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September 12, 2016

Customer Delivery in Semiconductor Industry

Introduction

Semiconductor products finds application in various industry verticals that requires digital technology embedded in their end products to enrich them with the ability to program, configure, connect to other devices, automate or provide extra features to delight the customers.  Analog semiconductor application are also diverse such as in the field of power electronics, servo control application and energy.  Some examples are machine control units in automobiles, smart mobile phones, and control units in industrial automations, robotics, solar energy etc. 
With a wide range of application, semiconductor industry commands a business little more than $330 billion worldwide.  Supply chain in the semiconductor industry is characterized by the price sensitivity, constant innovation, product complexity, collaboration with manufacturing partners and globalization of its value chain.  The semiconductor product is not an end product by itself and is usually used to build one and hence its supply has a significant impact to the business downstream.  Low margin in this business requires higher volume turnover for them to be in green.   Competition and the above challenges forces the industry to emphasize on the customer delivery performance and service levels to their clients, who are from diverse segments in the market. They have to add value not only to the technology through innovation but also to the supply chain process by reduced cost along with reduced reaction time to demand.


  Customer delivery function is identified as the priority one processes to sustain in the semiconductor business.  It involves order capturing, calculating demand, delivery promising, tracking logistics till ownership transfer to customer and keeping customer informed.  This is supported by the planning function to ensure service levels that reduces or prevent line down situations for their clients and maintain optimum inventory.  The key performance elements of the customer delivery that depends on the supply chain are -
a. Reaction time to the demand.  The ability to respond with promises or exceptions to the client.
b. Ability to meet the customer demand as per the schedule with negligible or no slippages
c. Real time status information availability.  This is the ease of accessing status of inventory in terms of location, reservation and quantity.





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September 8, 2016

Internet of Things (IoT) in field service management (FSM)

In today's competitive world, real-time data and innovative service methods are vital for field service enterprises to ensure customer delight, increase revenues, and expand profit margins.

The IoT explained

The Internet of Things (IoT) allows machines to communicate with each other (M2M communication). It is built using a combination of networks that comprise of data-gathering sensors, devices, big data, analytics, and cloud computing, which communicate via secured and encrypted channels. Connected devices enable efficient predictive maintenance by constantly providing information on a machine's performance, environmental conditions, and the possibility of failures. IoT can connect machines on the field in order to record incidents in real-time into a semi-intelligent 'Gen-X' FSM system.

Integrating IoT with FSM software applications

Field service organizations always strive to consistently provide the best service experience to their customers, by ensuring immediate repair and maintenance of their equipment and machinery. By collecting data about the machine's health and performance from IoT sensors, organizations can leverage predictive and preventive field service to minimize device downtime.


Three primary traditional FSM challenges

Here are three primary issues that challenge the current reactive scenarios:

    Field technicians execute the job and fix the equipment after the issue is reported. However, the delay can impact business continuity, which in turn affects the operating profit margins


    Adding more field technicians and service trucks to the field comes at a cost and sometimes the increased capacity remains under-used


    Assigning more work to existing field teams can have a negative impact on SLAs and first-time fix rates. Even worse, it can increase the cost of travel and overtime

Essentials of a new-age FSM solution

A field service management system that integrates device sensor data, technicians, customers, and technology is the key to address these issues. It should function in a predictive and preventive mode with the following features:

    The FSM process, which includes issue identification, communication, incident creation, scheduling, and assignment can be automated, thereby ensuring zero disruption in machinery operations and no or negligible downtime. This not only increases productivity, but also expands operating profit margins

 

    Most FSM products can also automate incident creation, scheduling, assignment, and invoicing processes. Using IoT, we can predict upcoming issues based on sensors data analysis and auto-creation of incidents based on preset threshold rules

The workflow of a FSM system with IoT integration

Here is an outline of the flow of incidents in a typical IoT-enabled FSM system:

1.   Data from the equipment's sensors is collected and transmitted, using secured and encrypted channels, to a big data storage


2.   Big data management and analytics is used to parse and analyze for refined sensors data


3.   The IoT command console is configured with predefined threshold rules to identify errors and monitor the device's health and performance


4.   Incidents are auto-created in the FSM system whenever errors are detected


5.   Auto-scheduling, routing, and dispatching of field service technicians against the incidents is done based on customer entitlements, location, product, skills required for the job, technician's availability, parts availability, etc. via the FSM system


6.   A field technician performs the job at the customer's site; records the effort, parts used, travel time, and any expenses incurred; and then bills the customer


Workflow of Field Service Management application using IoT.

Six Solution benefits



Wind turbines: A case in point of how IoT integrates with FS systems

Failures in wind turbines interrupt power generation leading to lower productivity and higher system downtime, which result in varying energy production and higher operating costs. To maintain profit margins, higher efficiency and uptime are required.

Near-real-time analytics provides data so that FS teams can react faster and address the issues before they become mission critical, thus reducing impact and avoiding downtime.

The wind turbine's sensors collect real-time data that is analyzed and through which, auto incidents are created, service scheduled, and an agent assigned to fix the issues. Wind turbine sensors are also used to continuously collect operating temperature, rotor acceleration, wind speed and direction, and blade vibrations - all of which can be used to optimize the turbine's performance, increase its productivity, and execute predictive maintenance to ensure reduced downtime.


*** Authors: R.N.Sarath Babu and Haresh Sreenivasa ***


Continue reading " Internet of Things (IoT) in field service management (FSM) " »

August 31, 2016

Look before you leap supply chains from on-premises to cloud

 

Today, many businesses in the world are moving towards cloud applications and supply chain managers / chief operations officers (CIOs) are feeling the itch to go with the tide. However, the inability to measure the actual worth and effort involved puts them on the back foot. Here are some apprehensions that these leaders need addressed before taking the leap of faith towards cloud:

  1. Inability to measure the effort required to move applications from on-premises to cloud

  2. Concern that data security and sensitivity could be compromised

  3. Apps on the cloud mandate zero business downtime, which means internet connectivity should be made available at remote locations

  4. Existing cloud applications in the supply chain space still have a long way to evolve, and so cannot act as benchmarks

  5. Lack of comprehensive understanding of end-customer requirements, which is essential to customize applications

Having said that, I also believe that the cloud offers immense opportunities in scaling up the supply chain business to meet new digital demands. These include the following:

  1. Flexibility: Cloud apps help your organization gain flexibility while integrating with on-premises / other applications

  2. Faster time-to-market: They significantly reduce time-to-market, as these apps are mostly pre-configured for specific industry needs

  3. Scalability: If you are looking at quickly scaling up your business in a specific area, cloud is the best option. You don't need to size it accurately upfront.

