Supply chain software vendor Oracle Corp. today introduced new capabilities that help users accelerate supply chain planning, increase operational efficiency, and improve financial accuracy by applying automation and artificial intelligence (AI), the company said.
The updates are part of the Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite and include new planning, usage based pricing, and rebate management capabilities within Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (SCM) and enhanced quote-to-cash processes in Oracle Fusion Applications.
Oracle says the upgrade provides an integrated platform that enables AI and automation to be embedded in supply chain processes. That approach can improve the speed and accuracy that organizations need to handle challenges like disconnected systems that require complex and costly integrations, which slow down business processes and impact financial accuracy and profitability.
Oracle has actually being using AI for a while, saying it’s the best tool for the job to deliver business results for complex tasks like predictive maintenance and optimizing lead times, Jon Chorley, Oracle’s senior vice president of supply chain applications and chief sustainability officer, said in a briefing.
Companies have long struggled with unpredictable lead times in global container shipments, leaving “money on the water,” Chorley said. But the new tools can help them manage that uncertainty, using AI logic to examine variables like weather, seasonality, or labor problems, and then plan with tighter windows and reduce their total investment in inventory.
The tools can also help to extract cost out of standard business processes by applying automation instead of manual processes for back office tasks such as customer accounts and revenues, he said.
The ideal type of company that can take advantage of these new capabilities is one with a linear supply chain that’s selling its product into a channel and wants to deepen its relationship to customers through strategies like offering more products or changing a product from a sales to a subscription basis. Such users could also apply the AI to boost sustainability by managing each product’s entire lifecycle and maintenance more closely, he said.
“The last few years have highlighted the value of supply chain insights, efficiency, and accuracy, and the consequences of moving too slow when a disruption occurs,” Chorley said in a release. “With Oracle’s complete suite of integrated applications, organizations can manage supply chain data on the same platform as finance, HR, and customer experience to accelerate processes like quote-to-cash and remove barriers that have traditionally existed between different business functions. This holistic approach creates an environment where AI and automation can flourish to help businesses drive efficiencies and achieve more with less.”