Lean Supply Chain Edition
February 2010

Information InDepth

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Supply Chains Brace for the New 'Abnormal'

Manufacturers are facing a new reality: “business as usual” no longer applies. So even after a widespread upturn materializes, innovative companies will continue to heed the lessons they’ve learned over the past two years. Consider these two prime areas where the recent past will impact future choices:

The New Supply Chain
“Continued improvements will be necessary for deciding what products to make, when to make them, and how to get them to customers at the lowest costs”, says Paul Homchick, Oracle senior director, value chain planning applications marketing.

One strategy is to cut costs by managing resources better. Two Oracle products can help: Oracle Strategic Network Optimization identifies the best places to locate manufacturing plants and distribution centers by comparing shipping and inventory costs with demand patterns. Oracle Inventory Optimization analyzes demand for finished goods and work-in-process to determine the optimum inventory levels at each location to meet customer requirements and financial goals.

Service Transformation
Service Contracts used to be taken for granted. Not anymore. Service provides high profits (often three or four times higher than product sales) and demand typically rises when product sales decline. Service contracts have become so attractive that manufacturers are now vying to service their competitors’ products, says Bob Hogg, Oracle director of product management.

How can companies grow their service business while also keeping competitors at bay? Oracle’s Service Transformation solution set can help. It handles scheduling, route optimization, and service-parts planning. One version serves Oracle E-Business Suite users; a second, based on Siebel CRM, works with other ERP platforms.

Contact your sales representative for more information on the Service Transformation solution set.

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