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Oracle Retail Blog helps retailers stay current on customer successes, hot retail trends and industry best practices.

Oracle Retail Supply Chain Release 16: Implement Faster, Deliver Greater Value

Mike Johnson
Solutions Director, Supply Chain & Retail Enterprise

We are extremely proud of what our customers can achieve and the impact on business efficiency and transparency with the supply chain management solutions within our latest Oracle Retail Release 16. In particular, Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting, Demand Forecasting Cloud, Replenishment Optimization, and Advanced Inventory Planning offer significant gains in accuracy and efficiency of inventory management and an improved user experience.

There are critical performance improvements in Oracle Retail Release 16 that impact nearly every aspect of retail supply chain operations. 

Modern Retailing

Running a customer-first retail operation is not a new concept but in the past 10 years we’ve all seen a tidal shift in what that means. Not long ago the ability of a retailer to ship product from one location to another was less urgent, and systems were not specifically engineered to accommodate it. Today, the first priority is to save the sale. Retailers need the ability to source inventory from anywhere in the enterprise, whether warehouses or stores to mitigate the risk of a customer going elsewhere when their desired product is not available when and where they want it. This saves the sale, but it also involves additional cost, so the question for the retailer becomes, how do I put that product closer to the consumer so as to minimize that cost?

Another aspect of today’s business landscape is the growing need to increase the efficiency of professional retail staff. As the development team was working on Release 16, making user’s more efficient was top of mind. By removing the need to search for work, compressing processes, building persona-oriented user interfaces, and taking an exception-based approach we have delivered a solution that empowers staff throughout the supply chain to access needed information faster, make informed decisions and take action in the fewest steps possible. Here’s two quick examples of the tangible value of modern retailing:

  • 40% reduction in exception management. When a user, in this case a forecast or supply chain analyst, is alerted to an exception, the user can go directly to the exact product, location, and dates of the exception, and immediately see the underlying data. For example, a forecast might have changed by a margin outside the standard tolerance—which might be justified, or might be the sign of a problem in the data. Now, the user can click down to the underlying situation, make a decision on whether the exception is valid, and allow or disallow it on the spot. This is exception-based retailing in its purest form and takes user experience from beautiful to smart.
  • 70% speed increase for promotion modeling and acceptance. This is a new workflow in which a forecasting analyst can model different promotional types—discount, buy one/get one free, coupon, loyalty program feature, in-store promotion, whatever it might be. The user can model the different variables together and choose the one that gives the desired impact, whether increased traffic, sales increases, or something else.

Optimizing Processes and Improving Profits

The pace of change for retail is significant and the expectation is that the velocity will continue to increase. Keeping up is no longer good enough – retailers need to get ahead. Retailers will need to upgrade their capabilities more often than in the past to keep up with customer expectations and consumer technology (mobile, IoT, VR). Our cloud solutions give retailers the ability to seamlessly take upgrades increasing their agility and making ongoing innovation economically manageable. Here’s three quick examples of how Release 16 takes cost out of the business and drives profit margins:

  • 60% time reduction in new item and location setup. By eliminating a data transfer step in the process of going from entry to setup, the new release has essentially enabled the completion in one day of what was previously a two-day process in Oracle Advanced Inventory Planning. In addition to supply chain and demand analysts, this benefits merchants wanting to execute opportunity buys or pre-season planning.
  • 100% efficient inventory usage. With total transparency into inventory, supply chain or demand, analysts have an automated way to rebalance and redistribute inventory from overstocked to understocked locations. Moving and using inventory in the most efficient manner ultimately saves cost either in markdowns, in excess inventory purchase, or the logistics costs of moving product in the supply chain.
  • 50% reduction in implementation time and total cost for Advanced Inventory Planning. Rather like the improvement in new item and location setup, this was accomplished by removing complexity and cost throughout the solution.

This month 200+ retail executives from around the world will convene at Oracle Industry Connect in Orlando, FL. If you're not already registered there is still time to take advantage of this annual event and connect with supply chain peers, Oracle executives and solution experts. The agenda is designed and delivered largely by our customers including notable brands: Argos, Best Buy and Gander Mountain who will sharing winning strategies for executing an omnichannel supply chain strategy. Learn more about the retail program at #OracleIC17

Learn more about our suite of supply chain solutions.

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