Cloud Inventory Extends Inventory Control in Fusion SCM & EBS with Mobile Solutions: Remote-Disconnected-Kanban — TechShim
Listen to the full podcast on Cloud Inventory’s website: Full Transcription below: https://www.cloudinventory.com/podcasts/cloud-inventory-at-ascend
Jim: Talk to talk to you today about extending Oracle E-biz Cloud SCM, especially around the supply chain and especially as it respects to digital transformation and digital inventory management.
My name is Jim Hoskins, and I am a VP of product management at DSI. I’ve been with the company for 23 years, been around the supply chain industry even a little longer than that. But a lot of use cases and examples of what we’ve done over the years around implementing our products, especially with respect to Warehouse inventory, Manufacturing Materials, and then also our Field Inventory.
Quick agenda. I’ll have a little overview of our company and then we’ll talk about our solution overview, and really, how we can extend E-Biz and Oracle Fusion Cloud, and take those products really as they’re intended to work in the back office, and bring those transactions all the way through to mobile execution. I want to talk a little bit about the value of data, and what kind of data that we’re collecting and how we’re collecting it matter. Talk a little bit about our integrations and how we integrate to different systems in the market. And then I’ll go into detail about our solutions, and bring it all back together with a customer story, and I’ll throw in a few customer stories as we go.
And just like we said beforehand — please, I actually love these things to be as conversational as possible. If you’re here in person raise your hand. If you’re here virtually raise your hand too. I guess you get to raise your hands and everywhere around. And happy to address questions as we go. Somebody else is probably thinking of the same question at the same time.
So a little bit about DSI and Cloud Inventory. We have a global presence, so we have offices all around the world — US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, offices in AMEA. We’re a 42 year old business, so we’ve had supply chain expertise in our organization for over 42 years now. And to think I’ve actually been there for more than half the time this company has been around. So it’s definitely been been a very fun ride over those years, and we’re really seeing a lot of growth.
I think a lot of people are seeing some very interesting times around supply chain disruption, around markets changing as we’re entering really kind of a bold new world.
We have over 3,000 customers. More than 85% of those customers are in the Oracle ecosystem. So we love our Oracle customers and definitely understand their businesses and understand how to integrate to their back end systems.
I wanted to start with just a little bit of a story. I’ve actually been lucky enough a couple times to go to Singapore. If you’ve ever been to Singapore, there’s a really iconic building. The first time I went there, it was just finalizing construction. That’s the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. And you could actually sit a 747 on top of that building that you see there. It’s gorgeous, opulent hotel. And that ship, the cruise ship that’s on top of that is a pool and an awesome, awesome deck to go hang out and pay $25 for a beer. And it’s a really, really great place.
Well when I went there, I always like to get gifts from my kids. So my daughter is a puzzler. So I bought her a puzzle of the Marina Bay Sands. And she’s put that thing together. She’s obviously a lot older now, but put that thing together in about 10 seconds. And then my son, got him a Lego architecture of that hotel.
Now, I was able to personalize it and actually be at that hotel. So it was really cool to see, when you’re standing on their, the negative edge, looking over and seeing out into the water.
Well it kind of was as I was putting this presentation together, I kind of thought about how data kind of flows around the same way — paper-captured data. And that snapshot that you get of information at a single time.
The problem with that is that that’s a snapshot. And if anybody knows about anything in business is that the one thing that’s constant is change, and the one thing that’s constant is movement.
So that snapshot, that paper capture of information, it’s got really limited usefulness, and it was accurate at a point in time. Well that point in time can change really quickly. And I kind of thought about this. Was like, okay, it’s still kind of a puzzle to put together but it’s kind of taking it up that next level.
So I thought about manually now entering that data into some kind of system. So I’ve taken that piece of paper and now I’ve created some more dimension to it by capturing that information in the backend system.
But it’s really only as accurate as the person that did the capture. Actually, I read a Gartner study back from about 2008, where they had done a comparison of field captured data to taking that field capture on a mobile device, versus capturing that data on a piece of paper and then handing it to somebody in the back office, and saw what happened with that. There was almost a 30% error rate on the data that went into the system after the fact, and the richness of data was also lost.
So to me, whenever you have real time captured data, you’re capturing that information not only from an accuracy perspective because you’re using things like barcodes and images and there’s data processing that’s going on to validate and make sure that that data is purely accurate, but you can also now with devices, augment that data.
So I could have captured that information and got the weather at the same time. I could have captured the GPS location of where I was at. I could have captured all the tweets going on in that area about the Marina Bay Sands hotel and what a great time people were having, and maybe there was a live concert at the other end boat that I wanted to go see.
