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

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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 Or take the art of communicating, and the new possibilities that have occurred because letters have been replaced by e-mail and instant messaging.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...

Manufacturing

Watch How Next Generation Product Lifecycle Management Drives Digital Transformations

Today’s digital era requires companies to begin adopting new technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR/VR, Model Based Enterprise (MBE), 3D Printers and connected tools and applications. These new industrial technologies require connected digital data (digital thread) that runs across Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Customer Experience (CX) applications in order to run successfully. This means organizations need a new Digital Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution at the core to support today’s business operating models. 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). You’ll also discover how to: Transform your product value chain and end-to-end supply chain via a complete and connected innovation,  development, and commercialization platform Utilize emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twins, Blockchain, and Adaptive Intelligence (AI) to accelerate the innovation process and Industry 4.0 (I4.0) initiatives Better meet customer expectations, speed time-to-market, and establish new business models by connecting the voice of the customer and the voice of the product to PLM Drive value with smart connected devices that deliver real-time feedback and make a dynamic shift from selling only products to selling products-as-a-service PLM plays an instrumental role in digital transformations. Best-in-class companies are connecting innovation through commercialization across their supply chains and require the agility necessary to measure and pivot from failing projects to higher value opportunities - while simultaneously accelerating product launches. Discover how your company can too. Watch this Oracle, CIMdata, and PI PLMx on-demand webinar now! 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 Darwin's Frog, Digital Transformation and Innovation Kirk Carlsen is a Product Marketing Manager at Oracle. You can find him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Today’s digital era requires companies to begin adopting new technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR/VR, Model Based Enterprise (MBE), 3D Printers and connected...

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...

Events

Women in Today's Supply Chain - An MSCE Recap

Now on its second year, the Women in Supply Chain Networking Luncheon took place last Jan 29, Day 1 of the Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience, and gave attendees the opportunity to meet and interact with other female registrants prior to the start of the conference. Attendees interested in a particular solution area sat at marked tables where fellow subject matter experts led conversations on topics such as procurement, logistics or product lifecycle management, or chose to focus on discussing the importance of an end-to-end supply chain. Conversations flowed throughout lunch, with many attendees getting to know other likeminded women sitting at their tables. Women Leaders Share Experience Chris Kite, VP of Global Business Finance at Oracle, led the panel on “Breaking Through the Supply Chain Glass Ceiling: A View From the Boardroom”, speaking with Susan Hayes, Senior Director of Product Operations at Cisco Systems, and Elizabeth Hoegeman, Director of Procurement at Cummins. After the panel discussion, Chris Melching from Center Stage Group gave the attendees pointers on improving their leadership skills, how to establish and maintain presence, and how to build confidence. During the discussion panelists shared certain aspects of their career -- from how they started in the fields of technology and supply chain to the different challenges they faced when it came to solving problems, building and managing teams, and finding work-life balance as they grow in their careers, while still making sure they spend enough time with their families. Susan Hayes spoke about the challenges she faced when she transitioned from working for a start-up to a big enterprise and advised attendees to take advantage of the exciting space we are experiencing in supply chain and technology. “We’re at the forefront of tremendous change,” Susan shared. Elizabeth Hoegeman shared her experience starting out in manufacturing and becoming a plant manager. Over the years, she kept going up the ranks and was continuously recognized by her peers. Upper management eventually asked her to help the company define organizational roles when it came to developing new business and setting up supply chain operations in new markets. Be Capable, but Also Be Likeable When it came to giving advice for women looking into starting and growing their careers in the supply chain space, the panelists mentioned having the ability to solve problems and to focus on data analytics. Strategic thinking and having a multi-disciplinary background are also important, with the panel sharing additional pointers: Develop a strong capability for problem solving Be technically competent in what you do Have the tenacity to keep asking questions Don’t be afraid to take risks and seize opportunities Set boundaries, but stay flexible and realistic Be capable, be likeable Explaining the last point, Chris Kite emphasized that “you shouldn’t just strive hard to be good at what you do, but creating the proper relationships with your peers and your team are also important.” “Sometimes women can be hard on themselves,” Susan responded when asked about handling failures. “Sometimes you just need to start over and give yourself a chance,” Elizabeth added. “The best leaders are the ones who can lead at adverse times.”   Both Susan and Elizabeth have since become women pioneers in their organizations and have founded supply chain resource groups focused on developing female talent and diversity. Listen To Your Voice Chris Melching led a session on leadership, and offered some guidance on maintaining confidence: Focus on what you can control – your skills and capabilities. Seize opportunities in education, training, and work experience. When you focus on where your strengths lie, your passion comes through. Don’t forget to listen to your voice, modulate and strengthen your personal presence. Don’t think twice – sometimes it doesn’t work. Other people don’t need to hear that little voice in your head.   Work with a mentor. Choose someone outside your department or team who can provide not just advice, but also another perspective. “The best way to know what to do is to first, know yourself,” Chris explained. “If you are a self-doubter, look into ways to improve and find ways on how you can become more fearless.” Closing the luncheon, Chris gave the audience one final advice. “Know what you want, become contagious and tell the world. Passion is a contagious spirit.”     DOWNLOAD THE FREE DIGIBOOK It's Time to Modernize Your Requirements Management Process

Now on its second year, the Women in Supply Chain Networking Luncheon took place last Jan 29, Day 1 of the Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience, and gave attendees the opportunity to meet and...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

Without Requirements There Is Nothing To Do

  Did you know that nearly half of all projects fail due to missed, inaccurate or incomplete requirements? Companies fail more often because they solve the wrong problem, not developing the wrong solution to the right problem. Many find that homegrown solutions and spreadsheets do not provide an effective solution for requirements management. Ensuring that every initial requirement is ultimately met in the final product is one of the most critical, yet difficult, aspects. With Oracle, you can quickly and thoroughly evaluate requirements against conceptual designs and seamlessly integrate into not only requirements management, but also system architecture and test management. Oracle uniquely integrates the system engineering process with the product development, quality, sourcing, and supply chain product record processes. FREE DIGIBOOK It's Time to Modernize Your Requirements Management Process   Recent Forrester Consulting research finds that only 28 percent of companies currently employ a dedicated Requirements Management (RM) tool. The rest still rely on a purely documents-based approach, even though using these tools to exclusively design, manage and execute requirements presents an array of problems, including version-control issues, poor communication, inefficient collaboration, and lack of coordination. IAG onsulting found that 40% of a projects budget will be consumed because of poorly developed requirements. And according to a PMI report, 51% of projects fail because of poor requirements management. With those statistics in mind it is not surprising that many customers find the requirements management landscape overwhelming. Typically what we see when it comes to requirements management is an autonomous document centric based approach. Critical requirements are spread out into Word, Excel, Powerpoint, some are stored in email and some are even jotted down on paper during meetings. These “islands” of critical product information are not connected to each other. Typically companies with this approach see Requirements Management solely as a cost center and they are missing the boat. The best companies recognize that efficient and effective Requirements Management is the key to actually bringing superior products to fruition, and there is modern best practice how to handle requirements definition to optimization. The most common (however not best) practice is to use Excel. Let´s take that one step further and talk about the “joys” of Excel for Requirements Management: Many versions of the same document where intentions were good. A SharePoint site was set up where the latest and most current version of the requirements document would be stored. You may have even worked out a naming convention for version numbers.  Unfortunately, you were unable to control the proliferations of documents and now there are multiple versions of each requirement document. Since we now have multiple versions, they must be reconciled into one master version. A painfully laborious process when each requirement document has several hundred line items. Except that the vendor or customer keeps making changes during this process. Excel offers no ability to track when a requirement changed and who changed it. Good luck successfully implementing a change log. Traceability of requirements is now a manual process. Every change requires another laborious process to ensure that the traceability is also kept up to date.  There is no visibility. No one knows who has the most recent and up to date version of the requirements - despite all the best efforts.   This process creates a complicated maze of information that prevents the reuse of requirements as well as the ability to know where they are used. A critical part of requirements management process is making sure that all requirements are managed, defined and ultimately linked or assigned to the test cases and the specific item that fulfills the requirement so that traceability and change impact can be done as soon as design change, requirements drift, scope creep are made. This is an important element in systems engineering in order to cross the innovation chasm. FREE DIGIBOOK It's Time to Modernize Your Requirements Management Process   Oracle's approach to requirements management simplifies the process by providing a better way to author and define requirements as part of the Innovation Management process, and then tie them to functional concepts of the new products or services. Users can socially collaborate, provide feedback and finalize requirements in a collaborative environment. Requirement dependencies and impact can be captured, tracked and managed all the way through a product's lifecycle. The interface provides a design workbench to assign requirements to concepts or existing items. Analytics provide complete views of the total scope of requirements from fulfillment, prioritization, or other critical measures. Users can also perform early design trade-off studies to make sure they are moving forward with the right product design meeting the right product requirements. Oracle PLM Cloud: Ensures definition clarity across all requirements, integrated authoring, published specifications for Collaborative, Cross-team Requirements Definition. Offers requirement types & easily configurable user-defined attributes for flexible attribution and classification. Enables change approval workflow, group/role security, audit trails, and reports for change control & governance. Analysis of the total scope of requirements specification, including determination requirement fulfillment by the design team for determination & management of scope. Links requirements to related test cases Captures dependencies and impact analysis, link concepts, leverages existing Items, produces traceability reports, and graphically navigates relationships for forwards and backwards traceability between artifacts Oracle´s Requirements Management Solution is part of Oracle Innovation Management and PLM Cloud. It also seamlessly works with Agile PLM and other PLM systems. The best companies we work with see Requirements Management as key to bringing superior products to market. It directly supports and impacts an organization’s top corporate growth objectives including: Increased levels of customer satisfaction by delivering the right products. Reduction in costs & productivity improvements. Quality improvements, faster time to market. Visibility and transparency to respond quickly to your customer/market and best align to deliver differentiated products. From an individual project perspective the benefits of Requirements Management are impressive: Bidirectional traceability is easily implemented. Requirements attributes can be created, updated, and monitored with ease. Requirements are less likely to fall through the gaps. Makes collaboration easier. Avoids unnecessary development. Ensures that the product that is delivered is what the customer expected. Change control is easily enforced and monitored. Impact analysis is streamlined because most of the data needed is already available in one place. Requirements are easily monitored, tracked and reported on. Version control is automatic. At a glance access to project progress for all stakeholders. Improved communication channels. Oracle´s approach is to eliminate chaos and transition into a structured process for requirements management, establishing traceability across the artifacts. Because we provide the framework for requirements management this applies to all industries trying to manage requirements. To learn more, download our DigiBook, It’s Time to Modernize Your Requirements Management Process for further discussion on how to unlock the business value of systems engineering.  

  Did you know that nearly half of all projects fail due to missed, inaccurate or incomplete requirements? Companies fail more often because they solve the wrong problem, not developing the wrong...

Events

5 Reasons to Attend Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018

Preparation is nearly complete for this month’s Modern Supply Chain Experience in San Jose, California. If you haven’t registered, there is still time. Over 2500 supply chain professionals from the Oracle Supply Chain ecosystem will be on hand, offering and gaining valuable insights, strategies, and techniques into designing, planning, or managing supply chains for strategic advantage. If you haven’t attended an MSCE event before, here are five reasons why you should now: It is a dedicated SCM event that has been growing bigger every year and is attended by SC media, thought leaders, practitioners, customers, prospects, and technologists. There are panels, presentations, and demos led by experts who share key issues and experiences related to SCM transformation and Oracle’s end-to-end supply chain in the cloud. Whether you’re interested in people, processes, or technology, Oracle MSCE offers a balanced line up of speakers who are leading supply chain transformations and digital business capability from around the world. See how businesses are making the journey from reactive to value networks following the 5 Stages of Maturity model. There are plenty of opportunities to network with peers, specialists, and consultants to learn how companies are executing business transformation and what are the best practices to use. You will have direct access to Oracle product experts as well as strategists and business leaders who can discuss product roadmaps, Oracle SCM Release 13, and demonstrate new features, applications, and emerging technologies such as IoT, Blockchain, and AI. The supply chain space is currently in the midst of one of the most dramatic paradigm shifts in all of technology. As the world becomes increasingly more connected and market-driven, technology is required that allows businesses to meet the challenge of exponentially growing scale. Come see how Oracle is meeting that challenge with a suite of products that provide 100% visibility and an end-to-end, market-driven approach to enabling digital business capabilities. This is the conference for you!

Preparation is nearly complete for this month’s Modern Supply Chain Experience in San Jose, California. If you haven’t registered, there is still time. Over 2500 supply chain professionals from the...

