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

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Logistics

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...

Events

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...

Events

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...

Events

Factories of the Future Are Closer Than You Think

By Scott Renner, Global Director of Industrial Manufacturing at Oracle   The changing nature of products and customer engagement in today’s evolving world is creating new industry segments and reinventing, sometimes even eliminating, others. In this fluid environment, manufacturers have become acutely aware of the risks of being left behind if they do not master emerging technologies. But manufacturers need a compelling reason based on business gains and/or competitive pressures in their markets to make this change. Manufacturing has also been slow, expensive to change, and disastrous when things go wrong. Factory infrastructure has historically required large investments with long capitalization periods. So why should companies start investing in the “factory of the future” now?   Customers want to get personal The need for instant gratification, personalization, and rising expectations of individualistic product attributes are pushing product engineering and manufacturing to new levels of customized complexity. The customer is changing what they want from products, how they want to consume them and what relationship they have with the manufacturers who produce them.             To maintain costs and product quality, manufacturers must increase their effectiveness by learning to combine factory automation with process flexibility. In the factory of the future, conversion processes need to go beyond automation and become autonomous. This new factory pushes past the simple replace labor with a machine scheme by deploying intelligent machines that will make decisions in more flexible and unstructured ways.   The Evolution of Factory Intelligence Many emerging technologies will be deployed to help create these enhanced capabilities. Artificial intelligence will develop so that it transforms our current understanding of product configuration, production scheduling, and real-time decision making for optimized profitability. Digital twin capabilities will evolve as the ultimate factory management tool, where the physicality of the factory is combined with past and current data attributes of product and process to assess impacts on throughput, quality or product/machine changeover. The sophistication of the digital twin becomes the instant-replay of production sequences for analysis. IIoT will be combined with 5G cellular connectivity to go beyond creating a central repository into data lake for analysis. Data shared amongst the machines turns into intelligence that ensure that manufacturing assets operate as a balanced system.            The need for manufacturing flexibility, responsiveness, and efficiency will also change the physicality of workspaces. Machines are now learning to work alongside human labor and their enhanced capabilities will be the foundation of the modular production facility where manufacturing processes can be configured on an order by order basis. Ultimately these dynamics and technical capabilities will create factories that can autonomously recognize demand, configure a production plan, assemble the necessary assets for the conversion of material and react to real time feedback within the factory ecosystem.   Product Innovation Will Depend on Advanced Environments The digitization of the economy is also changing the nature of products. Data will no longer be a by-product of the manufacturing process, but will become a co-product that delivers increasing economic value to both the customer and manufacturer. Physical, digital, and social capabilities become parts of the same product, inevitably increasing the complexity of the product design, builds, new systems, and collaboration with ecosystem partners.             Technical and economic breakthroughs in new materials will revolutionize product design and application and whole new industries will rise up to support them. The advanced digital nature of future products is a given, but their changing physical characteristics may have even more of a transformational impact on the manufacturing industry. The adoption of new material will be driven by the transitional need for product enhancements, environmental and energy efficiency forces — they will also create new market spaces for competitive entrants.             This is currently happening most acutely with additive manufacturing where the potential to revolutionize manufacturing is just beginning to be realized. Finding initial applications in prototyping, 3D printing will continue to migrate toward the center of production facilities and eventually be deployed in the heart of the manufacturing line. This will begin to create the most efficient just-in-time delivery possible and be a key enabler for product individualization.   Globalization Favors the Tech-savvy Globalization has been an economic dynamic that has affected manufacturing since WWII. Historically, globalization was mostly about international trade agreements; however, global access also meant lower labor rates. Since the 1970’s, factory assets and jobs have shifted to developing countries.   Today’s manufacturing environment is rapidly evolving from the goal of minimizing direct labor costs and maximizing the economies of scale, to the potential elimination of many direct labor costs and the maximization of market driven product customization. Cheap labor has stymied the investment in product capability for decades, but as the need to be closer to markets is becoming a prominent driving factor, manufacturing will slowly migrate away from large centralized factories and towards smaller more agile networked producing assets. The shrinking and redistribution of factory assets will simultaneously create repatriation of manufacturing to developed economies, and maintain/expand satellite facilities for markets abroad.   A Hyper-Connected Business The exponential adoption of advanced technologies presents a dizzy array of potential changes and investment demands for manufacturing in the years ahead. Huge datasets, AI and autonomous production will combine to execute complexity that extends beyond the human capacity to manage in real time. A virtual facsimile of the physical factory will become the interface to production as physical execution becomes increasingly removed from direct human management decisions and intervention.   The Future is Closer Than You Think The advanced factories of the near future have already begun their digital transformation and early adopters are beginning to create a competitive advantage. By investing in emerging technology, companies are creating technical expertise and critical digital transformation culture they need to succeed and thrive in the years ahead.   The future may look far off, but it will be here before we know it. Get a preview at Hannover Messe — Oracle, along with its partners Accenture, Bosch Rexroth, BISTel, Mitsubishi, Essentri, FESTO, GemDT, Inspirage and Promatis, will demonstrate it today.     This is a condensed version of a blog originally featured on the Manufacturing Leadership Council website. To view the full article, click here.

By Scott Renner, Global Director of Industrial Manufacturing at Oracle   The changing nature of products and customer engagement in today’s evolving world is creating new industry segments and...

Events

Oracle Procurement Cloud Sessions at Modern Business Experience 2019

Ana Galindo, Procurement Product Marketing Manager   It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! Of course, I am talking one of the most anticipated technology conferences, the Oracle Modern Business Experience. This year’s conference will kick off on March 19th- 21st at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. With MBX 2019 only a few weeks away, it’s time to start focusing on what you would like to get from the conference and plan out which sessions you would like to attend.  This year’s conference will bring finance, human resources, and supply chain professionals together as the Modern Supply Chain Experience, Modern Finance Experience, and Oracle HCM World have been combined into one annual event. If you are specifically interested in streamlining your procurement processes, reducing costs, and increasing productivity within your organization, be sure to check out the Procurement Cloud sessions at MBX 2019.  Some of the session topics include future product roadmaps and overview presentations on the Oracle Procurement Cloud suite. Hear success stories and case studies from current customers and partners to learn how they are transforming and delivering value to their procurement organizations. Still not sure which sessions you would like to attend? Below are some of the Oracle Procurement Cloud sessions you don’t want to miss: Tomorrow’s Procurement Today  (Tuesday, March 19, 3:00 PM - 3:50 PM) Modern procurement systems and business practices offer significant opportunities for cost savings, process improvement, and value creation for your organization. This session covers the key trends, best practices, and product strategies across Oracle’s procurement solutions. Strategic Procurement Case Study: TCF Bank (Wednesday, March 20, 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM) Using cloud solutions for procurement activities is nothing new, but strategic procurement solutions have evolved into collaborative platforms that deliver exponential benefits and manage risk. This case study session explores TCF Bank’s implementation of sourcing, contracts, and supplier qualification management cloud solutions, including the approach, lessons learned, and benefits achieved. Gaining Value with Supplier Collaboration Using Oracle Sourcing: A Case Study (Thursday, March 21, 10:05 AM – 10:55 AM) In this session learn about the opportunities and challenges that arose during the implementation of Oracle Sourcing at Sparton, a provider of sophisticated electromechanical devices for governmental entities and a range of industries. To support the Federal Acquisition Regulations System, the company utilizes a formal procurement process to manage supplier sourcing information. Hear how the company was able to move this previously siloed sourcing process to a real-time collaboration application that fully integrates with the entire procurement cycle. Oracle Procurement Cloud: Overview Strategy, and Roadmap (Wednesday, March 20, 4:15 PM – 5:05 PM) Oracle Procurement Cloud solutions continue to evolve and offer new capabilities to enable modern procurement practices. In this session learn how customers have adopted Oracle Procurement Cloud, and hear how planned improvements to sourcing, contracting, self-service procurement, purchasing, and supplier management can help deliver value to your organization. Oracle Procure to Pay Cloud Solutions Overview (Thursday, March 21, 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM) Oracle Procurement Cloud is leading the way with the most productive user experience across a breadth of features unmatched in the cloud. In this session see the latest updates in user experience and new capabilities that are dramatically improving productivity and adoption. Oracle Cloud: Supplier Management, Sourcing, and Contract Management Overview (Wednesday, March 20, 5:20 PM – 6:10 PM) This session examines approaches for supplier management, sourcing, and contracting processes in the cloud, such as managing supplier qualifications, negotiating with suppliers, authoring contracts, and managing supplier risk. See the latest developments in Oracle's solutions in these areas and hear about planned improvements to help deliver value to your organization. Case Study: Modern Procure to Pay in the Cloud (Wednesday, March 20, 11:40 AM – 12:30 PM) Optimizing the success of a procure to pay modernization project demands a thoughtful approach to managing people, processes, and technology. This session focuses on how Oracle Procurement Cloud solutions can deliver value to your organization and shares a success story that covers the approach, lessons learned, and achieved benefits. Phase Your Approach to Cloud: Start with Procurement Cloud (Thursday, March 21, 10:40 AM – 11:00 AM) In this session, CSS will identify reasons why our clients launched their Cloud journey with an implementation of Procurement Cloud. Understand why it's a good first foundational step, what return you can expect to see, what a typical timeline for implementation looks like and how effective procurement can transform your business. Not registered for MBX 2019? Don’t miss out on the technology event of the year and sign-up here today!  To learn more about Oracle Procurement Cloud, visit our page. See you in Las Vegas!

Ana Galindo, Procurement Product Marketing Manager   It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! Of course, I am talking one of the most anticipated technology conferences, the Oracle Modern...

Events

Take Logistics To The Next Level At MBX19

Are your late shipments keeping you up at night? Are you frustrated with customs paperwork that just keeps getting delayed? Have you always been curious about how augmented reality can help with your warehouse operations? Do you want to find ways to improve your logistics network and make it run more efficiently? Look no further, join us next month at the Oracle Modern Business Experience in Las Vegas and get your questions answered. The Oracle Modern Business Experience (MBX19) runs from March 19-21, 2019, and will offer educational sessions, panel discussions, and networking events revolving around core business functions such as finance, human resources, and supply chain. The Oracle Logistics Cloud sessions at MBX19 include a mix of product overview and roadmap sessions and customer success and business case sessions. This year, we’re also introducing some exciting new innovations that are going to help you run your supply chain processes more smoothly.   Bookmark the Logistics and Order Management Cloud MBX sessions guide to help plan your experience! Learn about our customers and partners as they share insights on why they chose Oracle Logistics Cloud, and their experiences on implementation. Some key sessions include:   Tomorrow’s Supply Chain Today: Logistics and Order Management in the Cloud This general session will give you an overview of Oracle's logistics and order management products and insights into the product roadmaps. In addition, hear firsthand from industry-leading organizations on how they are implementing their vision of the future supply chain with Oracle solutions. Logistics 4.0 - Realizing value through OTM and IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud Discover how “smart” logistics operations can make an impact in reducing core operational complexities for a large number of logistics companies. This flexible, hardware-agnostic platform connects all possible assets and are not limited to just sensors, items, containers, equipment, vehicles, and employees. Thus bringing greater operations efficiency throughout the logistics operations. How to Design and Operate a Resilient Logistics Network Changes, both unplanned and planned, are a constant in the supply chain. In this session learn how to design your supply chain to operate optimally, planning for both forecasted and unplanned disruptions using logistics network modeling (LNM), an intrinsic capability of Oracle Transportation Management Cloud. LNM allows you to quickly model changes to your network and analyzes for the optimal response using real-world operational data for complete accuracy. Leverage Free Trade Agreements for a More Cost-Effective Supply Chain Leverage the power of Oracle Global Trade Management to take advantage of trade agreements. Oracle GTM can easily identify import products that might benefit from trade agreements. It then runs large scale campaigns to solicit documentation from suppliers, helping to reduce import duties and creating significant savings within your supply chain.  Ames: Integrated Logistics with Oracle Transportation and Warehouse Management Learn more about how Ames deployed scalable, high-volume, integrated logistics functions with Oracle Transportation Management and Oracle Warehouse Management cloud solutions to support its retail customers. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take control of your logistics processes and take the first step toward modernizing your supply chain. Register for MBX19 today to receive $500 off the onsite rate.​ See you in Las Vegas!

Are your late shipments keeping you up at night? Are you frustrated with customs paperwork that just keeps getting delayed? Have you always been curious about how augmented reality can help with your...

Events

Digital Transformation Requires an Upgrade: Best Practices for the Journey to Cloud PLM

Recently Oracle hosted a dinner in Santa Clara entitled, “Digital Transformation Requires an Upgrade: Discover Our Customer’s Best Practices for the Journey to Cloud PLM” which highlighted some of our customers' transitions from Agile to PLM Cloud. What we learned was that in order to keep up in today’s fast-paced and customer-driven business environment, Digital Transformation is necessary. However, a successful journey meant that these customers needed to move away from yesterday’s legacy systems without sacrificing key functionality. During this event, Oracle Hardware and Infoblox discussed how by upgrading from Agile to Oracle PLM Cloud they were able to power their Digital Transformations plus streamline and expand their development to commercialization processes without losing the capabilities required to remain competitive. One of the ways they started this transition was by first moving their product data to the cloud. This essentially created the “spine” of product information running throughout the organization and connected and streamlined key business processes from ERP to Supply Chain. If you missed this event, don’t worry! These two customers will be presenting at Oracle Modern Business Experience 2019 on March 19th-21st. And as if that's not enough, here are the TOP 5 Reasons to see PLM at Oracle Modern Business Experience At Oracle Modern Business Experience, you’ll also learn how Oracle Product Lifecycle Management Cloud delivers a solid foundation for Industry 4.0 and digital transformation initiatives. This connected and integrated platform provides a true enterprise product record to track the digital thread, and it is designed to integrate the critical processes that will enable you to rapidly innovate, develop, and commercialize profitable products. In addition, you’ll also discover how to: Select and translate a steady stream of innovative ideas: Turn ideas into a profitable product portfolio and streamlined project management. Rapidly commercialize products: Enable global, multisite manufacturing. Accelerate time to market: Balance cost, requirements, and concept tradeoffs, quality, and compliance. Securely manage quality: Use collaborative, IoT-enabled, closed-loop capabilities to integrate critical processes across specifications, test plans, inspections, production monitoring, product change, and supplier performance corrective action. It’s not too late – sign up today! https://www.oracle.com/modern-business-experience/ PLM Content Catalog (*updated daily) What to expect at the event

Recently Oracle hosted a dinner in Santa Clara entitled, “Digital Transformation Requires an Upgrade: Discover Our Customer’s Best Practices for the Journey to Cloud PLM” which highlighted some of our...

Snapshot of Oracle Order Management Cloud Sessions at Modern Business Experience 2019

  Oracle’s Modern Business Experience is just around the corner, and you definitely don’t want to miss it! The conference will be held from March 19-21, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. At this year’s MBX, you can explore many events and sessions revolving around various core business functions such as finance, human resources, and supply chain. Attendees will enjoy inspiring keynotes, visionary speakers, content-rich educational sessions, hands-on workshops, product expert discussions, and entertaining networking activities. If you’re particularly looking to enhance your Order Management processes, be sure to stop by the various Oracle Order Management Cloud sessions and learn more about how you can orchestrate omnichannel fulfillment, unify your customers’ buying experiences, leverage your extended supply chain network to enhance system-wide efficiency, and streamline your entire order-to-cash process. This year’s Oracle Order Management Cloud sessions at MBX19 include product overview and roadmap sessions, as well as customer success and business case sessions. To learn more about Oracle Order Management Cloud product specifics, new enhancements, upcoming features, and business benefits keep an eye on the Content Catalog to see when and where these Order Management sessions are being held! Locations and times will be announced soon. Tomorrow’s Supply Chain Today: Oracle Order Management Cloud This session explores how Oracle Order Management Cloud provides automation across the digital supply chain for order to cash, while also examining future product enhancements including how emerging technologies can enable Industry 4.0 to increase automation intelligence, offer new opportunities for process innovation, and empower order management users. Industry 4.0: Digital Logistics and Order Management with Disruptive Technology See the latest innovations in decision science and machine learning, adaptive intelligence, and IoT technology in Oracle Logistics Cloud and Oracle Order Management Cloud. Learn how you can leverage these emerging technologies to support a new digital business model that will drive your products, services, and experiences in the society of the future. Oracle’s Internal Order to Cash Digital Transformation Oracle has adopted its own cloud applications to manage its expansive multidivisional global business. This session explores the expected benefits and essential lessons from Oracle’s ongoing order to cash journey. Path to the Cloud: Order-to-Cash Digital Transformation This session explores the expected benefits and essential lessons from organizations’ ongoing order to cash journey. Get the opportunity to ask questions about their experience to help with the formulation of your own cloud migration strategy. Master Omnichannel Fulfillment for Higher Revenues and Profits This session provides best practice guidance on how you can achieve business objectives when your digital quote to cash processes span multiple capture and fulfillment systems. It also covers product, order pricing, and availability hubs; and the integration, extensibility, and use of emerging technologies such as chatbots, AI, and blockchain. Office Depot’s supply Chain Modernization Leveraging Oracle SCM Cloud Attend this session to learn how Office Depot and partner Capgemini achieved a successful first phase of an Oracle SCM Cloud transformation to streamline dropship fulfillment, improve visibility into fill rate analytics, minimize disparate legacy system dependencies, and reduce overall TCO. Are you ready to jumpstart your journey to the cloud and to take the first step toward modernizing your business processes? If so, look no further than Oracle’s Modern Business Experience and register today. Be sure to register by March 17 to receive $500 off the onsite rate! See you there!

  Oracle’s Modern Business Experience is just around the corner, and you definitely don’t want to miss it! The conference will be held from March 19-21, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in...

Supply Chain Management

So You’ve Bought Cloud … Now What?

Rob Knapp | Key Contributor Migrating your supply chain to the cloud can feel like shopping for new shoes – there are multiple options that should work in theory, but in practice you might run into problems finding one that has all of the features you need and is also a perfect fit. Plus, the purchase is only the beginning, as day-to-day use might reveal issues that weren’t apparent upfront. Put through its paces (literally), a seemingly comfortable pair of shoes might prove highly irritating, just as an apparently suitable set of cloud-based apps and services could become challenging to implement. The takeaway? Initial technology selection is just one part of the journey to a better supply chain. You also need processes for moving your systems from point A to point B, along with an expert partner capable of guiding this transition. The risks are too high to do otherwise: According to the Standish Group, only 29 percent of IT project implementations are successful, due to issues ranging from budgetary restraints to difficult integrations with legacy systems. Project success requires a customized plan backed by best-in-class supply chain management solutions Planning for a better supply chain in the cloud Benjamin Franklin said that failure to prepare is preparation for failure. With that in mind, it makes sense to start your cloud migration with a clear plan – more specifically, with the Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud and a business partner with demonstrated proficiency in implementing Oracle cloud apps. Supply Chain Planning Cloud directly addresses problems with business complexity, including: Not having a single version of the truth: Spreadsheet frenzy and siloed on-prem systems mean there’s no way to orchestrate a timely, informed response to shifts in supply and demand. Excess or insufficient inventory: Without a central hub for supply chain data, inventories become a blind spot, capable of surprising you with excessive stock that cuts into profit margins or stock-outs that drive away customers. Too much IT overhead: Outside of the cloud, running advanced simulations and generating useful analytics requires extensive involvement from IT, leading to delays and inefficiencies as already-overworked personnel juggle multiple tasks. Because it harmonizes information across the supply and demand sides of the supply chain, this Oracle platform is an ideal starting point for a cloud migration. It serves as the informational bedrock of a highly responsive digital supply chain, providing the key infrastructure for creating accurate forecasts, monitoring performance and aligning different parts of the enterprise. Supply Chain Planning Cloud is an ideal starting point for a cloud migration.   Building a cloud supply chain, one app at a time As experts in integrated supply chains, Inspirage will ensure you get off to the right start with Supply Chain Planning Cloud and can implement additional applications and services to make your implementation successful. From smart automation to management consulting, our team will assist yours in selecting, installing and supporting the right supply chain solutions. In other words, we will make both the technologies and the processes of a modern cloud-based supply chain deliver top- and bottom-line results for your organization. To learn more, visit our Resource Center or contact our team directly.

Rob Knapp | Key Contributor Migrating your supply chain to the cloud can feel like shopping for new shoes – there are multiple options that should work in theory, but in practice you might run into...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

Your Complete Guide to Modern Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management for a Demand Driven World   Modern Supply Chain is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. We are now living in a demand driven world and customers want more. Each year, companies are losing approximately $1.6 trillion due to poor service costs and by the end of 2018, ⅓ of all companies will have found themselves disrupted by digitally enabled competition. Supply chain is a critical area where businesses can make a difference and battle for customer loyalty. Legacy SCM systems are linear and siloed which doesn’t allow for fluidity of the ever changing demand. Businesses who adopt modern, cloud based SCM Systems are able to have deeper visibility and more precise control of their supply. With these new intelligent systems, businesses are able to gain better insights to make strategic actions as well as to give them the competitive edge over their competitors. Oracle’s leading SCM product set gives businesses a unified platform which integrates every aspect of their supply chain system. Partner with Oracle today to find your Pathway to SCM Success.   Why Legacy Systems Can't Keep Up   We’ve seen technology grow and transform many industries and supply chain is no different. There are two long-term trends that have contributed to the push of new SCM technology; Massive Disruption and Changing Expectations. Amazon and other online retailers have redefined the consumer industry and completely eliminated the traditional order-to-deliver business model. Although it started in the B2C market, B2B markets are starting to demand the same type of experience.   In order to meet these new expectations, businesses need to be more agile and have more capabilities that allow them to better control the customer experience. Legacy SCM systems don’t have the visibility needed to meet these demands. Most legacy systems rely on third party vendors to support specific channels. This causes gaps in visibility and challenges in service consistency. With the new expectation of same day fulfillment and customized products, it is necessary for businesses to have insight into the complete process. Traditional systems are too linear and cannot keep up with the flexible and fluid processes today’s marketplace needs. Switching to a modern SCM will give businesses a holistic view, leaving fragmented and siloed legacy systems behind.     Gain a Competitive Edge with SCM Cloud   “Tomorrow’s Supply Chain” enables businesses to be innovative, proactive and to continuously improve their supply chain processes. Some defining traits of Oracle’s SCM Cloud Applications are:   Integrated Demand-driven Agile Intelligent User experience Open platform   SCM automates processes to allow the users to spend more time understanding the customers demands of services. Because of the visibility between the different systems, businesses are more cost effective and have better oversight into real time marketplaces and customer preferences. These, coupled with the customizable software, allows the users to spend more time making business decisions and less time monitoring and manually intervening in supply chain processes.     Along with our defining traits, Oracle’s SCM cloud solutions pair AI and ML to allow businesses to turn insights into actions. In this competitive landscape, organizations need to not only be adaptable to market fluctuations. Our intelligent software is built on three capabilities, orchestration, responsiveness, and clarity, that empower organizations to make decisions with confidence. All of the data is analyzed to assess relevance and business value as well as to identify correlations that might otherwise go unnoticed. Bringing this all together, business are able to implement changes virtually, using this one source of truth.     Are You Ready?   Investing in new software is always a risk, but Oracle’s SCM solutions not only provide the insights expected, they are an investment that pays off. With the new technology evolution, Oracle has proven that businesses are able to respond faster and solve problems sooner. We integrate new upgrades and innovations into your system at no extra cost so your SCM solution can be scalable and agile for an Omnichannel Future.   Read more about how to start on your Path to SCM Success with our Complete Guide to Modern Supply Chain Management. This is a necessary handbook for any Innovation-Focused business leader.

Supply Chain Management for a Demand Driven World   Modern Supply Chain is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. We are now living in a demand driven world and customers want more. Each year,...

Logistics

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on the Impact of Digital Disruption on the Supply Chain

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has suggested that consumers won’t accept two-week delivery timeframes now that two-day delivery is a de facto standard for many ecommerce orders. The same speed that’s brought consumers lightning-fast shipping has also wreaked havoc on poorly-prepared supply chains worldwide. Modern supply chains should be fully digitized and connected to compete in a world where full connectivity is now a starting point, rather than an endpoint, for many retailers. Computing first disrupted the modern supply chain decades ago; cloud computing is today’s disruptor. This transformation has extended all the way to the palms of consumers’ hands, as smartphones give people the power to research and purchase products at the exact moment they want them. At Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018, Hurd noted, “consumer IT is growing about 20-percent-plus per year.” Hurd said that means “the older fixed supply chains can’t meet [the] demands” of increasingly connected consumers. Chances are if you sell anything online, your supply chain no longer simply connects your suppliers to your stores. It now runs from the suppliers all the way to consumers, who expect to be served rapidly and accommodated readily. Connect or be out-competed An effective supply chain, especially one operating at scale, requires more than an SCM system, even if it’s cloud-based. Hurd’s Modern Supply Chain Experience keynote in 2018 featured many insights on this point. Hurd observed, “it isn't good enough to have a best-of-breed application. You have to have a suite. The front office [and] the ecommerce systems have to talk to the supply chain system.” To effectively serve today’s connected consumers, a company’s systems have to be even more connected. This requires core business operations (and their essential applications) to work seamlessly together to produce consistent, excellent results the consumer can feel when they interact with the business. Until recently, only the largest retailers had the resources to invest in such collaborative systems. Now smaller players have access to the technical resources they need to compete with their larger competitors.  Cloud software allows this formerly exclusive connectivity to benefit startups and small businesses as well as multinational enterprises. In fact, the benefits of the cloud extend past retailers with their own proprietary supply chains. Increasing worldwide connectivity gives even sole proprietors and small businesses access to pre-built supply chains, which has given rise to a massive global drop-shipping industry. In 2017, about 25% of all ecommerce sales, about $85 billion worth, were fulfilled via drop-shipping. Meet the new model Drop-shipping allows a retailer to avoid carrying inventory by routing orders directly to a supplier, which then fulfills and ships the order. Because the retailer doesn’t carry inventory, its profit margin becomes the difference between the price they charge and what the supplier bills them for the sold item. This wouldn’t be possible without a supply chain network in which one wholesale vendor effectively handles the inbound orders of hundreds (or even thousands) of retailers around the world, who in turn must each manage the expectations of hundreds, thousands, or millions of consumers that might be scattered thousands of miles apart. In this instance, it’s not just one ecommerce system talking to one supply chain, but thousands of ecommerce and customer experience systems all working together with the drop-shippers’ supply chain system. These connected supply chain systems rapidly upended the retail landscape, and this disruption is ongoing. A notable example is the online footwear e-tailer Zappos. Zappos started by drop-shipping shoes to its customers and, within a decade, it grew into a billion-dollar-plus valuation. Since Zappos was bought out in 2009, four major footwear retailers with significant brick-and-mortar footprints have gone bankrupt: Rockport, The Walking Company, Aerosoles, and Payless ShoeSource. Additionally, Nine West, which declared bankruptcy in the past year, divested its shoe division in an attempt to turn itself around. Several other once-popular footwear brands, including Cole Haan, Crocs, and Stride Rite, are also competing against footwear retailers with modernized supply chains. You’re either the disruptor or disrupted Connected supply chains are a major contributor to the rise of dominant specialty e-tailers, such as Zappos, and the simultaneous collapse of their brick-and-mortar competitors. The fact that footwear has been so thoroughly disrupted should be evidence that no business is safe. Footwear and other fashion products are notoriously difficult to “try before you buy” online, but Zappos’ relentless focus on the customer experience helped speed that shift in consumer sentiment. This shift might not have been possible if the company had been forced to focus on building out its own supply chain infrastructure andimplementing its own dedicated supply chain management systems before shipping its first box of shoes. Connected supply chains allowed the company to work with drop-shippers that already had these systems and could give retailers part of the same capability at virtually no cost. Zappos did eventually build its own supply chain but, by the time it was needed, cloud computing was well on its way to transforming even the most complex supply chain systems into adaptable parts of integrated business software suites. However, many of the company’s brick-and-mortar peers didn’t understand the advantages of a connected system until it negatively affected their bottom line.

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has suggested that consumers won’t accept two-week delivery timeframes now that two-day delivery is a de facto standard for many...

Manufacturing

The Fourth Industrial Revolution – A Primer for Manufacturers

By Mark Wells, Sales Director, AVATA 99% of manufacturers agree that the 4th industrial revolution will be about getting actionable insights from data 96% of manufacturers agree that the 4th industrial revolution will be about connectivity and communication 75% of companies say the 4th industrial revolution will fundamentally change customers’ expectations 87% of manufacturers say they will have to invest in new technology to meet customer expectations 80% of manufacturers say it will be a business reality by 2025 These results are from a recent study, THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: A PRIMER FOR MANUFACTURERS, published by Oracle Corporation and EEF. While the survey responses are from UK manufacturers, the implications hold for US and other manufacturers as well.  As Industry 4.0 (aka the 4th industrial revolution or 4IR) accelerates across the globe, the implications loom enormous and immediate in terms of the rate of change and scope of business impact, particularly for the information systems you will need. The first industrial revolution was driven by the invention of steam power.  The impact of the second was much larger and facilitated by harnessing electricity.  The third exploded past the second by orders of magnitude leveraging the “miracle” of electronics and information technology.  This consequences of this new, fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, promise to be even more transformational across almost every industry.  The digital and physical worlds are converging, spawning innovation like never before, allowing and causing the speed of change to accelerate in both consumer requirements and in the creation of new markets, demanding new manufacturing capabilities. To quote Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, “There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril.”   So, what will your business need to do to ride this wave instead of being washed away by it? One of the most important pillars of success will be digital manufacturing.  What does that mean?  Consider the following points: As consumers and markets morph in unexpected ways with unprecedented speed, you will need the ability to support new manufacturing and distribution processes that take you ever closer to a lot size of one with elastic capacity. The functionality of manufacturing systems will need to be infused with real-time business intelligence (BI).  After all, actual business intelligence is neither a department nor a software application.  It must be indistinguishable from business planning and execution. It is no longer enough to know what is happening and why.  You will need to capitalize on artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend the best course of action in the moment and even automate decisions that don’t merit managerial engagement, leveraging robotic process automation. Connections between every process, machine, organization and person, including those in manufacturing, are now ubiquitous so BI and AI need to span the Internet of Everything. The speed of the digital economy mandates a digital response with equal velocity.  Oracle Manufacturing and Oracle Internet of Things Apps will not only get you started, they will keep you on the crest of the wave through the rapid and continuous release of enhancements that you can seamlessly uptake without a traditional upgrade. Almost 70% of manufacturers are already investing or considering investment in cloud technology to help power their profitable participation in Industry 4.0 (see Oracle/EFF study cited above).  As an Oracle Partner, AVATA makes certain that an investment in Oracle Cloud delivers the right solution for businesses. What are you waiting for? https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/scm-cloud  

By Mark Wells, Sales Director, AVATA 99% of manufacturers agree that the 4th industrial revolution will be about getting actionable insights from data 96% of manufacturers agree that the 4th industrial...

Supply Chain Management

Oracle ERP Cloud Listed as the Only Leader in Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Product-Centric Midsize Enterprises

If there’s anything that stands out about Oracle Cloud Products it’s the consistency of data architecture across cloud applications and the seamlessness of data visibility across business lines. In the world of Supply Chain, several solutions in the Oracle SCM Cloud suite have been examined in detail within the following 2018 Gartner reports: Magic Quadrant Supply Chain Planning Systems of Record Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems — and the companion Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems Oracle’s leadership across Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications continues in dozens of other analyst reports, including HCM and customer experience, and it has always been our belief that, taken together, Oracle provides a leading suite of applications to run any size business in the cloud. And the trend extends beyond SCM to all of enterprise resource planning. Gartner recently released its first Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Midsize Enterprises, and we’re pleased to announce that Oracle ERP Cloud is the only ERP (on-premises or cloud) positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant of this report. We’re making the full report available to readers, with our compliments. 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. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Midsize Enterprises, Mike Guay | John Van Decker | Christian Hestermann | Nigel Montgomery | Duy Nguyen | Denis Torii | Paul Saunders | Paul Schenck | Tim Faith, 31 October 2018 Gartner defines “product-centric enterprises” as those that “physically manufacture, sell and/or distribute products, and thus “are typically either manufacturing companies or distribution companies.” As a result, Gartner analysts reviewed product-centric cloud ERP suites with some or all of the following: supply chain—and manufacturing—related functionality, financial management functionality, basic purchasing functionality, and human capital management (HCM) functionality. An example of a customer using multiple Oracle Cloud applications—including ERP, EPM and Supply Chain—is Titan International. Titan is moving from an on-premises Infor Lawson implementation to improve visibility across the business, reduce the cost of IT, and improve financial and other controls. Product-Centric Cloud ERP Gaining Momentum with Large Enterprises Gartner notes that it is mainly midsize enterprises (those with annual revenue of between $50 million and $1 billion) that have led adoption of public cloud ERP solutions. However, the authors expect this to change rapidly.   According to Gartner, “The market for operational cloud ERP is shifting to cloud deployment. In the next 12 months, this shift will become significant enough for Gartner to include large enterprises in the next Magic Quadrant for product-centric cloud ERP.” Gartner also predicts the following market developments: “By 2020, nearly 60% of large enterprises with systems up for replacement will switch from traditional on-premises licenses to cloud deployments. By 2025, demand for operational ERP deployments delivered as cloud services will account for more than 65% of total market spending.” With demand for product-centric cloud ERP expected to grow rapidly among companies of all sizes, now is an excellent time to begin evaluating the options for those companies looking to migrate off their legacy, on-premises applications. Download the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Midsize Enterprises.   Gartner, Magic Quadrant Supply Chain Planning Systems of Record, Amber Salley | Tim Payne | Alex Pradhan, 21 August 2018 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems, C. Klappich | Simon Tunstall, 2 May 2018 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems, Bart De Muynck, 19 March 2018 Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems, Bart De Muynck | Brock Johns, 29 August 2018  

If there’s anything that stands out about Oracle Cloud Products it’s the consistency of data architecture across cloud applications and the seamlessness of data visibility across business lines. In the...

