Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

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September 17, 2016

Decoding GST for Oracle Customers

 

As India gets ready to implement the new GST law, the question on top of most of the IT leaders, finance leaders is regarding the readiness of the IT systems to meet the new requirements.

Are the changes to the system simple or complex? How long will it take to solution and implement the change?  Has this been done before? Can you speed up the process? When do we start with work to be ready on time? These are absolute valid concerns and need immediate attention.

Infosys has been working on building the solution to help enterprises move to new GST law smoothly and quickly. The Infosys solution

-          Uses the Infosys 'Tax Assessment' framework to understand the likely impact areas.

-          Uses the Infosys pre-built solutions, templates to solution the requirements

-          Uses the Infosys Intrak implementation approach to implement the solutions

Note, the solution has not considered Localization patches which Oracle may come up with. As of now, Oracle is still working on the localization patches. 

Assessment - Infosys Tax Assessment framework:

The Infosys Tax Assessment framework, has been built based on our experience in implementing tax solutions across the world for VAT, Sales tax regimes in Americas, EMEA, and APAC.  The framework ensures the tax impacts - easily and in a structured way without any misses.

The Infosys Tax Assessment framework, discusses the impacts within the below five boundaries.

1.       Master Data

2.       Tax rules ( defaulting tax on business transactions)

3.       Cutover Impacts

4.       Business documents

5.       Reporting and Accounting

The provision of 'Credits and Refunds' have also created a lot of confusion and anxiety.  The Infosys framework has been tailored to assess the likely systemic requirements around credits and refunds.

1.       Master Data -

Master data like supplier master, customer master, legal entity setups, General Ledger accounts and Part master needs to be enriched with the new tax registration details and exemption details to meet the GST law requirements.

GST Requirements on Registration:

As per the Model bill, the existing dealers would be automatically migrated. The new GSTIN will be a 15-digit GSTIN based on IT PAN.

Liability to get registered: Every supplier should be registered if aggregate turnover in a Financial year exceeds 0.9 million / 9 Lakhs INR (0.4 million / 4 Lakhs INR if the business is registered in North Eastern States and Sikkim).

 

Liability to pay tax:  will be after crossing the threshold of 0. 5 Million / 5 Lakhs INR for NE states and Sikkim and 1 Million / 10 Lakhs INR for Rest of India. Small dealers having sales below 5 million INR can also adopt the Composition scheme and pay flat of about 1 to 4% tax on turnover.

The tax is also determined based on the type of item, hence the parts should also be categorized using HSN Code.

2.       Tax Rules (defaulting tax on business transactions)

The tax rules default the tax rates on different transactions - P2P transactions and O2C transactions.  The Infosys 'Tax Assessment' framework helps building a tax matrix capturing all the tax rules in a single matrix, considering all the tax determining factors like party, place, product and process. The tax matrix ensures all tax requirements are correctly captured and are easily understood. Based on the tax matrix, the tax rules will be configured.  The tax rules will cover branch transfers and job work (OSP) transactions.

GST Requirements impacting tax rules:

·         GST is based on supply of goods or services against the present concept of tax on the manufacture of goods or on sale of goods or on provision of services.

·         GST will be Destination based tax against the present concept of origin based tax.

·         Local Transactions - will attract Dual GST With the Centre and the States simultaneously levying it on a common base

·         Interstate Transactions - will attract Integrated GST (IGST) would be levied on inter-State supply (including stock transfers)

·         Import Transactions - will attract IGST would be treated as inter-State supplies.

There are also likely to be multiple rate based on the type of item

·         Merit Rate

·         Standard Rate

·         De-Merit Rate

·         Zero rate taxes for certain items

 

3.       Cutover

The cutover from an old solution to a new solution is likely to impact the transactions which are mid-way in the end to end process. For example a PO created under an old tax regime might have old tax related data. When an invoice is created by matching the invoice to the PO, it might result in multiple taxes - one with old tax rates, statuses and the other with new tax rates, statuses.

The Infosys solution is able to identify the potential areas of impacts and leverage pre-built solutions to quickly identify and resolve such issues.

  

4.       Business Document -

Tax related information for e.g. tax registration details are usually printed on business documents like shipping documents, bill of lading, AR Invoices, purchase orders. Considering the refund / credit balance, the GST TIN of the buyer and seller should be printed on the AR invoices. The Infosys 'tax assessment framework' specifically poses questions around the business documents and invoices numbering. This is critical and is often missed, leading to penalties and non-compliance issues.

 

5.       Reporting and Accounting

The Infosys 'Tax Assessment Framework' finally looks at the reporting and the accounting requirements.  The monthly, quarterly, yearly, ad-hoc reporting requirements are captured as part of this step. The reports used for reconciliation with the general ledger and the number of GL accounts needed for reconciliation and reporting.  Companies may want separate accounts for Input IGST, Input SGST, Input CGST, Output IGST, Output SGST and Output CGST for easy reconciliation and credit tracking.

GST Requirements on reporting:

The Model GST Law proposes following reports

Monthly

Quarterly

Annual

Others

GSTR 1- Outward supplies

GSTR 4 - Quarterly return for compounding Taxpayer

GSTR 8 - Annual Return

GSTR 5 - Periodic return by Non-Resident Foreign Taxpayer (Last day of registration)

 

GSTR 2-Inward supplies received

 

 

ITC Ledger of taxpayer(Continuous)

 

GSTR 3-Monthly return

 

 

Cash Ledger of taxpayer(Continuous)

GSTR 6 - Return for Input Service Distributor (ISD)

 

 

Tax ledger of taxpayer(Continuous)

GSTR 7 - Return for Tax Deducted at Source

 

 

 

 

GST Requirements - Credits and Refunds

This is probably the most controversial change suggested by the Model GST Law. The credit claim process has been a topics of hot discussions as it could have big impact on the cash flow and even margins of the enterprises.

Below are the details of the credit and refund process.

Tax Credits to be Utilized as below

Conditions to Claim Credit

Timelines

Input CGST to be utilized against output CGST and IGST

Possession of tax invoice

One year from the invoice date

Input SGST to be utilized against output SGST and IGST

Receipt of the goods/ service

Credit pertaining to a financial year cannot be claimed after filing the return (for September) of the next financial year or the filing of the annual return for the year to which the credit pertains - whichever is earlier

Input IGST to be utilized against output IGST, CGST and SGST in the order of IGST, CGST and SGST

Payment of tax charged on the  invoice by supplier

 

 

Filing of GST return

 

 

Match the claimed credits with the vendor tax liability. In case of a difference / discrepancy, excess credits will be disallowed to the recipient.

