Europe, we’ve got our OpenWorld London conference happening Feb. 12 and 13 at ExCeL in the heart of London's Royal Docks.  It will be a great opportunity for you to hear the latest about Oracle’s enterprise solutions, network with other executives, and learn how Oracle is innovating in the cloud. A big emphasis at our OpenWorld events is giving you an opportunity to hear from other companies on the lessons they’ve learned in moving to the Oracle Cloud.  For OpenWorld London, we’ve got 2 great manufacturers speaking. Mecalac is a European manufacturer of construction equipment including excavators and loaders and will be talking about the added flexibility and scalability they’ve achieved in the Oracle Cloud. Amtrol-Alfa is Europe's largest manufacturer of gas cylinders and will be speaking about their successful adoption of Oracle Manufacturing Cloud. Here are the details on these two manufacturing sessions: Enabling the Lean Enterprise - A Case Study with Mecalac [LHT1009-LON] Wednesday, Feb 12 | 14:10 - 14:25 | Arena D - Zone 5 In today’s rapidly changing business environment, companies must move faster in everything they do. Moving faster than the competition can be the difference between success and failure. New technologies are enabling companies to be digitally connected to their customers, products in the field, the shop floor, and the supply chain in ways never thought possible. This is helping them to achieve the industry 4.0 vision by innovating faster, providing better service to their customers, and increasing speed and efficiencies throughout their organizations. Come to this session to hear how Mecalac is using the latest technologies to become leaders in their industries and how you can enable a digitally connected digital enterprise to transform your business and prepare for the future. Update on Manufacturing with Insights from Amtrol-Alfa [LHT1073-LON] Wednesday, Feb 12 | 09:45 - 10:00 | Arena G - Zone 6 Oracle Manufacturing Cloud has been successfully deployed by discrete manufacturing customers around the world. Come to this session to learn how the first manufacturing product built specifically for and deployed in the cloud is helping customers improve their operations and their bottom-line performance. Hear about the latest features, along with the exciting features on the near-term roadmap.   OpenWorld London is also a great opportunity to get first-hand demonstrations of the latest Oracle technologies.  For manufacturing, we’ll have four demos available in London for you to learn more about how Oracle is at the cutting edge of innovation: Digital Supply Chain with Blockchain and Internet of Things [DEM1450-LON] Oracle's digital supply chain and logistic with blockchain and IoT solutions enable industrial businesses to increase operational efficiency, reduce supply chain costs, and unleash new business opportunities by leveraging Oracle's blockchain technology to establish trust in the global supply chain. Digital Field Service Delivers Better Customer Experience [DEM1452-LON] Learn how Oracle's innovative digital field service (DFS) solution for asset- and service-intensive industries represents a breakthrough in the ability to deliver an integrated platform to run a service business.  Smart Manufacturing for the Factories of the Future [DEM1451-LON] Oracle Smart Manufacturing is a comprehensive solution that addresses common manufacturing challenges while paving way for an Industry 4.0 future. This solution leverages Oracle products such as IoT, SCM, Big Data, Analytics, and AI. Integrated Business Planning and Execution (IBPX) [DEM1453-LON] Oracle Integrated Business Planning and Execution provides real-time supply chain visibility, adaptive demand management, responsible Sales and Operation Planning and helps a company to adapt quickly to changes in the demand by adjusting production, distribution and procurement.  We look forward to seeing you in London on Feb 12 and 13. It’s going to be a great conference!  

For those of you in Europe, we’ve got our OpenWorld London conference happening Feb. 12 and 13 at ExCeL in the heart of London's Royal Docks.  It will be a great opportunity for you to hear the latest...

