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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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