Product Lifecycle Management

Putting Supplier Management in The Supply Chain

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director of Product Marketing SCM Cloud Supply Chains are rapidly evolving from staid, linear sequences of discrete functions into dynamic, interconnected networks that are better able to accommodate rapidly changing demand patterns and more nimble business operating models. The functions of planning, manufacturing, inventory management, procurement and logistics are shifting from an emphasis on optimizing each discrete function to a more holistic approach with each area collectivity optimizing the end-to-end supply chain to achieve corporate objectives and maximize customer satisfaction. A holistic focus is enabled by innovative modern technologies such as cloud computing with its built-in flexibility, connectivity, embedded analytics and support for mobile devices that allows companies to adapt quickly and achieve competitive advantage through better serving customers, exploring new revenue sources and gaining access to new markets. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  However, considerations of innovative and more adaptable supply chains need to consider another key factor: the company’s suppliers themselves. Suppliers are critical to a company’s ability to satisfy customer demand, supply chain execution as well as overall business performance and profitability. Accordingly, they need to be managed in a disciplined and systematic way to ensure reliable performance and minimize risk. Selecting suppliers and managing supplier relationships over their lifecycle is the responsibility of the Procurement organization who must themselves transform from their traditional focus on the procure-to-pay process and cost savings, to a more strategic role of qualifying, selecting and managing suppliers. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global CPO Survey eighty-seven percent of organizations faced a disruptive incident with suppliers in the last two to three years and supplier risk is the second highest priority for CPOs (second only to their traditional role of driving cost savings). According to the survey, procurement risk is at its highest level ever, increasing to 50 percent over the results reported in the prior year. Supplier performance or more accurately, failure to perform can severely impact a company’s financial results and damage its reputation. Without a comprehensive supplier management strategy, the supply chain operation and the business is at significant risk. The is particularly the case with companies with large supplier bases, complex supply chain operations and a large amount of direct spend. With so many companies and their supply chains depending on suppliers meeting their obligations for on time delivery, quality and conformance to contractual terms, supplier risk management takes on greater role. Chief Procurement Officers who cling to their more familiar transactional role of generating cost savings through the disciplined enforcement of internal purchasing policies and negotiating better prices with suppliers need to transform. As supply chains grow in complexity and geographic scope, the supplier and supply management role takes on much greater importance. Current State For many procurement organizations, supplier and supply management practices are inconsistent, fragmented and critical supplier information is often siloed, incomplete, lacking in accuracy and poorly leveraged across key areas such as sourcing, contracting and supplier onboarding. Inaccurate information on supplier capabilities, qualifications and performance leaves companies exposed to risks that could result in business disruption, missed deliveries, compliance issues and damage to the company’s reputation, all of which can have negative financial consequences. Moreover, as companies rapidly expand into new markets and new geographies, they need to effectively qualify their suppliers as vital business partners to ensure reliable access to critical materials, on time deliveries and enable nimble transitions into new business opportunities. Transforming Procurement The changing dynamics of global markets and extended supply chains place a higher premium on supplier management requiring Procurement to lead the business by diligently assessing available suppliers, carefully selecting them to participate in bidding processes, awarding business, negotiating enforceable contracts and rapidly onboarding them so they are ready to help drive business results. Inherent in their more strategic role is a broadening of capabilities such as: Protecting the business from risk and decreasing supplier management costs through rationalizing suppliers across categories, regions and performance. Being the focal point for managing supplier risk by ensuring that all suppliers are thoroughly qualified so the company can safely source from and depend on their preferred suppliers as a critical component of their extended supply chains. Proactively execute and manage supplier contracts over their lifecycle including identifying contracts that are nearing expiration or need to be revised with new terms and conditions to ensure business continuity and minimize risk exposure. Leveraging modern cloud technology to modernize supplier management elevates the procurement organization into the role of strategic business partner and expands their influence throughout the organization. In order to fulfill this transformative role, procurement must streamline and automate transactional processes in the source-to-settle cycle to enable procurement professionals to focus on their more strategic and mission-critical role of supplier management. The end-to-end supply chain demands that the discrete functions of manufacturing, production, logistics, inventory management and procurement all operate in concert with the goal of serving the company’s customers and optimizing profits. Procurement plays a key role in end-to-end supply chains by ensuring suppliers do their part to keep the business operating at its best. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth. 

Jim D'Addario, Sr. Director of Product Marketing SCM Cloud Supply Chains are rapidly evolving from staid, linear sequences of discrete functions into dynamic, interconnected networks that are better...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

Looking Back: A Busy 2017 for Oracle Internet of Things

Product launches kept the Oracle Internet of Things Apps team very busy in 2017.  Starting early in the year, Oracle announced the availability of four Internet of Things Applications – IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud, IoT Production Monitoring Cloud, IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud, and IoT Connected Worker Cloud. Later that year, Oracle launched an additional product to the lineup – Service Monitoring for Connected Assets Cloud - making a total of five production ready IOT powered apps. Supply Chain Driving Adoption of Oracle IOT Apps Internet of Things have multiple applications, but as noted in an article by The Register, modern e-commerce challenges in supply chain are primed for a digital transformation, where Internet of Things plays on center stage. Oracle has focused its IoT effort on supply chain and has seen a lot of customer traction. Here is a quick overview of the five Oracle IoT powered apps: IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud:  E-commerce has driven the need for last mile delivery directly to the consumer – which requires the tracking of the vehicle that delivers to the final destination. With Fleet Monitoring, you can track real time status of your fleet, such as  real time location and current fuel levels using the Fleet Monitoring app. You can actively monitor your fleet such as vehicle idle time (driver sleeping on the job) or geo-fencing violations (driver deviated from planned course). And with machine learning built in, you can predicatively maintain vehicles, optimize logistics, and reduce fuel consumption – all while improving customer satisfaction. IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud: Real time asset management is starting to provide companies the competitive edge to achieve more with less. With Asset Monitoring, you can track any asset and achieve ROI in days by increasing asset utilization, decreasing down time, reducing maintenance runs, eliminating stock out, which can even prevent theft. In some of our engagements, assets under consideration include remote vending machines, expensive medical equipment, and service robots. Need to boost revenue from your assets? Asset monitoring can do that by allowing asset owners to sell asset subscription services. IoT Production Monitoring Cloud: Imagine running a global factory in the dark, 24/7 – it was this desire that drove the need for Industry 4.0. With Production Monitoring, real time factory data (either from IoT sensors or integration with existing MES systems) is collected, filtered, and analyzed for anomalies in real time. That data can be integrated with business logic to send a notification, alert a production manager to plan for contingencies, or trigger an inventory manager to start looking for surplus to cover the production shortfall. IoT Connected Worker Cloud:  How do you ensure that your worker health and safety policies conform to both regulatory compliance and corporate obligations? With Connected Worker, you can track the location (3rd floor, room 12), status (not on break, last movement was 3 minutes ago), and condition (heart rate elevated) of monitored workers. When working in hazardous environments, geo-zones can be entered into the app by workers in real time. This will warn other workers to avoid the hazard zone. The app will track workers who don’t have status updates, as well as detect lone workers in high risk areas.   Service Cloud for Connected Assets:  Modernize your customer’s experience when they use your product. Connected Assets can send real time data about your product to Oracle Service Cloud, which can in turn transform that data into customer satisfaction. For example, when the product used by your customer is inoperative, Service Cloud can automatically identify the user, proactively create and send a ticket on behalf of the user, notify customer support of the issue, and make a recommendation for a field technician to repair the asset. Digital Twin, Digital Thread, AI in Every Oracle IoT App Oracle Internet of Things Applications deliver a world-class set of IoT applications for enterprise assets, production lines, transportation fleets, and mobile workers. Get smart with predictive machine learning algorithms and quickly extend core SCM, CX, HCM and ERP processes—with real-time IoT data and insights. These are achieved with these core technologies built into the Oracle Internet of Things Apps: Digital Twin – provides a virtual reality model of your assets so that you know exactly what is going on with the asset. A production manager in factory can use a Digital Twin of the injection molding machine to track real time data (up time, temperature, output, yield) and business data (acquisition date, next maintenance date, owner),simultaneously in the same view. The Digital Twin can also predict machine failure (based on real time data), and make recommendations based on past repair procedures. Digital Thread – direct integration of IoT data with any business systems to provide IOT insights directly to your business processes & systems, where it can make an impact to the top and bottom lines. This technology offers pre-built integration to Oracle SCM & CX apps, you can “click-and-connect” IoT data to these apps, or you can connect using Oracle Integration Cloud Service. Not using Oracle? We support RESTful API to connect to any other business systems. Intuitive Analytics, Machine Learning, Adaptive Intelligence – powerful yet simple - built into the platform and directly gathering deep insights from your IOT data. This innovation allows supply chain professionals to natively handle tricky time series data, filtering, anomaly detection, and display. Customers may build and tune predictive models, or select from many that already exists, then start leveraging the power of machine learning to digitally transform manufacturing, maintenance, and logistics processes. What To Look Forward To in 2018 The development team for Oracle IoT Apps has a full schedule in 2018 – with new features in Digital Twin, Digital Thread, and Adaptive Intelligence, as well as enhancements for the five released Oracle IoT Cloud apps. The best way to hear about the latest is to visit us at Oracle’s Modern Supply Chain Experience, to be held January 29-31 at the San Jose Convention Center. See you there!  

Product launches kept the Oracle Internet of Things Apps team very busy in 2017.  Starting early in the year, Oracle announced the availability of four Internet of Things Applications – IoT Asset...

Logistics

How Digital Fulfillment Solutions Lead to Happier Customers

Joan Lim, Sr. Product Marketing Manager There is an expression in relationships, “Happy wife, happy life.” When it comes to retail, this relationship also holds true: happy customers lead to a happy business. Customer satisfaction remains a strong metric that retailers must track and measure to understand their customers and improve their business. This does not just mean product preference and strong branding, but also includes the full customer buying experience: from product availability, ease of purchase, to delivery preferences. For retailers to be successful, they must look into their supply chain processes, and ensure their fulfillment solution can keep up. The good news is, you don’t need to sacrifice your company’s bottom line to make your customers happy. Moving your supply chain to the Cloud and adapting a digitally connected warehouse management solution (WMS) will not only give you superior omnichannel fulfillment capabilities and inventory visibility, but it will also lower operating and inventory costs, increasing company revenues. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  Changing consumer behavior and expectations We now live in a demand-driven economy where consumers have the power to drive not just how products are designed and priced, but also when and where they expect to receive their purchases. Happy customers become repeat buyers and drive the success of your business. In a recent Deloitte survey on the retail environment, customers now expect free shipping and over half (54%) consider two-day or less shipping to be “fast”. Only 35% of shoppers classify 3-4 day shipping as fast, down from 42% in 2016, and 63% in 2015. Almost half (43%) did plan to purchase online and pick up at stores during the upcoming holiday season, citing convenience as well as being “fast and free”. The option to return to any store location tops the list of return policy preferences, at a high 67%.  When customers decide to make a purchase, they consider not just product availability and price matching, but also the store’s retail policies. Ease of ordering, free shipping, hybrid shipping options, and hassle-free returns are now becoming strong differentiators. Consumers don’t just want free shipping, but also look into the speed of delivery. They don’t just want to be able to purchase online, but also want the option to pick-up in store, and to choose which retail location. They don’t just want to be able to return an item, but also have the option to return by mail or at the store, and be given a longer time frame to return items. Keeping up with changing expectations  Companies must continuously evaluate shipping and return policies to stay competitive in the marketplace. Retailers must ensure availability of products, meet delivery timing expectations, and offer easy returns to meet customer demand and maintain happy customers. But at the same time, they need to keep their operating costs low, while keeping their revenues up – and must continuously seek cost-effective ways to achieve this. An end-to-end, digitally connected supply chain is essential as to be able to respond to this customer need.  To be specific, an efficient and connected transportation and fulfillment solution must be in place to ensure visibility at distribution centers and retail stores, as well as the ability to track shipments and delivery, while ensuring compliance. Customers no longer have the patience to wait for products that are out of stock, if it’s not available for pick-up at a certain store location, or if it takes longer than two days for delivery. Only a handful are willing to pay for delivery, and can choose to order somewhere else, if the competition has a better shipping and return policy. Your supply chain must keep up with the expectations of such a demand-driven economy. In order to achieve this, you must adapt a warehouse management solution that: Offers omnichannel functionality, with complete warehouse and logistics fulfillment capabilities and has strong e-commerce capabilities. Provides real-time, global visibility into your inventory, from your distribution centers to store shelf. Allows for flexibility by being built in the Cloud, so you can easily scale and be able to support complex fulfillment operations. Maintain access to comprehensive data and end-user analytics for continuous improvements.   The Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud (WMS Cloud) is best-in-class, and is considered a Gartner Warehouse Management Solution Leader. It is omnichannel enabled, and provides inventory accuracy. Implementing Oracle WMS Cloud does not have to hurt your company revenues – and quite the opposite, it actually improves your bottom line because with better visibility, you can improve your fulfillment processes, lowering expedite costs and reducing the need for high levels of safety stock. Labor productivity goes up, and you will realize that you actually have more storage capacity as you find yourself becoming more efficient in warehouse space utilization. But wait, it gets better. Moving to Oracle WMS Cloud lowers your total cost of ownership (TCO) and removes any dedicated IT resources that incur maintenance costs. Cloud-based solutions also provide more security with regular and on-time upgrades and updates. Learn more about Oracle Warehouse Management Cloud so you can continue to not just make your customers happy, but also keep your business happy. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth. 

Joan Lim, Sr. Product Marketing Manager There is an expression in relationships, “Happy wife, happy life.” When it comes to retail, this relationship also holds true: happy customers lead to a happy...

Events

Video: Top 5 Reasons to see PLM at MSCE 2018

Are your current PLM applications living up to your expectations? Do you know the current best PLM practices and how other companies are delivering innovative products and services to customers? No matter your answer to these questions, Modern Supply Chain Experience is the place for you! Let me explain why… To help business leaders like you evaluate new PLM strategies, Oracle invites you to join 500+ other executives, product professionals and PLM technology experts at the conference designed for PLM education and networking – Modern Supply Chain Experience, from January 29-31, 2018 in San Jose, California. But why exactly should you attend this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience? Come to be inspired and gain valuable insights from leaders deploying supply chain solutions in the cloud. This is your chance to hear customers and industry experts share their strategies and techniques for designing, planning, and managing their supply chains for a strategic advantage. Need a few more reasons? Well, take a look at the video below and discover the top 5 PLM reasons for attending MSCE. So come join us at this year’s MSCE, and don’t miss out on this great opportunity to jump start your journey to better PLM. Learn more about the 2018 Modern Supply Chain Experience Discover more about Oracle Product Lifecycle Management Kemper Ray is a Product Marketing Analyst at Oracle. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Are your current PLM applications living up to your expectations? Do you know the current best PLM practices and how other companies are delivering innovative products and services to customers? No...

