The Supply Chain Management Blog covers the latest in SCM strategy, technology, and innovation.

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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...


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...

AI Apps for Manufacturing

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...


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...


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...

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...

IoT at Oracle OpenWorld 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well on its way to transforming how organizations do business and even invent new business models. Oracle OpenWorld (Sept. 16 to 19) provides a great chance to learn from product experts and Oracle users how to take advantage of prebuilt IoT applications – from production and assets monitoring, fleet management to even personnel and customer service. To help you maximize your time, I’ve pulled together a selection of featured sessions and demos about Oracle IoT, including information about the speakers, times, and locations: Keynote Sessions How to Turn Change into Opportunity with Oracle Cloud Apps: AI, blockchain, IoT, and other emerging technologies are transforming business at an unprecedented rate. Embracing this change can mean the difference between riding the wave or having it dash your organization against the rocks. This panel will discuss ways in which organizations are already transforming core business processes with Oracle enterprise applications. Product Overview and Roadmap Sessions Unlock New Opportunities in End-to-End Integrated Logistics with IoT and Analytics: Supply chain organizations have been on a long journey to improve customer fulfillment and collaboration. Today, advancements in IoT, machine learning, and AI offer an opportunity to transform integrated logistics functions. Join this session to learn how to define and develop the right digital strategy using the IoT capabilities built into Oracle Transportation Management and Oracle Warehouse Management. Five-Step Digitalization Framework for Reliability and Predictive Asset Maintenance: In this session, asset managers, reliability leaders, and condition monitoring professionals will learn actionable strategies to create and drive a digitalization framework for asset maintenance. Discover how to unlock valuable insights from machine data to improve reliability and establish predictive maintenance using Oracle’s IoT applications and Oracle Maintenance Cloud. Going Beyond Smart: Redefine Manufacturing with AI and IoT: Transform your manufacturing organization into a smart, connected manufacturing center that combines operational data from the factory floor with supply chain planning data to drive intelligence. In this session, learn how Oracle’s IoT applications, Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, and Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud enable smart factories and modern supply chains to improve product quality, drive efficiency, and support process automation. Conference Sessions Take a deeper dive into the power of Oracle Cloud’s IoT capabilities to understand how they can drive innovation, performance, and growth. Driving Continuous Innovation with Oracle Manufacturing Cloud: Come to this session to learn how Titan International Inc., leverages the world’s first manufacturing product built specifically for and deployed in the cloud to improve operations and bottom-line performance. This is a great use case that demonstrates how Oracle Manufacturing Cloud and Oracle Internet of Things Production Monitoring Cloud work with the rest of the Oracle Supply Chain Cloud suite to drive continuous improvement. Optimize Your Supply Chain Performance with Oracle SCM Cloud: Oracle thought leaders, customers, and industry experts share ways in which Oracle Cloud improves supply chain performance with integrated supply chain planning and execution. Oracle Cloud builds IoT, machine learning, and blockchain into critical supply chain processes to optimize performance. Demos Our interactive demos, located at the Moscone West – Level 3 exhibit area, will give you an opportunity to see exactly how Oracle enterprise apps leverage the latest IoT technology to provide real-time data and analytics.  Smart Manufacturing for Operational Excellence: Discover how Oracle’s smart, connected factory solution can leverage IoT connectivity, AI analytics, and cloud supply chains to modernize your organization’s production and supply chain processes. And most importantly – get your own custom-made personal luggage tag! [Kiosk info: MFG-005]. *"Mini smart factory" - demonstrates an end-to-end, IoT enabled, manufacturing process Digital Logistics: See how Oracle’s nimble and scalable cloud solution can improve monitoring and managing cargo and vehicles; scheduling services; obtaining real-time updates on the location and status of cargo; and confirming the status, location, and ETA of shipments. [Kiosk info: MFG-008].   Of course, this was just a sampling of the IoT Prebuilt Applications sessions and demos you’ll find at OpenWorld 2019. Just make sure to finish on time for the yearly Cloud Fest celebration. If you have not registered yet, you can still secure your spot! See you there!      

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well on its way to transforming how organizations do business and even invent new business models. Oracle OpenWorld (Sept. 16 to 19) provides a great chance to...

Supply Chain Management

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on How Businesses Who Improve Their Supply Chains Improve Customer Experience

As technology evolves, so does consumer demand. Keeping pace with customer expectations is challenging for many businesses. However, businesses can improve their supply chain processes to improve customer satisfaction and positively impact revenue. “The older fixed supply chains can’t meet those demands. Expectations of the customer have changed dramatically. I no longer can take 28 days to get something from here to there,” Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said at Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018. Today’s best supply chains allow organizations to keep the customer in mind throughout the product’s journey. Tomorrow’s supply chains will have to evolve to embrace the notion that the customer increasingly dictates strategy and logistics.  Benefits to businesses Customers are not the only ones to benefit from improved supply chains. When a business invests in end-to-end supply chain technologies, it realizes benefits throughout the entire supply chain process. One example is the use of RFID tagging at the product level. In a research study conducted by Auburn University RFID Lab Studies, researchers found that retailers benefit from item-level tagging because it increases inventory accuracy from an average of 63% to 95%. The safe and efficient transportation of goods and maintenance of inventory can be extremely challenging. Businesses need to be able to quickly find items within their warehouses and subsequently track those items throughout the shipment and delivery process. Oracle SCM Cloud connects RFID readers and the Oracle IoT Cloud Service network, ensuring employees can track the location of an RFID-tagged item within proximity of a reader. This secure tracking system makes it easier to verify businesses are tracking inventory safely and efficiently and items are leaving warehouses and arriving at their final locations as anticipated.  Benefits to retailers Retail is a major component of the United States’ economy and, with the rapid globalization of trade, consumers are putting more pressure on retailers to deliver products with optimal efficiency. An effective SCM strategy can help retailers save costs, improve their storage strategy, boost supplier relationships, analyze customer demand patterns, and move supplies faster. Once silos are broken down, businesses can operate more efficiently and costs can be lowered as a result of efficient SCM. In today’s retail environment, consumers’ tolerance for empty shelves or lack of inventory is virtually nonexistent, because they have near-instant access and product availability from an ever-growing number of competitors. Oracle Retail Replenishment Optimization balances inventory throughout the supply chain to efficiently achieve the desired service to customers by providing optimized replenishment management recommendations. An efficient SCM system centralizes and standardizes order fulfillment processes and procedures, allowing users to view and monitor the order status and fulfillment progress. Benefits to customers The modern customer sales experience has changed dramatically throughout the last decade. A recent survey shows 88% of holiday shoppers said they have purchased a different gift or purchased a gift from another store because a retailer was out of the gift they were seeking. In today’s competitive retail market, there is no room for dropped sales and missed opportunities because of ineffective supply chain management. As Mark Hurd recently stated in a Forbes article, “Aligning technology strategy to better service customers becomes an essential path to revenue growth.” The order-to-cash process not only affects the ability to retain customers, but it also affects the ability to generate new business. Too many businesses still employ processes that are fragmented or siloed. When properly optimized, supply chain management gets the right products to a company’s top buyers in record time, resulting in higher revenue, a higher level of customer satisfaction, and increased customer loyalty. Today’s customers expect transparency throughout the whole sales process, as well as an explanation of how the business is working to resolve any potential issues. If your business is unable to resolve an issue as soon as it arises, you risk negative reviews and a hit to your company’s reputation. Oracle SCM Cloud’s suite of applications can ensure the process is fully transparent, expedient, and optimized from start to finish.  Today’s marketplace leaves no room for lack of expediency. A properly optimized SCM system offers a range of capabilities, from real-time product availability checking and order scheduling to best-in-class solutions providing advanced capabilities that create more value. Oracle SCM delivers customer value by transforming your operations from a functional necessity to a value-driven competitive advantage.

As technology evolves, so does consumer demand. Keeping pace with customer expectations is challenging for many businesses. However, businesses can improve their supply chain processes to improve...

Oracle scores highest in Gartner Critical Capabilities for TMS Level 2-5 complexity use cases

The Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems research evaluates 13 TMS solutions across 10 critical capabilities and five different use cases. Oracle ranked highest in critical capabilities across 4 out of 5 use cases. The capabilities analyzed in this research include core domestic capability, extended domestic capability, core international capability, extended international capability, usability/user experience, analytics/visibility, implementation/integration tools, adaptability/agility, carrier networks and simplicity. Download your complimentary copy of the 2019 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems. This report is a companion piece to Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems which evaluates vendors in terms of completeness of vision and ability to execute. Oracle Transportation Management Cloud (OTM) is a comprehensive solution that spans the entire transportation process, across all modes and geographies. A complete and modern solution that supports end-to-end business processes, OTM Cloud has broad capabilities including sourcing and planning, routing, inventory visibility, modeling, fleet management and can easily integrate with IoT, machine learning, and other emerging technologies. Gartner, Inc., "Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems"; Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran; 22 May 2019. Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems” Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran, March 27, 2019. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Download your complimentary copy of the 2019 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems.    

The Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems research evaluates 13 TMS solutions across 10 critical capabilities and five different use cases. Oracle ranked highest...

Outpace Change with Future Ready Finance and Operations

In case you didn’t get the memo: The future has just arrived. You probably saw it coming but never thought it would actually get here. The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain: Not long ago, all of these technologies were little more than buzzwords and thought experiments.   Meanwhile, rising consumer expectations are impacting every kind of business. Your customers have come to expect same-day deliveries, two days at worst, and every single order has to be right. Now people want to subscribe to your products instead of buying them. Your investors expect you to predict demand precisely and fulfill it just in time. And regulators expect you to trace all your ingredients back to their source to help troubleshoot supply chain issues and even save lives.  The best companies are learning to adapt to this “future-is-now” world – and quick. Outpacing change is no longer option. It’s a mandate for business survival and success.  New financial models  The problem with keeping up with the future is that businesses are constrained by legacy systems that can’t support the businesses model changes they need to survive. For example, most on-premises accounting systems aren’t equipped to handle the new world of “product-as-a-service” subscription models that require new revenue recognition capabilities tailored to this environment.  The cloud removes that obstacle. Oracle, for example, built a subscription-management capability into its ERP cloud to help companies sell products as services, if that’s what they need to drive their business forward.  These types of new cloud technologies also help enterprises successfully execute mergers and acquisitions. Cloud solutions have changed the M&A game, allowing new business units to be onboarded quickly and their books consolidated and closed just as fast. Predicting the future Take another example: In the not-so-long-ago world, maintaining a factory floor or enterprise asset used to be a reactive, timebound, scheduled activity. So when something broke, it was a big and expensive problem. But in the future-is-here world, companies are using machine learning to make predictions about when equipment is wearing out and then schedule repair and maintenance activities before anything breaks.   It’s clear that these formerly futuristic technologies are delivering a lot value for businesses and the people who work there. By the way, it’s not about taking people out of the equation but allowing them to shift to more value-added work. Instead of just managing transactions, they can focus on analyzing data and trends and making better decisions.  Business planning is so much better today in the cloud. This is largely because cloud solutions can integrate business planning, sales and operational planning, and supply chain planning all on one platform. Oracle’s unified data model, for example, can bring together core operational data with product info, with machine data, and now third-party data. When you integrate all that intelligence into your supply chain planning process, you now have the power to match supply and demand with unprecedented precision, creating a huge competitive advantage. One Oracle customer – a contract manufacturer for top brands such as Newman’s Own – leveraged a cloud-based demand management system to save 5-10 percent from inventory reductions while eliminating 50% of food waste. It turns out that matching supply with demand – a collaborative process we call “plan to produce” – can help you achieve valuable strategic goals like environmental sustainability.   No science project required Today there are a lot of vendors that are “playing” with AI, ML and IoT. The difference with Oracle is that it’s building real industrial strength apps based on proven, market-tested versions of these advanced technologies. One of Oracle’s financial management solutions, for example, comes with built-in machine learning that allows companies to detect financial fraud and anomalies and improve compliance.  More recently, Oracle delivered a blockchain app that you can use “out-of-the-box” to manage entire supply networks. This helps companies track and trace goods across the supply chain and provides complete trust and transparency for all parties.  Remember that IoT sensor data is great to have, but it’s only as good as what you can do with it – which is why it’s important to apply machine learning to your data feeds. Oracle leads the way in proven ML solutions that gives companies a clear vision of how to react to changing operational conditions.  In the future that is upon us, finance and operations will need to work in unison to help companies thrive with leaner inventories, more precise product costing, and more profitable product-as-a-service business models. The fundamentals of business haven’t changed – profitability still drives success – but the way to success will require enterprises to take a more future-leaning path.  Is your enterprise equipped to outpace change? Learn more about the future of Finance and Operations at Oracle OpenWorld 2019 and at Oracle.com/scm.

