Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Hear how Avon is using Oracle Transportation Management

Hear and watch this presentation by Avon as they outline how they use OTM to save money and enhance their supply chain operations.

Thursday Jul 25, 2013

Big Retailers Don’t Know Where Their Products Are Made?

Major retailers often are not aware of the subcontractors used in their garment manufacturing. With tight schedules, these factories in Bangladesh, often overbook by 200% to keep the plant busy. Conditions are often unsupervised by regulators or the prime contractor.

[Read More]

Wednesday Jul 24, 2013

Audience Questions from our Webinar - Key Procurement Issues for 2013: Going Broader and Deeper- Webinar Replay

The response was tremendous to our recent webinar with Chris Sawchuck from The Hackett Group along with Chris Nelms of Ameren.  Lots of great information along with some interesting questions some of which we captured here.  If you are interested in trends and solutions for procurement you need to view the webinar replay here or download The Hackett Group Report: Key Procurement Issues for 2013.  

 Of the borders you discussed: process, geography and information, which presents the greatest challenges? 

Chris Sawchuck: Overall we’ve made good strides in process and geography. Information, it’s the biggest challenge and also the biggest opportunity. The future of procurement is a lot about the information and the intelligence we can provide to our internal stakeholders. Our ability to harness all the aspects and turn that into intelligence that our businesses can turn around and make decisions against. How do we get our arms around all the sources of information that exist in systems both inside our companies and outside our companies as well as with the people? We need to capture this information and use it to enable the business processes that we have.

What were the biggest challenges around implementing your procurement system?

Chris Nelms: The people aspect was the biggest problem. We were able to keep the issues closed which helped. Once we decided on something we didn’t change our mind, despite pushback. That combined with trying to keep everything vanilla without a lot of customization.

What are some of the key ways companies have used to break down geographic borders to implement common processes when underlying legal systems vary greatly?

Chris Sawchuck: What I’ve seen companies do is come together to design processes in a more common way, center led. And it’s important to involve all stakeholders including finance and audit groups along with procurement. And then go out to the business and look for exceptions that can be approved exceptions. Versus having the variables that tend to exist in many organizations.

What approach did you take with suppliers to get them to use your supplier portal?

Chris Nelms: For iSupplier portal it benefits us both. It streamlines the flow and it’s really easy to use. They pick up their PO, they get a pdf of the order. We can reduce the cycle time and pay them within the agreed upon terms. Eventually you start building it into the contracts, you’re going to use iSupplier Portal. 

New On-Demand Webcast: How Leading Brands Use Product Quality as a Differentiator

Last week Oracle and Kalypso jointly held a webcast showcasing some of the inspiring ways companies leverage Agile Product Lifecycle Management applications as a foundation for comprehensive Enterprise Quality Management.  If you happened to miss it, don't fret!  The webcast is now available On-Demand.   

Why should you watch this webcast? 

Product quality is a powerful differentiator: surveys consistently prove it is a top influence in consumer buying decisions. And since technology has made quality ratings so easily accessible to the market, companies are under increasing pressure to ensure the highest possible quality and to resolve issues quickly. But many companies are not fully equipped to manage this dynamic. Is your organization prepared to confidently design quality and compliance into your new products, and quickly access, analyze and resolve problems when they surface anywhere in your value chain? To prevent poor quality from affecting great products, leading brands take a comprehensive approach to managing both supplier and product quality, deploying Product Quality Management (PQM) solutions as a part of their overall Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) roadmap. Please take a moment to watch this On-Demand Product Quality Webcast with speakers Joe Erickson of Oracle and Fred Brown of Kalypso featuring an informative discussion on how Agile PLM and PLM for Process can help your company prepare for and manage your product quality and regulatory requirements.

There's even a special offer included in the webcast... watch it today to find out! 

A Question of Logistics – How Extreme Performance Helps Organizations Manage the Unforeseeable

By Rick Jewell, Senior Vice President of Applications Development, Oracle

Globalization, demand and cost volatility, disruptions due to natural disasters, new fulfillment models, and mergers and acquisitions are just some of the reasons that supply chains and their associated logistics networks have become more complex. As a result, logistics professionals are faced with the daunting challenge of designing an optimal logistics network knowing that the best answer for today’s requirements is likely to be insufficient in short order as changes arise.

While this situation is nothing new, there has long been a need for logistics network scenario management, recent events ranging from natural disasters (Icelandic volcano, earthquake in Japan, Thailand flood) to workforce strikes, social unrest and terrorist attacks have shown that sudden and unforeseen disruptions to the supply chain can seriously impact a company’s ability to meet demand and endanger its business operations.

To help organizations perform scenario analysis, determine possible impacts on their logistics networks and plan suitable responses, Oracle has introduced Oracle In-Memory Logistics Command Center, a fundamentally different way to address these business challenges. Oracle In-Memory Logistics Command Center takes advantage of the unparalleled performance of Oracle Engineered Systems, including Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, to deliver accurate and detailed information on logistics that enables organizations to perform rapid simulations and what-if analysis of their networks using real-world operational data, rules and constraints.