Logistics

Three Benefits of a Resilient Supply Chain

Diego Pantoja Navajas, VP WMS Development It's winter in the northern hemisphere, and it's freezing throughout most of the continental United States. I'm always struck by how weather patterns not only affect our lives but how they also disrupt supply chains and global trade. Usually, it's an El Niño weather system causing turmoil in places around the world – either by strengthening hurricanes and storms in the Atlantic or by generating floods and droughts in other places around the world.  But it turns out this year is all about La Niña – an equally problematic, though lesser known weather system just as powerful and disruptive to supply chains. If you’re the sort of person who pays attention to weather news then you have probably heard or read about some of the problems caused by this weather system. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  La Niña impacts the weather when a vast area of the equatorial Pacific cools down and disrupts weather systems. This disruption can be responsible for events as disparate seeming as deep freezes in the UK, record snowfalls in the US, drought in the Amazon, and floods in Pakistan. However, just as with El Niño, what enough people — especially supply chain professionals — are not thinking about is how these weather changes — how any weather change –  impacts agriculture, mining production, operations and transportation. Massive weather disruptions constitute a potential logistical nightmare. When La Niña threatens the ability to source material, manage operations and inventory, or transport it, it becomes a supply chain problem. So what are the right ways to prepare a WMS for weather-related events? Is your supply chain software resilient enough to withstand chaotic pressures? Whatever supply chain companies can do to meet consumer demand is priority number one. By building a resilient network, supply chain companies can ensure that no matter the circumstance, they can be back up and running as quickly as they want. The Three Legs of a Resilient Supply Chain In order to meet the challenges posed by a weather phenomenon like La Niña, fulfillment solutions need to be able to withstand or recover quickly from any sudden shifts or changes in the weather or the market. Supply chain solutions need to be flexible enough to change and powerful enough to help organizations stay online, manage inventory and respond to change. The three qualities a fulfillment solution should have when dealing with sudden changes in the weather or loss of access to materials, include: Availability: Availability is the first line in ensuring supply chain resiliency. Oracle’s WMS Cloud Solution is available 99% of the time. That online time is unheard of with traditional vendors. For systems to work for you, systems need to work. They need to be on. They need to be accessible all the time with real-time inventory data and adaptability to global constraints. The way Oracle WMS Cloud works — the way it is built — it is always on and always available. This means that as long as power is accessible and servers — anywhere — are up, Oracle WMS Cloud will be there with your inventory. This guarantees peace of mind during weather-related events or even catastrophes. If a location happens to be wiped out, access to your system can be picked up elsewhere, instantaneously. As long as you have a working machine (desktop, laptop, or mobile) with access to the internet, you will always have access to Oracle WMS Cloud and your inventory.   Flexibility and Configuration: Oracle WMS Cloud facilitates operational flexibility by eliminating silos. Your facilities are available on a single network allowing you to configure them however you like. If flooding occurs, you can respond by shifting operations to alternate facilities if you need to; the Oracle WMS Cloud will have them online in no time at all. If your business needs to respond to weather or market changes, it can. If one large DC needs to be spread out over smaller ones or vice versa, the Oracle WMS Cloud cloud can be ready with original configurations from any device without having to go through a new system setup or the addition of servers or infrastructure to support those facilities. You can spread out or condense operations however you need to.  Furthermore, you can collaborate with your current vendors to rearrange the flow of products based on new facilities or distribution points. With Oracle WMS Cloud’s flexibility you have the capability of breaking shipments in a way that will help you guarantee the flow of goods to your end consumers. Using the networked interconnectedness provided by the Oracle WMS Cloud, you never have to give up control of how you manage inventory, and you can slice or dice your operations however you need to, to respond to market or weather pressures.   More Control:  We think total control is based on knowing and seeing exactly where your inventory is all the time. That’s why we built our solution organically on a CLOUD platform integrated with a common database that provides a single view of your inventory across your entire supply chain network. With a single sign on you can access your facilities seamlessly and you will have visibility and traceability into your inventory at all times. You can drill down customer by customer all the way to the store shelf to understand inventory levels, including reverse logistics from the store back to the warehouse. The point is, weather is an unpredictable phenomenon and the one thing business doesn’t respond well to is unpredictability. Mitigate unpredictability in the weather with predictability and total control of your inventory. La Niñas come and go, but that doesn’t mean you have to worry about them, not when you're running as resilient a supply chain as is made possible by cloud solutions. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth. 

Diego Pantoja Navajas, VP WMS Development It's winter in the northern hemisphere, and it's freezing throughout most of the continental United States. I'm always struck by how weather patterns not only...

Supply Chain Management

How IoT Drives Big Improvements in Small Businesses

Lana Prout  Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle What happens when you turn the common refrigerator into a smart device? For one thing, it simplifies trips to the grocery store. “I can use my phone to look in the fridge and see what I already have and don’t,” say Harish Gaur, Senior Director, Product Management, Internet of Things Cloud at Oracle. Technology has also transformed his front door. “When my doorbell rings, I can see who’s there and talk to them, even if I’m thousands of miles away,” he adds. To be sure, the Internet of Things, or IoT, is bringing digital functionality to the analog world in a way that has implications not just for consumers, but communities, governments and organizations of all sizes. It encompasses everything from household appliances and personal “wearable” devices to autonomous vehicles, medical equipment and industrial supply chains. The trend is quickly gaining traction. Research firm Gartner predicts that the number of connected things will reach 25 billion by 2020. For small- to medium- businesses (SMBs), the implications of IoT may be particularly profound. Even seemingly simple applications, such as using sensors to monitor equipment, can lead to productivity gains, operational efficiencies, quality improvements and better analytics. Connecting All Industries The benefits of IoT go beyond household gadgets: Connected devices are transforming entire industries. Farmers, for example, can realize better crop yields and reduce water use by using soil and nutrient sensors to track plant growth. They can remotely monitor equipment, crops, and livestock, and even track and analyze data to run statistical predictions for their crops and livestock. Manufacturers can remotely monitor many aspects of their operations. In one example, Gaur describes a 50-person injection-molding company that relies heavily on robotics for 24/7 production. “Rather than pay employees to watch over the robots at night and on weekends, the company uses IoT technology to monitor the robots remotely and alert a technician if something is off,” he says. “They have visibility into their operations even when someone isn’t physically on the factory floor.” Similarly, small businesses such as a bicycle maker uses decals with sensors to gauge inventory levels in real time. “When a bike is moved from its rack, it automatically updates the system,” Gaur says. Likewise, in hospitals where equipment, such as an ultrasound, is moved around, healthcare providers can now pinpoint the location of each device on specializing tech platforms.  “In all these examples, there is a real business case for implementing these technologies,” adds Gaur. “My advice for companies of any size is to identify the business need and desired outcome, and not get caught up in the ‘cool’ element of IoT.” Turning Big Data into Smart Data  At the same time that IoT helps companies to improve productivity, manage equipment and oversee supply chains, it simultaneously enables SMBs to receive better predictive analytics. For small businesses in particular, says Gaur, the efficiencies gained through more automation and better data offer an opportunity to boost day-to-day productivity and pursue new opportunities, both internal and customer-facing.  Some analysts believe the impact from these data will outweigh the transformational impact of the Internet itself. Billions of sensors in factory equipment, at utility plants, in the soil of farms and in appliances in our homes will send an incredible amount of data to the cloud, where it can be analyzed for countless measurements: The optimal time to replace machinery, the best time to pick a crop, the most energy-efficient lighting designs. This facet of connected things alone is expected to reach a value of $140 billion by 2020, according to Business Insider Intelligence. Ultimately, it’s the improvement of products and processes through IoT solutions that will become the overriding standard. “For companies seeking leadership in the product system, there is a need to invest in capturing and analyzing more-extensive data across multiple products and the external environment, even for products the company does not produce,” Harvard economist Michael E. Porter and industrial software CEO James E. Heppelmann wrote in a Harvard Business Review article, “How Smart, Connected Products are Transforming Competition.” “A lot of attention has been focused on IoT devices, but one of the biggest benefits for companies is the real-time data that is available because of IoT,” says Albert Chiang, Oracle director of product marketing for IoT. “With the right analytics tools, companies can mine the data to spot patterns, improve processes and make predictions; that alone may be worth the ticket to entry.” How Oracle Helps SMBs with IoT Oracle offers several IoT Apps to companies looking to monitor assets/fleets/workers/factories and turn real-time data into predictive analytics. All of these applications feed real-time visibility into the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud. Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud provides real-time insights from connected assets to drive predictive maintenance, optimized SCM, and improved customer experiences. You have an ultrasound machine that is constantly being moved around? Use IoT Asset Monitoring to track its location.  Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud enables manufactures to adopt Industry 4.0 principles easily with best-in-class production monitoring for factory, product, and machine. Is production yield lower than expected?  You can track real time yield by site, by machine, and by product line. Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud gives the predictive power of IoT to know when any connected vehicle needs service, adjust logistics operations, and avoid downtime. Oracle IoT Connected Worker Cloud ensures worker health and safety through real-time visibility into worker health, location, and work environment. For more information on how your company can benefit from IoT, read our blog article "6 Reasons Why Companies Need IoT."

Lana Prout  Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle What happens when you turn the common refrigerator into a smart device? For one thing, it simplifies trips to the grocery store. “I can use my phone...

Oracle Supply Chain Management

Oracle University Training On Demand - OTM Basics

Elspeth Payne, Principal Product Manager in Training Development We’re all aware of how critical transportation management is to any company that has to move a lot of freight.  If you’re reading this, you might not be aware of just how much Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) can help you streamline your practices for cost reductions, increases in on-time delivery, and process efficiency. OTM is really configurable. You can do a great deal to align it with your company business practices.  Business alignment is great if you’re configuring the software for your enterprise, but a little more challenging if you’re charged with training people how to configure it.  In a perfect education environment, every company would have their own employee training sessions focused just on their practices – and Oracle Application Consultant Services will do just that for you. But for the OTM basics, Oracle University offers a single course, OTM 6.3 Core Competence, which covers the central concepts you need to understand.  To meet your training needs, there are several ways we have offered this Core Competence class: Oracle experts offer Core Competence as a Live Virtual Class, saving you the trouble and expense of travel. You log in from your own location.  An Oracle instructor presents the class over the Internet. You have a real person available to answer questions, and all the same lab practices you would if you’d travelled to an Oracle classroom, and booked hotel and air travel.  For companies that want to cover the OTM basics while saving a bit of cash, there’s Training on Demand (TOD) – an Oracle course recorded by the same experts that would be in a classroom with you.  You can submit questions, which are transmitted to the instructor wherever they are. There tends to be some lag with getting a response as the question has to be routed to the right expert, but since TODs are recorded you can continue on with other lessons, or pick it back up a bit later. We also teach OTM 6.3 Core Competence in a classroom, but it isn’t offered that way as often. Your best bet here is to arrange a private class, where our expert comes to your employees. The latest, greatest construct in Oracle Education is the Learning Subscription (LS). With a Learning Subscription, you have access to recorded lessons, skills checks and assessments for an entire year. We added OTM’s Training On Demand Core Competence course to the Unlimited Product Learning Subscription, which gives you access to ALL our Learning Subscriptions and Training On Demand recordings for one whole year.  If you have more than one Oracle product, the Unlimited Product Learning Subscription is a great way to make a lot of organized, curated product training easily accessible.  We’re pretty happy about this, and we hope you will be too.

Elspeth Payne, Principal Product Manager in Training Development We’re all aware of how critical transportation management is to any company that has to move a lot of freight.  If you’re reading this,...

Events

Inspiration, Education, and Practical Advice: Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018

By Krista Sterner, Event Marketing Director Planning is well underway and registration is open for Modern Supply Chain Experience, taking place from January 29–31, 2018 at the San Jose Convention Center. Now in its sixth year, the conference will feature over 100 sessions presented by Oracle customers, experts, and supply chain partners; in-depth product demonstrations; and numerous networking opportunities.  If you’re part of the Oracle SCM ecosystem, or want to learn more about our solutions and the state of the industry, you’ll find enormous value in the conference. It’s three days of SCM immersion. Our customers will tell you how they’re leading and managing the digital transformation at their companies. You’ll exchange advice with peers facing similar business challenges, and learn from those who have successfully modernized. Our product experts, who live and breathe supply chain daily, will discuss how they’re helping organizations navigate shifts in the industry. And you’ll find over 50 of our trusted partners, who specialize in supply chain implementations, to explain the services they offer. Our session catalog is live. Peruse over 90 titles and descriptions (that number is growing by the day) on topics as diverse as: disruption in the industry; migrating to the cloud; improving and streamlining the customer experience; filling the supply chain talent gap; and managing business performance to achieve revenue and profit goals. You’ll of course find Oracle roadmap sessions outlining what’s on the horizon for our suite of solutions. And we’re proud and honored to feature stories from customers such as The Wonderful Company, Church and Dwight, Actuant, Seagate, Cisco, APL Logistics, and NLMK Pennsylvania. New this year, we’ll feature Insight Sessions, which cover the most impactful topics surrounding the digital shift in the industry: Path to the Cloud; Disruptive Technologies; and Collaboration and Visibility. We’ll continue to offer solution tracks and product demonstrations for every supply chain discipline: Logistics and Order Management Manufacturing Maintenance Supply Chain Planning Product Lifecycle Management Procurement End-to-End Supply Chain Finally, we have an insightful and far-from-ordinary group of keynote speakers lined up, including Mark Chapman, Chief Engineer for the Bloodhound Project, which is working to beat the world land speed record with a goal of hitting 1,000 mph.  After taking in all of that thought-provoking content each day, you’ll need to unwind. Join us at our evening receptions for food, drinks, and fun. On Tuesday evening, you’ll have a chance to challenge your colleagues in Virtual Reality games and be blown away by an iPad magic show, and have a chance to tap into your artistic skills with a Tilt Brush. Not to be missed! Keeping up with the latest supply chain strategies and technologies is paramount to success in the industry. We’ll prepare you for the months and years ahead as you lead your company through the exciting changes taking place. We look forward to welcoming you in San Jose. Register today.