  4. Accessibility: Cloud apps are accessible anywhere. So, if you have a global footprint, it helps you reach out to all time-zones effectively

There is immense potential in certain key areas to migrate to the cloud and realize early benefits. These areas include:

  1. Transportation management: This is an area that is gaining momentum, since it is not always part of the core enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution

  2. Communication with trading partners: This is again an area where there is huge potential to use best-of-breed cloud applications in order to communicate with your trading partners

  3. Trade compliance: Trade compliance checks are best carried out by third-party services that maintain the most current information with respect to restricted parties

  4. Business intelligence and analytics applications: There is a huge maintenance overhead to maintain a data warehouse as well as business intelligence (BI) reporting tools, especially for organizations that have limited IT staff

  5. Predictive analytics: This is an area where one could scale up much faster as well as gain competitive advantage in opting for cloud-based apps rather than build the whole platform in-house

There are many providers of cloud-based supply chain solutions today. However, the exclusiveness of Oracle's cloud offerings comes from the fact that it has solutions for every segment of supply chain management -- product lifecycle, supply chain, procurement, logistics, order, manufacturing and maintenance. Procurement Cloud and Logistics Cloud are Oracle's flagship products that have gained recognition, especially because these can be deployed as stand-alone applications and the offer immense value on cloud.

At the same time, there are some areas where cloud is making slight inroads, and has a long way to go:

  • Warehouse management applications: Due to the high speed required for carrying out handheld transactions, this is an area that will take some time to mature

  • Planning engine: This makes more sense when the whole ERP application is on cloud

As Oracle's strategic partner and with experience in handling over 500 large customer engagements, Infosys has partnered with Oracle across its product portfolio. One of the many engagements required us to deploy Global Trade Management (GTM) Cloud (which is a part of Oracle Logistics Cloud) through a fast-track mode for a global semi-conductor manufacturing major. This deployment helped the organization to achieve trade compliance and integration with its global Oracle ERP solution.

In summary, organizations should tailor a supply chain management (SCM) cloud strategy that fits their needs around scalability, time-to-market, flexibility, and accessibility. By analyzing these requirements correctly and implementing appropriate solutions, they can gain competitive advantage through valuable migration to cloud.

Do meet us at our booth at Oracle Open World (OOW) 2016 to discuss more on this. The event will be held between September 18-20 at San Francisco. Click here to know more.

                                                                          

August 26, 2016

Optimizing Supply Chain Inventory Using Oracle Inventory Optimization

 

In an increasingly competitive and globalized world every organization has to attempt novel methods to stay ahead of the competitors. Enterprises constantly strive towards improving their revenue, profitability and operating margins. It is no more possible for the enterprises to record a positive Year or Year (YoY) growth just by increasing the sales volume and thereby increasing the revenue and profit.  Most of the successful enterprises today have started looking within rather than outward to achieve their growth targets. The focus is on reducing the inventory (safety stocks), carrying and operating costs to improve the profitability without having to impact the productivity. The key to success is to optimize the overall supply chain inventory which reduces the cost of inventory and carrying costs eventually reducing the overall operating costs and contributing to improved margins.

The biggest challenge that looms over the inventory managers in large enterprises is how much inventory we should carry such that we do not compromise on the customer service level. In a global enterprise spanning across multiple geographies with multi-level and multi-layer supply chains, it is not an easy job to decide upon the ideal stocking locations and stocking strategies. With increasing number of competitors retaining the loyalty of the customer is increasingly difficult which leads to high demand variability and forecast inaccuracies. The variability in the lead times committed by our suppliers, transportation contractors and our own production engineers due to the unforeseen events, adds fuel to the fire. Given the circumstances and complexities the use of an IT tool is inevitable. Oracle Inventory Optimization is one amongst the tools available which could assist the enterprise managers in formulating and executing their inventory stocking strategies.

Oracle Inventory Optimization is part of the comprehensive Value Chain Planning Suite of applications from Oracle. The module provides a seamless integration with oracle e-Business suite transaction modules to get a snapshot of the supply chain and master data setups. It also integrates other supply and demand planning modules in VCP for further planning. IO provides the businesses with time-phased safety stock figures under the complex supply chain network.

The key advantage of IO is that it does a multi echelon inventory planning there by optimizing the inventory in the entire supply chain network as a whole in contrast to the conventional inventory planning techniques/tools which does a local optimization of the inventory. Businesses can now plan their entire supply chain network in a single plan. Along with the flexibility in fulfilment lead times and in-transit lead times between various levels of the supply chain network, IO recommends ideal stocking location of the inventory through postponement. Based on the supply chain network, it attempts to pool the risk of variability at higher levels in supply chain to a level lower in the supply chain network which would considerably lower inventory levels and costs without affecting the service level targets.

IO takes into account not just the demand variability and the forecast inaccuracies but also accounts for the variability of your manufacturing, in-transit and supplier lead times. It provides an insight on the contribution of each of those variability towards the overall proposed safety inventory levels.

Illustration 1: Time-phased safety stock analysis in analysis workbench

IO allows the users to perform different inventory simulations with different business objectives such as target service levels, budgets for different category/class of items for different customers/geographies. Inventory planners can perform different what-if scenarios and compare the outcomes related to target safety stock levels, budgets, inventory costs etc in Analysis workbench. The workbench provides the comparisons in both tabular and graphical formats with different types of graphs which are easy to interpret. The users can perform budget, cost break down, profitability analyses along with the safety stock and postponement analysis using the analysis workbench.

Illustration 2: Bar chart comparing safety stock recommendations for different IO Plans

 

Illustration 3: Line chart comparing safety stock recommendations for different IO Plans

 

Once the planners have arrived at ideal safety stocks in line with business objective, this information can be input to Advanced Supply Chain Planning (ASCP) for supply planning.

To conclude, Oracle Inventory Optimization is a very handy tool to enterprise managers which acts both as a strategic tool to decide upon the inventory stocking locations and as a tactical/operational tool once the strategy is formed. Its seamless integration with other Oracle demand and supply planning tools make it easy to implement and use.


August 24, 2016

Enhancing Business Partnerships Using Partner Relationship Management

Every sales department must keep a close track of sales through both direct and indirect channels. An average of 70 percent of a company's sales are estimated to be generated via an indirect sales channel of business partners. Yet, in spite of the dependency on these partners, very few organizations have the ability to effectively manage partner relationships for mutual benefit. This is where Partner Relationship Management (PRM) comes in, which serves to connect organizations with their channel partners and optimize sales activities. A typical Partner Relationship Management Life-cycle can be illustrated as below:

Typical Lifecycle of Partner Relationship Management

PRM Lifecycle.JPG

Automating the Partner Relationship Management interface helps organizations optimize partner performance and accelerate indirect sales, which in turn, amplifies marketing reach and translates into better profits for both organizations. It is also a key approach to help channel managers navigate the following key challenges associated with multiple partners, products, and campaign programs:

 

1.       Lack of real-time communication

·         Companies that sell through partners often face the risk of not knowing their customers, whereas the partner knows the end user much better

·         When a partner is assigned to work directly with a prospect, the channel manager must also have visibility about the situation. Without real-time communication, the channel manager wouldn't know if the partner is struggling and if so why -- especially if a competing vendor is also scouring for a similar sales opportunity

·         The absence of closed loop feedback mechanism will prevent valuable information that a partner has from reaching channel managers.

2.       Ineffective motivation, on-boarding, and mentoring of partners

·         Another challenge faced by Organization is Partner On boarding when a new Partner is recruited. In the absence of a software based Partner Portal it can be a cumbersome task for a Channel Manager to educate Partners about the processes & help them in downstream selling during Partner On-boarding

·         For enhanced partner performance it becomes critical for a channel manager to retain his partners while keeping them motivated and mentoring them from time-to-time for downstream selling

·         To ensure that partners remain loyal, channel managers must keep them engaged on a regular basis and monitor their performance, which can be a herculean task in the absence of a software-based PRM program.

