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March 26, 2020

Smart features for managing shipping documents in Oracle Inventory Cloud

Smart features for managing shipping documents in Oracle Inventory Cloud 

A typical 'Order to Cash' or 'Return to Vendor' business process includes task of shipping goods out of the warehouse. This entails generating documentation to be carried with the shipment or documentation needed by various authorities/border control. Oracle Inventory cloud provides several configurable features which can be used to map the most common use cases or requirements associated with shipping documents creation (Ref Fig.1). The Oracle Inventory Cloud has configurations and customizations possible to make the generation of shipping documentation easy and flexible.


ship_blog2.png

Fig 1. Features and use cases


The key benefits that are derived by leveraging Oracle Inventory Cloud functionalities for generating accurate, automated and standardized shipping documents are,

  • Avoid penalties by complying with the compliance requirements
  • Reduce the risks related with export shipments
  • Improve shipping process flow by managing shipping process across geographies and business
  • Customer satisfaction is improved by being able to provide customer defined documentation


Automatic generation of the shipping documents

Oracle Inventory cloud provides seeded ESS jobs for most commonly used shipping documents. The shipment (i.e. delivery) is usually accompanied with documents like,

  • Packing slip/Delivery note - The purpose of the report is to list the customer addresses, sales line items, quantities that are included in the shipment. ESS job name - Print Packing Slip Report
  • Commercial invoice - The purpose of the document is to print the details of sales order line items packed in a shipment along with its price and total shipment value. ESS job name - Print Commercial Invoice Report 

These ESS jobs can be combined in a job set using the setup task "Manage Enterprise Scheduler Job Definitions and Job Sets for Financial, Supply Chain Management". In case custom shipping documents are created, a custom job is defined and then grouped in the appropriate job set.

Automatic generation of the shipping documents (at shipment confirmation) can be achieved in two ways,
  • Create a ship confirm rule using the task "Manage Ship Confirm Rules" and assigning the document job set (that includes the shipping documents) to be triggered at ship confirm. The rule can be used at the pick wave creation or ship confirm screen depending on the shipment steps
  • By configuring the document set rules. This is a powerful functionality which provides ability to set up business rules for selection of the document job set to be printed at ship confirmation. This setup enables more granular options and conditions for selecting the documents to be printed. 
Ex: A specific document set to be printed when customer ship-to country is Taiwan

The shipping documents can be automatically delivered to preferred mode by setting the delivery mechanism and output preferences.  The setup task Manage Shipping Document Output Preferences can be used to:
  • Define output preference for shipping document ex: Email or fax
  • Attribute based output preferences based on job role, user, organization
  • Attaching shipping documents to a shipment record 

Oracle Inventory Cloud provides rich functionality to support generation of shipping documents during various business process flows. The table below compares the shipping document generation functionalities with Oracle E-business suite R 12

Feature / Business process

Oracle E-business Suite

Oracle Inventory Cloud

Rule based printing of shipping documents

Does not support

Full support

Customization of shipping documents

Difficult to customize

Relatively easy to customize and deploy

Return to vendor flow

Supports generation

Supports generation

Drop ship flow

Does not support

Full support

Sub-assemblies shipped to OSP

Does not support

Full support



Print shipping documents for drop ship fulfillment flow - 

In the Drop ship fulfillment strategy, the seller does not keep the items in inventory, but relies on its vendors to build and ship the ordered items directly to customers. The vendor ships the goods to the customer but there are scenarios where the vendor expects the shipping documents to be generated and sent by the seller.
The scenario can be mapped In Oracle Inventory cloud by,
a) Setting the Supplier Ownership Change Event as 'ASN from supplier' in the "Manage Drop Ship Financial Flow" task
b) Setting the 'Print shipping documents for drop ship orders' option on the "Manage Receiving Parameters" task page.