By Krista Sterner, Event Marketing Director Planning is well underway and registration is open for Modern Supply Chain Experience, taking place from January 29–31, 2018 at the San Jose Convention...

A Demand-Driven and Visible Supply Chain- Insights from the New England Joint Oracle User Group Meeting

More than 450 supply chain professionals gathered at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on November 16th 2017 for the New England Joint Oracle User Group Conference. This year’s conference, themed “Optimize Oracle On-Premise Solutions with an Eye to the Cloud” focused on new technologies and the various “paths to the cloud.” With 44 vendors and a record number of current and potential customers, the event was an action-packed day of insight and networking. SCM Breakouts included sessions around- - Cloud Procurement: Integrating to Oracle ERP and How Clients Gained Fastest ROI - Oracle’s Maintenance Cloud - Climbing the SCM Maturity Curve: how Successful Supply Chains are Driving New Technologies into their Operations - Supplier Collaboration Best Practices: We Have Been Doing IT Wrong? - R13 Sales and Operation Planning in the Cloud- Designed for Coexistence with On-Premise ERP - How to Enhance You OTC Processes with Oracle Order Management Cloud - Driving Tomorrow’s Supply Chain Transformation: Customer Experience Panel Attendees had a chance to learn about new releases and demo products such as Oracle’s Maintenance, Order Management, and Procurement Cloud. Sessions were led by product managers, Oracle partners, and solutions consultants, who constantly reaffirmed supply chain’s unique position in the cloud space today, due to its rapid acceleration in innovation.   Recent studies have shown that businesses are placing increasing value on changing customer requirements and high-quality service quality- showing a move towards demand-driven supply chain. The same study emphasized the importance of aligning supply management strategy with overall company goals, with a focus on executive strategy and clear mission. That being the case, most of the SCM sessions at the joint user group meeting revolved around two key takeaways: the importance of demand driven supply chain processes, and visibility into the business. When unexpected chaos throws a wrench in an organization’s supply chain, it’s important for a company to be able to react quickly and efficiently. It is increasingly important to be able to understand the consumer side of supply chain, or customer demand - to predict changes and make changes accordingly. Demand-driven, customer-centric organizations focus on the business problem, then ask what data can do to demystify complicated production schedules, and reduce stock outs and inventory surplus. “If you automate chaos, you’ll just get more chaos,” Roddy Martin, Oracle VP SCM Product Marketing, said, “leadership has to be ahead to pull the organization in the right direction.” In the same vein, the speakers emphasized the importance of visibility in the business. Leaders must be able to initiate the planning process where supply and demand come together, and execute decisions top down. Senior level executives must be on board with change management and know where they need to go with the business. The importance of a transparent organization is further reinforced in the R13 updates for Oracle SCM applications, which allow employees to document justifications and decisions, resulting in better collaboration across the organization. The supply chain track ended with a panel composed of Roddy Martin, Robin Boylston (Supply Chain Manager, Dartmouth Med) and Vir Jain (Board Member, New England Oracle User Group), facilitated by Stephen Slade (Director, Oracle SCM Analyst Relations). Topics covered included the path to the cloud, blockchain, M&A and SCM risk and mitigation. The speakers discussed the future of blockchain, its role as an authenticator, and use case scenarios for organizations looking forward. They discussed the different ways Oracle Blockchain can create synergies across organizations to transform business processes and impact the future of supply chain. We’ve got trillions of devices that collect volumes of information on consumers- but the question is, what are you going to do with all that data? Aside from looking into growth and transformation to increase revenue and improve costs, speakers also emphasized the need to focus on digitalization- converging traditional business and supply chain elements into robust and seamless end-to-end value networks. Business drivers are driving need for business change, and it is more important than ever to enable flexible paths to end-to-end supply chain in the cloud. Visit the Oracle SCM website to learn about SCM Cloud for an adaptive and agile supply chain with integrated execution.  

More than 450 supply chain professionals gathered at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on November 16th 2017 for the New England Joint Oracle User Group Conference. This year’s conference,...

Logistics

A Cyber Monday You Can Be Proud Of

Diego Pantoja Navajas, VP WMS Development In case you missed the milestone, ZDNet reported that this last Cyber Monday "represented the largest online sales day in history" with estimates showing $6.59 billion dollars spent by consumers.  Cyber Monday is once again a success.  Oh! And in case you were wondering whether those sales were made via mobile or desktop – CNBC reported that mobile stole the show. So, we all understand that ecommerce works. These numbers represent its success. However, they also represent a lot of outstanding promises made to customers, and therefore, they represent a lot of risk. How are all these orders and all this merchandise going to be fulfilled? In the time since Cyber Monday was first conceived – a little more than a decade ago – consumers have embraced making purchases from their mobile devices and proven themselves more than willing to click a button to buy gifts for themselves and their relatives. With the ease of online shopping and the prevalence of omnichannel experiences, digital gifting has taken off without a hitch and continues to grow and grow and grow with no end in sight. Furthermore, estimates for the number of mobile devices in use by 2020 are over 11 billion. As intense as this activity is now, it's going to double in just a few years. Businesses should rejoice in the fact that they have done a stellar job in creating a seamless multichannel shopping experience and that the marketplace has responded How are all these orders and all this merchandise going to be fulfilled? While retail has spent a decade perfecting the shopping experience, they haven’t been as thorough or diligent in perfecting their logistics or fulfillment to the same degree. That represents a major disconnect on the part of businesses. Customers, after all, are expecting their online orders to be processed as quickly as their payments were. They are expecting that all the orders made over the Thanksgiving weekend and that are still coming in – will be fulfilled with the same thoroughness that helped make the sale. From now until the end of the year fulfillment will take center stage in global commerce. It is time for fulfillment to shine. It is how businesses will differentiate themselves from one another. And anyone with any experience in the supply chain industry understands that therein is the problem. Supply Chain failures are a real threat to business. The problem with fulfillment – right now, this holiday season – is a problem of scale. Too many online orders are coming in, and retailers are having a hard time managing the backlog.  Think about it. Orders lead to picking and packing. Items have to be accounted for and sortable. Outbound processes have to be determined to get merchandise out of the distribution center and on the way to either a store shelf or directly to a connected customer.  In an attempt to mitigate the problem, businesses may be looking for bodies to throw at the supply chain problem. But seasonal, frantic, hiring isn’t the answer. The issue is simply that fulfillment has to catch up with selling. The selling experience is connected, cloud-driven, user friendly, and dynamic. Meanwhile, fulfillment as a process is outdated. If it’s not being run on paper or a spreadsheet, it’s being run on a highly customized, on-premises, ERP-style, machine – a dinosaur – without real-time visibility into inventory, not to mention across an entire supply chain network. In short, the connected consumer isn’t interacting with a connected solution. They think they are. Consumers think that the businesses they are interacting with have a fulfillment backend that is connected, cloud-driven, user friendly, and dynamic. That is the ultimate cause of the discrepancy between the sales process and the fulfillment process. Expectations are misaligned with technological reality. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  A connected consumer requires a connected fulfillment ecosystem.  Optimizing logistics for the digital era can’t only be about adding more employees, routes, and trucks.  Optimizing logistics is about having a system in place that is able to manage inventory at the macro and micro level.  A connected distribution center is able to manage inventory because it has visibility into inventory across the entire supply chain and across the logistics network – down to individual units. It is granular and expansive and it reacts and expands as the market requires. And the only way to meet these needs and expectations is with dynamic and powerful software – akin to the technology that made the promise in the first place And the technology exists. On the cloud, no less.  Cloud-based, warehouse technology available to anyone with a smart phone, an account, and access to the internet.   At Oracle WMS Cloud, our development team has spent nearly the same decade since Cyber Monday was born perfecting cloud-based warehouse management. There's no reason for companies not to have dynamic, scalable, cloud-based, warehouse management software supporting their supply chains.   This fulfillment gap – the misalignment of expectation and delivery can be solved with process automation and efficiency management. It’s the only way retailers will meet the demands of continued ecommerce growth. If you’re currently digging yourself out of a huge hole and this high season already has you stressed, and you’re already spending it at the office supporting your infrastructure instead of with your family, then maybe it’s time to experience the benefits of a cloud-based WMS. And don’t forget to breathe.

Diego Pantoja Navajas, VP WMS Development In case you missed the milestone, ZDNet reported that this last Cyber Monday "represented the largest online sales day in history" with estimates showing $6.59...

Product Lifecycle Management

The Rise of the Supply Chain: Learn How Digital Disruptors Win

What do you think the digital future will look like? I’m guessing flying cars (will everyone need a pilot’s license?), driverless trucks, products at your fingertips, and virtual reality vacations! We are getting close to the intersection of machine intelligence and human intellect, and in the not so near future we will see the rise of machines. As I walk through the halls of Oracle contemplating the complexity of this enormous change, I can only believe that Terminator, aka James Cameron, did actually travel back in time to warn us in the movie “The Terminator” in 1984 (some scenes of which were actually shot at Oracle Headquarters!). The boundaries of what is possible and impossible are beginning to merge, and what is happening overall is innovation. Companies are pushing each other to drive change and adopt new technology. Businesses that neither challenge the status quo nor take risks will no longer be in existence (think Blackberry, Polaroid cameras, Blockbuster). Don’t they say, “Adapt or die?” In this digital era that undeniably means a revolution in which humans must converge with technology and machinery—or at the very least, learn how to co-exist. According to Mark Hurd in the Forbes Magazine article “Oracle’s Mark Hurd: Innovation Challenges Point to the Cloud” by Michael Hopkins, Adaptive Intelligent Applications and Infrastructure are “scaled and optimized, built on standards, cost less, [enable] more innovation, [and are] more secure with all sorts of new features and capabilities that are going to get integrated directly into the capabilities of Oracle Cloud”. What companies are finding is that with cloud and intelligent applications, they can decrease complexity, work more effectively and efficiently, and innovate faster – a necessity for business survival! What we are seeing at Oracle is that organizations that are utilizing our end-to-end architecture in the cloud and connecting Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) into the Supply Chain (SCM) are innovating quicker and getting to market faster. The beauty of Oracle PLM and SCM in the cloud is that it allows companies to be agile enough to adapt to the pace of business – pivoting when necessary. With the addition of adaptively intelligent and IoT applications, we are leading the charge on this converged infrastructure. Because today is the era of disruptive technology, the rise of the supply chain is now. It’s time to adopt or get left behind. For other interesting reads, check out Oracle Leads the Way in SCM Cloud and The Expanding Influence of PLM in Supply Chain Excellence . Kirk Carlsen is a Product Marketing Manager at Oracle, you can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn

What do you think the digital future will look like? I’m guessing flying cars (will everyone need a pilot’s license?), driverless trucks, products at your fingertips, and virtual reality vacations! We...

