Oracle boosts supply chain offering

Oracle has enhanced the execution, collaboration and intelligence functionalities in its supply chain management solution to...

Oracle has enhanced the execution, collaboration and intelligence functionalities in its supply chain management solution to allow companies to streamline the supply chain and cut costs while boosting customer service.

The Oracle supply chain management capabilities, which are scheduled to be available next month as part of the supplier's e-business suite, span a broad range of business areas, including order management, planning, procurement, manufacturing, fulfilment, maintenance and service.

"It's really key that companies can integrate their internal business process with those of their trading partners," said Don Klaiss, Oracle senior vice-president of application development. "Our whole focus has been to provide an integrated set of business applications that allow companies to continue to automate more and more of their internal business processes. We've also spent a lot of time building new collaborative tools, so no matter what area you are in the supply chain, you can tie your trading partners in to your processes."

For supply chain execution, Oracle has added a warehouse management product built on a configurable, rules-driven architecture that is designed to easily adapt to a company's specific business processes and a transportation solution to support enterprise efforts to prepare and monitor shipments.

Oracle's service management solution now includes an advanced scheduler to optimise field service engineer assignments and a wireless field service product to allow service workers to send and receive information rapidly.

On the collaboration front, Oracle will offer planning, sourcing and manufacturing solutions to extend and improve trading partner interactions through portals and messaging, Klaiss said.

The planning solution is designed to create more accurate plans by enabling companies to share inventory plans and identify supply and demand mismatches, while the sourcing offering links sourcing, procurement and intelligence to reduce operational costs.

Manufacturing partners can use the enhanced manufacturing solution to exchange a variety of operational details such as schedules, materials availability, capacity, quality results, shipments and invoices from a common portal.

Built on a single, common data model that stores data in one central location, Oracle's supply chain intelligence offering is designed to drive continuous process improvement via pre-built reports and analytics delivered through personalised portlets.

"It's a set of management portals and reporting capabilities that are all role-based for different users in a company," Klaiss said. "The only way you could get this functionality in the past was to construct and maintain separate datawarehouses, which was really expensive.

"We now have the ability to build packaged, role-based management tools that can be installed directly in the same system as your transaction applications without degrading performance," he added. "This allows us to deliver a whole new class of management tools in the business intelligence area that hasn't been possible to do other than in a datawarehouse."

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