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

Recent Posts

IoT for Supply Chain

Back-to-Basics Security During the Not-so-Basic IoT Era

In this period of social distancing, our “smart” connected IoT devices are helping us in ways we never imagined. For example, voice assistants now help people navigate guidelines from vetted sources to assess COVID risk and symptoms, and telehealth apps and triage chatbots are further guiding evaluations. In a growing effort to keep surfaces clean and hands-free, there has been a boon to smart home voice control of things we now look at as “surfaces”: TV remotes, light switches, thermostats, door locks, security cameras, TVs, DVRs, A/C/heating units, and refrigerators. This has created a complex web of connectivity among IoT devices labeled “smart” despite their security and privacy vulnerabilities. We should heed FBI warnings and articles about drive-by hacking of “things,” and think about the data entry points we create— not only for hackers, but manufacturers, app developers and anyone who might want to eavesdrop and violate the sanctuary of our homes during these times of crisis. The issue extends to healthcare and other industries implementing the IoT for efficiencies. For example, healthcare devices have been found to be more vulnerable now than ever. Gartner estimates there will be about 25 billion connected things by 2021. As IoT “things” get coopted into botnets, bad actors can prey on embedded electronics, opening paths of entry for connected-appliance cyberattacks. They infiltrate “simple” devices without detection and gain access to the more important smart phones and computer networks they know connect to more coveted networks and devices. During our time of socially distanced work and personal life, it’s important that we all get “back to basics,” slowing down to ask the logical questions about security, such as: •    What problem does adding an IP address ‘here’ possibly open up? •    What malware and other vulnerabilities may my smart devices introduce to shared networks? •    As IoT is introduced to services, applications or products, what security fixes can go in at the same rate? Smart capabilities don’t have to lead to not-so-smart decisions at home as our personal and professional lives intersect. We just need to check that the things we use are designed to do what they are supposed to, plus incorporate the security we as customers and end users deserve. There’s no such thing as a “benign” environment, so we must all think every step of the way about how what we are using or doing opens the door to criminals that want to infiltrate, compromise and break things. While IT can design things with these criminals in mind, it’s also up to all of us to remember that the answer to technology-induced risk is not always “more technology,” but rather the basics of knowing the risks and vulnerabilities we potentially introduce when connecting in the IoT-driven world. Our basic responsibilities aren’t so basic anymore. Be sure to read our other security-related blogs here and also learn about 5G next-gen core security.  

In this period of social distancing, our “smart” connected IoT devices are helping us in ways we never imagined. For example, voice assistants now help people navigate guidelines from vetted sources...