Barriers to PRM that give Channel Manager the blues

PRM Pain Points.jpg

1.       Poor lead lifecycle management

·         Legitimate leads developed by multiple sources sometimes are managed below par because partners fail to followup with a potential prospect

·         Channel managers are unable to analyze the partner's overall lead performance as updates are sent back to multiple stakeholders, but not to the correct one due to lack of a common database

2.       Lack of visibility into downstream investments

·         Many organizations fail to understand the buying patterns of the end consumer, which is key to decide on future investments. This information is also valuable in generating data-driven insights about program effectiveness across different geographies, partner types, industries, and product lines

·         Organizations traditionally tend to provide investments to their partners who distribute it via tiered levels to re-sellers in the form of sales and marketing support to add value to their programs. To ensure the money is being utilized effectively organizations need to have clear visibility of the effectiveness of their investments to justify them

 

Given the wide range of challenges that channel managers have to address, the Partner relationship Management component of Oracle Sales Cloud (OSC) provides a comprehensive solution to handle all of these aspects. The following diagram details the features of this solution:

Improving Partner Relationships with the Help of Oracle Sales Cloud

OSC-PRM.JPG

ü  Oracle Sales Cloud provides a conducive channel ecosystem complete with Branded Partner Portal (tablet version as well) where both parties have access to content, information and tools of the sales cycle. Furthermore Oracle Social Network provides a  platform to interact, discuss & collaborate real time basis

ü  Partner Registrations & On-boarding capabilities are customized by configuring the workflows to include process which are company/ industry specific. To avoid conflicts Deal registrations, and Deal Management smartphone app can be used by both partners and channel managers for Leads-Opportunities Life-cycle Management.

ü  For effective and flexible Partner Management, quotes can also be integrated with OSC to help Partners create special pricing for different customers to give them competitive advantage in the market.

ü  Market Development Fund or MDF functionality in OSC is used for Business Planning, managing partner funds & downstream investments functionality where Claims details, approvals, settlements, tracking all are done in a single portal.

ü  In order to retain, monitor & motivate Partners Infosys has developed Infosys Program Management app which enhances PRM functionality in Oracle Sales Cloud with Partner Competency Management. It leverages on Game theory to keep Partners engaged & motivated with Tier Based Specialization, Training & Certification and Products-Services management.

ü  Features like White Space Analysis, Reports are provided to track & analyze data to gather insights into customer behavior, market trends and effectiveness of various Partner Programs. Configurable reports and easy to use dashboards give a clear picture of Partner's performance and thus more visibility to Channel Manager.

 

Consequently, the bottom line is that automation of PRM using OSC is done to provide a positive experience to partners and drives the following key business benefits:

  • Ø  Partner engagement becomes more collaborative, and effective.
  • Ø       Improved speed-to-market increases revenues through partner channels.
  • Ø       Both parties enjoy financial benefits as marketing investments are more regulated, which create opportunities for effective joint-marketing campaigns.
  • Ø   Increased channel insights enable organizations to channelize joint efforts towards more profits.
  • Ø   Effective management of partner credentials helps identify improvement areas for maximizing return-on-investment.

January 21, 2016

Supply Constraint Impacting Customer Order Promising in Outsourced Manufacturing

Continuing from my previous blog, upon delving deeper into the supply constraint aspect, we come upon certain aspects of the high tech industry that prima face indicate to concerns regarding lag or mismatch of information, genuine loss of data (systemic and manual) which I will touch upon briefly.

1) Due to the inherent structure of an outsourced high tech environment, there is no single source of truth (SSOT) for supply data. Each partner/vendor maintains his supply information in different ways. Horizons may vary. Some maintain gross values while others go with Net. Some get hourly updates from suppliers while others may work on the daily model. Consumption patterns may reflect differently. Given these disparities, it is evident that there will always be discrepancies between the actual supply and what is reflected in the system of OEM

2) Down the supply chain, the allocation of these supplies to different classes of customers leads to allocation issues. Some customers cannot be made to wait. Systemic segregation rules may not always allocate enough for such contingencies. In other cases, we are left with excess supply for priority customers while lower priority customers are made to wait. Maintaining a fine balance between customer satisfaction and idle inventory becomes more art but science is quite applicable to an extent.

3) ECO transitions affect supply picture across the supply chain. Variants of a component which can be practically used as alternates but maintained differently lead to a skewed picture around the time frame of transition. Systems may not be able to identify the interchangeable nature of components leading to a higher promise date for the customer while the technician on the shop floor knows he has enough to fulfill the demand on time. 

4) When any out of system corrections happen to get around the systemic issues, it further aggravates the problem of supply accuracy. For this reason, it becomes imperative to build systemic checks to ensure any system reflects the ground reality accurately.

Join our session "Reliable and Accurate Customer Promising" to understand how a major High-tech OEM deals with such issues with a combination of process constraints to rein in time lag variations to keep it consistent for all partners (by means of EDI cut off timings) and systemic interventions to combine supplies for different versions of components for planning purposes. In addition, consistent monitoring and manual corrections are done to keep the supply picture as current as possible.


January 20, 2016

Inventory Accuracy - Control Negative Inventory

Negative inventory occurs when over consumption/issue happens from a location as compared to its actual on-hand quantity. This can happen because of many reasons like - Error in Bills of Material Maintenance, over reporting of Scrap and Production Quantities, wrong UOM Conversions, Delayed Transfer to transacting location, wrong Counting Transactions etc. Although it is a temporary phenomenon, its impact is more significant mainly in Planning and Inventory valuation reporting. Negative inventory acts as a demand for planning engine resulting in inaccurate inventory value statement.


For a Manufacturing Organization, not allowing negative transactions can stall the Production Line, even though material is physically available, thereby impacting Finished Good Reporting, Schedule Attainment, Line stoppage and Customer order fulfillment etc. On the other hand if we allow negative, we may hide many pertinent problems which will remain uncaught and then passing the onus to cycle counter/inventory controller to run around in finding the reason and fixing it. It gets more complex when organization has complex Product Structure and complex warehousing operations.


But, Yes - I intend to say that maintaining Inventory accuracy is as important as ensuring uninterrupted production. Since Oracle does not have a solution to allow Negative for some items (ex. Low value items), so we are left with following options, and mixed mode approach is one of the best suited solution for manufacturing organizations. We should weigh each option and assess organization's preparedness adopt on of these.


Option

Pros

Cons

Do not Allow Negative

Root Cause can be analyzed and fixed

 

Accurate and reliable Inventory Reporting and Planning

Can potentially stop Production Line and affect schedule attainment KPIs.

 

Root Cause Analysis may take longer time and can cause significant disruption to the Production Line

Allow Negative

No Interruption of production as back flushing can drive inventory negative indefinitely

No detection and control over the erroneous transactions or erroneous data.

 

Difficult to detect the root cause as the time progresses.

 

Data is not reliable for Inventory reporting and planning.

Mixed Mode

(Allow Negative During Back flushing)

Production can go smooth till inventory goes negative at the Organization level. i.e Back flushing happens from the Lineside sub inventory till total on-hand at organization level goes negative.

