Delivering the Supply Chain promise

Delivering the Supply Chain promise

Delivering the Supply Chain promise

Supply Chains have been and continue to be engine of growth for organisations. A few pointers from Gartner Insights 2018 report:

  • Supply Chains globally move $16 trillion worth of goods annually to nearly 200 countries and provide services to more than 7 billion people worldwide
  • 80% of CEOs believe that they are providing a superior customer experience while only 8% of the customers agree
  • Internal silos within an organisation will be in the top three leading causes of customer dissatisfaction across all industry segments

We have known for some time now that both, Supply Chain and Customer Experience working together are pivotal in driving significant increase in customer satisfaction score as well as improved financial performance.


These factors coupled with the influence of digital economy make it imperative for businesses to employ technologies help them stay informed and enable them to make quick decision.


Gartner’s report merely highlights that this challenge has continued to get bigger, the reason being highly complex systems landscape where connecting demand channels with supply channels has involved joining large and often times monolithic applications that require whole raft of functionalities to be satisfied before they are able to result in a meaningful information that could look like a customer promise.


We have known that ERP had a functionality called Available to Promise (ATP), that relied on integrated functional footprint such as manufacturing, inventory, order management and the like. Majority of us who were involved in the ERP era know that enabling ATP meant a long-winded data and implementation and integration projects.


The technology that could be explored, configured, adapted and implemented in weeks just didn’t exist and data models were such that you had to provide inputs across the landscape evening if you were going to use part of the functionality. And if the organisations after a long programme of work did achieve certain success, then they couldn’t react to evolving market requirements quickly enough due to amount of integration work required.


There had to be a better answer.


Oracle over the last decade has transformed its flagship enterprise suite of applications into leading SaaS Offering commonly known as Cloud Applications. Oracle has arguably got the most comprehensive Cloud Services portfolio across all Cloud pillars and certainly in the SaaS space.


We examine one such Cloud Service called Global Order Promising (GOP) that enables Supply Chain Managers to effectively make and maintain customer promise scenarios. This application sits perfectly at the intersection of Customer Experience and Internal Operations. GOP matches supply to demand and plays a pivotal role in achieving better On Time In Full (OTIF) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) at an accelerated pace.


The overarching idea is to have a super updated system within the supply chain ecosystem that provides an up-to-date picture of the supply.


These could be:


Organisations’ on available stock (you define what “Available means in your context, GOP enables you to achieve that”)


Incoming supplies like purchases, transfers (including external supplies if applicable in your context)


Manufactured goods


All demand in the supply chain are then scheduled by GOP. This is essentially, an activity where GOP intelligently decides which supply gets allocated to the demand thereby ensuring that orders get shipped to customers as per business expectations. Note that by intelligence, we mean that the GOP brain can be configured to think as per business policies, operating plans, annual targets etc.


To take a deeper look, these instructions help answer the below questions:


When should the order be shipped so that it reaches the customer in time?


Which supply point should the order be shipped from?


What carrier and delivery methods should be used to meet customer preference


Though the above enlists some and not all supply chain questions that GOP helps to answer, it shows how GOP helps the Order Channels derive the best option in fulfilling an order as per business and customer expectations.


The below picture illustrates one of the scenarios where GOP plays a pivotal role in the supply chain as well as customer service process.


Here are a few ways that GOP helps bring efficiency and ease into an organisation’s customer service and supply chain management processes.


Sourcing Rules: GOP can be setup to decided which store / warehouse ship to various regions or customers.

These rules can define multiple options to fulfil a given demand scenario. GOP can be setup to choose the best option as per business targets like delivery lead times or cost.


Available-to-Promise or Capable-to-Promise: Managers can decide whether long term orders get promised existing stock or not. In case of the latter, GOP can promise stock that the business is capable of buying/ transferring / manufacturing rather than promising stock that is available. Essentially, this can help reduce stocking costs for businesses and can help rotate inventory quicker.


Rescheduling: GOP can help customer service agents reschedule orders based on customer demands and as well supply changes like delays.


Customer Priority: You can prioritise stock for certain high priority customers based on contractual and service commitments. GOP is capable of ring-fencing stock based on demand or customer classification.


Stock Reservations: Reserve stock for customers anywhere in your organisational supply chain. GOP when used alongside Order Management comes equipped with a back to back functionality where it pegs the required stock against the customers sales orders through the fulfilment process.


Analytics: GOP analytics reports and dashboards can be used to get a quick and in-depth insight into the current performance of the supply chain from a promising and scheduling perspective.

Great results are achieved when people talk, share ideas and look to find answers collaboratively.

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