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Business and Technology Insights

The Path to Cloud Runs Right Through Supply Chain

 
September 16, 2016

Where is the cloud most ready to deliver business ROI? I believe the answer is in unwrapping hidden value trapped in current supply chain networks.

The proof will be on display at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco next week, when our client Glory Global Solutions co-presents with us to share their supply chain transformation story.

Things are moving quickly in this space. So much so that I couldn’t have made this observation about ROI at last year’s Oracle Open World. What’s new? The introduction of new supply chain applications and the maturing of existing ones that signal that the cloud, at least as far as the supply chain is concerned, is open for business.

Most of these are “extended” applications and accelerators that sit on top of the core Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). So one immediate benefit is that companies don’t have to immediately replace their core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) engine.  Instead companies can create a roadmap for cloud adoption that starts by rapidly deploying cloud enabled solutions that provide the functionality that is key to their digital agenda to capture value in the supply chain.

At Oracle OpenWorld, Glory Global Solutions will share highlights of their engagement with TCS to create that roadmap and implement two such cloud applications: Oracle Transportation and Oracle Global Trade Management. These enable cross-border trade management capabilities to optimize the workforce, regulate cash management and provide an end-to-end digital supply chain framework driving greater efficiency and agility.

Other supply chain applications now available support global integrated sales and operation planning, earlier demand sensing and faster demand response, and order orchestration of complex quote to fulfillment processes.  These new solutions have enabled the transition to digital supply chain by including products, subscriptions and services.

Still more solutions let you get your arms around optimizing fulfillment strategies in an omni-channel world, where customized orders come at you with a thousand different options. An expanding variety of fulfillment options have to be managed as well, whether it’s delivering an order from the store, a warehouse or a manufacturing build-to-order facility. Demand-shaping techniques are another attribute moving to the cloud, helping companies smooth out demand and supply by incenting the customer to behave profitably. These apps have been implemented and folks are moving forward with them. Not only do users get a high ROI, but change management pressures are lower because they avoid getting into the core ERP domain.

Next year, we will likely be talking about breakthroughs around shifting larger swaths of business operations to the cloud, realizing the value of cognitive systems in supply chain and there is going to be further innovation in integrating the “digital thread” all the way from product data to customer support. The Internet of Things should play a bigger role in supply chain management in the cloud next year as technologies become more mature, more technical platforms to operate on are made available, and the industry promotes greater interoperability and “digital collaboration”.

Come join us on Tuesday, September 20, at 11 am, Moscone West—3000. The discussion is titled, Transforming the Supply Chain for the New Realities of the Digital Economy. On stage with me to share the company’s journey will be Alex Rammal, CIO of Glory Global Solutions; and Rahul Saha, manufacturing cluster head, Oracle Solutions, TCS. I hope to see you at Oracle OpenWorld and look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences creating the digital supply chain.

Matthew Lekstutis is the Supply Chain Consulting Lead for Tata Consultancy Services. He has over 20 years of experience as an industry executive and advisor including COO level P&L management responsibility. Matt helps clients to capture business performance improvement opportunities and drive growth by enabling new business models and technologies across the supply chain.