In case you didn’t get the memo: The future has just arrived. You probably saw it coming but never thought it would actually get here. The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI),...

Supply Chain Management

How to Improve On-Time Shipments with SCM Cloud

By Christiane Soto, Sr. Content Manager at Oracle  Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Charles Chamberlain, Director of IT at Srixon/Cleveland Golf, a golfing equipment manufacturer. Chamberlain has been with this growing small-to-medium business (SMB) for over 32 years and recently led the implementation of a new Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud solution. Srixon/Cleveland Golf’s golf ball has won more than 600 golf tournaments and their current tour players include a plethora of high-ranking golf professionals.  During their search for a new SCM system that could provide accurate delivery data to customers, they initially considered building their own solution. Ultimately, they decided that a move to the cloud was the right choice to make. Read on to learn more about how the right SCM Cloud helped this small-to-medium business exceed their customer experience goals.   What’s the biggest customer experience challenge you face? Before adopting Oracle Global Order Promising (GOP) Cloud, our main challenge was being able to promise accurate dates to our customers. We offer a lot of product variety with our wedges, in terms of number of finishes, number of lofts, number of bounces, etc. We also offer a lot of custom products, custom variations in terms of shafts, grips, and other components that could be low in stock. That was our focus in trying to find a solution: how can we give customers reliable dates? At the time of order entry we want our customers to know when they're going to get their product.  It was difficult for our customer experience department to get a complete picture of our inventory. At a high level, we can see our inventory. We know how many pieces we have. But we didn't know how many pieces were already dedicated to work orders. With Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud, we're able to spin up our orders, run through the processes, and within a reasonable time come back with accurate, reliable customer delivery dates.    What did your old process look like for predicting customer delivery dates? As I said, our biggest challenge has been pulling the large amount of item and component data and making it work together to provide accurate, reliable delivery dates. That cannot be done in spreadsheet; we tried. There’re just too many factors involved. Therefore, our best method was to manually go through and try to figure out when a product would be available based upon item availability, which was based upon purchase order data. But that still doesn't give our customer experience person any good information, because they don't know what's already been allocated to other products by the planning department. It was an ordeal, because our customer experience reps never had accurate information.      What different solutions did you consider? Issues around promised dates is not a new problem for us. In the 32 years that I have been with Srixon/Cleveland Golf, we’ve gone through cycles of trying to see what we can do. We didn't know Oracle Global Order Promising existed. But we knew what we wanted, so we tried to develop that software ourselves.  We brought in a developer, which was a great opportunity for our teams to get together and document the process and document what we wanted. It was a great exercise, but we ended up with a process proposal that was unproven and hard to maintain. So we were back to the drawing board.    How did you decide to go with Oracle? One day, I get a cold call from an Oracle representative. We started to talk about the very things that we were interested in: on-time deliveries, pegging orders to work orders, and being able to provide accurate promise dates to our customers. It led to easily being able to gain buy-in from our Vice President of Operations that we needed to investigate the Oracle Cloud suite of products. Once we did, that was it. We were on our way to acquiring Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud.  It was definitely reassuring knowing that the label on the brand was Oracle. We're already an Oracle customer. We've been involved with Oracle for over 20 years. Having the name Oracle behind the product gave us confidence that we were going with a product that we knew we could put our trust in.    Are there any benefits that you can share with us? Well, straight off the bat, within two and a half months of our go-live, we've seen an 81.5 percent increase in our on-time shipments compared to the year before. Our promise dates are accurate, and that’s a comfort to us that we haven’t had.  Just last month, we achieved a 89.5% completion rate! One thing that did surprise us is that, once we did go live, there was not a huge shift (or change) in our processes. The word is “disruptive” nowadays. With the migration to Oracle Global Promising Cloud, nothing was disruptive-- not disruptive at all. There was not a situation where everyone had to learn new processes and procedures. Now of course we had to learn the modules, but the core business did not suffer because we added functionality. As the IT director, that was great because it removed from my team the tasks around change management, training, and fielding questions and/or complaints.    Other than promise dates, how has the technology supported your custom products business? One of the things we do well, and it is about 20 percent of our business, is custom products. We have a wide spectrum of product offerings, which can be built to meet any golfer's needs for various reasons. To facilitate those customizations, we have a configurator, where every item ends up with its own part number, because every club could be different. I might need a club that's bent two degrees flat, while the next one may need to be two degrees upright.  Every custom product has its own unique bill of materials. In the past, every time you would do a manual look-up on that bill of material, you'd have to manually go into the work order, manually go in the parts list, look those parts up, and then do your inquiries. Now that is all that sorting is done for us, providing us with the promise dates that we were after in the first place.This frees up the employees who were manually processing those records and doing manual inquiries to do other things, like providing top-notch customer experiences.    Did you encounter any resistance or challenges in moving to the cloud? That was our first toe in the water in the cloud, but we have experience with hosting our ERP system in a private cloud, so Oracle Cloud ended being an easy choice. We chose to move to the cloud and kept our internal resources focused on other areas. Ultimately, we won’t have to bring in other employees to fulfill complicated tasks that we are not even experts in, since we were moving to new technology. For us, it was an easy step into the cloud.    So Oracle is known for working large corporations. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience with Oracle Cloud as a smaller company (a small-to-medium business, if you will).  We found that in the Oracle world, Srixon/Cleveland Golf is a small company-- probably one of the smallest companies that we see when we go to conferences. But what we've seen is that even though we're a small company that is into these big software products, we still get the same benefits that the large companies get, because we're running the same processes they're running.  We now have the expandability and the ability to go forward to hit our secondary goals of order allocation and total order fulfillment. Something that we want to do is deliver a customer's order in one shipment. Ultimately, that's the goal.    Finally, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the impact your company makes. Why is golf important to customers? That's a great question. Golf is another avenue for somebody to get out, get some exercise and create some camaraderie. But a lot of times when we go golfing, we're not going golfing. We're going talking, and golf kind of just gets in the way. That’s why we look forward to it so much. It's a bonus when we play well, and our clubs help players play well. Golf is an event that we look forward to so we can be with our friends and have a great time.   We offer quality golf equipment for all people in golf: senior players, professional players, beginning players, men, women, and people with slower swing speeds. Versatility is one of the things that we do well.   Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud helps us do it even better. 

By Christiane Soto, Sr. Content Manager at Oracle  Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Charles Chamberlain, Director of IT at Srixon/Cleveland Golf, a golfing equipment manufacturer....


Oracle Named A Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems

We are honored that Oracle is named a Leader once again in this recent report: “Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems (2019).” Oracle is positioned highest for its ability to execute. Download your complimentary copy of the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems” by Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran, March 27, 2019. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. According to the report, “Gartner continues to see the TMS market grow at an accelerated rate. Factors such as the need to reduce costs; improve internal productivity, efficiency and customer service; increase visibility; and make better use of capacity are driving the growth of the market through 2022.” With customers demanding more fulfillment and delivery options, transportation has become a strategic enabler of corporate strategy. Oracle’s transportation management cloud (OTM) offering offers a comprehensive solution that spans the entire transportation process, across all modes and geographies. A complete and modern solution that supports end-to-end business processes, OTM Cloud has broad capabilities including sourcing, planning, routing, inventory visibility, modeling and fleet management. Download your complimentary copy of the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems  

We are honored that Oracle is named a Leader once again in this recent report: “Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems (2019).” Oracle is positioned highest for its ability to...


Precision uses Oracle Manufacturing Cloud to stay ahead of the competition

The Precision Group U.A.E., is a pioneer and market leader in the manufacture of aluminum extrusion dies, tools, press tools, blow moulds and injection moulds, precision moulded plastic products and thermo-formed industrial packaging. The Group has two manufacturing companies in Dubai; Precision Dies & Tools Manufacturing Co. (L.L.C.) and Precision Plastic Products Co. (L.L.C.) and caters to over two dozen of the region's leading brands, with innovative packaging and industrial solutions. Jayakumar Mohanachandran, CIO, spearheaded the Oracle SCM and ERP Cloud implementation for Precision Group as a part of their Digital Transformation program. Jay participated in Oracle’s Open World event a few months ago and I was impressed with the company’s story and Jay’s vision for the future of manufacturing and the importance of digital transformation. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions:     Julia: Jay, Precision Group was managing its manufacturing and back office operations using a legacy application, which was implemented many years ago. What challenges did this create for the business? Jay: Precision was running on a legacy system for more than 25 years, which resulted in many process inefficiencies. We were not able to manage our reporting since many reports were in silos, and we were lacking an integrated system. We did not have visibility on our shop floor, nor in our inventory organization and that did not allow us to scale and support new processes. Julia:  What triggered the move to Oracle’s Cloud solution? Jay: To address these challenges and make sure that we are ahead of the competition, it was very critical for us to modernize our systems, so we decided to kick off a digital transformation program across our organization. Oracle had the best offering in the cloud, in terms of the breadth of applications, how they are seamlessly integrated and the use of advanced technologies embedded in the solutions (like IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning). It is all integrated, and the beauty is that it comes in a SaaS model: an architecture that continually updates itself without the need for upgrades that are costly and risk business continuity. So with this subscription model, we are constantly upgraded with new functionality. All these features helped us select Oracle Cloud for our entire Digital Transformation program. We were one of the early adopters of R13 (release), which we think that made the whole project a grand success by this time. Julia:  Why did you choose Oracle vs SAP for manufacturing? Jay: We were considering Oracle and SAP until the final phase of the evaluation but we wanted to complete our transformation journey in the cloud and Oracle proved to be a leader in the cloud. We needed a solution that delivered manufacturing agility, shop floor control and end-to-end visibility. When we compared Oracle with SAP’s offering, Oracle Cloud was much more mature, it came with a lot of flexibility and agility for industries like manufacturing and provided many more features and innovations like “Smart Manufacturing”. Oracle was standing out from the competition in terms of technical competencies as well as cost effectiveness. With Oracle Cloud everything was embedded into one package, thus, we felt it would be much more efficient and easy to use. With Oracle Cloud, we were getting an integrated system and real time visibility of our manufacturing and inventory organization. Julia: Precision chose Oracle Cloud to execute on a Manufacturing, HR and Financial Cloud transformation project. What are the results of using Oracle’s Cloud solutions? Jay: By having this system right now, we were able to achieve increased efficiency and end-to-end visibility into the supply chain. We have real time visibility of our orders and thereby the entire cycles of order-to-cash and procure-to-pay have been completely streamlined. We have complete visibility of our business with advanced analytics in simple dashboards, enabling better collaboration and faster decision-making. This is brilliant, and from day one, we could use all the dashboards.  Oracle Manufacturing Cloud helps us streamline our manufacturing operations and get actionable insights in our factories to drive efficiency, flexibility, and speed. Also, everything is available through mobile. Therefore, our employees can stay connected and work seamlessly from anywhere, enhancing overall work efficiency. This was a major transformation from the 25 year old legacy system. Julia:  What advice would you give to other companies looking to do the same kind of transformation? Jay: I think one of the key messages that we can pass on to other companies is the need to have a proper governance structure in place to embark on a digital transformation journey. Manufacturing companies are reluctant to change, because change is not easy in a manufacturing set up and it may cause disruption. We actually had change agents, process champions, who empowered the rest of the organization and made sure we addressed all the challenges and effectively drove the change in the organization.   If you are looking to embark on a digital transformation, journey and modernize your manufacturing operations click here to see how Oracle Manufacturing Cloud can help you. Click here to watch a short video showing how Precision Group relies on Oracle Manufacturing Cloud for greater flexibility and agility. Julia Vagdati is Product Marketing Director at Oracle. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