 

 The above requirements are likely to lead to the following systemic requirements

·         A systematic way to automatically calculate the credits

·         A systematic way to do a vendor account reconciliation

·         The need to do a vendor reconciliation will need an ability to upload the vendor data from GSTN into Oracle.

·         A form to view the GST balance and ability to write-off credits which cannot be claimed

 

Solutioning using Infosys Accelerators -

We have a pre-built repository of ready-to-deploy solutions, which will help enterprises shorten the time to solution and then to develop the solutions. The solutions cover all the areas mentioned below

S Num

Item

Infosys Accelerator

1

Master Data

Re-usable solution to enrich master data

2

Tax rules ( defaulting tax on business transactions)

GST Tax Matrix, Pre-Built GST Configuration Templates

3

Cutover Impacts

Pre-identified components and pre-built solutions to correct cutover impacts.

4

Business documents

Re-usable solution to fix business documents

5

Reporting and Accounting

Pre-built reports, solutions to meet the reporting and accounting needs.

 

Refunds and Credits:

The Infosys solution for claiming refunds and credits will require developing the following programs and solutions to track credits, perform vendor reconciliation, claim credits and write-off credits.

·         Tracking Credits - A custom form will be developed to track the GST credits.

·         Vendor Reconciliation - Two custom programs will be built

1.       A custom program will be built using API provided by GSTN, to upload supplier data.

2.       Custom program will be built to automatically list the unreconciled items with reason code e.g. Goods in transit.

·         Claim Credits - A custom program will be built to automatically claim credits as per the GST rules

·         Write-off credits - The custom form to track credits, will include the ability to write-off credits.

 

Timelines:

The Infosys solution will enable enterprises to freeze the GST solution in 5-8 weeks, leveraging the Infosys 'Tax assessment framework' and pre-built solution repository.The likely timeline for the solution will be as below.

 

 

 

 

India GST Plan.PNGIn Conclusion:

Considering time frame-work of 1-2 months for solution finalization plus implementation effort of 2-4 months, it is prudent for organizations to start the work on GST immediately, to be ready for the 01-Apr-2017 launch.

 

 

 

 

 

Roadmap to become a Digital CFO

Finance function has been constantly evolving. From being a bean counter, it has become the guardian of the shareholder value and a trusted advisor.

As the guardian of the shareholder value, it is important the function considers the impact of the happening Digital revolution on the finance function. The digital revolution is toppling leaders at a pace never seen in history.  Hence, it is critical the CFO understand the Digital revolution and what it mean for the finance function.

Digitalization is often understood in a very narrow sense as the automation of the business operation or moving away from using physical documents to digital documents. While this is correct, the Digital revolution is a much bigger exercise.

Gartner defines Digitalization as "the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business".  The 'Infosys Digital' solution helps enterprises redefine consumer experiences, renew and amplify their technology core, and ensure unified orchestration and management across the digital ecosystem.

What does this mean for the finance function?

The change in business models will require the finance function to build, evaluate and guide enterprises in decision-making.  Failure to do so, will mean non-performance of the most critical function of the CFO i.e. safe guarding the shareholder value. Numerous surveys have also repeatedly called out the CFO as a major decision maker in IT investments and in big number of cases the CFO has direct responsibility of the IT function. This further strengthens the case for the CFO to understand and probably push the enterprises into the digital revolution. The digital leaders will not be able to able to increase increased revenue and margins, it will also lead to a significant reduction in cost. An Oracle-FERF survey put the cost saving as 20% of the cost base.

While the CFO office gets involved in pushing for the Digital revolution and advising on the new business models it is also necessary for the 'Finance' function to be flexible and innovative is using the digital age knowledge to reach the next level of maturity.

 What is digital finance?

 To assess the current level we should look at the four attributes of the a 'Digital Finance' function

1.       Leverage of Cloud - Strategically leverage cloud to modernize finance

2.       Leverage of Mobility - Leverage mobility to automate, speed the processes and provide real time data

3.       Leverage of Data age Big and Analytics - to improve business decisions, be able to present diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive insights.

4.       Leverage of Internet of Things, Social Media - to deliver real-time information using mobile devices and social media.

How to reach the Aspired Digital Levels?

The Process:

The 'Infosys Digital Finance Capability- Maturity Model' -helps an enterprise to assess the current 'Digital level' of its finance function. The assessment is done for the various processes within the finance function like Payables, Receivables, General Ledger etc. Next,

Digital_Fin_Process.PNG

based on the enterprise business environment the target levels will be set by the business with recommendations from Infosys. Enterprises may take a step-by-step approach to move from one level to another to ease the change management, budget availability, criticality and other business realities. Infosys will also help the enterprise set the new KPI to track the progress and assess the performance of the digitized function.

 

The Solution:

The Oracle Cloud set of solutions along with Infosys Mana solution provides numerous options to build the Digital enterprise. These solutions can be deployed on cloud.  Infosys will also help the enterprises build other solution levering the 'Infosys Digital' expertise to build solutions not covered by Oracle Cloud or Infosys Mana solutions.

Oracle Cloud:

Modern cloud applications from Oracle help you speed your digitization journey. These applications are integrated with social, mobile and possess analytic capabilities to help you deliver enhanced customer experiences.

Below are some of the Out-of-the-Box solutions offered by Oracle cloud, to speed up the Digital journey

·         Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud - built to optimize the close. Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud is designed to help minimize risk, provide transparency to the process, and accuracy to the results. Provide real-time insight and access to data with interactive process and financial dashboards.

·         Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers business analytics for traditional data and big data across the entire enterprise.

·         Account Reconciliation Cloud - helps management and improvement of global account reconciliation.

·         Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud - improves reporting by providing multi-dimensional and analytical capabilities.

·         Use Financial Reporting Compliance Cloud Service to optimize controls within and outside your financial processes using an integrated solution as part of your Oracle ERP Cloud deployment.

Infosys Mana:

Mana is a knowledge-based AI platform. It brings machine learning together with the deep knowledge of an organization to drive automation and innovation. M

Mana does Data Collection from different integrated sources by using the information platform (IIP) and relaying it for further analysis. MANA then utilizes the  'Knowledge platform' (IKP) of Mana to analyze the data and detect anomalies. Next, the Automation platform (IAP) of Mana is used for 'Automated strategy' update, Automating fixing of the upstream processes. Mana also provides numerous dashboard to view real time data showing views across regions in real time with predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Below is the how Mana solution works for business case , where the enterprise wants to improve the DSO by automatically updating the collection strategy based on statistical, text and econometric analysis of the data fed from the various application like - Cloud ERP, Credit agencies like D&B, financial information providers like Bloomberg and third party applications.