Supply Chain Management

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on the Importance of Instant Accessibility in Today’s Market

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing Do you remember waiting a week for your ecommerce orders? This was a fact of life not too long ago. In 2014, Slice Intelligence tracked 238 online retailers and found their average delivery time was 8.3 days. By 2016, that average had fallen to 5.1 days, and for 30 high-volume e-tailers tracked by Digital Commerce, the average delivery speed was down to just 4 days. By the 2017 holiday season, a number of top-performing retailers shaved delivery times to a mere 2.6 days, a speed that was rarely offered previously but which is now expected. Average delivery times are bound to get speedier, as same-day delivery is quickly becoming the new store-to-door standard. Nearly all consumers surveyed by eFulfillmentService last year said they considered same-day shipping (97%) or next-day shipping (95%) to be “fast” shipping options. Only 42% of those surveyed thought that three-day or four-day delivery was fast. Here’s another fact: if your company sells physical products online, and you don’t offer same-day delivery, you’re already falling behind. More than half (51%) of ecommerce retailers have a same-day shipping option at checkout, and 65% of ecommerce retailers plan to offer same-day delivery within two years. Many of your competitors do this because customers demand it. Nearly half (49%) of consumers are more likely to shop online if they know they’ll be able to opt for same-day delivery. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd discussed this paradigm shift at length during his keynote at this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience conference. “Whether you like it or not,” he said, “the phenomenon that you need immediate gratification is now core to everything we do... I buy not just on price, I buy on price and availability. If you can’t make what I need available to me now, I’m buying from somebody else.” Reliably offering same-day delivery requires a mastery of distributed logistics and a commitment to innovation in supply chain management (SCM) technology. Few ecommerce companies have the resources to build out their supply chain infrastructure and their supply chain technology stacks. This is especially true of the majority of ecommerce startups that have to bootstrap their growth without capital from venture funds or angel investors. The upside is they no longer have to. Early ecommerce companies were often far more innovative on the front end than they were with their supply chain infrastructure. Just look at Webvan or Pets.com, two infamous dot-com era ecommerce pioneers that promised the moon before they could deliver it. Their spectacular flameouts weren’t necessarily because consumers didn’t want to order groceries or pet food online. You can buy both from a number of different sites right now. Rather, they were too early. The technology and the infrastructure that make ordering groceries or pet food online profitable today simply didn’t exist until years after Webvan and Pets.com went bust. If those companies were to give it another go in 2018, they could save substantial resources on developing their own SCM applications and building out their own warehousing and transportation infrastructures by simply taking advantage of off-the-shelf third-party solutions. Cloud-based SCM application suites, such as Oracle SCM Cloud, provide all the functionality an ecommerce company might need to grow from a small online storefront into a global operation. And dropshipping companies, which often utilize the same cloud-based SCM applications as their ecommerce partners, have become prevalent options for product-focused startups looking to grow within the constraints of shoestring operational budgets. Mark Hurd anticipated these emerging trends in 2004 when he wrote The Value Factor. “The supply chain,” he wrote, “has dissolved into a series of inter-company relationships.” This aptly describes how most ecommerce companies work today. They use one company’s SCM software, rely on a different company to warehouse products and fulfill orders, and depend on yet another company to get those products to their buyers. They may not have a hand in developing or producing the products they sell at all. Many ecommerce companies have achieved great success by bringing to market a catalog of products designed by one partner and manufactured by another, based on nothing more than an idea or a napkin sketch. It’s far easier, and far more affordable, to succeed in ecommerce today than it was when Webvan and Pets.com started. With a multitude of third-party sources offering to handle nearly every stage of the supply chain, choosing the right partners and the right technology can make all the difference. Is your company choosing wisely?

By Jim D'Addario, Director of SCM Product Marketing Do you remember waiting a week for your ecommerce orders? This was a fact of life not too long ago. In 2014, Slice Intelligence tracked 238 online...

Logistics

Holiday Hiccups: Common Order Management and Fulfillment Challenges

The 2018 holiday season is upon us, and that means one thing for retailers and ecommerce stores: more sales. However, in order to achieve success during the holiday season, retailers must ensure that they can handle the increase in demand, and that their warehouses and fulfillment centers are running like well-oiled machines. As flocks of customers look for the best discounts, gifts, seasonal items and more, retailers know that the holiday season can wreak havoc on their logistics and operations – especially their order management systems. With that said, here are some common order management and fulfillment challenges that retailers may face during the holiday season: 1. Omni-channel Shopper Expectations No longer are the days where consumers shop solely through one channel. Now, consumers are taking advantage of a variety of channels by shopping in store, online, via their mobile, buying online and picking up in store (BOPUS), etc. The challenge for retailers is being able to fulfill all of their orders across multiple channels and ensuring that orders are both correct and placed in the customer’s hands on time. With large amounts of holiday orders (and revenue) at stake, it is paramount that retailers adopt a modern, omni-channel order management system that can handle all of their holiday orders. 2. Order Tracking Accurate order tracking is crucial during the holiday season. The extreme spike in orders during the holiday season can be overwhelming, creating many obstacles for retailers such as lost shipments, delayed deliveries, inaccurate orders etc. It is important for retailers and ecommerce stores to provide customers with accurate details on the status of their orders, putting customers at ease during the entire buying process. Having a modern order management system that provides accurate tracking information gives retailers an advantage and allows them to address future distribution issues, before they disturb their entire supply chain process. 3. On-Time Delivery It’s no mystery that shipping during the holidays takes more preparation and organization than any other time of the year. Now, more than ever, customers expect their orders to arrive on their doorsteps both on time and in a timely fashion. Despite this, many retailers fail to meet these expectations, which results in poor customer satisfaction and increased customer churn. With customers doing their shopping through various channels and expecting one or two day delivery times, retailers need an effective order management system that has the capacity to handle numerous orders and ensures that deliveries are made on time and to the correct locations. 4. Inventory Management Managing inventory is one of the toughest obstacles that retailers face during the holiday season. With the drastic increase in sales and orders, retailers face challenges such as properly managing their inventory and ensuring they don’t face stock-outs or have excess inventory. While having enough inventory to survive the holiday madness is important, avoiding the costly mistake of carrying excess inventory is another challenge in itself.In order to keep spreading the joy during the holiday season, it is critical for retailers to make sure they have proper insight into their inventory and adopt an intelligent order management system that synchs with their current stock levels across all distribution channels. 5. Customer Satisfaction In reality, all of these challenges impact one thing: customer satisfaction. During the holiday season, customer satisfaction is something that all retailers and ecommerce stores should be focusing on. High customer satisfaction results in greater customer loyalty, which means more business in the future – even after the holiday rush. Without an efficient and streamlined order management system, retailers face the possibility of losing customer orders, shipment delays, inaccurate orders, improper inventory levels, etc. So save yourself some heartache and adopt an innovative, omni-channel order management system before it’s too late. Thankfully, Oracle provides an omni-channel order management solution that will help your retail or ecommerce business get through this holiday season. Oracle Order Management Cloud offers an omni-channel solution that enables you to orchestrate orders across multiple channels, and serve the needs of your market segments while achieve greater order profitability. With Oracle, you can unify your customer-facing processes, meet customer requests, optimize order fulfillment, and improve fulfillment efficiency – all with one complete, end-to-end solution. Ultimately, Oracle Order Management Cloud allows you to increase revenue and margin, ensure greater customer satisfaction, and decrease fulfillment errors, by streamlining the entire order-to-cash process. Click here to see how you can help your order management system and end-to-end supply chain run as smoothly as Santa’s workshop. Happy Holidays!

The 2018 holiday season is upon us, and that means one thing for retailers and ecommerce stores: more sales. However, in order to achieve success during the holiday season, retailers must ensure that...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

Let Your Fingers do the Walking Through the Digital Supply Chain

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Supply Chain Collaboration Product Strategy A new edition of the Yellow Pages landed on my doorstep last week. It was shockingly thin compared to the fat tomes I remembered from my youth. I barely gave it a glance as I tossed it in the recycle bin. Google Maps, Yelp and Facebook displaced the Yellow Pages long ago. It would never occur to most of us to consult a physical document to find a plumber, florist or attorney. Yet it would also be fair to claim that the Yellow Pages introduced us to the digital transformation that we’re experiencing today. It all began with the wildly successful “Let your fingers do the walking” marketing campaign in 1962. Telecommunications were strictly analog at the time, of course. So what was the digital breakthrough? Replacing footsteps with fingers (in other words, “digits”). “Do you have any #12 Phillips head 1 1/2” screws? How much do they cost?” my grandfather might have asked, after dialing up the hardware store he found in the Yellow Pages. Today I might say the same thing to my phone, just prefaced with “Hey Siri…” Nearly every detail of the supply chain has changed in the past 55 years, but digital transformations still have the same objective: use real-time information to eliminate unnecessary physical processes. It’s something we at Oracle call Supply Chain Collaboration and Visibility. Stream answers on demand, when and where they’re needed; monitor and predict failures instead of stopping and servicing perfectly functioning equipment; work together to adjust supply as demand changes up and down the supply chain. We can evaluate whether a digital initiative enhances service, reduces costs or eliminates waste. Or we can just ask, “Does it let my fingers do the walking?” That catchy jingle still rings true today. To learn more about how Oracle Supply Chain and Visibility Cloud can detect, analyze, and resolve disruptions in your enterprise, visit us online.

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Supply Chain Collaboration Product Strategy A new edition of the Yellow Pages landed on my doorstep last week. It was shockingly thin compared to the fat tomes I...

Supply Chain Management

How Oracle Cloud is Simplifying the Life of Modern-day Supply Chain Planners

By Arun Malhotra -- solution architect with Trinamix, an Oracle Platinum Partner Supply Chain Management (SCM) involves the management of all the different processes and activities at each step that leads to value created in the hands of ultimate consumer. Modern day SCM Planners are responsible for most of these processes and are tasked with optimizing value in the entire supply chain from the Supplier’s supplier to the very end consumer. Some of the Key challenges for modern day SCM Planners are: Predicting the right levels of Sales Forecasts and Production Levels Managing Uncertainty of Demand Adapting to the Risk in modern day Global Supply Chains Meeting Customer Demand in the most optimum while Reducing Costs and Inventory Levels Monitor Exceptions to work on the Vital Few, rather the Trivial Many. Let’s look at some of the key features of Oracle Cloud that make these tasks relatively easier and assist Planners in carrying out their Day-to-day activities. Dashboard for Demand Planners: Demand Planners would be interested in the following KPIs: Forecast Accuracy of System generated Statistical Forecast Forecast Accuracy of Sales Forecast Forecast Comparison between Statistical and Sales Forecasts Forecast Comparison between This Year versus Last Year Revenue and Margin projections From the Summary Dashboard planner can analyze the above metrics. Statistical Forecast generated by Oracle is called Shipments Forecast, as it is generated using Shipments History of the organization. The industry standard measure of Forecast Accuracy is called Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE). By clicking on the Shipments Forecast MAPE, Planner is provided with a more detailed graphical analysis based upon Product Categories. Heatmap of MAPE by Product Category, highlight to the Planner, the categories which need more attention. Forecast Comparison also provides more detailed graphical representation by Period or Product Category to better model the seasonal/categorical trends. Demand Planner can also look at Revenue by Category to identify profitable Product Categories or monitor sudden demand changes by drilling into the Order Comparison from the Revenue graphs and comparing with achieved plans. Dashboard for Customer Support/Inventory Planners: Customer Support/Inventory Planner would be interested in the following KPIs. Summary Dashboard where planners can analyze the above metrics. Demand Fulfillment: Demand Fulfillment Exceptions by Region Demand Fulfillment Exceptions by Product Category Demand at Risk Analysis Each DC is modeled as Organization in Oracle and can report Exceptions at this level to look at Regional/DC level issues in Demand Fulfillment.   Planner can look in to Orgs with most number of Exceptions and drill to Supply and Demand of this Region or further drill into the Product Category level or look at the other Measures by Days, Quantity or Value to better understand the situation.   Inventory Analysis: Projected Inventory Stock-out Exceptions Projected Inventory Shortage & Excess Inventory Turns projections, as per current plan The Planning Engine also creates some standard Exceptions but it can also be altered to create entirely Custom Exceptions like for example, here we have created a custom exception for Stock-out as where ever the Projected On hand falls below a certain threshold value a Stock-out exception needs to be reported. These exceptions can be analyzed using the following graph. Similarly, Shortage and Excess exceptions can also be analyzed.     Dashboard for Supply Planners & Operations Manager: Supply Planner would be interested in following KPIs: Plan Recommendations for Buy Items (Purchasing) Plan Recommendations for Make Items (Production) From the Summary Dashboard planner can analyze the above metrics. From the Buy and Make Plan Infotiles, the planner can get a summary view of the Monthly Requirements that can be compared to the Capacity/Quota of Suppliers. Also, Custom Measures can be configured that provide insights into the Importance of the Plan recommendations by looking at the pegging information, so recommendations pegged to Sales Orders take priority over others. The Weekly Plan also provide immediate Action Items to the Planners that need to be acted on. Trinamix, an Oracle Platinum Partner and leading Oracle Supply Chain Planning implementation partner, hosts its signature PaaS based solutions on Oracle Cloud. Click here to read Trinamix Success Stories. Further information on Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud products can be found via this link

By Arun Malhotra -- solution architect with Trinamix, an Oracle Platinum Partner Supply Chain Management (SCM) involves the management of all the different processes and activities at each step that...

Supply Chain Management

What is The Right Way to Digitally Transform Your Supply Chain?

Rahul Asthana, Product Marketing Strategy & Execution Some of the most important advances in human history have occurred when a new technology appears that radically improves on an age old problem.  Take the challenge of getting from point A to B and the difference made in our lives as humans went from walking, to horseback riding, to driving, to flying. Or take the art of communicating, and the new possibilities that have occurred because letters have been replaced by e-mail and instant messaging. Digital Transformation is a set of new technologies bringing radical change to age old supply chain problems.  In the process, Digital Transformation is not just rewriting the rules for coordination and efficiency in supply chain management, but also creating new possibilities for customer engagement in ways that were unimaginable before.  Take, as an example, an automobile manufacturer.  The traditional approach to doing business is to forecast demand for their cars based on historical data, build to this forecast and place the cars at dealerships for sale.  This was a process fraught with inaccuracy and lead to either excess inventories or lost opportunities for revenue.  Imagine, now, how things change with Digital Transformation and the ability to use IoT to connect to each car and to each customer.  With connected cars, automobile manufacturers can collect usage data (e.g. miles driven, times driven) and contextualize this data with product, demographic and income information to make individual predictions on which exact customers will buy a new car in the coming year.  This is very different from traditional approaches.  With Digital Transformation, aggregate statistical forecasts become individualized predictions.  Importantly, these individualized predictions are actionable.  If a car manufacturer sees a particular customer using their car consistently during rush hour, they can offer a program to move that customer to an electric car that allows them to travel in the carpool lane (at least in California).  This is a real sea change from the way demand management is done today.  It can create new avenues for growth. With all of its potential to create new avenues for growth, though, a question remains. If a company does want to digitally transform their supply chain, how should they go about doing so? What is the right approach? To answer this question, it’s useful to understand all the elements required in digital transformation, and then to see the best way to acquire and implement them. The Elements of Digital Supply Chain Transformation Digital transformation, at its core, is about closing information gaps in supply chain management.  Digital supply chain transformation achieves this through three mechanisms. The first is to collect more and better data from all possible and relevant sources.  The second is to contextualize this data with business information from enterprise business applications.  The third is to analyze data (in context) in order to derive new insights.  Once insights are obtained, any transformations required must be executed.  This requires applications that are “digitally threaded,” or designed to manage digital information throughout complete supply chain processes.  Executing transformations also requires an underlying infrastructure that is agile and flexible.  In other words, digital transformation must be built on a cloud infrastructure.  These requirements lead to six elements to properly enable digital supply chain transformation. Data Fabric.  Creating a “data fabric” to collect data from both internal and external sources is an essential part of any digital supply chain transformation.  To collect internal process information, many companies already rely on technologies such as digital scanners.  With Digital Transformation, new technologies such as IoT and Blockchain have become available to collect information from beyond the four walls of the enterprise.  With IoT companies can collect information from distributed assets.  With Blockchain, it has now become possible to securely collect information from trading partners throughout the value chain. Contextual Data.  Supply chains are, by definition, cross functional.  Managing supply chains touches the finance function, the procurement organization, warehousing, human resources, and customer relationships, among others.  Any digital supply chain transformation must account for information in all these different functions.  This makes it very important to incorporate contextual data from ERP, CRM, HR and SCM systems when digitally transforming supply chains. Data Management.  If there is one defining characteristic of digital supply chain transformation, it is that it runs on a lot of data.  This is data collected from the “data fabric” as well as contextual data from enterprise systems.  If digital supply chain transformation is to succeed, this data must be securely and well managed in enterprise grade databases. Data Analytics.  The sea change possible with digital transformation is achieved in large part through the application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to data.  These advanced analytic technologies provide new insights and predictions that are the basis for closing information gaps in supply chain management through digital transformation. Digitally threaded Processes: All supply chains run on processes that define the coordination required to match supply to demand.  These include, for example, the Procure-to-Pay process that coordinates the purchase of raw materials required for production, or the Order-to-Cash process that defines how finished goods are managed in inventory and distributed for fulfillment to customers.  For digital transformation to work, it must be enabled by these supply chain processes.  This requires, in turn, that the supply chain applications supporting these processes are “digitally threaded.”  That is, the applications are able to inter-connectedly execute the insights provided by the digital transformation technologies. Cloud Infrastructure.  Digital transformation requires change in the way business is run. It can require frequent change as new data informs new ways businesses should operate.  If digital supply chain transformation is to succeed, it must be enabled by a flexible cloud infrastructure foundation. These six elements create the “Digital Supply Chain Transformation” stack, as illustrated by Figure 1.  If an enterprise wishes to unlock the benefits of digitally transforming their supply chains, they will need to take advantage of the full stack.  This leads to the important question:  What is the best approach for enterprises to adopt this digital transformation stack? Figure 1:  The Digital Supply Chain Transformation Stack Enabling the Digital Supply Chain Transformation Stack There are three approaches available to enterprises to digitally transform their supply chains.  The first option is to leverage platform services to build their own digital transformation applications.  The second option is to use a best-of-breed point supply chain application.  The third is to enable the full Digital Supply Chain Transformation stack using integrated technologies from a single provider.  Given these three options, the challenge for enterprises is to understand which offers the best path to realizing the benefits of digital supply chain transformation. Platform:  This option is provided by platform services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Salesforce.  These platforms provide tool kits for the technologies in Digital Transformation, including IoT, Blockchain, and Machine Learning.  Leveraging these technologies, enterprises can build small, niche applications. The challenge, though, is since they cannot natively access contextual enterprise data, nor leverage integrated enterprise grade database and data management capabilities, nor ensure any platform applications are embedded into digitally threaded supply chain management applications, the digital supply chain transformation is incomplete.  This is illustrated in Figure 2, where the use of Platform services leads to a “Digital Transformation Void” Figure 2:  The “Digital Transformation Void” Created by Platform Services Point Applications:  The second option available to enterprises is to attempt to digitally transform their supply chains using point solutions from best-of-breed vendors.  The challenges this creates are many.  Point application vendors, even if they have the depth of research and development to leverage digital transformation technologies, do not natively contextualize data using ERP, CRM and SCM data.  Additionally, as point solutions, they cannot create a digital thread to manage complete supply chain processes.  Often times, point solutions vendors do not build their applications on flexible cloud foundations, but instead rely on hosted cloud models that are highly inflexible.  This end result is that enterprises opting for this approach really do have a “Digital Transformation Chasm” (as shown in Figure 3) that prevents them from realizing the benefits of digital transformation. Figure 3:  The “Digital Transformation Chasm” created by point supply chain applications Integrated Digital Transformation Stack:  The third option is to leverage a fully integrated digital transformation stack.  This approach is available only if a single provider can support the set of business applications spanning ERP, HR, CRM and SCM so they can provide contextual data.  It is also only available if the provider has experience managing enterprise grade databases that can manage high volumes of data.  The provider must also be able to provide the data fabric through expertise in IoT, and Blockchain as well as derive insights from this data fabric using advanced analytics.  The provider must offer a solution that can execute digital transformation recommendations through digitally threaded supply chain management applications.  Importantly, the stack must be built on a true cloud infrastructure to enable change.   Summary The sea change importance of digital supply chain transformation in creating business value is increasingly being recognized.  McKinsey, the consultancy, for example, has calculated digital transformation can raise revenues by over 2%, reduce supply chain transportation costs by more than 15% while cutting inventory costs by more than 35%.  With these results, the unanswered question still remains that the best path for adopting technologies to maximize the value of digital transformation has not been defined.  Of the choices customers have, the best approach is to use a full digital transformation stack from a single provider.  Interestingly, it turns out there is only one provider that has the full set of database, application, and analytics smarts to deliver this stack.  That provider is Oracle.                 

Rahul Asthana, Product Marketing Strategy & Execution Some of the most important advances in human history have occurred when a new technology appears that radically improves on an age old problem. ...

Logistics

Oracle OpenWorld 2018 Logistics Sessions Wrap up

Oracle OpenWorld took place at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, and amongst the vast array of keynotes and educational sessions were seven logistics sessions. On Tuesday morning, Daniel Schoerner and Srini Rajagopal delivered product roadmap presentations for GTM and OTM, respectively. They gave a product strategy update, introduced what's new in the latest release and discussed key strategic investments such as Trade Agreements, Logistics Network Modeling, Internet of Things, Chatbots and Machine Learning. The presentation slides are available for review here.  In the afternoon, we hosted a OTM-GTM Cloud panel discussion that featured National Oilwell Varco, Western Digital and Accelalpha Inc. If you're interested in viewing that presentation, you can download it here. On Wednesday, the WMS Product Strategy team delivered the product roadmap session. The presentation deck is here.   The Wonderful Company and The Ames Companies Inc. presented at the WMS customer panel. Having used the Oracle eBusiness Suite for many years, Ames recently expanded their supply chain capabilities with Oracle WMS Cloud and OTM Cloud. The Wonderful Company recently completed a transformation of their supply chain suite from Oracle eBusiness Suite to Oracle SCM Cloud, including Oracle WMS Cloud and OTM Cloud.The presentation deck is available here. Additionally, two disruptive technology sessions were added to the catalog. Alison Schofield, Prasen Palvankar, Rajat Bhargav, and Evelyn Mei demonstrated the application of Chatbot, Internet of Things and Blockchain in Logistics and Order Management. If you are interested about these topics, please browse through the presentation deck here.  Diego Pantoja-Navajas, Vice President of WMS Development presented his vision for designing and operating the warehouse of the future. The deck will be available on Openworld Session Catalog soon. Joan Lim, from Logistics Product Marketing contributed a Logistics Cloud Overview presentation. The deck is available here. To view and download more presentations, please visit Oracle OpenWorld session catalog.      

Oracle OpenWorld took place at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, and amongst the vast array of keynotes and educational sessions were seven logistics sessions. On...

The Evolving World of Order Management

Order management is one of the most crucial components of a company’s operations. Having a modern and reliable order management system allows businesses to ensure that their products get to the hands of customers quickly, accurately, and efficiently. While more and more companies are becoming aware of the importance of order management, many are failing to keep up with and adapt to the ever-changing world of business, leading to poor performance and a decrease in customer satisfaction. So what exactly is changing in today’s modern business ecosystem? It’s actually quite a simple answer: the customer. Customers control everything, and in reality, they are what keep businesses afloat. Customer service expectations are rising, as consumers want access to product and availability information, seamless customer service, multiple delivery and return options, and more. Additionally, customers are making use of a wide variety of sales channels such as brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce channels, third-party marketplaces, etc. With as much access to the Internet as we have, it has never been easier for customers to leave their loyalty behind and jump ship from one company to another if they experience poor customer service. That being said, there is little to no room for companies unwilling to adapt their order management systems and meet the needs of omni-channel consumers. Because of these changes in customer expectations, businesses are faced with numerous challenges regarding order management, fulfillment, and distribution. Here are just a few of these challenges: To start, businesses are experiencing transportation issues as customers expect faster delivery times, as well as free shipping and free returns. Companies like Amazon and Zappos can have orders delivered in 1-2 days, which is becoming the norm in the minds of many consumers. Inventory management is another obstacle businesses are facing as they move toward having multiple distribution sites. These businesses are realizing they need more visibility into their inventory and need real-time information about product availability, order status, etc. Many companies are also seeing scalability issues, as they are unable to accommodate increases in both demand and growth. With more channels for customers to access, companies are failing to meet the needs of their consumers and are struggling to handle increases in sales volume. Finally, businesses are faced with profitability issues as they are experiencing an influx in both fulfillment costs and shipping costs. Free shipping and free returns can wreak havoc on transportation budgets, but are still services that businesses must offer if they want to stay competitive in today’s world. To tackle these obstacles head on, companies must change the way that they manage their operations, and the best way to do that is by adopting an Omni-channel Order Management (OcOM) solution. In order to ensure a seamless customer experience for consumers, businesses and retailers also need to focus on ensuring a seamless supply chain process with a single OcOM solution. Unlike traditional order management systems, OcOM processes allow businesses to meet the demand of heightened customer expectations, while still keeping their overall operational costs low. With an effective OcOM system, businesses can improve order routing, gain greater visibility into inventory, and improve overall levels of customer satisfaction – all of which are crucial to remain competitive. Luckily, Oracle provides an OcOM solution that does all of that for you. Oracle Order Management Cloud offers an omni-channel solution that enables you to serve the needs of your market segments and achieve greater order profitability. With Oracle, you can unify your customer-facing processes, meet customer requests, optimize order fulfillment, and improve fulfillment efficiency – all with one complete, end-to-end solution. Ultimately, Oracle Order Management Cloud allows you to increase revenue and margin, ensure greater customer satisfaction, and decrease fulfillment errors, by streamlining the entire order-to-cash process. So are you ready to take the next step in improving your order management process with a best-in-class order management solution? Click here and find out how you can transform your business with Oracle Order Management Cloud.

Order management is one of the most crucial components of a company’s operations. Having a modern and reliable order management system allows businesses to ensure that their products get to the hands...

Events

OOW18: Manufacturers Can Jump-Start Digital Transformation Industry 4.0

How do I build a smart, connected enterprise from scratch? It’s a question you and many other manufacturers often have before embarking on a digital transformation. You may wonder whether you have the resources, budget, or time to connect your entire enterprise. Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to begin benefiting from Industry 4.0.  Attendees at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 will see how they can connect key parts of their organization using a phased approach to digital transformation. It’s a process that doesn’t have to begin with a bang. Incremental improvements, beginning with plant-floor connectivity, can yield significant results. This includes greater operational efficiencies and less downtime related to equipment failures. The key enabling tool is a cloud platform that integrates different business functions using built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. OpenWorld attendees will have access to an industry 4.0 demonstration area showing a robotic factory environment with interactive demonstration pods where they can view these technologies in action. They’ll also have an opportunity to attend breakout sessions that focus on various topics related to implementing Industry 4.0 in discrete manufacturing environments. A Phased Approach to Industry 4.0 The first breakout session will help manufacturers understand how they can take the initial steps toward digital transformation. The session, called Achieving the Vision of Industry 4.0 One Step at a Time [GEN6492], will focus on how to adopt Industry 4.0 incrementally. Representatives from Cisco, Mazda, Noble Plastics, Infosys, and Cohu, Inc. will discuss what they are doing to transform their businesses and prepare for the future. At this session, an Industry 4.0 maturity model will be discussed to help you regardless of where you are on your path. If case you are just getting started, you will see a live feed from a factory showing how Noble Plastics is using IoT to enable 24/7 manufacturing. For those already connected, you will see how Oracle AI can help you to predict and resolve manufacturing issues. For those somewhere in the middle, you will hear about automated execution, model based engineering, and other ways of transforming your business one step at a time! You can realize many quick wins by simply connecting your plant-level devices to the cloud. It’s typically the first step for companies that haven’t adopted any IoT technologies. Sensor-based data delivered to the cloud can help you understand how your machines are performing and provide the key production data you need to adjust your operations accordingly. At this stage, your organization will begin to see how actions on the plant floor impact actual results. Having this information is critical for manufacturers focused on continuous-improvement initiatives, such as lean manufacturing. Another breakout session, called Lean Manufacturing for the Cloud [BUS6495], will demonstrate how scalable, flexible cloud solutions can help manufacturers in their lean journeys. Once you have basic connectivity, you can begin tying information from your ERP systems to IoT data to dig deeper into performance issues. For example, you might identify a particular production problem, such as a defect, and be able to link a single part to a specific supplier. This detailed level of information helps you work with suppliers to identify or correct issues and make better purchasing decisions in the future. As your IoT capabilities mature, you can begin extending connectivity to your field service operations. Imagine being able to automatically generate work orders as soon as a maintenance issue arises. Field service workers can address problems faster because they’re not relying on manually written work orders. Each stage along the journey generates new wins, and you will begin to see a true transformation taking shape.  In the later stages, you will begin applying machine learning and advanced analytics to predict outcomes, such as machine failures, or supply chain planning. This process is more complex, but it’s where you will achieve the most significant benefits.   The Digital Thread Delivers Results At this point you have established a digital thread that links data from every function across the organization, from engineering to the plant floor—all the way through the supply chain and out to the field. It’s a key characteristic of a truly connected enterprise. This is where some of the more dramatic wins are possible, and we’ll discuss how Industry 4.0 can play a key role in developing future business strategies during a breakout session called Integrated Business Planning for Manufacturing – Mission Possible [BUS6529]. Future strategies may include how you service your customers. For example, in the demonstration area we’ll show how a manufacturer can monitor asset usage to automatically replenish raw materials. Usage or condition monitoring allows you to fill orders as needed rather than replenishing material based on a set schedule. This helps to optimize your inventory investment by having the right materials at the right place at the right time. Specific to manufacturing, will see how the expanding Oracle manufacturing eco-system is enabling industry 4.0 with live connected robotic and controller demonstrations featuring Bosch Rexroth, Mitsubishi, and Fanuc.  Included in the Industry 4.0 demonstration area, you will also see IoT enabled digital twin models and engineering collaboration from Anark. Expanding into the supply chain, you will see how integrated business planning and various blockchain use cases, including track and trace and supply chain transparency, can help to transform your business.     This Industry 4.0 digital thread can also help you understand how your products are performing in the market. The engineering team can use customer-usage and product-performance data to tweak product designs. Design teams are no longer relying on word-of-mouth or lengthy paper-based reports to make critical decisions. They have intelligent, sensor-fed information so they can respond to market changes faster and reduce their time to market. Your entire organization is working together through a common, cloud-enabled thread that leads to greater productivity, improved service, and a competitive edge in the marketplace. If you’re still uncertain on how to get started, join us Oct. 22-25 in San Francisco at OpenWorld to gain a first-hand experience of a digital transformation. 

How do I build a smart, connected enterprise from scratch? It’s a question you and many other manufacturers often have before embarking on a digital transformation. You may wonder whether you have the...

Events

Oracle Logistics Cloud Sessions at OOW18

It’s that time of the year again! We have just over one week until Oracle OpenWorld 2018- the industry’s most important business and technology conference dedicated to helping your business leverage the Cloud for innovation and growth, as well your chance to gain insights on industry trends, and speak to experts, analysts and customers. If you’re looking to find opportunities to improve your logistics processes, check out Oracle Logistics Cloud at OOW18 and learn more about how you can optimize warehouse operations and transportation routing, ensure compliance, streamline and manage your operations centrally, and support omnichannel fulfillment. Oracle Logistics Cloud sessions at OOW18 include customer and business case sessions, as well as product overview and roadmap sessions. Hear from our customers and learn about the business benefits of moving to the Cloud during our Customer Case and Business Case sessions: Digital Supply Chain: Oracle's Internal Order-to-Cash Digital Transformation (Monday, Oct 22, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m) Digital Supply Chain: Transportation and Global Trade Management (Tuesday, Oct 23, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.) Digital Supply Chain: Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud Service (Wednesday, Oct 24, 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Optimize Your Logistics with Oracle Cloud (Tuesday, Oct 23, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) Join our Product Overview and Roadmap sessions to learn more about what new features are coming up, including leveraging emerging technologies in transportation, and building warehouses of the future: Industry 4.0: Digital Logistics and Order Management with Disruptive Technology (Thursday, Oct 25, 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.) Industry 4.0: Designing and Operating the Warehouse of the Future (Thursday, Oct 25, 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.) Tomorrow's Supply Chain, Today: Oracle Order Management Cloud Service (Monday, Oct 22, 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.) Tomorrow's Supply Chain, Today: Transportation and Global Trade Management (Tuesday, Oct 23, 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.) Tomorrow's Supply Chain, Today: Inventory and Warehouse Management in the Cloud (Wednesday, Oct 24, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) Oracle OpenWorld runs from October 22-25, 2018. Haven't registered? You can find more information here. See you at OOW18! 

It’s that time of the year again! We have just over one week until Oracle OpenWorld 2018- the industry’s most important business and technology conference dedicated to helping your business...

The Future of Integrated Supply Chains

Robert Knapp, Senior Vice President Supply Chain Management, Inspirage Businesses run on complex supply chains that include everything from buying materials to delivering the finished products and services to customers. If any link in the chain experiences sudden changes, it can throw off progress and create downtime. In turn, these periods can result in missed revenue opportunities and negatively impact the consumer experience. Any broken links in the supply chain would be a recipe for disaster, which is why organizations actively look to improve their processes and take back control. Management approaches have evolved to take current user and consumer needs into account and ensure that businesses can effectively fulfill obligations. Let’s take a closer look at the future of integrated supply chains and how they will support company endeavors. Heightened focus on customer requirements Customers are always right, but they are becoming a more critical point of consideration for many business leaders. Companies are moving toward an external force in their supply chains and it revolves around customer centricity. In a recent article Trade Ready stated: “Customer needs must be responded to, and companies must treat these needs by making them the focus of their supply chain requirements. “This focus on customer service aligns well with Inspirage’s key tenets of truly innovative supply chains which can be found in our 2017 Market Research Study, particularly around agility and sustainability. Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud Products, in partnership with carefully considered process design, are helping businesses become more agile and responsive.  The Oracle SCM Cloud comes as a full featured and integrated suite of products which can be adopted modularly by customers.  The products are helping customers stay ahead of challenges and changes in their business and proactively devise strategies and execute them with enterprise- Intelligently automate end-to-end processes to make your entire supply chain more efficient and responsive. Supply chain operations are moving toward connecting more effectively with stakeholders and quickly responding to changing customer and market demands. Sustainability is becoming entwined with this effort to ensure the highest level of quality and reduce the impact on the environment.  Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud products, inter-operably with Oracle Emerging Technology Cloud Products, can help customers adjust to demand change (driven by social media for example) or adjust supply through real time monitoring of supply operations (via IoT for example).  One customer, in retail grocery, is working on an innovative project to measure and reduce fresh produce waste through improved supply chain planning. Leaders are gradually understanding the value of attracting and retaining loyal customers, and supply chain processes must be adjusted to meet these needs. Organizations must maintain a reliable, sustainable approach, enabling them to consistently meet deadlines and deliver quality service. As supply chains become more complex, it will be particularly important to keep a firm eye on customer needs and how procedures can be improved. Tools that work seamlessly together The software that you choose could be a major differentiator. If your tools and systems don’t work together seamlessly, it creates a number of issues within your internal processes and can complicate supply chain operations. Integrating your most important assets, like enterprise resource planning, customer resource management and supply chain management systems, can make a significant difference in creating a reliable, sustainable framework. Eco-Business contributor Inna Amesheva suggested that integrated technology will yield more detailed data regarding the supply chain, regional operations, compliance and sustainability. By operating in a more integrated way, companies can monitor their impacts and tackle complex challenges. Organizations must have the right tools to integrate into the extended supply chain, providing information visibility and communication. Our respondents told us they continue to struggle with having the right tools to integrate more deeply with their extended supply chain. “Integrated tools and systems” was chosen as the top obstacle, with information visibility and communication – actually a byproduct of lack of integration – coming in at second. Companies that focus on strengthening their extended enterprise, increasing innovation and enabling digital processes will be able to build value-driven networks and end-to-end innovation and technology that connects people and machines to the information they require. Measuring and acting on operational information Supply chain players all generate a significant amount of data, which can help organizations make critical decisions. Perhaps a vendor normally gets busy around a certain time of year, for example. This type of information will be essential for planning inventory orders and managing the supply chain effectively. In our recent market research study, nearly 60 percent of responding companies have implemented process changes and are measuring results. Some are also implementing improvement cycles to ensure that they proactively meet market and customer demands. Many businesses are still more reactive, but they are being empowered to respond faster than ever before. Handling supply chain and manufacturing operations challenges quickly and effectively is a key strength of leading companies. Metrics will be critical in revealing what areas require improvement and other constraints on the business. Leaders should use this information to guide supply chain strategies and better align corporate goals with supply chain capabilities. Supply chains are in a constant state of flux due to shifting consumer and market expectations. Integrated supply chains are the future of ensuring assets work together to deliver critical insights and provide excellent customer experiences. To find out more about the potential of integrated supply chains, read our report or contact Inspirage today!

