Oracle Boosts SCM in E-Biz Upgrades

Enhancements to the suite's supply chain management module in Version 11i.10, available in fall, include features for lean manufacturing, globalization and compliance.

Oracle on Wednesday announced the first set of upgrades to E-Business Suite Version 11i.10, which include a number of functional enhancements to its SCM (supply chain management) module.

Following industry efforts to add lean manufacturing, globalization and compliance features, Oracle Corp. focused on those areas with the 11i.10 upgrade.

Oracles supply-chain enhancements aim to make companies more adaptive by letting them collaborate with partners and suppliers across a global network, officials said. To enable this, Oracle has added international drop ship, multiorganization drop ship and global forecasting capabilities with 11i.10.

International drop ship enables users to manage all of the required paperwork for cross-border shipments, while the multiorganization drop ship capability allows shipment transfers from one area in an organization to another across different geographies.

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The global forecasting capability lets users look at their supply network and create a global supply plan. The new functionality uses demand feeds from multiple systems to coordinate demand planning forecasts across the supply chain.

To bring along lean manufacturing—concepts that help companies eliminate waste and inefficiencies across the supply chain—Oracle has embedded lean concepts into its production engineering, supplier management and service management applications.

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Specific capabilities include a new scarce inventory allocation functionality in its Demand Planner application that lets users fulfill orders to maximize profitability. A catch weight support added to the Warehouse Management application allows users to manage weight variances, while a lot-specific costing feature in Oracles Process Manufacturing application enables users to provide costs on a specific batch of products that may have a different ingredient than similar products.

To help companies better comply with government mandates, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle has integrated its supply-chain applications with its Internal Controls Manager, a set of rules that track and manage workflow and audit that information historically. Also included are electronic signature and electronic records capabilities. The latter enables users to capture engineering changes for reference.

To keep up with industry mandates, Oracle has enabled its Warehouse Management application for RFID (radio frequency identification).

To better drive compliance with employees and trading partners, Oracle added new performance measures to its Daily Business Intelligence offering.

Oracle applications customer Randy Kjell, CIO and vice president of IT at Knowles Electronics Holdings Inc., said he is looking forward to the lot-specific and RFID features in Version 11i.10.

"Were doing a fair amount of lot tracking and processing products through the system—but [lean manufacturing is] a very nebulous term in my mind," said Kjell in Itasca, Ill. "Were very interested in being able to track the lot-specific manufacturing processes because of the nature of our new product lines."

11i.10 will be available later this fall, officials said.

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