The Precision Group U.A.E., is a pioneer and market leader in the manufacture of aluminum extrusion dies, tools, press tools, blow moulds and injection moulds, precision moulded plastic products and...


Drive Duty Savings with Trade Agreements

Did you know that there are currently 291 regional trade agreements in force around the world? According to the World Trade Organization, RTAs have risen over the years and will continue to grow. Trade agreements has become a hot topic these days, especially when there’s been a lot of discussions around Brexit, NAFTA, and other trade-related treaties. How can companies prepare and adapt given changing trading policies?  While managing trade agreements is important for most organizations that import and export qualifying goods, it can be a tedious effort and most of this process is done manually. Organizations often sacrifice savings on import duties due to the significant paperwork required. You need a solution that will enable you to find potential duty savings and easily take action. If you’re looking to identify opportunities that will reduce your duty and tax payments, Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud allows you to proactively leverage these trade agreements opportunities, allowing you to reduce your duty payments, reduce your employee workload, as well as sell at a lower price to your customers. Streamline Trade Operations with Automated Processes Why is it important to have a global trade management solution that supports trade agreements? Proving origin under trade agreements is complex and challenging Compliance burden & risk is significant when tracking data and documentation required to administer a trade agreement Importer is held liable if reduced duty rates are incorrectly claimed and governments will want to recover lost duty Manual processes are costly and prone to error when managing trade agreements across a large product portfolio Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud can help, learn more here.  Easily Leverage Tax and Duty Savings Opportunities There is a growing list of trade agreements out there, with more countries establishing new agreements or joining existing agreements every year. We are continuously developing and adding additional enhancements to Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud, so you can easily leverage opportunities on tax and duty savings. Manage trade agreements within the customs management module of Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud, and now available as part of our 19B release. Watch this short preview of the new features available.   Phase 1 of Trade Agreements will allow you to identify items and goods that are eligible for trade agreements, compare potential duty rate savings, work with suppliers on collecting data and certificates. Supplier Solicitation and Campaign Management: Collaborate with suppliers to collect data and documentation in support of declaring goods under preferential trade agreement rates. Rules of Origin Analysis: Analyze your bill of materials to see if it qualifies for any trade agreements and produce the necessary certificates when it does. Shipment Management: Screen shipments for opportunities to leverage trade agreements and ensure they comply with relevant regulations. Customs Entry Management: Prepare the needed entries and documentation and then either self-file or share the information with your broker. Trade Agreements enables companies to create and manage campaigns soliciting data and documents from businesses in support of trade compliance and customs processes. These campaigns can be used for activities including country of origin management and certificate management associated with Free Trade Agreements and other reduced duty programs. Learn more about what’s new in our current OTM-GTM release here.  

Did you know that there are currently 291 regional trade agreements in force around the world? According to the World Trade Organization, RTAs have risen over the years and will continue to grow....


Eliminate Guessing Games with Logistics Network Modeling Cloud

Imagine having to add a new customer or supplier to your existing logistics network, how would you measure the impact of this new arrangement? What happens if you lose a key supplier, or have to change routes because of an unplanned disruption? What if you need to change volumes, capacity or rates, what impact will these have on your transportation operations? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a better idea on the potential costs and savings you may achieve based on different scenarios? When it comes to logistics, accurate planning is crucial, and current applications are inadequate as most utilize simplified models and aggregate cost estimates. As a result, optimization and planning algorithms can be different from your actual transportation operations, and result in policies that cannot be implemented because they cannot be effectively applied to actual real-world conditions.  Perform strategic and accurate analysis with real data   Oracle Logistics Network Modeling Cloud allows you to perform strategic and tactical analyses of your transportation network using real-world operational data. You can define the different scenarios you wish to analyze in the context of your actual operational environment. Multiple analyses can be performed simultaneously and can include multiple scenarios to capture specific variations of data, rules and policy changes that you want to compare. It is now available within the Oracle Transportation Management Cloud environment. “Disruptions due to customer demand volatility, new product introductions, government regulation changes, and a host of other factors, leave supply chain professionals struggling to adapt. To eliminate this guessing game of how best to respond, we are giving our customers the insights they need to improve decision making and increase efficiency of logistics operations.” shares Derek Gittoes, vice president of supply chain management product strategy at Oracle. Take a quick tour of Logistics Network Modeling Cloud. Reduce the guessing game in your logistics network With Oracle Logistics Network Modeling Cloud, you can perform detailed what-if scenario modeling based on the operational details of your existing transportation network using the same rules, policies, and planning algorithms that you employ in your transportation operations. This generates highly accurate results showing the actual impact of the proposed changes to your operations. Since everything is in the context of your actual operational network, identified changes and responses can be easily deployed as needed. For example, you can examine the impact of changes to network’s design with a side-by-side scenario comparison, or determine the impact of routing via a cross-dock versus direct. Key capabilities of Oracle Logistics Network Modeling Cloud include: Resolve issues and questions from shipment planning processes with a real-time visual tool that provides “what-if” scenarios. Support both strategic and tactical scenarios, and model quick-running what-if scenarios within your operational environments to optimize operations. Specify key criteria such as order sets, time duration, etc., to better reflect real-world operational conditions. Use actual operational data and overlay changes to analyze scenarios as accurately as possible. Replicate operational planning processes, including the ability to run multiple linked daily or weekly plans in sequence or in parallel. Use advanced visualizations capabilities in Oracle Transportation Management Cloud to view and analyze the shipment plan details, including stop-level details. Compare scenario results side-by-side. Use packaged and custom key performance metrics and dashboards that support slice-and-dice, drill-down and ad-hoc query mechanisms to compare multiple scenarios side-by-side. More effective shipment planning and visibility Since Oracle Logistics Network Modeling Cloud is available within your Oracle Transportation Management Cloud environment. There is no additional setup needed and you can immediately use its capabilities. It uses the same entities and concepts, and is easy to use. This new product is now available for new customers, and comes as part of the Oracle Transportation Management Cloud release 19B. Learn more about what’s new in this OTM-GTM release here.

Imagine having to add a new customer or supplier to your existing logistics network, how would you measure the impact of this new arrangement? What happens if you lose a key supplier, or have to...

Supply Chain Management

The Benefits of Automating your Contract Lifecycle Management Processes

Cost reduction and managing risk remain the top priorities amongst procurement organizations today. One area that organizations should look to help reduce cost and risk is within their contracts. While some businesses have embarked on the journey of digitally transforming their contract lifecycle management (CLM) processes, there are still several teams who continue to rely on paper-based processes to create and manage their contracts. Below are some of the key benefits that organizations receive through implementing a contract lifecycle management software to streamline and automate their processes:   Streamline and Standardize Contract Authoring Time is money, and that is especially true when creating a contract. If you have ever built a contract from scratch, then I’m sure you know how much time and effort it can take. By digitizing the contract lifecycle, organizations can save precious time by streamlining and standardizing the authoring process. Contract authors accelerate the creation process by leveraging built-in, pre-approved templates and other time saving functionality like clause libraries (i.e. pre-approved legal terms specific to a type of contract), allowing them to quickly create contracts that are legally-compliant and don’t require time-consuming legal reviews.   Additionally, users can increase collaboration between cross-functional parties with modern CLM systems. Stakeholders are able to work on the same contract with an approval workflow, and built-in collaboration for faster contract creation. One key function of Oracle Procurement Contracts Cloud is its ability to shorten the negotiation process. Redlining and subsequent revision can add considerable time with back and forth negation. There are always changes that need to be made to a contract, so handling redlining in a more expedient manner is an important step that allows them to better manage the process. This feature also provides stakeholders with a complete audit trail of every single contract update, enabling them to keep track of every step of the authoring process and approvals. Oracle Procurement Contracts Cloud is also integrated with DocuSign, which provides a seamless signature process, enabling users to digitally sign and execute contracts faster.   Improve Visibility For many organizations, contracts continue to be split between several global locations. Since many businesses still rely on paper-based contracts that are stored in filing cabinets or an electronic version on someone’s laptop in their back office, it can be hard to track down contracts, especially those located in other departments. According to the recent Hackett Group report, Raising the World-Class Bar in Procurement Through Digital Transformation, one of the benefits of implementing a contract lifecycle management (CLM) software includes “… reducing the amount of time required to find a contract by 52%.” By implementing a platform with full contract management capabilities, organizations are able to increase the visibility and management of their contracts by electronically accessing them. By having a single location for all contracts, it increases the productivity of your employees by allowing them to locate the document they are looking for when necessary, improving their productivity. Oracle Procurement Contracts Cloud provides a repository that centralizes all existing contracts in to a searchable repository so stakeholders are able to easily access their documents, increasing visibility across the board.   Reduce Risks and Ensure Compliance When organizations deal with hundreds of active contracts, it’s almost impossible for them to keep a close eye on them. One significant challenge that can arise is keeping track of expiring contracts. In the Hackett Group report, a modern CLM system also trims “the number of lapsed reports by 39%, and increasing the use of standard terms and conditions to ensure compliance.” Managers need to make sure they are notified about expiration dates so they can decide whether to renew an existing contract or renegotiate/terminate contracts that are unfavorable to their organization. In order to relieve organizations from this issue, Oracle Procurement Cloud Contracts sends automatic alerts when a contract is about to expire, ensuring no contract gets forgotten and proactive measures are being taken.   All in all, an automated contract lifecycle management system is not just a want, but a necessity for procurement organizations that need to streamline and manage their contract lifecycle management processes. When organizations do not effectively manage their contracts, it can leave them exposed to unnecessary costs such as contract leakage, increases in maverick spend, paying additional costs that negatively impacts their bottom line, and can even damage their relationship with their suppliers. By implementing a modern system, such as Oracle Procurement Contracts Cloud, organizations are able to streamline their full contract management cycle, allowing customers to get the most value out of their contracts while avoiding contractual risk. For more information on the capabilities of Oracle Procurement Contracts Cloud, click here.  

