Guest Author: Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Product Strategy
When Ester Ledecka won the gold medal in the women’s super-G Olympic ski race this year, her victory wasn’t broadcast live. That’s because nobody expected her to win – including her. Seeing the crowds roar as she crossed the line, she thought, “OK, this is weird. Why do they scream?”
Ester was justifiably surprised. After all, she mostly came to the Olympics to snowboard, not to ski. So how did she pull off her upset? By skiing like a snowboarder. Ester picked different lines down the hill than the skiers were taking, and they happened to be faster on that course.
Ester’s victory can inspire anyone who’s challenged outside of their comfort zone. Like her, we should all seek ways to apply our core expertise to related disciplines. As we approach Earth Day this year, I’m celebrating the advantages that supply chain planners have in tackling environmental sustainability issues. Like snowboarders on ski slopes, we have great sustainability instincts and take innovative approaches.
For starters, planners reflexively focus on reducing waste, because it’s a symptom of supply chain inefficiency. We also have the knowledge and technology to do it: statistical algorithms that anticipate demand changes, supply planning to minimize the use of materials and resources, and logistics optimization to streamline transportation.
But that’s not all: supply chain planners are leading the transformation to digital business models that eliminate physical supply processes altogether. For example, at Oracle we’re evolving from planning for the delivery of hardware to customers to planning for customer compute capacity in our Cloud data centers. The carbon footprint of the Cloud model is dramatically lower.
Ester Ledecka went on to win the gold in women’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding later in the games, so her foray into skiing certainly didn’t hurt her performance in her core discipline. By the same token, switching to a digital supply chain model not only reduced emissions for Oracle and its customers; it improved service levels, enhanced security, and lowered costs.
Here's your chance to go for gold by going green: submit your nomination for the 2018 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award. Winners will be selected based on the extent of their environmental impact, as well as the business efficiencies they have achieved through their combined use of Oracle products. Nominations close on July 6, 2018; awards will be presented at Oracle OpenWorld in October.