Oracle has unveiled its Supply Chain Management Version 11i.10, which it claims reflects customer demand for a global approach to SCM and visibility.
Included in 11i.10 are new capabilities to manage global supply-chain networks, integrate compliance regulations with the supply-chain solution and enable a more global approach to lean manufacturing.
The demand planning functionality will now allow managers to coalesce demand planning across all regions, which was not possible previously.
International drop ship capabilities have been automated with dropdown menus in a portal rather than manual input when specifying pick-up and ship-to orders.
The latest version integrates Oracle's internal control manager from its finance solution with the Oracle SCM solution to meet with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.
In recognition of running a so-called lean enterprise, Oracle also included a number of features such as catch weight support, which will allow a manufacturer to charge for exact weights rather than estimating over and under, and lot specific costing to account for market price fluctuations in the cost of raw materials.
Although Oracle typically promotes the benefits of using a single-vendor solution, Version 11i.10 also includes about 40 APIs that connect Oracle's solution to major vendors – such as Manugistics and SAP – as well as to point providers, according to vice-president of SCM at Oracle, Jonathan Colehower.
However, Colehower did not say making those connections would be easy, just easier than in the past.
"Today companies are running i2, Manugistics, SAP and Oracle; consolidating your applications on one vendor is going to take some effort," Colehower said.
As contract manufacturing and offshoring increase, the goal of Version 11i.10 is to give business managers global visibility for managing inventory across multiple locations, total spend, and contract management and negotiations.
"We can aggregate all of that demand information worldwide, model demand planning globally and use a global forecast which can be filtered back down to the regions," Colehower said.
Gaining visibility into a global supply chain not on a piecemeal basis but from an aggregated point of view is becoming increasingly important, according to director of retail research at Aberdeen Group, Paula Rosenblum.
"Production is going on around the world," Rosenblum said. "How do you know where you are in any give time, whether you are winning or losing? The need for these kinds of applications is huge."
Oracle Supply Chain Management 11i.10 will ship within 90 days.