Oracle PeopleSoft Releases New Mobile Inventory Management Module
By Char Jorgenson on Mar 22, 2011
Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Mobile Inventory Management, a new PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management application introduced on February 10, 2011, enables users to perform tasks using handheld Windows-enabled devices and handheld scanners, resulting in increased mobility while reducing human errors. PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory Management works directly with its parent application, PeopleSoft Inventory and Fulfillment Management 9.1 and operates in real-time connected mode.
PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory Management is the first Oracle application released that uses Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) Mobile, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware. PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory Management is an example of the direction in which Oracle's Fusion applications are headed. The customer receives immediate benefits using the new Fusion Middleware technologies that complement and extend their existing PeopleSoft Inventory and Purchasing applications.
The end user uses a wireless mobile device to enter their business transactions. Oracle ADF Mobile is the intermediary for communication between the mobile device and the host PeopleSoft Inventory application. The application collects data from mobile devices, formats it into XML messages, and communicates to PeopleSoft Integration Broker. The PeopleSoft Integration Broker Library of Services is the gateway to the PeopleSoft Enterprise Inventory system. Integration Broker works in real-time mode to communicate with both the application server and to update the host PeopleSoft application.
PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory Management was developed initially for the healthcare industry and we worked closely with members of the PeopleSoft Healthcare Industry Users Group in designing the application. Eleven inventory transaction sub-flows are provided. The top two Healthcare Industry requested transactions are PAR Count and Delivery.
PAR Count is an inventory count transaction that manages hospital inventories. A "PAR level" is a hospital stock area where consumables are taken (for example, IV, rubber gloves, swabs, and so on). The name "PAR level" comes from the accounting term "par level," the latter meaning the level at which the stock is replenished. The staff counts the quantities in the stock area to determine how much inventory quantity is needed to restock the area. After replenishment, the stock area quantities are brought back up to the expected quantity or "par level."
Delivery is the second most requested transaction. The delivery transaction provides the ability to deliver received packages/items to the end user and a confirmation of delivery when the package is delivered. The hospital receiving department accepts packages and vendor shipments at a central receiving area and the delivery transaction provides the audit trail for the chain of ownership from receipt to delivery. Users can inquire on the status of their delivery using an online delivery inquiry screen in the PeopleSoft ERP application.
A new user experience (UE) was developed to enhance the PeopleSoft experience on a mobile device. Since the mobile application provides a directed flow for a specific task, the entry fields are displayed in the same sequence as the expected business flow to maximize low touch. Additionally, while the typical PeopleSoft ERP screens provide information to support multiple business flows, the mobile version of a transaction was simplified by dividing the transaction into multiple sub-flow transactions. Each sub-flow has its own data entry sequence. For example, the physical inventory count transaction is a single transaction in PeopleSoft Inventory, but was divided into three mobile transaction sub-flows (guided count, count by location, and count by item) to simplify the user experience and data presentation.
Mobile device display screens are small compared to a PC monitor display and Mobile Inventory Management was written to maximize the use of this limited display real estate. The user can personalize their transaction screens the way they need to do the transaction. Each transaction provides an options page to allow the user to select what information to display. The two screens displayed below are examples of personalization.
Par Count Option Example 1
Par Count Option Example 2
The above two PAR Count screens are actually the same screen with different display options selected. PAR Count Option Example 1 is a screen personalization example for an experienced user which does not display the item description and header fields since the user is familiar with the inventory item numbers. PAR count Option Example 2 is a screen personalization example for a novice user which does display the header, the filter field, and the item description. Each user maximizes their user experience using a single personalized application which eliminates the need for extensive customization.
The PeopleSoft Development team celebrated the Mobile Inventory Management application's release with a team party. Below is the picture of the mobile device party cake.