The business process would follow these steps,
a) Seller communicates purchase order to vendor of the Items
b) Vendor prepares the items for shipment and communicates ASN to seller
c) ASN is created in Oracle inventory cloud (manual or through interface)
d) Shipping documents are generated for the drop ship order by the seller 
e) Shipping documents are shared with vendor and the vendor then ships out the items to the customer with the shipping documentation


Print shipping documents for return to vendor flow - 

Returning received lines to vendor is the process of moving the material which was received in the warehouse back to the vendor. Since the material is shipped out from the warehouse facility, the shipping documents are expected to be created for return shipments. 
 The scenario can be mapped In Oracle Inventory cloud by,
a) Setting the 'Print shipping documents for drop ship orders' option on the "Manage Receiving Parameters" task page.

This enables the two-step return process in Oracle Cloud applications. 
1. Return to vendor transaction is created in Oracle receiving by the warehouse receiving agent
2. The return to vendor transaction is created in Oracle shipping as a non-inventory shipment. 
3. The shipping operator assigns a shipment to the return to vendor lines, and performs ship confirm. Upon ship confirm, the shipping documents are generated

Customize shipping documents - 

One of the most common requirements is to customize shipping documents to meet specific customer needs or legal/statutory requirements. To meet the requirements, it may be needed that the shipping documents display additional data, or present data in a different layout.
In Oracle cloud applications, the shipping documents are defined as reports and created or edited using the Oracle Business intelligence (BI) catalog. The reports typically contain,
A Data model - This defines the data source, data structure, and parameters for the report
A Layout - This defines the presentation, formatting, and visualizations of the data

The following are common scenarios for customizing shipping documents,
Edit the layout of a report. Ex: Add company logo to the report output. Or remove certain fields from the report layout
Add a new layout to a report. Ex: Design a new layout template that provides details in the country specific custom clearance format
Edit a data model. Ex: Add fields to the data model used by a report so that the fields can be added to a custom layout of the report

Oracle cloud BI provides a feature of using the customize option on an existing report OR to create a new custom report using an existing report


Conclusion - 

Oracle Inventory cloud application provide a comprehensive solution to configure and customize shipping documents across multiple business processes like customer shipments, return processes or drop ship flows. Being tightly integrated with Oracle BI publisher, it provides the flexibility to easily customize and deploy custom documents by modifying either the layout or data model of the reports. These features make Oracle Inventory cloud application a powerful tool to manage shipping documents and help reduce efforts and cost in creating custom components for handling the various scenarios.






March 24, 2020

Enabling Audit in Oracle Financials Cloud

Auditing process records and monitors all activities related to configuration, security, and data changes to the business objects in an application. It tracks creation and modification information of the business object attributes. The audit information is independent of any user intervention.

In Oracle Financials Cloud, we can configure audit policies for business objects and select the attributes to be audited. By default audit is disabled for all the business objects. To enable and define audit, user should have a role with privilege 'Manage Audit Policies' (FND_MANAGE_AUDIT_POLICIES_PRIV).


Audit Configuration

Search for 'Manage Audit Policies' task in Setup and Maintenance to enable audit for business object attributes. Audit level should be set to Auditing on the Manage Audit Policies page in order to select business objects and attributes for auditing.

The objects and its attributes have to be selected at 'Configure Business Object Attributes' page.

Business Objects across following areas can be enabled for Auditing-

-        -  Advanced Collections

-        -  Assets

-        -  Bill Management

-        -  Budgetary Control

-        - Cash Management

-        -  Expenses

-        -  General Ledger

-        -  Intercompany

-        -  Legal Entity Configuration

-        -  Payables and Payments

-        -  Receivables

-        -  Revenue Management

-        -  Subledger Accounting

-         - Tax

Object details can be referred from Oracle Documentation

 

Audit Report

Audit Report can be generated at Audit Reports work area based on search parameters entered. The report output can be exported to excel for further analysis.