 

Inventory reporting and planning at the organization level is accurate and reliable.

 

In a case where back flush is not allowed because of the total inventory going negative, root cause analysis should be done quickly. But this option will narrow down the root cause analysis.


Contact

In case you have additional questions or need more detailed discussions, please drop me a note @ Saroja_Nayak@infosys.com

Connect with Infosys
Infosys is a gold sponsor this year at Modern Supply Chain Event. You can listen to Infosys clients discuss industry leading best practices in the manufacturing track panel discussions. Discuss with our thought leaders on how Infosys can help you realize measureable business value from your supply chain management investments.
Join us at booth #410 to learn about our cutting-edge offerings and supply chain management solutions.

January 14, 2016

Integrated Supply Chain with Contract Manufacturer

In today's competitive world, Manufacturing Organizations subcontract many of their key processes to gain competitive advantage in operational efficiency, operating cost, capital expenditure and several other benefits. Comparatively, manufacturing organizations need a tighter bond with its outsourcing partner(s) at various stages of its manufacturing cycle. Today's supply chain processes demand an end-to-end integrated & interactive view to enhance collaboration with subcontracting business partners. Current outside processing functionality is rather insufficient to solution this gap.
Oracle's Outside Processing Functionality is not sufficient enough for end-to-end system driven transactions and visibility with varied business processes and complex subcontracting supply chain. Then you have Oracle Outsourced Manufacturing - a complete integrated supply chain module. It is integrated to core manufacturing, planning and distribution modules, it provides the required visibility, traceability and scalability to implement many variants of subcontracting processes.

Overview of the Outsourced Manufacturing Transactions:


Integrated Planning and Execution:


Contact

In case you have additional questions or need more detailed discussions, please drop me a note @ Saroja_Nayak@infosys.com

Connect with Infosys

Infosys is a gold sponsor this year at Modern Supply Chain Event. You can listen to Infosys clients discuss industry leading best practices in the manufacturing track panel discussions. Discuss with our thought leaders on how Infosys can help you realize measureable business value from your supply chain management investments.
Join us at booth #410 to learn about our cutting-edge offerings and supply chain management solutions.

Importance of Accurate Customer Order Promising in Outsourced Manufacturing

Driven by strategic importance and strength of internal capability, industry leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) often outsource sourcing, manufacturing and logistics functions to partners but retain supply chain planning and scheduling/ATP largely in-house. While outsourcing confers sharper focus and reduced costs in general, outsourced Supply Chain Planning has many high-impact risks for OEMs like

•    Loss of competitive advantage
•    Reduced quality of planning output
•    Coordination and synchronization miss
•    Limited supply chain flexibility
•    Slower responsiveness to customers

With in-house planning, the Available to Promise (ATP) response cannot be made instant but at best with a lag due to the fact that there would always be a difference in supply statement in the system when compared to partner sites. Companies especially in High-Tech industries who have Build to Stock, Build to Order and Configure to Order products often promise their customer within the target lead time goal across different product families. With lighter configuration, shorter lead time, high volume and perishable demand, planners and backlog management functions are under tremendous pressure to promise customers within the goal to meet revenue targets. With companies scheduling orders too conservatively or incorrectly and later having to re-schedule to be able to ship within the goal would impact following performance metrics

1.    Scheduling against target lead time: Ability to provide a promise date to the customer with in the lead time goal from the order entry date
2.    Scheduling touches: Backlog management activities to pull-in or push-out dates from initial scheduling
3.    Customer satisfaction: Customer dissatisfaction due to inability to provide accurate initial promise date



Impact to performance metrics has a direct bearing on the business not limited to:

1.    Customer dissatisfaction : Multiple touches and repeated date changes develop nervousness and loss of trust in customer
2.    Unpredictable sales revenue: As promising dates extend beyond the goal, revenue targets get impacted and increases backlog management activities.  
3.    Excess inventory in channels: As supply planning is based on the revenue targets, excess inventory lies in the channels as the scheduling attainment rate is lower than anticipated
4.    Increased number of touches: As companies try to improve revenue targets by pulling in the orders, it increases the touches
5.    Increased support cost: OEMs have to pay additional charges to Manufacturing Partners, B2B partners for change in assembly and shipping completion date

There are many reasons why companies in outsourced manufacturing find it challenging to attain high promising accuracy and it can broadly be classified into three

1.    Supply Constraint: Inaccurate supply picture, B2B delays, incorrect allocations, supply lost between engineering transitions etc.
2.    Lead time Constraint: Conservative transit lead time across geographies, incorrect application of holidays, and extended lead time on components etc.
3.    Configurations: Incorrect lead time, calendar, sourcing rule and other item related attribute set-up's


 

In my next blog, I'll explain how these causes impact scheduling performance and what approach one should take to address it. Please join the session "Reliable and Accurate Customer Promising" session at 4:30 PM on 1/26 in Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience conference at San Jose to learn how a leading High-Tech complex OEM improved its scheduling performance from 55 to 80%


http://www.oraclemsce.com/solution/supply-chain-planning  (Executive Ballroom 210 CG)

August 11, 2015

Product Data Security with Oracle Product Information Management (PIM)

In today's Collaborative Market, Lots of data need to be shared across supply chain stakeholder. New edge technologies are giving platform to share product data across supply chain. Quality data and Security feature always play vital role in success of Supply Chain Management. However when we share data with external or internal stake holder in Organization then there is always Data Security issue.

In PLM world there are some security feature. However in Oracle ERP-Inventory module we lost this security feature. I worked in Process Manufacturing/ Chemical Manufacturing due to Specialty Chemical we don't want to share our Product information with other facilities to avoid business risk/Data Security issues. It's always challenging to restrict access of user who creates Master Product Data in ERP side. Hence we have to use some custom approach or to use different item codes which add more complexity in our ERP solution.  

Oracle has Product Information Management Module is mostly used as MDM tool. However in one of our implementation we used it as add on Oracle EBusiness Module. PIM has lots of functionality but we will talk only about security feature in this blog.  

PIM provides Data security feature at various level

1.   Organization level - We can restrict data access of Group/ Users based Organization. 

2.   Item Catalog category level - Item catalog category (ICC) is one level of Grouping of Items. We can have different ICC in Business like in Computer business, we can have ICC like Desktop or Laptop or Hard disk, Key board, Mouse. Under this ICC we can assign different items which are relevant to ICC. One item can have only one ICC assigned. PIM use this ICC feature as controller in Most of other Functionality. We can restrict user access based on ICC. Hence we can restrict user access under one organization based on ICC.

3.   Item Level - We can restrict access at Item level.

We can achieve Role based Data Security based by using below feature.

1.   Role & Privilege - Privileges determines data access to user like Create/Edit/ View. A role is collection of Privileges. Business roles can be defined in PIM like Product Engineer, Design Engineer and Application Engineer etc. We can provide Privileges based on Role like Product Engineer will have Item creation Privilege, Design Engineer will have Item Update privileges and Application Engineer will have only Item View Privileges. Hence this way we can restrict Product access based on Role.