With the ability to perform and analyze data from multiple simulations in near real-time, customers can take a more powerful approach to strategic and operational scenario management. This unique approach not only helps improve supply chain resiliency, but also helps organizations increase supply chain performance, cut costs and improve service levels.

Oracle continues to build out its application portfolio with the latest generation of in-memory computing to help customers make smarter decisions, reduce costs and accelerate time consuming workloads. We know it’s all about performance, and with the release of Oracle In-Memory Logistics Command Center, we now have an answer to today’s most challenging logistics environments.

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

Supply Chain Software Market Grows over 7% to $8.3B in 2012

The supply chain applications market was $8B in 2012, growing by 7%. SAP and Oracle are in a tight battle for the lead.  The top 3 providers constitute about half the market.  Further consolidation is epected.[Read More]

Thursday Jul 18, 2013

Transform Your Value Chain with Oracle’s Latest In-Memory Applications

By Rick Jewell, Senior Vice President of Applications Development, Oracle

Complex and changing. These are perhaps not the words you want to hear, but they describe the reality of modern supply chains. The more complex things get, the more difficult it becomes to understand the impact of changes and make the right decisions in a timely fashion. Also, the degree of planning difficulty increases with the continuously expanding volume of supply chain data.

All too often, outdated planning processes and disconnected planning systems are simply not adequate. Without the right systems in place, planners can’t get a complete view of activities, let alone analyze them in real time to help ensure informed decision making. The result: their organizations get left behind.

To overcome these problems, many companies are looking to Oracle Value Chain Planning as they look to improve the efficiency and reliability of their global supply chains and transform them to demand-driven value chains. Oracle has released two new Oracle In-Memory Applications, Oracle In-Memory Consumption-Driven Planning and Oracle In-Memory Performance-Driven Planning that will help those efforts. These In-memory applications help companies plan more complex value chains, more frequently, to a greater level of detail, and help make more informed decisions faster. This step change is accomplished by engineering the applications specifically to take full advantage of the unique features of Oracle Engineered Systems to dramatically improve the performance of existing planning processes and enable new processes that were not previously feasible.

Additionally, with an expanding range of next generation in-memory applications, Oracle is able to deliver unparalleled performance for a wide range of business processes that help organizations realize a range of benefits from improved efficiency and lower costs to enhanced reliability and profitable growth. In current business conditions, it’s simple to see these are the kinds of benefits any organization would welcome.

Tuesday Jul 09, 2013

Reshoring Likely to Increase, Nearshoring a Viable Option.

The Institute of Supply Management indicates a growing trend toward reshoring. Companies see the value of keeping work in their home countries. Nearshoring is another viable option to consider as factory automation replaces shop labor.  [Read More]

The True Cost of Cheap Clothes: Alarming Study

Over a thousand garment workers were killed in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013 due to a building collapse. With wages of 20cents per hour, workers are now starting to see some improvements in conditions as major retailiers step up and take added supply chain responsibility.[Read More]

Why Supplier Enablement is Critical

Your employees won’t use a self-service procurement system if it is not connected to most of their relevant suppliers. If end users don’t find the products they need in the system, it won’t have value to them. Maverick buying will result, less spend will be managed, and the consequences are lost savings. A waste of all the negotiations you have conducted in order to save money. 

The reason most companies don't enable more suppliers is simply a matter of resources, time, and IT complexity. Large suppliers are very sophisticated and may have the ability to hook into customers through direct integrations with their systems, typically through electronic data interchange or extensible markup language (XML). Small companies can connect through a supplier portal, where they can view and manage transactions. That leaves a forgotten middle tier that are too small and may not have the resources to connect into a supplier network in an automated fashion, but have sufficient volume of business to make using a manual supplier portal cumbersome. This tier of suppliers is less likely to be enabled, in fact the average company only enables a handful of companies less than 10% of their total supply base!   Though the other 90% may not have the same dollar volume they still represent a huge number of transactions which creates a burden on your company to process and collaborate with suppliers around POs, invoices and status. 

Oracle now offers an important solution that combines Oracle Supplier Network, with Oracle iSupplier Portal, or Oracle Fusion Supplier Portal, or Oracle PeopleSoft eSupplier Connection and services and solutions delivered by Oracle partner Transcepta, that enables supplier/network connections. Oracle Supplier Network provides a free way to connect with a core group of suppliers that support XML and have the IT resources to establish the connection. A supplier portal provides transaction management for small suppliers.

For customers that would like to connect thousands of suppliers as opposed to only their top 20, Oracle partners such as Transcepta can enable all suppliers with an automated connection, regardless of sophistication level, system, or transaction volume. This means customers can finally connect the forgotten middle tier—gaining a greater ability to manage spend. Plus, Transcepta can provide value-added tax compliance where required.