So capturing that information with mobility really gives us ability to really extend data and to really what I like to call high resolution, get high resolution data.
So the paper that’s out there capturing data is this point in time and it’s got really what I like to call high latency of information. It takes time for somebody to write it down and then it takes time to sit on somebody’s desk, and it takes time to get hand entered into the system. Versus capturing that information in real time, capturing everything I can about that information at a given point.
Well practically, we see this play out in a lot of our customers. And yes, a lot of people are at least off of paper transactions in reasonable sized warehouses and reasonable complexity warehouse. Still, we still see it, especially companies that are maybe small to medium businesses that are really starting to mature in their digital transformation.
Obviously capturing that information is only as good as who put that information in. But being able to capture real time information in the field, in the warehouse, wherever that mobile transaction takes place, I get to collect not only that data that I’m entering in, but also all the environmental data that I might not even realize that is going on around me.
If I’m at a construction site, I might want to know what the humidity is. My parents just bought a house and put in new wood floors. I didn’t realize that those wood floors have to stay in the house for five days to acclimate to the humidity of their house. I learned that this week.
So kind of the same kind of concept, that that additional information, that could save an extra trip. Somebody might come out and say, oh, this floor has only been here for a day. I’ve got to return another day. Well think about the costs related to that kind of a situation.
Anyway, I just wanted to kind of open up a little bit and talk a little bit about data, and kind of have this be a back plane to the conversation of our mobility platform and how we can extend E-biz and Oracle Cloud Fusion with this kind of really high resolution, high dimension data.
As I mentioned before, we offer really three product lines that we feel really do extend not only the data that’s captured but also creating optimized inventory and improving productivity, increasing compliance and also creating more revenues for our customers.
So our manufacturer materials applications, our warehouse inventory and our field inventory, they’re all integrated to our Oracle family of ERPs. And then we also have our mobile accelerators which, those actually go directly to the data model.
So with our own data model we can really do some very, very interesting things with data and capturing and manipulating that data in ways that really help personalize our solutions for our customers. But then we also have a lot of customers that will actually just directly integrate and conversate with the back end ERP.
And then we surround that with a low code platform, where again that personalization layer of our product allows our customers to really make for unique solutions for their supply chain needs.
Just a little bit about some of the applications that come out of the box. Our discrete manufacturing, Kanban and Kitting. So again, all of these transactions work in an E-biz environment, and we’re seeing — and I’ll talk a little bit here in the future — seeing companies that, as they’re making that digital transformation and start to go to cloud solutions, that they don’t want to do that all at once. It’s a journey, if you will. So we’re seeing a number of customers that are taking certain parts of their organization and leaving them on E-biz while they move and make digital transformation. They might do financials first, and then start to do components of supply chain management as they go.
Some of our warehouse inventory applications. All of the inventory applications you expect, everything from receiving all the way to pick, pack and ship. Cycle counting. You have survey products, where as you’re implementing or as you’re, say, receiving items in, being able to quarantine those items and do inspections right there. And then all of the outbound products like I mentioned, pick, pack and ship, and all the transactions that you would expect in warehouse inventory. Those are fully available.
Field Inventory, I think one of the things that really is kind of difficult actually, especially in the E-biz and Oracle SCM cloud space, is what happens to inventory when it leaves the friendly confines of the warehouse. And whether it’s project materials that are out on a job site, whether it’s van stock for a med device company or trunk stock, being able to capture and count that information is really critical.
I have one customer that they sell spinal stenosis implants. And they jokingly said in our first meeting together — yeah, we can have $100,000 of inventory in some glovebox.
So that really hit me with them of how important counting that inventory was to them. And I mean, literally one device being missing is thousands and thousands of dollars, and could be meaning that somebody doesn’t get the important surgery that they need.
So counting, being able to track that inventory in the field, highly important. And we’ll talk a little more about that.
And then some additional build inventory transactions like proof of delivery and order fulfillment out in the field.
Just a few really high level examples of the type of scale that we’re seeing in customers. Consumer packaged goods supplier, they ship 2.8 billion units a year using our Cloud Inventory products. Construction company that’s tracking over three million tool transactions a year. So out on job sites they have technicians that need to be able to find tools to do their jobs. I mean, the last thing any construction company wants, any manufacturing, any company wants is people standing around doing nothing. Right? Well, in construction that’s a real risk whenever you don’t have the project materials and the tools to do their jobs. So over three million transactions annually.
And one of the great things about that solution is if somebody puts down a tool on the third floor and somebody needs it on the fifth floor, well, it doesn’t need to go back to the depot and then get checked back in before somebody on the third floor can get it. They can do tech-to-tech transfers, and they can see what other people have and the state location of that item.