Robert Knapp, Senior Vice President Supply Chain Management, Inspirage Businesses run on complex supply chains that include everything from buying materials to delivering the finished products...

Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2018: A Review

By Charles Karren, Senior Director, Analyst Relations Oracle was honored to be a part of one of the leading supply chain conferences of the year: the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference (GSCES) in London. The event showcased Oracle’s leadership including a keynote by Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer & Group Vice President, Supply Chain Management Product Strategy.  Mr. Chorley spoke about  “Tomorrow’s Supply Chain, Today: Making it Real” and how Oracle SCM Cloud is helping companies establish a platform for continuous growth and supply chain innovation. This year was compelling because the conference showed exactly how much and how far the supply chain world has come in embracing digital transformation. There was a sense that the supply chain industry has finally pivoted and is ready to meet the challenges of a new digital economy head on. While the expanding roles of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and big data continue to be imagination drivers in the world – more and more use cases are being illustrated. Panels and vendors who could show how emerging technology can help with predictive analytics in manufacturing and logistics were popular, but this year there was also a lot of conversation around people and how to optimize them and get them to work together to use the technology. One of the more interesting ideas to come out of the conference this year is the idea that technology – while important and the enabler of change – is still only a tool for PEOPLE to use.  If people aren’t comfortable using technology or changing their approach then all the gadgets and bells and whistles in the world aren’t going to help a product get somewhere in time. Supply chains need plasticity at the people level as much as at the data level, and it was refreshing to hear panels and hear people talking about Agile teams and Scrums in a way I hadn’t really heard before. An outsider might think this is a few years late, but I think it shows the Supply Chain world has finally gotten on board with the realities of the digital world and is finally ready to step up. This year’s conference was interesting in that it was generally agreed that high visibility and elastic, end-to-end, scalable technology that is highly reactive to change – essentially cloud technology – is the most realistic answer to the challenge of successfully conducting modern digital business. Once again there was no shortage of cloud vendors at the conference this year. Per usual they showcased all sorts of solutions to the supply chain community, and per usual these products were mostly one offs. Single point solutions solving a single problem and trumpeting their integration schemes – as if those aren’t just table stakes anywhere. The fact is all of this single point software will require huge investments in time and money to keep them integrated and working as a single environment. I suppose a company could build an end-to-end solution from a patchwork of products, but that seems like headache to maintain and control. It seems inflexible. The more points there are to touch and manage the easier the chance the whole thing could break down.  And sure, I understand that everything comes with support, but is a company going to have to hire someone just to manage all those trouble tickets? It may seem self-serving, but the only cloud-based end-to-end supply chain solution on the market is Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud. One Company. One Cloud Platform. And one set of tools that allows businesses to manage their data within the supply chain and then across their business. A business can have tomorrow’s supply chain, today, and they can connect it to their entire organization – finally turning that cost center into a business partner. That’s how you enable business teams. Connect them seamlessly. We hammered the idea over and over -- overarching cloud architecture embedded in business architecture is the key to truly meeting the demands of the marketplace. See you next year in Barcelona.

By Charles Karren, Senior Director, Analyst Relations Oracle was honored to be a part of one of the leading supply chain conferences of the year: the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference (GSCES)...

Events

PLM Sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2018

October means many things−baseball playoffs, football, Halloween, and of course and most importantly, Oracle OpenWorld. OOW held on October 22-25, 2018 is your chance to discover new cutting-edge products, network and speak to experts and industry leaders, and learn directly from customers on how they are using technology to meet expectations. If your organization is interested in revolutionizing your product value chain and digitally threading Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) across the organization, there are a number of sessions you should visit. Discover how this Next Generation PLM software and innovation platform can deliver immediate value by rapidly connecting innovation into development and throughout commercialization. If you haven't registered yet, there's still time! Sign up today. Here are just a few highlighted sessions: Tomorrow's PLM, Today: Providing the Digital Thread for Business Transformation with John Kelley, Vice President, Product Value Chain Strategy at Oracle. Where: Moscone North - Room 23 When: Monday, Oct 22, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Take Control of Your Product Master Data: Oracle Product Hub Cloud with Sachin Patel, Senior Director Product Strategy, PLM and Product MDM at Oracle. Where: Moscone South - Room 105 When: Tuesday, Oct 23, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Quality 4.0:  Managing Risk with Quality Management Cloud with Gayle Hayes, Sr. Director, Product Strategy at Oracle and Elaine Wan, Product Strategy Director, Oracle Manufacturing and Quality Management Cloud at Oracle. Where: Moscone South - Room 104 When: Wednesday, Oct 24, 4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Efficient Product Lifecycle Management with Oracle Product Development Cloud with Sachin Patel, Senior Director Product Strategy, PLM and Product MDM at Oracle. Where: Moscone South - Room 151 When: Thursday, Oct 25, 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. For more information on Oracle OpenWorld 2018, click here. Check out the PLM Focus on Document. View the entire Oracle OpenWorld 2018 Agenda.

October means many things−baseball playoffs, football, Halloween, and of course and most importantly, Oracle OpenWorld. OOW held on October 22-25, 2018 is your chance to discover new cutting-edge...

Manufacturing

Industry 4.0: Is the East Really Advancing Ahead of the West?

The global race for innovation hasn’t looked like it’s going to be a close one of late. Recent figures from McKinsey show Europe spending only around $3bn-$4bn on AI technologies in 2016, compared to $6.2bn in Asia during the same amount of time. The EU is clearly worried about the region starting to lag behind, having last week announced a €9.2 billion investment into tech innovation, helping Europe catch-up with innovation hubs like China. But is Europe really falling as far behind in the innovation stakes as we all think? When it comes to manufacturing, perhaps not. We conducted some research recently, looking at Industry 4.0 technology in the manufacturing sector – both to see how it’s being adopted, but also to see what gains manufacturers have made from their implementations so far. Overall, we found most manufacturers have already implemented some form of Industry 4.0 technology, but there are still many opportunities ahead to open up a digital thread across their entire value chain, to make better use of data and improve interactions with their customers. But how did that boil down between the regions? We ran the research across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland – and then China and the UAE, specifically so we could see if there were any disparities in the findings between the continents – especially comparing the East to the West. And, surprisingly, we found the results to be pretty flat across the board – with Chinese and UAE manufacturers in just the same position as their European counterparts. There were a few stats that showcased regional differences. Only half of manufacturers globally said they were using their customers’ data to help them inform the way new products were being designed. Though the UAE was leading the way in this respect, the number of manufacturers there using customer data in this way went up to 71 per cent. In fact, the UAE does appear to be leading the way in working closer with customers. While nearly two thirds of manufacturers in total said they were in a position to make sales more directly to customers (rather than through retail or distribution partners), that went up to 72% in the UAE but down to 47% in Germany. When we looked at some of the benefits of deploying Industry 4.0 technologies, we found a third of manufacturers overall were starting to open up new routes to market for their products, but that this was actually higher in China (42%), compared with it being as low as 22% in France and 25% in Switzerland. So, while there are a couple of instances of the East using Industry 4.0 technology in more advanced ways that the West, these are few and far between. So, maybe, although they still have a way to go to extend a digital thread across their value chain and truly derive innovation from Industry 4.0, European manufacturers can take heart that they’re not lagging so badly behind their Eastern counterparts in this arena after all. For more information on Industry 4.0 and how Manufacturers can best embrace it, take a look at our page here - https://www.oracle.com/uk/applications/manufacturing.html  

The global race for innovation hasn’t looked like it’s going to be a close one of late. Recent figures from McKinsey show Europe spending only around $3bn-$4bn on AI technologies in 2016, compared to...

GDPR: Why Manufacturers Need to Build a Strategy

As soon as the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became compulsory, any business handling the data of individuals located in EU needed to find ways to guarantee they are meeting the stricter data protection measures. As manufacturers look to become more innovative and effective with product development and distribution, data is going to be one of the most valuable assets in propelling them forward. After all, the Industry 4.0 phenomenon is intrinsically linked with data; integrating information from across the value chain (suppliers, distributors, customers) together, so it can be analysed and actionable insights derived from it. All smart technology deployed by the organisation will be continuously collecting its own information across a number of touchpoints all the time – and all fed back into the company’s database. Amongst all that data? Yes, even for manufacturers outside of the union, a fair amount is likely to qualify as personal data pertaining to individuals located in the EU. So, manufacturers worldwide, just as much as businesses from any other sector, must ensure they both understand and are meeting GDPR requirements. But how well are manufacturers doing when it comes to getting their processes up to scratch, ensuring they are handling the regulation? Here’s the worrying part. Recent research we conducted shows less than half (46%) of manufacturers from across the globe think they’re currently meeting the requirements of the regulations – that’s a terribly low amount given they are not only mandatory, but if they’re found to be in breach of them, they could incur either a fine of up to €20 million or find themselves surrendering 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher. With that in mind, you might think they are going out of their way to rectify the situation fairly quickly. Unfortunately, not many of the manufacturers we surveyed are in a rush to become compliant. In fact, a mere 42% of those whose processes weren’t in accordance with GDPR said they were developing plans to improve their data protection strategy. Furthermore, 12% knew they definitely weren’t compliant and still said they had no plans to make any changes to their processes as a result.  Interestingly, while you might think it likelier for manufacturers within the EU to have their approach to GDPR sorted, more respondents from China and the UAE said they were in accordance with the regulation than respondents from the UK, France, Germany or the Netherlands. Overall, manufacturers from France were the most laissez-faire about the regulations, with only 38% saying they were meeting the requirements.    Clearly change needs to happen – and soon. The GDPR was just the first in what’s sure to be a long line of stricter measures to keep data protected – especially as it’s become such a valuable personal asset. Rather than talk of data protection fading away now we’ve past the GDPR inauguration date, all eyes will be on what organisations are doing to ensure they’re obeying the new laws. So, with manufacturers– and maybe, especially for manufacturers.    Need support to update your processes to make sure you’re GDPR compliant? Find out how on our dedicated page - https://www.oracle.com/uk/applications/gdpr/index.html

As soon as the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became compulsory, any business handling the data of individuals located in EU needed to find ways to guarantee they are meeting...

Supply Chain Management

4 Stages of Oracle Global Order Promising (GOP) in Make-to-Order Production Systems

Manmeet Walia, Principal Consultant at Trinamix In times of growing competitiveness, the significance of operations planning has become very important in a wide range of industries. Customers today expect quick responses to their orders. They are demanding more and more customized products, which they are able to find from different suppliers easily in terms of price and service levels. In order to survive in such a competitive atmosphere, companies are trying to organize their supply chains with the objective to minimize costs, maximize profits and service levels. Manufacturers have to think in advance much before the arrival of actual customer orders, especially in Make-to-Order (MTO) production systems. MTO is a complex supply chain where raw material and resource availability, assembly and production capacities and other supply chain attributes should be considered in order to promise customer orders. In such an environment, determining which orders to accept and which to reject is one of the toughest decisions. Available-to-Promise (ATP) is a business function, which has the capability to respond to customer requests by matching them with the available enterprise resources and at the same time provides acceptable scheduled ship dates. Oracle Global Order Promising (GOP) provides an internet-based fast ATP tool that calculates accurate and reliable delivery promises. This solution follow below 4 step process methodology for promising delivery dates. Stage 1: Customer Segmentation Stage 2: ATP Allocation Stage 3: Order Promising Stage 4: Forward Scheduling Fig: GOP process flow for order promising in MTO environment In Stage 1: Customer information, nature of orders (received in the past), customer type etc. is evaluated to define customer/demand class. A demand class represents a grouping of customers, such as government and commercial customers, or it may represent sales channels or regions. Focus here is on the profit which each customer gives type of the customer and the degree of the ordered product complexity. For Stage 2: Oracle GOP allocates supply for the customer/demand classes defined in the previous stage. This phase also needs information of the forecast from Planning Central/Demand Management for each customer class and supply planning information from Planning Central/Supply Planning. Depending on the situation, the allocation can be equal to the forecast of the customer or to a portion of supply when supply is constrained. Under Stage 3: Based on configured ATP Rules, GOP engine generates expected scheduled delivery dates if the order is accepted and the material and resource capacity is available. ATP rules define the Order Promising behavior by allowing to specify the promising mode, supplies and demands to be considered during promising, capable to promise and profitable to promise. Un-satisfied orders due to any constraints in material or resources in Stage 3 are passed through Stage 4 of Forward Scheduling which calculates about what could be possible future dates when the product can be delivered. This phase looks beyond the request date to find a future supply that can meet the shortage. One of the biggest challenge in demand fulfilment in MTO environment is to implement the supply chain model in practise and to get a good balance between solution quality and short response time. Hence there is a strong need to have accurate and clean master data available in the ERP system. If business rules and framework is created which could overcome the limitations, Oracle Global Order Promising (GOP) can promise very accurate deliveries and enhance the customer service levels.     The author is working with Trinamix as a Principal Consultant. Trinamix, an Oracle Platinum Partner (Cloud Select NA) is the global service provider and the leading implementation specialists for Oracle Cloud Applications. Trinamix has its signature PaaS based solutions on Oracle Cloud. Click here to read Trinamix Success Stories.

Manmeet Walia, Principal Consultant at Trinamix In times of growing competitiveness, the significance of operations planning has become very important in a wide range of industries. Customers today...

Logistics

3 Steps to Fully-autonomous Trucks

Human driven cars will disappear from local streets and freeways within 50 years, SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son said last month. "In less than 50 years, people will no longer be allowed to drive by themselves in the city or on expressways unless they have a special license." A scene that has appeared in countless science fiction movies might become reality sooner than we imagined: $80 billion has been invested in autonomous vehicle technology over the past 3 years 55 companies are currently registered to test self-driving vehicles in California (as of Jul 20, 2018) 20.8 million autonomous vehicles will be in operation in the U.S. by 2030 according to latest prediction Most major automakers are already part of the game, making heavy investments into self-driving technology through in-house development, partnerships and acquisitions. Technology companies – large and small – have also adopted various approaches to self-driving solutions aimed at achieving different levels of automation. Several companies have focused on bringing this technology to the commercial trucking industry and made tremendous progress there. Below is an overview of 3 major types of applications, differentiated by use case and stage of development:   1.Self-driving in Confined Areas  Current status: In Operation Private roads, mines, quarries, ports and other confined areas where vehicles operate routinely and free of unexpected pedestrians are ideal places for testing and implementing vehicle autonomy. The mining industry is pioneering this technology: In 2015, Rio Tinto rolled out 2 fleets of fully automated driverless trucks at iron ore mines in Western Australia. Until March 2018, Rio Tinto had more than 80 autonomous trucks in operation, and plans on increasing the number of driverless trucks to more than 140 by the end of 2019. In 2016, Volvo tested the world's first self-driving truck in an underground mine. Watch the video. Benefit: Mines are full of hazards, so reducing the number of drivers in the mines is not only a cost-saving strategy but also a safety measure.   2.Platooning on Highways Current status: Testing and R&D Source: European Automobile Manufacturers Association According to European Automobile Manufacturers Association, truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in a convoy. These vehicles automatically maintain a set, close distance between each other – requiring little to no action from drivers in the trailing vehicle. In the Platooning Roadmap, the association defined 4 steps to realizing truck platooning: Step 1: Mono-brand platooning Platooning requires advanced vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity technology. Therefore, starting with trucks of the same brand could be relatively easier. In July 2018,  Volvo Trucks performed an on-highway demonstration of a three-truck platoon made up of Volvo VNL tractors and 28-foot twin trailers in Raleigh, North Carolina. Using wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology and cruise control, braking and acceleration of the two trailing vehicles were done by computer while steering was still controlled by human. The second and third truck were able to maintain a following distance of 1.5 seconds apart — about 120 feet at 60 mph. Watch the video. Step 2: Multi-brand platooning Commercial fleets will need to be able to platoon with trucks of different brands, so the next step is to develop multi-brand platooning. At this moment, we are not able to find any demonstration of this technology. Multi-brand platooning requires standardization of communication protocols. Drivers will still be present in all trucks and ready to intervene. Step 3: Driver of a trailing truck can rest In this stage, a driver is only present in the first truck of a platooning group, other trucks in the group follow closely and are steered automatically. Step 4: Full Autonomous trucks No driver is needed, even in the lead truck. We will discuss this further in the next section. Benefit: platooning helps improve fuel economy. Trucks that follow closely together set up air flows that help to 'push' both trucks forward. It can reduce air drag, increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.   3.Fully-autonomous trucks on highways and roads  Current status: Under R&D Step 1: Fully-autonomous trucks on certain highways In the first phase, due to limitations in technology and legislation, it is very likely that fully-autonomous trucks will only be allowed on certain roads, such as highways. Human drivers are still needed to take trucks through restricted areas. There are 2 possible scenarios: Dedicated driver. A driver stays in a truck at all times. He/she can rest while the truck drives itself on highways. When it’s time to get off the highway, the driver takes over the control. On-demand driver.  Drivers are only present when trucks go through restricted areas. Once they leave such an area, drivers onboard can get off the trucks. Then they can wait there for the next incoming trucks and steer them into the area. The matching between available drivers and trucks might be done using an advanced Transportation Management System. Such a system should be able to coordinate pickup and drop-off locations and timing. Step 2: Fully-autonomous trucks on all roads The eventual goal is to have all roads currently allowing trucks to also allow fully-autonomous trucks. If we can get there, it will significantly reduce the driver shortage problem that has been aggravating the industry over the years. Furthermore, since we don’t need to account for the time when drivers take breaks, have meals or go home, autonomous trucks can operate 24/7.  When these trucks are connected with automated warehouses and coordinated by intelligent Transportation Management System and Warehouse Management System, many more opportunities will open up for the future of Logistics Management. Prepare for tomorrow’s supply chain today,  check out Oracle Logistics Cloud solutions.

Human driven cars will disappear from local streets and freeways within 50 years, SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son said last month. "In less than 50 years, people will no longer be allowed to drive by...

Supply Chain Management

Then and Now: How Oracle CEO Mark Hurd Envisioned the Changing Supply Chain

A great deal has changed since Oracle CEO Mark Hurd wrote and published The Value Factor in 2004. At the time, Hurd was CEO of NCR Corporation, Facebook was a dorm-room startup that barely registered on MySpace’s radar, and the iPhone was still years from its first release. Supply chain management was certainly a critical topic for product-focused businesses in 2004, but since The Value Factor’s release, it’s become almost boardroom gospel. A number of Hurd’s statements in his book presciently anticipate the importance of supply chain mastery for modern product-focused enterprises. Hurd was certainly ahead of the curve when he wrote that “Globalization, the Internet and the sheer volume of product choice mean that customers can change allegiances with ease.” But just because they can, doesn’t mean that customers will change their allegiances. Hurd also noted that “Customers need to see one consistent company in every channel, division or branch.” Corporate consistency -- from public branding and messaging, to sales and customer support, to the supply chain that keeps everything moving -- goes a long way towards building up goodwill with customers and getting them to stick around for the long haul. In The Value Factor, Hurd also pointed out that “We need to be faster and leaner, but we don’t need to change our business basics.” When you’ve got a great business that customers love, you don’t need to turn it into a different business. You just need to keep getting better at what your customers already expect you to do well. In other words, be consistent, but don’t get complacent. Companies that can provide a consistently high-quality product experience are far more likely to get their customers to upgrade from one model to the next. Even “small” supply chain problems can rapidly compound at scale, and even the world’s largest hardware companies have grappled with this issue in recent years.When you’re working with cutting-edge technology that requires the precise interaction of dozens of miniscule components, and you’re trying to do so with millions of units, your margin for error can be nearly invisible. As Hurd pointed out in The Value Factor, “A single good procurement decision can save millions of dollars.” On the other hand, one poor procurement decision can easily cost you millions of dollars. No company is perfect, but even the best companies can improve their supply chains with the right supply chain management (SCM) systems. Modern SCM systems often integrate with a more comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, which can give those handling procurement or manufacturing real-time insights into available resources, customer demand, logistics, and other critical business data points. This allows companies to reduce waste and speed time-to-market for any product, whether it’s a high-tech smartphone or a head of lettuce. Utilizing SCM applications that work well with more comprehensive ERP systems can provide all stakeholders with a greater level of real-time insight. And, as Hurd pointed out in The Value Factor, “The better insight we have into our businesses, the better oversight.” Cloud-based SCM software also allows companies to exert far more precise oversight over their supply chains than might have been possible before widespread broadband connections. Now, a plant manager in Peoria might be able to urgently requisition new parts from a supplier in Paraguay and have them packed for an international airmail shipment that same day. A surge in demand for a particular product on the West Coast might be addressed by rerouting shipments from warehouses in the Midwest within minutes of uncovering the issue. While cloud-based SCM solutions weren’t well-known when Mark Hurd published The Value Factor, he correctly anticipated in 2004 how they might improve supply chain management professionals’ working lives. Connecting your supply chain to the cloud can provide better oversight, more meaningful insights, and more rapid responses to any challenges that arise. Research and real-world data bears this out: an IDC study of Oracle SCM Cloud customers found that they had an average five-year ROI of 267 percent on their SCM system implementation, as well as 28 percent greater productivity from their supply chain teams -- among other benefits, which you can see in our recent blog post. For many companies, a rock-solid supply chain can make all the difference between phenomenal worldwide success and rapid obsolescence. Mark Hurd understood that in 2004, and what he wrote in The Value Factor underscores much of what we expect from the modern supply chains of today: they must be connected, consistent, and comprehensive to successfully serve the needs of worldwide enterprises with millions of demanding customers.

A great deal has changed since Oracle CEO Mark Hurd wrote and published The Value Factor in 2004. At the time, Hurd was CEO of NCR Corporation, Facebook was a dorm-room startup that barely registered...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

Your Innovation Platform for the Digital Thread

The Need for Continuous Innovation New technologies, Products, Services and Business Models evolve, so PLM and Engineering must evolve, too. Organizations need to adapt, tightly linking cross-functional Engineering with IT, in order to develop and manage connected products. Not to mention, this requires collaboration and data integration. Today, PLM needs to become an Innovation Platform, a Smart Connected Applications (Platform) that creates a Digital Thread. Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Quality Management, Service and Customer Experience need to work together cohesively in a connected world. This means they should be digitally threaded across the enterprise with real-time IoT data and applications, Collaboration, Social and Data, and Cloud. Oracle is the only Tier1 PLM provider that’s making the significant investment to deliver a connected, next-generation, Innovation Platform that will meet the needs of modern businesses for the next 15 years. Your Foundation for On-Premises to Cloud Oracle has established the foundation for organizations looking to go from on-premise to the cloud. With the customer in mind, Oracle has built best-in-class SaaS applications so you no longer need to staff an entire IT department for new product introductions and product launches. With a true Software-As-A-Service deployment, the cost is stable and the value of the investment always increases as we continue to add more innovation into the Application Services. True to our customer first approach, we will always deliver the next-generation of PLM Software. And this smarter connectivity will only make it easier for you to adopt new business models like Product-As-A-Service. Did we mention that Oracle’s PLM Cloud technology comes with built in analytics enhanced by IoT applications, and is integrated with adaptive intelligent (AI) apps to plug Machine Learning into your decisions? Ultimately, this enables you to 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 in current applications while also delivering the next-generation of Cloud applications. Customers also have access to Oracle’s product roadmap to plan upgrades, allocate resources, and secure budgets, they can tailor their enterprise business and IT strategies, enjoy reduced downtime, shorter upgrade cycles, and proven upgrade paths and methodologies. 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 (IM) to Agile PLM provides Ideation, Requirements Management and Traceability and Innovation Portfolio Management. Adding Product Hub Cloud to Agile PLM provides Commercialization to your existing PLM/ERP solution, and forms the basis for a migration to next generation PLM that bridges the gap between product development and the downstream processes. The appropriate Out-Of-The-Box integrations are available. If you’re a net new Oracle PLM Customer, we suggest you onboard PLM Cloud directly for quick return on innovation. Digitally Thread PLM across ERP, SCM, and CX The industry has talked about PLM managing the enterprise product record for years. The reality is, however, that traditional PLM systems have created a consolidated Product Development Record but leaves the  Enterprise product record fragmented with product records everywhere: In Product Development, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Quality Management, IoT…. Yesterday’s PLM does not deliver the speed required to achieve Digital Transformation or the Digital Thread.               Companies looking to pursue their own Digital Transformation need to invest in connected real-time applications (platform) to create a digital thread that radically improves speed and customer experience. Today, streamlining product records creates a new business architecture: a true Enterprise Product Record for the Digital Thread that delivers a complete 360 view of a product, its changes and quality and business process flows through all other applications in the thread. 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 single data model. And with our open architecture, your company can perform easy integrations to legacy or third party systems. Together with our partners we are well equipped to support our customers in any stage of their PLM Cloud 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, for example 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. The guiding principles for a future-proof and safe path for Oracle’s adaptive PLM are openness and choice, added value for our customers, and simplicity and ease-of-use. We will, as always, continue to put you, the customer, first. ............................................................................................ Watch this on-demand webinar to hear from Oracle's John Kelley, VP Product Value Chain Strategy and CIMdata’s Michael Fry, Practice Director for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and PI PLMx as they discuss how organizations are using the best PLM solutions to meet the expectations and demands of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). ............................................................................................

The Need for Continuous Innovation New technologies, Products, Services and Business Models evolve, so PLM and Engineering must evolve, too. Organizations need to adapt, tightly linking...

Flexibility in Supply Chain Management

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Supply Chain Collaboration Product Strategy  Often in supply chain management, what you see is what you get, but Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud offers more than meets the eye. How? Oracle SCM Cloud includes many easy ways to modify or extend its features to solve your unique business problems. You can start by changing labels, fields and layout using Page Composer. Then depending on the application, you can add attributes, validations and even whole new business objects using flexfields or Apps Composer. At other times, instead of modifying your Oracle SCM Cloud apps themselves, you might extend their capabilities by connecting other things to them. Let’s say you want your customers to view your products on a custom mobile app that gets item attributes from Oracle Product Hub Cloud. Or maybe you want to automate a common sequence of tasks, such as collecting the latest data, running a supply plan and extracting updated planned order quantities. Finally, you might need to integrate Oracle SCM Cloud with an on-premise ERP solution. Users have always been able to invoke Oracle SCM Cloud web services to do things like submitting sales orders or fetching item details. However, three recent developments now make SCM Cloud’s integration simpler and more powerful than ever: RESTful web services model. When Oracle SCM Cloud was first released, all its web services were based upon Simple Object Asset Protocol (SOAP) specifications. While SOAP is well-established, Representational State Transfer (REST) is a newer web services model that has risen to prominence over the past few years. Everything from your web browser to your spreadsheet supports RESTful services out of the box, making it easier to connect desktop and mobile tools to enterprise applications. The Oracle SCM Cloud development team has switched all web services development to the REST model so customers can connect to their Cloud apps with less effort. Lots of new web services. Oracle has evolved its application design and delivery practices to put web services at the heart of each product. As a result, dozens of new services are being published with each new release. For 18B, these include Meter Readings for Asset Management, Inventory Transfer Orders for Inventory Management, and Demand and Supply Plans for Supply Chain Planning, among many others. New Oracle Cloud Platform for Oracle SaaS. This is a bundle of PaaS technologies specially tailored for Oracle SaaS customers. The Enterprise Edition includes Oracle Autonomous Integration Cloud and Data Integration Cloud, along with Visual Builder Cloud, Mobile Cloud, Developer Cloud, Identity Cloud and Autonomous Analytics Cloud. Basically, by licensing just one line item, you get a complete set of platform technologies to connect, extend, secure and analyze your supply chain. So how will you make your Cloud your own? Considering Oracle SCM Cloud’s extensibility features, ever-growing library of REST services and Oracle Cloud Platform for Oracle SaaS, the sky’s the limit.

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Supply Chain Collaboration Product Strategy  Often in supply chain management, what you see is what you get, but Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud offers more than...

Supply Chain Management

The Imperfect World of Indirect Purchasing

Ana Galindo, SCM Product Marketing Manager Imagine a perfect purchasing world. In this world employees are able to purchase the items and supplies they need in order to get their jobs done at the best-negotiated prices. Purchase orders would be automatically created and the finance team would be able to easily match an order with an invoice. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. What happens instead is that employees will purchase items through suppliers that are not even on contract -- meaning businesses pay more for products that may already have lower negotiated prices, increasing costs to the business and impacting the bottom line. Ardent Partners – a research and advisory firm – attests to that. According to their recent 2017 CPO Rising Survey, only 54% of spend is on contract. It’s becoming increasingly hard for companies to ensure that employees are staying compliant and purchasing from approved suppliers within policy. In my previous roles, I know I would be guilty as charged. There were several times I would go “rogue” and place orders with outside vendors. Not because I wanted to, but because the spend management tools provided to employees was always extremely complicated to use. When it comes down to it, spend management isn’t just about reducing company costs, but also ensuring a user friendly internal customer experience as well. Quickly Adapting to Change When I arrived at Oracle I was told I was required to use our Self Service Procurement Cloud to order my monitors and standing desk. Just the thought of using another spend management application filled me with complete frustration. In the past I’ve had painful experiences with various spend management software (won’t name any names). I always had a hard time navigating through the software, I could never find the products that I needed, and of course the interface wasn’t intuitive. You can’t blame me for expecting the same complexities with this new application. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I first used Self Service Procurement Cloud as it takes the employee shopping experience to another level.  The fact is, the more intuitive and easy it is for employees to follow the rules, the more likely it is that they will. The first thing I noticed while using Oracle software was its easy, user-friendly, interface. When looking at the main page, there is a “Top Categories” section, as well as a drop-down category menu that allows users to choose what products it is that they are exactly looking for. The software also has powerful search capabilities that allowed me to quickly locate the right products that I needed within seconds. Furthermore, the catalog range on the Self Service Procurement Cloud is quite extensive. Users can pick from several different products to order such as laptops, office supplies, headsets and even mobile phones. If I was stuck between which items to order, users have the ability to compare and contrast products from different vendors. Also, I was able to “punchout” to the supplier’s e-commerce website, add items to my shopping cart, and then complete the transaction in the Oracle application. Advanced Features Enhance Your Procurement Once I was done looking for what I needed, with the click of a button I added the products to my shopping cart and seamlessly checked out. With the application’s advanced capabilities, I was able to choose a one-time delivery to a different office location. After submitting my order, my requisition was sent to my manager for approval. Requisitions within Oracle’s Self Service Procurement Cloud are always routed through workflows for approval before they are processed (these workflows are completely configurable to your organization’s policies). Within minutes after placing my order, I received an email stating that my requisition had been “approved.” What was most surprising was how expedient my requisition was able to be approved by my manager. Additionally, since the application runs on mobile devices I was also able to keep track of my requisitions’ status from the palm of my hand. I truly was impressed with how easy it was to manage my requisitions. Spend Management Made Easy Within a matter of days, I received several packages at my cubicle and the first thought that crossed my mind was “Well…that was quick!” At my previous employer, it would take several weeks before I received my order, making it much more convenient for me to order from a huge online retailer (you know the one) and have it delivered the next day. Oracle’s Self Service Procurement Cloud solution put a positive buying experience well within my reach. Most importantly it provided a compliant, streamlined, frictionless buying experience.  For more information on Oracle Self Service Procurement, please click here.  

Ana Galindo, SCM Product Marketing Manager Imagine a perfect purchasing world. In this world employees are able to purchase the items and supplies they need in order to get their jobs done at the...

Supply Chain Management

Controlling Costs with Smarter Procurement

Jim D’Addario, Director Product Marketing SCM, Cloud GTM SCM From office supplies to raw materials to machinery parts, businesses are continually making purchases to ensure their employees have what they need to be productive and keep the manufacturing lines running. Procurement is a critical part of the business that ensures uninterrupted supply, consistent supplier performance, risk mitigation and keeps costs under control. On the latter, to control costs, buying activities must be managed because of the effect they have on profit margins and the company’s cashflow. Managing a company’s spend is a top priority, but many organizations today lack effective processes and controls over employee buying activity. Procurement: Holding the Line on Expenses Procurement is a complex discipline covering many activities.  For many companies though, getting basic purchasing activity under control can be a challenge. It’s a problem that can be blamed, in part, on the tools businesses are using to manage their procurement processes. Smarter spend management involves both incentives and deterrence. Many businesses struggle with getting spending under control because they lack the systems to support it. eProcurement systems emerged in the 1980’s as a component of larger on-premise ERP system deployments.  However, legacy eProcurement systems—those that manage the transactional purchasing by employees—were often difficult to use and expensive to deploy. Their intimidating user experiences were often a deterrent, enough for well-meaning employees who simply gave up in frustration and “went around” the process. Still other companies, including small and mid-size businesses, simply didn’t consider deploying eProcurement systems. Instead they focused on financial management systems in an effort to get their finances in order. The Downstream Effect: How Unchecked Spending Impacts Productivity One  company, a fast-growing provider of medical language interpretation services, followed that formula. However, several months after deployment, the company’s controller found her finance staff overwhelmed with invoices from vendors with no reference to a purchase order. Perhaps even worse, her finance staff had no way to identify the employee who made the purchase. As a former accountant for a regional developer and property management company, I can personally attest that processing “orphan invoices” was the least favorite part of my job. The hours I would spend attempting to find out “whodunnit” were almost as enjoyable as receiving phone calls from vendors attempting to collect on their overdue invoices. To add insult to frustration, most of our vendors were contractors or building supply companies, prone to using colorful language to emphasize their point. which gave me a new appreciation for parking enforcement officers! Going back to our language translation company. Their controller recognized she had several big problems, including:   Out of control spending The burden placed on her staff who received invoices from over 2,500 different vendors Each of the vendors had to be manually entered into her ERP system Every invoice lacking a purchase order had to be verified with the purchaser in order to approve it for payment. Advantages of  Integrated eProcurement and Financial Systems The company controller deployed Oracle Procurement Cloud along with her Oracle Financials Cloud providing a control mechanism, making it easy for employees to find the products and services, resembling an eCommerce website experience. With such an easy buying experience, employees could find everything they needed from approved suppliers and vendors. Also,  employee requisitions were automatically routed to an employee’s manager for approval through system approval workflow rules. Only then did the solution generate a purchase order to send to the vendor. With a firm “no PO, no pay” policy, the company’s vendors quickly got the message. Now her accounting staff receives invoices with PO references, and in most cases are processed automatically by matching the PO to the invoice and an “OK to pay” authorization. The result: a 12% reduction in expenditures and an impressive annual reduction in invoice processing times by over 2,000+ man hours. Creating Strategic Value with a Better Procurement Procurement organizations provide increasingly strategic value to their companies. However, for many companies, in order to shift the focus to more strategic activities it requires getting the company’s transactional procure-to-pay processes under control. Often, that requires a combination of eProcurement systems that make it easy for casual users to find what they need quickly along with compliance enforcement through approval rules and purchase order creation that ultimately makes Accounts Payable much easier—if not completely automated—and reduces the company’s expenses considerably. For more information on Oracle Procurement Cloud, please click here.