Manufacturing

Webcast: Building a Resilient Semiconductor Supply Chain

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

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

Events

May 26 Webcast on Integrated Business Planning and Execution

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

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

Oracle Supply Chain Management

The Oracle PLM to Cloud Strategy

The Need for Continuous Innovation New technologies, products, services and business models evolve, so Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and product development must evolve, too. So, what is PLM and how is PLM different today? The industry has talked about PLM managing the enterprise product record for years. The reality is that traditional PLM systems only created a consolidated product development record, but data was still fragmented in many siloed applications and throughout product development, manufacturing, maintenance, quality management, and IoT…. Older PLM solutions weren’t designed to deliver the speed required to achieve Digital Transformation. Driving faster innovation means you have to think about how you can tightly link cross-functional engineering, development and quality teams with IT. This requires a new way of collaboration and data integration.  Companies looking to pursue their own Digital Transformation should first consider investing in a connected applications platform that manages the complexities of the enterprise product record.  Having access to reliable product data creates a new business architecture—one with a true enterprise product record for the digital thread delivering a complete 360-degree view of a product. This simplification provides you with visibility into the product changes, quality and business process flows that were once hard to keep track of. What is the Digital Thread? Find out in this blog and learn how PLM and IoT tie the Digital Thread to make Digital Transformations possible   Digitally Thread PLM across ERP, SCM, and CX PLM must become a Smart Connected Application (Platform) that can deliver the digital thread to support new business models. What companies find is that by integrating PLM with the insights found from analytics, IoT, and social data is the foundation of the connected enterprise—allowing for faster and more informed decisions. Oracle is the only Tier1 PLM provider making significant investments to deliver this holistic and connected, next-generation, Product Lifecycle Management system. This is what Oracle does differently. It delivers a unique value proposition because PLM, SCM, CX and ERP are all on a single platform with a unified data model and they all scale with the pace of your business. It is not centered purely around the capabilities of the product itself anymore, but around the supply chain and customer. This new evolution of PLM that manages the digital thread can be called PLM 4.0. Your Foundation for On-Premises to Cloud  Oracle has established the foundation for organizations looking to go from on-premise to the cloud. With our customer first approach, we have built best-in-class Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) applications so you no longer need to staff an entire IT department for new product introductions (NPI) and product launches. With a true SaaS deployment, the cost is stable and the value of the investment always increases as we continue to add more innovation and capabilities into the Application Services. True to our approach, we will always continue to deliver the next generation of PLM software as it evolves. This smarter connectivity will only make it easier for you to adopt new business models like Product-as-a-Service and transition to Industry 4.0 (you can watch the video of how that is done here). Because of the unified data model, Oracle PLM Cloud technology comes with built in analytics enhanced by technologies such as adaptive intelligent (AI) apps to plug machine learning into your decisions and digital assistants that can speed up product development. Ultimately, this means you can streamline the development of connected products and services. Agile PLM Customers, You are Safe Oracle has a longstanding commitment to making each individual customer successful. Critical to this initiative is our continued support of our Agile PLM customers–not just for today, but for a lifetime, as part of our Oracle Lifetime Support Policy. Our customers enjoy the benefits of the industry’s most comprehensive support coverage, which provides major product and technology releases, 24x7 assistance with service requests, access to My Oracle Support including Knowledge Base, and much more. The Oracle Applications Unlimited program is Oracle's promise to continuously innovate it’s current applications while also delivering the next generation of Cloud applications. You also have access to Oracle’s product roadmap to plan upgrades, allocate resources, and secure budgets so you can tailor your business and IT strategy, enjoy reduced downtime, shorter upgrade cycles, and proven upgrade paths and methodologies. What we previously announced at Modern Business Experience was the continuation of our customer commitment with a new release model. In the past, we have delivered a new release of Agile PLM in a 9-12 month cadence. But we have switched from a waterfall development process with yearly releases to an agile sprint/scrum model for both Agile PLM and Oracle PLM Cloud. Agile PLM is now on a 2 month sprint cycle and we will release enhancements and bug fixes every 2 months in what we are calling “release roll ups” − this is very similar to what we called service packs in the past. Oracle PLM Cloud will now be on a 3-4 month sprint cycle with 3 or 4 code drops or releases per year. This change enables simplified development, quality assurance and faster innovation cycles. The end results − better code quality and support by enabling development and QA to focus “where it matters” in order to benefit our customers. But it is Not Simply an “Either” – “Or” Oracle provides a flexible path to the cloud. We make it easy to augment existing Agile PLM installs with added value from PLM Cloud: Adding Innovation Management capabilities in PLM Cloud to Agile PLM provides ideation, requirements management and traceability, and portfolio management. Adding Product Hub Cloud to Agile PLM provides as single unified item master to your existing PLM/ERP solution forming the digital foundation for a migration to your next generation PLM. Product Hub Cloud simplifies your product master data management (PMDM) practices and also bridges the gap between product development and the downstream processes while adding layers of governance. These appropriate out-of-the-box integrations are available. Yet, if you’re a net new Oracle PLM Customer, we suggest you onboard PLM Cloud directly for quick return on innovation. Together with our partners, we are well equipped to support our customers in any stage of their Digital Transformation. We have the migration tools to move from Agile PLM to PLM Cloud, and we have the integrations if you want to co-exist. Our partners have built extensions on the same platform and use our PaaS to handle advanced use cases: Inspirage has built a solution for Governance and Compliance, Kalypso has built an extension to manage recipe formulations, and XPLM has built integrations from PLM Cloud to MS Office and CAD such as SolidWorks, Creo, SolidEdge, AutoCAD, Inventor, CATIA, or NX – just to name a few. The guiding principles of Oracle’s adaptive PLM are openness and choice, added value for our customers, simplicity and ease-of-use. With our open architecture, you can perform easy integrations to cloud, legacy or third-party systems. We will, as always, continue to put you, the customer, first.   If you’re interested in learning what the analysts say about Oracle PLM Cloud, read this ebook written by top PLM analyst firm CIMdata or watch the video. For more information about Oracle PLM, check the Oracle PLM Website.  

The Need for Continuous Innovation New technologies, products, services and business models evolve, so Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and product development must evolve, too. So, what is PLM and...

Manufacturing

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

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

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

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...

Events

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...

Logistics

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...

Manufacturing

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...

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....