 

Mana_Process.PNGMana provides similar solution for other finance pain-points. Below is the current set of Mana finance solutions.

S Num

Mana Solution

1

Improving DSO by reducing propensity to default

2

Eliminating disputes through dynamic systemic controls model

3

Increase First Pass Match % & Exception Invoice Management

4

Re-imagining T & E process for World-Class Performance

5

T & E - Fraudulent Claim Detection Management

6

General Ledger & FPnA -  Acceleration of Close process

7

General Ledger & FPnA- Improving  Effectiveness of Balance Sheet Account Reconciliations (BSAR)

8

General Ledger & FPnA- Reducing market risk by real time monitoring of foreign exchange

 

Conclusion:

Where do you see your organization in terms of Digital maturity of the finance function? In our discussions with the finance leaders, the finance related digital work does not seem a priority item. Moreover, many CFO's also feel with the automation of the operation tasks and creation of shared services, the finance functions are now fully matured with no scope for drastic improvement.  There is also a reluctance to move decision-making tasks to machine intelligence. The CFO needs to overcome these inhibitions is using the new technologies of machine learning, robotics process automation, artificial intelligence. Leveraging the new solutions will make the decisions better, faster and also free-up the bandwidth of some of the always-in-shortage finance staff for more critical analysis needed to explore new lines of business , expand the core business. Thus, helping the CFO in guarding and enhancing the share-holder value.

 

 

 

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.





Continue reading " Customer Delivery in Semiconductor Industry " »

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 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.


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.

January 14, 2015

Hyperion Data Integration Tools - A Comparison

Continue reading " Hyperion Data Integration Tools - A Comparison " »

February 5, 2014

Oracle Project Manufacturing - A complete solution for Project Manufacturing based industries (Project Procurement)

Guest Post by 
Srushti Gogate, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys Limited

Now that we have an introduction to Oracle Project Manufacturing (PJM) in the earlier blog and its salient features, we will look at each feature in detail in the forthcoming blogs. In this one, we shall throw some light on project based procurement using Oracle Purchasing and iProcurement.
Procurement on a very basic level can be of 2 types; either purchase of raw material or services provided. To talk in Oracle terminology it can be of destination type 'inventory' or 'expense'. The behavior or method followed in both cases is completely different in Oracle. Whenever we have an expense Purchase Order (referred to as PO further) raised against a project, Oracle Project Costing modules comes into picture. However this modules does not allow processing of inventory POs against project which is a standard functionality provided by Oracle. This is where PJM has a critical role to play.

Continue reading " Oracle Project Manufacturing - A complete solution for Project Manufacturing based industries (Project Procurement) " »

November 11, 2013

Oracle Projects and Labor costing

Guest post by Somnath Pansare, Principal Consultant, Infosys Limited

Compared to Oracle E-Business suite financial family of Oracle applications, Oracle projects family modules are not that extensively used. Recently many customers realized the potential of Oracle Projects suit and started using for their business. Now, lot of unused functionality is being explored and additional requirement or tuning of functionality is coming from these areas, labor costing is one of the areas.

Continue reading " Oracle Projects and Labor costing " »

October 25, 2013

Face of the CRM Apps (Part-2)

Guest post by
Richa Thakur, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

CRM landscape is an uneven terrain, with various players battling it out in the global markets. It is challenging for the organizations to differentiate their offerings from the competitors. Likewise, the customers feel lost in the wide array of options that are offered to them. We present the next two trends which we feel could be the differentiators in the organizational offerings.

Continue reading " Face of the CRM Apps (Part-2) " »

October 23, 2013

Leading the Customer Service Commitments (Part-1)

Guest post by
Saurabh Dwivedi, Consultant, Infosys

 

One fine morning, I got a call from car service center reminding me of due car service.  I was aware of the due service but appreciated this initiative. I checked with the service agent for the availability of dashboard glove box which my 3 year old champ has accidentally pulled off. The line went quite for some time and then service agent responded that the parts are available and I can visit for service and also get it replaced same time.

Expecting to get the part fixed along with the due service, I got an appointment for weekend, travelled to another corner of the city and finally landed up at the center. I was received well but to my shock and surprise when I checked for the part, the assigned technician updated that the particular part is out of stock. The whole customer experience journey came crashing down upon hearing this. Since, I had travelled to another corner of city, I didn't have many options. I got my service done and returned with bad experience.

Continue reading " Leading the Customer Service Commitments (Part-1) " »

October 22, 2013

Face of the CRM Apps (Part-1)

Guest post by
Poonam Gujral Nagra, Consultant, Infosys

 

Surpassing the Cut throat competition and keeping pace with innovative CRM trends all lead to a common point of bonding with the customers like never before by gathering information about the customers visualization for Service Reliability, Usage, Enhancement and Scalability. The next generations CRM Applications will change the way enterprise do business. The organizations are trying to decode the future of the next gen CRM Applications.

We have identified five trends in CRM apps space through which the enterprises can win more customers and effectively manage the relationship with the existing customers.

Continue reading " Face of the CRM Apps (Part-1) " »

October 17, 2013

A smart solution to safe travel: Is connected vehicle an answer? (Part-2)

Guest post by
Ashish Verma, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Picking up from my previous blog on "Safe Travel" where we discussed about possible ways to enable safe travel and a possible solution. Now we know our expectations from an intelligent mode of travel. In nutshell, four types of data are important for safe travel.

  • Driver's Data
  • Infrastructure data
  • Vehicle data
  • Historical data

Continue reading " A smart solution to safe travel: Is connected vehicle an answer? (Part-2) " »

October 16, 2013

A smart solution to safe travel: Is connected vehicle an answer? (Part-1)

Guest post by
Ashish Verma, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

I heard this news a few days ago about a train accident in Spain and the cause of it was its high speed. Train was travelling at 190km/hour instead of 80km/hour. The first thought that hit my mind if there was a way to avoid it. Was there a way to signal or alert the driver that the train has exceeded the permissible speed limit? Could we have reduced the speed of the train when that deadly turn derailed it? This is just one example, every day we keep hearing about such accidents around us. And what happens after such accidents? An enquiry commission is appointed which ultimately links the accident with one of the possible causes like over-speeding, signal violation, driving under intoxication, negligence etc. But do such commissions work with authorities to ensure that such mishaps will not be repeated in future or how travel can be made safe for all?