Jim D’Addario, Director Product Marketing SCM, Cloud GTM SCM From office supplies to raw materials to machinery parts, businesses are continually making purchases to ensure their employees have what...

Enhanced Route Planning and Expanded Regulatory Support with Oracle OTM-GTM Cloud New Release

Whether you’re a clothing retailer, an electronic circuit breaker manufacturer, or somewhere in between, I’m sure that you’re fully aware of how unpredictable events such as disasters and supplier disruptions can affect your supply chain.  When it comes to Logistics, accurate route planning is crucial and ever-evolving trade regulations can add confusion and complexity. We’re delighted to share new features and enhanced capabilities included in the Oracle Transportation Cloud and Oracle Global Management Cloud release that’s available starting this week. These enhancements further extend Oracle’s leadership position in the transportation management category. Oracle Transportation Management Cloud provides a single platform for transportation orchestration across the entire supply chain. Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud offers unparalleled visibility and control over orders and shipments to reduce costs, automate processes, streamline compliance and improve service delivery. Enhanced routing and advanced planning: make better decisions when planning routes by accounting for factors such as historic traffic patterns, hazardous materials and tolls. Advanced planning allows you to map out end-to-end order fulfillment and simulate integration flows with Oracle Order Management Cloud and Oracle Inventory Management Cloud Expanded regulatory support: respond to global trade needs by supporting expanded regulatory content, enabling more accurate screening and providing summary customs declarations enhancements. Driver-oriented mobile app features: improve the handling of shift-based drivers with enhanced support for planning and execution of private and dedicated fleets, including driver-oriented workflow on the OTM mobile app. UX and collaboration: simpler and easy-to-configure user interface through Oracle Content and Experience Cloud integrations that streamline collaboration with peers. Real-time “what-if” scenarios: resolve issues and questions from shipment planning processes with the help of a real-time visual tool that provides “what-if” scenarios. More effective shipment planning and visibility With the new release, you’ll find enhanced routing capabilities in Transportation Planning that enable Oracle Transportation Cloud to make better decisions when routing shipments and accurately predict the estimated time of arrival. Historic traffic patterns, hazardous materials, tolls and other factors can be taken into consideration when planning shipments. You can also review and resolve issues arising from the shipment planning process through the real-time visual diagnostics tool that offer new insights by providing “what-if” scenarios. Improved accessibility to shipments for drivers The OTM mobile app now includes workflows designed specifically for customers using private or dedicated fleets. Dispatchers can assign drivers to shipments in OTM and send those shipments to the drivers’ mobile devices, giving each driver complete visibility of his/her shipments. Flexible regulatory content interfaces and usability enhancements Redesigned regulatory content interfaces provide flexibility for third parties to include content in Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud and provide support for managing non-tariff measures that may impact your global supply chain. GTM now also supports multiple languages of the same tariff and any related regulatory notes. This is very helpful when you have users operating in a local language but may need your global customs team to still be able to work in English. We’re also introducing new usability enhancements in Global Trade Management Cloud that include out-of-the-box menus that are organized by business process, making it easier for users to navigate around the app. The new Restricted Party Screening workbench will help users quickly resolve open issues. Stronger collaboration through social profiles and a seamless user interface With Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, users can now create social profiles, collaborate with colleagues, and share documents directly within the OTM and GTM cloud application. What’s even better is that users will find the new interface simpler, cleaner and easier to configure. You can change background images or colors to suit your business needs. You can find a detailed summary of what’s new in this release here.    

Whether you’re a clothing retailer, an electronic circuit breaker manufacturer, or somewhere in between, I’m sure that you’re fully aware of how unpredictable events such as disasters and supplier...

Events

Collaboration and Visibility in the Supply Chain

Tom McDonough, Sr. Director Product Marketing One of the Supply Chain Management trends apparent at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in May was highlighted by several vendor/customer presentations focused on the value of Collaboration and Visibility projects.  In 2013 Gartner defined end to end supply chain visibility (E2ESCV) as “a capability that provides controlled access and transparency to accurate, timely and complete plans, events and data – transactions, content and relevant supply chain information – within and across organizations and services to support effective planning and execution of supply chain operations.”  That is a mouthful. Nevertheless, I like the definition.  I’ve had direct experience with several of these projects both as a vendor and as an operations/supply chain practitioner and I wanted to discuss the benefits I’d seen, some of the key success factors in these types of projects and how disruptive technology is fitting into the picture. In a previous role, I was involved very early in what we deemed a ‘Supply Chain Performance Management’ software startup.  I would categorize our mission and value to be directly in line with the Gartner definition for E2ESCV so, today we would have been a visibility and collaboration solution vendor.  In the end the company was acquired but I continue to see projects, spawned during our 6 years, continue as ongoing ventures at other startups or as ongoing projects inside the customers we’d worked for in that time period. At the highest level, these projects are providing visibility to ongoing operations via a dashboard or a cockpit or some other similarly defined mission control center.  This was a relatively heavy investment in time and resources when we had our startup due largely to the investment in data gathering and integration.  However, advances in data management and systems integration have reduced the time and data investment required, enabling customers to consider different approaches such as several smaller, focused projects rather than one big bang.  See Oracle’s PaaS for SaaS data integration cloud for more information. The projects themselves bring together people, processes and data across multiple organizations and systems (usually planning and execution) in several ways: Provide visibility to execution level data relative to pre-defined targets (e.g. safety stock or other planned parameters) Often this data is rolled up organizationally, geographically or in distribution through performance metrics or key performance indicators (targets change with these roll ups) Provide notification and context when some process is ‘out of control’ as defined by those pre-defined targets Bring the decision makers together, usually from multiple organizations or even companies, with the right data to collaborate and make decisions about the situation Initiate and track process improvement activities It’s important to note that not every event necessarily requires immediate action. Sometimes there is a logical explanation and targets can be re-defined or alerts ignored for the short term. As with any project, definition of the objective (usually based on ROI) is the starting point. ROI for collaboration and visibility projects can be defined in many areas of the supply chain, and by way of example (real projects) I can more easily share the value: A large grocery retailer had negotiated complex, long term, vendor managed inventory (VMI) agreements with several consumer goods suppliers. A visibility and collaboration project was implemented to focus on Reducing in store stock outs.  The ROI on projects effective at avoiding stock outs is large. Optimal inventory management using data from point of sale systems, in store inventory updates, in transit inventory and VMI on hand at supplier warehouses.  Supplier adherence to VMI contract parameters Impact of demand changes by the retailer on supplier ability to manage to VMI contract parameters Effective measurement of shrinkage and the ability to implement programs to reduce it, another retail issue driving billions of dollars in annual opportunity I can see clear advantage for retailers, facing the challenge of today's omnichannel demand, in developing a strategy around collaboration and visibility tools and processes. A high-tech contract manufacturer was growing rapidly through acquisition.  The company implemented a visibility and collaboration project to Gather global commodity prices and planned global procurement to drive procurement to best prices Eventually incorporate quality and delivery data into the mix to ensure they were getting the best prices from the best performing suppliers Drive acquired sites from traditionally local, higher priced sources, to the best commodity prices Allow the global procurement organization to consolidate resources and become more efficient Today we see a growing number of examples of use of sensors and Internet of Things data aggregation and management tools to more finely measure ‘what is where and in what state’ in execution.  These systems can be rolled up into collaboration and visibility projects to provide more frequent updates to plans and faster time to problem resolution.  See Oracle’s Internet of Things Cloud Application for more examples. Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud Applications work seamlessly with Oracle’s Supply Chain Collaboration Cloud and both are fully supported by Oracle’s innovations in IoT and PaaS for Saas data management and integration.

Tom McDonough, Sr. Director Product Marketing One of the Supply Chain Management trends apparent at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in May was highlighted by several vendor/customer...

Events

Cloud Supply Chain Management: Your Key to Unlocking Business Value

Simon D. Ellis, Program Vice President, IDC Digital disruption is happening at different speeds across different industries – but it is happening in all industries to one degree or another and the manufacturing industry is not to be spared. Organizations that don’t transform digitally will struggle to grow in the future and may even find themselves out of business. Recent IDC research data about digital transformation (DX) shows that organizations are aware of this peril and recognize the need to both adopt and adapt to digitally native technology. As the world goes digital, manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers are experiencing massive changes in how they run and manage their supply chains. Many changes are driven by new capabilities enabled by cloud and other digital technologies. In IDC’s 2018 Supply Chain Survey, 75% of companies felt that the cloud was a critical element to delivering supply chain excellence both today and into the future. Most manufacturers we spoke with see dual goals for their supply chain transformation programs. While disruption may hover in the background of supply chain executives’ minds, the opportunities for digital transformation (DX) to drive productivity gains are very much in the foreground. Disruption mitigation and/or enablement is a critical part of DX in the supply chain, but the current focus appears to be more on efficiency and waste reduction.  In IDC’s 2018 Supply Chain Survey, 60% of companies also noted that meeting customer/consumer needs was the driving force behind their supply chain transformation efforts Supply chain management (SCM) is the key to unlocking this business value, and IDC’s spending data supports the contention that cloud is the future of SCM. While we see year-on-year growth rates of on-premise SCM in the 2–3% range (depending upon application area), comparable growth rates for cloud are 15–18%. IDC projects that by 2021 at the latest, the overall value of implementations of cloud SCM will surpass that of on-premise SCM implementations. IDC’s 2018 Supply Chain Survey found that new technologies like cloud SCM are now viewed as top drivers of supply chain change and can help organizations to: Increase the productivity of employees responsible for producing and distributing goods Win more business by delivering more products on time and at higher quality Identify operational cost reductions across their supply chains Enable efficiencies for teams whose work supports or is adjacent to supply chain operations, such as supply chain-related customer support, development, and regulatory compliance For an in-depth look at a cloud SCM and the business value of a successful deployment, we invite you to sign up for the IDC webinar, Just the Facts Ma’am: The Quantitative Benefits of Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud, brought to you by Oracle.

Simon D. Ellis, Program Vice President, IDC Digital disruption is happening at different speeds across different industries – but it is happening in all industries to one degree or another and the...

Supply Chain Management

AI Reading Comprehension – Applications and Possibilities In Supply Chain Management

Teaching a computer to read human language and comprehend meaning has been one of Artificial Intelligence’s holiest grails. Reading comprehension is challenging – even for human readers. In order to do it well, a reader not only needs to process a significant amount of reading material, but also needs to develop the capability to interpret questions correctly and find answers accurately. Surprisingly, computers are performing the task relatively well. A Brief Review of Natural Language Processing Early research into reading comprehension started in the late 1950s and gradually evolved into the subject of Natural Language Processing (NLP) – also known as Computational Linguistics. NLP leverages a combination of Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Linguistics techniques to comprehend, interpret, and even generate human language information. Stanford University spearheaded the research by creating the Stanford University's Question Answering Dataset in 2016. This dataset is a collection of paragraphs taken from more than 500 Wikipedia pages spanning a wide range of subjects. The dataset also provides for 100,000+ questions. The answer to each question is a segment of text from a reading passage. Researchers built intelligent algorithms to “understand” both the questions and the passages, then propose the best section in the passages to answer each question. A typical passage and questions look like this: In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, graupel and hail... Precipitation forms as smaller droplets coalesce via collision with other raindrops or ice crystals within a cloud. Short, intense periods of rain in scattered locations are called “showers”. Question 1: What causes precipitation to fall? gravity Question 2: What is another main form of precipitation besides drizzle, rain, snow, sleet and hail? graupel Question 3: Where do water droplets collide with ice crystals to form precipitation? within a cloud Reference: SQuAD: 100,000+ Questions for Machine Comprehension of Text Researchers around the world have been attracted to develop and test question answering algorithms against this dataset. As a result, the leaderboard of the Stanford Question Answering Challenge has grown into one of the world’s top battlegrounds for AI research. As of June 2018, the #1 algorithm on the leaderboard has reached 83.88% accuracy, already exceeding average human performance (82.30%).  This achievement has led to Round 2 of the battle. Currently, no matter whether an input paragraph is relevant or not, algorithms will attempt to produce some answer for the questions given. This has propelled researchers to tackle the next challenge – being able to identify when information is insufficient and say, “Sorry, I don’t know.” Reference: Know What You Don't Know: Unanswerable Questions for SQuAD Although there’s still some debate over the fairness of these challenges – whether they are set up in a way that favors the machine, and whether the machine has truly outperformed humans or not – it’s intriguing to see how fast the forefront of AI research reaches new heights. Applications and Possibilities in Supply Chain Management In regards to supply chain management, text-based Machine Learning techniques can inspire many use cases in Supply Chain Management. Intelligent Product Classification By running analysis over product names and descriptions, retail companies will be able to streamline the process of acquiring new merchandise, categorizing them, and then populating them on the correct pages of their online catalog Trade Compliance Accurate product classification is a compliance requirement when conducting international trade. Being able to decipher the human language as it relates to product information and tariff schedules – as well as being able to identify the accurate product category and recommend tariff codes will save enormous amount of time for companies. Manual Descriptions Integrated with Chatbots Text descriptions entered manually by users would be a valuable supplement to system data and would deliver a more holistic picture of a supply chain process. Take shipping as an example: If various parties recorded information such as reasons of delay or other anomalies – if Natural Language Processing capability were embedded into a system – users would be able to avoid reading through “Remarks” or “Notes.” When connected with chatbots, a user would only need ask, “Why is this shipment late?”  A chatbot could gather the relevant information, analyze it, and respond in human language Business Intelligence With analysis running regularly on unstructured text data, businesses would be able to utilize aggregated results as new data streams and feed them into Business Intelligence tools for monitoring and reporting. More business patterns could be uncovered that benefit organizations. AI and machine learning tools and other emerging technologies are growing at a rapid clip in the Oracle SCM Ecosystem. Check out a few of our tools and platforms available now.

Teaching a computer to read human language and comprehend meaning has been one of Artificial Intelligence’s holiest grails. Reading comprehension is challenging – even for human readers. In order to do...

Events

New IDC Research Quantifies Value of Cloud for SCM

Michele Becker, Senior Content Strategist, Digital transformation has become top-of-mind for executives in supply chain management (and everywhere else, for that matter), but what’s the true payoff for companies that embrace it? Recently, we set out to find answers, engaging industry analyst firm IDC to interview Oracle SCM Cloud customers and quantify the benefits of their move to cloud.* IDC’s research found that Oracle SCM Cloud customers had a truly impressive five-year ROI of 267%, a 12-month breakeven and 28% more productive supply chain teams, among other benefits such as: 36% faster delivery of new products 1.6% higher revenue per organization 6% lower material costs 38% more productive SCM-related development 44% more efficient customer support teams 62% faster resolution of release errors IDC’s analysis showed that benefits like these translated into significant financial gain for study participants—namely, an average annual value of $264,400 per business application per year, equating to $4.91 million per organization. These gains came from the organizations’ ability to win more business by delivering more products on time and at higher quality, as well as to increase employee productivity, lower operational costs, and increase efficiencies in SCM-adjacent teams, like customer support. Digital transformation drivers in SCM Many of the findings in the Oracle-commissioned IDC research are in lock step with the latest IDC Supply Chain Survey, published biannually. Among the more intriguing findings in its 2018 Supply Chain Survey, respondents felt that the top driver of supply chain change was the adoption of new digital technologies—something greatly streamlined by leveraging a cloud platform. In this 2018 survey, IDC further states that: 60% of companies noted that meeting customer/consumer needs was the driving force behind their supply chain transformation efforts. 75% felt that the cloud was a critical element to delivering supply chain excellence both today and into the future. Looking across both the Oracle-commissioned report and the 2018 SCM survey, IDC research findings reinforce two developments that we at Oracle repeatedly see across the supply chain market and hear directly from our customers. First, supply chains are moving from being seen primarily as a cost center to a strategic enabler that creates business opportunities. Indeed IDC research bears this out. IDC analysts note, “While the specter for disruption may be in the back of supply chain executives’ minds, the opportunities for digital transformation to drive productivity gains are front of mind.” Secondly, cloud has become a critical success factor for digital transformation. Not only does having a cloud platform streamline adoption of the emerging technologies essential to that transformation, but as IDC notes, “cloud is a major component in this thinking, being both faster and more flexible to support increasingly low-latency business models.” Learn more about IDC’s SCM study If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to join Oracle and IDC for an August 7 webinar: Just the Facts Ma’am - The Quantitative Benefits of Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud. During the webinar, we’ll explore results of IDC’s new SCM study, as well as share insights on digitally transforming your supply chain to unlock new business value and create competitive advantage.   *Source: IDC White Paper sponsored by Oracle, Making Supply Chain Operations More Effective and Efficient by Moving to the Cloud with Oracle SCM Cloud, Doc #US43808718, June 2018.  

Michele Becker, Senior Content Strategist, Digital transformation has become top-of-mind for executives in supply chain management (and everywhere else, for that matter), but what’s the true payoff for...

Events

The Connected Enterprise as a Cure for the Innovator’s Myopia Webinar

Yesterday’s innovation and development practices can’t keep up: It’s like throwing all your darts at a board and hoping you get a bulls eye. Today, customers are demanding new and unique products and services faster - that means it’s up to you to meet those expectations before the competition. Yet, without next-generation product lifecycle management infused with IoT data, you may be left behind−just look at the Fortune 100 in the last 20 years. It’s time for you to take a strategic approach to innovation and development and cure your innovator’s myopia. It all starts by checking out this FREE webcast on August 22nd with global thought leader on product development and emerging technologies Joe Barkai and Vice President of Product Strategy John Kelley. These industry leaders will demonstrate how these new technologies will help your company meet the high expectations of today’s consumer. Register Today to learn how next-generation PLM and IoT data (internet of things) digitally threads product information so you can successfully create digital twins, make accurate predictions, and avoid falling off the map. Visit https://cloud.oracle.com/plm-cloud to discover the Oracle Cloud advantage. Check out these other interesting blogs: Combine IoT and PLM to tie the Digital Thread and Watch How Next Generation Product Lifecycle Management Drives Digital Transformations Kirk Carlsen is a Product Marketing Manager at Oracle. You can find him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Yesterday’s innovation and development practices can’t keep up: It’s like throwing all your darts at a board and hoping you get a bulls eye. Today, customers are demanding new and unique products and...

SaaS for Sales and Operation Planning

Tom McDonough, Sr. Director Product Marketing Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a core function for almost all businesses regardless of size or industry.  True practitioners almost consider adherence to process to be a religion and I get it, it is complex, large in scope, requires multiple data and organizational inputs, extraordinary attention to detail and precise/timely communication – it requires direct participation from most business functions or requires they remain aware of the inputs and outputs.  The scope of the S&OP process, and this may vary by business size, can cover planning over years, months and even weeks.  At some point it cedes ground to operational planning – the basic blocking and tackling of getting a product sourced, made, distributed or delivered to its buyer. S&OP touches most other core business functions – each planning step in source, make, deliver; financial planning from revenue to cost of goods sold expectations; product planning from product life cycle management to new product introduction. As a practitioner, I was a member of teams which adopted best practices, evolved our own and used a variety of tools to get the job done.  One of the biggest challenges we faced was meeting preparation – finding the right data at the right time in the right format to describe the future, the current state and past conditions. This data, and the processes and procedures required to get it out of multiple types of systems (ERP, EPM, SCM, HCM) and sometimes multiple vendors/versions of these systems, was tedious and although we would get good at standardizing methods and procedures, it was inevitable that something would break during monthly S&OP plan development. One of the root causes was the challenge IT had managing on-premise systems from multiple vendors with multiple customizations.  These systems often required annual or more frequent upgrades for patches, such as security or functionality, they had to be replaced every few or even every couple of years which, in and of itself, could be a multi-year project in preparation and execution.  As Oracle launches its “SOAR to the cloud” initiative and I reflect on the benefits for S&OP practitioners, I see better times coming for those who adopt Oracle Sales and Operations Planning Cloud or the entire Supply Chain Planning Cloud suite of products (including Demand Management, Supply Planning and Collaboration Cloud).  SOAR, for those unfamiliar with it, is Oracle’s automated cloud migration solution, which reduces upgrade costs, accelerates time to value and improves delivery predictability.  Once migration is complete, SaaS based functionality upgrades come to users on a regular cadence, no more custom upgrades and waiting for on premise system replacements for the next big technology leap.  The “better times” benefits from the Oracle SaaS platform I alluded to earlier include: Already existing best in class features Accelerated rate of (fully tested) new features Oracle’s Modern User Experience Processes and tools for Guided Resolution Collaboration tools to support planning processes and troubleshooting Integrated end to end planning processes, enhancing planning speed and results Autonomous planning features for better results, faster Integration services for data management and migration Modular products to support any size business at any stage of its planning maturity Gartner publishes a five stage maturity model for S&OP.  For companies that evolve to stages four and five, Gartner describes the business as having achieved Integrated Business Planning.  Oracle supports this evolution modularly- allowing any business to enter at stage one, and achieve stage five best-in-class capabilities.  It makes sense to me but I often see solution vendors, of both strategic consulting and technology, use the term Integrated Business Planning to describe many things – including all phases of Supply Chain Planning - very confusing. As a practitioner, I was often approached by vendors or consultants who had adopted “innovative” terms for S&OP.  I was curious to see what people search for on Google related to this type of planning and at about a 6:1 ratio, S&OP still dominates search for information around the core business planning process.  As a regular attendee of S&OP conferences, my common experience is that practitioners aren’t interested in flashy new names or complicated work-arounds, just plain old S&OP as tedious and complex as it might be.

Tom McDonough, Sr. Director Product Marketing Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a core function for almost all businesses regardless of size or industry.  True practitioners almost consider...

Make Plans to Attend the Largest OTM-GTM Event of the Year

Chris Peckham, Senior Principal Product Manager The Oracle Transportation and Global Trade Management platform is well known for having one of the largest and most active product ecosystems of its kind.  That vibrancy will be on full display on August 5 – 8, 2018, when the Oracle Transportation Management Special Interest Group (OTM SIG, for short) convenes its 12th annual user’s conference at the Loews Hotel in downtown Philadelphia. The SIG brings together a group of nearly 500 people, consisting of customers, partners, and key members of the Logistics Cloud product family at Oracle, for three days of learning, knowledge sharing, and networking. The OTM SIG conference is unique in that is not organized or facilitated by Oracle.  The SIG Board of Directors, comprised of customer users and partners elected to two year terms, volunteers their time to serve the organization and assemble the annual conference, which is no small task for an event of its scale.  There are many reasons to register and participate in the conference, but here are a few of the highlights attendees can look forward to: Hear keynotes from Oracle leadership As is the case each year, attendees will have the opportunity to hear keynote addresses from Jim Mooney and Derek Gittoes, Oracle’s Vice Presidents of Product Development and Product Strategy, respectively, as they outline the current state of affairs in the OTM-GTM Product Development organization and speak to future plans for the Oracle Logistics Cloud.  These highly anticipated sessions are featured on Day 1 of the conference and always play to a packed house. Network with fellow customers The SIG gives users a networking opportunity unlike any other.  Whereas other industry events throughout the year may provide attendees with a wide range of topics appealing to a broader audience, the SIG is singularly focused on Oracle Transportation Management and Global Trade Management.  At no other conference will one find as many users with the depth of experience and OTM-GTM product expertise as at the SIG. Speak with SI and ISV partners to learn about new offerings Those familiar with the annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems know that OTM always receives high marks for its deep roster of experienced partners.  Nowhere is that community on greater display than the SIG, where an exhibit hall is always a hub of activity.  Attendees can meet with partners to hear about their latest successful implementations, new innovations, see demonstrations of complementary product offerings, and much more.  Nearly 30 different partners are sponsoring this year’s SIG, and each will have a unique and compelling story to tell. Engage directly with Oracle Product Development Philadelphia is home not only to the SIG, but also to the OTM-GTM Product Development group.  That fact enables Oracle to give dozens of team members the opportunity to attend the conference and engage directly with the user community.  Individuals representing Product Management, Product Strategy, Development, QA, Documentation, and Support will all be on hand to give presentations, participate in forum discussions, answer user questions, listen to feedback, and network with conference-goers.  At no other event will one find a larger congregation of OTM-GTM Product Development personnel. Learn from other customers Perhaps the most compelling reason to attend the SIG is the opportunity to hear other customers share the use case and story behind their implementation of OTM-GTM.  Always among the most popular sessions of the conference, customers will lead or co-present in many of the 32 different break-outs on the agenda. Take part in new concepts The SIG Board of Directors always looks to put a fresh twist on the event, and this year is no exception.  In addition to keynote addresses, dedicated exhibit hall time, multiple concurrent track sessions, and networking events, this year’s SIG will add OTM-GTM product demonstrations to the myriad opportunities afforded to those on hand.  Details are still being finalized, but attendees can look forward to Oracle experts conducting demonstrations of new and forthcoming functionality in a new theater setup. Mingle with friends over a cocktail at evening receptions Although the conference is a large group of several hundred, it represents an intimate reunion of sorts.  Long-time attendees and newcomers alike will quickly make friends and feel right at home.  Whether at the Welcome Reception on Sunday evening, one of the many partner receptions on Monday, or the big Tuesday evening gathering, attendees have ample opportunities to make new connections and renew old acquaintances as they broaden their network. We hope to see many of you at the SIG in August.  You can get all the latest details about the agenda, venue, registration, and more at the conference home page.

Chris Peckham, Senior Principal Product Manager The Oracle Transportation and Global Trade Management platform is well known for having one of the largest and most active product ecosystems of its...

Events

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd Shares Vision at Modern Supply Chain Conference

Executives in all industries are under tremendous pressure to modernize supply chain management (SCM) to remain competitive and maximize growth in the face of digital disruption. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, in his keynote at the company’s annual Modern Supply Chain Experience conference, outlined why cloud technology is driving process improvements, not only in IT and SCM, but throughout business operations. “You hear us talk about products, but it’s a lot bigger than products,” he said. “This is about strategy and business models.” According to Hurd, technological innovation has upended conventional ways of doing business. This is illustrated by the fact that more than 50 percent of companies on the Fortune 500 list 18 years ago no longer exist. However, the majority of enterprises still spend most of their IT budgets on maintaining legacy systems with customized business applications that are two decades old on average. Enterprises also face further security risks due to the difficulty of applying patches and upgrades.  When it comes to supply chains, traditional models of doing business are no longer sustainable.  The internet and social media have changed the way people make purchases. Customers now expect to be able to place orders and get same day delivery. Older supply chains simply cannot meet this demand. Hurd also observed that, while cloud applications are often touted as technically better than on-premises options, the cloud is more than a technical issue. “You’re going to see a complete change in the way IT works,” he said. “There’s not enough money to keep the status quo going.” Ultimately, enterprises will have to modernize by moving SCM and other business operations to the cloud because cloud applications can cost less, require less work, and provide more secure features. It’s an attractive business proposition for a company to implement cloud applications and innovate on Oracle’s R&D bill instead of their own IT bill. It is much easier to use cloud upgrades to acquire new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning — capabilities and features that companies could never hope to get in the old on-premises business model. Hurd also offered his predictions for how widely cloud technology will spread by 2025: The number of corporate-owned data centers will have decreased by 80 percent. 80 percent of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services. 80 percent of IT budgets will be spent on business innovation and only 20 percent on system maintenance. All application development and testing will be conducted in the cloud. Enterprise clouds will be the most secure place for IT processing. Hurd noted that companies that fail to modernize IT and fall behind on these trends will find themselves at a huge competitive disadvantage. “You’ve got to get started,” he said. “We’re focused on leading and driving this transition, and we do this hopefully to your benefit.”      Watch Mark Hurd's Modern Supply Chain Experience keynote to learn more about how cloud technology is driving IT and SCM modernization efforts and creating new business models.

Executives in all industries are under tremendous pressure to modernize supply chain management (SCM) to remain competitive and maximize growth in the face of digital disruption. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd,...

Supply Chain Management

Digital Transformation with Supply Chain Planning – Here Is What Your Peers Are Thinking

Kiran Saindane, Product Strategy Director, Oracle At the Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018, I had a collective learning session on “How Disruptive Technologies Enrich Planning Experience”. Besides demonstrating some of the Oracle product initiatives for digital transformation, my co-presenters from Electronic Arts (Shawn Battershall: Sr. Business Delivery Manager Demand Planning) and Cisco (David Wilson: Sr. Manager Global Planning & Fulfillment Solutions Team) shared their thoughts on challenges they are facing and how they plan to innovate. Electronic Arts - Road to Digital Transformation Challenges Digital Transformation Companywide initiative “Do more with less” Planners Bandwidth Disruptive Innovation: Top Initiatives Demand Segmentation Systematic Automation Identify areas to leverage AI/ML Cisco- Global Planning and Fulfilment 2020 Challenges Demand Volatility Changing Customer lead time expectations IBP Trade Off decision support Disruptive Innovation: Top Initiatives Segmentation Orchestration Decision Science I also conducted a real-time poll where peers participated via mobile devices, and wanted to share some of the survey results here. The survey results are consistent with my own research and learnings from customers who are in early stages of their digital transformation projects. Oracle continues to invest in Supply Chain Planning Cloud applications and use disruptive technologies including machine learning. The upcoming purpose-built applications like AI Segment Optimization and AI Product Optimization will be embedded in current applications and amplify the value of supply chain planning. With AI Segment Optimization, you will be able to tailor your supply chain strategy to each customer and product across your business. With AI Product Optimization, you will be able to improve success of new product launches by accurately predicting customer demand and dynamically balancing supply with demand. The goal is not only to enrich planning using machine learning, but also to create a conversational “Planning Advisor” to give you timely advice in “Plain English”. Join this discussion on digital transformation with supply chain planning. Oracle can help you overcome your supply chain challenges and innovate to create tomorrow’s supply chain, today.

Kiran Saindane, Product Strategy Director, Oracle At the Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018, I had a collective learning session on “How Disruptive Technologies Enrich Planning Experience”. Besides...

Supply Chain Management

Horseshoes, Hand Grenades and Adaptive Supply Chain Planning

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy It’s fun to play horseshoes, though it’s hard to find a pitch these days. Liability insurance apparently takes exception to people throwing heavy metal objects towards each other at shin-high stakes sticking out of the ground. So it’s no wonder that fewer and fewer people comprehend the saying, “’Almost’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” In horseshoes, you see, you can score even if your throw doesn’t “ring” the stake. If it’s close enough, it counts. The hand grenade part of the quote is, unfortunately, self-explanatory. But what does any of this have to do with supply chain planning? Well, as statistician George Box once wrote, “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” While planners should always strive to improve, you can succeed without ringing the stake. Let’s start with demand forecasting. If you tweak your forecast models excessively to eliminate historical error, you’re probably over-fitting the data. Your extra effort could actually reduce your future forecast accuracy. Distinguishing demand patterns from noise can be difficult; simpler is often better. Perfection is equally elusive on the supply side. There’s a natural tradeoff of availability versus cost. While improved forecast accuracy and operational flexibility can lower costs and increase availability at the same time, eventually you have to decide which to favor. Unless you’re selling digital products, you can’t achieve 100% perfect order fulfillment with zero inventory. The Gartner Supply Chain Hierarchy of Metrics recognizes these tradeoffs. No one achieves a “green” rating across all the benchmarks. Instead, a company’s relative performance in each area reflects the choices that they’ve made. The key is to make those choices consciously and strategically. If you launch many new items or promote aggressively to stay ahead of the market, you’ll have to accept lower forecast accuracy. If you decide to stock your products closer to customers to reduce order cycle times, your inventory costs are going to increase. We often point out how Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud can improve forecast accuracy and optimize supply to fulfill demand: in other words, throw the horseshoe closer to the stake. But Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud can also help you make the right strategic choices once you’ve gotten close enough to score. You can adjust demand, inventory and supply planning parameters independently to reflect your goals for each business segment. You can set exception criteria that highlight issues based on your preferred thresholds. And when performance doesn’t meet your objectives, guided navigation and intelligent recommendations identify potential solutions. It’s what we call adaptive supply chain planning. See this infographic to learn more.

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy It’s fun to play horseshoes, though it’s hard to find a pitch these days. Liability insurance apparently takes exception to people throwing heavy metal...

Oracle WMS Cloud Introduces New Capabilities in Version 9.0

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager With Oracle SCM Cloud our products are improved continuously. We release new capabilities throughout the year, and here's what our warehouse management system has in store with Version 9.0. The latest release includes yard management, multi-field barcode scanning, ICS-based integration with Oracle Inventory Management Cloud, and improved extensibility with the addition of new REST Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Aside from functional and integration enhancements, get ready to experience a more seamless user experience, as well as WMS Cloud now supporting additional languages and time zones. You’ll find a list of new features and capabilities here.   Some of the new features available include: Yard Management: Offers organizations inventory visibility into trailers and their contents in the yard. You will be able to expedite unloading high priority trailers and shipments needed for order fulfillment. Barcode Scanning: Allows processing of multi-element 1D barcodes and 2D barcodes. Improved User Experience: A new browser-based interface look and feel simplifies the user experience. Solution Extensibility: Allows customers and partners to build customized extensions to standard cloud-based WMS capabilities using REST web service application programming interfaces Oracle Inventory Management Cloud Integration: Oracle Integration Service (ICS) based integrations to Oracle Inventory Management Cloud for inbound logistics, inventory operations and outbound fulfillment. Global Support: Now supporting 10 additional languages and 9 additional time zones for user display and transactions. Yard Management Yard management gives organizations better inventory visibility to trailers and their contents in the yard. It allows companies to monitor the movement of trucks and trailers in their manufacturing facility, warehouse, or distribution center. The introduction of yard locations will allow you to check-in appointments to receiving dock doors or new yard locations. Most transportation and warehouse management systems do not have capabilities to provide status of goods in trailers and have not yet been received at the warehouse. They are unable to provide insight into trailers in the yard, potentially creating fulfillment delays caused by limited visibility. Oracle WMS Cloud yard management capabilities makes it easier to locate shipments in trailers to expedite unloading high priority trailers and shipments needed for order fulfillment. Multi-field Barcode Scanning You can now scan and process multi-field 1D and 2D barcodes in RF transactions. Configure and manage multi-field barcodes and define custom barcode classes, and define application identifiers and delimiters for elements like LPN, Item, Lot, Expiration Date, and Quantity. These additional features provide a higher degree of accuracy, improve productivity, and maximize customer operational efficiencies. Improved User Experience The new update aligns the Oracle WMS Cloud look and feel of the browser-based screens with Oracle SCM Cloud. This includes the login page, home screen, application colors and icons. Users will also have more flexibility in configuring the RF user interface menus, allowing you to create menus and sub-menus in the RF. This reduces the time it takes to navigate through transactions and improves productivity. Solution Extensibility REST web services APIs allow customers and partners to build custom extensions on their own timeline and allow faster performance and reliability. The addition of REST web service APIs improves extensibility and enables customers to customize WMS Cloud for their specific business and industry needs, saving them time and money. Oracle Inventory Management Cloud Integration The introduction of Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS)-based Oracle WMS Cloud and Oracle Inventory Management Cloud integrations will allow customers to implement more rapidly for inbound logistics, inventory operations, and outbound fulfillment. This enables Oracle ERP and SCM Cloud customers to implement source-to-settle and order-to-cash flows at an accelerated pace. Global Support Oracle WMS Cloud is now available in 10 new languages including Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Thai, and Turkish. With the latest release, WMS Cloud also supports 9 additional time zones including are Arabia Standard Time (Asia/Riyadh), Spain Time (Europe/Madrid), Portugal Time (Europe/Lisbon), Germany Time (Europe/Berlin), Australia/Brisbane Time, (AEST), Australia/Adelaide Time (ACST), Australia/Melbourne Time (AEST), Australia/Perth Time (WST), and Australia/Sydney Time (AEST). Learn more about how Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud can help you improve warehouse efficiency and labor productivity, and read about why Oracle WMS Cloud is named a Leader in the Gartner Warehouse Management Systems Magic Quadrant.  