Cost reduction and managing risk remain the top priorities amongst procurement organizations today. One area that organizations should look to help reduce cost and risk is within their contracts....


2019 IEEE Women in Computing Summit

Rising Together To Influence Our Future The IEEE Women in Computing Summit combines engaging and inspirational speakers with diverse and interactive topics. It will offer a unique opportunity to learn and network with developers, researchers and leaders from Silicon Valley. This year, Oracle will be hosting around 20 distinguished speakers and 150+conference attendees at its Santa Clara Campus. The conference covers a wide range of topics. Attendees will hear the latest development in Digital Twins, Security Design, Artificial Intelligence, Cancer Research as well as Quantum Computing from female leaders at Oracle, Intel, Qualcomm, and several other industry-leading companies. Distinguished panelists will discuss and share their knowledge and experience about career development and entrepreneurship. At the networking reception and throughout the day, attendees will also get the opportunity to network with female minds, learn and inspire each other.   When: Thursday, May 09 2019,  8:00am – 7:00pm Where: Oracle Auditorium, 4030 George Sellon Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 Click here to book your ticket today!   Schedule: 8:00  – 9:00 AM  Breakfast sponsored by IEEE WIE-SCV and IEEE YP Arrive before 9 AM for a raffle ticket to win cool giveaways   9:00 AM  Welcome  Jeewika Ranaweera, Principal HW Engineer at Oracle   9:30 AM  Keynote  Mary Ellen Kassotakis, Executive Director, Oracle Women's Leadership 10:00 AM  Data Stewardship and Digital Twins Katalin Walcott KB, Senior Principal Engineer at Intel 10:30 AM  HW/SW Security Design Isaura Gaeta, Vice President at Intel 11:00 AM  Bringing cultural/operational transformations to industries by leveraging technology knowledge, vision, strategy, and leadership Mary Gendron, SVP and CIO at Qualcomm 11:30 AM  Elucidating mechanism of recurrent disease in cancer by merging molecular biology techniques with scientific, computing Hasini Jayatilaka, Cancer Researcher at Stanford University 12:00 PM  Lunch sponsored by Oracle   1:00 PM Social Media in the Age of AI Layla Revis, Vice President at Oracle   1:30 PM  Career Panel: Leading in the digital age Lorri Brady, Senior Leader at Oracle (Moderator) Liliane Peters, Director at Ericsson Win Chang, Director at Oracle Katie Pascale, Director at Cisco Anna Luo, VP at Jivox   2:30 PM  Quantum Computing Fundamentals Kayla Lee, IBM   3:00 PM Afternoon Break sponsored by IEEE WIE-SCV   3:30 PM The Future of Java  Heather Vancura, Director at Oracle   4:00 PM Entrepreneurship Panel  Jocelyn Tan, Engineer at Lockheed-Martin   5:00 PM Closing Remarks  Susan Delafuente, Chair IEEE SCV-WIE 5:00 - 7:00 PM Networking Reception sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society   The ticket sales will support STEM promoting activities organized by IEEE WIE Santa Clara Valley chapter in the Bay Area.  Follow the speaker link, have a look at the program and book your ticket today here!   Keynote speaker:                   Mary Ellen Kassotakis Executive Director, Oracle Women's  Leadership   As a global initiative, the Oracle Women’s Leadership mission is to develop, engage, and empower current and future generations of Oracle women leaders to foster an inclusive and innovative workforce. As of September 2018 there were 96 OWL Communities in 46 countries.   The 2019 IEEE Women in Computing Summit is organized by IEEE SCV-WIE, Oracle Women Leadership, IEEE SCV-YP, and IEEE Computer Society.  Book your ticket today!    

Rising Together To Influence Our Future The IEEE Women in Computing Summit combines engaging and inspirational speakers with diverse and interactive topics. It will offer a unique opportunity to learn...

AI Apps for Manufacturing

Research Report: The Digital Transformation of Product Design

Developing a new innovative product or service that gets to market first has never been more important or lucrative. A recent survey by Engineering.com answers why product innovation and design is a top priority in today's hyper-competitive business landscape and suggests how product development teams can leveraging data-driven technology to meet today's customer expectations. Fascinatingly, this survey found that many product design teams lack access to the proper data and tools necessary to fuel their digital transformations. Yet, in Engineering.com’s words, "What are teams sure about when it comes to digital transformation? They want to trace data from new product development through commercialization. Lucky for them, that technology already exists." Because that technology already exists, and Oracle has it, it’s a prime opportunity for leaders in industry to adopt it to get ahead. What I found most surprising about this report is that many companies have poor data management practices and difficulty interpreting, analyzing, or even utilizing data from external customer feedback, IoT connected products, and directly from social platforms/online reviews. However, Engineering.com says that “A sophisticated system that makes the pooling and interpretation of this data easier would be a major boon to most teams. This reveals an opportunity for product development teams to gain advantages over their competition." You can read about how access to data fuels innovation and sparks new business models like product-as-a-service (PaaS) here. The survey results also show that 54% of product development teams lack the necessary technology to be able to trace data as part of the development process. Interestingly enough, many teams are still using spreadsheets and email to track product data which not only has been shown to stall innovation and design, but is also error prone, lacks governance, and doesn’t allow for proper visibility across all stakeholders. The report sheds light on how today's top businesses are digitally transforming their product design. To remain competitive, what I believe really matters is having a single integrated/connected solution that not only allows you to pull and pool data from external sources (social and direct feedback) but also integrates directly with other transformative technologies like IoT, Digital Twin, AI, and Machine Learning to deliver new customer experiences. This next-generation platform, which already exists with Oracle PLM Cloud, Oracle SCM Cloud, Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle CX Cloud, delivers the right data to the right people across the product ecosystem allowing for rapid innovation and development. For more insights on product development in today’s digital era, read the rest of the survey, “The Digital Transformation of Product Design: How are design teams using and planning for design technology fueled by data?”  Additional related product development and PLM articles and information can be found at oracle.com/PLM or by reading these additional blogs: Combine IoT and PLM to tie the Digital Thread Watch How Next Generation Product Lifecycle Management Drives Digital Transformations  

Developing a new innovative product or service that gets to market first has never been more important or lucrative. A recent survey by Engineering.com answers why product innovation and design is a...

Blockchain for Supply Chain

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd: Tomorrow’s Supply Chains Will Put Customers First

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing Most people don’t think about customers when they hear the term “supply chain,” but modern supply chain professionals know customers are an increasingly important component of the equation. The rise of ecommerce has made the supply chain integral to today’s customer experience. Today, 96 percent of Americans shop online, and ecommerce is expected to generate $4.9 trillion in sales worldwide by 2021. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd understands the criticality of efficient supply chain practices. He wrote a book called The Value Factor15 years ago, clearly anticipating the importance of the supply chain to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Since joining Oracle in 2010, Hurd has continued to emphasize the importance of supply chain efficiency. At last year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience conference, he said “immediate gratification is now core to everything we do... If you can’t make what I need available to me now, I’m buying from somebody else.” At the 2016 Oracle Leaders Circle event in Mexico City, Hurd noted, “The customer has all sets of new tools, new applications, new services, new devices. They can get information anytime, anywhere. They can cross shop you anytime they want.” These two statements are well-supported by the available data. A 2017 survey by eFulfillment Service(link opens PDF) found that half of consumers value shipping speed more than shipping price. The same survey found that only 42 percent of consumers consider a fairly “standard” shipping time of three to four days to be fast. It’s only once you get shipment times down to two days or less that wide majorities are satisfied with shipment speed, as 89 percent of eFulfillment’s surveyed consumers thought two-day shipping was legitimately fast. In 2016, another survey found 66 percent of consumers would switch to another retailer if they had a poor delivery experience. But, to make it that far into the buyer’s journey, retailers have to earn business by offering economical and fast shipping options. Not only do your customers want fast shipping, they want to know exactly how fast their orders will arrive via real-time order tracking. A 2018 survey by Dropoff found 88 percent of American consumers want to be able to track their shipments in real time. Speed, cost, availability, and reliability. Your customers want it all, and you can’t deliver on the promise of a great customer experience if you can’t get them what they want when they want it. This can be difficult enough for a business with centralized operations. Once you’ve expanded to the point where your orders ship from multiple locations, efficient supply chain management and effective customer service are intrinsically connected. That’s why it’s so important to have SCM systems and customer experience (CX) systems that work together and support each other, with modern functionalities and automations. Oracle SCM Cloud and Oracle CX can work together to keep your customers happy from the time they visit your website to the time their order arrives. And, despite their differing operational functions, Oracle SCM Cloud and Oracle CX can provide employees with highly useful tools built from the same foundation. For example, chatbots have become a hot tech topic for customer service, but did you know they can be deployed to help supply chain professionals work more efficiently as well? Check out Evelyn Mei’s Supply Chain Management Blog post from last year to learn more about how chatbots can be used in the supply chain. Eventually, these chatbots will be largely automated, whether you’re using one to interact with customers or to make your life easier as a supply chain professional. At Oracle OpenWorld 2018, Mark Hurd predicted that “85 percent of interactions with customers will be automated” with AI. And it won’t just be chatbots that’ll be automated in the SCM and CX systems of tomorrow. Hurd also noted the effort currently required to manually track goods as they move through the supply chain, saying, “65 percent of managers spend their time manually tracking the shipment of goods,” and proposing automated, blockchain-based tracking as a way to take such tedious work off of their hands. Further into the future, autonomous delivery vehicles could also transform the supply chain by providing truly intelligently, optimized, and always-on transport and logistics services. Same-day delivery might be obtainable when everything that works to get orders to your customers is plugged into the same system and never needs to sleep or seldom needs a break. Today’s best supply chains already keep the customer in mind throughout a product’s journey, from the facility to the buyer’s front door. Tomorrow’s supply chains will have to build on the concept that customer demands will dictate strategy and logistics.

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing Most people don’t think about customers when they hear the term “supply chain,” but modern supply chain professionals know customers are an...