Continue reading " A smart solution to safe travel: Is connected vehicle an answer? (Part-1) " »

October 15, 2013

Managed Cloud Services for Siebel CRM

Guest post by
Manmeet Mehta, Technology Lead, Infosys

 

Change is the law of nature .During hot summer when temperature break all the records, people look up in the sky to see if they can see some Clouds, that would provide them some relief from this heat and welcome the spring season open heartedly.  Organizations are also looking for respite from the heat of the servers they have to maintain. And Cloud computing have come as a respite for them. The latest trend of moving from On Premise systems to On Cloud is a great example of Green IT.  It suffices use of computing resources in an efficient, effective and economic way. Cloud computing usage in the enterprise is growing rapidly, all contributing to winning business for organizations.

Continue reading " Managed Cloud Services for Siebel CRM " »

October 10, 2013

How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-3)

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys

 

Financial institutions, today, look for enterprise "tool" that captures cost study results, manages cost drivers and analysis without manual intervention that can be leveraged for advanced analytics and Portfolio Management and Strategic Planning.

In the previous part, a comparative analysis of two applications in the space of profitability management from Oracle - Hyperion Profitability Cost Management (HPCM) and Oracle Financial Services Profitability Management (OFSPM) were evaluated on business criteria. In this part, the focus is to evaluate the products for key usage criteria.

Continue reading " How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-3) " »

October 7, 2013

Using File Based Loader to Extract Maximum Value

Guest post by
Prashant Sharma, Project Manager, Infosys

 

With the Cloud buzz picking pace, lot of organizations are moving to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based applications. ERP implementations that would on an average take close to a year, are now being executed in few weeks. Data conversion, as always, is one of the key activities in these implementation projects. Earlier, technical and functional teams used to spend many person months developing data conversion programs and utilities, as part of the project life cycle. This is not the case anymore with Oracle Fusion SaaS implementations. File Based Loader (FBL) is a very effective data upload tool, which guides customers in their implementation journey to Oracle Fusion applications.

Continue reading " Using File Based Loader to Extract Maximum Value " »

How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-2)

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys

 

In continuation of our view on profitability measurement being one of the critical activities for Financial Institution to survive in today's volatile environment, let's focus on technology to enable better profitability management. 

Continue reading " How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-2) " »

September 25, 2013

First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a large transformation ERP Program (Part-2)

Guest post by
Hemantkumar Nathu Lothe, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

In the last blog, we have seen two important points to be considered for successful first period closure which are-

1. Period End Closure Mock
2. Period Closure with User Entered Data in UAT

In this blog, we'll take a look at other three recommendations.

Continue reading " First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a large transformation ERP Program (Part-2) " »

September 13, 2013

Embedding Risk factors to build Strategies for Higher Performance of Financial Services

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys

 

In today's global financial markets, financial institutions are hard pressed to monitor and analyze performance data from multiple sources.  More essentially, the challenge lies in generating a combined view of risk and performance. The outlook of Financial Institutions in evaluation of performance is changing; both financial and non-financial aspects like risk are in focus. Financial Institutions are looking for a strong basis and approach that can drive performance smoothly with due consideration to associated risk factors.

Continue reading " Embedding Risk factors to build Strategies for Higher Performance of Financial Services " »

September 12, 2013

External Transactions and Automatic Bank Reconciliation

Guest post by
Kiran A. Mathew, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Lack of internal controls on reconciliation and estimation cash in your organization can lead to various issues like:

  • Lack of holistic view of cash position which impair management decisions
  • Misappropriation of Cash and other fraudulent activities.

Organizations always resort to bring in the internal controls in cash position analysis and reconciliation process to address these issues.

Continue reading " External Transactions and Automatic Bank Reconciliation " »

September 11, 2013

Solutions to curb market volatility and support the falling currency

Guest post by
Surabhi Shah, Consultant, Infosys

 

With the fluctuating market trends and growing need for more foreign borrowings has changed the face of Indian economy significantly. Tracing the genesis back of the rupee-dollar relationship, rupee's journey has taken several folds since 2012.  The year 2012-13 has been a roller-coaster ride for Indian Rupee with rupee depreciating all time low to 68.80. As a stepping stone, RBI came up with continuous measures to tighten the liquidity in the economy and to support the depreciating currency. With India being a developing economy and sky touching inflation, the depreciation of currency was quite evident. However, to curb the scenario, improvement in local macro economic factors is the most fundamental variable to sustain appreciation of Indian currency and economy growth in medium term.

Continue reading " Solutions to curb market volatility and support the falling currency " »

Budgeting at granular level in Oracle Project Management

Guest post by
Rajan Gupta, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Budgeting is one of the key features of Oracle Project Management (PJT) to maintain the financial control on the Project. Different plan types and versions can be created to do the what-if scenarios. Budgeting and forecasting helps Project Managers/Controllers to keep tab on financial health of the Project. Unless budget is accurate, forecast figures will not be correct. Budgeting in PJT can be done based upon resource allocation of resources, financial categories, material items consumption.

Continue reading " Budgeting at granular level in Oracle Project Management " »

Siebel Open UI - Steps closer to Enterprise Mobility

Guest post by
Alpesh Narendra Chauhan, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

Enterprise Mobility: 

Field work force wants to access CRM applications on their mobile devices, giving them agility and flexibility to access required data anytime and anywhere to respond to customer query quicker. Consumerization of IT is enforcing enterprises to go for mobility solutions. Enterprises are defining mobility strategies to define long term mobility goals. Users are expecting to use same consumer technologies for personal as well as professional work, which is resulting in surge of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation. With emergence of smart devices usage, enterprise mobility is going to gain further momentum.

Continue reading " Siebel Open UI - Steps closer to Enterprise Mobility " »

September 10, 2013

Oracle ADF Mobile - Taking the pole position on Enterprise Mobility

Guest post by
Praveen Verma, Project Manager, Infosys

 

With the advent of wireless technology and smartphones, world now realizes that this century will be the century of transformation, led by communication. We will continue to see massive changes in the way information is made available. This ongoing transformation is also being acknowledged by various industries, who in-turn, have started exploring various possibilities, challenges and opportunities with the changing environment.