Customer Stories

Riverbed Technology uses Oracle Analytics Cloud to Improve Renewal Rates

Author: Eva Chen, Marketing Analyst at Oracle Oracle is proud to have helped thousands of manufacturers around the world improve their business operations and drive revenue growth. One recent example is Riverbed Technology. Riverbed Technology is based in San Francisco and develops software and hardware for application performance management, network performance monitoring and wide area networks (WANs).  Service renewal is a significant revenue driver for Riverbed, but they weren’t effectively tapping into their own customer data to identify key renewal drivers. Because of this, they were not only missing patterns for renewals but also lacking a definitive approach to improving renewal rates. Thus, Riverbed started looking at data analytics and data visualization platforms that would give them better visibility into their business and help drive increased renewals.  After evaluating a number of different analytics platforms, Riverbed chose Oracle Analytics Cloud due to its ease of use, ease of integration, powerful data visualization features, and embedded machine learning capabilities. “We know that with a good back-end structure in place (with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure), we can connect to any number of sources: third party, on-premises. Then we have our visualization world, which is Oracle Analytics Cloud, and all the capabilities that it brings to the table,” said Riverbed Senior IT Director, Bhisman Jani.  With Oracle Analytics Clouds, Riverbed can now understand their customer renewals, focusing on key indicators such as service contract expiration, number of service cases against a contract, product mix, device telemetry, and discount rate. Within 3 months of using Oracle Analytics Cloud, they saw the following results:  8% increase in early renewals  16% increase in on-time renewals 68% increase in customer renewal forecast accuracy 8% decrease in delayed renewals Thanks to Oracle Analytics Cloud, Riverbed is now able to reach out and reconnect with customers not fully utilizing their service contracts as well as plan resources for manufacturing and fulfillment more accurately.  Moving forward, Riverbed is thinking about a whole ecosystem built around data. They are exploring use cases that involve machine data and are looking at expanding data analysis to other areas of the company, such as human resources.  Read the full Riverbed Success Story to learn more about the many benefits of Oracle Analytics Cloud.

Author: Eva Chen, Marketing Analyst at Oracle Oracle is proud to have helped thousands of manufacturers around the world improve their business operations and drive revenue growth. One recent example...

Automotive

Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Processes

Guest Author: Aniello Pepe, Director, Industry Solutions Group, Oracle Artificial Intelligence (AI) has tremendous potential in manufacturing processes. However, there is still a lot of hype which can lead to unrealistic expectations. In this post, I’d like to clarify some doubts and provide some hints for an effective AI adoption path for manufacturing processes.  AI Use Cases in Manufacturing The main goal of AI technology in manufacturing is to support the decision making process, either making smarter decisions or making faster decisions. Smarter decisions can be achieved by having AI-powered applications take into account a much larger data set than a human being can easily process. Faster decisions are possible by AI-powered applications automating decision making processes to increase efficiency and speed compared to manual or human-driven decision making.  AI can also unleash further evolutionary step in manufacturing processes. Indeed, it is a self-limiting approach to apply AI techniques just to make existing processes more efficient, when AI could be used to make new products that were not possible before or make products differently to gain a competitive advantage.  One example is moving from prescriptive planning on the shop floor – determining the exact sequence of work orders to be executed on each production resource – towards a self-adaptive shop floor environment allowing more degrees of freedom. For instance, providing production goals and main constraints and allowing the shop floor to make real-time decisions about what to do.  AI can be applied in both cases. However, in the first case, it is used to manage exceptions – that is, trying to reduce the impact of unplanned disruptions. While in the second case, AI can be used to equip the shop floor with the intelligence to constantly adapt to the current situation to achieve target production goals and KPIs. AI Depends on Digital Threads AI is not magic. It needs the availability of relevant data from multiple business sources. The more information AI applications can consume, the more intelligent the decisions they can derive. AI-based capabilities need to be founded on free-flowing data threads connecting a broad range of business processes. For example, smarter decisions on the shop floor depend not only on data about the situation at plant level, but also on relevant information of what is happening in finance, marketing, sales, service and even in the social media space for the company. Oracle’s Approach to AI-Enhanced Manufacturing Oracle’s goal to improve manufacturing with AI involves equipping every single business process with the capabilities for contributing to and exploiting digital threads of information, and then reshaping business processes with game-changing capabilities through embedded AI functionality that leverages these digital threads. For more information about Oracle’s AI approach, check out our AI Applications for Supply Chain and Manufacturing.  For more information about digital threads, check out Adapting Manufacturing for the Digital Age.  

Guest Author: Aniello Pepe, Director, Industry Solutions Group, Oracle Artificial Intelligence (AI) has tremendous potential in manufacturing processes. However, there is still a lot of hype which can...