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager With Oracle SCM Cloud our products are improved continuously. We release new capabilities throughout the year, and here's what our warehouse management system has...

Logistics

Four Key Strategies Driving Oracle Logistics Cloud

Derek Gittoes, Vice President Supply Chain Management Product Strategy I have spent the last five years leading logistics strategy here at Oracle and determining how best to meet the needs of an increasingly complex supply chain ecosystem with cloud technology. It’s an exciting endeavor that requires a lot of creativity and innovation, but I’ve always felt strongly about our mission here at Oracle and have remained cognizant of what our mission is. I've let it guide me in my decision making regarding Oracle Logistics Cloud and I think it’s shown. Simply put -- Oracle’s mission is to provide its customers with the technology to operate best-in-class supply chains that are capable of delivering business benefits in the short-term while also providing the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions to maximize long-term performance. This is no easy feat in a world where both the business environment and information technology evolve at a rapid clip. To achieve its mission, Oracle invests continuously in the development of its supply chain management cloud services to provide the functionality customers require and to leverage new technologies. I wrote this article to explore the key pillars of Oracle’s product strategy for logistics: Disruptive Technologies Functional Innovation Digital Thread Customer Driven Disruptive Technologies Software providers often feel compelled to include the latest technology buzzwords in their positioning for fear of otherwise being seen as out of touch with the latest technology trends. Unfortunately, in many cases the strategy ends at “buzzword compliance” as the vendor lacks the wherewithal to put the technologies into action for the benefit of their customers. This is not the case with Oracle as highlighted in the following examples of disruptive technologies for logistics. The first example is chatbots. Chatbots enable users to interact with their business applications using natural language (spoken or typed) using nothing more than their smartphone or voice controlled digital assistant. Chatbots achieve two important objectives. First, chatbots reduce the barrier for obtaining the information the user needs. There is no need for the user to remember complex user interface navigation paths, menu options, report names, etc. All they need to do is ask the question. Second, chatbots reduce the time it takes to answer common questions by eliminating the need to write and respond to emails, search websites, read through reports, etc. The net result is saved time and effort which accelerates the decision making process. Oracle is planning to put chatbots to work in to help answer common logistics questions. Example use cases include: Shipment visibility – What’s the status of my shipment? When will it be delivered? Freight costs – What’s the cost of delivering my products? What transit time options are available? Inventory visibility – How much product do I have on hand? Where is inventory available? The second example of putting disruptive technologies to work is IoT (Internet of Things). IoT solutions often focus narrowly on collecting data from “things” and fail to address how those data will be utilized to achieve better outcomes in terms of supply chain performance, customer service, and other business objectives. Oracle’s IoT solutions provide the means to analyze streams of sensor data to identify where action is required and enable that action within the corresponding supply chain application. For example, Oracle enables customers to embed IoT as part of their transportation management planning and execution processes. Planned shipments can be automatically geofenced for tracking purposes, shipment events can be recorded automatically based on IoT data (e.g., arrival and departure events), potential service failures can be identified based on vehicle tracking, shipments can be re-planned based on current conditions, etc. The net result is improved perfect order delivery and reduced operating costs with IoT data as means to help achieve this end. Functional Innovation Changing business conditions drive organizations to develop solutions to new sets of business requirements or address established requirements in new ways for improved outcomes. A great example of this within the logistics domain is transportation network design. Transportation network design is nothing new as organizations have always had the need to periodically evaluate their networks and corresponding operating strategies to account for changes in their business. As a result, solutions were developed that enabled organizations to perform these analyses on a relatively infrequent basis (e.g., quarterly). Fast forward to today’s business environment, and the need to evaluate the transportation network is an ongoing task that requires constant attention. The solutions of the past are ill-equipped to address these requirements given the time and effort required to analyze a given scenario and to put the results into action. Oracle recognized this situation as an opportunity for functional innovation by fundamentally changing the approach to transportation network design. Oracle’s planned solution approach combines the computational capabilities of modern cloud computing infrastructure with the deep shipment optimization present in the Oracle Transportation Management Cloud product. The result is a transportation network modeling capability that enables customers to achieve the following: Define scenarios quickly using the operational data within their Oracle Transportation Management Cloud system Simulate the impact of changes in their transportation network using real-world data and constraints (e.g., freight rate changes, carrier capacity changes, shipping volume changes) Analyze results within and across scenarios Implement changes within their operational transportation environment There are many other areas where Oracle is investing to provide functional innovation in Logistics by applying new technologies and approaches to deliver novel solutions. Examples include: Trade Agreements: Enable customers to leverage preferential trade agreements to reduce their cost of goods sold Yard Management: Enable customers to bridge the traditional visibility gap between warehouse and transportation management solutions for more effective operations Freight Brokerage: Enable customers to leverage spot market capacity to efficiently and cost effectively execute shipments via 3rd party freight marketplaces and brokerage service providers. Digital Thread The third pillar of Oracle’s logistics product strategy is the development of solutions that breakdown the barriers between functions that have traditionally operated in silos. The value of logistics solutions is diminished when they are operated in isolation or in a loosely connected fashion with other business processes (e.g., promising a customer a delivery in 3 days when there is no transportation capacity available). Oracle enables customers to maximize business value by supporting broad business processes, such as order-to-cash and source-to-settle, by combining best-of-breed functionality with process integration. In doing so, customers are able to connect the “digital thread” through integrated decision making and process execution which results in reduced cycle times and improved outcomes. For example, Oracle’s order-to-cash solution enables customers to: Identify export compliance issues at time of order capture to prevent downstream fulfillment problems and delays (e.g., identify export license requirements, missing product classifications, denied party clearance) Promise accurate delivery dates for customer orders based on available inventory and transportation capacity Predict potential delivery delays based on real-time shipment tracking using IoT and predictive analytics Increase warehouse throughput via coordinated dock appointment scheduling and yard management Customer Driven The final pillar of Oracle’s logistics product strategy is a relentless focus on being “customer driven”. In other words, every aspect of the logistics product road map is designed to deliver value to Oracle’s customers based on their business requirements and priorities. To achieve this objective, Oracle provides multiple vehicles for customers to provide direct input to the product development process: Idea Lab: Customers can post ideas for new product capabilities using the Oracle Cloud Customer Connect platform. In addition, customers can provide a figurative “thumbs up” on ideas they like that were posted by others. All ideas are reviewed by the Oracle Development team. Special Interest Groups: The Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) includes many Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that are dedicated to specific Oracle products. These SIGs are customer-run organizations that serve multiple purposes. First, they provide a mechanism for customers to learn from their experiences of their peers. Second, they provide an opportunity for customers to share feedback directly with Oracle Development regarding new feature requirements. Customer Advisory Boards: Oracle Development operates product specific Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) for the purpose of soliciting direct input on future product direction from strategic customers. CAB participation is limited to customers who meet the required membership conditions. Conclusion Oracle Logistics Cloud enables customers to improve their supply chain operations in the domains of inventory, warehouse, transportation and global trade management. Deployed standalone or as part of a broader Oracle footprint, these solutions help organizations reduce their supply chain costs and improve perfect order delivery performance. Oracle’s customer-driven product strategy is supported by ongoing investments in disruptive technologies, functional innovations, and digital thread integrations, that ensure these solutions will continue to deliver customer value in the long term as business conditions and technologies evolve. Safe Harbor Statement The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Derek Gittoes, Vice President Supply Chain Management Product Strategy I have spent the last five years leading logistics strategy here at Oracle and determining how best to meet the needs of...

Supply Chain Management

Oracle SCM Insights from Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2018

Tom McDonough, Sr. Director Product Marketing The 2018 Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in May was a big success for Oracle.  Over the course of the three day event, Oracle had hundreds of unique business visits to our product display booth where sales and consulting personnel presented much of the suite of Supply Chain Management products.  There was a great deal of interest in the integrated SaaS platform for end to end supply chain management (SCM). Oracle attendees noted they had received a much larger quantity of questions coming from partners, prospects, customers and even competitors about IoT and Block Chain than expected. Disruptive (Industry 4.0) technologies like IoT and Cognitive Computing featured prominently in presentations. Gartner analysts recognized, many of these projects are in proof of concept mode with the top 20-30% of Supply Chain thought leaders sponsoring early stage projects. Many of the companies presenting projects were engaged in Supply Chain Visibility and Collaboration Projects.  I had the chance to engage with thought leaders from Walmart, Bridgestone and Western Digital on this topic.  The benefits to their company in these projects range from reduction in operating expenses to greater success in managing the growing complexity in Omnichannel demand (and the resulting customer satisfaction benefits). Also front and center with many of the Gartner presentations was the concept of the Digital Supply Chain.  This was a primary driver of customer interest in the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud.  While ‘digital’ can be a catch all term, after reviewing my notes from several presentations on the topic it seems to focus customers on “Upgrading to user friendly SaaS Clouds which support mobility, omnichannel demand management and process automation”, very much in line with Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud.  Often disruptive technologies were dropped into these discussions but, as recognized by Gartner, they are early in the “hype cycle” (3-5 years until true adoption at scale, if they prove valuable).  This is not to say people aren’t investing, they are, and the Oracle IoT Cloud and its’ applications in supply chain management was a frequent discussion topic. On the topic of the Digital Supply Chain, a growing number of participants are IT executives joining their business counterparts.  Conversations I had with these attendees focused on four areas of interest – 1) is the Oracle supply chain management cloud a truly integrated user experience (yes) 2) What are the migration challenges from on premise? 3) What integration or data management products are available to assist a mixed environment or new project 4) How is Oracle managing the automation of standard tasks that do not require human intervention? Supply Chain Management processes are increasingly becoming machine driven (aka Digital).  With increasing data volumes and complexity in operations, customers are going to continue to pursue answers to these traditionally IT oriented questions when making their SCM systems buying decisions. The main event for Oracle was a well-attended presentation by John Shorter, Vice President of ERP/SCM Transformation.  The presentation provided the audience with an overview of how the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud, as an end to end integrated SaaS solution, can help customers manage supply chain challenges and how Oracle is innovating to create tomorrow’s supply chain, today.

Tom McDonough, Sr. Director Product Marketing The 2018 Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in May was a big success for Oracle.  Over the course of the three day event, Oracle had hundreds of...

Oracle Named a Leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager Oracle  has been named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). Oracle was recognized for its ability to execute and completeness of vision. Download the Magic Quadrant report Gartner Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems, C. Dwight Klappich and Simon Tunstall, May 2, 2018. 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. What makes a Leader?  According to Gartner: Leaders combine the uppermost characteristics of vision and thought leadership with a strong consistent Ability to Execute. Leaders in the WMS market are present in a high percentage of new WMS deals, and they win a significant number of them. They have robust core WMSs and offer reasonable — although not necessarily leading-edge — capabilities in extended WMS areas, such as labor management, work planning and optimization, slotting, returns management, yard management and dock scheduling, and value-added services. To be a Leader, a vendor doesn't necessarily need to have the absolute broadest or deepest WMS application. Its offerings must meet most mainstream warehousing requirements in complex warehouses without significant modifications, and a substantial number of high-quality implementations must be available to validate this. Leaders must anticipate where customer demands, markets and technology are moving, and must have strategies to support these emerging requirements ahead of actual customer demand. Leading vendors should have coherent strategies to support SCE convergence, and must invest in and have processes to exploit innovation. Leaders also have robust market momentum, market penetration and market awareness as well as strong client satisfaction — both in the vendor's local markets as well as internationally. Because Leaders are often well-established in leading-edge and complex user environments, they benefit from a user community that helps them remain in the forefront of emerging needs. Key Characteristics: Reasonably broad and deep WMS offerings Proven success in moderate- to high-complexity warehouse environments Participation in a high percentage of new deals Large customer installed base A strong and consistent track record Consistent performance and vigorous new client growth and retention Enduring visibility in the marketplace from both sales and marketing perspectives Compelling SCE convergence strategy and capabilities A proven ecosystem of partners Global scale Benefits of a modern, cloud-based warehouse management system Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud introduces a new paradigm in supply chain execution solutions, offering extended warehouse management functionality at a significantly lower total cost of ownership. Oracle WMS Cloud delivers innovative capabilities, including omni-channel functionality, inbound and outbound fulfilment execution including cross-dock and put-to-store management, as well as delivering total management of inventory from distribution center (DC) to store and finally to the consumer. “We were consistently running out of inventory and needed a scalable solution that would deliver real-time visibility into inventory to grow our business,” said Eduardo Gonzalez de Boado Halcon, vice president of Supply Chain at Supermercados Peruanos, “Since implementing Oracle WMS Cloud, our stock outs have reduced by 80 percent and our market share has increased by six percent, which equates to a lot of revenue.” The solution is highly configurable for rapid, cost effective implementation with the added structure to change and evolve with your business. Download the Magic Quadrant report  

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager Oracle  has been named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). Oracle was recognized for its ability to execute and...

Maintenance

Making Better Manufacturing Decisions With the Help of Machine Learning

Manufacturing today is more complex than ever before. With the increasing use of new technologies in an Industry 4.0 context, data is coming in from more and more sources. We are creating more and more data every day. In fact, according to a recent article in Forbes there are "2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day, and that pace is only accelerating with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Over the last two years alone 90 percent of the data in the world was generated." Now when we look at the amount of data that is created in the context of Manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things, and Global Supply Chains, we can be sure that it is not much different. We are creating a lot of data. It is coming from shop floor systems such as Equipment, Machines, Sensors, Test Stations, Data Historian as well as from business applications such as ERP, SCM, HCM, CRM, MES, Quality etc. Does Having A Lot of Data Help? How Easily Can You Answer These Questions? 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)? Answering these questions is not easy - despite all the data that exists! In order to use existing data effectively and efficiently to drive the right set of decisions and actions, you have to address the fact that typically, relevant data is distributed throughout an enterprise. That is, your data sits in Operational Technology (OT) as well as Information Technology (IT). The data from Machines and Equipment, from Enterprise Applications, and from Embedded Data Management Platforms must be acquired, stored, and analyzed. It is not an easy task to accomplish. It makes your life easier if you can leverage automated and manual upload capabilities to ingest data from sensor enabled equipment, machines, and facilities on the shop floor; or if you can ingest data from transactional applications such as MES, Quality Management, LIMS, ERP, SCM, HCM, and CRM; and utilize embedded Oracle PaaS technologies across Database and Big Data stacks. Running all of this on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) supports a manufacturing-aware data lake that can store structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data from a variety of sources and also organize the massive data present in the data lake into 5M categories (manpower, machine, method, material, and management). Once you gather all the data, it is equally important to contextualize and prepare that data to create a comprehensive snapshot of the manufacturing state at any given point in time, to facilitate machine-learning analysis, and to facilitate comprehensive analysis of the entire manufacturing process. Then, as data is prepared and organized, data scientists can work with the data in the data lake. The data model will change over time, so it is necessary to apply a comprehensive Model Lifecycle Management accordingly, from creation, training, deployment, performance evaluation, and change. Finding data scientists is another story, though, as they are hard to find. In order to attract them, you need to give them modern tools they love to work with. Get Insights into patterns and correlations and leverage predictive genealogy and traceability analyis Use adaptive intelligence to analyze 5M (manpower, machine, material, method, management) related information from manufacturing operations to understand the impact on key business outcomes, with the top influencing factors and variables in the manufacturing environment and from historical data that have the highest influence on key performance metrics, such as yield, quality, cycle time, scrap, rework, and costs. Compare current manufacturing conditions against suspect patterns from historical data analysis to predict potential yield loss and product defects Receive alerts for predictions that match specific conditions such as confidence%, product context, etc. Manage downstream orchestration by subscribing to REST services for predictive alerts (for example, put job on hold, create quality non-conformance, etc.) and create transactions in other applications Use an intuitive graph based navigation, traverse back the entire manufacturing process to identify 5M related information. 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 Trace forward from any combination of manufacturing factors to identify products made under those conditions and impacted customers You can make better manufacturing decisions when you leverage Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence capabilities. Building this from scratch is possible, but it will take a while. Instead, it is better to leverage a ready-to-go Adaptive Intelligence Application that was specifically made for Manufacturing. This will help turn data into actionable information quickly, as it lets you analyze key patterns and correlations that are related to manufacturing operations, predict the probability of critical events and take proactive measures to address them, trace manpower, machine, material, method, and management related information, and identify impacted products, processes, suppliers, and customers and take actions to mitigate risks. To find out more about Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps for Manufacturing, click HERE.   

Manufacturing today is more complex than ever before. With the increasing use of new technologies in an Industry 4.0 context, data is coming in from more and more sources. We are creating more...

Blockchain for the Future of Global Trade

Dubai, one of the most futuristic cities in the world, announced its strategy to become the world’s first blockchain powered government by 2020. As part of this transformational scheme, a number of initiatives have been launched, including: Blockchain-based paperless government To process all visa applications, bill payments, etc. digitally through blockchain Blockchain-based vehicle life-cycle management To track ownership, sale, and accident history of every vehicle at any moment of its life cycle. Blockchain-based real estate transaction management To secure financial transactions and electronically record all real estate contracts Although these projects are still at early stages, they signal the government’s strong confidence in blockchain technology and high expectation of its value. Why Blockchain? Blockchain is a digital system for maintaining ledgers. The ledger is encrypted and distributed securely across a network. Data is stored in immutable blocks. Once data has been written to a blockchain, no single participant, not even a system administrator, can change it. What’s even more exciting, in a complex business environment where organizations might not fully trust each other, blockchain can bring them together. When granted access, parties can write to a common blockchain and view relevant data. All permitted members of the blockchain network can see the same transaction history in the same order, such that all members can agree on the same set of records and reach consensus. With the immutability property and consensus mechanism, people can potentially leverage blockchain to create reliable tools for tracking and proving production and ownership history. Vehicles, real estate, and many other kinds of high value assets that need transparent and comprehensive historical records are likely to benefit from blockchain solutions.  Startups are working on decentralized registries for unique assets such as art, fine wines, and watches. The world’s biggest diamond producer, De Beers, is also building out an industry-wide blockchain. The firm aims to track diamonds each time they change hands in order to verify authenticity and ensure they are ethically produced. Blockchain for Global Trade Country of origin determination in global trade is essential. It can affect, among other things, the rate of duty, the eligibility for special programs, admissibility, quota, procurement by government agencies and marking requirements of the merchandise. It is also a key factor that consumers are concerned about when making purchase decisions. However, in the current state of globally integrated supply chains, knowledge about the country of origin is not as transparent. There have been a number of customs violations where companies try to commit transshipment fraud in order to evade antidumping duties and seek economic benefits.  Some companies forge documents such that the true countries of origin are disguised. Unfortunately, there has not been a very efficient way to trace the true product origin and invalidate the counterfeit documents. A blockchain for international trade, which tracks the origins of all globally sourced components as well as their transportation history, could potentially resolve this problem. It enables customs authorities, downstream partners and consumers to trace back the global supply chain, giving them full visibility and confidence guaranteed by the immutability of blockchain. With this rigorous recording and auditing tool,  misstatement of country of origin – intentional or unintentional – can be avoided. There are a number of benefits: For customs authorities: reduce the occurrence of customs violations, lower auditing cost and better protect the revenue of the country. For trading companies: increase transactional trust, reduce risks and associated moral hazards, especially for less established companies. For consumers: gain more knowledge about the product and be more assured of their choice How to Build a Blockchain Solution? Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, a part of Oracle Cloud Platform, was announced at Oracle OpenWorld in October 2017. Amit Zavery, executive vice president for Oracle Cloud Platform, explains: “Blockchain holds the promise to fundamentally transform how business is done, making business-to-business interactions more secure, transparent, and efficient,” he adds. “Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service provides enterprise-grade blockchain capabilities and is able to accelerate innovation for on-premises ERP and cloud-based SaaS and PaaS customers.” Compared with other existing blockchain solutions, Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service gives customers a unique benefit. It is provided as an autonomous PaaS offering on Oracle Cloud Platform. Oracle handles patches, fixes, and backward compatibility as standards evolve. Check out Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service and read the eBook to learn more about blockchain – one of today’s most disruptive emerging technologies.  

Dubai, one of the most futuristic cities in the world, announced its strategy to become the world’s first blockchain powered government by 2020. As part of this transformational scheme, a number of...

Customer to Cloud Nine: Migrating from On-Premise to the Cloud

Chris Peckham, Senior Principal Product Strategy Manager In the early days of Oracle Transportation Management Cloud (OTM) and Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud (GTM), the influx of customers consisted primarily of those to whom the products were entirely new.  Recently, however, we’ve seen a significant trend in long-time customers with on-premise (or on-prem) deployments opting to migrate to the cloud.  Still, some customers are taking a more cautious approach as they evaluate their options.  While referring to a cloud migration as “Cloud Nine” might be a bit of hyperbole, the process is not to be feared.    To allay some of the trepidation toward a migration from on-prem to the Cloud, here are some of the key concerns we hear from customers, and our thoughts on each: What are the differences in the product? OTM-GTM Cloud is unique in that it is the only Oracle cloud product that is exactly the same as that being used by on-prem customers.  This alleviates many issues, as customers need not re-invent business processes, train users, or develop new integrations (more on this in a minute).  While some customers use cloud migration as an opportunity to make changes to the way the product was originally implemented, doing so isn’t a necessity.  If you have a sound deployment that is working well, it is entirely possible to migrate to the cloud in a way that is transparent to users.  The key difference in the cloud is that, for security reasons, customers do not get free reign over the infrastructure, as they would with software installed in their own data center.  For instance, cloud customers do not get direct access to the database or servers.  Additional technical differences exist, and you can read about them in My Oracle Support Note 1926811.1.                                                            How does my integration have to change? The majority of customers may only need to change their integration in subtle ways, if at all.  There is no need to change the mapping of data, because the XML interfaces are the same.  The question becomes where customers want to do that mapping.  If your company’s initiative is to move as much of your IT footprint to the cloud as possible, then you may wish to move your integration layer there also.  To that end, OTM and GTM have adapters for Oracle Integration Cloud.  Likewise, customers are free to use other cloud-based integration services if they choose, and should a customer wish to use existing middleware to connect OTM-GTM Cloud with their on-prem ERP system, that is fine also. Changes may only be required if existing integration is directly accessing the database or using direct XML insert as opposed to OTM-GTM’s standard web service interfaces.  Bear in mind that new integration capabilities, such as REST APIs, are also now available to support Cloud integration. Can the cloud support my customizations? For on-premise customers concerned about their ability to customize in the cloud, the key question to ask is whether it is still necessary.  Many customizations in use today were developed years ago as workarounds to gaps that may have existed in the product.  The maturity of the OTM-GTM platform has eliminated the need for many such customizations, yet we see them continually carried forward by customers through multiple upgrade cycles.  Chances are good that current functionality renders many such customizations obsolete.  In the event it is still necessary, Cloud customization can be accomplished via Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS). Is the cloud secure? In a word, yes!  The topic of cloud security could warrant an entire series of blog posts all its own and we haven’t the space to do that topic justice.  If your team seeks a discussion about Oracle Cloud security, contact your Oracle sales representative, who can engage expert resources capable of addressing all such concerns. Will Oracle migrate my data to the cloud? Oracle provides tools that customers can use to migrate their data to the cloud but stops short of doing it on the customer’s behalf.  The platform’s Migration Project feature is one such tool to facilitate this process, but there are myriad ways to accomplish the task. Our advice is to engage an implementation partner with demonstrated experience in cloud migrations.  Many partners have proven methodologies for this purpose.  While not rocket science, OTM-GTM’s large and complex data structure can introduce unnecessary risk to a Cloud migration if not done correctly.  Take our recommendation; use a partner with experience in successful Cloud migrations and all will be fine. No regrets There are abundant OTM-GTM cloud success stories and we’re adding more all the time. If you haven’t yet made the transition to the cloud, or at least had discussions about moving to the cloud, you’re in the distinct minority.  While Oracle policy prohibits me from sharing specific information about our roster of cloud customers, I can say that the number of new OTM-GTM customers opting for on-prem deployments is miniscule.  However, I can share one statistic that being the number of OTM-GTM customers who have expressed regret over their decision to migrate to the Cloud:  Zero. A cloud-based logistics solution can offer flexibility, better visibility, simplify the number of integration points and facilitate better flow of information. Download the Aberdeen interactive eBook on End-to-End Logistics Capabilities to learn more about how you can benefit from Oracle Logistics Cloud.

Chris Peckham, Senior Principal Product Strategy Manager In the early days of Oracle Transportation Management Cloud (OTM) and Oracle Global Trade Management Cloud (GTM), the influx of customers...

Maintenance

Who Needs Quality Management?

Everyone knows that quality is an important topic. Accordingly, in many companies Quality Management has been addressed already - but with an approach that does not lead to success: It’s typical for a large organization to have implemented multiple quality management processes, data models, and applications over time. With such an approach, companies are working in a sub-optimal manner, and then start to face these types of challenges: - Quality metrics are either not available or are incomplete - The number of systems make getting the answers too complex - Limited cross functional interactions - Avoid defining or working around global standards - Using people to fill the gaps left by broken and disconnected IT architectures - Limited cross-functional interaction - No Globally standardized processes - Disconnected IT architecture - Inability to view real-time metrics How companies often react: The typical response or result is departmental quality silos, with either manual or periodic interaction between the silos: The Q&A Department creates their own system that addresses inspections, audits, and corrective actions, together with document controls. In Manufacturing, the focus is on preventive actions, non-conformance reports, part inspections and as well documents control. In Supplier Relationship Management, it is all about supplier corrective actions as well as document control and supplier parts. The Field reports incidents, related to parts, and manages document control. The Design department is focusing on design defects, failure analysis, and manages documents and parts in their own view. Regarding customers and customer relations, it is all about customer complaints as well as parts and products and the related documents. With Quality Management related data distributed in silos, it is really difficult to implement closed-loop, enterprise wide quality management across the organization. Most quality management software applications require high-cost integrations or you risk further detaching quality-related information and processes from core enterprise systems and the supply chain. How Oracle Enterprise Quality Management Cloud is addressing the problem better: Managing quality related data across these silos is a prerequisite for successful enterprise-wide Quality Management with the capability to aggregate, analyze and act upon quality in a holistic way, so that quality related information is captured from all sources (such as ERP, SCM, CRM, MES, PLM, IoT, Social, Call Center, or Mobile Apps). This is how a modern, closed-loop quality management process can be put in place, and quality issues can be preventd or be resolved better and quicker. The best approach is to manage all quality related data and processes in one “single source of truth”, with integrated Quality Analytics and Dashboards to provide insight, with a closed-loop process control from “insight to action”, and real-time cross-functional/cross-organizational collaboration and visibility that enables all stakeholders to participate in the quality management process. The specific benefits of implementing Closed-Loop Enterprise Quality Management varies by department: Enterprise Quality (Quality Assurance and Control) will enjoy reduced revenue loss due to poor quality / customer satisfaction issues, reduced warranty and service costs as well as scrap and rework costs, but improved issue collection and analysis, and an improved corrective action processes. R&D and Design will benefit from improved Change Order/Release/Product Transfer, reduced potential loss due to non-compliance event, improved synchronization of product and quality data with supply chain, improved access to product record & change history, and an improved product obsolescence process. Manufacturing and the CMO will enjoy improved productivity of in process inspections, where-used analysis due to Lot and serial genealogy tracking, productivity of equipment monitoring, communication of quality test and acceptance requirements, and regarding inventory, improved productivity of incoming and final inspections as well as improved communication of quality test and acceptance requirements. As far as ISO and AS9100 are concerned, companies will benefit from reduced quality appraisal cost and more effective knowledge transfer of quality process and requirements. Customer and Field Service are enabled to provide improved customer satisfaction and improved handling of customer complaints Regulatory and Labeling will benefit from reduced quality appraisal cost and a more effective knowledge transfer of quality process and requirements. Supplier Management will benefit from improved supplier and purchased item quality, improved productivity for supplier quality reporting and management, improved supplier audit capability, and improved cycle time for supply corrective actions. To learn more about Oracle Quality Management Cloud, check out the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud Website and the Quality Management Quicktour.    

Everyone knows that quality is an important topic. Accordingly, in many companies Quality Management has been addressed already - but with an approach that does not lead to success: It’s typical for a...

Discovering Knowledge with Data Mining in SCM Cloud

Across the enterprise software space, data is being collected and accumulated continuously. Enormous value can be uncovered from transactional data, user behavior data and many other kinds of records that are readily available in the system. However, for an analyst who uses traditional analysis tools such as Microsoft Excel or simple statistical software, the sheer volume of data is prohibitive. This is where Data Mining technology could help. Data Mining is the process of discovering patterns in large datasets. It combines Machine Learning, Statistical Methods and Database Systems technologies. It is a key enabler of knowledge discovery in data. There are many potential areas for application. Personalized User Experience and Community Decision Support are two promising examples. Personalized User Experience User behavior records are the best reference for user experience improvement. They can not only be used to improve the software as a whole, but can also be analyzed individually to create a personalized user experience. Some use cases are Extracting click sequence in a typical workflow and suggesting “the next action” for the user. Reviewing the popularity of all the options in a menu and moving the most frequently chosen option to the top. With these simple yet powerful enhancements, users can get work done faster and enjoy greater happiness at work. When Data Mining is automated, the system will be able to continuously calibrate to users’ preferences and continuously improve performance. As a user comes to work and interacts with the system every day, user experience just gets better and better. Community Decision Support Effective decision making is vital to the success of any organization’s supply chain.  Oracle SCM Cloud has strong built-in Business Intelligence capabilities, which provide visibility into detailed causal data and enable more informed operational decision making. In Transportation Management, for example, when a user picks a carrier for a shipment, an appropriate Data Mining algorithm will be able to consolidate his/her decision pattern,  summarize decision context, and share this information across users in the same organization. This can help the user and his/her colleagues make similar decisions in the future, increase visibility in the entire team, and facilitate discussions about decision quality improvements. In addition, Data Mining technology also opens up another opportunity – leveraging community data and “crowdsourcing” best options. By joining a community of users and sharing data anonymously,  each user’s knowledge base will be extended drastically. Now, in our previous example about picking carriers, not only will the user be able to review his/her own organization’s preference, but the system can also supplement it with community information and make suggestions like “80% other users have chosen Carrier X for this type of shipment”. This anonymized avenue for getting recommendations from the community has exciting implications. It has great potential for encouraging users to learn from each other, coming up with best practices and improving supply chain management in the industry as a whole. How to make it possible? Oracle Advanced Analytics is a combination of Oracle Data Mining and Oracle R Enterprise. It delivers predictive analytics, data mining, text mining, statistical analysis, advanced numerical computations and interactive graphics inside the database. It brings powerful computations to the database resulting in dramatic improvements in information discovery, scalability, security, and savings. Oracle is applying Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to its entire next-generation Cloud Platform services to help customers lower cost, reduce risk, accelerate innovation, and get predictive insights. In February this year, Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian demonstrated the latest advances in Oracle Cloud Platform, expanding its Oracle Cloud Platform Autonomous Services beyond the Oracle Autonomous Database, to make all Oracle Cloud Platform services self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing. With its enhanced suite of autonomous Cloud Platform services, Oracle is setting a new industry standard for autonomous cloud capabilities. Please read this Press Release: Oracle Demonstrates Advances in Autonomous Cloud, Extending Autonomous Capabilities Across Entire Cloud Platform  

Across the enterprise software space, data is being collected and accumulated continuously. Enormous value can be uncovered from transactional data, user behavior data and many other kinds of records...

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy About twenty years ago, I worked for a supply chain planning software startup. We implemented our solution for a big retailer, starting with the paper products category. If we could cut inventory investment without hurting sales, they’d roll it out across the company.  Our anticipation grew over the first few weeks of the project. The numbers were all going in the right direction: not only was inventory going down, but sales in the category actually increased. Users also said that they liked the system. As they got more familiar with it, they accepted more of its recommendations, and the results continued to improve. Then one morning, it all fell apart. Our customer made a big forward buy from one of the vendors, adding several months’ worth of supply to their inventory. Our scorecard turned from mostly green to mostly red, and the systems integrator quit the project in protest.  While we consoled ourselves that our work had freed up enough warehouse capacity to make the forward buy possible, our targets had become mathematically unachievable. Our rollout plans were dashed. Most supply chain planners have stories like this to tell: launching hot new products with failing component suppliers, parking truckloads of unwanted material behind the distribution center, or routing time-critical shipments thousands of extra miles for tax reasons. As one pharmaceutical supply chain VP once muttered to me, “Why should I bother to do this job, when R&D, sales and finance issues all trump my priorities?” The answer – as I learned the hard way – is that by collaborating with the product, sales and financials teams, you can put supply chain planning in context, and avoid being blindsided. Integrated Business Planning is the name of the process. It synchronizes product, sales and financial plans with supply chain plans on an ongoing basis.  Typically, each organization continues to use its own planning tools – PLM for the product dimension, sales forecasting and event planning for the market dimension, enterprise performance management for the financial dimension. Meanwhile, the supply chain team contributes its demand and supply plans.  Regular meetings coordinate decisions and negotiate tradeoffs among the teams. In spite of its benefits, Integrated Business Planning has been a challenge due to the number of systems and stakeholders involved. But now companies can run their Integrated Business Planning process end-to-end in the Cloud using Oracle Sales and Operations Planning Cloud. It offers consensus planning, simulation, team task management, online collaboration and approvals, as well as visual analytics and reporting that support state-of-the-art IBP practices. It’s also easy to use, so that key stakeholders from all teams can participate. Stepping back to see the bigger picture can is not only therapeutic; it can enhance the supply chain planning team’s influence on the enterprise. After all, why pursue the local (supply chain) optimum, when you can contribute to the global (business) optimum? 

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy About twenty years ago, I worked for a supply chain planning software startup. We implemented our solution for a big retailer, starting with the paper...

