26 Sep

Oracle R13 Release: What’s in it for you?

Oracle release R13 is here – and companies are anxious to explore the hundreds of enhancements and refinements that it brings. Of course there are many technical and infrastructure improvements to help your Oracle system work faster, safer, and more reliably. But there are also numerous functional enhancements and improvements across the entire suite of applications. Here are just a few to whet your appetite for what R13 has to offer:

Sales: Enhancements in R13 include embedded sales analytics to drive business decisions, a new prebuilt Data Visualization content pack for Sales VPs and more. Sales contract enhancements include automated contract renewal, simplified terms and conditions authoring using Word templates, and contract status change history. Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) Cloud gets improvements in BOM Mapping, Package Lifecycle Management, Migration Center, Performance Management, DataCube and Data Column.

Procurement enhancements in user experience and navigation, more flexibility with additional services and a large set of new product features including a revamped home page, work area landing pages, and Favorites capability.

Inventory & Cost Management also gain user interface enhancements with a revamped home page and work area landing pages that provide visual, insightful, and actionable information. Inventory functional enhancements can be found in shipment transportation planning, global trade compliance, shipping and export documents, streamlined asset creation and return processing. In this release, Inventory Management has been enhanced as part of the larger outside processing feature for shipping material to and receiving material back from suppliers that perform outside processing services. This release now supports issuing materials to maintain assets, return of any unused materials, and recording scrap.

Oracle Cost Management Cloud now supports rework work orders and transforms activities when you need to upgrade or downgrade an existing item to transform it into an item with a different item number. This release delivers new infolet-based landing pages that replace the work area-based navigation in earlier releases. Infolets display key information that is relevant to the specific roles accessing an application and are the top-level navigation to application tasks.

Manufacturing now provides more flexibility and capability in managing BOM changes and order changes, with enhanced visibility of orders changes for quicker, more accurate execution of engineering changes that impact work definitions. With this release, you have the ability to expand the nested levels in a multilevel item structure for an assemble-to-order (ATO) model and assign a component from any level to a work definition operation. In addition, changes to quantity, inverse quantity, unit of measure, yield, basis, optional, and planning percent attributes at any level in a multilevel ATO model item structure are automatically synchronized with the work definitions using it. With this release, the Supervisor Mobile application supports viewing exceptions of a work order and closing the exceptions after they are resolved. Rework and transform work order support carries into manufacturing with the ability to create a rework order based on a rework work definition or manually identifying the operations required to rework the product, as well as the components that need replacement and the resources required. Rework work order functionality enables you to plan and cost your rework and provides full traceability for products on the shop floor.

With this release, the entire Outside Operation process is automated; the system will automatically create the purchase requisitions and purchase orders. As soon as the prior operation is complete, the system will create a shipment line for the partially finished assembly. Users can generate all necessary shipping documents, such as bill of lading, pack slip, commercial invoice, and so on. You can receive the partially finished assembly on the receiving dock and deliver the material directly to the shop floor, automatically completing the supplier operation.

The Supply Chain Collaboration work area landing page now uses infolets with embedded analytics to orient users to the status of their trading relationships, so they can prioritize their actions. (Infolets are card-like, interactive containers that use a “Glance, Scan, Commit” design principle to help you visualize high-level information, review relevant details, and proceed to action as quickly as possible.) Depending on their role, users can assess planning collaboration, contract manufacturing collaboration, and business-to-business messaging performance in one consolidated view. Both enterprise users and trading partners can see any changes or exceptions at a glance, flip or expand an Infolet to get more detail, and drill down to perform transactions with a single click. Users can monitor more relationships and respond to critical issues more rapidly as a result.

R13 is a significant addition to Oracle cloud functionality, usability, security, and performance. All users are strongly encouraged to install the update and take advantage of all the new capabilities contained in this latest release.






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02 Aug

SCM Cloud Adoption Forecast: Trends for 2018

There can be no question that the cloud is the platform of choice for supply chain applications and systems now and in the foreseeable future. While numerous surveys indicate that cloud adoption is still in a relatively early stage – slightly less than half of all warehousing, supply chain planning, global trade and product lifecycle management (PLM) processes reside in the cloud – adoption has reached these levels in a remarkably short time and significant continued growth is expected to increase these numbers dramatically in just the next couple years.

Companies are drawn to the cloud for a number of reasons, the most important of which are faster implementation, cost savings, and an enhanced ability to deliver improved customer service. It doesn’t hurt that virtually all of the innovations and new applications in supply chain management including enhanced visibility and control (Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), big data analytics, advances in mobile technologies) tend to be either exclusively cloud-based or are more effective in the cloud environment. The supply chain is by nature a distributed environment with participants spanning the globe. Cloud-based systems are particularly well suited for this environment where there is no inherent advantage for centralized in-house systems; the cloud is designed and built for remote access and broad connectivity.

The fastest growth area for movement of processes to the cloud are PLM, global trade, and ideation and innovation, at least in part because these processes are less well established in the cloud compared to warehousing and planning. By 2018, all five business areas will be very near or above the 50% level. All three of these high growth areas are well suited to cloud deployment since they are by nature rely on widespread connectivity for distribution of and access to information for product support, navigating multinational business challenges, and support for collaboration.

Given the advantages of the cloud for support of supply chain processes, the main question might be why cloud adoption hasn’t been faster and broader. The short answer is that new technologies are often distrusted and must prove themselves before companies will trust them for critical business processes. In the case of the cloud, the major concerns – access/availability, security, and control – have been largely dismissed. In fact, cloud-based applications demonstrate higher availability (up-time) and reliability, tighter security and resistance to hacking and cyber-attacks, and much better performance in terms of data protection (off-site back-ups, hot-sites/failover) than is usually delivered by on-site IT resources. And those IT resources welcome the cloud as a way to off-load the routine care-and-feeding of existing systems so they can apply their efforts to better user support and exploration of new systems and technologies to advance the business and stay competitive.

A recent Supply Chain Digest study concludes “…companies believe they are more mature in supply chain process than they are in supply chain technology support… “ and “…(the) level of technology support ranked just behind “lack of ability to design/execute “end to end” processes” as the top barrier to improved supply chain performance.” In other words, companies realize that technology is key to future competitiveness, and failure to adopt emerging technologies like cloud-based supply chain management processes can become a credible threat to their ability to improve performance.



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28 Jul