Oracle Adds a Host of Business Functions to Supply Chain Suite

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2002-10-28

An overhaul of the SCM module in Oracle Corp.s namesake enterprise application suite promises to bring a wealth of new capabilities for automating supply chain processes, according to company officials.

The Supply Chain Module in Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Release 8, announced last week, offers new features for managing warehouse operations, transportation and services. These features span a host of business functions, including order management, planning, procurement, manufacturing, fulfillment and maintenance.

Built on a configurable, rules-driven architecture that can adapt to a companys business processes, the Warehouse Management module supports directed picking and putting away, automated task management, license plates, task interleaving, cartonization, and mobile/radio frequency devices for better accuracy.

Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Release 8s Transportation module helps companies prepare and monitor shipments using a rules-based carrier selection feature, track and trace capabilities, and integrated freight rating, according to Oracle officials, in Redwood Shores, Calif.

Upgrades to the Service Management module include two field engineer optimization products: Advanced Scheduler and Mobile & Wireless Field Service. The former automatically optimizes field service engineer assignments based on skills, geographic location and parts availability; the latter enables service engineers to send and receive information and handle exceptions using wireless devices.

At the same time, the Service Management software includes service parts logistics capabilities that intermittently connect to a PC to download information onto a local disk drive for access.

Other modules focus on supply chain collaboration. The Collaborative Planning module, for instance, enables companies to share inventory levels, identify supply and demand mismatches, and see supply constraints through a common portal thats integrated with Oracles Advanced Planning software.

Collaborative Planning, which is fully integrated with E-Business Suite, links sourcing, procurement and intelligence and provides negotiating tools. The Collaborative Manufacturing module was enhanced so that manufacturing partners can exchange schedules, material availability, capacity, quality results, shipments and invoices in a common portal.

The SCM upgrades are due next month.

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