Logistics

Understanding The True Value of Distributed Order Management

Mark Carson, Director of Product Management, Oracle Order Management Cloud Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a mobile device manufacturer, and you just landed a global contract to deliver 50,000 cell phones to every employee of a big software company. A huge order like this is a great problem to have. It can also be a very complex problem. Let’s say that the client has subsidiaries across 10 different countries, each with its own purchasing department and currencies. The orders might flow in via a variety of sales channels: your web portal, direct sales, electronic data interchange (EDI)—maybe even through one of your partners or resellers. Want to learn more? Download Distributed Order Management for B2B from ARC Advisory Group. Depending upon the country, some of the devices might be make-to-order or configure-to-order. You’ll need to coordinate these orders across multiple layers of in-house supply sources, outside suppliers, and outsourced manufacturers. What if your existing ERP systems were not designed to support these kind of multi-channel demands? Unfortunately, this situation is all too common. Many companies have varied and disconnected processes for order management, resulting in manual order entry into multiple systems and inconsistent responses to customer inquiries on status and availability. All of this makes it difficult to provide a consistent buying experience. So, what are your options? And why should you, as a finance professional, even care about order management in the first place? Three reasons: cost, margin, and time to revenue. We’ll look at each of these in a moment. A Better Approach to Distributed Order Management B2B companies have traditionally relied on their ERP systems to manage orders. However, they are increasingly realizing that traditional ERP systems lack the capabilities to support different classes of customers across diverse channels. In cases with multiple ordering channels, there are likely multiple ERP instances, possibly from different vendors. It’s a difficult and costly challenge to integrate and coordinate multiple ERPs to create an effective, multi-channel ordering solution. You could look at moving to a single instance of cloud ERP globally, which would take out some of the complexity. But you’d still need to connect your system to your suppliers, partners, resellers, and logistics providers. Distributed Order Management (DOM) can be an effective and easier alternative. A modern, cloud-based DOM solution can leverage existing ERPs as fulfillment sources, which avoids the need to integrate or replace some (or all) of your ERP systems. 3 Reasons Finance Should Care about DOM If you’re not ready to replace your ERP, and you don’t want to endure the time and cost of yet another integration project, DOM in the cloud offers the following advantages: Lower Cost. Distributed order management in the cloud is cost-effective, both in terms of subscription pricing and in the way it makes operations more efficient; it lets you automate many transaction processes, lowering the cost-per-order. And if you’re not in the market for a new ERP, it will help you get more value out of your existing systems. Higher Margins. “Smart order promising” lets you find the lowest fulfillment cost to meet each customer’s delivery requirements. This lets you focus on maximizing fulfillment margins while keeping customers satisfied. Faster Time to Revenue. If you’ve acquired a new company, a DOM cloud will let you get their products into your channels faster. And when you want to launch a new product, you can start selling it sooner. A solution such as Oracle Order Management Cloud can easily connect to your existing ERP systems—as well as external systems—to offer all of the above benefits. Of course, some finance departments are ready for a new ERP and are looking at available options. Here, too, a DOM cloud can offer benefits. Oracle Order Management Cloud runs on the same platform as Oracle ERP Cloud, with a common data model. This provides a high degree of flexibility to support different order-to-cash processes. Distributed order management can play a critical role in increasing customer satisfaction and sales, which in turn will increase revenue. Whether or not you’re in the market for a new ERP, a distributed order management system in the cloud can help modernize the customer experience and drive client satisfaction. You can deliver on customer expectations as quickly—and profitably—as possible. Want to learn more? Download Distributed Order Management for B2B from ARC Advisory Group.

Mark Carson, Director of Product Management, Oracle Order Management Cloud Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a mobile device manufacturer, and you just landed a global contract to deliver 50,000 cell...

North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit Talk – Why (Not What Is) Industry 4.0?

The 2018 North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES) is an annual event held in snow-should-be-almost-gone Chicago, solely focused on manufacturing (as opposed to other supply chain areas such as logistics or procurement).  A great mix of verticals – including CPG, Life Sciences, Consumer, Construction Equipment, Toys, Appliances, Cosmetics, Automotive - were present, allowing for a more balanced perspective on the state of manufacturing in North America.  About 50% of the general sessions were focused on technology (robotics, augmented reality, etc.), reaffirming the role of technology in manufacturing. Industry 4.0, also known as Smart Manufacturing colloquially, has been universally accepted as the future of manufacturing.  Its definition has changed over time - to accommodate technologies that were not invented in the 1960s - including Cloud, Big Data, GPUs, and Blockchain – making it as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.  With all the excitement of WHAT IS Industry 4.0, the conversation has lost focus on WHY Industry 4.0. In my recent talk at NAMES, the focus on what the technology can do seemed to have resonated. Here is an excerpt: 1. Industry 4.0 Allows Manufacturing Adapt To (Or Better Yet, Harness) Globalization Brands and manufacturers alike have expanded or outsourced manufacturing to foreign sites to be closer to suppliers, markets, and cheaper talent.  Global factories and its operations need to stay tightly connected in multiple manners: to share data, to pass goods, to process payments, to collaborate on ideas. Data exchange has shifted from email/XLS-> FTP-> EDI->REST to now Blockchain. Contract manufacturers now have crept up the manufacturing value chain – from OEM to ODM to JDM. Because these contract manufacturers are usually located in foreign sites, staying in synchronization is made more difficult due to time zones, culture, and agile product cycles.  Manufacturers must embrace cloud – the platform for real time data and idea sharing, transaction visibility, speed of execution, one version of truth, and mobile. 2. Industry 4.0 Enables Manufacturing To  Anticipate & React Quickly To Demand Modern shoppers are not only finicky about WHAT they buy, they are also equally (if not more so) about HOW they buy it (omnichannel). Factories need to adapt to this paradigm. They need to anticipate buying habits – with social sentiment, product feedback, and crowd-design insights fed directly into the factories. Delay configuration until the very last step – perhaps pink is out and purple is in. Cloud can help, with single source of truth, connected ERP systems that take customer feedback directly into the design and manufacturing systems. Look around you - new businesses that are cloud native are helping get the right products and services to market at the right time. Legacy companies are less agile—and being outmaneuvered by Industry 4.0 factories. 3. Industry 4.0 Can Improve Operational Efficiency And Grow Revenue The original promise of Industry 4.0 is found here - improve yield, increase throughput, reducing cost -requires a one panel real-time view of your all of your factories (global, 24/7). This will enable factories to react immediately to manufacturing lines down, product yield drop, or manage changes in configuration.  Unpredictable factory maintenance directly impacts OEE. Industry 4.0 can provide the technology – sensors, BigData, machine learning – to prevent costly lines down. Yield systems, tied to MES systems, can help to adjust run-time recipes to save material cost while not impacting output or yield. Factories can also aid product agility to make just the right product, deferring customization to the very last possible step. Resources are limited, track everything – machine, people, tools, parts.   Industry 4.0 Is Already Here At Oracle Oracle has expertise in industrial manufacturing, manufacturing solutions, Internet of Things, Adaptive Intelligence, Blockchain, and integration technologies to bring Industry 4.0 capabilities into your manufacturing system.  England drove Industry 1.0. The USA drove Industry 2.0. Germany drove Industry 3.0. Who will drive Industry 4.0? Perhaps you!

The 2018 North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES) is an annual event held in snow-should-be-almost-gone Chicago, solely focused on manufacturing (as opposed to other supply chain...

Gartner Recognizes Oracle as a Leader in TMS

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager Gartner recently released its Magic Quadrant™ Report for Transportation Management Systems (TMS), and we’re excited to announce that Oracle has once again been named a leader and is positioned highest for ability to execute. Download the Magic Quadrant report Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems,  Bart De Muynck, 19 March 2018. 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. What makes a Leader?  According to Gartner: Leaders have a compelling vision and a reliable Ability to Execute. Leaders in the TMS market have broad, deep and differentiated functionality that addresses a broad range of user requirements. These vendors have proven products and track records of customer success, and have demonstrated momentum in growing their market presence. Leading vendors support sophisticated and complex transportation strategies for large customers with substantial freight spending, as well as their ability to deploy their TMSs in smaller shippers. They also meet the needs of users throughout the transportation process, with offerings from tactical planning and procurement to freight payment and audit functionality. Leaders should also offer adaptable technical architectures that allow for rapid innovation, which is needed to stay ahead of market demands. Furthermore, Leaders must have an SCE convergence strategy as well as real examples of converged processes supported by their offering. Leaders, as a rule, are innovators with compelling strategies for addressing the ongoing market changes related to the emergence of new technologies; expanded model support, including the integration of dedicated and private fleet planning and execution; and support for global transportation operations. Leaders are extending the reach of TMS beyond traditional shippers to include LSPs and other styles of transportation, such as bulk commodities or vehicles. They are also adding functionality to address the unique needs of emerging markets. They are out in front of the evolution of transportation management as an enterprise-shared service. Leaders are also furthest ahead in supporting the transportation needs of multiple geographies and adding capabilities to support the complex needs of multileg global logistics and transportation. Leaders listen to their customers but, just as importantly, their customers look to them for thought leadership, and they establish symbiotic relationships. Key Characteristics: Reasonably broad and deep TMS offering Proven success in Level 3 and Level 4 transportation networks Participation in a high percentage of new deals A strong and consistent track record Consistent performance and vigorous client growth and retention Enduring visibility in the marketplace from both sales and marketing perspectives Proven ecosystem of partners Global scale Download the Gartner Magic Quadrant

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager Gartner recently released its Magic Quadrant™ Report for Transportation Management Systems (TMS), and we’re excited to announce that Oracle has once again been...

Manufacturing

Hannover Messe 2018: Industry 4.0 Enters its Second Phase

Oracle makes its debut at Hannover Messe and supports industrial companies on their way to the smart connected factory Industry 4.0 is entering the second phase: In recent years, the development of data-driven business models has been one of the major topics at Hannover Messe - the world's biggest industrial trade fair. How can data help not only optimize manufacturing processes, but also improve products and provide new revenue opportunities? Oracle is addressing this question – represented for the first time at Hannover Messe this year – in cooperation with its partners Bosch Rexroth, Mitsubishi Electric, Bistel, Esentri and Perfect Industry. From April 23-27, 2018, visitors to Booth B16, Hall 7, will see how manufacturing companies, through connected IoT Cloud, ERP and Supply Chain applications can transition to a digitally connected enterprise enabling smart connected factories, better product development, and new innovative service offerings. Oracle celebrates its debut at Hannover Messe this year and offers visitors numerous highlights. Oracle experts together with their partners Bosch Rexroth, Mitsubishi Electric, Bistel, Esentri and Perfect Industry demonstrate how to reliably connect customers, field assets, products, workers, and factories to provide predictive insight and enable innovative value added business processes. In addition, visitors will learn how the digitally connected enterprise can improve quality, efficiencies, and increase revenue. Data can optimize more than the manufacturing processes With its exhibition display, Oracle is moving full steam ahead into the next phase of industry 4.0. So far, companies have focused on optimizing production processes using real-time data and making them more efficient – for example, by alerting sensors in the event of abnormalities at an early stage so that damages can be abolished before a machine failure occurs (predictive maintenance). Now it is also about gaining insights from the collected data, with which manufacturers can improve their products and develop new business models. To do this, companies need to be able to collect data along their entire value chain, connect it to a continuous stream of data (digital thread), and then leverage it. For example, data from sales and marketing can provide information about which products are in demand and how they are used by the customers. Based on these findings, the product portfolio and production processes can then be optimized. The digital thread acts as a kind of feedback loop from consumer to manufacturer. The future lies in the connected enterprise Manufacturing companies must act now and establish cross-functional collaboration both within and outside the company. It is necessary to create networked and transparent processes in order to track the entire production cycle and to optimize it by means of feedback loops in every interaction. Only in this way can companies meet the ever-increasing expectations of customers and rapidly deliver the right personalized products. Also, in the future cross-industry collaboration will be needed to develop more complex products and new digital services – and this is only possible with a fully connected enterprise. Would you like to arrange a meeting with Oracle onsite? Register here.

Oracle makes its debut at Hannover Messe and supports industrial companies on their way to the smart connected factory Industry 4.0 is entering the second phase: In recent years, the development of...

Extending OTM with GTM for a Global Trade and Transportation Platform

Daniel Schoerner, Principal Product Strategy Manager Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) and Oracle Global Trade Management (GTM) are two sibling applications in Oracle’s Logistics product family that are co-developed on the same platform enabling process synergies that are often difficult to achieve with two independent products that must be integrated together. By developing Oracle’s global trade solution on top of the best in class transportation platform used to manage the physical movement of goods, it becomes much easier to ensure the compliance of the supply chain and accelerate customs processes. What is Global Trade Management? Global Trade Management encompasses all the processes involved to move goods, information, and money across geographical & fiscal borders between parties. The process typically starts with a purchase order for inbound shipments or sales order for outbound shipments and involves interacting with a board set of internal stakeholders such as: Purchasing, Sales, Compliance, Operations, Finance, and Logistics. In addition, multiple external third parties are commonly involved as well, such as: Vendors, Customers, Banks, Logistics Service Providers (LSPs), Freight Forwarders, Customs Brokers, and Government Agencies. A typical international shipment is subject to any number of hundreds of laws and regulations found around the globe and can involve generating a multitude complex regulatory documents required for the physical movement of goods. Why Do I Need a Global Trade Solution? Regulatory complexity continues to grow. When goods move around the world, they need to go through varied processes that are different in every country. However, underlying them is a high level of commonality of the processes that are expected to be executed. Countries that haven’t had complex import and export regimes in the past are beginning to establish controls and processes similar to what is seen in the US and the EU. Often, international shipments will be subject to the need for restricted party screening, product classification, license or other regulatory controls, documentation needs, and customs clearance processes. These regulations can impose harsh fines and penalties if violated. In one instance, a large mobile phone case manufacturer was fined for not correctly reporting assists. They were incorrectly calculating the dutiable value of the goods they imported. The lack of process for accurately capturing this data and reporting it led to underpaying duty significantly and the government fined them millions of dollars in penalties. In cases where employees deliberately work to circumvent import and export regulations, jail time is a consideration. In another instance, an importer of fish and other agricultural products was deliberately mislabeling foods that it imported to circumvent anti-dumping regulations. The company was fined millions of dollars and two employees were sent to prison. GTM Enables Compliance for Your Global Shipments Import and Export processes have some similarities and some differences. GTM has been built on top of OTM to enable supporting the necessary processes for both inbound and outbound shipments. Let’s quickly cover a few of the customs and compliance processes that GTM can help enable when combined with OTM to help you holistically manage your imports and exports. Product Classification – Know Your Products! It all starts with product classification. When importing or exporting it is important to know what you are importing or exporting and how the government regulates that item. That starts with classifying them under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, and any applicable Dual-Use or Munitions lists. From here you start to get a picture of what regulatory controls will then apply to those items, what duties rates are applicable, and maybe what trade agreements you can benefit from if you are lucky. Restricted Party Screening – Know Your Customer! It is also extremely important to know your customers, and the other partners in your supply chain. Governments are extremely active sanctioning parties in today’s world and the lists of restricted parties are being continually updated. The best practice is to screen your customers in real-time as information about them becomes known, and daily as the government publishes updated watchlists. Import & Export Management And finally, it is necessary to screen business transactions to ensure their regulatory compliance. GTM has been modeled so that you can easily create Trade Transactions – our do anything business object – from OTM Order Releases, Shipments and Shipment Groups. It’s easy to configure GTM to screen for licenses, permits, or other restrictions, as well as identify all the required documents and customs filings that you require for a specific shipment. Compliance isn’t the only benefit. Once you have your house in order and strong compliance practices in place, it becomes easier to leverage your global trade and transportation platform for financial savings as well. There are many opportunities for your global customs team to save money once they have a robust, accurate trade and transportation platform to work with. Below are a few areas that can help save money on the duty you pay to the government when importing goods. Accurate Classification: Pay only the duty and tax you owe Landed Cost Analysis: Identify opportunities for cost savings Duty Drawback: Claim refunds on duties paid Duty Relief Programs: Defer or reduce duty through government programs Free Trade Agreements: Import goods at reduced duty rates and help your customers save Business Value of GTM There are a number benefits to a strong trade and transportation platform. Below we help you identify some of the key contributors in creating a business case for deploying a trade and transportation platform, as well as specific quantitative and qualitative benefits that can be tracked through the implementation of the OTM+GTM platform. Contributors to a Business Case Accurate Lead Times: Reduce delays through customs holdups and improve customer service Reduce Broker Fees: Take ownership of trade transactions and aggregate submission data to reduce external broker fees and potential customs duty overpayments Fewer Man Hours Per Trade Transaction: Automate trade processes and manage by exception improving trade and compliance resource productivity Reduce Customs Inquiries: Access to a single, up-to-date, source of trade and compliance data improves worker knowledge and reduces queries Reduce Penalty Assessments: Utilizing accurate trade and compliance processes reduces the chance of penalties and subsequent ongoing audit costs Expansion of Free Trade and other Agreements: Integrating trade and compliance processes within the business allows more strategic use of trade agreements to reduce costs Quantifiable Benefits Finished Goods Inventory Reduction: Get shipments sent out faster – don’t wait for decisions or paperwork Reduce FTE Effort: Automation of many tasks involved with trade management and compliance, reducing effort and personnel requirements Reduce Expedited Freight Costs: Reduce payments for expedited shipping due to delays in getting paper work ready Reduce Penalties: Avoid penalties for incompliance or incomplete paper work; Lower insurance and legal fees Reduce Trade Agent Fees: Ability to more effectively consolidate items thus reducing the amount of line items sent for processing by trade agents Qualitative Benefits Increased Service Level: Better service customers and retailers with more accurate timing of information and shorter delivery/lead times Reduce Loss of Business: Better service customers and deliver to more locations on time Legal Exposure: Reduce risk of delivering sanctioned material, or to sanctioned countries, or breach trade agreements Agility: Significantly faster to adopt new legislation and rules into trade compliance program With all these benefits available, it is clear that investing in a joint trade and transportation platform can be a powerful force for improved compliance, increased speed of delivery, and generate a return on your investment.

Daniel Schoerner, Principal Product Strategy Manager Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) and Oracle Global Trade Management (GTM) are two sibling applications in Oracle’s Logistics product family...

Manufacturing

Combine IoT and PLM to tie the Digital Thread

Innovation comes in many flavors. New technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data enable new smart products, which again enable new services. Overall these new products and services can be leveraged to enable new business models. An innovative company can disrupt a whole industry, not only with a disruptively new product, but also if the service or business model are disruptive. In fact, when looking at product innovation alone, many innovations have been iterative innovations: small improvements to existing products. But to add a new service or business model alongside a small, iterative product innovation, and that is a different story altogether. Nowadays competition takes place between products, technologies, services, and also business models. To be successful, companies strive for the perfect, customer-centric match of all of these elements, in order to create competitive advantage. Companies need to look at their portfolio of offerings. Ask yourself: Who are our customers? What is being sold? How is it produced? How is revenue earned? This shift demands a new view for Product Lifecycle Management. Going forward, traditional data and application silos will no longer work! PLM needs to become an innovation platform, a smart connected applications platform that creates a digital thread. The digital thread is a connected data flow and integrated view of the product's data throughout its lifecycle across traditionally siloed functional perspectives. PLM, Customer Relationship Management / Customer Experience, Supply Chain Management, Service, Maintenance, Manufacturing must be connected in real time with Internet of Things, Collaboration, Social and Data. The Cloud is the only efficient way to achieve this. Product Development organizations need to evolve to cross-functional engineering, tightly linked with IT, requiring a higher degree of collaboration and data integration. Many engineering departments have been developing and supporting configured products, but increasingly need to support connected products. Configured Products can be very complex, but feature limited connectivity. You do not know much about how products are used, hence you cannot base smart services on the limited info that is available. Typically, these configured products are developed inside out, which means they were developed focused on capability of the development organization. With configured products, change control as well as agile methodology and stage-gate product development is key. But it also leads to a problem that sometimes the product does not meet the original customer need. Connected Products are connecting the outside-in, customer focused view with the inside-out view. They enable the adoption of new business models such as Product-As-A-Service, allowing continuous upgrades and remote software updates. The connected products, designed entirely or as subsystems, are transmitting a lot of data to analyze, so engineering departments have to support a set of totally new business requirements: You need to include data collection and monitoring mechanisms, support remote service to a fine granularity level, but you can also support very late design changes, including after delivery (through remote software updates). At the same time, you need to support high security levels to fence off attacks from hackers. Check out the Aberdeen Report: Product Development in the Era of IoT   Despite the challenges these new developments pose to the engineering departments, they are inevitable. Leading companies use innovation to improve their services offerings: In many markets, revenue from pure product sales will either plateau or decline. But the revenue from advanced services is an opportunity to grow! The more advanced the service is, the more revenue can be generate from it, and it gives businesses a unique differentiator. In other words: It is advisable to develop innovations that enable business to develop more advanced services and be more customer-centric. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) can no longer be a discipline hidden in the Product Engineer´s Garage. Given today’s complex business environment, modern companies must look for a fresh approach to quickly improve product development functions and integrate them across the end-to-end supply chain. A lot of innovation today is enabled by IT. New technologies can be leveraged to create smart products, to fund the basis for new services and business models. Intelligent and connected products with smart functionality can decide or communicate about their situation or environment. Use PLM to support development of these products, either from scratch or with iterative innovation. With Oracle, you can combine PLM and IoT as well as other SCM modules such as Manufacturing and Quality to gain new data-driven insights and drive actions from IoT by connecting, analyzing and integrating device data into your PLM and SCM processes and applications, related to product behavior, detect defects, analyze trends, kick-off Engineering Change Orders, predict service requirements etc. With the growing deployments of Internet of Things (IoT) systems, the importance of the concept of a digital avatar of a physical thing has gathered significant interest in the recent years. IoT designers can come close to reality with some advanced planning and simulation with tools such as Oracle's digital twin to instantly transform assets into digital twins, and intelligently monitor the assets' health, location, and utilization.  By combining IoT and PLM Applications, for example you could feed product improvement ideas into the Innovation Funnel in Innovation Management, create Engineering Change Order directly from IOT the platform, automatically close an Engineering Change Order after rolling out a Software update throught the IoT platform to the connected devices, or show a list of connected devices, together with potential product errors in PLM Application In addition, combine with Big Data to manage Quality, Support and Maintenance and optimize Performance and Autonomy. This would allow a more holistic view, for example on product behavior combined with customer feedback or other related information, which again feeds the innovation funnel. With Oracle, there is no need for an extra Big Data tool to manage IoT: We provide IoT Applications that manage the vast amount of data and makes it easy to consume, and makes it actionable. If respective connectivity is enabled, IOT readings are supervised by Oracle IoT Applications. IoT Apps are managing exceptions that is detected in the data, and can automatically kick off several activities at once, for example a non-conformance in Quality Management, a Engineering Change Order in Product Development, an idea to introduce a new product or service that is going through Innovation Management, or a service request in Customer Experience Service Application. Benefits of using IoT in conjunction with Product Lifecycle Management and Supply Chain Management includes identification and development of new products & services, better serving existing customers and reducing customer churn, understanding field problems faster and reducing service costs, maintaining equipment better, leading to longer life and avoiding downtime or idle time, identifying optimum operating conditions, reducing waste and pollution, customizing products and services to individual customer needs, building compliance into workflow to avoid lack of compliance, and generally enables making better decisions based on facts. Practical advise: Tear down the walls between the organization silos. For example, make sure that your PLM team, the IoT and the Big Data team are working together. Synchronize these initiatives, they are just different sides of the same coin. Joint activities should involve members of both the Big Data or IoT project team and the PLM initiative team. It's also useful to include the PLM initiative leader in the steering group for the Big Data or IoT project - and vice versa. In order to facilitate end to end processes, make sure you set the KPIs accordingly. Common metrics and systems can help overcome silo thinking. The right education will also help, but it is all nothing without the right leadership direction: End-to-end process owners can decrease overall cost and handoffs, and increase quality and speed of execution, but they need to be backed up by top management to be successful. Check out the Aberdeen Report: Product Development in the Era of IoT

Innovation comes in many flavors. New technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data enable new smart products, which again enable new services. Overall these new products and services can...

Supply Chain Management

Chatbots - How To Transform the Future of Supply Chain

As far as emerging technologies go, Chatbots are everywhere. They are the automated agent customers talk to when they dial a customer service hotline; the personal assistants embedded in smart phones and many smart devices; they exist in cars to make driving easier;  they can even entertain people who want to chat for fun or even provide emotional support for when someone needs companionship. Many different kinds of chatbots have been built to bring conversional user experience to the masses, and in 2016 alone, more than 34,000 different chatbots were built. And this trend is only increasing. The 2018 Chatbots Market Report, which was just released on March 21st 2018, predicts the global chatbot market will grow with a Compounded Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5% between now and 2024. One could be forgiven for thinking that the enormous interest and growth in chatbots is being driven by Millennials and Gen Zs in the consumer space. In actuality, implementations in the enterprise applications space is the main driving force behind chatbot growth. Oracle surveyed senior executives from France, the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK, and found that 80% of them are already using chatbots or planned to use them by 2020. It is also estimated that chatbots contributed enterprise cost savings of $20 million in 2017 and will be responsible for cost savings of over $8 billion per annum by 2022. Two Supply Chain Chatbot Scenario 1. A supply chain professional is running from meeting to meeting during the day and needs to check something but doesn’t have the time to sit down in front of their computer or log into their application.  Luckily there is an assistant on the team that can send updates and answer questions via text message. It's a supply chain chatbot. She might ask a few questions to establish context, and then she can fetch the information from the database, and responds in text and/or rich media formats. 2. Late at night, a supply chain professional is struggling with work. The team;'s most experienced colleague has turned off his cell phone. Luckily, the supply chain chatbot is online. She is a 24-hour tutor. She can provide quick answers to common questions. She replies instantly, patiently and accurately. As the Chatbot becomes more intelligent, she will not only be able to help monitor your supply chain performance and navigate through daily operations, but she will also recommend, execute and even communicate with internal and external parties on your behalf. How To Make Supply Chain Chatbots Possible? Oracle has invested considerable resources into building an industry-leading Chatbot platform. By using cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) powered by Neural Networks and Machine Learning (ML), Oracle Intelligent Bots Platform brings conversational user experience to the marketplace. And when integrated with Oracle’s Enterprise Applications, Oracle Intelligent Bots Service can easily detect users’ intentions, respond appropriately with desired information, and perform business transactions. As an integrated feature of Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, Oracle Intelligent Bots can be made available through many chat and voice channels, mobile apps, and even web browsers. The Oracle Supply Chain Management Chatbot is on the roadmap, so please stay tuned. To see how other business functions are using chatbots, click the links below to watch how Oracle HCM Clouds and Sales Cloud benefit from intelligent bots: Oracle HCM brings AI to Talent Recruitment Oracle Sales Cloud Invests in AI with Intelligent Bots

As far as emerging technologies go, Chatbots are everywhere. They are the automated agent customers talk to when they dial a customer service hotline; the personal assistants embedded in smart phones...

Events

Insights From OTM User Conference 2018 Europe

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing On March 21-23, the Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) SIG Board hosted its sixth annual user conference for the EMEA Region in Amsterdam. It was the 5th OTM event in Europe, and the largest to date with over 140 attendees, in addition to key representatives from Oracle Product Strategy and Development and various partners in Oracle’s OTM ecosystem.   The event brought together users and potential users of the OTM software to share knowledge, ideas, and experiences among attendees from several countries across the Eurozone and the Nordics. It featured several speakers who presented on a wide range of topics from product roadmaps, emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to insights on gaining greater visibility into transportation flows and practical advice on implementing Oracle Transportation Management Cloud. Among the customers who presented were Mazda, Volvo and Nokia. Transportation management is increasingly influenced by unpredictable demand in today’s eCommerce-driven economy, and that impacts logistics planning, execution, and the broader supply chain. Accordingly, companies need systems that provide them with enhanced levels of flexibility into planning all modes of transportation, rate management, and shipment optimization. Not surprisingly, among the hottest topics were optimization across all modes of transportation, enhanced visibility, and real-time monitoring of logistics flows via IoT and AI. IoT plays a key role in tracking shipments and determining fleet performance, including real time location for shipments in transit, instant visibility into disruptions and the ability to respond rapidly. One partner showed how real-time visibility into transportation flows helped their customer improve on time delivery performance from 70% to 98%. Volvo’s Anna-Karin Hjerpe highlighted their OTM journey which took the auto manufacturer from faxing transport orders to the company’s pre-selected third-party carriers and tracking shipments involving different transportation modes, including short and long-haul carriers within continental Europe and shipping companies for overseas transport manually using spreadsheets. That all changed when they implemented OTM to enable them to more effectively manage transport orders, plan and optimize shipments and monitor their progress. Since Volvo doesn’t own its own fleet, it relies on third-party carriers to transport its vehicles to market. Often that involves optimizing shipping options such as Full Truckload (FTL) and Less Than Truckload (LTL), comparing costs to execute and helping them bundle shipments based on destination and load type. Managing so many complex schedules, modes, routes, and shipments has become much easier and more efficient using the powerful capabilities of OTM, which resulted in savings of up to 10% and a significant reduction in declined shipments. Oracle partner, the FLO Group, a global logistics consultancy, demonstrated the flexibility of the cloud deployment model at global chemical manufacturer Univar, utilizing OTM in the company’s European operations. Among the challenges Univar had was integrating OTM with the company’s six on premise SAP ERP systems, two of which were undergoing an upgrade to the latest version. Univar’s logistical challenges were many, including non-harmonized processes across 172 distribution facilities, complicated planning, and hazardous materials segregation challenges across a fleet of 192 tankers. Additional challenges included manual logistics planning, poor visibility across its transportation operations, having to manually enter transportation costs into their SAP systems, and a lack of harmonized billing processes across sites. While the phased project is still underway, they’ve already seen improvements in fleet management by automating cost allocations and billing to their SAP systems. Oracle showcased its Oracle Transportation Management and Global Trade Management (GTM) Cloud product roadmap. Product Strategy Vice President Derek Gittoes described upcoming enhancements that improve process efficiency, reduce freight costs, and improve delivery of the perfect order. Of particular interest to the audience was the incorporation of modern technologies such as IoT, AI, and Chatbots into OTM and GTM Cloud which bring real-time monitoring, optimization, and improved user interaction capabilities to the products. Also showcased at the event was Oracle’s IoT Fleet Monitoring, a dedicated SaaS application that provides real time shipment tracking, logistics planning, and instant visibility into disruptions for both shippers and 3rd party carriers. Oracle Product Strategy Sr. Director Srini Rajagopal presented a product overview including a scenario where, using a mobile app assigned to a driver, the product pushes rich data to existing Oracle OTM deployments to provide real time insights and a complete picture of diverse aspects such as vehicle location, engine health, driving behavior, fuel consumption, and cargo condition. IoT Fleet Monitoring uses artificial intelligence to identify anomalous patterns and predict exceptions before they occur. This information is delivered to other supply chain applications such as OTM to enabling users to take corrective actions to prevent problems before they occur.   As the economy changes, so must businesses, to keep up with the needs of increasingly demanding customers. Whether its automating manual processes or utilizing digital technologies to improve flexibility, monitor fleets and shipments, and help companies reduce cycle times and costs, logistics software is playing an increasingly significant role in how companies respond to the new economy.

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing On March 21-23, the Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) SIG Board hosted its sixth annual user conference for the EMEA Region in Amsterdam. It was the...

Supply Chain Management

Enabling Opt-in Features on Oracle SCM Cloud

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy You wake up a little late on Monday, and you barely have time to get a bite to eat before you rush outside to drive to work. As you open your car door, you notice a big screen in the middle of the dash that wasn’t there before. It looks really cool, but you have no idea what it does. The ignition switch has also disappeared, replaced by a button marked “Start.” You press it, and nothing happens. “What’s going on?” you wonder out loud. And then you remember: we got an upgrade this weekend. As you try every combination of controls imaginable without success, you can’t help but think: “All I want to do is drive to work. Can’t I deal with this some other time?”  A bad dream? Maybe, but it still may feel awfully familiar. Enterprise application upgrades may introduce great new features, but they can also disrupt your well-worn path through common tasks. The risk only grows with Cloud applications, which march out new releases every three months. Fortunately, with Oracle Cloud applications, you can “opt in” to new features that significantly alter the user experience or algorithms. For example, customers in Portugal may be thrilled that Oracle Procurement Cloud generates a country-specific tax audit file starting in Release 18A, but you would rather not see it. On the other hand, you might want to use a new feature like metered assets for subscription billing eventually, but not right now. It’s great to know that you can simply opt in later. Until then, you can continue to work as before. Now some of these features can’t be switched off forever, as increasing amounts of future functionality depends upon them, but Oracle Cloud’s Functional Setup Manager warns you of any opt-in feature that is due to become mandatory, so you can plan for the change. You finally make it to work on Monday, and now that you’d had a chance to get used to it, you can’t imagine how you ever lived without that big touchscreen in your car. The backup camera, entertainment system and traffic alerts are all fantastic. It just would have been a lot less stressful if you could enable the features on your own schedule, like you can on Oracle Cloud. To learn more about Oracle SCM Cloud and potential savings, visit our online SCM Value Calculator

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy You wake up a little late on Monday, and you barely have time to get a bite to eat before you rush outside to drive to work. As you open your car door,...

Events

SCOPE Supply Chain Conference - What Did You Miss (Hint: Disruptive Digital Technology)

SCOPE Supply Chain Conference, held last week in not-too-cold Chicago, was a unique ‘invitation-only’ supply chain event aimed to attract both visionaries & practitioners of supply chain. An estimate of 100+ companies attended, where the entire range of supply chain functional titles was present, including planners, buyers, sourcing, purchasing, procurement, warehousing, logistics, fulfillment, and operations. As I roamed the conference, it felt like a reunion of Supply Chain High School - running into students who have dispersed into infinite fields such as pharmaceutical, restaurant, high tech, brick and mortar retail, CPG, industrial, logistics/fulfillment, fashion, services, etc. Supply Chain Is Driving Business Transformation Sitting through the multiple sessions at SCOPE and listening to a myriad of presentations from diverse industries, it was apparent that supply chain organizations were chartered to drive business transformation. And three distinct strategies were emerging : 1) supply chain needs to help drive top level revenue growth 2) supply chain needs to creatively decrease cost and increase operational efficiencies 3) supply chain needs to enable the business to adapt to a dynamic market - or die. In the “help drive top level revenue growth” camp, one company was experiencing hyper organic growth (a waxing salon company). Another was a new business with a clear unique value proposition (wholesale clubhouse style purchase to your door). To support growth, these growing companies tend to focus on strategic sourcing, modern e-commerce “on demand” fulfillment, and exceptional customer experience. Supply chain is in the critical path of growing the company - being able to source critical raw materials, being able to fulfill shipment immediately, and being able to give highly accurate ETA, real time tracking. In the "creatively improve operational efficiencies" camp, companies were sharing ways to improve the bottom line in a highly competitive environment. Supply chain operations were more focused on supplier & procurement consolidation - to drive cost management and improve communication efficiencies, more realistic and demand driven planning, and better inventory management to reduce discounts. The "adapting to a dynamic market" camp was the most interesting of all, because many of us grew up with some of these brands. Listening to what these fading brands are experiencing as they are being outflanked by newer and nimble companies - and what they are doing to survive and thrive.   Disruptive Digital Technology Cited as Delivering Supply Chain Transformation In session after session, disruptive digital technology was front and center in driving supply chain transformation. One company (industrial materials) is simultaneously solving multiple supply chain problems (siloed information, multiple ERP on-premise systems, no single source of truth, outdated information) with one leap to the cloud. Another company (fast food) is adopting real-time temperature sensors and location tracking to ensure that beef is fresh and safe - critical as the fast food company makes the transition away from frozen beef. Another company (supply chain practitioner) has used AI and machine learning to learn about people, machine, and process tendencies to schedule an optimized work schedule - hence reducing waste and increasing throughput. Cloud was touted as a key ingredient of driving supply chain transformation – where cloud is giving its users single real-time source of data (that cuts across separate data silos), unifying not-invented-here business processes, and providing extended capabilities such as machine learning and internet-of-things. Where Can You Start To Explore Disruptive Digital Technology for Your Supply Chain Today? Oracle has already adopted emerging disruptive technologies in some of its Supply Chain Management Cloud applications. Starting with 4P’s of supply chain (sorry, taking a little liberty from the 4P of college MKT 101), Oracle Supply Chain Cloud is an end-to-end supply chain solution that includes: Planning, Procurement, Production, and Phulfillment (typo intentional). Once on the Oracle Cloud, the path to digitally transforming your supply chain continues. The Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring can be used to track any types of sensor (temperature, humidity, vibration, etc). Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring app can track all statistics on a vehicle, including oil level, engine temperature, and real-time location. Alerts can be generated automatically - such as delays, off course delivery, dangerously high engine temperatures - so that integrated supply chain management applications can handle issues such as shipment delays and vehicle breakdowns. Oracle IoT Production Monitoring app can monitor all aspects of production globally - including real time output, yield, deviation from plan, machine bottlenecks - so that real time output and potential problems can be flagged before product is impacted. All IoT data is stored in the cloud, and analytics can be applied to it immediately. If the analytics detect that the temperature in the beef refrigeration unit is rising dangerously fast, Digital Thread (connecting of real-time information to ERP systems) can be triggered to flag the shipment. In conclusion, supply chain organizations have begun to adopt disruptive digital technology to 1) help drive top level revenue growth 2) creatively decrease cost and increase operational efficiencies 3) enable the business to adapt to a dynamic market - so that supply chain organizations can finally get some sleep.  