AI Apps for Manufacturing

Overview to Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps for Manufacturing

Author: Gopal Ratnam, Senior Director of Enterprise SaaS, IoT, Machine Learning & AI Products   Machine Learning and AI for Manufacturers - The Need The hottest technology disruption that seems to be taking every industry by storm today is Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). We have seen the promise of these technologies in our day-to-day lives as a consumer. Whether it is about movie recommendations from Netflix, or suggested products to buy from Amazon, or the personalized ads from Google, these technologies are becoming part of our daily lives. The beauty of this technology is that computers are not being explicitly programmed to perform a certain task. Instead, computers/machines are learning from the data that is being fed to them and are deciding the pattern of events happened in the past or what is likely to happen in the future or what is the best recommendation/action to perform under a given circumstances. This is the main and fundamental difference between traditional programming and ML/AI based approach. So, what does this mean to the manufacturing industry? How can these disruptive technologies be leveraged by manufacturers to reduce defects, rework, scrap, cost and improve yields and manufacturing cycle times? Enterprises need to use a "data-driven" approach and look at the data with a "new lens" (i.e. using ML/AI techniques) to realize significant cost savings and achieve greater operational excellence thereby making them more agile and competitive in the industry. Traditional operational reporting and business intelligence techniques do not provide actionable answers to the tough questions that manufacturing users are asking because they focus on "What Happened" and not "Why it Happened". In many cases, the manufacturing users might not even know the right question(s) to ask. The expectation from users is that an ML/AI based "expert system" will automatically start learning from the data and provide insights, predictions, recommendations, and suggestions. So, what kinds of data are we talking about? Manufacturers are dealing with two major categories of data. Firstly, the Information Technology (IT) data coming from business applications such as ERP/SCM/CRM/HCM/MES/Quality, etc. and secondly the Operational Technology (OT) data coming from the physical world of machines, equipment, sensors, test stations, etc. The OT data needs to be further contextualized with the IT data to get a holistic view of what happening.  Analyzing only OT data such as temperature, pressure, vibration, etc. coming from machines or analyzing only IT data such as parts, suppliers, lots, serials, work orders, etc. is not sufficient. The holy grail for actionable intelligence is when OT data is contextualized with IT data and the combined data set is analyzed using ML/AI techniques. This results in a new class/level of intelligence that can provide meaningful and significant outcomes.     Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps for Manufacturing is a SaaS analytical cloud application that collects, stores, and analyzes massive amounts of Operational Technology (OT) data coming from shop floor systems such as Equipment, Machines, Sensors, Test Stations, Data Historian, etc. and contextualizes it with Information Technology (IT) data coming from business applications such as ERP, SCM, HCM, CRM, MES, Quality etc. and analyzes it by applying machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to discover key patterns and correlations that affect manufacturing efficiencies and provides actionable predictive analytics to maximize yield, and minimize defects, scrap, cycle times, cost etc. It also provides comprehensive capabilities for backward and forward tracing of products and processes spanning manpower, machine, material, method, and management related information to facilitate rapid root cause, impact and containment analysis.   New Class of Business Questions that Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps for Manufacturing can Help Answer • Are there patterns in data that strongly relate to yield loss or defects? • Is there a correlation between product failures in the field or customer returns & the manufacturing process used? • What are the top influencing factors for quality, yield, and cycle time? • Can we predict process deviations and product defects early during manufacturing to minimize scrap & rework? • Can we trace man, machine, method, and material for defective products and identify similar products and impacted customers (smart recall)?   Data Acquisition and Storage • Data from Machines and Equipment Leverage automated and manual upload capabilities to ingest data from sensor-enabled equipment, machines, and facilities on the shop floor. • Data from Enterprise Applications Ingest data from transactional applications such as MES, Quality Management, LIMS, ERP, SCM, HCM, and CRM. • Embedded Data Management Platform Utilize embedded Oracle PaaS technologies across Database and Big Data stacks running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) that support a manufacturing-aware data lake which stores structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data coming from a variety of sources.     Data Contextualization and Preparation • OT and IT Data Contextualization Use inbuilt capabilities to contextualize data coming from sensor-enabled machines and equipment (OT data) with transactional data (IT data) coming from MES, Quality Management, LIMS, ERP, SCM, HCM, and CRM, to get a comprehensive snapshot of the manufacturing state at any given point in time. • Sensor-Time-Series Data Convert continuous streams of sensor-time-series data from machines and equipment into time-window aggregates using SAX (Symbolic Aggregate approXimation) to facilitate machine-learning analysis. • 5M Data Preparation Organize the massive data present in the data lake into 5M categories (manpower, machine, method, material, and management) with a pre-seeded library of attributes from Oracle applications as well as custom attributes to facilitate a comprehensive analysis of the entire manufacturing process.   Model Lifecycle Management • Model Creation Leverage simple and intuitive user interfaces to allow data scientists to create an unlimited number of descriptive and predictive models for analyzing KPIs such as yield, quality, cycle time, scrap, rework, cost, and others. • Model Training and Deployment Continuously train models with historical training data sets to attain the required accuracy levels and scores. One-touch deployment allows selected models to be immediately deployed for monitoring ongoing manufacturing processes. • Model Performance Evaluation Evaluate accuracy of predictive models using a confusion matrix by comparing predicted values with actuals, and continue to refine the models for improved accuracy.     Insights (Patterns and Correlations Analysis) • 5M Input Factors Analyze 5M (manpower, machine, material, method, management)-related information from manufacturing operations to understand the impact on key business outcomes. • Top Influencing Factors Identify the factors and variables in the manufacturing environment that have the highest influence on key performance metrics. • Patterns and Correlations from Historical Data Identify the relationship between a multitude of influencing factors and variables from the manufacturing process that affect key performance indicators such as yield, quality, cycle time, scrap, rework, and costs.   Predictive Analysis • Critical Outcomes During Manufacturing Compare current manufacturing conditions against suspect patterns from historical data analysis to predict potential yield loss and product defects. • Prediction Alert Rules Configure the application to receive alerts for predictions that match specific conditions such as confidence%, product context, etc. • Downstream Orchestration Subscribe to the published REST services for predictive alerts (for example, put a job on hold, create quality non-conformance, etc.) to create transactions in other applications.     Genealogy and Traceability Analysis • Self-Guided Navigation for Traceability Using an intuitive graph based navigation, traverse back the entire manufacturing process to identify 5M (manpower, material, method, machine, management) related information. • Time-Window Traceability For any window of time period, view all relevant manufacturing events such as machine sensor reading anomalies, alarms/alerts, quality test results, work order start/stop, and status changes such as released, on hold, etc. • Impacted Products and Customers Trace forward from any combination of manufacturing factors to identify products made under those conditions and impacted customers.     Products that were manufactured in the past (or still being manufactured) can be traced to understand the complete genealogy across all the 5M factors (Manpower, Machine, Method, Material, Management) that were involved when the product was made. The Genealogy and Traceability feature of this solution provides a comprehensive set of forward and backward trace capabilities to identify the suspect root cause and analyze the overall impact on other products, customers, and suppliers and take timely actions to mitigate risks. This feature enables the foundation for “smart recall” type analysis. Summary Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligent Apps for Manufacturing helps manufacturers take on a practical path towards realizing their “Smart Manufacturing” and “Digital Transformation” vision by moving up the data-driven intelligence maturity curve (from Reactive to Predictive/Prescriptive decision making). Leveraging the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, this solution opens up opportunity to provide truly actionable intelligence to help manufacturers deploy a very effective “continuous process improvement”

Author: Gopal Ratnam, Senior Director of Enterprise SaaS, IoT, Machine Learning & AI Products   Machine Learning and AI for Manufacturers - The Need The hottest technology disruption that seems to be...


How to Improve Your Inventory Turnover

By Vijay Virmani, Senior Principal Customer Success Specialist In an increasingly competitive landscape, businesses need to constantly analyzing their data to see where they can get ahead. Inventory turnover is a simple measure that when compared against competitors and companies outside of industry can bring a competitive advantage. The ratio highlights opportunities to learn best practices, reflects on overall business management, and can lead to cost saving opportunities. Inventory turnover is the number of times a company sells and replaces its stock of goods during a period. It provides insight as to how the company manages costs and how effective their sales efforts have been. Do you know how quickly your inventory is being moved at any given time? If not, you should, and you can easily find this information by calculating your inventory turnover. Inventory turnover = Cost of goods sold/ Average on-hand inventory* value for a period *On-hand inventory includes raw materials, sub-assemblies, finished goods or stock keeping units (SKUs). What do the numbers mean? Inventory turnover is most commonly measured over a year. A higher number generally means strong sales and low inventory levels at any given time period. Efficient inventory turnover help to ensure: Money is not tied up in inventory Cash flow is good Money is available for managing other key aspects of the business However, carefully managing the benefits and risks of higher turnover should be top of mind, as it increases the risk of lost sales opportunities due to stock out and customer complaints. Lower inventory turnover most likely mean poor sales and an excess of inventory on-hand. Different areas of your organization play a role in inventory requirements. Here are some things to consider when trying to improve inventory turnover: What level of inventory do you carry?  Do you measure the inventory turnover metric?  Is the majority of your inventory raw materials and sub-assemblies or finished goods?  Is it too much or not enough to fulfill open orders?  Do you own all the inventory in your facilities or do suppliers own and manage some of it?  What’s your lead time for higher value A & B class inventory items?  Do you share demand plans with your suppliers at regular intervals, or just send requests for quotes and purchase orders?   Inventory turnover optimization requires strategy that involves organization and cannot be achieved through the efforts of the inventory/material planning group alone.  Let’s look at how different groups in an organization interact on business strategy and can impact the inventory turnover. Sales and Marketing Sales and marketing decide on what products and variation of products to offer in the market to meet target revenue. The end products offered to customers are commonly as SKUs. The number of SKUs offered in the market directly impact the inventory value on-hand. Sales and Product Owners Lead time expectations are set by sales and product owners.The finished goods need to be available on-hand for shorter lead times.To the other extreme, customer orders can be shipped directly by suppliers without carrying any inventory on-hand at all.The lead time for the customer orders shipped by suppliers can be managed by partnerships with suppliers and system capability to process drop ship orders Product Development Product development teams develop structure and details on how to build SKUs.The number of components/sub-assemblies required and lead time to assemble or manufacture the SKUs play a role in inventory value in a given time period. Inventory value of raw materials and sub-assemblies are less compared to finished goods inventory. Make to order, configure to order or assemble to order business models reduce the need for finished goods inventory but may increase lead time. Product development is not required in a pure business model where goods are purchased and sold (e.g. retail store model). Procurement Supplier qualifications and contract negotiations play a vital role in the procurement process.The purchasing execution becomes easier with qualified suppliers with pre-negotiated prices and terms. Good quality materials with short lead times lower the inventory level required to fulfill open orders. Consigned goods and vendor managed inventories are good examples of reducing inventory value on-hand.Vendor managed inventory is one of the best to reduce the inventory value and lead time as the ownership of the goods are transferred at a point of sale and level of inventory is managed by the suppliers. Suppliers Partnership with suppliers is important.Suppliers can help with reducing lead times and inventory levels if they are engaged in material planning and execution process.Suppliers can plan and deliver quality supply periodically to meet the demand plan using Just in Time (JIT) or Kanban techniques. Customers Customer order capture to shipping process impacts the inventory on-hand.The shorter order cycle results in higher inventory turnover. Order definition, order booking, order promising, manufacturing execution, shipping method, shipping location, and shipping terms (e.g. ship and bill) are components of order cycle time that impact inventory turnover.             You can improve inventory value to some extent with localized efforts. However, all areas of the business need to do their part for achieving significant improvement towards the desired inventory turnover outcome. Holistic business strategy and execution across the entire business processes are critical for achieving the most desired outcome in inventory value and turnover.   We can help! Let us help you improve inventory turns. Oracle’s Customer Success Advanced Services are here to guide your success with your Oracle SaaS solution. We are 100% focused on helping customers achieve faster value and realization of business objectives. Find out more and contact us here.