Continue reading " Oracle ADF Mobile - Taking the pole position on Enterprise Mobility " »

Sick and tired of allocating quotas? Switch to Oracle Fusion CRM Quota Management

Guest post by
Vidyullatha Prakash, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Over the years, managing sales quotas across the sales organization has been an excessively resource and time consuming endeavor. Across industry verticals, sales managers had come to loathe "that time of the year" when their job was to set sales quotas and territories. This cumbersome process required sales executives to coordinate infinite reports and spreadsheets, often leading to delays and humongous errors. Furthermore, since it was an annual exercise, no updates were done when team changes or re-organizations happened or when there were any additions/deletions to the sales teams. Oracle Fusion Quota Management comes across as a breather to sales managers since it provides a number of capabilities that drastically reduce the time and effort required to perform the sales planning process. They can also leverage deep territory insights and related analytics to automate the calculation and reconciliation of bottom-up quotas based on the predicted market potential or historical performance of the territory. They can benefit from the rich set of embedded analytics by automating the distribution of assigned quotas to salespersons using pre-defined or custom distribution formulas. It also makes life easier for Incentive Compensation Analysts by keeping them informed of any changes being done to Quota allocations. Thus, the Quota management module in Fusion CRM aids to resolve numerous key business challenges like Complex Quota Allocation, Inaccurate Tracking, Unclear Results, Limited Forecasting and Long Sales Planning Cycle.

Continue reading " Sick and tired of allocating quotas? Switch to Oracle Fusion CRM Quota Management " »

September 6, 2013

Oracle Fusion Sourcing & Spend Analytics: A solution to your sourcing issues

Guest post by
Sucheta Devaraj, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Procurement activities today have a very significant role to play in any business. The objectives of a business have gone much beyond the traditional belief that procurement's principal role is just to procure goods and services to meet the organization's requirements. These activities impact the expenses incurred by an organization and thus impact the bottom line as well.

Continue reading " Oracle Fusion Sourcing & Spend Analytics: A solution to your sourcing issues " »

CX 2020: Soothsayer who saw the future?

Guest post by
Saurabh Vasant Muley, Group Project Manager, Infosys

 

With availability of multiple channels for interactions, increasing influence of social media & ability to be connected on the move, customer's expectations from brands/enterprises have increased many-fold. Since interaction with a brand can happen thorough various channels, user journeys have become more complex & less predictable. This is an excellent opportunity for enterprises to leverage this situation to their advantage.

Continue reading " CX 2020: Soothsayer who saw the future? " »

Using Pessimism through Optimism in ERP Implementations

Guest post by
Samik Das, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

"Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism." - Arnold Bennett


Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the current project will oblige me to adopt a non-conventional way of project management. It all started last year, when I welcomed this new assignment with a big heart. We all were progressing in the very orthodox way our corporate guidelines are conscripted while initiation. To our outmost surprise the work permit process itself became a separate project, and then I started moving my focus from the standard levied processes to the clandestine ones. Very soon, I promoted "Pessimism" as the key weapon of the whole project management process. I had to undergo several iterations of self-confrontation before introducing the pessimism with a higher dose. Everyone knows that "medicines in high amount become poison" and here I was trying to induce poison in higher amount in the management process. Did the approach succeed? Yes!! Anyone will neither read the stories of people who failed in their lives nor are those published as well as promoted commercially.

Continue reading " Using Pessimism through Optimism in ERP Implementations " »

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 " »

Cost Effective And Flexible Shared ERP Solution for SME Segment (Part-3)

Guest post by
Ajay Ashok Verekar, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

In part-1 and part-2, we discussed ERP solution to SME and its features and limitation, now we will talk about benefits to system implementer (SI).

Continue reading " Cost Effective And Flexible Shared ERP Solution for SME Segment (Part-3) " »

First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a Large Transformation ERP Program (Part-1)

Guest post by
Hemantkumar Nathu Lothe, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

For any transformational project, Go-Live is the ultimate goal. However, this is not end of the episode and the real action start during the first financial period closure. Most of the times, the period closure activity is being considered as the barometer for the successful implementation and hence it becomes imperative that the first period closure is as smooth and without surprises.

Continue reading " First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a Large Transformation ERP Program (Part-1) " »

August 27, 2013

Cost Effective and Flexible Shared ERP solution for SME Segment (Part 2)

Guest post by
Ajay Ashok Verekar, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

In part-1, we discussed about importance of small and medium enterprises in global market and challenges faced by SME for ERP implementation.

What IT companies can offer -

I think proposed solution will empower SME to go for good ERP system like Oracle or any other ERP solution. Our solution can be accessible to small scale to large scale enterprises.

Continue reading " Cost Effective and Flexible Shared ERP solution for SME Segment (Part 2) " »

August 23, 2013

Streamline Territory Management Process using Oracle Fusion Territory Management

Guest post by
Vikrant Venkata Leela Addepalli, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

In the present competitive environment, assignment of right sales resource to a sales account goes a long way for any organization in terms of gaining Customer Confidence and in generating good revenues & posting decent margins.  Considering the evolving technology, most Organizations would like to look beyond traditional way of assigning Sales Resources to a Sales Account, which was just based on the location of the Sales Account. Oracle Fusion Territory Management is a comprehensive territory management solution for any Organization for assignment of Sales Resources to a Sales Account.

Continue reading " Streamline Territory Management Process using Oracle Fusion Territory Management " »

New approach of Social Project Management with Oracle Fusion PPM

Guest post by
Sandeep Suresh Deshpande, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

Project teams today are exposed to increasing pressure to complete the project on time within budget under dynamic conditions of -

  • Rapidly changing Project Management perspective
  • Distributed teams working in highly volatile environment chasing moving targets
  • Problems arising out of knowledge dissemination
  • Complex long running projects

Continue reading " New approach of Social Project Management with Oracle Fusion PPM " »

Why clients prefer Oracle BPM over Oracle Workflow

Guest post by
Rinku Das, Technology Architect, Infosys

 

Now-a-days most of the Oracle clients are migrating from Oracle E-Business Suite 11i to Oracle E-Business Suite R12. This is due to the addition of new oracle modules in R12, new features in the existing modules in R12 and many more. But the most important from the integration point of view is the architectural change which gives more flexibility to integrate with other non-Oracle applications. Better integration can be achieved using Oracle Fusion Applications but as it involves high cost and requires skilled fusion resources clients prefer to migrate to Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R12.