Automotive

Manufacturing Sessions and Demos at Oracle OpenWorld in Dubai

In a recent article on ‘2020 Manufacturing Industry Outlook’, Deloitte stated, “Continued trade uncertainties are driving manufacturers to reevaluate their supply chain and distribution networks in 2020. To build resiliency into their networks, many are adding digital technologies (e.g. AI and robotics that increase visibility and transparency) that enable them to respond to market-based threats or opportunities and flex production and resources as necessary. Smart factory leaders are also partnering with suppliers, channels and customers to drive productivity.”  With an uncertain future global business environment and ever-increasing demands from customers, manufacturers need to inject agility into their business operations. Smart manufacturing organizations are deploying digital technologies that provide them the ability to nimbly manage their businesses through thick and thin, while also supporting an overall strategy to help differentiate themselves from the competition.  Digital transformation is a journey that requires strategic planning and execution in multiple stages. Oracle provides an end-to-end manufacturing solution portfolio and has the breadth of experience, technology, and global presence to be a trusted partner in your digital transformation journey.  Experience the technologies that Oracle provides in enabling a Digitally Connected Enterprise at the upcoming Oracle OpenWorld Middle East in Dubai on January 14-15 at the Dubai World Trade Center. At this event, we will be showcasing several digital transformation solutions to highlight the art of the possible for manufacturers. You can find us in the Industry Solution demo area in Zone 4 where demonstrations will include: Smart Manufacturing for the Factories of the Future [DEM1958-DUB] Digital Supply Chain with Blockchain and IoT [DEM1957-DUB] Digital Field Service Delivers Better Customer Experience [DEM1959-DUB] We also have 2 sessions focused on manufacturing that will take place in Arena B – Zone 3: Increase Value by Moving Your Manufacturing ERP into the Cloud [LHT-1883-DUB] on January 14th at 2:10pm Enabling the Connected Digital Enterprise [LHT-1884-DUB] on January 15th at 9:00am We look forward to seeing you at Oracle OpenWorld in Dubai!  

In a recent article on ‘2020 Manufacturing Industry Outlook’, Deloitte stated, “Continued trade uncertainties are driving manufacturers to reevaluate their supply chain and distribution networks in...

Customer Stories

AlSafwa Cement Company Picks Oracle over SAP to Modernize Business Operations

Author: Eva Chen, Marketing Analyst at Oracle Oracle has been privileged to help thousands of manufacturers around the world improve their business operations and drive innovation. One recent example is the AlSafwa Cement Company.  Established in 2007, AlSafwa accounts for more than 7% of Saudi Arabia’s annual cement production. Strategically located 140 km north of Jeddah, AlSafwa is able to maintain geographical proximity to the country’s key cities and produces more than 4 million tons of cement per year.  AlSafwa was looking for comprehensive business solution to enhance their operational processes across supply chain, enterprise resource planning, inventory management and customer service. Their goals for a new core business solution included: Improving customer service Increasing transparency Minimizing IT infrastructure costs Providing high availability and maximum support for business systems They evaluated both SAP and Oracle solutions and ended up choosing Oracle Cloud as a single, unified cloud platform that could provide streamlined operations and in-depth reporting for all their commercial cement operations.  “We selected Oracle over SAP because of its superior product functionality, user-friendliness, and reporting capabilities for our cement business operations. In addition, the flexibility of Oracle Cloud enables us to rapidly add new modules as required, at a very low total cost of ownership.”  – Muhammad Bilal, Applications Team Leader, AlSafwa Cement Company AlSafwa is leveraging Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud and Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud to optimize their supply chain and core business operations and estimates that they have reduced IT infrastructure costs by 60% by transitioning to Oracle Cloud.   For example, by using Oracle Inventory Management Cloud for handling 300+ customer shipments per day, AlSafwa is now able to capture all stock received, on hand, and dispatched, significantly improving inventory management. Their staff can now accurately inform customers of current cement stock availability and immediately notify them of any potential shipment delays.  For more details about how AlSafwa has transformed their business with Oracle Cloud, read the AlSafwa success story snapshot. For more info on how Oracle Cloud is helping other manufacturing companies around the world, visit oracle.com/industries/industrial-manufacturing/.

Author: Eva Chen, Marketing Analyst at Oracle Oracle has been privileged to help thousands of manufacturers around the world improve their business operations and drive innovation. One recent example...