By Vijay Virmani, Senior Principal Customer Success Specialist In an increasingly competitive landscape, businesses need to constantly analyzing their data to see where they can get ahead. Inventory tur...

Changing the “Change Management” Approach

  By Vikram Singla, Director, Strategy and Business Development    Supply chains have become significantly important to deliver business strategy today as they are responsible to ensure that the personalized customer experience, promised during the sales stage, is delivered meaningfully, profitably and sustainably. Only a meaningful and profitable customer experience will ensure revenue growth while protecting margins.  It’s not a surprise then that the key performance indicators, for the supply chain leaders, now include more than cost reduction, but have now focused on the 4Cs – customer experience, compliance, carbon footprint and cost of course. With some change, companies have been able to attain an 8% increase in on-time delivery — improving customer satisfaction. Regulatory compliance has been growing in terms of complexity and risk given the evolving geo-political factors and the buck really stops with the supply chain teams. Finally, carbon footprint is a serious issue for most companies directly impacting revenue (and not just costs) and again only supply chain teams can do something about it. At a recent webinar, I (Vikram Singla) and Alan Todd (CorpU’s CEO) explored how business processes, technology, and change management approaches have been evolving to deliver on the asks, as outlined above, from the modern supply chain leaders. The major change in the ask today is around ownership around delivering the customer experience. The impact of not delivering the brand promise today is – immediate and high; on not just costs but directly on revenue too. The more you think of shifting towards a service-centric business model, the more strategic the supply chains become.   A digital supply chain provides benefits that clearly align to modern day business strategy   Business Process and Technology Evolution   To achieve the end-to-end supply chain transformation vision, we first looked at how the business process architecture needs to evolve from a disconnected, siloed structure and think through business processes holistically enabled by both IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology ). This transformation needs to be fuelled by an evolution in the technology we use. Modern cloud systems have been built grounds-up to cater to the needs of the businesses today, by allowing a truly connected and empowered business.     Oracle has built unified technology architecture to support end to end, business processes considering the supply chain of the 21st century.   Simple Cloud = Less is More There was a discussion on various cloud adoption approaches. The cloud has become the key today that ensures your business processes are supported with a technology that is always up-to-date. A cloud based system also provides ease of access across the globe. In the case of cloud adoption, there are two factors that businesses need to consider — the ability to change (internal clock) and the pressure to change (external clock). As your ability to change and pressure to change become higher and more urgent, the more strategic the change becomes. To create a complete cloud transformation, businesses need a high combination of both to reap a higher reward.   Different businesses/ teams will change/ transform in different ways, based on their ability to change and the pressure to change   Building an End-to-End Mindset   The majority of the webinar was focused on discussing how change management approaches have been evolving. A company’s ability to change is the biggest factor in achieving a digital transformation and without it, that said transformation might end-up being IT project and not delivering transformative results. The discussion here was about how most organizations struggle with strategy execution.   Businesses are struggling to execute strategy   We talked about how the modern approaches can affect change communication programmes – 1.             Can be executed in weeks rather than months with massive global scale 2.             And more importantly, rely on effective employee buy-in     Building a Learning Organisation   The webinar then explored various ways the learning programmes are run and how the modern approach, featuring new concepts like Guided Learning Journeys, are building organizational capabilities. In supply chain, that means developing end-to-end mindsets, building integrated supply networks, and creating a supply chain strategy that puts a company on a trajectory of industry leadership. All of these depend on creating a virtuous cycle of organization learning where supply chain teams continually learn and adjust their working relationship.   Different outcomes require different learning journeys   Structured dialogue, a discipline for collective learning and inquiry, becomes a principle tool of successful change. It helps groups develop shared understanding and shared meaning so that they develop collective ways of thinking and acting.     Finally, we looked at analyzing and leveraging data from structured dialogues to gain insight into how people truly feel. We found that it dramatically improves engagement effectiveness by creating a safe and open space for discussion. The analysis guides senior leaders to make real-time course corrections that improve change initiative success rates.     We delve deeper into these new strategies that companies are using to improve their change management approach in our recorded webinar. Don’t hesitate to reach-out to me or Alan for any additional questions.   To view the full webinar, click here.   About the authors: Vikram is strategy director for the commercial sector in the UK. He helps business leaders leverage technology to deliver better outcomes for their organizations. He has over 20 years’ experience in the technology sector, including deploying digital transformation programmes for Fortune 500 firms. He is a big advocate of design thinking as a structured approach to manage cultural change and align the organization around the customer. He is currently responsible for defining and executing the go-to-market strategy for Oracle ERP/EPM/SCM Cloud including emerging technologies. Vikram has an MBA from Warwick Business School and graduated from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Delhi, India.   Alan Todd, Founder and CEO of CorpU, is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on strategy and leadership.  A former Inc. Magazine/Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Todd’s writing and commentary have appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, and Wired, and his insights are routinely solicited from Fortune 1000 companies like Walmart, Coca-Cola, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson. His technical innovations in Strategy Activation are powering global growth for companies with combined annual revenues of over $1 trillion.  

  By Vikram Singla, Director, Strategy and Business Development    Supply chains have become significantly important to deliver business strategy today as they are responsible to ensure that the...

AI Apps for Supply Chain

3 Technologies Oracle CEO Mark Hurd Sees Reshaping The Supply Chain

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing The progress of the industrial era can often be tracked against improvements to supply chain management. To use one prominent example, early weavers had no scale and no distribution channels beyond their local storefronts. Scaling up the weaving supply chain and its distribution channels, moving from single-location artisan weavers to factories and shipping routes, helped create the modern industrial era. This scaling-up also produced the first notable anti-technology backlash: the Luddite movement. But the Luddites’ protests against their lost jobs seem quaint today. The world is enjoying the best economic period in recorded history. More people are working and escaping poverty today than ever before. The future looks to be stronger and more streamlined than ever, thanks to new technologies that have just begun to conquer the modern supply chain. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd speaks in many venues about the long-term economic and societal benefits of a more technologized supply chain. Specifically, he often highlights three key technologies set to propel the connected supply chain into the future: the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. The Internet of Things Hurd was an early proponent of the Internet of Things (IoT). In early 2014, he wrote a LinkedIn Influencer article highlighting the IoT as one of three elements in the “perfect storm” that he saw changing the framework of CEOs’ jobs. He took — and continues to take — a humanistic approach to utilizing IoT devices, saying, “I’m convinced that we’ll need dramatically different organizational structures, decision-making models, risk-management profiles and reward systems” to address the vast quantities of data the IoT-connected supply chain will generate. Later that year, Hurd clarified his approach to IoT in a follow-up article; the Internet of Things, he said, is really the “Internet of People.” In 2016, global marketing intelligence firm IDC projected that 60 percent of global manufacturers would analyze the data created by IoT devices in the connected supply chain to find new ways to optimize processes and streamline operations. The application of analytics to IoT-generated data, according to the report, would produce a 15 percent improvement in supply chain performance. Hurd’s people-first approach to IoT use reflects his belief that connected supply chains will need talented personnel to find the value in torrents of data. “Home appliances, food, industrial equipment, pets, pharmaceutical products, pallets, cars, luggage, packaged goods, athletic equipment, even clothing will be streaming data,” he said. “Some data will provide important information about how to run our businesses and lead healthier lives. Much of it will be extraneous.” Last October, Oracle’s DataScience business published an article on the ways IoT will reinvent supply chain management. If you’d like to learn more about specific IoT applications in the supply chain, click here to read the article. Artificial intelligence As Hurd said of IoT data, “much of it will be extraneous.” However, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for humans to sift through the volume to find value. At Oracle OpenWorld 2018, Hurd expounded on the need for AI to provide the first step from data to actionable insight: “The amount of data that companies have is beyond the ability for even the most sophisticated data scientist to take advantage of. Not true of machine learning. The opportunity to turn all of that data into knowledge, the ability to turn that into information that helps you sell more and save more — AI will affect both.” In 2017, consulting firm McKinsey found the logistics side of supply chains was divided into haves and have-nots. That is to say, the logistics companies that have adopted AI enjoyed profit margins of 5 percent or more, while those companies that have not yet adopted AI are now losing money every year. One prominent example of AI-driven cost savings comes from UPS, which estimates its AI-powered GPS tool can shave 100 million miles off the total distance its drivers travel on routes each year. In the future, UPS may use AI-powered self-driving trucks to complete the last mile of the supply chain. This would close the loop, so to speak, as many manufacturers turned to AI, and AI-powered industrial robots, to optimize and control their production lines years ago. Oracle already integrates AI throughout its supply chain products. Hurd often emphasizes this approach, stating at OpenWorld 2018, “We see AI as a core feature that will get embedded into virtually every solution, every application. It'll have two major impacts... Productivity on one side, innovation on the other.” Blockchain AI isn’t the only technology Hurd expects to see integrated into supply chain management systems. At OpenWorld 2018, he predicted, “by 2025, all cloud apps will include AI, [and] the same will be true of blockchain.” Blockchain, according to Hurd, is another way to reduce the repetitive manual tasks common throughout supply chain systems. His OpenWorld 2018 keynote covered a number of inefficiencies set to be eliminated by greater automation and superior tracking through blockchains. “65 percent of [supply chain] managers,” he said, “spend their time manually tracking the shipment of goods... I think Blockchain is a feature of virtually all applications that will make sense for it to be applied [to] for the exchange of secure information.” Blockchain’s ability to bring transparency and traceability to the supply chain is recognized by business professionals and government entities around the world. For example, the Nigerian Customs Service is now using blockchain technology to pair sourcing data with their products, building consumer trust. “We found the entire business environment can be migrated to blockchain to automate processes and create transparency and predictability,” said Aber T. Benjamin, Assistant Comptroller General Modernization, Nigeria Customs Service. Combining blockchain with IoT devices can create supply chains in which every input, output, package, and container are tracked along every step of the way from the factory floor to a consumer’s door, across countries and borders. Not only could supply chain managers gain real-time visibility into the movement of products through their systems, but consumers would also be able to verify the provenance of their purchases, eliminating uncertainty over product origins and making it easier to manage product recalls and track spoiled products back to their source. Walmart, for example, uses blockchain systems to track every chicken in the more than 300 poultry farms it operates, which are spread across 25 countries. If a problem is found with a batch of chicken, Walmart could use its blockchain to quickly identify the batch’s origins and prevent widespread contamination. Mark Hurd believes these three technologies will bring major change, and real improvements, to supply chains worldwide. Do you agree? What other technologies could you see transforming tomorrow’s supply chain?

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing The progress of the industrial era can often be tracked against improvements to supply chain management. To use one prominent example, early weavers...