2.   Group -We can group multiple Employee/ Person under PIM group. Role and Privileges can be assigned to Group. Group can be defined like Business departments e.g. Planning, Sales, Engineering.  This is optional setup feature and we can assign Role to Person also.

This security feature can be effective to external stakeholders like Supplier and customer. Combination of Role and Group or Person, we can restrict access of User to certain functionality like Item creation access only, View Access only. Like shown below example.

 View image

In our Example we have Chemical Mfg Company and it has two product Group 1. Paint Based products 2. Oil based Products. Company Manufacturing in Three plants so if we have to restrict access of user based on Product type and Location/Plant then we can do it as mentioned below.

View image

Leveraging PIM Role based Data Security, we can overcome Supply chain Data security concern.  Role and Group configuration can be used for other processes or workflow like Change order and Change management.  

 

PIM is one of best in class Mater Data Management tool. We can integrate various system and publish product data to various system with various best features. Therefore Existing customer or Future customer can implement PIM as additional Module or MDM tool in Ebusiness suit to use its various functionality. I think Process Manufacturing industry should consider PIM for their Data Management Requirements also.  We will discuss about other virtuous feature of PIM in next blog.

April 23, 2015

Accounting and Finance Shared Services- Oracle Fusion Capabilities for Record-to-Report and Analytics

 

Accounting and Finance Shared Services have typically been formed in large multinational organizations with the objectives of cost efficiency, standardization and operational effectiveness towards the customers within the organization. Some of the business processes handled by F&A SS are:

-          Procure to Pay

-          Order to Cash

-          Record to Report

-          Financial Planning, Consolidation, Budgeting and Forecasting

-          Treasury and Cash Management

-          Audit and Control

-          Analytics on the financial data

-          Financial closing and Financial statement preparation

Over the periods; instead of merely being a cost center, shared services are emerging as strategic business partners- offering innovation and value addition to various business functions. The extended objectives of the F&A Shared services include extensive analytics and reporting.

My previous blog had stated the Oracle Fusion capability for Procure-to-Pay cycle. It can be accessed here.

The General Accounting- Record to Report Cycle, Consolidation, Reporting and Analytics- requirements of a Multinational, Multi-GAAP organization; using best-of-breed or legacy applications for sub-ledger transactions; can be catered by Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub (FAH) and Fusion General Ledger from Fusion Financials suite. The Financial Reporting Center of FAH involves embedded multi-dimensional Essbase cubes and offers state-of-the-art reporting and analytics which enables multi-dimensional analysis of various transactional and accounting data.

FAH can integrate and utilize the capabilities of number of reporting tools like Oracle BI Publisher, Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting Studio, Fusion Edition and Oracle Business Transactional Business Intelligence. Drill down up to journal and transaction level is possible from any of the reports generated out of FAH which enables strong audit trail and control.

To record the transactions from Oracle/Non-Oracle applications and convert it into accounting entries, FAH offers a highly configurable rule transformation engine that generates the accounting entries, validates and transforms it into accounting journals. The rules can be configured based on the attributes of the transaction. For example Tax Accounts could be determined based on the country of transaction.

Different rules can be configured for different divisions complying with the local accounting regulations. FAH also captures additional attributes of the transaction for reference and reporting purposes.

FAH_Fin and Acc SS1.JPG

Some of the salient features of Fusion reporting are:

-          Fixed format reports and local statutory reports can be created using Oracle BI Publisher and Financial Reporting Studio/Workspace.

-          Interactive financial reporting and drill down can be achieved either by Oracle BI Publisher, Oracle transactional Business Intelligence, Account Monitor and Account inspector

-          Seeded BI reports are delivered in OTBI

-          Live and interactive reporting with multiple output options like HTML, Excel, PDF; available in Smart View

-          Drill down of the report information upto detailed journal and sub-ledger transaction level using Account Inspector

-          Bursting option available with BI Publisher to split the report and email or print them as per output option selected

-          Functionality to embed charts and graphs in the report

-          Drag and Drop report grid and dimensions

FAH also offers features for Budgeting and Budget Reporting, Consolidation and Inter-company processing. The advantage of FAH for an Account and Finance Shared Service specifically lies in its fitness to be integrated with diverse sub-ledger applications and providing robust accounting platform along with impressive reporting and analytics solution.

Continue reading " Accounting and Finance Shared Services- Oracle Fusion Capabilities for Record-to-Report and Analytics " »

September 27, 2013

"Forward View" Mirror - Connected Vehicles

Being a car enthusiast I am thrilled to be to be working on a connected vehicles technology initiative that we are executing within our Manufacturing vertical at Infosys. I've grown up dreaming of various possibilities of what my car should be able to do - this includes an insane desire of being able to communicate with cars (or rather drivers) around me on matters of driving ethics (stop honking!), rules (no lane cutting!), sharing information on great music in a traffic jam (cool down and look up FM 98.3!) and also appreciating their (rare) kindness (thanks for giving me way!). While it might take some more time for my fantasies to materialize but the speed at which the connected vehicles technology is evolving, vehicles can actually start talking to other vehicles and take care of most functions of driving.

A colleague and I were discussing on what the future of vehicles could look like and we let imagination run loose to see the following in our crystal ball.

Continue reading " "Forward View" Mirror - Connected Vehicles " »

September 16, 2013

Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go?

One of the most frequently asked questions by Enterprises all over the world today is - Should their Applications be on the Cloud or On-Premise?
My 3 part Blog series tries to answer this question by looking at various aspects of Cloud and On Premise solutions and then coming up with the best suited model as per Customer Business requirements.

In the first part of this blog series, we will be taking a deeper look into the features of both the Solutions.

Continue reading " Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go? " »

September 4, 2013

Oracle Project Manufacturing - A complete solution for project manufacturing based industries

Guest post by
Srushti Gogate, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Oracle Project Manufacturing is a part of the Oracle e-Business Suite which provides integration between Oracle Projects and Oracle Manufacturing applications. Typically in project based organizations like aerospace, manufacturing and EPC industries, Oracle Project Manufacturing; commonly referred as PJM provides a robust and comprehensive solution for managing project finances and supply chain.

Continue reading " Oracle Project Manufacturing - A complete solution for project manufacturing based industries " »

December 12, 2012

Machine-to-Machine Technology (M2M): Imperatives in Manufacturing Industry

Guest post by
Neha Barnawal, Senior Associate Consultant - Manufacturing vertical, Consulting & Systems Integration unit, Infosys

 

  • Continental Airlines had started its flights through Polar Regions last year with Boeing 737-700/800 and Boeing 757. The technology used is Satellite Communication wherein communication is maintained between the plane and the Air Traffic Controller automatically without pilot getting involved.  This set up is saving time and money both for the airlines and the passengers.
  • The UK government is targeting to plant more than 50 million smart meters in homes and business set-ups by 2020. A smart meter can provide real time energy usage information to the owners for utilities like electricity and gas. It can also enable the users to pass back the excess energy to the utility provider and get the credit in the subsequent bill.
  • With the On-Star service of General Motor, remote assistance is possible for a GM vehicle wherein an engine issue can be quick fixed remotely or any emergency services can be contacted in case of accidents or any kind of trouble.
  • Peer-to-Peer car sharing company Relay Rides has got into a deal with GM to provide an option to the On-Star subscribers to rent out their vehicles. With a satellite connected unit and a mobile App, the car owners can track their car, unlock the locked door and locate where the car is parked. The owner can charge the rental based on the parking location of the vehicle.