Continue reading " Why clients prefer Oracle BPM over Oracle Workflow " »

July 31, 2013

Challenges in implementing KYC norms effectively

Guest post by
Harshil Dave, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Close to 22 Indian banks were fined a total of Rs. 49.5 Cr. by the banking regulation authority Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These banks were found in violation of Know Your Customer (KYC) norms laid by RBI. The KYC norms that were violated were the ones aimed at preventing money laundering activities. KYC has 2 components Identity and Address, while Identity remains a constant, the address of customer might change over a period and hence banks are required to periodically update their records. Under KYC norms, all customers of the bank are expected to submit the PAN card details, address proof details and proof of identity issued by a government authority such as Passport authority etc. From recent events it seems to appear that these KYC norms have not been implemented and followed by several banks.

Continue reading " Challenges in implementing KYC norms effectively " »

Net Stable Funding Ratio - An indispensable parameter from Basel III perspective?

Guest post by
Sukruti Suresh, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Ever since Basel III regulations were introduced, inclusion of the parameter "Net Stable Funding Ratio" is a hotly debated topic.  Basel III Regulations aimed primarily at providing an outline for high quality capital, a well-rounded risk handling as well as build up reserves that institutions can fall back on in dire situations. This gave rise to the introduction of 2 standards of liquidity, which would enable banks to sustain the shocks due to sudden economic loss. These factors were the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) & Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR).

Continue reading " Net Stable Funding Ratio - An indispensable parameter from Basel III perspective? " »

February 17, 2013

Eco-Transparency: Paperless Document Generation Capturing EAN

We have all studied the concepts and the evolution of a "Learning Organization". But gone are the days when one could survive and excel by merely learning. Organizations are progressively operating in an era of setting emulatable examples for others, thereby being a "Teaching Organization". Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and distributors these days are increasingly laying more and more emphasis on the social responsibility, working towards a greener supply chain. Organizations have realized that they have Community and Environment as their major stakeholders. Therefore the excellence each organization is aspiring for is truly the green supply chain they are ingrained in. It is important to be profitable and at the same time remain sustainable. This is to be practiced by the pioneer and emulated by the other industry players.

Continue reading " Eco-Transparency: Paperless Document Generation Capturing EAN " »

December 12, 2012

Video: The Infosys Experience in Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management Suite

Mukesh Nakra, Associate Vice President, Consulting & Systems Integration, Infosys, speaks to the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) PartnerCast Channel about the Oracle-Infosys partnership, investments Infosys has made in Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) suite, and our capabilities. Infosys is the first Oracle Fusion HCM 11g specialized partner.

Oracle.jpg

Posted with permission of Oracle Corporation

Continue reading " Video: The Infosys Experience in Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management Suite " »

December 3, 2012

Let's Explore LETZ!

In my previous blog titled 'Multiple Time Zones in Single Global Instance - A Business Perspective', I have discussed about the key business requirements and challenges in implementing multiple time zones in a single global instance from Finance and Accounting perspective. In this blog, we will discuss on How Oracle LETZ (Legal Entity Time Zone) Solution could address these challenges for Global companies that operate in multiple time zones in single global instance.

What is LETZ?
LETZ is a standard, but controlled Oracle feature introduced in 11.5.10. In LETZ, Oracle has identified certain transactional events and enabled conversion of legal date and period of those events from server time zone (Corporate Time Zone) to the time zone of the legal entity in which the event has occurred.

Continue reading " Let's Explore LETZ! " »

September 25, 2012

Oracle E-Business suite on Exadata - A Reality

Guest post by
Vinayak Gangadhar Kurdekar, Technology Lead, Infosys

 

Exadata when it was launched by Oracle a couple of years back initially created a sensation in the market as a hardware platform engineered by Oracle in collaboration with HP for hosting large databases. Later as time progressed and technology matured, Exadata became synonymous as a machine that provided extreme performance and scalability for both OLTP and datawarehouse applications.  Both Oracle developer and DBA community had the impression that Exadata has been mainly developed for hosting databases with large amount of data typically seen in a datawarehouse environment and were not aware if oracle's E-Business suite of applications can be hosted on Exadata. The answer is yes; currently Oracle E-business suite release 11i with 11gR2 database is certified with Oracle Exadata V2 machine. Oracle is currently working on the certification of the E-Business suite release 12 on exadata and the same should be available in the near future.

Continue reading " Oracle E-Business suite on Exadata - A Reality " »

August 29, 2012

Whether to use 'Oracle Project Resource Management'

Gust post by
Rajan Gupta, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Oracle Project Resource Management (PJRM) is a self-service application in Oracle Enterprise applications and provides a solution to effectively manage resource allocation on projects in project centric organizations.  PJRM has been a buzz word in PPM when Oracle started rolling out PPM solutions to its customers. The effective goal of implementing PJRM application is to find the right people for the right projects at the right time which is ultimately achieved by streamlining the demand and supply of resources in an organization. Project Resource Management considers only labor resources and assignment of those resources at the Project level only (not at task level) and is a not time based application.

Continue reading " Whether to use 'Oracle Project Resource Management' " »

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 " »

April 28, 2012

Product Maintenance In A Strict Regime

One time success comes to many but sustained excellence is not everybody's cup of tea. World class organizations maintain their growth momentum year after year, operating in strict regime. This is true for leaders in retail as well as printing and digital solution industry. Players under the Food and Beverage industry, operate under a strict legal and compliance regime. International Agencies like FDA, FCC, and USDA mandate the tacking of lot attributes like the product expiration date throughout the supply chain. Also, corporate governance norms like Supplier Social Responsibility mandate the tracking of the products' country of origin. This is important to ensure that organizations do not indulge in any kind of malpractices like sweat shopping.

Continue reading " Product Maintenance In A Strict Regime " »

April 13, 2012

Oracle Hyperion Upgrade- Opportunities and Possibilities

Guest post by
Hari Ram, Technology Analyst, Infosys

 

The rapid progress in technology makes today's-latest seem like tomorrow's-outdated. The change may not always mean 'mere increase in the version number' or 'change in look and feel'. The newer version of a platform or product more often than not brings a bag of advanced features that will simplify the process, increase usability, fix earlier defects and most importantly provide more value for the buck spent.

Continue reading " Oracle Hyperion Upgrade- Opportunities and Possibilities " »

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 " »

February 19, 2012

OBIEE 11g Upgrade - Some Key Considerations

Guest post by
Karan Chadha, Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

OBIEE 11g was launched amidst much fanfare in mid 2010 and the feedback since then has been fairly positive. Owing to this success, the market is seeing a lot of traction towards OBIEE 11g upgrade. I was a part of one such upgrade project and based on my understanding I am sharing a few key considerations:

  • Why should an organization upgrade to OBIEE 11g?
  • How automated is the upgrade and how much of manual effort is involved?
  • What would be the tentative timelines to complete the upgrade?