Supply Chain Management

Accelerate Innovation and Agility Across your Supply Chain

In today’s society, supply chains have become more important than ever before. Legacy on-premises supply chain systems tend to be siloed between functions and processes, not allowing for complete oversight into each individual process and how they all interconnect. Our solution helps to take away the grey area and guesswork. Businesses now have visibility across their supply chains, and the ability to anticipate issues and to fix them before they become a real problem. This allows businesses the flexibility to redirect resources if necessary to continually provide customers the service level that they demand. Oracle SCM Cloud is a seamless end-to-end supply chain management solution that allows businesses to make better decisions, faster so they can focus their energy on providing their customers outstanding experiences.    And with customization becoming an increased focus for companies, Oracle SCM Cloud also has the tools available to help businesses meet their needs. Among those tools are integrated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities. As individual companies have their own intricacies, it is important for SCM systems to be able to adapt and conform to exact specifications needed.      AI and ML have become loaded buzzwords in the industry, but what does that actually mean for the modern supply chain? Here at Oracle, we have integrated artificial intelligence into our applications to help solve those mundane tasks and allow our customers to focus on the more strategic and impactful activities. Using intelligent automation software, Oracle customers are able to identify best-fit suppliers, optimize inventory, and leverage supplier history to keep any business running smoothly and efficiently. Oracle SCM Cloud has breadth and depth that provides both summary and deep-dive, real-time views into supply chains. AI and ML allow businesses to have the ability to have a unified view of their supply chain and update/manage their inventory while avoiding unwanted downtime. Our users are empowered to align their products and sales and services to create one complete supply chain strategy.    Overall speed, precision and flexibility are key drivers of customer satisfaction. Oracle gives businesses control and visibility into the entire supply chain process from order to manufacturing, logistics to delivery, and finally through the payment process. Oracle SCM Cloud takes your technology from a linear supply chain of yesterday to the always connected supply chain of today. We offer scalability and innovation that customers can trust will keep them ahead of their competitors.   Are you ready for the SCM Cloud of tomorrow? Check out our eBook to learn how to Accelerate Innovation and Agility Across your Supply Chain here.            

In today’s society, supply chains have become more important than ever before. Legacy on-premises supply chain systems tend to be siloed between functions and processes, not allowing for complete...


Top Takeaways: What the Analysts are Saying After Modern Business Experience

Now that the smoke has cleared after Modern Business Experience, Oracle SCM, PLM, ERP and HCM’s new flagship event, many research and analyst firms have been keen to divulge their assessments. Their outside perspective not only shows an in depth analysis of Oracle’s commitment to their customers success across the organization, but also how Oracle is delivering new industry fit technology and solutions that match tomorrow’s business needs. Tom Comstock, a principal analyst from LNS Research, wrote, “Oracle has rewritten its supply chain, ERP, and HR applications from the ground up to maximize performance in the Cloud.  Oracle quietly became the first company to have a comprehensive Supply Chain solution in the Cloud”. He went on to mention that “The fundamental advantage of moving to the Cloud was innovation and the speed of innovation” and “several Oracle presenters noted that cost savings were not the primary driver for a Cloud deployment but instead it was innovation”. Furthermore, Comstock ended by stating, “the real story is its Quality 4.0 tech. Oracle has launched a Global Traceability and Track solution, IoT Production App, Connected Innovation App, Connected Experience App, and Adaptive Digital Manufacturing solution. These Apps provide scalable approaches to deliver many Quality 4.0 use cases, include predictive quality in manufacturing, and digital voice of the customer connected back to product requirements and product definition…Oracle’s robust approaches in this area will ease the transition to Quality 4.0 for the next generation of adopters. All in all, LNS views Oracle as a solid partner for companies on their Industrial Transformation journey well beyond their apparent capabilities in the Cloud.” In addition to LNS Research, CIMdata, a leading PLM research and analyst consulting company, released their post-event commentary which highlights the key capabilities of Oracle PLM and SCM Cloud solutions and emphasizes the importance of having a digitally connected innovation platform. CIMdata writes, Oracle’s “vision of Digitally Connected PLM is coming to fruition” and “They have some good customer stories to date, with big names putting their businesses in Oracle’s hands and on their cloud.” The importance of the digital thread and having a completely connected digital supply chain are clear takeaways from CIMdata’s piece. They explain that Oracle’s “digital thread extends from the fuzzy frontend of innovation, supported by Oracle Innovation Management Cloud, all the way to fielded connected products/assets and back. In developing their Oracle Quality Management Cloud offering, Oracle brought together the development teams from Oracle Agile PLM, Oracle E-Business Suite, and other Oracle enterprise applications to ensure that the new cloud-native offering could meet or exceed the capabilities of their existing on-premise solutions.” They go on to note that Oracle "also extended Oracle Quality Management Cloud to span product development, change management, IoT, AI/ML, inspection processes, manufacturing, supplier management, and monitoring the voice of the customer using Oracle Social Cloud for sentiment monitoring. This will help Oracle connect the digital thread from idea through life and provide feedback that can enhance continuous improvement activities.” It’s quite apparent that Modern Business Experience showcased how industry fit technology and solutions are allowing companies of all sizes to adapt and thrive in the digital age.  If you missed the chance to attend the event, don’t worry! You can catch a recap of some of the great content here. If you’re looking for more information on Oracle PLM and SCM solutions, visit oracle.com/SCM and oracle.com/PLM. Check out these other Supply Chain blogs you may find interesting: Your Innovation Platform for the Digital Thread The Oracle PLM to Cloud Strategy Combine IoT and PLM to tie the Digital Thread What is SCM and Why is it Important?

Now that the smoke has cleared after Modern Business Experience, Oracle SCM, PLM, ERP and HCM’s new flagship event, many research and analyst firms have been keen to divulge their assessments. Their...


A Look Back at Oracle Modern Business Experience 2019

By Jeff Stiles, VP, SCM Product Marketing   It was great to meet many customers and partners at Oracle Modern Business Experience in Las Vegas last month!  The event was immersion, supersaturation, and an affirmation of the value Oracle Cloud Applications deliver today as well as the massive opportunity we have ahead of us.   Media and influencer coverage of the event, such as Bob Ferrari’s thorough four-part highlights series, provide a much broader view than I can offer. So instead, I’ll try to share what I learned as a long-time industry veteran who only recently (re)joined Oracle to lead the SCM Product Marketing team (I spent years at PeopleSoft and was part for Oracle for a short time after the acquisition). For me, highlights included Jon Chorley’s customer panel featuring GE, TCF Bank, Western Digital and TaylorMade; Geoffrey Moore’s conversation with Juergen Lindner about Crossing the Digital Chasm: Digital Superstars vs. Digital Laggards; celebrating the Supply Chain Excellence award winners, and of course, business inspiration from Magic Johnson.  What a shining light! It was also inspiring to hear Steve Miranda’s take on Why Oracle, Why Now. Speaking of “Why Now”, talking with and hearing customer stories about their cloud journeys highlighted very different business situations that sparked and led to distinct adoption patterns.  One catalyst was M&A. For example, an acquisitive company might focus first on the need to quickly onboard people and drive out cost by standardizing operational processes. But, then expand the focus to managing expenses and procurement across the business. Several customers talked about being held back by aging, extensively customized systems and the urgent need for agility to manage change in their industries and business models.   Several others described their approach as ‘outside in’; focusing on areas like procurement where their aging on-premises systems just don’t serve them well enough. Jon Reed’s coverage of Sportable Scoreboards highlights a company building its future with Oracle Cloud Applications.  Great advice in there regarding the importance of quick, continuous wins (hitting singles?) and for effectively managing the ongoing change as different functions or areas of the business adopt cloud solutions. Another highlight was the launch of Oracle Service Logistics Cloud, which connects customer experience, field service, and supply chain operations within a single integrated cloud solution.  Customers are now able to optimize replacement part availability and meet service level agreements by ordering and shipping parts directly to their customer’s site and field technicians, managing technician “trunk stock” and increasing the accuracy of service delivery and billing.  Most importantly, this solution provides a single consistent service experience throughout the entire issue resolution process. If you were at MBX, I hope you had a chance to see and experience demonstrations showcasing how Oracle Cloud Applications work across the enterprise and value chain.  Pretty impressive stuff that more people need to know about.  My own “Why Oracle, Why Now” experience when I was contemplating joining the company, started with learning about the breadth and depth of the Oracle Cloud offering. Frankly, I had no idea what a competitive differentiator and advantage this represented until I took it upon myself to do some research after friends and former colleagues reached out asking me to consider joining.  Note to self:  we have work to do to help more people understand “Why Oracle?”. On that topic, there’s a lot of cool, cutting edge stuff enabled by embedding technologies like digital assistants, IoT, machine learning and blockchain directly into the context of business processes or functions.  I’m not hyping, but do like Oracle’s approach of focusing on the applied value of technology. The other thing that’s interesting about this generation of business software is that with embedded machine learning and digital assistants the system continually learns and improves in how it serves you.  That’s what we expect as consumers and we should have the same expectation in running our business. Seeing all of this in action at MBX and hearing the very human stories of customers gives me great confidence that I made the right choice to join Oracle at an opportune time.  It also gives me great hope for how we and our partners can help customers thrive and adapt to the only accelerating constant I know:  Change.  Modern Business Experience gave us all a glimpse of the art of the possible and hopefully, spurred many of you to identify concrete next steps in your journey to Oracle Cloud Applications.  We have the best and deepest cloud portfolio in the business and I look forward to meeting and working with many of you along the way.    

By Jeff Stiles, VP, SCM Product Marketing   It was great to meet many customers and partners at Oracle Modern Business Experience in Las Vegas last month!  The event was immersion, supersaturation, and...