All the cases mentioned above have one thing in common - application of Machine-to-Machine technology. As most of us are aware of M2M; its usage can be traced back to World War II where navigation sensors were used to establish communication between satellites and rocket engines to be fired and guided.

Continue reading " Machine-to-Machine Technology (M2M): Imperatives in Manufacturing Industry " »

June 13, 2012

Oracle Mobile Supply Chain Applications : Be Mobile, Be Quick, Be Accurate and Reduce Waste

Guest post by
Shantanu Bedekar, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Anyone who has visited a manufacturing plant or a warehouse knows that there is always a time-lag between physical movement of material and recording the same in the system. The unavoidable reason of this is: material is stored in racks, bins, containers spread across the warehouse or shop-floor but computer terminals on which Oracle forms are opened to enter data are far and few.

Continue reading " Oracle Mobile Supply Chain Applications : Be Mobile, Be Quick, Be Accurate and Reduce Waste " »

February 20, 2012

Managing Disruptions in a Project Driven Supply Chain

In the recent years pangs of supply chain disruptions have been felt by almost every industry. Devastating Tsunami in Japan and severe flooding in Thailand in 2011 had crippled Automotive, semiconductor and electronics Industries - the ripple effect was far reaching, it impacted every strata of supply chain. Enterprises came under the assault of significant supply shortages that led to lost sales, missing revenue targets and left the consumers high and dry. Besides natural disasters, supply chain disruptions may stem from various reasons such as political uprising, security breaches, or simply financial meltdown of key supplier(s).

Continue reading " Managing Disruptions in a Project Driven Supply Chain " »

December 13, 2011

OPM & Outside Processing: When will they meet??

R12 was a major release for OPM in the sense it merges process inventory with discrete inventory which resulted into streamlining of inventory operations & better integration with Order Management, Purchasing etc. Another change was the introduction of SLA for OPM, which finally hit the nail in coffin for much criticized MAC module. Afterwards, there are lots of enhancements like Multi-batch operations, Make-to-Order Functionality, Landed cost management etc.  We now even have validated integration between 3rd party Regulatory document generation partners and OPM Regulatory Management. But, something was still missing. Something that process manufacturer is demanding from Oracle from long time??

Continue reading " OPM & Outside Processing: When will they meet?? " »

October 5, 2011

Impediments to supply chain integration: An SME perspective

Guest post by
Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

The last few decades has witnessed numerous examples of significant competitive advantages through supply chain integration. Information sharing through superior technology is making enterprises capable to innovate and integrate in the complex networked environment. However information integration in supply chains is limited to large enterprises and small to medium scale enterprises (SME's) significantly lag to leverage technology for supply chain integration.

Continue reading " Impediments to supply chain integration: An SME perspective " »

July 19, 2011

Centralized Procurement with Oracle Fusion

Introduction

With the business expanding across globes and with manufacturing organizations resorting to sub-contracting, there is a need for organizations to look at procurement beyond their current markets.  This introduces the need for a centralized procurement function for better purchasing efficiency, better control over organization spend, and central and simpler management of contracts with suppliers.  Oracle Fusion Procurement introduces new and better features that aid organizations to better manage their procurement functions.  The following are the advantages of a centralized procurement function:

  • Better control over organization spend
  • Consolidated purchasing across business units
  • Leverage volume discounts by consolidated demand
  • Better supplier relationship management
  • Single point of contact in buying organization for supplier
  • Centralized contracts - easier implementation and better management
  • Consolidated measurement of supplier performance
  • Reduced overheads

Continue reading " Centralized Procurement with Oracle Fusion " »

July 5, 2011

Landed cost for process industries - An Oracle solution

Look at the mirror directly or through spectacles, you are most probably seeing through it or seeing just the glass. Look deep into it - In all chance it contains sand from Australia, soda ash from China, both processed in Taiwan, manufactured in India using Italian machinery and recipe combination verified in American Laboratories. Each of these processes adds cost towards freight, storage, taxes and duty. Some part of the money you paid was actually for these. As a user you need not know the profitability and margins. But for the manufacturer this is of utmost importance. Normally the landed cost charges are applied to different items based on weight, volume and quantity.

Continue reading " Landed cost for process industries - An Oracle solution " »

May 19, 2011

Seiban Manufacturing - Enable Trackability in your Supply Chain!

Continuing on the ETO Series, I will discuss about the concept of Seiban, How it works and the key business requirements in Build To Order (BTO) Industry that can be handled in Oracle EBS Seiban solution. Another prominent ERP product that addresses Seiban requirements in the Industry is Glovia from Fujitsu.

Continue reading " Seiban Manufacturing - Enable Trackability in your Supply Chain! " »

February 23, 2011

The Business Context behind Outsourced Production

In recent years, OEMs have faced pressures from all directions to evolve innovative business models. Let us talk about some such challenges that relate to subcontracting:

Continue reading " The Business Context behind Outsourced Production " »

February 22, 2011

Integrated Operations and Services Planning

Businesses where Installations are a significant portion require a high degree of integration, alignment and trust between Project Management and Supply Chain Management. 

Continue reading " Integrated Operations and Services Planning " »

February 7, 2011

Oracle Production Scheduling-Shop Floor Mantra to Success

Production Scheduling is oracle's latest tool for Shop Floor Operations / Resources Scheduling optimization. It's a standalone application and can be integrated very easily with manufacturing planning and execution systems. Production Scheduling can be integrated with Demand Management (Demantra) and Oracle APS to leverage best planning / Manufacturing & Scheduling outcome. This tool is highly used in environment where Production Volumes are high or Production constraints are higher because of its capability to perform constraint based scheduling. Key strength of Production Scheduling is it's User interface which can show multiple views together in one screen and help user making the decision process and identifying bottleneck resources if any.

Continue reading " Oracle Production Scheduling-Shop Floor Mantra to Success " »

December 27, 2010

MES for Process Industries

What is MES ?

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) acts as central repository for all the data transacted, but there is no way of controlling the operations or passing the information between plant control system & ERP in integrated manner.

MES (Manufacturing execution systems) help in detailing the process and also controlling the operations through the systems. MES uses the data and provide results on the plant activities in minimal time. MES Collects the data from plant system, store them, and the output are used to control the functions in enhancing productivity and process on the whole.

MES for Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM):

MES for Process Manufacturing adds new batch execution functionality and increases usability for manufacturing operators. 

Continue reading " MES for Process Industries " »

September 2, 2010

Critical points to be consider while "Asset Group" Design process for Successful eAM implementation

Generally Asset Group is new concept to most of companies switching over from legacy plant maintenance system to Oracle Enterprise Asset Management system, as in most of the legacy system it does not exists, they have Asset/Equipment numbers without Asset Groups, in Oracle eAM assets are created from Asset Groups only, so Asset Group is mandatory in Oracle eAM. This blog would explain the impact of Asset Groups in various places of the eAM application and help to expedite the Asset Group design process.

Continue reading " Critical points to be consider while "Asset Group" Design process for Successful eAM implementation " »

May 28, 2010

Can material bins themselves serve as kanban signals?

