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June 2014

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New Returns Portal Helps Enterprises Modernize Service and Maintenance Processes

The drive to improve customer experience doesn't end once a sale is made. To maintain customer loyalty and a competitive advantage, a growing number of enterprises are investing in solutions that maintain the highest service levels in the reverse supply chain—the processes that handle returns for credit, service, upgrades, and end-of-life materials disposals.

"People can't live for more than a day without their cars or their smart phones, and they expect aftermarket service to be fast and seamless," says Lee Sacco, Oracle senior director of applications development. "They demand immediate gratification, and that requires new strategies by manufacturers." Sacco further details the new strategies in the following interview.

Q: What are biggest challenges to providing high levels of postsales service?
A: Postsales service is very complex compared to the rest of the traditional supply chain. Each item is coming from a different source, with a different history, probably from a different location, and perhaps subject to different laws. To deal with all those variables, organizations must collect data from many different sources to understand who originally owned each item, who subsequently owned it, and what repairs, if any, were done in the past. Companies must almost instantaneously assemble all the relevant information to know the item's life story, and that's quite difficult.

Q: What are the core Oracle technologies that help companies succeed in this area?
A: The backbone is the enterprise resource planning or ERP system, such as Oracle E-Business Suite. Other key products are Oracle Transportation Management, Oracle's Agile Product Lifecycle Management applications, and Oracle Service Cloud.

Q: What new capabilities in Oracle E-Business Suite address postsales service?
A: Oracle just introduced a returns portal, a feature within Oracle Depot Repair, to manage the return of retired assets, trade-ins, and returns for credit. The system enables enterprises to log take-back requests through a single portal, then track status and trade-in credit approvals.

Q: What's significant about this new capability?
A: End user experience was a key focus area. Oracle designed the solution so the returns experience is fast and intuitive. The returns portal, which Oracle uses internally, is now generally available to Oracle customers using Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3 and later releases.

Learn more about the latest service management capabilities available in Oracle E-Business Suite.

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