Events

The Transformation of Supply Chain Management – IoT, AI, & Blockchain

With the holiday season in full force, businesses that rely on supply chain are experiencing a transformation – either voluntarily or involuntarily. What is driving this transformation now?  The holiday season is a constant reminder that the transformation is driven by the “digital native” customer experience, and a digital transformation is the change agent needed to make this happen.  What might this digital transformation look like for supply chain management?  Let’s explore IoT, AI, and Blockchain.   Internet of Things (IoT) What Is IoT?  IoT is a network of both hardware & software that brings real life physical data to the business or consumer user.  An example of this network is a sensor or device that collects information about its environment (garage door sensor), which sends the information to a cloud platform (garage door is open), processes the information in the cloud platform (it is 10AM - everyone is at work and school), then reacts to the processed information (close the garage door). When IoT is specialized for industrial application such as manufacturing, it is also known as Industry 4.0 or Industrial Internet of Things (IIot). What Does IoT Do For Supply Chain?  IoT has massive implications for supply chain management, including manufacturing, inventory management, and logistics. For Manufacturing – production managers can track output levels & yields of production across the globalized manufacturing base instantly – handy when you have hundreds of production lines spread throughout China, Mexico, and Turkey. For Inventory – supply chain organizations have the ability to instantly look up the supply levels across the planet of every SKU and its precise location. For Logistics – workers track in real time not only where the delivery is, but the state (temperature, humidity, vibration) of the product – needed if you are delivering fresh Dutch tulips across the planet.   Artificial Intelligence What Is AI?  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science of teaching computers how to perform tasks normally performed by human beings. AI has a broad range of applications, including consumer (facial recognition in a group picture), automotive (self-driving cars navigating a crowded street), pharmaceutical (drug discovery), finance (stock picking), and customer service (chat bot).  Machine Learning (ML), an application of AI, is used to make future decisions based on past information. What Does AI Do For Supply Chain?  AI is already making an impact to supply chain management, by bringing insights into descriptive data, extrapolating a future trend to make a prediction, and finally making a prescriptive recommendation to take action.  For Planning – AI can combine past demand with current social sentiment to gauge what and how much of what to make – making planning demand driven instead of supply driven.  For Manufacturing – managers may preemptively maintain a high-precision injection molding machine before it breaks down. For Inventory – AI is used to set an optimum inventory level (especially perishables) that will simultaneously prevent stock outs while reducing excess inventory. For Logistics –  AI has the ability to predict global traffic and make a recommendation based on cost, time, or quality.     Blockchain What Is It?  Blockchain is a digital system used to maintain a ledger, such as bank accounts or asset ownership. Blockchain allows only agreed upon trusted individuals who potentially do not know each other to update the ledger. Using peer-to-peer technology, the ledger is distributed securely via cryptography, across a network, so that there is no single point of failure, attack, or control. What Does It Do For Supply Chain?  Blockchain has the potential to bring a new dimension of visibility to supply chain management – one that can bring ethical, social, and safety changes to supply chain management. Applications of Blockchain to supply chain include tracking of ethically produced diamonds to reduce the trade of conflict-free diamonds. Blockchain can greatly enhance the safety of the supply chain by tracking how food is sourced, handled, and transported – and allows grocers and restaurants to individually contact consumers if a questionable lot of beef was used.      See Oracle Deploying IoT, AI, and Blockchain In Action Want to see IoT, AI, and Blockchain in action now? Please come visit us at the IotTechExpo / AIExpo / BlockchainExpo (www.iottechexpo.com).  You will see real life demos of: IoT : Smart Connected Factory IoT : Digital Field Service AI : Building The Right Model For Real Time Data AI : Prescriptive Asset Maintenance Blockchain : Manufacturing Supply Chain Blockchain : Trade Finance And because it is the season of giving, you can sign up for a free pass at : https://gateway.iottechexpo.com/north-america/free-expo-pass/register/

With the holiday season in full force, businesses that rely on supply chain are experiencing a transformation – either voluntarily or involuntarily. What is driving this transformation now?  The...

Logistics

Getting the Brexit and Trade Compliance Debate Moving

Stephen McCartney, ASR - Supply Chain Management I recently attended a roundtable event in London hosted by one of our partners, KPIT. The topic was on trade compliance and it brought together transport organizations, retailers, consultants, manufacturers and technology providers. The aim was to stimulate a debate and discuss the business challenges and opportunities that are affecting trade compliance globally, including the impact of Brexit. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  The session kicked off with a presentation by Mark Corby, of Kuehne & Nagel.  Mark has 38 years of customs and compliance experience across a range of major organizations, including HM Revenue & Customs.  He provided some great insights from the world of compliance and highlighted some key questions organizations today must consider: Who owns compliance within the organization?  It often lands between functions and exists in the gaps – when in reality it needs clear leadership and accountability Why pay compliance any attention? Is it to avoid costs or damage to the brand as a result of penalties and negative publicity, or is it to stay compliant and legal?  How can compliance be used effectively to improve business? What are the good and bad practices?  Comparing an organization that is joined up and considers compliance throughout all functions, from product innovation and commercialization to fulfillment and post-sales service, to an organization that either ignores compliance or faces inertia and a lack of willingness to invest. The subject of Brexit, with the Government’s stated position that we are leaving the Customs Union, led to some lively conversation and debate about risks, trade procedures and opportunities. I won’t cover everything that was discussed here but I did take away some key points from the discussion: Waiting to see what shape Brexit will finally take before investing in compliance is not an option. Companies that have embraced trade compliance across the enterprise are already benefiting financially, as well as keeping their brand reputation safe, and delivering superior customer service by avoiding delays. They will also be better prepared for the changes we will face over the coming years. Engage now to avoid the fear of the unknown. Brexit is clearly something of a moving target, and there is much that will need to be discussed and agreed before the final deal is settled. Those companies that are already proactively engaging with both the external markets and with Governmental departments are going to be in the best position to protect their interests and capitalise on the opportunities. Technology and process, combined with pragmatism, will rule the day. Once the Brexit deal is settled then there will be a rush to deploy solutions that combine the necessary technology alongside flexible and accessible processes to let smarter companies fast track their trade transactions.  Technologies such as Cloud, with its open standards and configurability, can both deliver value now and lay the foundation for the post-Brexit era. The final point that really sticks in my mind, and I believe was evidenced by this session, was Mark’s observation that in the UK, there exists a great track record on both international trade and adapting to change, and that we will undoubtedly deal with Brexit – in whatever form it may finally take – in the same practical, pragmatic and effective way. Visit the Oracle SCM Website to discover some of the technologies available to businesses looking to be more responsive to changing environments.    

Stephen McCartney, ASR - Supply Chain Management I recently attended a roundtable event in London hosted by one of our partners, KPIT. The topic was on trade compliance and it brought together...

Manufacturing

How Blockchain Can Transform Your Supply Chain Ecosystem

Oracle has recently introduced "Blockchain as a Service" in the cloud, a distributed ledger technology that enables secure transactions such that no single third-party controls the action. Blockchain can disrupt the complex and time-consuming process of business-to-business (B2B) transactions with an alternative that is transparent, verifiable, and tamper-proof, via distributed computing resources in tandem with global public cloud infrastructure. Blockchain’s business model can be rolled over to other business areas as well, such as Supply Chain Management and Product Lifecycle Management. How does Blockchain relate to SCM and PLM? A critical area in modern business today is digital transformation — companies need to overcome silo-thinking to seamlessly connect processes across and outside the enterprise. Blockchain enables trust in peer-to-peer B2B transactions, while avoiding the cost and risk of intermediaries. This leads us to the topic of integration - interoperability between PLM, ERP, and SCM has traditionally been very complex due to the widely distributed nature of modern manufacturing. Most data about product and manufacturing processes is siloed in separate databases across many companies today. Even a single manufacturing company with 3-4 manufacturing locations may have several disparate, unsynchronized manufacturing databases. Currently, it takes too long to find trusted data, which results in low productivity, low quality, high risk, and high overall TCO. Companies require tools that support and enable manufacturing processes better. Blockchain technology can enable secure data sharing, which in turn, will transform the way that manufacturing processes are organized. Leveraging a common cloud based IT platform such as Oracle SCM and PLM Cloud is an excellent first step to overcome these silo-based problems. Oracle cloud applications are tightly integrated across the Oracle Cloud Platform, which provides innovative technologies that facilitate IoT, AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, and now also Blockchain. By leveraging a common platform, it will be easier for organizations to apply modern technologies such as Blockchain to the business process backbone. Adding Blockchain Cloud to an ERP/SCM/PLM Cloud footprint may also allow companies to further reduce manual, error-prone information exchange and process execution across enterprise boundaries, while avoiding the costs and delays of offline reconciliations. Additional benefits can stem from reducing cross-application discrepancies resulting in settlement risk and poor records, and decreasing the cost and risk of fraud from cross-company transactions, while improving real-time information visibility within a trading ecosystem. Here are a few ideas on how Blockchain can be used in Supply Chain Management and Product Lifecycle Management: Design IP protection Product history tracking Production process assurance Recalls management Supply chain finance Track and trace point of origin Ownership transfer Compliance monitoring Increase transparency of histories of products Reduction of counterfeit goods Warranty adjudication Automated exception management Reconciliation and payment Supply Chain Management Modernization Organizations can accelerate existing business processes with reliable, real-time information sharing across existing SaaS platforms and custom blockchain application integrations. By adding Oracle Blockchain Cloud to Oracle ERP, SCM and PLM Cloud, customers can extend their enterprise boundaries by enabling new business models and revenue streams from untapped markets with blockchain-verified identity and offerings. Check out the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service Website to learn more about tomorrow’s most disruptive technology, and read the Oracle Profit Magazine Blockchain Feature for more viewpoints.  

Oracle has recently introduced "Blockchain as a Service" in the cloud, a distributed ledger technology that enables secure transactions such that no single third-party controls the action. Blockchain...

Logistics

Out-of-Stock, Overstock, & Returns | The $1.75 Trillion Dollar Loss That Won't Go Away

Diego Pantoja Navajas, VP WMS Development Maybe it’s the fact that high season is about to begin – but I get the same thoughts every year around this time. What are businesses planning to do to manage losses this year? It's an issue that raises its head annually – and it’s not a pretty sight. Two years ago it was reported by CNBC that the inability to efficiently manage inventory cost retailers $1.75 trillion dollars. We don’t know yet how much that number will be this year, but it’s safe to assume it will be at least as much. And for the record, that’s did cost, not could cost. Retailers lost $1.75 trillion due to inadequate inventory control as it relates to out-of-stock, overstocked, and returned inventory. If retailers chose not to address this issue and should they have decided to keep their warehouse management systems in neutral, then that number will probably be bigger this year. This just astounds the development team here at Oracle WMS Cloud – as we feel this is an unnecessary loss of revenue that can be mitigated simply by implementing a digitally connected, end-to-end supply chain system. The issue – as we’ve covered before in this blog – is that fulfillment operations haven’t kept up with technological advancement the way selling has. The modern selling experience is connected, cloud-driven, user friendly, and dynamic. It is omni-channel, totally digital, and highly complex. Customers assume that when they make a purchase from their living room or mobile device or when they ask for a selection to be shipped to a store for pick up, or when they return an item purchased online, that the system in place managing their transaction is as connected and digital as the sales tool they used to make the purchase. However, this still isn’t usually the case. Fulfillment operations and processes have not kept up with the reality of the digital marketplace. In fact, at the end of 2017 there are still retailers and manufacturers using clipboards and paper to fulfill an online order. There are certainly operations running on spreadsheets or on-premises machines – dinosaurs – systems over engineered to within an inch of their lives -- with no “real time” visibility into inventory, no real connectivity, and certainly no visibility across the supply chain network. As that CNBC article stated way back at the end of 2015, this misalignment between sales and fulfillment means that retailers are “falling short on their promise” to consumers. They are struggling to “get a read on how much merchandise they have and where it’s located….” Two years later and businesses are still suffering this way. They don’t have to! All they have to do is update their technology. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  THE CONNECTED CONSUMER A connected consumer requires an end-to-end, connected, fulfillment solution, and connected fulfillment solutions are the only way to solve the real problem – which is the lack of real-time inventory visibility. Fixing fulfillment problems isn’t about having more inventory on hand than is needed. It isn’t about having more seasonal employees, routes, or trucks. Fixing supply chain execution – connecting it to the consumer — means having a system in place that is able to manage inventory at a macro and micro level. The connected supply chain can manage inventory because of increased visibility across the entire supply chain and fulfillment network. That means visibility of pallets, visibility of parcels, and visibility of pieces – even going down to the store inventory shelf. The connected supply chain offers visibility that is both granular and expansive. The only way to meet these needs is with a powerful warehouse management solution – akin to the technology that made the promise in the first place. And this technology exists. Solving fulfillment solutions is exactly what Oracle Cloud WMS does. Oracle Cloud WMS is the solution that offers real time visibility into your entire inventory – available to anyone with a smart phone, a browser, and access to the Internet. We’ve spent nearly a decade creating a connected fulfillment network. So whether it’s managing overstocks, returns, or eliminating out-of-stock situations, Oracle Cloud WMS has your fulfillment needs covered. There is no reason in the year 2017 for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers not to have dynamic, scalable, cloud-based, distribution centers, facilities, and stores supporting their supply chains. This fulfillment gap – this misalignment of expectation and delivery can be solved with process automation, visibility, and total inventory management across your supply chain network. It’s the only way businesses will meet the demands of continued eCommerce growth and customer expectations. Why not take a look at all the solutions and connectivity Oracle Cloud SCM has to offer and build a fast track to an intelligent supply chain?

Diego Pantoja Navajas, VP WMS Development Maybe it’s the fact that high season is about to begin – but I get the same thoughts every year around this time. What are businesses planning to do to manage...

Logistics

A New Way to Learn About Supply Chain Management | The Business of Go

Violet Lumani, Senior Campaign Marketing Manager Here at Oracle, we treat supply chain management as an end-to-end experience – a connected set of processes, requiring full visibility and maximum efficiency so your business can focus on growth -- so your business can GO. In today’s technological environment of constant change and innovation, an inefficient supply chain process can slow an organization down significantly. In order to keep up, supply chain organizations require rapid monitoring, simulation, and response capabilities to enhance the quality and speed of decision making. Currently, only 53% of companies use demand forecasting tools, 48% of companies use integrated business planning tools and 13% of companies have visibility into their supply chains. Oracle’s continued investment and commitment to best-of-breed cloud applications has resulted in the launch of an initiative that we call the “Business of GO”- to help organizations achieve digital transformation, operational agility, and confident growth. We’ve created a new microsite to serve as a resource for supply chain executives to cut down on costs, increase visibility, and free up valuable time to GO on other facets of the business that require their time. Each of the sections on the microsite includes a wealth of resources, including infographics, e-books, and videos to help you prepare your business to GO forward. GO End-to-End Multichannel buyers spend 30%-50% more than single channel buyers, and companies can lose up to 4.5% revenue when processes, technologies, and corporate structures are not fully synchronized in a clear omni-channel strategy. This results in greater fulfillment complexity, greater costs, and lower inventory turns. Oracle SCM cloud applications give companies complete visibility from distribution centers to the store shelf, ensuring customer-centric fulfillment, and security, stability and flexibility in the cloud. A complete solution that connects your organization’s manufacturing, maintenance, supply chain, and financial applications allow supply chain executives the ability to adapt to changing customer demands, reduce risk, and convert ideas into high-performance products and processes. Improve customer service, increase margins, reduce inventory investment waste, minimize supply disruptions. For customer success stories from industry leaders, demos, and more information please visit our SCM Business of Go page — are you ready to GO?