Learn more by downloading the whitepaper Maximize Supplier Enablement for Procure-to-Pay Success.  

Monday Jul 08, 2013

Hey Boss: We're gonna need a bigger boat!

The newest container ships have a capacity of 18,000 containers and are 35% more fuel efficient than older models.  Supply chain leaders should be aware of the changes taking effect.

[Read More]

Friday Jul 05, 2013

Check out the Oracle VCE e-book

Oracle Corporation
Lower Costs, Simpler Processes: Rethink Logistics with Oracle Lower Costs, Simpler Processes: Rethink Logistics with Oracle
Taking a smart approach to logistics – from streamlining transport networks and global trade management, to optimizing everyday warehouse operations – can simultaneously reduce costs and maximize competitive advantage.

Download your exclusive Oracle e-book, Oracle Value Chain Execution: Reinventing Logistics Excellence, to learn why our world-leading, unified solution is relied on by market-leading companies across the planet.

Discover how it can help you:
  • Drive business agility, scalability and innovation
  • Reduce costs and increase efficiency
  • Enhance visibility, productivity and inventory accuracy
  • Simplify compliance and mitigate risk
  • Measure and boost customer satisfaction
See what reinventing logistics excellence could mean for your organization.

Download Now

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Wednesday Jul 03, 2013

A Year of Upheaval for Procurement Professionals-New Report & Webinar

2013 will see significant changes in priorities and initiatives among procurement professionals as they balance the needs of their enterprises with efforts to add capabilities for long-term procurement success. In response, procurement managers will expand their organization’s spend influence via supplier relationship management, sourcing, and category management. 

These findings are part of the new report, “2013 Procurement Key Issues: Going Deeper and Broader to Deliver Borderless Procurement Services,” by the Hackett Group. The authors say that compared to similar studies over the last five years, 2013 is registering the greatest year-over-year changes in priorities for both procurement performance and capability issues.

Three Important Priorities
The survey found that procurement professionals are focusing their attention in three key areas.

  • Cost reduction. Controlling expenses is always a high priority, but with 90 percent of the respondents now placing this at the top of their performance concerns, the Hackett analysts say this “clearly shows that, for better or worse, cost reduction is king” in 2013.
  • Technology innovation. Innovation has shot up significantly in the priority rankings and is now tied with spend influence for second among procurement professionals. Sixty-five percent of the survey participants said pursuing game-changing innovation and technology is a top procurement initiative.
  • Managing supply risk. This area registered a sharp rise in importance because of its role in protecting profits, Hackett says. Supplier compliance with performance milestones and regulatory requirements is receiving particular attention, with an emphasis on efficient management of cross-functional workflows. “These processes create headaches for suppliers and buyers alike, and can detract from strategic value creation when participants are bogged down in processing paper and spreadsheets,” the report explains. 

For more insights into the current state of the procurement industry, download the full report, “2013 Procurement Key Issues: Going Deeper and Broader to Deliver Borderless Procurement Services” and watch a Webcast featuring Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader for The Hackett Group, Chis Sawchuk, and Managing Supervisor of Supply Chain Processes and Systems for Ameren, Chris Nelms. 

Tuesday Jul 02, 2013

Hot Off the Press: Oracle Publishes Agile PLM E-Book

We’re pleased to share with you our new Oracle e-book, all about Agile PLM!  This online publication offers a mobile-friendly, interactive learning experience to explore PLM topics, including:

• Benefits of taking a strategic, enterprise approach to managing the lifecycle of a product

• How to identify and overcome the obstacles preventing your ideas from converting into profitable products

• Quick overview video and descriptions of the solutions comprising Oracle’s Enterprise PLM solutions

• Analyst perspectives and customer stories, including 4 testimonial videos from JDSU, Medtronic, Market America, and Alcatel-Lucent.

It takes just a moment to download, so check it out today!

Webcast on Monday, July 22 - Discover the Key to Profitable Order Fulfillment

When it comes to order fulfillment, organizations are challenged by the increasing complexity of global supply chains and an explosion of order and delivery channels.

Attend this webcast on Monday, July 22 and hear Steve Banker, Service Director for Supply Chain Management at ARC Advisory Group, discuss how distributed order management solutions can help companies transform their fulfillment operations to gain greater supply chain visibility, improve order profitability, and increase customer service levels and satisfaction.  Hear too from Oracle executives who will showcase examples of customers successfully using Oracle Distributed Order Orchestration.

Date: Monday, July 22, 2013

Time:  1:00 p.m. EST

Click here to Register

Download a free copy of the ARC Advisory Research Brief on Oracle’s Distributed Order Orchestration solution and discover how Boeing, the world’s leading aerospace company, is leveraging the solution to automate their proposal and order management processes and achieve an expected 30% reduction in order cycle times. 


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