Outdoor power equipment company that makes motor boats motors. Think about a business that’s just crazy busy right now, doing 160 million shipments a year.
And then that med device company I talked about, the spinal stenosis company, they do everything from tracking their Kitting and manufacturing through a really, really awesome visual count as it goes out the door, with the camera that looks down on the shipment and validates that the right lots and the right serial numbers are going out the door. And then they package all that up with a single barcode, and their reps received that in on one bar code. And it’s really reduced their amount of material handling costs. And then out in the field they’re tracking and cycle counting, making sure that they’re able to have accurate counts up in the field.
Some key transactions for our Oracle E-biz and Fusion SCM customers. These are our ERP Accelerators. We’ve built out over 35 transactions, specifically for that data model and direct interface into Oracle SCM Cloud, and into also E-biz.
So everything you would expect from all of the alias operations, from issues to receipts to movements, and then getting all the pick, pack and ship out the door, and all the work order transactions that you need for manufacturing as well.
Alright. Before I go to warehouse inventory, any questions that anybody has so far?
Host: Not yet from the virtual audience. If there’s any questions, just post those in the chat.
Jim: Yeah. The question was — does our software create a dashboard to show the movement of the inventory in a pick, pack and ship operation?
Yes. We have tools that will show all of the KPIs that we capture throughout the process. Examples would be something like a dock-to-stock time, or a pick-to-ship time, to be able to see how quickly items are going out the door, what items are going fastest, what items going slowest?
Thank you for asking that question. Because that’s some of the kind of high resolution data that I think can be utilized that you’d never get out of capturing off of paper or a spreadsheet — is that kind of granular data.
As an example, pick times and being able to see who did the picks, when they did the picks what were they picking, and how long it took from the time they scanned an item and put it in their cart to the time that they put it at the pack station. And be able to look at that — do I have certain employees that are maybe slower? Is there a shift that’s slower than others? Maybe they’ve got other things going on. Maybe that’s the third shift that are cleaning up too. And maybe it doesn’t matter, or maybe it really matters, and it has us look at where things should be located in the warehouse. Should I transition that item to a forward pick space because it’s become kind of an A-mover item in the warehouse. So yeah, that kind of information, we can capture.
And we have some of that that comes out of the box. And then we also have an analytics model inside of our tool set that allows you to capture within a transaction or across multiple transactions a thread of analytics.
So I can say, just in my picking app I want to capture this, or grant for instance, on the dock-to-stock, when things are coming in the door in receiving to the time that it gets to quarantine to the time that it gets inspected to the time it gets put away, I can look across all of those transactions and have that thread of information.
Jim: The question was around the orders coming in and going out of the warehouse, and what status those are at during the day.
Yes, we can see that on a screen showing the orders that still need to be picked, the orders that are already in process, and ones that are out for.
Jim: So the question was, does our software look at — I’m assuming you’re talking about work orders and manufacturing side, and does our software have something that tells what orders can be filled and what orders maybe can’t be filled by the existing raw materials in your warehouse, and probably the labor too, that you’re probably looking for.
We’ve worked with some different partners. We’ll do typically the mobile side of that and all of the manufacturing materials transactions that are going on behind the scenes. So — what pick has gone on, what’s been allocated, what’s in process on the manufacturing side?
Versus, we’ll typically partner with companies to do the planning side and then looking at, okay, I’ve got these other work orders that are already built, and yet maybe we don’t have enough stock so those are back ordered, versus ones that might be even coming down the pipe for later.
If I’ve got some seasonality to my business and I know that in July I’m going to be selling a lot more of something around the July summer holiday or whatever works in your business.
And we can certainly talk afterwards. I can talk about maybe a couple of partners that we tend to work with. But yeah, we do parts of it. I wouldn’t say we do all of that.
Any other questions?
Jim: Yes. Great question. Thank you for asking that. The question was — do we work with only Oracle in the cloud like Cloud Fusion? Or do we also work with on-premise Oracle systems?
We work with both of those. An example, and I’ll share it here in a little bit, they’re an on-premise E-biz customer who is making the digital transformation from that to Oracle Fusion Cloud.
So they have some of their operations still working on E-biz, while they have some of their operations already on Cloud Fusion live and doing transactions.
So we actually have our Kanban application, as the example that I’ll talk about, working against both systems. So working against their on-premise system, and creating the Kanbans there, and processing, and it’s live on both sides of that.
So yes, we’ve been doing the on premise stuff for a really long time. But the cloud stuff has really offered some really neat opportunities to seed digital transformations and see our customers make that transition. Thank you for the question.