Violet Lumani, Senior Campaign Marketing Manager Here at Oracle, we treat supply chain management as an end-to-end experience – a connected set of processes, requiring full visibility and maximum...

CIMdata Releases The Path to PLM Cloud eBook

The Product Lifecycle Management consulting firm CIMdata recently released the eBook “Making the Connection: The Path to PLM Cloud” in which they detail why making the switch to PLM Cloud is necessary to remain competitive in the digital era. The study’s findings demonstrate the key advantages to the cloud such as low total cost of ownership, fast time-to-value, rapid implementation, scalability, and accessibility. What companies are noticing is that their current on-premise PLM and Supply Chain solutions are leaving them incapable of meeting high customer expectations. Yet with a cloud-based architecture, companies are able to rapidly innovate, develop, and commercialize (I2C) profitable products while completely revolutionizing their product value chain. CIMdata states that “Cloud-based PLM enables the ability to federate data and integrate processes to support extended inter-connected business requirements. With data integration, collaboration, knowledge transfer and predictive analytics across the entire product lifecycle from the initial idea through to design, engineering, manufacturing, delivery, service and quality, companies are enabled to make faster, well informed decisions using data from across processes to maximize value, competitiveness, and drive Digital Transformation initiatives”. In conclusion, this fundamental shift to PLM cloud allows companies to digitally thread enterprise product data throughout their complete ecosystem (ERP, SCM, and CX) for performance-driven Industry 4.0 transformations. These leading companies are then able to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT) and create digital twins that allows them to innovate and develop new ideas faster. Read here for the complete report on why companies are making the switch, why it is important, and how they’re getting to the cloud. For some related blogs and articles, check out the below content: 6 Reasons Why Companies Need IoT Darwin's Frog, Digital Transformation and Innovation 6 Strategies for Better Supply Chain Management in the Current Economy  

The Product Lifecycle Management consulting firm CIMdata recently released the eBook “Making the Connection: The Path to PLM Cloud” in which they detail why making the switch to PLM Cloud is necessary...

Darwin's Frog, Digital Transformation and Innovation

Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) is a frog native to streams in Chile and Argentina and was first described by the zoologist André Marie Constant Duméril and his assistant Gabriel Bibron in 1841. It is named after Charles Darwin because he had previously discovered it during his world voyage on the HMS Beagle (See Wikipedia). According to a recent study, this species is likely extinct due to the effects of chytridiomycosis -- a fungal disease that is killing amphibians around the world. Darwin's frog could not adapt quickly enough to the changing conditions of its environment. Now, what does this have to do with you and your supply chain? Allow me to introduce the term “Digital Darwinism.” Digital Darwinism describes a situation when technology and society evolve faster than a business's ability to adapt. Digital changes are affecting businesses today and they are only accelerating. To read more about this, check out this Accenture page.  What this means for your company is that your business needs to be aware that it is at risk. No company is immune. The lifespan in the Fortune 500 list is shrinking. In 1970, the average lifespan was 55 years. In 2005, it was half as long, at 25 years. Today, only 71 companies remain from the original 1955 Fortune 500 list (See this page). FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  The answer to digital Darwinism is digital transformation. Digital transformation is the use of technology and methodology to address shifts in behavior by upgrading or overhauling processes and systems that amplify existing and unforeseen opportunities. Digital transformation means that there will be new technologies, new ways to produce, new markets, new ways of distribution, new ways of working, new services, and new business models. What will the digital future of my company look like? Business leaders needs to ask themselves a few questions: Is my business at at risk? (Most probably, it is!)   What are the game-changing activities in our business, in my industry? Is there a significant shift in the demand side of my business, as well as in the supply side? How can my business stand out from the crowd with unique differentiators? How can my business get productivity gains and a competitive advantage through the use of new technology? In my recent blog “Why Innovation Labs Fail - And What To Do About It?" I discussed that we can see that business today is all about relationships. The Relationship Economy requires everything from Products to Services to Customer Centricity to be brought together. In the Relationship Economy companies need to deliver ongoing value, memorable experiences, OnDemand fulfillment -- anywhere/anytime -- and personalized services. New products and services need to be developed with this paradigm in mind. A large part of the answer is to get rid of old silo-thinking. Businesses should start thinking in a more connected, cross-functional way. The IT backbone of companies has been an enabler for business process excellence previously, but this also has to evolve. Many companies have IT systems of record, systems of differentiations, and systems of innovation. In many businesses today, the highest focus is on the system of record, and the lowest focus on the system of innovation. But in order to survive, the importance of changing the IT systems is accordingly, that the system of innovation must have highest priority. This has to go in line with changes in management style and thinking about how to change organizations. Dion Hinchcliffe's outlines this in his article Digital Transformation and the Leadership Quandary. An IT platform that supports the design of products and services, that supports managing a Bill of Materials, the change process, the manufacturing plan, etc. -- has to become an important part of an innovation platform that includes a network of  people, processes and technology. Any modern IT platform must be   Leveraging a common language (Managing a common data management foundation) Under control (Managing Change) Visible and transparent (Facilitating cross-functional communication and collaboration) Addressing supply chain challenges regarding the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  Companies need to work on Supply Chain challenges regarding a strategy to get it right: “The Right Product, The Right Mix, The Right Time, The Right Way." Leveraging the right IT platform will enable companies to design the strategy, implement the strategy, commercialize the strategy, and service the right mix of profitable products and services based on the right business model. Join us over the next few months as we run a webinar series in which we will explain how to: Design a strategy to the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way  => WATCH RECORDING Implement a strategy to the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way => WATCH RECORDING Commercialize a strategy to the right product, the right mix, the right time, the right way => WATCH RECORDING Service the right mix of profitable products and services => WATCH RECORDING    

Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) is a frog native to streams in Chile and Argentina and was first described by the zoologist André Marie Constant Duméril and his assistant Gabriel Bibron in 1841....

Logistics

What Everybody Ought to Know About Patch Management

ARUN MURUGAN, Senior Director, WMS Development Last week at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison touched on topics that garnered a lot of attention in the media. Like most of the audience in attendance I could only nod my head in wonder at the scale and scope of projects that Oracle is currently undertaking. As I am still fairly new to the organization I am amazed by all of the projects and research that are underway here every day. So I listened passively to his talk, excited by all of this activity, but also thinking that it would have, as yet, little to do with my corner of the Oracle universe. That was until he brought up a topic that I have actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about and that I have spent years trying to solve. And so I thought it might be useful to post a blog about it. What Larry said that struck me didn’t have anything to do with Machine Learning or IoT, and it didn’t have anything to do with new security features or with the potential promise of blockchain technology either. What the topic was, was a problem in IT that is actually quite fundamental. Larry Ellison brought up the very basic idea of patch management and how it continues to be a source of IT headaches. Now anyone who has worked in the IT industry for more than a few days knows that managing the seamless integration and complexity of various operational systems is probably one of the most taxing things an IT team has to deal with. The work is time consuming and hard to control. It’s high-risk and can directly impact business performance. It slows down new releases and takes teams away from solving core business issues. In the old era of on-premises software this context was frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive to solve. However, in the modern era of continuous delivery – an IT team stuck fixing patches is unacceptable. It is not a context that can continue. So what’s to be done?   FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  THE CLOUD WMS PROMISE One of the fundamental differences between cloud and on-premises WMS solutions is the idea of paying for ongoing patch management and the impact of that on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). To illustrate the difference, here is a simple thought experiment: You have invested a million dollars in an on-premises installation that helps you manage your supply chain business. This is a huge outlay of capital, but it’s been justified as a necessity to modernizing your business operations. A year later, when you are reviewing your costs you notice that maintaining your infrastructure has cost you close to 20% of your original investment. You have spent $200 thousand dollars to keep the thing running. A fluke, you think — a speed bump. It’ll get better next year. Only next year comes and you find that you’ve spent an additional $200 thousand dollars. It’s the same the year after that, the year after that, and the year after that. After five years, you realize that you’ve essentially paid for your installation twice. And now it’s time to upgrade your system and start all over again. This is a waste of money, and it’s the headache that is caused by patch management. That $200 thousand dollars annual expense should be going toward innovating your business or aligning your supply chain infrastructure in other ways — anything that helps generate new lines of revenue. The idea of a “maintenance” patch-management fee on technology is an outdated, outmoded way of thinking, and not at all aligned with the digital era of cloud-computing we find ourselves in. You’re not paying a 20% fee for updates to your cell phone or your operating systems. You’re certainly not paying it on updates to your Facebook, Netflix, or LinkedIn accounts. You’re not paying it in online banking. Not even cable television charges you for software maintenance. This is because nearly everyone, everywhere, understands that in the digital era, software development is an ongoing, iterative process and updates happen all the time. So why should WMS solutions be any different? It’s code like all the rest. FUNCTIONAL AND NONFUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS The thing to understand about developing software is that it is made up of functional and nonfunctional requirements. Your functional requirements offer you the core reason and specific behaviors of the software that solve your specific business problem. These are the automated tools, processes and workflows that add value to your business. In the case of WMS solutions, these could be capabilities like inventory visibility or process optimization. Anything that allows you to scale your business. Nonfunctional requirements, on the other hand, are lines of code that impact the performance and operation of your software. For example, nonfunctional requirements could be a security patch or an upgrade, an increase in speed and performance, enhanced usability, or integration with other systems and databases. Patch management is entirely concerned with optimizing those nonfunctional requirements. The reason modern technology companies give you free software updates is because from version to version -- while change regarding your core behaviors might be slow -- changes improving your nonfunctional requirements are ongoing. Everything regarding how well your software performs is always being tweaked or revved up. Why should you pay for that? Software companies are selling you the best software they have — at a moment in time — and to keep you, they make sure their software stays ahead of the pack. It’s in a company’s interest to improve their software. It is what gives them a competitive advantage over another company in the same field. Why should you subsidize that? When you pay an on-premises WMS vendor a maintenance fee, all you’re paying for is the right to get an update that in any other industry you would get in the original cost. That is all. Think about that. You are not paying for new functional features or toolsets. You are mostly just paying for patches, performance updates, etc. It is the reason we think your software vendor should begin picking up their own maintenance bill. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  Integrating supply chain with ERP provides the function needed for end-to-end digital transformation. THE DIFFERENCE OF BASE FUNCTIONALITY BETWEEN CLOUD and ON-PREMISES WMS SOLUTIONS   What is the size of your WMS standard codebase and how is that determined? A software’s codebase determines the upgrades that need to be added. Here’s how cloud technology optimizes this: With Oracle Cloud WMS, every piece of new functionality that has ever been created goes directly into a standard, non-customized, codebase that is available to every client. As far as product features are concerned, everything we learn at every implementation around the world — and that benefits our customers — goes directly into our codebase.This is the virtue of cloud technology. Every Oracle Cloud WMS implementation uses 100% standard product functionality every time and it is built upon all the learning that has taken place up until that point. The same is true of any patch management that occurs during a release. And a cloud deployment model makes for the most optimized, cost efficient, distribution of technology. On-premises solutions don’t work this way. On-premises solutions are disconnected occurrences, and every installation is a reinvention of the wheel. On-premises solutions have not figured out nor have any interest in sharing or transferring performance knowledge. After an on-premises installation, the on-premises vendor then spends the next several years charging their customers to patch those one-off installations. They spend the next several years implementing the changes and adding solutions that could easily have existed from the beginning if they’d actually had a robust, standard codebase This is not the way to optimize your business. Ecommerce and omni-channel retail require a digital fulfillment strategy. End of story. Part of that strategy means building your digital fulfillment on a foundation that leverages cloud capabilities. With the era of digital fulfillment in full swing, we foresee that in the next five years there will be a mass migration to cloud computing in the supply chain world. It is an opportune time to get ahead of that curve. If you wait another three to five years before you take the plunge, all you’ve done is paid a second time for something you only needed to pay for once. You’re forcing yourself to play catch-up when you have no reason to. Check out some of our customers who have taken the plunge already and who are experiencing the benefits of a 100% standard codebase. These companies have eliminated the headaches of patch management and are already benefitting from cloud computing. You should be too. And for on-demand videos from Oracle Openworld, including Larry Ellison's keynote, visit us online here.

ARUN MURUGAN, Senior Director, WMS Development Last week at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison touched on topics that garnered a lot of attention in the media. Like most of the audience in attendance I...

Product Lifecycle Management

Why Innovation Labs Fail - And What To Do About It?