AI Apps for Manufacturing

AI Apps for Manufacturing Strategy Council Highlights at Oracle MBX 2019

AI Apps for Manufacturing Strategy Council Oracle Modern Business Experience (MBX) is an Oracle conference that was held March 19-21 in Las Vegas. Unlike Oracle Open World in San Francisco which covers database, technology, and applications, MBX is solely focused on financial, supply chain, and human resource software applications that is needed to run global and local enterprises. At MBX, the AI Apps for Manufacturing Strategy Council was held at 9AM on Tuesday. Despite the early start, the room was packed by 9:30AM, and was standing room soon afterwards for nearly the entire session.  A scan of attendees reveal that over 25 companies from diverse industries including: high technology aviation transportation renewal energies industrial equipment steel processing and manufacturing electronic components building material consumer goods semiconductor   Manufacturing Latching on to Industry 4.0 Industry 4.0, aka Smart Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing, or Intelligent Manufacturing, is defined in this 2013 document from Germany's National Academy of Science and Engineering.  Fast forward to 2019, and that document might look quite different. Today’s version of Industry 4.0 might include these technologies that were either nascent or not even invented back in 2013: 1) A/R, V/R 2) Big Data 3) Mobile 4) Artificial Intelligence 5) Cloud 6) Computer Vision 7) 3D/4D Additive Printing 8) Digital Thread 9) Block Chain. At the AI Apps for Manufacturing Strategy Council, we surveyed the current level of  Industry 4.0 technology adoption, and the results were mixed. Some already had implemented Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors, storage systems (Historian), some form of analytics (embedded or external), and some even implementing a mild form of “remote” or “lights out” manufacturing.  But most are looking to build their next factory with Industry 4.0 as a key requirement.   AI and Machine Learning: The Next Focus for Industry 4.0 Whilst the adoption of components of Industry 4.0 is already underway, the adoption of AI and Machine Learning has not kept up with the adoption of PLC, MES, and IoT. Operational Technology (OT) data, the generic category name for IoT data, has been “easy” to collect. But much of that data is stuck in data siloes such as Historian or MES systems, where the data sits and rots. The path to extracting this data has not be a high priority, unmotivated by what these data can reveal. But AI and ML now is coming to the rescue. With these technologies, previous siloed OT data can be mined to reveal deep insights about manufacturing that were previously difficult.     Core Features in Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing is a machine learning powered analytics application tuned specifically for manufacturing. The application sits on top of a built-in datalake.  This datalake was designed to connect to heterogeneous systems: both live Operational Technology (OT) and business centric Information Technology (IT).  What makes Oracle’s application unique is that it is specifically tailored for manufacturing. So typical manufacturing data schema is already mapped into templates, making adopting AI for manufacturing much easier. Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing has four major features that uniquely enables manufacturing organizations to monitor, control, and impact manufacturing. Insights: Explore machine learning driven patterns and correlations from historical manufacturing big data that affect operation efficiencies. Factory Command Center: 360 degree view of operations across manpower, machines, materials, methods, and management. Genealogy & Trace: View backward and forward trace of products from disparate operations and informational technology systems spanning manufacturing and supply chain processes. Predictions: Review predictive alerts and influencing factors about operational metrics such as yield, defects, rework, scape, cycle time, costs, etc – to enable timely corrective actions.       Strawberry Jam Factory Live Demonstration At the Strategy Council, a live demo of AI Apps for Manufacturing on a strawberry jam manufacturing was shown.  Jam consistency is one of the main qualities consumers expect in a jam. But multiple factors impact the consistency of jam. In the demo, we showed that: Factory Command Center: gives you a real time view of your jam manufacturing, using the 5M framework across manpower, machines, materials, methods, and management. Genealogy & Trace: a bad batch of strawberries is easily traced upstream (to the supplier) and downstream (to stores that has jam made from the bad batch of strawberries). Predictions: an oven is starting to exceed the upper limit of operating temperature range, which will produce sticky jam consistency; an alert is generated to fix the oven BEFORE the bad jam is produced Insights: contextualize OT data with IT data, then find deep patterns and correlations (such as a combination of operator, machine, and time) that contribute to low output or bad yield   Conclusion In a standing room only session, the presence of diverse types of companies and the varied depth of adoption of Industry 4.0 has shown that AI and Machine Learning is the next big thing for manufacturing.  For more information on Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing, please visit https://cloud.oracle.com/ai-apps-for-manufacturing

AI Apps for Manufacturing Strategy Council Oracle Modern Business Experience (MBX) is an Oracle conference that was held March 19-21 in Las Vegas. Unlike Oracle Open World in San Francisco which covers...

Supply Chain Management

Hach Connects Its Global Supply Chain to Boost Customer Experience

By Ankit Tiwari, Director, Supply Chain Consulting, Tata Consultancy Services Most companies strive to be “customer centric” but few consider how their supply chain can contribute to their customer focus. The fact is, your supply chain – that part of your business that makes and delivers products – plays a huge role in your customers’ experience. A case in point is Hach, a leading water quality instrument and reagents manufacturer based in Colorado. Hach’s customers include local and regional municipalities, water-processing authorities, and other organizations in dozens of countries around the world. Addressing a complex global network From the factory to the end customer, Hach’s supply chain can be five to seven levels deep. “Our supply chain is long and very complex,” says Nate Barrett, Senior Manager, Order Manager, North and Latin America, with Hach. “Sometimes we can lose visibility into the direct connection to some of our customers. This was the single biggest challenge we were trying to combat.” Adding to the complexity, each of Hach’s warehouses and distributors around the globe created its own demand and supply chain plans and followed different planning cadences and processes. As a result, information wasn’t consistently shared across the entire supply chain, and getting a consolidated view of the company’s supply chain was time consuming. Poor visibility into customer demand and product availability can create distribution bottlenecks that leave the customer waiting. For example, Hach was sometimes challenged to distinguish between an end-customer eager to take delivery of a product and a warehouse simply putting in buffer stock. To make sure customers weren’t disappointed, the company had to spend more on air freight and expediting fees. “Anytime it’s just reactive, that drives costs,” Nate told us. “This was money the company didn't need to be spending.” Bringing visibility in the cloud Simply put, Hach needed a way to bring greater visibility and rationality to its supply chain operation. That’s when it teamed with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to help implement a modern cloud-based demand planning and supply chain management system. “TCS knew about our business,” Nate says. “They are helping us take that journey from reactive to proactive planning.” Hach and TCS chose to pursue a new solution using Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud applications for demand management and supply chain planning, including Oracle Planning Central Cloud. The cloud solution will largely replace the company’s on-premises ERP applications previously used for demand management and planning. In workshops Hach saw first-hand what Oracle Planning Central could do to streamline planning operations and then modeled their supply chain to show how information flows from one place to another. Hach liked what it saw. Says Nate: “Planning Central is way more sophisticated than our legacy on-prem ERP.” With operations spanning continents, Hach chose to introduce the cloud solution region by region, starting with its North American manufacturing operations, followed by sites in Asia, Europe and potentially South and Central America. Eventually the supply chain planning platform will encompass dozens of countries and thousands of products. Standardization drives scalability Focused on providing industry-leading best practices around demand management and supply chain planning, we helped Hach think through critical strategy and design decisions in order to harmonize operational data and eliminate discrepancies across disparate sites.  Early in the project, we advised the company to minimize customizations and adopt many of the industry-standard processes embedded in the solution’s core. Standardization would help Hach scale the platform because it wouldn’t need to build customized logic for every unique situation. Using visual project management techniques to map out the project plan, assess the potential risks involved, and mitigate them upfront, we designed and ran a series of scenarios to gauge how well the new system would respond to changing supply and demand conditions in the real world. The tests helped fine tune the cloud solution to maximize its accuracy and usefulness. “We kept ourselves flexible to adjust the path forward,” explains Michelle Brehmer, project manager at Hach. “Sometimes we thought we needed to take a left but discovered during the pilot that it was better to take a right.” Transforming the customer experience This month Hach goes live with the first phase of its Oracle Cloud platform. The company is now poised to reap the benefits of a more tightly integrated and transparent supply chain. The Oracle SCM Cloud solution will provide Hach with the long-run ability to develop a single, global sales and operations planning (S&OP) process to drive profitability, optimize the customer experience, and drive enterprise productivity. “Connecting a true demand plan into a supply chain creates more stability in our supply chain and allows us to make better decisions,” Nate says. “Now we can really see where customers are potentially going to have a problem and avert it ahead of time.” Hach expects the new planning platform to make it easier to manage its increasingly complex compliance requirements, including new product labeling mandates that fall under the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals – or GHS. The strict standards call for country-specific product labeling – and that will require more accurate inventory planning. The company also hopes to replace more of its home-grown applications with capabilities within the Oracle solution, saving money and boosting its reporting capabilities. Hach’s customers – from municipalities to beverage companies – will also benefit as the company leverages its new cloud-based planning system to better fulfill their needs. “We should really see significant improvement in customer experience,” Nate says. Visit Oracle’s Modern Business Experience conference in Las Vegas, March 19-21, to hear from Hach and TCS, and learn more about how to utilize cloud capabilities to plan, monitor and respond to customer demand with a cloud-based global supply chain.

By Ankit Tiwari, Director, Supply Chain Consulting, Tata Consultancy Services Most companies strive to be “customer centric” but few consider how their supply chain can contribute to their customer...

Supply Chain Management

6 Reasons Why Supply Chain Leaders are Moving to the Cloud

Today’s business landscapes have changed, and supply chains are a big reason why. From drop shipping to digital twins, there are many ways that cloud-based supply chain management applications have cut costs and improved efficiency. Today’s supply chain leaders see the value of having a comprehensive view of data across their supply chain management systems, and they are enjoying the benefit of being able to respond to problems in real time. Our SCM team has put together an easy-to-understand white paper that identifies six top reasons how companies can benefit from a move to the cloud. Read all about them here and download the white paper for more information.     Design            In the modern social media society, a reputation can get ruined with one small mishap. The way a business’s supply chain system is designed has a big impact on how it will perform in the marketplace. With new cloud-based solutions, businesses are able to see end-to-end and have complete visibility into their data. With a comprehensive view, they are able to analyze strategic data to drive innovation. Products like Oracle Innovation Management Cloud allows business leaders to vet ideas and run analytics to see which products have the most potential in the marketplace before and during their creation.   Order            Order management has never been so important. With e-commerce businesses like Amazon introducing two-day, one-day, and same-day shipping, customers have higher service expectations than ever before. Pulling off a multinational supply chain is made easier when moving to the cloud. With cloud solutions, businesses (and customers) are able to have insight into their order process for its entire journey. The ability to see everything in one place also allows companies the flexibility to react to errors or delays and deliver personalized service on a global scale.     Plan            Another important aspect of a business is balancing supply and demand. Cloud-based planning systems connect what was once (potentially) inaccurate manual process and disparate systems into one. Because the systems talk to each other, businesses are able to pull important KPI’s to “plan at the speed of demand”. Now, businesses are able to take highly predictive insights to adapt to changes such as late orders and material shortages. These systems also give suggestions on how these hiccups could make as little of an impact as possible.   Source            According to The Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2017, “79% of CPO’s cite reducing costs as their number one priority”. Procurement in the cloud gives visibility to every process, including spend compliance, contract enforcements with outside vendors, and supplier performance. It allows businesses to simplify their operations and cut costs where they previously had no insight. All of this together allows companies to streamline their source-to-settle process to achieve higher profits.   Make            Manufacturing often goes hand in hand with planning, but many organizations don’t have these systems connected. Without the connectivity, businesses are unable to have complete and accurate data on supply and demand, nor are they able to understand the true cost of their operations. Connecting a cloud manufacturing system with a cloud planning system allows full visibility into all areas of production. With the integration of Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence into these prodcuts, manufacturing is being revolutionized in the cloud by allowing businesses to react to disruption and changing markets. These emerging technology empowers businesses by correlating and analyzing the right data at the right time.   Deliver            Delivery used to be a simple process, but with globalization, it no longer is. Businesses are forced to have fast services, while being carrier-friendly, and also cost-efficient. These complex processes are solved with the visibility enabled by cloud-based logistics management. Managers are able to see where their transportation and goods are at all times. Oracle enables businesses the visibility into how transportation impacts cost-to-serve and profitable-to-serve metrics. They are now able to cope with the dynamic demands of a modern supply chain, improving efficiency, reducing costs and ensuring compliance.   In the next few years, most business leaders are transforming their legacy on-premises SCM systems in part or fully to the cloud. Regardless of which application, the cloud allows for full visibility of all functions as well as connects many siloed system into one complete view. With the inclusion of new emerging technology, companies can now use its predictive analytical capabilities to maximize their supply for the demand as well as become a real competitor in their industry. The cloud is bringing real efficiency and cost reductions to businesses while allowing them to improve insights and KPI’s than ever before.   Are you ready to make the jump? Read more in our new white paper, “Why Supply Chain Leaders Are Moving to the Cloud: Six Top Reasons”. ​

Today’s business landscapes have changed, and supply chains are a big reason why. From drop shipping to digital twins, there are many ways that cloud-based supply chain management applications have...