Automotive

A Survey of Manufacturers on their Digital Transformation Progress

Successful manufacturers have always embraced technology in order to grow their business and improve operations. In the current era of Industry 4.0, we see an ever increasing adoption of digital technologies to drive major improvements across the business. Digital transformation has gained tremendous traction with manufacturing executive as they realize the impact advanced technologies such as Cloud Computing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can have on their business. This led Oracle to team up with IndustryWeek to dig a little deeper into what manufacturing companies are doing around digital transformation – to understand how manufacturers are leveraging transformative technologies to drive efficiencies, solve problems, and improve business innovation. Oracle sponsored an IndustryWeek survey of manufacturers to get a better understanding of where companies are when it comes to the digital transformation of their business. We heard back from over 250 individuals from a wide range manufacturers around the globe, including over half from discrete manufacturing industries such as machinery, fabricated metal, automotive, electrical equipment, and medical device companies. Our survey probed not only their adoption of a digital transformation strategy, but where they saw themselves compared to their competitors and where digital transformation is having the biggest impact across their business.  We then asked them what technologies are being adopted the quickest and the specific benefits they are seeing from each of the key technologies they are deploying. Finally, we inquired about the challenges they faced with adopting digital technologies in their business. The results were enlightening. I think it's good practice for companies to regularly benchmark themselves against the competition and stay abreast of where others in their industry are succeeding or struggling. In this way, you can learn from the achievements of others and more importantly avoid the mistakes and missteps that others have made. So I encourage you to read the Road to Digital Transformation: A Progress Report for Manufacturers and share it with your colleagues.

Successful manufacturers have always embraced technology in order to grow their business and improve operations. In the current era of Industry 4.0, we see an ever increasing adoption of...

Automotive

Demonstrations of Personalized Smart Manufacturing

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy Last month, I wrote about the trends and technologies driving hyper-personalized manufacturing. Today, I’d like to illustrate how such a smart factory geared for hyper-personalized manufacturing can be implemented. We recently demonstrated two different concept factories of the future for personalized manufacturing. In these demos, visitors could place an order for a customized luggage tag or a Lego gearbox and experience the end-to-end process of placing an order through to the completion of the product assembly. Customized Luggage Tag Demo: Lego Gearbox Demo: Both demos involved three operations: 1) an initial production stage, 2) movement and quality check of work in progress (WIP) and inventory by an autonomous mobile robot, and 3) a guided final assembly of the customized product at a poka-yoke station.  The production begins with placement of an order for a customized product from a potential list of choices. Once the order is accepted, a corresponding work order is created in Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud with the appropriate inventory. The work order is released for production and sent to the first operation. Once the first operation is complete, WIP is transferred to the autonomous robot for AI vision-based material checks and then routed to the poka-yoke machine for final assembly. The final assembly is done under guidance at the poka-yoke station to fulfill and complete the personalized order. Below we will explore some of the functionality demonstrated and how manufacturers can leverage these technologies. Concepts Demonstrated: IoT Monitoring: In the luggage tag personalization demo, Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring monitored laser engraver sensor data such as temperature, axis positions, motor speed, and fan speed. Rules were set to notify when the laser temperature went above a limit. Similarly, machine learning models can be trained to identify anomalies based on historical data. Such real-time feedback facilitates rapid responses leading to lower unplanned downtimes and increased asset performance. IoT Digital Twin: A digital twin of the actual laser engraving operation was built into the IoT Asset Monitoring so one could see digital representation of the engraving toolpath progress and status. In cases where the actual process of manufacturing is not visible, the digital twins can help visualize in real-time what is happening with that asset or component. The digital twin could also be used for cycle time studies and other hypothetical planning tasks without the actual physical asset. IoT AR Monitoring: An AR application was used to monitor the internal components of the operating engraving machine. This allows anyone who is not familiar with the internal construction of the machine to visualize the components overlaid with operating details. Equipment operators and field service staff can use AR based technologies to visualize, troubleshoot, and resolve problems faster. OT-IT Integration: The laser engraving machine, the autonomous mobile robot, and poke yoke station were integrated to the Oracle SCM Cloud for transacting work order progression and material movement. Tighter integration between the physical and digital ensures accurate, real-time information flow between systems of planning, execution, and record keeping enabling dynamic readjustment of production.  Autonomous Robots: Autonomous mobile robots from Omron and Waypoint were used in these demos to move inventory and WIP between operations. Usage of autonomous robots that are capable of programmable movement and decision making helps achieve operational flexibility and agility. In dynamically changing factory floor environment these autonomous robots can work independently with least interruption. Flexible Routing: The autonomous robot program could be remotely updated to dynamically change the routing to different waypoints based on new production requirements. With more autonomous robots on the factory floor, it is now possible to dynamically push programs and change behavior of the robots, path planning, and routing to implement flexible operations. Computer Vision-based Detection and Quality Control: The autonomous mobile robots from Omron and Waypoint were rigged with a structure to hold an on-board camera for product detection and identification with the help of Oracle Machine Learning microservices. When issues were detected, a quality exception was automatically created in Oracle SCM Cloud and rerouted accordingly. With AI and high-resolution cameras, it is now possible to perform in-process visual quality checks and make decisions reliably further automating processes and work order execution. Detecting quality issues early on and correcting is critical to delivering batch-of-one products with high quality and on time. Error-proof Guided Assembly: Since the final assembly of luggage tag is to be performed per the custom order placed, the Mitsubishi Poke Yoke station was used not only to provide the operator with order related information, but also to guide the operator on which inventory to use and how to assemble so as to reduce errors and wastage. With ubiquitous sensors providing feedback and a digital thread connecting workers, assets, and business systems, it is now possible to drive lean, error-proof batch-of-one operations. Supply Chain Integration: The machines used in the demos transacted and updated their operational status directly in the Oracle SCM Cloud. As more autonomous machinery participates in the manufacturing processes, integrating those assets into the manufacturing operations management and tracking every step of the production is important to monitor progress, dynamically configure routing as necessary, accurately manage inventory, ensure timely delivery, and immediately remediate or respond to any production issues. Increasingly, the world of manufacturing is racing towards small batch production, mass customization, or a batch of one. Investing in dedicated production lines, automation and multi-tasking machines can increase productivity, quality and delivery, but not necessarily provide the flexibility required to execute hyper-personalized production. Manufacturers can now achieve the vision of hyper-personalization by adopting modular production cells inter-connected with flexible automation, such as autonomous mobile robots, and implementing a digital thread that not only connects the factories to the enterprise but also the suppliers and customers. Manufacturers need a complete end-to-end ecosystem of solutions to truly achieve hyper-personalized manufacturing and Oracle in one of the few vendors that can provide this. For more information, visit Oracle Smart Manufacturing.