I came across an article in Forbes the other day -- "Five Reasons Your Boss Was Right To Shut Down Your Innovation Lab". In this article, Tendayi Viki highlights a "trend that is starting to happen more and more... Several companies are quietly shutting down their innovation labs." Tendayi eventually elaborates that it "turns out your boss was right to shut down your lab and here are five reasons why": It Wasn’t Really An Innovation Lab Lack Of Strategic Alignment Lack of Focus It’s Mostly Innovation Theatre Show Me The Money The article made me think about what is wrong with the term Innovation and what many people, including "Innovation Professionals," think Innovation is. In discussions with Innovation Officers I sometimes find that they are focused mostly on finding good ideas. Don´t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having an organization engaged in "looking" for good ideas. Now, looking for ideas is not a bad thing, but looking for ideas is different than translating ideas into new products or services. Ideation does not equal innovation. Innovation management is a process that transforms ideas into a profitable portfolio of projects and services. Innovation means capturing value on the back end -- that´s what makes it a business. Value is exchanged in an infinite loop that digitally connects Products, Services, and Things with Customers, Employees, and Partners -- all multiplied through networks. In the “Relationship Economy” today, companies need to deliver ongoing value, memorable experiences, on-demand fulfillment, and personalized services. New products and services need to be developed with this paradigm in mind. And in our digitized and digitalized economy, often times there is no Innovation without IT, as technology such as Internet of Things, Big Data, and Analytics are keys to enabling technologies to develop new, profitable products and services, often even based on new business models. Introduce a systematic translation engine When it comes to Innovation in Business, the key is to not only ask the question -- What could we do? This would just be a starting point. And indeed, there are many ideation techniques: design thinking, brainstorming, sketching, challenging assumptions, storyboarding, or prototyping. These techniques are all more or less well suited to generating a pile of potentially great ideas. New ideas and market inputs can come from hundreds of sources, from listening to the voice of customers or from the voice of products. However, for true innovation, it is important to translate these ideas into value. To have a complete approach to Innovation and make good Innovation investment decisions an organization must decide whether a good idea is indeed a good idea for the organization. Answering two questions: Should we do it? and Can we do it? - will mean that your business knows whether a good idea is a good idea for your business! And in order to find the answers to these questions, a systematic approach will help. It is important that you apply a systematic approach at the right places. While you want as much creativity as possible in the ideation phase, it is important to use a systematic approach in the translation process, to add the "reality flavor" to the equation and get clarity on a project's value and opportunities. What I mean with this is that a team should works on the requirements that a new product or service would fulfill. Is this idea a must-have, a should-have, or a nice-to-have requirement? What is the functional concept of the new offering? Does the functional design concept fulfill the requirements? Can we re-use components of existing offerings? What about the strategic alignment of the new offering? Does it fit with our company strategy? How about our Supply Chain Fit? Do we have the right partners? Do we have the people with the right skills? Do we have the money to invest in this?  If we take on project X, can we still do project C and D? A unified 360-degree view of all innovation projects and current status of the full Innovation Portfolio with integrated risk management and analysis will enable you to make these investment decisions. A tight coupling of Requirements Management and Functional Concept Design to Portfolio Management will allow a unified 360-degree view that decoupled portfolio tools cannot provide. Running an Innovation Lab can be a very good element in your Innovation approach - but it is not enough when used standalone. You need to get real. There should be no more innovation theater. Instead, add a collaborative backbone for the strategic alignment to your organization, and enforce focus on value by implementing a systematic approach to translating ideas into innovation. To learn how, get your copy of our in-depth guide to innovation management today and check out the Oracle Innovation Management Website.

I came across an article in Forbes the other day -- "Five Reasons Your Boss Was Right To Shut Down Your Innovation Lab". In this article, Tendayi Viki highlights a "trend that is starting to happen...

Events

Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2017: A Review

The past few weeks have seen several different conferences in Supply Chain but the stand out last week was certainly the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference (GSCES) in London. While this is an annual event known for being a hotbed of best practices sharing, it was especially compelling this year because it illustrated in stark detail just how much supply chains are being disrupted by the digital revolution currently underway in the IT world and what the supply chain industry needs to do to pivot in order to meet new challenges. Supply Chains are the backbone of free trade and the GSCEC panels, as they usually do, implicitly touched on the health of free trade and globalism, but also touched on the expanding role of artificial intelligence and big data, the uses of IoT in manufacturing, and of course the ability of supply chains to efficiently and optimally manage the trade of goods while reacting to market reality. One of the more interesting ideas to come out of this conference is the understanding that despite any political turmoil happening around the world, globalism and free trade are not in retreat anywhere. Trade numbers don't reflect that. The graphs and the projections regarding the value of a global marketplace are all going up and to the right. What that signifies is that what supply chains need most is plasticity. What they need is the ability to meet demand – at the singular level -- while also navigating chaotic environments. They need to expand and contract as the market dictates, while also keeping track of and managing the rapid delivery of individual orders – no small feat. 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. And so there was no shortage of cloud vendors at the conference this year. These vendors showcased all sorts of solutions to the supply chain market – everything from planning to global trade management to logistics to transportation. And every one of these products offered some sort of “intelligence” component as a value added service. This artificial intelligence trend will continue, and I'd say that within the next 5 years supply chains will have taken a huge leap forward in intelligence and in responding to the “amazonification” of the marketplace. In fact, many vendors at the conference teased the next few phases of deep learning and automated problem solving and it looks like heady times await us in managing global trade. All of these are positive developments, but there was something else I noticed…. These products are mostly one offs. They solve a single problem. They will require huge investments to keep them integrated and working as a single environment. The fact is, yes – a company could build an end-to-end solution from a patchwork of products, but they would lose overall flexibility. They could solve their micro-challenges, but the macro-challenge of plasticity, of quickly reacting to chaotic environments, would be lost. It may seem self-serving, but the only cloud solution I saw at the conference that could manage an end-to-end supply chain from a single architecture – from manufacturing through the last mile -- was the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud. And we presented our solution on several panels and explained that the major cultural challenge for supply chain’s today is moving from vertical focused functional excellence to end-to-end responsiveness and agility of the business process network starting at the point of purchase. We hammered the same idea over and over -- overarching cloud architecture is the key to truly meeting the demands of the marketplace. For a look at even more supply chain strategies, check out 6 Strategies for Better Supply Chain Management in the Current Economy  on the SCM Blog. See you next year.

The past few weeks have seen several different conferences in Supply Chain but the stand out last week was certainly the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference (GSCES) in London. While this is an...

Events

Oracle PLM Cloud Sessions at Oracle OpenWorld

October is almost here, and that can only mean one thing – Oracle OpenWorld  is just around the corner! OOW is the perfect opportunity to network, learn about innovative ideas and products, and hear what other companies are doing throughout their transformative journey to the cloud. This year, be sure to check out the numerous Oracle PLM Cloud and related sessions at OOW to learn from leaders about how Oracle Product Lifecycle Management Cloud can help you transform your product value chain to rapidly innovate, develop, and commercialize profitable products. These sessions will give you an entirely new perspective to how Oracle PLM Cloud can permit your organization to efficiently centralize product data, streamline processes, and launch quality products faster. While at OOW, join us for unique sessions to converse with Oracle customers and learn more about how Oracle PLM Cloud will jumpstart your organization’s journey to the cloud. Here are just a few highlighted sessions: Oracle Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Product MDM Strategy and Roadmaps with John Kelley, Vice President, Product Value Chain Strategy at Oracle. Where: Moscone South – Room 309 When: Monday, October 2nd, 1:15 – 2:00 pm Oracle Quality Management Cloud: Connected Quality in the Cloud with John Kelley, Vice President, Product Value Chain Strategy at Oracle and Elaine Wan, Product Strategy Director, Oracle Manufacturing and Quality Management Cloud at Oracle. Where: Moscone South – Room 305 When: Tuesday, October 3rd, 4:45 – 5:30 pm 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 305 When: Tuesday, October 3rd, 5:45 – 6:30 pm Unleash the Power of Digitized Innovation: Oracle Innovation Cloud with Gayle Hayes, Sr. Director, Product Strategy at Oracle. Where: Moscone South – Room 305 When: Wednesday, October 4th, 12:00 – 12:45 pm Take Control of your Product Master Data: Oracle Product Hub Cloud with Bruck Assefa, Senior Product Strategy Manager at Oracle. Where: Moscone South – Room 305 When: Wednesday, October 4th, 1:00 – 1:45 pm For more information on Oracle OpenWorld 2017, click here. Check out the PLM Focus on Document and the SCM Focus on Document View the entire Oracle OpenWorld 2017 Session Catalog For more information on Oracle PLM Cloud, visit oracle.com/plm Kemper Ray is a Product Marketing Analyst at Oracle. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

October is almost here, and that can only mean one thing – Oracle OpenWorld  is just around the corner! OOW is the perfect opportunity to network, learn about innovative ideas and products, and hear...

Manufacturing

Modernizing Manufacturing for the Digital Age

The digital age is changing industry dynamics at speeds and in ways unforeseen just a short time ago. New business models are evolving and new competitors are emerging forcing companies to move faster and be more innovative in order to compete effectively. Some of the significant challenges include: Inability to pivot from an inside-out supply-driven model (focused mainly on cost and efficiency of supply) to an outside-in demand-driven operating business model (starting with the customer) Inability to support new digital business models such as subscription or automated service Complex legacy systems are constraining companies’ ability to adapt quickly to new requirements and opportunities Customized systems and tools lock companies into current out of date business processes Inability to take full advantage of rapid advances in sensor-based and IoT technologies to increase revenue and improve operations Getting the right products and services to market faster than the competition Today’s customers seek more responsiveness from brands and manufacturers, and the battle for the customer requires manufacturers to move closer to the customer.  Tying manufacturing directly to the needs of the customers and collaborating throughout the process helps to validate that companies have the right offerings and are able to quickly adapt as market needs change. Many businesses are moving to outcome-based business models to increase the durability of their competitive edge and improve margins. Digital services and operations become a key capability to respond to, reshape and deliver an individualized customer experience. This shift demands a new mental model for the supply chain which becomes the business operating model designed from the outside-in or buyer-back perspective rather than classical inside-out. One overarching end-to-end cloud based architecture From a technology perspective, an overarching end-to-end cloud based architecture is required to pivot to deliver the agility to support the outside-in operating model. Organizations must master the use and integration of new technologies like IoT, digital collaboration, social, machine learning to build a dynamic digital ecosystem around customer needs, leveraging these new technologies to gain real-time insights into different areas of the business to improve decision making effectiveness. Manufacturing involves many processes and user communities, which often operate in poorly connected silos. The key is to develop a "digital thread" that ties all of these together, increasing automation, reducing latency and errors, creating new capabilities, and improving performance. Every process step generates information that can be leveraged across the business. For example, assets in the field can be monitored for issues that may impact maintenance, manufacturing, quality and customer service. By digitally connecting these threads companies can improve all aspects of the manufacturing process. An overarching end-to-end demand driven operating model can help companies: Continuously respond and adapt to meet changing market and customer demand with a flexible and agile operating system. Evolve to be a market disrupter by implementing Industry 4.0 strategies with IoT, BI and big data analytics to gain real-time insights into different areas of the business for improved decision making. Support end-to-end innovation and integrated business planning processes that enable business growth, for example optimizing new product launches and faster time to value in M & A. Reduce the IT architecture complexity and costs of ownership (data, infrastructure, integration, multi-vendor , multi-technology) that is constraining the agility of companies to market and respond to customers. Integrates real-time machine data and factory performance data into the discrete manufacturing decision making process Oracle provides the most complete and integrated cloud platform for manufacturers. Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud is the only platform built from the ground up, that enables you to digitally connect all of your business processes in one cloud-based architecture.  Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, part of Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud solution, can help you transform your end to end business, providing you with the agility, visibility, analytics and execution capabilities to improve customer responsiveness, drive innovation and growth and reduce costs. To learn more download our ebook. Julia Vagdati is SCM product marketing manager at Oracle. Connect with her on LinkedIn. 

The digital age is changing industry dynamics at speeds and in ways unforeseen just a short time ago. New business models are evolving and new competitors are emerging forcing companies to move faster...

Product Lifecycle Management

Protect Your Global Supply Chain: Oracle Quality Management Cloud

As product and supply chain complexity continues to grow, quality management practices will face increasing pressures and challenges. To address this, many organizations create manual processes or traditional, fragmented quality management systems. However, these types of approaches rarely offer long-term solutions, as they often detach quality management data and processes from organizations’ core systems. As a result, organizations struggle to reconcile the high-risk quality silos that result, often facing costly integrations. Oracle Quality Management Cloud does just the opposite. Oracle offers a modern approach to quality management that addresses the problems of quality silos, while providing end-to-end quality management. Oracle Quality Management Cloud is a pre-integrated solution in the Oracle Cloud that provides a unified platform for consolidating quality information across your enterprise, and rapidly executing best practice quality processes to protect your global supply chain. Learn how best practice, enterprise quality management can improve your competitiveness in today's rapidly changing world. Discover how Oracle Quality Management Cloud can help your organization reduce the cost of quality, increase customer satisfaction, grow in revenue, accelerate time-to-market, and more. To learn more about how only Oracle has end-to-end PLM Cloud solutions that connect ideation through development and into commercialization, visit oracle.com/plm and cloud.oracle.com/plm. Check out the Quality Management Infographic. View the Quality Management Executive Brief. Take a look at some other recent SCM blogs:  6 Strategies for Better Supply Chain Management in the Current Economy NEW! Requirements Management Executive Brief and Whitepaper Kemper Ray is a Product Marketing Analyst at Oracle. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

As product and supply chain complexity continues to grow, quality management practices will face increasing pressures and challenges. To address this, many organizations create manual processes or...