Kanban has come to be established as an effective means of material movement in manufacturing plants. Kanbans not only relpenish materials, they also trigger production activities at upstream processes. As such, kanbans have become an industry- wide accepted means of signalling material movement and production. Along with kanbans, kanban cards have gained widespread acceptance. These cards generally store useful information such as item number, the replenishment location and quantity, the replenishing process etc.. These cards are generally attached to the bins that store the materials.


Continue reading " Can material bins themselves serve as kanban signals? " »

May 26, 2010

Role of Reverse Logistics in enhancing customer satisfaction by improving returns management in manufacturing

Traditionally the manufacturing industry is always focused on improving the forward logistics- the focus is to cut cycle time for product innovation, time to market, order to fulfill. This led to optimization techniques of forward logistics through usage of technology. Forward supply chain visibility is a key parameter which the customer evaluates before choosing a supplier in manufacturing.

But the paradigm is shifting gradually. Today's best of class manufacturing organizations have created their own service organizations and are realizing the importance of managing the return and repairs efficiently. There is a considerable monetary value attached to this cycle- and more important it is the loss of loyalty due to an unsatisfied customer because of delay in the replacement/repair of faulty product. This loss can be easily associated with loss of revenue, market share and other financial numbers. As a result leading manufacturing companies are leveraging technology and collaborating with partners to optimize their return, repair, replacement, recycle and remarketing processes.

In order to understand the role of reverse logistics, let us look at the key functions in the value chain which impacts the overall cycle time for execution.

  • Customer service management- This involves receiving customer complaints and ensuring service contract compliance, proactive updates on service calls, status monitoring and first hand issue resolution
  • Transportation and Logistics- this involves authorizing returns, collecting, sorting, testing, stocking, shipping (transportation) and disposition
  • Depot repair- Managing repair, reverse engineering, remanufacturing, reassembly and reuse of salvaged components
  • Channel Management- This involves measuring, monitoring, tracking and evaluating the performance of channel partners
  • Financial management- This involves managing warranty and financial liability, proper inventory valuation and costing and finally recovery of appropriate costs
  •  Sales- Refurbished product sale through promotions and other channels

We need to now carefully examine the factors that impact these functions. Once we understand those we can understand the role of efficient reverse logistics in enhancing customer satisfaction. We will discuss those in my next blog- in the meantime let me know your views and thoughts. 

May 22, 2010

Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3)

There are many ways to achieve Leaner ERP implementation, and I have discussed some of the strategic levers for it in my previous blogs Go Lean (Part 2) and Go Lean (Part 1) like senior management and executive sponsorship, robust decision making framework, effective change management approach, upfront planning for middleware and reporting platforms, solution design workshops, selection of appropriate edge products and leveraging localizations. However, there are many tactical and operational levers also available for enterprises to adopt, which are primarily part of implementation execution cycle. I am discussing here some of these levers and best practices to minimize customizations:

  • Boot Camp Trainings - Before initiating the solution design phase, organizations must seriously consider to conduct the boot camp trainings on chosen ERP to their key super users, business analysts and implementation core team, facilitated by System Integrator (SI). The intent for boot camps must be training to the team for vanilla features and functionalities of ERP relevant to their industry processes. This will enable them to bridge many gaps and requirements through seeded ERP functionality, and increase the overall fitment of the package application, leading towards reduced customizations.

Continue reading " Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3) " »

May 7, 2010

Dairy Industry Challenges & Oracle's Solution

In this information age, with increasing awareness, consumers are becoming health conscious & want surety that the food product they consume is Safe.  They are not happy with just to know the location of manufacturing plant, but are interested to know from where the raw material is originally sourced. Dairy industry, which typically produces a range of products for a variety of markets, faces even greater challenge in tracing individual product. This calls for tighter Integration between all the channel partners across the supply chain.  

 

The dairy industry is a vertically integrated industry with both upstream and downstream trade partners of the supply chain dependent on each other to ensure quality food. I will discuss some of the challenges dairy industry is facing and Oracle's Solution for the same.

 

Continue reading " Dairy Industry Challenges & Oracle's Solution " »

March 23, 2010

Demand to Deliver Solution—Remedy for Supply Chain Cost Inflation in Hi-Tech Companies

Previous post:
http://www.infosysblogs.com/oracle/2010/03/invigorating_the_topline_of_hi.html#more


"May you live in interesting times"—Chinese curse or not, this adage is truer for the recession hit Hi-Tech companies in recent times, as they struggle with challenges around shrinking margins, pressures on new product introductions, globalization and increased supply chain complexity. Our recent experience in the field has shown that Hi-Tech Clients are increasingly looking at process centered open framework driven IT investments to serve as a source of competitive advantage instead of taking a module centric approach to Enterprise Applications. The expectation is to have a seamlessly integrated, end to end ecosystem of applications that provide visibility to all demand signals, balance demand, supply and budgets in one system, reduce inventory carrying costs, enable partner negotiations and have access to concurrent analytics and Business Intelligence. The Demand to Delivery (D2D) solution jointly developed by Infosys and Oracle caters to this paradigm shift in expectations from the players in the Hi-Tech value chain. The solution comprises of 8 key process sub areas, namely—Sales and Operations Planning, Demand Management Sensing and Shaping, Strategic Sourcing, Operational Planning and Production Scheduling, Fulfillment and Warehouse Management, Logistics and Retail Execution.

What’s in it for Hi-Tech players and what is the value proposition of the solution, one might ask. The value levers for the D2D solution primarily centers on Net Revenue Improvement and Cost Reduction. In an earlier blog post on the D2D solution, we covered the operational levers through which Net Revenue Improvement can be achieved and how the D2D solution enables them. The solution can also be used derive value on the cost of side of the P&L statement and the operational levers for cost reduction primarily come under the following categories:

  • Optimized Inventory using a combination of Sales and Operations Planning, Production Planning & Scheduling
    • Complete visibility to support revenue and margin growth plans leading to Inventory Optimization
    • Optimized production plan integrated with shop floor execution
       
  • Higher Efficiency using Sales and Operations Planning, Strategic Network Optimization and Manufacturing Execution
    • Due to a balanced network to support strategic business objectives
    • Ability to React immediately to disruptions in the supply chain
    • Reduced manufacturing costs with integrated MES
    • Ability to Manufacture the most profitable product mix
  • Lesser Capital expenses using Manufacturing Execution System and Warehouse Management Systems
    • Ability to integrate outsourced manufacturing to reduce capital expenses
    • Improved manufacturing productivity through integrated and balanced MESIncreased asset utilization
    • Improved warehouse space, labor and resource utilization
    • Maximized utilization of labor, space and equipment
  • Lower Sourcing Cost using Strategic Sourcing applications like Oracle Sourcing, Sourcing Analytics, Price Protection and Ship and Debit
    • Online negotiations and bids with automatic recommendations
    • Cross-functional collaboration with internal and external partners
    • Sourcing knowledge capture and total cost analysis
    • Reduce sourcing event times and sourcing costs
    • Drive sustainable savings by enforcing negotiated terms
    • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of sourcing
  • Lower Transportation Cost using features of Oracle Transportation Management
    • Reduced transportation costs resulting from load optimization
    • Ability to Assess the financial impact of proposed rate changes
    • Reduced transportation costs by optimizing bid execution
    • Reduced claims management costs

While this provides a 20,000 feet view of the benefits, watch this space for more ground level details on the solution……

Continue reading " Demand to Deliver Solution—Remedy for Supply Chain Cost Inflation in Hi-Tech Companies " »

March 15, 2010

Is it possible to achieve "Zero" breakdown in Maintenance World?