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy Last month, I wrote about the trends and technologies driving hyper-personalized manufacturing. Today, I’d like to illustrate how such a smart factory geared for...

Automotive

The Technologies Enabling Hyper-Personalized Manufacturing

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy As customers, we always desire for things to be more personal to us, better suited to our unique needs, and work exactly as we want. We already see lots of customizable products and services on the market today, and this trend is only getting stronger. Examples include Nike and Adidas letting you customize your shoes, Zazzle allowing you to place an order for customized apparel, and many leading car manufacturers offering a wide variety of features when purchasing a car. This hyper-personalized vision is happening more and more as technological innovations enable more flexible manufacturing, allowing companies to profitably provide customers with exactly what they want. Industry 4.0 The clear trend today is customers demanding ever more product variations and rewarding those companies that provide personalized offerings. But customization at mass production levels is a huge challenge for manufacturers. Rigid production lines, inflexible manufacturing processes, and inability to tap into customer needs and dynamically manage production are some of the limiting factors to achieving these personalization demands.  Fortunately, the current Industry 4.0 era has brought us transformative technologies such as cheaper sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, machine learning, digital twins, augmented reality, and autonomous robots. These and other innovations (such as 3D printing) are enabling manufacturers to increasingly adapt to meet the mass customization demand. Aided by these advanced technologies, manufacturers are going through a digital transformation of their business, changing the way they operate, produce, and respond to ever-increasing customer demands. Going Beyond Traditional Automation Manufacturing firms have been adopting automation as a way to increase their productivity, maintain quality, and to deliver products at an ever-increasing rate. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts that advanced robotics will grow from 2%-3% adoption to about 10% adoption in the next decade. BCG says, “Combining advanced robotics with other technologies, process enhancements, and structural layout changes can yield savings of up to 40%.”  The Industry 4.0 transformative technologies combined with advanced manufacturing automation is enabling manufacturers to greatly enhance their existing operations. The ability to realize fine-grained operational oversight, flexible manufacturing flows, rapid response systems, and direct connectivity of smart factories with its customers and suppliers is essential to realize hyper-personalized manufacturing.  With the advanced digital technologies available today, manufacturers can become more agile and responsive by tightly integrating their manufacturing operations into business systems for fine-grained operational oversight and control, dynamically reconfiguring production systems based on demand, and efficiently managing supply chains.  Collaborative and autonomous robots are key to achieving the flexible operations desired in personalized manufacturing. With more sensors embedded in machinery, tooling, and operator wearables, more data is now available for real-time monitoring and achieving AI-driven predictive insights to improve operations. All these transformative technologies are enabling the versatile factories of the future and driving the trend toward hyper-personalized manufacturing. In my next post, I'll share some demonstrations of hyper-personalized manufacturing and discuss the advanced technologies that make these demos possible. For more information about how Oracle is developing best-of-breed manufacturing solutions that leverage technologies like IoT and machine learning, go to oracle.com/industries/industrial-manufacturing.