 

Below are the steps listed to enable audit and generate Audit Report (Example - Payables Invoices):

Define Audit Attributes

 Search for 'Manage Audit Policies' task in Setup and Maintenance

        View image

2.       Click on 'Configure Business Object Attributes' button

        View image

3.       Select the Product as Payables. List of Payables Objects appear thereafter

4.       Select the Object for which related attributes need to be enabled

        View image

.          To enable the attribute, click on + sign for the object under Audited Attribute section

        View image

6.       List of attributes appears. Select the ones that are required to be enabled for auditing.

        View image

 .         Click Ok.      

8.        Select Actionà Synchronize

        View image

9.        After Synchronization process completes, Save and Close.


Audit Report


1.       Navigate to Audit Reports

        View image

2.       The Objects enabled will appear under Business Object Type parameter

        View image

3.       Select the query parameters and search

        View image

4.       Click on Show attribute details to fetch all the attribute details

5.       The report can also be exported in excel.

        View image

 

In case business decides to not get the application audited, set the Audit Level option to 'None' at Manage Audit Policies page to stop auditing.

 

March 3, 2020

Synopsis of EPM Cloud Updates - March 2020

ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CLOUD - MAR '20 UPDATE


EPM CLOUD COMMON:


NEW VERSION OF EPM AUTOMATE:

A new version of EPM Automate includes additional "Tax Reporting and Financial Consolidation and Close (runSupplementalDataReport and runTaskManagerReport) services" commands, as well as adjustments to some established commands (recreate and reset service).

VALIDATE DATA WHEN LOADING DATA AS SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR:

In this update, while Service Admin load data, have the option to allow data validation. All data validations that are implemented in data entry form will be enforced during data loading. Because of the improved validations the data load output will be slower. Data validations for users who were not Service Managers were only implemented in prior updates.

SUPPORT FOR ADDING DYNAMIC MEMBERS IN SMART VIEW:

Smart View now expands the faculty to integrate dynamic members. Users can now integrate dynamic members to Smart View by running business rules that administrators build on dimensions sanctioned for dynamic members (sometimes called "on - the-fly members").

ENHANCED DATA VALIDATION DURING DATA LOAD IN DATA MANAGEMENT:

If data cells are abnegated when you load data utilizing Data Management, a data validation report sets out the reasons for repudiation. You can download the Validation Error report from the Process Details page, by clicking the Output button. Alternatively, a replica of the error file will be preserved in the Outbox.

WRITING BACK JOURNALS TO THE ORACLE FINANCIALS CLOUD:

You can utilize Oracle ERP Cloud-General Ledger to Write back Actuals data. In General Ledger, journal ingressions are made when you write back the actuals data. Journal reports can be checked in General Ledger and posted there. You could only write back Budget Balance forms prior to this update.

RECREATE REST API ENHANCEMENTS FOR ESSBASE VERSION:

The Reconstitute REST API was updated to accept an optional parameter EssbaseChange. This avails you by upgrading or downgrading the current version of Essbase to the incipient FCCS , EPBCS, PBCS Plus 1 environments.

RESTART REST API ENHANCEMENTS FOR AUTO TUNE:

An optional AutoTune parameter has been improved to embrace Restart service REST API. This avails you by auto-tuning the environment to ascertain that Essbase caches are tailored for your program afore you restart it.


ACCOUNT RECONCILIATION:

IMPROVED FILTERING FUNCTIONALITY WITH GROUPING BY PREFERRED FIELDS ON UNMATCHED TRANSACTIONS:

You can now group unrelated transactions by your predilection fields into Transaction Matching. In the Match Process an incipient Bucket Attribute Mapping table sanctions administrators to build up to three bucketing attributes for each Match Process. These bucketing attributes are shown in the Peerless Transactions View as an incipient bucketing bar from which you can filter preferred values, and click through each bucket to simplify unparalleled transaction navigation.  For example, you might want to bucket by location or number of invoices so unrelated transactions with the same value are shown together in both sources.

ENHANCED DATA MANAGEMENT PROCESSING OF BAI AND MT940 BANK FILES TO ALLOW PULLING OF END BALANCES:

Processing of BAI and MT940 Bank files for data management has been amended to sanction the closing verbalization balances to be pulled.  The balance sheets may then be traced for period-end reconciliations to the sub-system.

