Zebra Technologies adopts a future-proof supply chain with Oracle Cloud SCM

The technology solution provider consolidates supply chain systems under Oracle Cloud SCM to better meet customer demand and navigate change.

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The foundation for success is a mindset and culture that supports innovation, then the technology helps enable that. That is what Oracle Cloud is doing for us. The technology gives us the power to plan for the future and maximize outcomes.

Paritesh SharmaSenior Director of IT, Zebra Technologies

Business challenges

Zebra Technologies is a global provider of end-to-end solutions that work behind the scenes across various industries to help people and organizations make more informed decisions. From printers and scanners to NFL on-field player tracking and hospital ID wristbands, the company offers products and services that enable users to harness the power of data.

Over the last decade, the company consolidated systems, focused on acquisitions, and grew revenue to $5.6 billion. Then, the pandemic hit in 2020 and disrupted global supply chains. Tariffs and geopolitical decisions caused issues with Zebra’s product manufacturers, many of which were outsourced.

Supply chain challenges were further emphasized by the high demand for Zebra Technologies’ products during the pandemic, particularly in critical industries like healthcare. The disparate systems that the company had in place lacked the capabilities to scale to meet demand. Zebra Technologies needed to implement a new supply chain system that could get products to customers efficiently while preparing the company for the post-pandemic future.

We found Oracle’s capabilities to be stronger than others, and getting them all in one ecosystem really helped us.

Paritesh SharmaSenior Director of IT, Zebra Technologies

Why Zebra Technologies chose Oracle

Having recently consolidated systems to Oracle on-premises, Zebra Technologies was familiar with the process of implementing innovative technologies. When it came to considering a cloud solution, Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) was the clear winner as it provided the strongest performance compared to similar applications on the market.

The company had multiple on-premises systems managing various pieces of supply chain such as inventory optimization, service planning, and hardware. By moving to Oracle Supply Chain Planning, part of Oracle Cloud SCM, the company combined all its prior capabilities under one umbrella and added additional capabilities to help drive the business forward. The consolidation of all the different areas of supply chain, from the lead process to supply planning and backlog management, enabled the company to execute more efficiently and become more strategic.

Additionally, Oracle Cloud SCM integrated smoothly with the company’s other systems, providing better data visibility across departments and boosting collaboration. Oracle’s Cloud also gave Zebra the flexibility it needed to scale for changes in demand.

Results

Since implementing Oracle Cloud SCM, Zebra Technologies has streamlined its supply chain and improved forecast accuracy, which increased by almost 100%. With more accurate forecasts, the company can provide customers with more specific dates for product delivery and fulfill those promises by getting products to customers on time. This strengthened customer relationships and improved overall customer satisfaction.

By using Order Backlog Management within Oracle Cloud SCM, 90% of orders are now automated, saving an estimated 20,000 hours of work annually for the order management team. This type of benefit was seen across multiple other teams, which streamlined and automated manual processes to save time for more important tasks that move the needle for the business.

An unexpected benefit was uncovered when the company integrated its transportation management system with its planning tool. The goal was to see if all the forecasts coming from the transportation tool could help plan for transportation spend ahead of time. On one order alone, Zebra Technologies saved nearly $2 million in freight costs just by linking the two systems. The company reaped the benefits of combining capabilities under one roof in Oracle Cloud and has since made this integration a standard part of its supply chain strategy.

Another key KPI that Zebra measures is employee work-life balance. This is done through a net promoter score to understand the employee experience individually and across departments. The company saw a positive increase since implementing Oracle Cloud SCM, as Oracle systems helped alleviate stress and allowed employees to work on more important tasks. Moreover, having a new tool that provides a better user experience and improved reporting has helped people do their jobs more efficiently and get excited about taking on new challenges.

By moving to Oracle Cloud and consolidating systems, Zebra has reduced its IT costs as maintenance requirements were drastically cut down. With quarterly updates, additional functionalities were much easier to implement, and the company could pick and choose the best ones to help reach its goals. This enabled the company to standardize innovative processes and accelerate positive business outcomes. For example, the company can now make more informed decisions using scenario planning in its Oracle Cloud SCM environment. This allows Zebra Technologies to simulate different situations and shortages and plan ahead to meet demand.

Looking forward, Zebra Technologies plans to move additional systems to the cloud, leverage the powerful integrations that Oracle provides, and harness the power of data not just for the business but for the benefit of its customers.

Published:January 13, 2023

About the customer

Founded in 1969, Zebra Technologies provides industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that connect people, assets, and data to help customers make business-critical decisions.