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Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud: Product Evaluation and Co-Existence Implementation Scenarios

Supply chain planning cloud R13 promises to offer end to end planning solution, however, customers are still struggling with co-existence options with on-premise execution system with nuances of planning functionalities that are critical to them. Through this blog, I will share my experiences providing key inputs on the criteria's to consider to arrive at a decision between on-premise, cloud or a co-existence of demand planning. At the outset, there are two major product evaluation considerations:

  • Arrive at a list of key product evaluation criteria's important to your customer based on its weightage
  • Evaluate the key functionalities of cloud product in the order of importance to the customer and assist in making product decision

Product Evaluation Key Criteria's

While products can be compared on multiple factors, but it is of perennial importance to first shortlist the key criteria's in the tall order of business importance. Following are some of the comparative analysis I have considered in cloud product evaluation with customers embarking on supply chain planning cloud

    • Product Fitment : Scoring based evaluation of product features with weightages based on fitment criterion
    • Technology Consideration: The underlying technology of product and its fitment into your customer's application ecosystems.
    • Scalability: The scalability of the product considering the ability to accommodate your customer's unique processes, ability to extend functionality as well as integrate with other disparate systems. For example, high-tech customers want to consider binning, operational yields, unique customer allocations, and custom ATP
    • Customer Base: The existing customer base of the product and well are they catering to their customer
    • ERP Ecosystem: The ecosystem of products surrounding the core ERP product as also how well matured are these surrounding systems
    • Integration with 3rd party systems: Ease of integration with 3rd party systems with respect to supply chain information such as forecast, supply commits, Inventory statements and other collaborative information with partners
    • Customization Capabilities: Ease of customization to embed additional business logic such as planning allocation, aggregation, and disaggregation, ATP allocation etc.
    • Implementation Effort: One time overall effort needed to implement the product both from product stability and product vendor responsiveness to fix issues and also future roadmap
    • Upgrades: Future enhancements and customers involved in testing and deployment
    • Consulting Community: Skilled resources availability in the market that can cost your customer for both implementation and support

Product evaluation through fitment comparison

Product features undoubtedly form the most critical basis to determine how well the product can support business processes that are most important to the business. No product is 100% fit to each business but it is important to weigh it based on criticality to business and reach to an inflection point between introducing standardization and risk of losing flexibility. The product fitment approach recommended is to list the important feature in each functional area and rate it based on pre-set weightage criteria of fitment importance.

  • High - There should be direct fitment of functional requirement in out of box without any customization
  • Medium - Not necessarily a direct fitment of functional requirement, but achievable with minor tweaks 
  • Low - There is a no direct functionality as is the requirement and Major development effort will be needed 

Following are some of the example of features that can be considered for evaluating Demantra On-Premise versus Demand planning cloud and Planning central.

  • Data Collection From non-Cloud ERP
  • Import and export of custom forecast streams
  • Accuracy of Statistical Forecast
  • Flexibility of forecast tuning
  • Configuration of custom forecast Hierarchy
  • Forecast collaboration and Approval
  • Forecast export to supply plan
  • Forecast accuracy measures and reporting
  • Exception Management
  • Causal Factor maintenance
  • Custom logic for aggregation/disaggregation
  • Manage multiple demand signals
  • Simulation capabilities
  • New product introduction

In my next blog, I would provide perspective on supply planning and scheduling capability

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