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy As customers, we always desire for things to be more personal to us, better suited to our unique needs, and work exactly as we want. We already see lots of customizable...

Automotive

Upcoming Webcast about the Evolution of Integrated Business Planning (IBP)

Author: Eva Chen, Marketing Analyst On Thursday, November 7, 9am PT (Noon ET), we are hosting a webcast on Integrated Business Planning and Execution. As many are aware, manufacturing companies today are facing an increasing array of challenges including:  •    51% of global manufactures experience the need to launch products faster than their competitors to stay competitive •    Global manufacturing executives believe that they lose 40% of their strategy’s potential value due to breakdowns in execution •    Only 37% of executives believe that their organizations’ decisions are both high quality and high velocity Integrated Business Planning and Execution (IBPX) is a solution that improves sales and operational efficiency and allows manufacturers to know sooner, act faster, and adapt more quickly to changing business conditions. Join us to hear Enrique Lopez-Tello, VP of Manufacturing & High Tech Industries at Oracle, talk about how IBPX goes beyond Integrated Business Planning to:  •    Reduce organizational friction and improve business agility for planning and operations execution •    Deliver better top-line and bottom-line financial results •    Provide more reliable sales projections and less missed revenue due to stock outs •    Enable faster, cheaper, and more reliable new product and new service market introductions  Attend this webcast and learn why IBPX is the next evolution of Integrated Business Planning. Please RSVP here to attend. If you would like more information on IBPX, please check out this recent IBPX blog post written by Enrique himself. We look forward to you joining our webcast next Thursday, Nov. 7, at 9:00am PT!   

Author: Eva Chen, Marketing Analyst On Thursday, November 7, 9am PT (Noon ET), we are hosting a webcast on Integrated Business Planning and Execution. As many are aware, manufacturing companies today...

Automotive

Oracle Brings Finance and Supply Chain Together with a Transformative End-to-End Planning Solution

Guest Author: Enrique Lopez-Tello, Integrated Planning and Execution Solution Manager During the last few years, manufacturing companies are facing a business environment where difficult to predict disruptions are the norm. Increased global competition, changes in consumption models, environmental and trade regulations, and the need to renew the manufacturing sector with transformational technologies (Industry 4.0) define this new, always-changing environment. Disruptions normally result in increased business performance risks, but these same disruptions could be transformed into opportunities for those organizations that can adapt to them more quickly than their competitors do. What do manufacturing companies need to turn disruptions into opportunities? Global manufacturers often lack a single view of their end-to-end business plan and its real-time execution. In today’s environment, global manufactures need to know sooner, act faster and adapt more quickly to changing business conditions.  Oracle’s Integrated Business Planning and Execution (IBPX) solution does that. By integrating elements from Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud and Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud and embedding advanced technologies (IoT, AI and Prescriptive Analytics), this solution helps manufacturers improve sales and operational efficiency as well as accelerate business agility.   With Oracle’s IBPX solution, companies are able to: Consolidate Planning in a Single Hub: Deploy and integrate multiple planning elements – financial planning and budgeting, sales and operations planning, sales and operations execution, marketing, new product/service introduction – within a single, unified hub. Integrate Planning with Execution: Eliminate latency, ensuring no business value is lost due to delays in consolidating insights and adapting to changing conditions.  Predict and Prevent Performance Issues: Identify future performance gaps and be given alternative courses of action thanks to embedded machine learning capabilities that can address problems before it is too late. Escalate Issues from Machine to Human Intervention: Detect unexpected events and either automate the responses or select exceptions for cases that will require human intervention. Benefit from One Unified Data Model: Have a single view of data across multiple departments and lines of business while also ensuring that changes to data points are reflected across all applications and views. Choose Modules and Deployment Options: Have the flexibility to choose from a range of planning and execution modules and deploy the solution in the way that best fits your business needs.   Oracle customers who are already using both Oracle EPM Cloud and Oracle SCM Cloud can take advantage of this functionality today. For more info about the capabilities and benefits of the Oracle IBPX solution, visit Integrated Business Planning and Execution and download the Oracle OpenWorld 2019 session deck: Oracle’s Integrated Business Planning Evolution: Agile Planning and Execution.   

Guest Author: Enrique Lopez-Tello, Integrated Planning and Execution Solution Manager During the last few years, manufacturing companies are facing a business environment where difficult to predict...