In maintenance world when we talk of "Zero Break down" most of the time maintenance crew says that it is not possible to achieve zero break down.  So is it really possible to achieve "Zero Break down" for a Machine /Equipment?  The answer is "Yes". 

What is breakdown? :- When a Machine (M/c)is working and suddenly something fails for e.g. in case of CNC M/c hydraulic hose pipe rupture and it leads to heavy oil leakage, thus Beak down due to hydraulic leakage occurs on the M/C.
Above Failure could have been anticipated by doing regular check of hydraulic hose piping by carrying out proper preventive, predictive maintenance.
What is "Zero Breakdowns"? :- When the Maintenance Department hand over a M/C to Production Department for the Production activities, that time maintenance department can confidently say the M/C would not fail due to "Hydraulic leakage" for another 24 Hrs as they have done a proper inspection/rectification through Preventive and Predictive Maintenance on the M/C  on Hydraulic side. This 24 hrs of running time without any Hydraulic failure is said to be "Zero Break Down" in Hydraulic piping area.
 After 24 Hrs again maintenance team would take the machine in their custody to do preventive and predictive maintenance to ensure that there would not be any failure due to "Hydraulic leakage" for another 24 hrs, thus maintenance team take over the control of M/C after certain running period of the M/Cs and do preventive/Predictive maintenance to achieve "Zero Breakdown" in specific area e.g. 'Hydraulic Pipe failure'. Over a period of time by doing proper, regular preventive maintenance on almost all the areas of M/C instead of specific area leads to achieve Total "Zero Breakdown" on an asset for certain mentioned period time frame by the Maintenance department.

 

Continue reading " Is it possible to achieve "Zero" breakdown in Maintenance World? " »

December 6, 2009

Minimizing the Bull Whip Effect in the IT Supply Chain

In his world famous book ' The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization', Peter Senge talks about the bull whip effect which essentially is how small ripples in demand create bigger ripples on the supply side. The Beer Game is a classic example of this bull whip effect and this applies to the IT industry as well.

Continue reading " Minimizing the Bull Whip Effect in the IT Supply Chain " »

August 12, 2009

An Introduction to Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center (MOC)

Does your manufacturing intelligence system support proactive monitoring for quick decision support? Lots of data gets collected on your shop-floor – but how should it be organized to assess the performance of a machine, a line, a plant, or a fleet of plants? What will it take you to make the process more a science than an art? Oracle has launched a new product - Manufacturing Operations Center - to answer some of these questions.

Continue reading " An Introduction to Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center (MOC) " »

April 17, 2009

Procure to Pay for Process Industries

Procure to Pay is a standard business flow in any Organization. In Manufacturing Sector, It is a typical business requirement to pay supplier based on goods finally delivered after inspection. All ERP Systems handles this requirement. This serves Discrete Manufacturer pretty well. But, what about the Process Manufacturer, does it serve well for them too? Let’s see.

Continue reading " Procure to Pay for Process Industries " »

March 22, 2009

Why Lean may need ERP?

The traditional thinking is that Lean and ERP are contrary to one another. Lean signifies a pull system and simplicity whereas ERP signifies a push-based complex environment that relies on innumerable transactions at every step to run smoothly. Lean is reality-oriented while ERP is data-in-the-system-oriented. One can argue forever on these lines…

If one scratches the surface, however, it does not seem so contrarian after all.

Consider some real-life examples below from my consulting experience where an ERP system assisted the lean philosophy of an enterprise.

 

Continue reading " Why Lean may need ERP? " »

March 19, 2009

Give your ERP a Lean Boost

ERP drives enterprise-wide planning and scheduling of resources to satisfy your organization’s needs of manufacturing, procuring and shipping of goods. The planning and scheduling outputs that an ERP provides, is based on the various input parameters fed to it such as lead times, safety stocks, order modifiers, product structures, supply and demand, stocking levels, etc. Based on these input parameters, an ERP plans for the short-term and long-term resource requirements for your organization. However, in order to derive the maximum benefits out of your ERP deployment, you need to validate that your organization is efficiently managing these input levers to your ERP. It is here that Lean manufacturing and Lean supply strategies can help you in reducing the fat that often accumulate in these input parameters.

Continue reading " Give your ERP a Lean Boost " »

November 17, 2008

Manufacturing Execution System – Make it work for you!

Are you having to deal with low percentage of on-time completions, high throughput times, frequent line down situations or high WIP? Obviously something is very wrong, particularly if you said "Yes" to more than one of the above. Having consulted for several discrete manufacturing clients has made one thing very apparent to me - a lean and agile manufacturing environment is not an option but an imperative for manufacturing industries to achieve operational excellence. All of the above were contra-indicators of operational excellence. A manufacturing execution system (MES) can support a manufacturing firm in achieving this very objective. An MES system works in tandem with a mainstream ERP system to execute, monitor and manage the production processes on a shop floor. Together with an ERP system, an MES system can nudge (or push, if required!) an enterprise into adopting standardized processes and at the same time creating key data elements for performance measurements.

Consider the ways in which an MES system can assist you:

  • Detailed scheduling: An MES system can take input from capacities defined for work centers and hourly usage of machines and labor (in routings) to perform detail scheduling. Sophisticated MES systems can take setup times into cognizance to minimize setups and maximize utilization
  • Dispatching: A MES system can use a dispatch list format to feed work to work centers. It can be used to perform real time prioritization of work orders to reflect reality on the floor - component shortages, current work center availability, downstream work center availability, premium customers and even executive diktats (a late evening call from the plant manager overrides everything else!!)
  • Operational Reporting: An MES system, complemented by the use of the mobile devices using radio frequency, can be used to perform move transactions from one operation to another. This is important in a job shop environment which may have long lead times, to track work orders, correctly reflect work in process costs and perform dispatching of jobs
  • Nonconformance tracking: An MES system will provide ways of tracking and managing non-conformances. While eliminating waste such as non-conformances remains a top priority for organizations, managing them on occurrence remains a grim reality. Ways to quickly identify, segregate and disposition non-conformances will aid in minimizing impact upon customer orders

    An MES system is now frequently offered by ERP vendors as an add-on or they provide integration with best-of-breed MES vendors. So its time for companies who have not yet invested in MES systems to see how they can make it work for them!

August 4, 2008

High Tech Sector’s Label Printing Needs: Are we there?

 

If there is one thing which we can call as the livewire of the High Tech Sector is Labels. The entire high tech industry moves on labels. In Standard ERP Packages there are certain limitations in terms of volume of labels, performance and quality of bar code labels. As a result, typically companies have looked at other middleware options as a plug and play with the ERP Packages. Latest offerings from the ERP vendors seem to address this problem removing the need for middleware.

 

Continue reading " High Tech Sector’s Label Printing Needs: Are we there? " »

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