SCOPE Supply Chain Conference, held last week in not-too-cold Chicago, was a unique ‘invitation-only’ supply chain event aimed to attract both visionaries & practitioners of supply chain. An estimate...

Supply Chain Management

Drive Business Value with a More Sustainable Supply Chain

Evelyn Neumayr, Sustainability Product Strategist The impact of supply chains on the environment as well as the economies and societies they touch is profound. Environmental impacts from supply chains can include greenhouse gas emissions, energy inefficiency, toxic waste, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, long-term damage to ecosystems, and hazardous air emissions. To ensure a sustainable supply chain, organizations need to embed sustainability considerations from a product’s ideation to managing the end of its useful life. To help achieve this, view the new Sustainable Supply Chain Digibook which explores: Seven key supply chain functions that help make organizations more sustainable including product design, supply chain planning, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, maintenance and asset management, and product take-back How to identify and drive sustainability initiatives across an organization’s supply chain How Oracle’s modern suite of supply chain cloud solutions can support those sustainability initiatives while also delivering business value There is also a new self-assessment tool that organizations can use to answer a short series of questions in order to determine how sustainable a supply chain is when compared to others. The tool then provides additional recommended content that can be explored further to improve the sustainability of an organization’s supply chain.  With these new tools, it is evident that sustainability does not just mean making choices and building processes that are better for the environment. Sustainability also means eliminating inefficiency, finding solutions that are more cost-effective, building brand equity, and managing risk. Organizations across all industries can use Oracle’s supply-chain solutions to design more environmentally-friendly products, source materials more responsibly, and manufacture and transport goods in more sustainable ways. Use these new tools help make your organization’s supply chain more sustainable while delivering business value.

Evelyn Neumayr, Sustainability Product Strategist The impact of supply chains on the environment as well as the economies and societies they touch is profound. Environmental impacts from supply chains ...

Logistics

Modern Supply Chain Solutions Empower The Age of The Individual

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager Move over mass product technologies, and make room for individualism and personalization in products and transactions. The Age of the Individual is upon us, and this digital age has changed our definition of modern consumerism from mass production, to mass production with personalized product choices and multi-channel transaction options. Customers want more individualized experiences and this expectation is influencing the way businesses manage their supply chain. Oracle’s Modern Supply Chain Solutions Empower The Age of The Individual iPaper offers insights into how you can leverage logistics, transportation, and distribution to deliver more powerful, and personalized experiences. In the past, supply chain management systems are often seen as just a back-end function. Most often than not, companies don’t even invest in implementing and maintaining SCM. But with the emergence of this Age of the Individual, or the consumer-driven market demand, the importance of having a successful and efficient supply chain management solution is critical, and is now seen to be a key growth enabler. Now, you don’t just need to have a supply chain management system in place, it should also be designed to sense and respond to the demands of our present consumer-driven market.   Download Modern Supply Chain Solutions Empower The Age Of The Individual     According to a recent Oracle study with executives on customer buying habits, 77% of retail executives said they know customers want more individualized experiences, and they believe there could be a 10% revenue increase if they improved their approach to personalization. For a $1B company, that means $100M a year. But offering products at a more personalized level can add stress to the retail supply chain, especially when current business operations and underlying legacy systems are not equipped to handle such agility and intuitive processes. Retailers must continuously evolve their operations to respond to this customer expectation of individualization, and this is where moving your supply chain processes to the Cloud can become a game changer.  Adopting a cloud-based, end-to-end supply chain management solution can provide a more cost-effective and secure way to manage your supply chain, while gaining access to more advanced toolsets and greater cross-functional integration. When it comes to advanced cross-functional integration, consider these four main key components: Transportation management Based on Arc Advisory Group’s Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Research Study, having a capable and comprehensive transportation management system can help companies establish a strong return on investment (ROI). For example, a transportation management system can save companies 8% in freight costs. A strong TMS that is equipped with powerful data utilization tools, can help you optimize routes, manage vendor compliance, negotiate better freight rates, and improve overall customer service and profitability. Order orchestration With over 92% of consumers consider “fast delivery” to be delivery within two days, they expect orders to not just be delivered within the expected time frame, but in good shape. A cloud-based platform that aggregates real-time and historical information about orders can help anticipate any potential problems and shipment delays, and as a result, return rates are reduced and overall order profitability is increased. Because it’s cloud-based, you can scale up or down to handle different order sizes efficiently, helping to reduce total order management costs. Omnichannel planning Proper inventory planning can match demand to supply. But you can’t plan for what you can’t see. To successfully make that sale and satisfy today’s omnichannel shoppers, retailers must be able to manage inventory across multiple locations, assess planned versus actual orders and historical demand, and build a more efficient sales network. Cloud-based solutions bring all the data together and allow team members from different business units to access the same information. Planners, logistics executives and fulfillment teams, including your vendor partners, can now make cohesive business decisions based on a single source of truth. Prescriptive analysis Big data has now become the foundation of decision making for many businesses. According to Gartner, 35% of organizations will use prescriptive analytics by 2020, up from 10% in 2016. Retailers can now use analytics to recommend actionable strategies based on potential outcomes. When data is intelligently applied against algorithms using statistical methods, probable outcomes are based on fact rather than intuition. This data also becomes smarter, and helps retailers understand trends, anticipate and prepare for disruptions. Cloud-based solutions operate in real-time, so you have immediate access to this data and can act quickly. Change is a constant that businesses must welcome and continue to embrace. The Age of the Individual era is just one part of this digital age that will continue to shape how consumers see innovation. Your supply chain must be equipped to handle these changes, become more agile, so you can deliver more personalized experiences to your customers. With the rise of disruptive technologies including IoT, blockchain, augmented reality and machine learning, there are many opportunities to digitally transform your supply chain to serve the needs of your customers better.   Download Modern Supply Chain Solutions Empower The Age Of The Individual    

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager Move over mass product technologies, and make room for individualism and personalization in products and transactions. The Age of the Individual is upon us, and...

IIoT as an Enabler for Tech Innovation - An MWC 2018 Overview

Around 100,000 attendees flocked to Barcelona this month to attend the world’s largest wireless trade show, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. The event, which showcased products and services from providers all over the world, had plenty of content revolving around 5G, IoT, Connectivity, and Artificial Intelligence. It was exciting to see how advancements in technology allowed for cool new capabilities such as facial recognition and light-speed internet - thousands of vendors from all over the world exhibited products that were newly designed to be sleeker, smaller, and more user friendly. All of the digitization in today’s society has led to ease of use and increased convenience for us at the consumer level. It was easy to buy into the hype- who doesn’t love the idea of a car that drives itself, drones with HD cameras, or a smart home to take the hassle out of your busy day? IoT enables this technology, with the help of inexpensive sensors, cloud infrastructure, and improved analytics.  GSMA Intelligence predicted that there will be 25b connections to IOT globally in 2025, including 5.6b connections in Europe, 5.8 b connections in North America, 1.3b in Latin America, 1.4b in Africa and the Middle East, and 10.9b in Asia-Pacific. Specific to Industrial IoT (IIoT), there will be 13.7b connections worldwide by 2025, up from 2.9b today, including utilities, smart buildings, fleet management, manufacturing, smart cities, and retail. Unsurprisingly, the buzz at MWC revolved around consumer IoT – wearables, smart TVs, connected cars – however, without IIOT and the benefits it brings to the supply chain, these innovations in consumer technology may not have been possible. Specific to just IIoT, there will be 13.7b connections worldwide by 2025, up from 2.9b today, including utilities, smart buildings, fleet management, manufacturing, smart cities, and retail.  The development of this kind of disruptive technology calls for increased visibility, increased mobility, and increased innovation within the supply chain. Oracle’s IoT applications, summarized below, help businesses to reach their true ROI by integrating IoT with business applications and business value. Supply chains are now fully optimized via real time alerts and smart analysis- our applications use advanced machine learning to make predictions based on patterns to help organizations continue their business uninterrupted. Organizations in all industries can benefit from increased operational efficiencies via improved connectivity, cost and time savings, and increased flexibility. Smarter supply chains enabled by IoT can help manufacturers understand their demand and inventory better, accelerate innovation and improve quality by enabling information exchange across supply chains for better decisions, planning, and execution. Oracle goes beyond the platform offering to provide organizations with Software as a Service (SaaS) Industrial IoT applications. Oracle IoT Apps These are the applications that provide Oracle customers with a smart way to address specific problems out of the gate. Oracle IT applications are built with specific use cases in specific industries: Asset Monitoring – Keep track of capital intensive assets by monitoring their location or monitoring the asset’s health and utilization. Service Monitoring for Connected Assets –  Keep track of assets deployed at customer locations – track any asset to decrease downtime and reduce maintenance costs. Production Monitoring – For manufacturers that have factories where machines are producing, Oracle’s production monitoring app oversees the factory and understands which machines and what production lines are falling behind on production plans and costing money. Fleet Monitoring – For businesses that want to monitor the condition of a shipment, monitor fuel consumption, or the condition of their entire fleet, Oracle Fleet monitoring enables them to optimize their processes. Connected Worker – Businesses that have workers in hazardous areas such as oil rigs or construction zones have the ability to minimize workplace accidents by tracking employee location, condition, and status. Mobile World Congress was an exciting opportunity to see how disruptive technology is being developed at companies all over the world. We look forward to seeing what capabilities Oracle’s IoT technology will enable going forward. For more information, read Director of Product Marketing Albert Chiang's take on the conference, as well as his detailed summary on Oracle's current IoT applications.  

Around 100,000 attendees flocked to Barcelona this month to attend the world’s largest wireless trade show, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. The event, which showcased products and services from...

Supply Chain Management

Is The Secret to Supply Chain Resilience Hiding Right Under Your Nose?

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Oracle SCM Cloud “It’s not if; it’s when . . .” You’re probably tired of seeing and hearing that phrase. It’s almost always attached to bad news: something terrible that will, sooner or later, mangle your organization’s supply chain, menace your career and, just for good measure, rain on the nearest parade. Some of this doom and gloom is exaggerated, of course, but some of it is quite real: An annual survey of more than 400 supply chain decision-makers found that 65% experienced at least one significant supply chain disruption last year, and many of these firms even dealt with multiple disruptions.   Read the eBook: Resilience - The New Imperative for Successful SCMTransformation   Reviewing this survey data makes two things clear: First, many of these incidents are quite costly, with 32% reporting at least $300,000 in direct financial losses and 20% paying $1 million or more to deal with supply chain disruptions. Second, supply chain leaders contend with threats and risks of all kinds—at least two dozen, in fact. These run the gamut from unplanned IT outages and cyberattacks, to civil unrest and (believe it or not) animal diseases. Clearly, it’s useful to have an SCM environment that can handle unexpected departures from business as usual. Sometimes, that might mean switching suppliers quickly and on very short notice; redeploying transportation and logistics resources to route around bad weather; or hunting down the source of a quality-control lapse. In other cases, it might mean pursuing the advanced analytics or machine-learning capabilities that could have given you a few more hours to recognize and respond to an imminent disruption—an eternity when you measure downtime costs by the minute.   How Legacy SCM Limits Supply Chain Resilience We encourage organizations to think about these types of scenarios in terms of supply chain resilience: the qualities and capabilities that enable a supply chain to persevere through disruptions, disasters and off-script events. (We discuss the concept in greater detail here.) Not surprisingly, a firm’s SCM technology choices have a decisive impact on its supply chain resilience and end-to-end capabilities—and this can quickly become a major concern for organizations that currently use a legacy application and traditional architectures, such as SAP ERP, to manage their supply chains. The sticking point is the architecture that defines previous generations of on-premises SCM environments: powerful and capable of supporting immense complexity, but with limited responsiveness and flexibility when dropped into a highly dynamic competitive environment. Bringing about transformational change in the business operating model is hard in these scenarios. This was an acceptable tradeoff at a time when software upgrade cycles routinely consumed months or even years. That’s hardly ideal for building resilient SCM applications in a dynamic marketplace—but it didn’t matter when everybody had the same problem. Today, however, legacy SCM environments are much more likely to turn a lack of resilience into a major crisis. First, an inability to respond in a timely manner takes a much higher toll than it did in the past as technology innovation moves more quickly, and disruption from competitors and market dynamics hit harder and faster. Second, and more to the point, when your competitors have either shed their legacy SCM burden or never had one to begin with, the resulting supply chain “resilience gap” can pose a risk to your business. This is an area where it’s more useful to see examples of these issues within your own supply chain operations, rather than considering them as abstract concepts. Let’s look at three areas where a legacy SAP ERP environment poses clear challenges to supply chain resilience. We’ll explain where to look for signs that a legacy SCM application is limiting your supply chain resilience—and what these can mean to your supply chain and general business performance. Is your SCM environment a barrier to innovation? What to look for: Legacy SAP ERP environments typically require a long and arduous process to implement new capabilities. Even simple upgrades may take months to test and deploy; major upgrades can take years to deploy across heavily customized SCM environments that have multiple deployments across the business. By the time “cutting-edge” technology actually appears in your SCM production environment, it may be two or three generations out of date, and catching up can be expensive. Why it matters: Cloud-based applications have transformed our expectations regarding when and how we get access to the latest technology. In the case of a product like Oracle end-to-end SCM Cloud, a rapid development and deployment process puts new capabilities quickly and regularly into the hands of users. This can be a critical advantage in an area such as predictive analytics, where firms that get immediate access to cutting-edge tools can sharpen their decision-making capabilities, respond more quickly to changing business conditions, and stay ahead of competitors - all traits associated with supply chain resilience and business agility. Are legacy SCM data and application integrations an ongoing concern? What to look for: Legacy SAP ERP environments often employ a heterogeneous architecture that cobbles together multiple databases, data interchange formats, APIs, and other integration methods. Your integrations may tend to be highly targeted and specific; attempting to modify them to incorporate different data formats or sources is typically an arduous undertaking. Look carefully at multiple instance architectures deployed by different partners across the business. Why it matters: An organization’s supply chain data represents a valuable resource—a repository of insights that can yield new business opportunities, process improvements, and other continuous improvement advantages. A heterogeneous SCM architecture can make the integration process far more costly, complex, and time-consuming. Adding more data sources and applications can make an SAP environment more valuable, but it also introduces more potential points of disconnect and even greater complexity during the next round of integrations and upgrades. Eventually, this cycle can become unsustainable. A cloud-based SCM environment, by comparison, employs a single, overarching end-to-end architecture, that can pivot from supply-driven to demand-driven, depending on maturity and needs—one that is open and standards-based—to ensure that your business has a relatively simple and predictable path for integrating new data sources, processes, and applications. Does your legacy SCM application give you options or keep you locked in? What to look for: Most enterprise application migrations are designed to be strictly a one-way trip. Vendor lock-in is, of course, a bad thing as a matter of principle. But it can also create serious issues for supply chain resilience and business agility when a legacy solution fails to keep pace with technology innovation, disruptive competitors, and other market changes, leaving an organization with vulnerable obsolescence. Why it matters: Oracle SCM Cloud actually has the potential to dramatically increase your freedom and flexibility to look beyond the SAP ecosystem for solutions to your supply chain challenges. Many firms use their Oracle environment to supplement and reinforce SAP in areas where the latter lacks key capabilities—transportation and global trade management, for example, or product lifecycle management and, more recently, planning. Through careful and diligent planning, Oracle has repeatedly proven its ability to integrate with SAP ERP and to combine its cloud-based capabilities with SAP’s on-premises model - a point illustrated by thousands of Oracle customers around the world that have performed precisely this type of integration. And, once completed, firms running legacy SAP environments have a path to migrate to the cloud while keeping total control over when, how, and to what extent that migration happens. Build Resilience, Minimize Risk One point we emphasize again and again for SAP ERP users is the fact that adding Oracle SCM Cloud to your supply chain technology portfolio is an extremely low-risk investment. At a time when market forces in many industries are getting even more dynamic and unpredictable, and when technology innovation keeps accelerating, your business needs an end-to-end supply chain that can embrace innovation, seamlessly extend across data sources and applications, pivot to customer-focused processes, and adopt the best available SCM technology whenever and wherever it happens to be. Oracle SCM Cloud makes all of this possible—without sacrificing or endangering your existing SAP systems, data, and supporting processes. For more information on Resilience and SCM transformation download the new eBook:  Resilience - The New Imperative for Successful SCMTransformation

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Oracle SCM Cloud “It’s not if; it’s when . . .” You’re probably tired of seeing and hearing that phrase. It’s almost always attached to bad news: something...

Logistics

End-to-End Logistics Capabilities: Best-in-Class Performance Benchmark

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager With the pressures of customer driven demand affecting businesses today, having strong logistics end-to-end capabilities contribute to a seamless end-to-end supply chain execution, leading to better orchestration and optimization. Oracle, in conjunction with Aberdeen, has published an interactive eBook, End-to-End Logistics Capabilities: Linking the Supply Chain Together for Better Orchestration & Optimization, which highlights the different types of business pressures that affect supply chain behavior and processes, and focuses on identifying the critical components needed for a global end-to-end visibility and successful fulfillment execution. The report also gives insights on what Best-in-Class (Top 20%) companies are doing when it comes to their supply chain operations to ensure successful implementation and maximize results. With over 51% of customers demanding faster, more accurate, and different levels of fulfillment, more and more companies are citing complexity in their global operations as a factor affecting data accuracy and efficiency (38%). Because of the complexity in both customer demands and operational requirements, the process can result to higher management and operating costs as well (51%). The interactive eBook focuses on identifying the critical components in Best-in-Class supply chain operations, focusing on the impact of a strong logistics and fulfillment execution, while the accompanying infographic offers a summary of how you can drive better omni-channel performance by learning from Best-in-Class companies. What are the interoperability and integration needs that are essential between transportation, warehouse management and global trade solutions? How do Best-in-Class companies do it? What are the deployment options available and how does the type of deployment become a critical factor? Visibility Across All Levels With the growing demands of eCommerce, it is now important for companies to gain visibility across all levels – from in-transit shipments, to inventory at both distribution center and store levels. It is also important to integrate this with upstream views into suppliers and order status, and important in notifying stakeholders when a potential disruption may take place. Best-in-Class companies who adapt end-to-end logistics and fulfillment capabilities have higher visibility into in-transit shipment status (69% vs all others at 51%), and have superior SKU visibility at distribution centers and store level (67% vs all others at 42%). When it comes to supply chain data and disruption visibility, best-in-class companies are twice as effective as all others. Omni-channel Expectations and Ability to Respond Companies using Best-in-Class supply chain technologies are far ahead in the game. They are able to save the sale more frequently than companies who are not adapting digital supply chain operations (90% vs 68%). With customers now demanding product availability at multiple channels, they want the flexibility to find items online, buy or pick up at the store, or have their orders shipped to a preferred address. Because of this, there’s been more emphasis on direct-to-consumer fulfillment, which can lead to additional costs. What can companies do to offset these structural costs increases and manage fulfillment points to profitably support omni-channel workflows? Having a closed-loop integration between order management and warehouse execution is required to be able to support omni-channel fulfillment. One challenge that needs to be addressed is making sure inventory is in place to make sure the fulfillment can happen. Most companies don’t even have visibility to their inventory at the SKU level, which makes it difficult to “save the sale”.  Another challenge is finding efficient ways minimize costs that can incur when there are multiple fulfillment points. Leveraging partners, integrating shipments, and prioritizing orders allow Best-in-Class to minimize costs while still being able to support multiple fulfillment points.  Leveraging the Power of the Cloud The integration required to achieve a Best-in-Class level of visibility, including third-party partners, is where a cloud-based solution has more advantage than on-premise solutions. Cloud-based solutions offer flexibility and simplify the number of integration points, and offer a faster time to value. From a technology standpoint, they are also more scalable, easier to deploy, and are more secured.

Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager With the pressures of customer driven demand affecting businesses today, having strong logistics end-to-end capabilities contribute to a seamless end-to-end...

Supply Chain Planning

Adaptive Solutions Courtesy of Supply Chain Planning Cloud

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy When Daylight Savings Time took effect this weekend, I had to reset the time on each of the programmable thermostats in our house. They’re older models that don’t update to the new time on their own. I waited impatiently for the digits on each unit to forward an hour, daydreaming about more adaptive systems. That turned my thoughts to Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud. We often talk about how it delivers “adaptive supply chain planning,” but what do we really mean by that? As I moved in between rooms, I decided that adaptive supply chain planning boils down to three things: Adapting to changes in supply and demand. Just as a thermostat should automatically update its clock to Daylight Savings Time, planning solutions should automatically adjust to changes in supply and demand. For example, Oracle Demand Management Cloud continuously evaluates the fit of each forecasting algorithm as it receives new data, and revises the contribution of multiple statistical methods to anticipate demand pattern changes.   Adapting to your business. Some product categories or markets are stable, while others fluctuate day-to-day. Each has different metrics and objectives. You need to manage each business segment independently, but you want one unified plan. With Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud, you can vary planning parameters for different subsets of your plan. Each has its own selection of forecasting algorithms, safety stock policies, and supply planning horizons.    Adapting to your preferences. Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud comes preconfigured out-of-the-box, so you can get to work right away. But it’s also easy to tailor your analytics, plan dimensions, screen layouts, exceptions and other features to suit your way of working. Fortunately, this is the last time that I’ll have to reset those old thermostats. We’re getting a new system with Wi-Fi enabled controls. It will not only understand our time zone changes, but will adapt to our daily habits over time. What about you? Are you upgrading your planning applications to a more adaptive solution? Visit our website for a quick tour of Supply Chain Planning Cloud or to learn more about how Oracle can help you transform your supply chain.

Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy When Daylight Savings Time took effect this weekend, I had to reset the time on each of the programmable thermostats in our house. They’re older models...

Supply Chain Management

The New Utopia for Supply Chain Management

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Oracle SCM Cloud Not so long ago, supply chain management was an unlikely candidate to have corporate rock star status. This was a discipline where, in many cases, a status quo mindset and an aptitude for cost control was a reliable recipe for success. In fact, supply chain was rarely spoken about unless a problem arose. Those days are long gone. Today, SCM professionals increasingly find themselves tasked with guiding their businesses through a perfect storm of hyper-competition, technology transformation, struggling business models, and shifting customer expectations and market demands. Supply chain leaders are now familiar faces—and influential voices at the strategic planning and business leadership levels. When supply chain leaders speak, they typically command the full attention of their CEOs and executive colleagues. Supply chain budgets and spending authority have expanded, as well. And while cost is still a factor in supply chain spending decisions, cost-cutting increasingly takes a back seat to a firm’s sales, revenue, and customer-value objectives. The big discussion is now that the end-to-end supply chain is at the heart of the business operating model and the organization’s competitive capabilities. Omnichannel Demands Transform the Supply Chain  What’s driving this revolution in supply chain roles and responsibilities? The answer to this question could (and probably does) fill a good-sized book. One of the most important factors, however, comes down to a single word: omnichannel. A few data points help to explain why the concept of an omnichannel supply chain—i.e. the ability to deliver a differentiated customer experience with real-time, channel-agnostic inventory visibility, fulfillment, pricing, stock management, ordering, and other supply chain functions such as predictive analytics—has achieved compelling strategic importance for so many organizations. 1. Omnichannel has a disproportionate impact on growth.  Among retailers, for example, online sales during Q4 of 2015 represented 7.5% of total US retail sales and 66.4% of all retail sales growth. 2. Omnichannel is “ground zero” for the customer-expectations revolution. Customers have embraced technology to redefine how they find, compare, assess, and purchase all sorts of products, and how products find new customers. They expect these capabilities to remain consistently available across both online and offline channels: A customer might place an order online, pick up their order at a retail outlet, and request a return authorization using a mobile app, while expecting a single, integrated end-to-end experience. 3. The B2B market reflects the same rising expectations. Studies have shown consistently that B2B buyers carry their expectations as consumers into their business dealings: 78% say next-day fulfillment capabilities are very important, for example, while 74% expect omnichannel visibility into product information and 73% want omnichannel fulfillment options. 4. Omnichannel is driving a radical shift in supply chain priorities. According to one study, just 20% of respondents said their SCM strategy going forward would prioritize cost control. A much bigger group said their top priorities now center around speed of delivery, omnichannel fulfillment, visibility and insight analytics, and other initiatives—all of which reflect a strategic shift away from cost control, and toward flawless execution of customer-centric growth capabilities. By any reasonable standard, supply chain management has completed a truly remarkable journey from cost center to strategic source of business value. What’s even more remarkable, however, is how much farther it needs to go to find success. Finding Success with Cloud SCM and ‘Opti-Channel’ Supply Chains Most supply chain leaders understand why omni-channel capabilities are so important, and many are working diligently to achieve them. In too many cases, however, success is proving to be elusive. Too many omni-channel supply chain initiatives, for example, treat channels as largely interchan geable elements, each of which receives equal emphasis in terms of optimal service levels, alignment with customer-segment requirements, operational performance, and other areas.   Free eBook: Uncovering 7 Business Opportunities With A New End-to-End Supply Chain Approach        It’s an approach that misallocates scarce resources and makes poor use of valuable customer insights. But it’s also often the best that a supply chain organization can do, given the limitations of legacy, on-premises applications such as SAP ERP. Today’s analytics enable the pivot from supply-driven to demand-driven, and therefore better segmentation and execution across all channels The solution, believe it or not, involves doubling down on key omnichannel supply chain capabilities—and on implementing an SCM technology strategy that is capable of supporting them. The goal is to execute an omnichannel strategy based on more detailed and timely insights into how and why customers use a given channel; how to allocate resources more efficiently; and how to close the loop with optimized ordering, fulfillment, transportation and logistics, and other supply chain process improvements. We refer to this as an “opti-channel” approach, given its emphasis on refining and optimizing the omnichannel supply chain. It taps into a multifaceted set of new or upgraded SCM capabilities, many of which we explore in greater detail elsewhere. At a high level, however, opti-channel elevates its game in several key areas: Moving from backward-looking forecasting methods to forward-looking, predictive techniques based on true demand sensing and shaping. Tapping into and extracting insights from a much wider variety of enterprise and social media data sources—many of them previously unavailable to SCM analytics tools. Evolving from partial customer snapshots to 360-degree profiles and continuous analyses. Leveraging cutting-edge advances in areas such as machine learning and Internet of Things environments. Using comprehensive, closed-loop data-gathering, reporting, and metrics to make business decisions faster and with much higher confidence. Making timely and accurate resource-allocation decisions that manage costs without sacrificing customer experience and operational excellence. As we pointed out before, these capabilities aren’t available using legacy SCM applications. Many of them would be cost-prohibitive to achieve using existing SCM architectures, data structures, and integration models. These traditional architectures are complex to maintain and hard to transform. For many firms, a comprehensive, “rip-and-replace” approach to modernizing a firm’s SCM applications simply isn’t a realistic option, especially for SAP ERP customers sitting on massive, long-term legacy system investments that are embedded into the business operating model. This is where Oracle SCM Cloud enters the picture with some surprising, and often very badly needed, end to end capabilities that complement and can co-exist with a firm’s legacy SAP ERP environments. If your firm’s omnichannel supply chain journey has taken a similar path, and encountered similar challenges, it’s worth taking a closer look at how Oracle Cloud SCM clears the path for opti-channel success. Download 7 Business Opportunities With A New End-to-End Supply Chain Approach

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Oracle SCM Cloud Not so long ago, supply chain management was an unlikely candidate to have corporate rock star status. This was a discipline where, in...

Logistics

How Much Can You Save by Improving Warehouse Management in the Cloud?

Inflexible systems, limited functionality, and poor visibility – three major challenges to meeting the demands of the modern marketplace. How should businesses manage their supply chains in a connected, globalized world? More specifically, how are they managing their warehouse management systems (WMS)? Keeping warehouse operating costs to an absolute minimum while ensuring there is always just enough stock in the right locations can have a major positive impact on a business’s bottom line, and today, best-of-breed warehouse management solutions running in the cloud can deliver outstanding operational efficiency and cost savings, helping any business meet their operational challenges before they arrive. Achieve speed and savings in the cloud The benefits of moving supply chain management activities to the cloud are well understood, with faster implementation (61%), cost savings (60%), improved customer service (59%), the ability to leverage new technologies (54%) and stronger security (53%) the top five advantages expected by respondents to a recent IDG survey. For warehouse management solutions, the cloud offers far greater access to resources for technological innovation, including integrations with other cloud solutions that form an overall supply chain. That means both that businesses can enrich their warehouse management systems with specialist tools that are only available online, and also that they can integrate their supply chains with other cloud-based business platforms, such as procurement or ERP cloud. Moreover, with cloud-based deployment, businesses avoid the added cost of maintenance. A cloud-based WMS platform is maintained and upgraded remotely by the service provider, ensuring stronger security, better performance and a gradually richer feature set. Best-of-breed warehouse management capabilities A modern warehouse management solution, running in the cloud, delivers a wide range of operational efficiencies and other benefits. Businesses gain a centralized, 360-degree view of their global inventories and shipments, giving them complete, real-time visibility of all their stock. The system is accessible via standard web browsers and mobile devices from anywhere in the world, enabling maximum flexibility. Users will be able to perform all of the essential activities – pick, pack, load, ship/ manifest support, kitting, de-kitting and so on – while also viewing advanced analytics in real time. That means they will be able to accurately identify potential issues as early as possible – perhaps even before they happen – and then take quick action to remedy or prevent them. Overall, you will be able to reduce operating costs by improving your warehouse employees’ productivity and by optimizing utilization of space. Your inventory costs will fall as you manage your stock more accurately in real-time, reduce shipping errors and lose less product. And ultimately, these efficiencies will all feed through to improved customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, generating increased sales revenues. Deliver strong returns So how much extra will it cost to deliver these benefits? Actually, you stand to save money by moving towards a modern, cloud-based warehouse management platform, and we can show you how. Try our online Warehouse Management Benefits Calculator, and find out exactly how much your business can benefit from Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud across these five key areas: Optimizing warehouse labor costs Minimizing inventory Delivering software support and upgrades Optimizing IT infrastructure and staffing Improving materials handling The tool is very easy to use. Simply enter a few basic details about your business and industry, fine-tune the data, and then receive a personalized report about how much you can save in each of the areas above. There’s also a wealth of informative content available on the website for background information. Get your own personalized report Use our Warehouse Management Benefits Calculator now to see how much you can save, and discover the real value to your business of cloud-based warehouse management.

