By Alaster Love, Perficient Energy & Utilities and Manufacturing Practice Leader for Oracle Business Unit
In a time when the world and economic impacts seem to be changing daily, it is more important than ever that leaders who are charged with making decisions on behalf of their organizations have real-time access to data on a single platform to facilitate quicker and more decisive decisions in days – not weeks or months. It can be the difference between thriving or even surviving in an economic downturn or becoming a target for acquisition.
Industries, such as oil and gas, utilities, and manufacturing are facing disruption at an accelerated pace. In 2020, we’ve seen an unprecedented impact on global supply chains. Manufacturing lines in China are producing less, there’s a limited supply of raw materials, port congestion, and fewer logistics options to move materials on a global basis. These are just a few examples of current disruptions. The need to act quickly and forecast multiple scenarios can be complicated when performed across regions, large organizations, and capital decision making.
Although various stakeholders within an organization, from the C-suite to lines of business, have different needs from both a timing perspective and level of detail, data silos and aging systems remain huge barriers to faster execution. Decision latency stymies an organization’s ability to pivot and adjust to new market conditions.
According to a benchmark study conducted by Supply Chain Digest for Oracle regarding planning maturity, more than 75% of respondents cited the lack of an integrated plan. This directly impacts an organization’s ability to make critical decisions that affect budgets, plans, forecasts, and strategic modeling on an expedited basis. There has never been a greater need for integrated planning, bringing different data sources together on one platform using advanced analytics with timely data consolidated from disparate planning applications, coupled with what-if and scenario modeling.
Oracle is at the forefront of changing how companies plan from the top down and bottom up by breaking down those barriers that slow execution. They do this by incorporating advanced technologies like machine learning and prescriptive analytics into Oracle’s Integrated Business Planning and Execution (IBPX) Solution. IBPX builds upon traditional integrated business planning (IBP) solutions, updating planning with the latest supply chain execution data, and uses AI and IoT technologies to address problems buried in big data sets while enabling the following planning areas:
IBPX is a game-changer, giving organizations the ability to not only adjust plans based on market conditions, but to then execute on those plans in real-time. For organizations hampered by poor integration, a unified data model and, user interface providing visibility to all constituents can be a game-changer. Let’s take a closer look at how IBPX could help the three key industries by way of an example.
If a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico results in a 25% reduction in active production on offshore platforms, there will be a reduction in the projected number of crude oil barrels produced in each period. How does that reduction in production impact the projected revenue for the operator? How has the hurricane impacted the workforce? IBPX will empower operations, sales, and finance to model different scenarios and advise midstream and downstream partners of production changes.
Wildfires, and other weather patterns, pose enormous challenges for utilities that are charged with delivering energy during peak usage times. How does a utility company model for such abrupt changes and forecast supply and service in areas likely to be affected? Operations and finance must work together to ensure power generation and distribution during peak consumption times are protected and consistent. IBPX will facilitate multi-department collaboration and modeling to predict outcomes from multiple scenarios to optimize power generation and delivery.
Manufacturers leverage past sales performance and forecast potential sales going forward based primarily on market trends, experience, and to some degree, luck. However, the potential for realizing the financial forecast often lays in the hands of the operations side of the business. The ability to procure, assemble, or produce items in a quantity that match the forecasted revenues and margins is often a challenge. The operations plan must take into consideration the ability to manage labor, materials, and plant capacity based upon known constraints, but what if market conditions change? What if there are unexpected market trends and disruptions due to environmental, political, or health conditions that impact a company's ability to produce product? IBPX can help facilitate manufacturing forecast improvements using multiple data sources.
Perficient believes Oracle’s IBPX solution will have a significant impact on our customers and prospects and has committed the time and resources to develop a solution specifically for Oracle IBPX which will further support decision-makers. Data and transparency are bridged across Oracle Cloud EPM and SCM applications with bi-directional integration and priority data mapping business rules. An overarching dashboard provides a unified view of real-time data from Oracle Cloud EPM, sales and operations planning and execution (S&OP), and Oracle’s Supply Chain Planning in an end-to-end fashion. This allows organizations to monitor key performance indicators to see if the overall business plan is balanced.
As an example, the following metrics can be produced in such a dashboard:
Oracle’s IBPX solution, coupled with Perficient’s experience in Oracle Cloud EPM, SCM, product-driven supply chains, and integrated business planning, provides forward-thinking companies a means to navigate uncertain times. Executives who command the future of their complex organizations and make decisions that affect people, their careers, and tenure with their organization, region rationalization, and department restructuring, can do so knowing they have made the best decisions empowered by Oracle and Perficient.
Having access to key insights delivered in an immediately actionable manner, versus having to pull together reports and data over weeks and months, can be the difference between surviving or thriving in an economic downturn.