Product Lifecycle Management

Steps to Becoming a Product Data Master in the Digital Age

Your Challenge: "Product lifecycles are shrinking and competition is intense." Your Objective: Bring winning products to market quickly while reducing manufacturing and supply chain costs. Sound about right? Today, your industry faces extreme pressure to drive rapid innovation-cycles, quickly introduce new products, and be first-to-market. Growth is driven organically through the release of leading-edge products, via acquisitions, and by moving into new geographical markets. To meet high consumer expectations, your company needs to invest in a cloud-based PIM solution.  A modern PIM solution will seamlessly integrate with innovation and contract manufacturing platforms, software-development solutions, and PLM/PDM platforms that provide new product information very early in the product lifecycle. Once achieved, product data mastery enables the synchronization of ideation through commercialization (I2C). It will ensure enriched and accurate product information is delivered to all ERP, CX and Supply Chain Systems for manufacturing or service. Because a single quality issue may cause an entire product line to fail, data verification and business-rule validation will help prevent expensive engineering change orders, scrapped products, or (in worst-case scenarios) faulty products entering the marketplace. To achieve Product Data Mastery, start with these steps: Streamline Innovation to Commercialization processes on a single integrated platform. Ensure data consistency across multiple applications. Closely collaborate on products, bills of material, and catalogs. Establish change and revision control. Monitor processes through real-time analytics and reports. Leverage the cloud for better agility and lower IT costs. Become a Product Data Master with Oracle Product Hub Cloud. To find out more out how your organization can reach Product Data Mastery, read the Product Data Mastery Simplified eBook or visit oracle.com/producthub. Check out these previous installments of Product Information Blogs - Product Information Management for the Modern Supply Chain and Fight Off Data Complexity: Read How Companies Get To The Cloud Kirk Carlsen is PLM Cloud Product Marketing Lead at Oracle. Follow him on Twitter @kcarlsenjr and connect on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/kirk-carlsen-7672aa3  

Your Challenge: "Product lifecycles are shrinking and competition is intense." Your Objective: Bring winning products to market quickly while reducing manufacturing and supply chain costs. Sound about...

Product Lifecycle Management

NEW! Requirements Management Executive Brief and Whitepaper

Want to learn why incorporating requirements management is a critical best practice for your organization's success and efficiency? Look no further than the all-new Oracle Product Lifecycle Management Cloud Requirements Management Executive Brief, “Digitizing Requirements Management”, and Whitepaper, “Crossing the Innovation Chasm: How to Unlock the Business Value of Systems Engineering”. Discover how Oracle PLM Cloud offers a robust enterprise requirements management solution that allows you to define, manage, verify and validate requirements lifecycle beginning as early as idea creation, through product development and commercialization. Start by reading this Executive Brief and Whitepaper where you can learn how to simplify your requirements management process with Oracle’s complete end-to-end PLM cloud solution: Define requirements, maintain traceability determine product scope, and optimize requirements with Oracle PLM Cloud Improve time-to-market through streamlining definition, management, and verification and validation of requirements Decrease product development costs by reduced redesign, improved new product development efficiency, agility, and project execution, and ability to identify a failure fast Reduce product expenses and the risk of non-compliance, by avoiding lack of hand-off clarity between all stakeholders and by keeping everyone current on the latest scope Increase collaboration and productivity with a single, connected solution to manage the end-to-end requirements process For more information on where to start your digital transformation, check out the Executive brief here, and the Whitepaper here. To learn more about Oracle PLM Cloud and Innovation Management, click here. Kemper Ray is a Product Marketing Analyst at Oracle. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Want to learn why incorporating requirements management is a critical best practice for your organization's success and efficiency? Look no further than the all-new Oracle Product Lifecycle Management...

Product Lifecycle Management

Fight Off Data Complexity: Read How Companies Get To The Cloud

Why Combat Data Complexity with the Cloud? As data continues to grow exponentially, businesses struggle to align people, processes, and technology to satisfy stakeholder expectations. Disparate data escalates the challenges of capturing and utilizing the right information. Without a cloud strategy that begins with PIM at its core, companies cannot harness the full capabilities of maintaining clean and accurate data to speed time to market, increase revenue, and exceed customer expectations. To keep up with the competition, companies are moving key systems to the cloud to uptake the latest best practices, speed operations, lower costs, and improve agility. Aberdeen says that “nearly 60 percent of all companies report that their data infrastructure resides primarily in the cloud, or in a hybrid-cloud/on-premises environment.” As business processes become more complex and new technologies (such as the Internet of Things (IoT)) emerge, organizations are relying on a hybrid or complete cloud architecture that must scale to accommodate rapid growth. Traditional systems and manual processes no longer offer sufficient control. Decision-makers need access to accurate product information from anywhere at all times to drive business value. A best-practice PIM solution allows you to aggregate, enrich, validate, and share the product data required for your sales and marketing, supply chain, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes, ensuring your products are ready for today’s global market. A cloud-based PIM solution provides a highly effective foundation for moving all critical systems into the cloud, and plugs and plays without business disruption or the cost and burden of having to customize your existing supply chain, ERP, or customer-experience (CX) architecture. Strategic Path to the Cloud What is your cloud-adoption strategy? Without an effective way to manage product master data, cloud promises often fall short. By embarking on a strategic path to the cloud that begins with a purpose-built PIM solution, companies can connect infrastructure in any environment with a common digital thread of master product data that links on-premises, hybrid, or cloud. This means there is no need to replicate item data or build costly new integrations to run your end-to-end processes.  Aberdeen found that companies moving their PIM solution to the cloud were “23 percent more likely to trust the accuracy and completeness of their product data.” A product master data foundation in the cloud provides a low-risk high-reward scenario for cloud adoption—potentially within six months of implementation. To read your complete guide to achieving product data mastery - download the Digibook HERE, read Product Information Management for the Modern Supply Chain or visit Oracle.com/producthub Kirk Carlsen is PLM Cloud Product Marketing Lead at Oracle. Follow him on Twitter @kcarlsenjr and connect on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/kirk-carlsen-7672aa3  

Why Combat Data Complexity with the Cloud? As data continues to grow exponentially, businesses struggle to align people, processes, and technology to satisfy stakeholder expectations. Disparate data...

Logistics

6 Strategies for Better Supply Chain Management in the Current Economy

The years from 2007 through 2009 were notable for their economic volatility, reflected not only in the global economic recession but also the instability of customer demand and rapid movement in raw material, fuel, and commodity prices. Supply chain executives were under pressure to develop more efficient, customer-centric supply chains while finding innovative ways to reduce costs and enable growth. Meanwhile, they were also being asked to take advantage of business opportunities that arose from their economic conditions. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  As if the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression wasn’t enough of a challenge to the supply chain industry, the introduction of the smartphone and advanced analytics into the marketplace disrupted the industry further by providing an exponentially growing consumer base and easy access to goods and information. Companies tripped over themselves to build ecommerce portals, and one-click purchasing grew in relevance. All of these changes in the marketplace meant that supply chains had been disrupted forever. The world after this period was not the same for the supply chain industry, and supply chain professionals had to respond to what was quickly becoming an outside-in, demand-driven world. The pace of change hasn’t slowed, and now the Internet of Things, digital operating models, and predictive analytics are further enhancing the end-to-end capabilities of the business. Company leaders did what they could to adapt. They prioritized projects that reduced inventory and logistics expenses. Although this helped matters in the short term, professionals risked ignoring the long-term demand-driven vision of the business operating model. Organizations prepared for the rebound while responding to the conditions of the new normal: a reduced labor pool, analytics-based demand insights, stagflation and deflation, issues surrounding energy and sustainability, and a burgeoning omnichannel marketplace. Effective strategies coupled with a well-defined plan and the right tools helped supply chain professionals alleviate fulfillment pressures and readied managers for market changes in the future. What are the strategies that helped the best survive? They were then and remain today, the following: Strategy 1: Adopt a demand-driven planning and business operating model based on real-time demand insights and demand shaping. The right prediction and contingency planning tools will ensure a complete view and an effective response to risks such as suppliers going out of business, political upheaval, and natural calamities affecting manufacturing. Companies then can adjust pricing and promotions strategies to shape demand, move additional product quickly, drive revenue growth, or further expand margins for a high-demand product with limited market supply. The key is to have the foresight to leverage opportunities and mitigate challenging events so that your business not only survives but succeeds. With the arrival and maturation of cloud supply chain technologies, businesses now have the ability to see exactly where all of their inventory is—in real time—from the store shelf back to the manufacturer. An agile demand-driven supply chain requires end-to-end visibility across the business from buyers and the market to supply. With cloud technology, businesses can have it. Strategy 2: Build an adaptive and agile supply chain with rapid planning and integrated execution. Once executives are able to better understand and shape demand and risk, they need to adapt their supply chains to changing market opportunities and events. Companies must deploy dynamic planning capabilities and continually fine-tune operations to ensure responsive agility to meet changing demand. The old model was to wait until the end of the month or quarter to shift production and supply based on shipments and sales. The new model calls for more continuous, dynamic supply chain adjustments to rapidly respond to market changes. This can minimize or even eliminate shocks across the supply network. The results include better visibility; enhanced collaboration across the value chain, including reliable and predictable sourcing and supply, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and distribution; and accelerated decision-making with better analytics and support. Agility is the name of the game. Market reactivity, in the moment, has never been easier to achieve than it is today—again, with cloud technology and the right people, process, and technology capabilities. Strategy 3: Optimize product designs and product management for supply, manufacturing, and sustainability to accelerate profitable innovation. Innovation is crucial for being one step ahead of the competition. But innovation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To be successful, products must be manufactured at the right cost, place, and time. Decisions made in the early cycles of product development can make or break the product. Designs must be optimized for supply, manufacturability, and supply chain operations. All true costs to deliver must be accurately captured and analyzed to maintain balance across the end-to-end business. In addition, product innovation and competitive advantage increasingly stem from the selection and management of suppliers and technologies. If a company can manage the information, people, processes, and decisions regarding a product throughout its lifecycle, it can achieve strong results and market leadership. There’s no better way to achieve this than with seamless and clear collaboration processes across the end-to-end supply chain—from demand, the market, and customers back to manufacturing and suppliers. The ability to orchestrate this conversation across the end-to-end business and use demand-driven insights has never been more in reach. Oracle’s cloud collaboration tools for supply chains help product designers innovate solutions that customers are demanding. FREE EBOOK Explore Modern End-to-End Supply Chain for Real Business Growth.  Integrating supply chain with ERP provides the function needed for end-to-end digital transformation. Strategy 4: Align your supply chain with business goals by integrating sales and operations planning with corporate business planning. Although sales and operations planning processes provide coordination among sales, manufacturing, and distribution, there still are disconnects and gaps among finance, strategy, and operations in many companies. One way to bridge these gaps is with integrated business planning that involves people, process, and technology elements of the business. This process integrates financial strategic budgeting and forecasting systems with operations planning and allows smart trade-off decisions to be made for the business. The resulting marriage of end-to-end processes ensures revenue goals and budgets developed in finance are validated against a detailed, bottom-up operating plan and responsively executed. Concurrently, the strategy reconciles the operating plan against financial goals. True integrated business planning—made possible with cloud technology—connects sales and operations planning processes with corporate business planning and enables companies to achieve the right balance of supply and demand, aligned with strategic business goals. It provides real-time visibility to all the key dimensions for success—demand, supply, product, risk, and performance—across the organization and throughout the extended supply chain. Strategy 5: Embed sustainability into supply chain operations. The triple bottom line of people, profit, and planet has never been more important than it is today. Studies show that companies striving for social and environmental sustainability achieve major competitive advantages, especially with regard to production efficiency, supplier management skills, and attractiveness to employees. Substantial opportunities exist for sustainability in supply chain operations: Company leaders first need to embed sustainability as a core strategic component and capability of their supply chain strategy. This means incorporating it as a key requirement across all supply chain processes. Second, professionals initially should focus on the basics to achieve quick wins through real-time visibility and analyses to energy and resource consumption and resource or material movement. This enables reduction of carbon inefficiencies, minimized energy consumption, less waste with “recycle-reuse-refurbish” materials, and optimized travel and transportation. Businesses can keep the momentum by ensuring continuous improvement through systemic measurement, audit, and knowledge management. Compliance audits, best practices, and benchmarks provide a governing framework for sustainable supply chain operations and ensure clarity around the environmental impact of specific actions. Strategy 6: Ensure a reliable and predictable supply. Without reliable supply to customer-facing stakeholders to meet agreed-upon service levels, a manufacturer will tend to hold inventory buffers to ensure meeting customer service levels. This costs the business and, even worse, may mean the wrong products are at the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in supply shortfalls. Working on continuous improvement and operational excellence strategies is a foundation for successful end-to-end supply chain operations. Oracle and the cloud provide the infrastructure, analytics, and application processes to support the digital manufacturing thread across the end-to-end supply chain, which ensures that manufacturing operations are synchronized, connected, and integrated with customer- and demand-facing and planning processes. The right processes, practices, and tools can help.  The demands on supply chain managers to rapidly respond to change and increase profitability are greater than ever. The good news is that effective strategies and solutions exist that support each one of the previous five strategies, and they can deliver immediate return on investment. The tools also exist. They have been battle tested, end-to-end, across some of the most valuable supply chains in the world. The way in which companies implement these strategies can mean the difference between success and failure. The tools they use should be low-risk and proven. By Maha Muzumdar. Original version published in APICS Extra, July 2010. Maha Muzumdar is Vice President, Suite & Industry, Cloud Business Group at Oracle, where he helps formulate, define, and drive the market strategy for Oracle's supply chain applications. Additional input for this post came from Oracle’s Cloud SCM Product Marketing Team.  

The years from 2007 through 2009 were notable for their economic volatility, reflected not only in the global economic recession but also the instability of customer demand and rapid movement in...

Oracle

Integrated Cloud Applications & Platform Services