Inflexible systems, limited functionality, and poor visibility – three major challenges to meeting the demands of the modern marketplace. How should businesses manage their supply chains in a...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

The Best of Both Worlds: How SAP Customers Can See Enhanced Value with Oracle SCM

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Oracle SCM Cloud Businesses today are increasingly focused on modernizing their core enterprise applications to enable end-to-end business operating models: According to a recent Gartner survey, 45% of respondents cited this as one of their top five IT priorities. It’s easy to understand the sense of urgency behind such initiatives, given the increasingly fast pace of modern technology innovation and the role these innovations have played in transforming the competitive landscape.   “Modernization,” however, can be a slippery concept—and potentially a daunting one. That’s especially true when we apply the concept to supply chain management. The challenge here isn’t simply retooling a firm’s SCM software to accommodate a long list of new and upgraded capabilities; it also demands an approach to SCM that embraces constant, fast-paced, and often highly disruptive change as a permanent fixture, not as some kind of passing phase.                   A traditional, on-premises application such as SAP ERP is a powerful and capable tool. Unfortunately, neither it nor its successor, SAP S/4HANA was designed or built to accommodate today’s supply chain challenges. We’ve made the case elsewhere why a cloud-based solution such as Oracle SCM Cloud offers a compelling solution to this conundrum. At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that for some firms, a comprehensive “rip-and-replace” migration process generates its own potent mix of cost, complexity, and business risk. Worse still, a rip and replace scenario may do little or nothing to protect a firm’s existing investments in its SAP ERP environments. Especially when direct investments include software licenses, servers, IT infrastructure upgrades, and the like. A 2015 survey found that 56% of IT executives viewed sunk costs in legacy technology as a major roadblock to cloud migration initiatives. This challenge also extends to a firm’s investments in business-process adjustments, employee training and support, application integrations, and all of the other capabilities that allow an enterprise application to generate long-term value for a business.   FREE EBOOK: How to Transform Your Supply Chain Into an Innovation Center: 4 Ways Oracle SCM Cloud Can Drive Enhanced Value From SAP    Oracle SCM Cloud offers tremendous value in a standard rip-and-replace scenario, and the savings are typically significant enough to offset a firm’s near-term migration costs. Oracle SCM Cloud also gives firms currently running SAP ERP environments another path to value — one that is far more nuanced and flexible — and that gives firms more opportunities to protect the value of their existing SAP investments. 3 Keys to Value on Your Firm’s Cloud SCM Journey Let’s illustrate this point by looking at three areas where Oracle SCM Cloud gives current SAP customers an especially compelling alternative path to value: 1. Enhancing the Value and Impact of  Business Data It’s hard to imagine a firm competing (or even surviving) today without data-driven decision-making analytics capabilities. A legacy SCM environment, together with new digital SCM applications, will play a key role in a firm’s holistic data analytics story. The key is integrating and normalizing data from a variety of sources, and applying the analytics tools that extract useful business insights. Most SAP SCM users continue to face challenges integrating and normalizing data sources across an organization while maintaining a cutting-edge approach to analytics and data-driven decision-making—largely because of multiple instances and master data challenges. Oracle SCM Cloud excels at closing these gaps—for example, by supporting Master Data Management capabilities that allow them to consolidate, enrich, analyze, and share actionable insights; giving organizations access to the latest innovations in predictive analytics, demand modeling, and other areas; and extending the reach of a firm’s analytics activities to include upstream and downstream supply chain partners. 2. Preparing Firms to Thrive in a Dynamic Technology Landscape Over the past decade or so, the pace of technology innovation has continued to increase. In one industry after another, upstart firms have used this trend to their advantage — disrupting markets, tearing down barriers to entry, and in some cases, dethroning market-share leaders that had dominated for decades. These changes add some perspective to any conversation about protecting the value of a firm’s SCM investments. In fact, any enterprise application that lacks the agility to embrace and adapt to fast-paced tech innovation is living on borrowed time. A traditional application migration process rarely makes this problem any better and can, in fact, make it worse, especially in an on premises architecture. Oracle SCM Cloud allows SAP customers to adopt a different attitude toward transforming the operating model. Oracle SCM Cloud offers a faster and simpler process for embracing technology innovation, including fewer integration constraints and faster deployment that involves the business at an earlier stage than traditional IT deployments; the use of open and widely adopted application development standards; and an architecture that allows developers to extend a firm’s technology capabilities without introducing unwanted cost, complexity, and risk. When a firm implements Oracle SCM Cloud alongside its existing SAP environment, it can think of the former as its “innovation and customer interface,” allowing it to embrace and benefit from cutting-edge technology. 3. Migration Models Based on Flexibility, Convenience, and Choice One of the biggest drawbacks associated with rip-and-replace migrations is the tendency to promote a binary deployment model. Either a business is running an on-premises SCM environment or it’s running SCM in the cloud. But this perspective can create countless other problems down the line. In reality, a firm’s SCM workloads typically reflect many points on a spectrum of deployment options and applications. Some workloads and their data sources are appropriate for multitenant, public cloud environments. Other workloads are more appropriate for private cloud or hosted environments; and still others may require a firm to maintain various levels of on-premises SCM capabilities. In addition, some of these requirements may be due to short-term budget, staffing, or operational constraints, as well as strategic priorities. Others may be necessary to comply with long-term legal or regulatory mandates. Oracle SCM Cloud employs a design philosophy that recognizes and respects these differences. It enables firms to implement cloud SCM workloads alongside its legacy on premises environments, and to follow a migration roadmap based entirely on its unique business and technology requirements. Ultimately, this commitment to freedom of choice and flexibility is a critical distinction, and without it, any conversation about protecting a firm’s SCM investments would simply pay lip service to the concept. A Faster, Safer Path to SCM Success The notion of investing in Oracle SCM Cloud to protect legacy SAP SCM investments can seem a bit unusual a first—an unconventional point of connection between traditional software rivals. For many firms, however, this is truly a “no pain, all gain” proposition: a path to the cloud that maximizes a firm’s freedom and flexibility, even as it prepares them to compete and succeed in a fast-changing business and technology landscape. To learn more download How to Transform Your Supply Chain Into an Innovation Center: 4 Ways Oracle SCM Cloud Can Drive Enhanced Value From SAP

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Oracle SCM Cloud Businesses today are increasingly focused on modernizing their core enterprise applications to enable end-to-end business operating...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

The Oracle PLM to Cloud Strategy

From Jan 29th till 31st, 2018 our flagship event, Modern Supply Chain Experience, saw nearly 3000 participants, many of whom were interested in Oracle Product Lifecycle Management. More than 500 PLM executives and technology experts got a chance to witness a number of PLM sessions, demos, workshops, exhibits, and had a chance to meet during daily networking opportunities. The event is a testament to Oracle´s 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 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 in current applications while also delivering the next generation of Cloud applications. It gives our customers visibility, choice, time, and innovation. Customers have access to Oracle’s product roadmap to plan upgrades, allocate resources, and secure budgets, they can tailor their enterprise business and IT strategies, enjoy reduced downtime, shorter upgrade cycles, proven upgrade paths and methodologies. What we announced at MSCE 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. For example, we have delivered 9.3.5 in January 2015, 9.3.6. in January 2016. Why are we not delivering 9.3.7. this January 2018? The answer is simple: We have switched from a waterfall development process with yearly releases to an agile sprint/scrum model for both Agile PLM and the new 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. The first RUP in 2018 (9.3.6.5) has already been released, and 9.3.6.6 is already in progress. In addition, while we continue securing and extending the value of your investment in Agile PLM, Oracle R&D brings the latest technology to your applications investments. We are dedicated to helping you remain competitive by providing you with new technology that enhances the way that you do business. The Need for Continuous Innovation The world is now connected and digital. The reality is that smart devices and products, IoT, AI, AV/AR are enabling new business operating models including Industry 4.0 and Products-As-A-Service. These new digital business models demand speed and the old way of stitching together a series of applications through integrations that run nightly or even several times a day just does not deliver the speed necessary to meet the requirements of today’s businesses. Would Uber exist if it took a day, an hour or even 15 minutes to line up a ride, no! ___________________________________________________________ FREE APICS / Oracle Webcast: Is Product Lifecycle Management Ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution? ___________________________________________________________ These new business operating models demand a digital Supply Chain platform that operates and reacts in real-time. This platform needs a common language or digital thread. Oracle PLM Cloud is the next-generation of PLM and provides the enterprise product record and digital thread needed for a digital supply chain to operate at high speed. Not to mention, Oracle’s PLM Cloud technology comes with built in analytics enhanced by IoT applications and is integrated with adaptive intelligent (AI) apps. This, ultimately, enables you to streamline the development of connected products and services. Your Foundation for On-Premise to Cloud Oracle has established the foundation for organizations looking to go from on-premise to the cloud. With the customer in mind, Oracle has built best-in-class SaaS applications. With a true Software-As-A-Service deployment, the cost is stable and the value of the investment always increases as we continue to add more innovation into the Application Services. But it is not simply an “Either” – “Or”. True to our customer first approach, Oracle will continue supporting and adding functionality required to keep your business running whether you want to stay on-premise with Agile PLM, go to Oracle PLM Cloud, or deploy a hybrid model. Yet, for those organizations looking to go to cloud, Oracle PLM provides you with a flexible path. You can easily augment existing Agile PLM installs with added value from PLM Cloud: Adding Innovation Management (IM) to Agile PLM adds Ideation, Requirements Management and Traceability and Innovation Portfolio Management. In addition, adding Product Hub Cloud to Agile PLM adds Commercialization to your existing PLM/ERP solution, and forms the basis for a migration to next generation PLM that bridges the gap between product development and the downstream processes. The appropriate Out-Of-The-Box integrations are available. And if you are a net new Oracle PLM Customer, we suggest to onboard PLM Cloud directly for quick return on innovation. Digital Thread PLM across ERP, SCM, and CX The industry has talked about PLM managing the enterprise product record for years. However, the reality is that traditional PLM has created a consolidated Product Development Record, but the Enterprise product record is still fragmented, with product records everywhere: In Product Development, in Manufacturing, Maintenance, Quality Management, IoT…. Yesterday’s PLM does not deliver the speed required to achieve Digital Transformation or the Digital Thread. Managing the development product record is fine and still core, but it is no longer enough. Digital Transformation is forcing companies to create more connected real-time applications (platform) to create a digital thread that radically improves speed and the customer experience. The joining of product records creates a new architecture: a true Enterprise Product Record for the Digital Thread. The Digital Thread requires that true Enterprise Product Record that delivers a complete 360° view of a product, its changes and quality and business process flows through all applications in the thread. Oracle has a unique value proposition because PLM, SCM and ERP are all on a single platform with a single data model. Yet, with our completely open architecture, your company can perform easy integrations to legacy or third party systems. Together with our partners we are well equipped to support our customers in any stage of their PLM Cloud 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 started to build extensions, for example Inspirage has built a solution for Governance and Compliance, Kalypso has built an extension to manage recipe formulations, GoSaaS has developed Agile A9 to PLM Cloud migration utilities, 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 for a future-proof and safe path for Oracle’s adaptive PLM are openness and choice, added value for our customers, and simplicity and ease-of-use. We received excellent feedback during our discussions at MSCE, our numerous customer advisory board meetings and customer’s social collaboration. We will continue to put you, the customer, first. For more information about Oracle PLM, check the Oracle PLM Website. ___________________________________________________________ FREE APICS / Oracle Webcast: Is Product Lifecycle Management Ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution? ___________________________________________________________    

From Jan 29th till 31st, 2018 our flagship event, Modern Supply Chain Experience, saw nearly 3000 participants, many of whom were interested in Oracle Product Lifecycle Management. More than 500 PLM...

Events

IoT Driving Mobile Technology at MWC 2018

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s biggest and most renowned mobile industry event solely focused on everything mobile - mobile devices, mobile network infrastructure, and mobile technology. Its prominence has compelled world brands to hold their global launch of flagship products here, including the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+. This environment gives the attendee a fantastic opportunity to see and touch the future of mobile device/infrastructure/technology, and gain a sense for where the future might go. MWC - For Both Consumers and Enterprises A quick walk (no stopping or touching) around the 8 halls here at MWC took about four hours. And a couple of observation points stood out: 1. Mobile technology is more than just about consumer mobile - it is also (if not more so) about the deployment of mobile technologies for enterprise applications. At MWC, vendors are offering mobile solutions for retail, future cities, agriculture, smart factories (Industry 4.0), connected vehicles, security & surveillance, fleet management, utilities, cold chain, tourism, human safety, consumer engagement, and interesting new business models (companion robots, etc). 2. IoT is as ubiquitous as mobile technology - yes, hard to imagine that the same mobile technology to stream PewDiePie on your phone is as important is sending boring real time fleet monitoring data.  Transmitting IoT data using mobile technology has become so important that standards were created to specifically for this: NB-IOT and a newly formed LTE-M (the two don’t compete because the former focuses on low power applications). Imagine roughly 20B IoT devices (estimated 8.2B devices are already doing so today) sending boring enterprise data, but collectively drowning out PewDiePie. Mobile, IoT, and Cloud Enabling Digital Transformation Regardless of the application of Mobile + IoT in the multitude of industries and use cases, the data gathered (by IoT) and transmitted (by mobile – because we are at MWC) all need to go somewhere to be stored, analyzed, and acted upon. This is done via mobile gateways that push IoT data into the cloud. Once in the cloud, the full power of the modern day computing and integration can be applied to the IoT data: Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, analytics, passing of data to ERP either natively or via RESTful API, robotic process automation, mobile notification, or social collaboration. For example, a company wishing to deploy Industry 4.0 manufacturing will start with an IoT + Mobile + Cloud framework. The IoT will be collecting data on the factory machine. Mobile technology will act as a gateway and push the IoT data to the cloud. In the cloud, a robust predictive analytics system will include the cleaning of time series data (real time environments can be noisy, leading to spurious data), the processing of real time data (statistical process control), the machine learning of real time data (building models), and the creation of recommendations based on the analytics. Proactive maintaining a machine - during a shift change or during lulls in manufacturing prevents costly lines and potentially gives you a strategic competitive edge. The cloud will take IoT data and turn it into actionable insights. Oracle at MWC at Hall 3, Stand 3B30 Oracle is usually known for its database and ERP systems. But Oracle is also at the forefront of enterprise software providers to enable businesses (brands, retail, manufacturers, service providers, etc.) to find create new business models and grow revenue. One such example is the Oracle Mobile Bike demo at MWC. A bicycle manufacturer wants to increase revenue beyond just the one time sell of bicycles. So instead of just selling the bicycles, the manufacturer starts a new bicycle rental division that will rent out bicycles in high density urban zones. Using Oracle, the bicycle rental division can track the location of the bicycles in real time, receive notification that the bicycle has left a predefined area (violating contract or a possible theft), react to alerts that the tire pressure is too low, track bicycle maintenance schedule and predicatively replace the brake pad based on actual usage. With this, a manufacturer has adopted the digital transformation to help with its business transformation. Are you a brand or manufacturer interested in see how you can use digital transformation to grow your revenue, much like the bicycle manufacture mentioned in the above the Mobile Bike demo? We also have other demos. Come visit us in Hall 3, 3B30.  

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s biggest and most renowned mobile industry event solely focused on everything mobile - mobile devices, mobile network infrastructure, and mobile technology....

The Manufacturer’s Guide to Digital Connected Service

Mark de Groot, Marketing Director EMEA The delivery of a finished product used to mark the end of your interaction with a customer. Now it marks the beginning. This shift towards service represents a major opportunity for transformation, innovation, and modernization – helping manufacturers drive increased loyalty and open up lucrative revenue streams. This is where servitization comes in. Instead of selling a product, manufacturers sell what their product delivers. Rolls-Royce, for instance, operates a “power by the hour” service, whereby customers pay for the power their engines deliver rather than the engines the company builds. It’s a managed service where all aftermarket field service is included as required. For manufacturers looking to seize the servitization opportunity, their transformation could take a number of forms. First, by improving the service delivered to customers, manufacturers could turn service quality into an effective differentiator – new technology like intelligent chatbots and customer service apps have a key role to play here. It’s will be important for businesses to consider exactly who their customers are and what their needs are, as any service investments will likely need to serve a mixture of partners, resellers, and end users. Second, by packaging aftermarket services in a way that customers can pay for in addition to buying products outright, manufacturers ensure a more consistent and predictable flow of aftermarket revenue. Data gathered remotely through Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, for example, can monitor what is sold remotely and help solve customer issues before their product is interrupted. DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK The Manufacturers Guide to Digital Connected Service Third, by delivering products as services – either using subscription or usage-based pricing models – manufacturers can boost revenues while giving customers a modern means of acquiring what they produce. Here, IoT can help monitor product usage remotely and expose new finance models better suited to subscription or usage-based payment. What servitization success looks like Servitization yields significant benefits for organization, their aftermarket service teams, and their customers. They include: A choice of engagement channels for customers Tools like live chat and AI-powered chatbots to get answers quickly Discrete devices monitoring product status in real-time to deliver proactive support Field service teams that have access to customer and IoT data -- so they can deliver the right service, first time, every time Sensors monitoring product usage, so customers only pay for what they use Data gathered to continuously improve service and product quality Customers building lasting relationships with manufacturers and their field service teams Modern finance systems that support the monetization of your services, providing customers with flexible means of payment Transform service delivery with a modern, connected platform New service delivery and monetization innovations offer a range of benefits to both your customers and your organisation. However, if you take a bolt-on approach to data and systems, you’ll lack the connectivity and integration required to support modern connected services. DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK The Manufacturers Guide to Digital Connected Service By adopting a unified platform for all of you manufacturing operations, you can create a strong, scalable foundation for service innovation. Developing a connected manufacturing platform can help you deliver innovative service experiences, stay connected to products being used by customers, deliver a superior customer experience, and monetize your products in exciting new ways. Discover more about how Oracle can help you transform service delivery. Download The Manufacturers Guide to Digital Connected Services today.

Mark de Groot, Marketing Director EMEA The delivery of a finished product used to mark the end of your interaction with a customer. Now it marks the beginning. This shift towards service represents a...

Logistics

A Solid Foundation for Advanced Technology Usage in Supply Chains

Diego Pantoja-Navajas, VP, WMS Product Development For the past decade I have debated whether advanced technological applications like “true” Supply Chain Cloud applications provide a real competitive advantage to our customers. It seems the debate is finally over. There are now hundreds of strong case studies about customers’ successful adoptions of advanced technologies and the digital transformation of their Supply Chains. Real cloud applications are laying the foundation for innovative solutions from IoT to Blockchain. This is the future of our industry. I could not agree more with Dwight Klappich, research Vice President at Gartner, that the supply chain industry is now highly technology-centric. One note I would add is that Oracle is in the middle of the action. Oracle has the largest footprint of Software as a Service (SaaS) SCM applications, not to mention Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the market.  We provide these services from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and we are enabling companies to adopt advanced technologies like IoT, Blockchain, ChatBots, and AI. Our cloud customers are doing much more than building proof-of-concepts with some of these technologies. They are using our technology as the secure foundation to drive innovation in core parts of their business. Take our Cloud IoT Platform, for example. Oracle Internet of Things is a great example of Oracle technology being used as a sure foundation for technological innovation. Our IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud solution captures real time data of fuel consumption, route management, driver performance and vehicle maintenance. This data is then analyzed and reported in a way that makes fleet operations safer, greener and more cost-effective.  When those real time signals are combined with our WMS Cloud application based on say, trailer proximity or other variables, our yard and dock-door management modules self-adjust to the appropriate arrival and departure times. This let’s warehouses maximize yard, dock, trailer, and overall resource utilization – providing cost savings to our customers. We are also excited to see the fast adoption of our virtual customer assistants, chatbots, AI, and blockchain platforms as many of our customers begin innovating across the supply chain in various industries, geographies and product categories. We are experiencing an unprecedented adoption of new technologies across the supply chain industry. We at Oracle know that these advanced technologies are no longer futuristic concepts. They are reality, and every day we are committed to continuing to push the boundaries of our capabilities in order to provide and continue to develop the best-in-class, cloud-based, SCM Platform.  

Diego Pantoja-Navajas, VP, WMS Product Development For the past decade I have debated whether advanced technological applications like “true” Supply Chain Cloud applications provide a real competitive...

Events

Supply Chain Management: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Roddy Martin, VP, Global SCM Thought Leadership and SCM Product Marketing If you haven’t heard, this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE) was our largest ever, and I couldn’t have been more proud of our organization or the suite of cloud products we presented. When I think of everything that Oracle has accomplished in the supply chain industry over the last 18 months – to be able to watch committed technologists stand on stage and exclaim over and over again that Oracle is driving business transformation – it’s truly remarkable. And while everything at the event went off without a hitch, if anything, this year’s MSCE showed me that it’s not just Oracle that has changed. The entire supply chain ecosystem has changed as well. The customers. The analysts. All of it has fundamentally transformed.  In fact, customers matured well before the tools did. Collectively, we’ve reached a clutch point, and if any major enterprise wants to thrive in a digital economy then the time has come to start moving services, architecture, and infrastructure into the cloud and embracing new emerging technologies like IoT, advanced analytics, blockchain and AI. Because the marketplace and demand is already there – and customers and the market are not going to wait around. SCM Yesterday 30 years or more has passed since the introduction of the AS400 green screen and the on premises supply chain solutions it ran. We all know those solutions were beasts of burden and they helped the supply chain industry usher in a global marketplace that co existed with ERP. They held up for a long time. But it’s amazing how far behind the rest of the technology world Supply Chains became as time moved on. You can only tinker and patch a system so long before it’s just not worth it anymore – especially when it’s not pegged to the reality of a connected and networked marketplace. The systems aren’t bad. They’re just straining to meet a demand well beyond their capacity. They can’t scale and are complex – no matter how much bubble gum and string is used to keep them together. SCM Today Organizations from the previous era that employed these old systems were IT and data centric. They needed to be in order to keep their machine running, and maintenance upkeep was intense and expensive. However, that’s not the case anymore with new emerging technologies. At least it doesn’t have to be. If you look at organizations today, they are fundamentally transforming their capabilities. We hear the “transformation” word everywhere, but what does it really mean? Simply this. The IT centric model whose purpose it was to keep the business system running is going away and being replaced by a new architecture of people, process, and technology aimed at enabling new demand driven business models. We’re able to have new collaborative conversations now, see across company and systems boundaries and predictively analyze data. Going forward supply chains will use IT for business innovation and not patch management. It’s a different conversation entirely and businesses are now more ready than ever, and willing to have it. And it’s this shift that so many people at MSCE marveled at – how thorough and complete an end-to-end Cloud SCM suite could be – how ready it is to scale to meet demand and safely carry businesses into a new demand-driven paradigm. SCM Professionals and IT Support no longer have to worry about the complexity of keeping their supply chains afloat and being on the treadmill of integrating disparate systems. They get to acquire and develop new skill sets such as predictive analytics and work on new emerging and exciting technologies that fundamentally allow new capabilities and work practices. Isn’t that where businesses want to be – looking for opportunities to expand their business and operating models with technological advances in IoT and Blockchain? SCM Tomorrow Make no mistake – I saw it all week at MSCE – the supply chain world is more dynamic and alive than I have ever seen it. We are transitioning to an era of continuous process improvement and technology transformation; with people and process holistically embedded in the solution. With an overarching cloud-based  suite that’s built to support a connected marketplace and supply system. The time is now where supply chain professionals can design and operate the future they want – process oriented, end to end, and technology enabled. My advice. Are you building a supply chain today? Then you have to think 5 to 7 years ahead of where you are, design for the future, and deploy incrementally based on business value add. That’s how you’ll keep from being left behind or get stuck on deploying capabilities that only solve today’s problems. Don’t design for today. Design and develop for the future. Your partners exist. An ecosystem exists. See your business vision become reality. And then when it’s time – build your future on us.  Build it on Oracle’s cloud based solutions and change your paradigm. For more videos and information keep an eye on the 2018 MSCE Website.

Roddy Martin, VP, Global SCM Thought Leadership and SCM Product Marketing If you haven’t heard, this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE) was our largest ever, and I couldn’t have been more...

Supply Chain Management

The Benefits of SCM In The Cloud- Let’s Get Specific.

Supply chain innovators have 60% better profit margins and 65% better earnings per share than their competitors. Why? They’ve identified the shortcomings of their rigid, legacy applications, and have moved toward building a modern, flexible, end-to-end supply chain that’s more suited to the dynamic challenges of today’s business world. In short, they’ve moved to the cloud. In a world where customer expectations are sky-high, competition is fierce and innovation, adaptability and speed to market is critical, the rigidity of a traditional supply chain doesn’t just hinder growth, it can jeopardize the very survival of your business. Cloud technology offers the flexibility and visibility you need to spot opportunities for growth along with the ability to take full advantage of them quickly, securely and cost-effectively. This blog both summarises the benefits of SCM in the Cloud from a broad perspective, and shows you how to calculate the benefits specific to your business. So what are the characteristics of a modern supply chain and what do they mean for your business? Visibility Complete, accurate, real-time visibility improves almost every area of your business, from product design and production costs to quality, compliance, and customer satisfaction. In the traditional supply chain model, data is often scattered across silos, with no centralized single version of the truth, making informed decisions very difficult. With 360-degree visibility in the cloud you get the insight you need, when you need it, that will help you improve products and services, spot opportunities, identify cost savings, and track, monitor, plan and predict with confidence. Connectivity One of the major barriers to arriving at one single version of the truth in the traditional supply chain is the lack of integration between systems. In the Cloud, you have open and seamless integration with all your existing IT solutions from financial systems to HR, from mobile to IoT devices and more. That means vast improvements for collaboration, accuracy, efficiency, and ultimately, business performance. Agility Moving your supply chain to the cloud gives you the flexibility to quickly respond to, even predict, change – whether that’s in customer demand, competitor activity, supplier issues, market trends or performance. New capabilities can be added and scaled up and down almost instantly to keep your business responsive, innovating and improving. Security From encryption to whitelist support, the cloud offers up-to-the-minute, best-in-class security features that keep your critical supply chain data secure and protected at all times, and your business compliant with changing regulations. Cost control A cloud-based solution provides the automation, analytics and collaboration you need to identify savings, streamline processes, control costs, and achieve higher margins. What’s more, low upfront investments and subscription-based pricing mean no large initial outlay, and more affordable upgrades and new capability rollouts. You know the cloud will benefit your business. But do you know by how much? The above are the business benefits of SCM in the cloud from a broad perspective. But what about the specific benefits to your business. Can you calculate them? Yes. And you can calculate them in real terms. By entering just a few key stats into the Oracle SCM Benefits Calculator, you can work out the potential impact of moving your supply chain management to the cloud - in terms of improved efficiency, reduced costs and increased profits. And because they are based on real information about your business, the report you will generate is exceptionally accurate, with detailed figures on the following five areas: Savings in supply chain operations Increase in operating profit Reduction in logistics cost Decreased inventory carrying cost Curtailment of maverick spend The tool is quick and easy to use, and you can adapt it according to your own specific business drivers. Quite simply, the more detail you put in, the more detailed the results you’ll get back. When you know that the cloud is the way your supply chain should go, this tool will give you the hard and fast statistics to back you up. There’s even a collection of useful reading, videos and infographics to help you build a rock solid case. Discover the real financial benefits of moving to the cloud. Test drive the Oracle SCM Benefits Calculator today.

Supply chain innovators have 60% better profit margins and 65% better earnings per share than their competitors. Why? They’ve identified the shortcomings of their rigid, legacy applications, and have...

Manufacturing

IoT: Enabling a Brave New Manufacturing World

Andy Binsley, VP, Product Strategy, Supply Chain Management The Internet of Things (IoT) is on the rise. For those of us not familiar with the concept, IoT refers to Internet-enabled devices that are connected through a remotely accessible network. IoT will undoubtedly play a major role in shaping the future and has already had a great impact on our lives – from changing the way we use thermostats in our homes, to the way large wind turbines are monitored in the North Sea. IoT is also bringing efficiencies to the world of Manufacturing. It enables unprecedented visibility into machine performance on the shop flow, leading to greater effectiveness in production. But, we believe this is just the beginning. We believe IoT will also help manufacturers upend old business models and replace them with completely new ones. To understand why, it’s illustrative to look at the way product companies currently work.  Products are invariably sold using a one-time buy-sell transaction; i.e. a buyer pays monies to a manufacturer and ownership of the product is transferred. This is the way you likely bought your refrigerator, your car, your television, and your furniture, just to name a few items. It is also the way businesses sell to other businesses. For example, a manufacturer of large trucks will sell its products to mining companies using a one-time buy-sell transaction. WATCH THE WEBCAST   Using Emerging Technologies to Manage, Control, and be Predictive During the Complete Asset Lifecycle These one-time transactions have an important consequence. They mean manufacturers do not usually foster any relationships with their customers. Consequently, manufacturers typically do not know customer usage patterns and have no real insight into how end consumers are actually using their products. Case in point, the manufacturer of my car does not really have a relationship with me.  The manufacturer does not know how often I drive my car, at what speed, and in what condition. When they do hear from me, it is because I need the car repaired.  This is important because it says manufacturers only learn about problems through repair information or through mining spare parts usage data. This is delayed, sparse information that gives manufacturers incomplete information about their customers and their products.     Now, fast-forward to a time of IoT enabled product manufacturing. IoT enables manufacturers to be continuously connected to their customers. This is an interesting paradigm shift with several implications. First, manufacturers can move to new business models such as IoT monitored pay-per-use. In this model manufacturers meter the use of a products or services and charge customers solely based on their usage. In the example I gave earlier of a truck manufacturer whose trucks are used in mining, the manufacturer can move to a model where they charge the mining company by hours of operation. Similarly, aircraft engine manufacturers have adopted the model of charging airlines based on hours of operation with their engines, rather than having the airlines buy the engines outright. And MRI manufacturers have moved to a model where instead of selling machines to hospitals, they charge by the image. A second implication is manufacturers can create continuous relationships with their customers. This allows manufacturers to collect Big Data on customer usage patterns – with the ability to track and monitor exactly how end users interact with the products they purchase.  Think of Tesla cars and how Tesla can monitor customer driving patterns, e.g., how often they come close to draining the battery completely, what time they most often charge their cars, where they charge their cars (work or home), how frequently they use services such as navigation, etc.  This is information Tesla can use to better its products in the future. Continuous relationships allow manufacturers to monitor product performance in real time, look for potential defects and suggest preventative repairs. Perhaps the most important change, though, that results from IoT enabled continuous relationships is the ability manufacturers now have to upgrade their products through software. This is quite a sea change from the old model where products start to depreciate in value as soon as they are purchased. In the IoT enabled continuous relationship model, products can be updated with new software and actually increase in value! From a business perspective IoT enabled connectivity creates several new possibilities for manufacturers. First, they can use the new pay-per-use models to enter new markets previously closed because they could not afford the full purchase price. This means manufacturers can take their products into promising emerging countries such as India, China and Indonesia, among others, and expand their market opportunity in the process.  Second, manufacturers can use the Big Data they collect on customer usage as well as product flaws and repairs, to drive improved product-market fit. Third, and perhaps most importantly, IoT enabled connectivity enables manufacturers to transition from product companies to “customer experience” companies. More specifically, in the old model of transactional relationships, manufacturers felt responsibility of their products up to their sale to the customer. In the new model of continuous relationships where payments are made on a pay-per-use basis, manufacturers only get paid if their products are performing as required by customers. This creates the incentive for manufacturers to ensure their products are continually working as required by their customers, otherwise they won’t get paid. The point to note, though, is that a well-executed “customer experience” approach should lead to greater customer loyalty as users find the products are continuously meeting their requirements. To take advantage of the new business possibilities, manufacturers will need to make a few adjustments to their operating models. First, they will need to increasingly manage and maintain assets on behalf of their customers, and work to ensure they maximize “customer experience.”  Secondly, manufacturers will need to develop new competencies in logistics as they will need to ensure the proper placement of products at customer sites, and then their retrieval at their end of life. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Manufacturers will need to change their ERP infrastructures to one that can incorporate product lifecycle management (PLM) directly with ERP, track pay-per-use business models, manage software and services bundled with products and have SKUs where software and services act as an integral part of the manufacturer’s product. Once manufacturers make these adjustments, though, they will have the infrastructure necessary to fully leverage IoT to enter a brave new world of new business possibilities.  For more information on implementing any of Oracle's Cloud Supply Chain Management Solutions visit our Cloud Elite Platinum Partner Hitachi Consulting. WATCH THE WEBCAST  Using Emerging Technologies to Manage, Control, and be Predictive During the Complete Asset Lifecycle p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}

Andy Binsley, VP, Product Strategy, Supply Chain Management The Internet of Things (IoT) is on the rise. For those of us not familiar with the concept, IoT refers to Internet-enabled devices that are...

Manufacturing

The Digital Future of Manufacturing

Lionel Albert, EMEA Manufacturing and Supply Chain Cloud Director The smart connected factory is all about changing the ways that humans and machines interact and learn from one another – so that both can do more. Three ingredients define this factory of the future: innovative technology, digital skills, and a modern, flexible data foundation. DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK The Manufacturers Guide to Digital Connected Service Let’s start with the technology. Innovative, connected technology helps deliver more efficient manufacturing operations, new opportunities for precision design and building, and higher levels of productivity. Take artificial intelligence (AI), for example. As parts and processes generate data, that data can be analysed and acted upon by AI, with the AI making intelligent, in-the-moment decisions. Likewise, advanced robotics. The next generation of manufacturing robotics are designed to turn data into automated physical outputs. The more information you can feed them, the less manual intervention will be required. The Internet of Things has dramatic potential too. As data is continually gathered from across the factory, manufacturers can gain new insights into failure characteristics and begin to detect and proactively protect against them. That data fuels modern analytics platforms, turning huge volumes of raw information into actionable insight. DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK The Manufacturers Guide to Digital Connected Service And other innovative technologies such as augmented reality, analytics, and self-driving processes – deployed together or in a modular manner – create a continually improving, data-powered environment that can transform operations. Putting People First People are the second essential ingredient of smart connected manufacturing environments. A digital-first talent strategy enables the manufacturers to leverage mobile, collaborative, and intuitive systems to become more insight-driven, strategic, efficient, talent-centric, and responsive. That way, they can be certain employees have the tools and information to attain operational excellence and ensure global agility—driving bottom-line success. Enabling Agile Operations Alongside operational technologies and a modern people strategy, digital manufacturing calls for a robust, flexible, and streamlined data platform. As the technology in your factory has evolved and needs have changed, chances are your IT environment has become complex and difficult to manage. That’s a real barrier to the smart connected factory. You can’t implement new processes powered by new technology without the agility to support them. You need to focus on streamlining and simplifying what you already have before building a future-ready digital strategy. The factory of the future also depends on being able to share data between people, machines, and components. No matter which modern technologies you want to start taking advantage of, they all require a simple, standardised data foundation to deliver the best results. Transform Manufacturing Operations With a Connected Platform Embracing digital manufacturing offers a huge range of benefits – as long as you make the right technology decisions. A bolt-on approach to data and systems denies the connectivity and integration required to support digital manufacturing operations. A unified platform for all of your manufacturing operations creates create a strong, scalable foundation for process innovation. According to IDC, by 2020, 60 percent of plant floor workers will work alongside automated assistance technologies such as advanced robotics and AI on factory floors. Developing a connected manufacturing platform can help you standardize your data and technology, laying the foundation to embrace innovative new tools and processes across your factory and supply chain. Discover how Oracle can help you prepare for the digital future of manufacturing, embrace the right technology, and maximize the efficiency of your most valuable operations. Download our free eBook today. DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK The Manufacturers Guide to Digital Connected Service  

Lionel Albert, EMEA Manufacturing and Supply Chain Cloud Director The smart connected factory is all about changing the ways that humans and machines interact and learn from one another – so that both...

Manufacturing

The Manufacturer’s Guide to Digitally-Led Innovation

The ground is moving under manufacturers’ feet, with a seismic shift coming in many areas. Customers, for example, want manufacturers to anticipate their needs, customize products to their preferences, and deliver impeccable, instant service. New digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics offer the promise of real-time production, customer-responsive innovation, and ultra-low operating costs. And global competition is hotter than ever: with an increasing number of emerging countries embracing digital manufacturing at pace. Make no mistake, sticking with the old ways is a sure path to obsolescence. According to McKinsey, “Companies competing in traditional ways…have seen lower rates of revenue and earnings growth than have companies competing in digital ways.” DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK  The Manufacturer's Guide to Digitally Led Innovation  So how can manufacturers innovate faster in this customer-driven world? The answer lies in acting upon all of the ways customers interact with your business and your products – not just individual customer interactions – and transforming your operations to ensure that the omnichannel customer journey is seamless, responsive, and rewarding. Exploit The End-to-End Customer Journey The value chain needs to be viewed as a single experience, with the customer at the center, and with every element connected by a “digital thread.” That thread contains data that flows through every part of your organisation to inform a seamless, responsive process – from sensing customer demand, sales, and order management, through to delivering products and services that meet customer needs. A customer’s digital and social media activity, for example, provides a flow of data about their needs, preferences, and preoccupations. That data can be used to understand customer behaviours, nurture them with personalised communications, and gather ideas for product improvements. Equally, data from demand sensing, customer orders, and manufacturing operations provide detailed insight into which products you’ll be manufacturing and to which timescales. That data is vital in driving supply chain partner collaboration to ensure just-in-time delivery of materials and valuable in sharing demand forecasts with dealers and sellers to help them plan. Data from service also drives a multitude of service innovations – from remotely updating connected devices to delivering entire products as a service. That data can help inform new service technologies such as intelligent chatbots and service apps, or it can automatically update connected products as new functionality is developed.   The Smart Value Chain: Applying Analytics and AI To deliver its full business value, the value chain doesn’t just need to be connected by a digital thread. It must also be smart: capable of analysing customer, product, and operational data. For example, artificial intelligence can be used to predict when customers are most likely to buy, and automatically send them offers, or to understand where customers are having problems with connected products, and send them guidance. The Power of the Smart, Connected Value Chain A value chain that’s capable of analysing itself and acting on that insight (i.e. smart) and connected (by a digital thread) provides a significant competitive advantage. You can design products and services customers want, increasing sales. Innovate faster and grow market share. Deliver a more rewarding customer experience that drives loyalty. And reduce the cost of sales, marketing, and finance. To learn more about how Oracle can help you to transform your manufacturing business around the customer experience, download our free white paper today. DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK  The Manufacturer's Guide to Digitally Led Innovation 

The ground is moving under manufacturers’ feet, with a seismic shift coming in many areas. Customers, for example, want manufacturers to anticipate their needs, customize products to their...