AUDITING DETAILS RETAINED FOR FILTER OR COLUMN CHANGES IN SAVED LISTS:

Audit amended by logging when a saved List has modified the filter or columns linked. Audit ameliorated by logging when a saved List has modified the filter or columns linked.

SERVICE AND TENANT INFORMATION ADDED TO EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS:

Email alerts additionally contain information about accommodation and the client in the footer to avail identify where an email emanates from.


FINANCIAL CONSOLIDATION AND CLOSE

@XREF FUNCTION SUPPORTED IN CONFIGURABLE CALCULATION RULES:

The @XREF function is fortified in Configurable Calculation rules.

PERFORMANCE SUBSTITUTION VARIABLES:

The below  Subs Variables can be enabled to enhance performance:

·         EnableSimpleAggregation

·         OptimizeDBRefresh

·         OptimizeYTDCalculation

NOTE: The degree of performance amendment varies widely among different applications, as it is driven pristinely by application design and distribution of data.

TASK MANAGER EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS INCLUDE THE SERVICE NAME:

Task Manager email notifications has service name in the footer of the electronic mail. "Note:  This is an automated email message created on efim.arcs from the EPM Task Manager.

SEARCH CAPABILITY FOR TEMPLATES:

Within Task Manager, can dig for templates from a list in the selection dialog when you integrate tasks to the templates.  This is utilizable when you've got an immensely colossal number of templates available.

TASK MANAGER AUDIT INCLUDES CHANGES IN FILTER CONDITION AND COLUMN SELECTION:

In "Task Manager Audit", audit records are available for transmutations in the filter and column cull of Task Manager published lists.

METADATA VALIDATION ERRORS IN THE ACTIVITY REPORT:

The Activity Report was ameliorated with a table detailing errors and alerts from the most recent metadata validation FCCS over the last 24 hours.


NARRATIVE REPORTING

ABILITY TO LOAD US GAAP 2020 AND SEC 2020 EXTENSION:

Supporting Server Taxonomy Cache for US GAAP 2020 and SEC 2020 Extension.


PLANNING

MODEL TO MODEL DATA MAPS IN STRATEGIC MODELING:

You may migrate data from a Strategic Modeling Model (Source) to multiple Strategic Modeling Models (Target) that are managed by different account level properties. This data transfer method between Strategic Modeling Models is called Model Data Management (MDM).

NEW FUNCTIONS IN ASO:

Four incipient ASO functions; @ANCESTOR,  @LAYERGEN, @LAYERLEVEL, and @PARENT, are available in Calculation Manager.

GROOVY BUSINESS RULES TUTORIALS:

Documentation, videos and tutorials on the Groovy business rules are more facile to access.

NEW CALCULATION MANAGER PLANNING EXPRESSIONS:

Two incipient functions in Calculation Manager, getSubVarValue (plan type name, subs var name) and getSubVarValue (substitution variable name), sanction you to utilize supersession variables in Orchestrating Forms Expressions.


 "PROFITABILITY AND COST MANAGEMENT"

APPLICATION DESIGN BEST PRACTICES

The Managing Productivity and Cost Control Cloud guide has been included to a new Application Design Best Practices Appendix.


 "TAX REPORTING"

TASK MANAGER EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS INCLUDE THE SERVICE NAME

Task Manager email notifications  include the service name in the footer of the electronic mail.  "Note:  This is an automated email notification engendered from EPM Task Manager on efim.arcs".

TASK MANAGER AUDIT INCLUDES CHANGES IN FILTER CONDITION AND COLUMN SELECTION: 

In Task Manager Audit, audit records are now available for changes in the filter condition and column selection of Task Manager published lists.

SEARCH CAPABILITY FOR TEMPLATES: 

In Task Manager, when you add tasks to templates, you can now search for templates from a list in the selection dialog.  This is useful when you have a large list of available templates.

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