Continue reading " OBIEE 11g Upgrade - Some Key Considerations " »

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?? " »

November 4, 2011

Why Oracle Fusion Procurement? How does it add value?

Guest post by
Suchitha Prabakaran, Consultant, Infosys

 

In the current global business environment, efficient Procurement techniques, methodologies and processes play a vital role in providing a competitive edge- both operationally and financially for any organization irrespective of the size, nature of business, products dealt with, area of operations etc. Corporates now have realized the importance of streamlining and strategizing procurement processes as it makes a huge difference to the revenue and profitability of the organization.

Continue reading " Why Oracle Fusion Procurement? How does it add value? " »

August 28, 2011

Establishing The Centroid Of Magic Triangle - Hitting the Bull's Eye of CMO Engagement

Organizations in the Retails industry envision improving the productivity, robustness and operational efficiency of their Global distribution network. In order to do so they plan to implement standardized processes coupled with integrated infrastructure and systems across all the Contract Manufactures and Packers under a single application ecosystem. As discussed in my earlier blogs contact manufacturing in the retail sector has taken the world by storm and organizations continuously strive to raise their bar each day.

Continue reading " Establishing The Centroid Of Magic Triangle - Hitting the Bull's Eye of CMO Engagement " »

July 29, 2011

Database and Application administration essential for Oracle E-Business Suite R12 upgrade

Guest post by
Umesh Tanna, Senior Technology Architect, Infosys

 

Oracle E-business suite R12 upgrade is a major project that organization undertakes. Functional, technical and infrastructure administration teams are the primary groups that are involved in upgrade project from IT department.  Oracle Application Database Administration activities are very critical activities in upgrade project that is performed by Oracle Apps DBA. Following are most essential aspects of R12 upgrade project from the standpoint of Oracle Apps DBA.

Continue reading " Database and Application administration essential for Oracle E-Business Suite R12 upgrade " »

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 29, 2011

The 10 most challenges in Linear Asset Management and solution options

Maintenance of linear assets (A kind of networks) is completely different from maintaining non linear assets like a fleet, machine. They through lot more challenges in modelling and executing the maintenance work compared to non linear assets. The ability to model and execute the maintenance these assets is what can tap the huge market potential in this segment.

Continue reading " The 10 most challenges in Linear Asset Management and solution options " »

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! " »

May 3, 2011

Role of Testing in successful project implementation

Guest post by
Amit Tuteja, Senior Consultant, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

 

I was lucky to be part of one of the complex Oracle implementations done by Infosys Oracle Practice in Retail industry. During my work with this large retailer I got the opportunity to work on design phase and later got involved in testing phase. Most of us understand and realize the importance of Testing in any implementation but in this blog I would like to emphasize how a well planned Testing phase increased Management/ Stakeholders confidence and paved the way for a successful Implementation.

Continue reading " Role of Testing in successful project implementation " »

March 8, 2011

Challenges Faced in Global ERP Implementations -Like Crossing A Sea?

In today's world, many of ERP Implementations are large involving multiple regions, countries and businesses around the world.I am talking about large multinational corporations which have foot prints around the world either directly or through subsidiaries. Some of these corporations also have grown bigger through mergers and acquisitions.

Continue reading " Challenges Faced in Global ERP Implementations -Like Crossing A Sea? " »

March 7, 2011

Supply Chain Best Practices: Reduced TCO via Best Of Breed or ERP WMS

It has been debated over and over again if Best of Breed WMS is more suited to lower the Total Cost of Ownership as compared to an ERP based WMS. But a settlement has not been reached yet. Organizations with logistics management as their core competency may choose to favor best of breed software whereas a traditional sales company or retailer may choose to look in the other direction.

Continue reading " Supply Chain Best Practices: Reduced TCO via Best Of Breed or ERP WMS " »

February 28, 2011

Upgrading VCP to R12 was really beneficial

Two years back I attended a workshop on Advanced Planning Command Center. I was impressed with the rich features it had to offer, but a lot of them would work only if APS was on R12 platform. The very same day I was convinced that my client should upgrade VCP (APS) to R12 before rolling it out to Americas. Not that we were planning to roll out APCC any time soon, but it would bring us on a higher platform form where it would be easy to add on other VCP products like APCC. Believe me, it wasn't an easy task convincing the client to upgrade to R12 , but eventually the client got convinced and today we are seeing the benefits of being on R12 platform.

Continue reading " Upgrading VCP to R12 was really beneficial " »

Exploring Item life cycle management options

Every country is making its Food and drug administrative control laws more and more stringent. Each country has a different requirement to get the products in specific labels formats, label colors, holograms, compositions etc. Issue is more challenging if item life cycle is short and old SKUs are getting replaced by new SKUs

Continue reading " Exploring Item life cycle management options " »

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 " »

January 21, 2011

Enterprise Asset Management - Emerging trends

Guest post by
Krishna Ammapalayam Srinivasaragavan, Consultant, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

 

We are in the era of Enterprise Resource Planning implementations. It's estimated that by adopting ERP systems and best practices cost reduction, quality improvement, staff skills increases too many folds. Also the IT companies dealing with ERP systems receive the maximum revenue and profit in their operations.

Continue reading " Enterprise Asset Management - Emerging trends " »

January 3, 2011

Thin Chart of Accounts within OFSAA !

Guest post by
Bhuvaneswari Venkataraman, Lead Consultant - Banking and Capital Markets, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

 

In older version of Oracle Financials Service Application 4.5.xx (OFSA), considerable time was spent on designing the Chart of Accounts (COA) to bring out the optimum number of members under COAs. Now with new Oracle Financial Service Analytical Application 5.xx (OFSAA) leveraging its enhanced features like conditional assumptions system can assign any combination at run time instead of pre-defined only leading to thin COAs instead of thick in earlier versions.

Continue reading " Thin Chart of Accounts within OFSAA ! " »

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 " »

November 7, 2010

Task Of Avoiding Stock Outs- Task Management

Out of Stock is a common problem that has smitten retailers immemorial. It is a part and parcel of the industry dynamics. One of the core WMS concepts can come in really handy and act as a panacea.

Continue reading " Task Of Avoiding Stock Outs- Task Management " »

November 1, 2010

IFRS with Oracle - What standard and solutions impact the most?

Introduction of new regulations or changes in existing regulations at local or international level can lead to drastic changes for an enterprise. IFRS is one such change which would change the financial statements for ever. US markets would also be affected starting 2013 though SEC is yet to make any decisions on the start date as to when to adopt IFRS.
The key IFRS differences which would have big impact on US companies are:
1. Consolidation, Associates and Joint Ventures
2. Property Plant and Equipment
3. Employee Retirement Benefits
4. Borrowing Costs
5. Inventory valuation
 
Though oracle claims that it is ready for IFRS with multiple solution options like Sub ledger accounting, Oracle General Ledger or Hyperion Financial Management, some key solutions would have to be worked as per the client situation. The most complex solutions to design would be Fixed Assets and Inventories since these solutions would have sub ledger level impact

No ERP package provides an out of box solution to immediately converge to IFRS especially at sub ledger level. However let's look at some of the features of Oracle R12 which can be used at sub ledger level to achieve asset componentization and thereby comply with IFRS standard on Property plant and Equipment

Continue reading " IFRS with Oracle - What standard and solutions impact the most? " »

October 6, 2010

Harmonize to Globalize

Per many researches conducted pan globe, companies worldwide, are realizing the benefits of rolling out standardized WMS processes across their national and global warehouses. Popularly referred to as WMS unification, this initiative is typically triggered from a need to streamline processes by extending best practices from the industry or within the organization to all the storage locations. This delves into the outline, benefits and implementation perspectives to design the "Right" WMS instance strategy for organizations having geographically distributed warehouses on the road to a WMS unification exercise. Hence the choice of an appropriate WMS for an organization will act as a positive catalyst and enabler.

Continue reading " Harmonize to Globalize " »

October 5, 2010

Accounting Center of Excellence with Oracle Financials

Globalization has become inevitable in the current economic scenario. Organizations need to think and act globally to remain competitive. They need to lower cost and improve performance by Business consolidation, Realize economies of scale, Establish shared service center etc. Centralizing and consolidating accounting functions like invoicing, collections, period close at a central placeon behalf of global entities within a organization is ACE (Accunting Center of Excellence) . It is different from Shared Service center in the sense that it would be a cost center which would drive the common accounting and finance activities for all the entities within an organization.
How does Oracle Apps support establishing your ACE?

Continue reading " Accounting Center of Excellence with Oracle Financials " »

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 " »

August 25, 2010

Demystifying Legal Entity in Oracle R12 Architecture

Design of the Organization structure is the common issue faced by most business houses. The structure should not only be compliant from legal perspective but should also be effective from operational management and accounting perspective. Legal entity is the crux of the organization structure as this determines the statutory and country specific (local) reporting needs.

Continue reading " Demystifying Legal Entity in Oracle R12 Architecture " »

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 20, 2010

Leveraging Technology - Retaining corporate knowledge in an Ageing workforce situation

Irrespective of the geography and services offered by Utilities today worldwide, a few challenges remain common. Utilities are constrained to meet those challenges and deliver without compromising operational efficiency and/or offering the best value for money to the end customer.  The industry in itself is facing challenges in terms of uncertainty on fuel prices, uncertainty in markets, government involvement in pricing and regulation, pressures from climate change imperatives etc. To mitigate these challenges, executives resort to their dashboards that offer a quick snapshot of their traditional financial and business performance measures.  In many cases, one of the key metric that doesn't come under the priority radar is the importance of employees who work for them has in the organisation's success.  The pace of change in utilities world-wide has accelerated market factors that influence the industry.  While technology is one of the means to prepare for these changes, organisations are beginning to understand that the role of 'employees' in their organisations is going to gain more importance in preparing for these challenges. There is a fundamental agreement across the board that these are the people who would have vital knowledge and experience that could fuel the success of the organisation. This blog focuses on few approaches that organisations can take to leverage the people advantage to stay ahead in competition.

Continue reading " Leveraging Technology - Retaining corporate knowledge in an Ageing workforce situation " »

May 17, 2010

Use RBAC to secure your eBiz suite

To realize the early benefits of an ERP implementation and to comply with all the legal requirements, it is important that the applications and data are properly secured by exploring all the available security option within Oracle Applications

Oracle ebiz suite has various security features like:
a) Application Security using Access Control, Identity Management , Password Management etc
b) Physical Data Security using oracle database security , back ups etc
c) Security for imodules using firewalls, proxies etc


As part of Application security, User Management or RBAC (Role Based Access Control) was introduced by Oracle few years back, the major features of User management are:

- In the User Management model, a role would point to a set of functions and separately point to a navigation menu that should be used to access those functions.
- This navigation menu may contain a superset of functions but only those functions which have been granted to the user (via the roles) would be enabled (other functions would be filtered out)
- The navigation menu can be organized in the most intuitive way for finding functions in the navigator, while the roles can be defined purely based on the security / organization requirements

What is the difference with the traditional Responsibility approach?

Under User Management / RBAC, rather than presenting the user with a list of responsibilities which may have the same menu or slightly altered versions of the same menu presented multiple times, one would present the user with a list of product areas, and all the functions which they can access in that product area regardless of the role through which the function was given.

RBAC / User Management still has long way to go with challenges like an organization should have a clear RACI(Responsibility-Accountability-Consultation-Information) matrix defined with proper roles but eventually it would replace the Responsibility based security model of oracle. 
 

May 4, 2010

When is the right time to conduct End User Training in Oracle implementation?

One question that continues to baffle the program management community around Training delivery in large ERP implementation programs is when to deliver end user Training? The answer is probably not as straight as you may expect. Let's first discuss the constraints around this decision:

  • Go Live Date: If there is a huge gap between Go Live Date and User Training, the user tends to forget what they learnt as during this period they have to continue using the legacy system and will not be able to unlearn some of the old practices and habits post go-live. On the other hand, if the training continues till the last date, you will not be able to make an apt decision towards user readiness and its implications on implementation Go No Go Decision.

Continue reading " When is the right time to conduct End User Training in Oracle implementation? " »

May 3, 2010

Road towards Package Adoption and Learning - Comprehensive Training Strategy is your Precursor to implementation success

In my last blog Still waters run deep - Poor User Adoption may cost you your ERP Implementation.. I discussed at length about the importance of ERP training and the need for organizations to focus more on user adoption.  As ERP Implementations mature and grow, the focus on user training also intensifies. While many organizations have started realizing the benefits of user adoption, they often struggle to determine the right budget and the right approach to achieve it.

Continue reading " Road towards Package Adoption and Learning - Comprehensive Training Strategy is your Precursor to implementation success " »

Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 2)

To get an answer to the question raised in my previous blog Go Lean (Part 1), first we need to understand the primary reasons why organizations tend to develop custom code in typical Oracle ERP implementation pr