Alright. So just to go maybe a step deeper into a warehouse inventory and some of our transactions, some examples. I always like to tell customer stories. And I think that how customers use their product really gives people a better idea of the value that can be received.
So, TTX Company out of Chicago, they’re a rail tooling company. So they’ve got over 170,000 railcars. And they do over almost 800 million in maintenance a year on their own cars.
So as you might expect for a company that maintains their own fleet, they maintain a set of parts, they have tools, they have manufacturing components that they do, they also have inventory that they’ve got to make sure that they manage.
The thing that’s kind of unique about them is they don’t only have that in one spot, they’re all over the country. But they have to do it in sometimes some pretty hostile environments. Winters in Chicago on the rail yard aren’t the funnest place to have to go and change out a wheel set on a rail car.
Just a little interesting note, something I learned when I was working with these guys is that — when you see trains go by, on those topper cars, those wheel sets that hold those real cars up are actually not fully attached, they’re not bolted down, they just sit on top of those things, and all they have to do is jack those cars up and swap them out. It’s pretty cool the way they operate that. They’re not bolted on. So the weight of that car keeps it in place.
But some of their challenges were, is that out in the field in particular, they would have forward stocking locations on their rail yards, but they would have no connectivity. So the mobile solution that they had in place worked fine for them if they were at the guard shack, inside of wifi coverage, but as soon as you left that, your screen went away. So they had to go and… Essentially it was like paper. They’d have to record all their transactions, then they’d go and walk over to that place, and they’d enter them.
Well, they knew that was not for them long term. They knew they needed to disconnect the solution. Sometimes connections can be there, but not good. And I think everybody always knows that whenever they go to places like here.
Although my connectivity is really good here, but my hotel room is not so wonderful.
So the problem is that business still occurs. It’s not going to go away whether you have a cell signal or not. So they were able to capture all that information. And one of the things is really important for them is grading their materials. So as they take those wheel sets off they have to grade them and see what kind of condition they’re in. And they get to a certain point that they need to be remanufactured.
So this was this was an SAP to Cloud Fusion transition. When they were on SAP, they had built this entirely custom system to be able to work with their suppliers, to be able to basically sell those those wheel sets back to their suppliers. Their suppliers would re-manufacture them, and then they would sell them back as a remanufactured component.
Well there’s a lot of inefficiencies in that process, not to mention it was a pretty complex code that they were having to maintain.
One of their goals was — we want to make this happen inside of Oracle Cloud Fusion without customizing Oracle Cloud Fusion.
Well that was a pretty daunting task given the fact that there was about, anecdotally, 45 steps in that process, that no single person, especially anybody out in the field would want to possibly have to go through.
We were able to actually present an application that worked both online, offline and also was available to their suppliers, to be able to capture all the information, store it until there was enough wheel sets to transfer on a truck, to be able to then watch and have visibility of it throughout the remanufacturing process.
And that all went from a capital expenditure to an operational expense, because now they were doing that service order process through the ERP system and we didn’t have to customize Oracle Cloud Fusion in that process.
And created a user interface that was actually usable. It would not have worked in Oracle Cloud Fusion, because there was a lot of transfer orders and work orders and a whole lot of other things going on behind the scenes, that really just didn’t make sense for any one user.
So their accuracy is shot up and their work order processing time has gone down significantly.
I’ll head into manufacturing materials. One of the things that we’re seeing a lot of interest in is around Kanban. Part of the reason why this is, is Oracle Cloud Fusion doesn’t have a mobile component. It actually doesn’t really have a Kanban component to it yet. It is part of their stated roadmap, so eventually I think they will have a Kanban solution. But there’s companies in the market place that they want to move now and they want some solutions to be able to handle that need.
So you’re familiar with Kanban, it’s a poll system. So it’s a process where I’ve got to work center that has the parts that it needs to make one or two or 10 or whatever, and then it gets replenished in real time in just-in-time fashion.
So our applications actually create all of the back end inventory and manufacturing operations that have to occur in Oracle Cloud Fusion, but yet presented in a way that makes it behave like a Kanban environment.
So you set up work centers in our applications. You set up Kanban cards in our applications, and then they do present to the end user. And we could have all different kinds of triggering mechanisms. Things like, somebody wants to get a light snack at the end, a button on a light stack and say — I’m done, go ahead and replenish me. Or maybe pulling off, maybe you’ve got a lot tracking system at the end of a manufacturing operation, we can listen to those kind of signals.
And we’ve got one opportunity we’re talking to right now where they’re looking to have glass for solar panels that they have RFID on that, and as they go through an interrogator in a tunnel, it’s telling our system it’s time now to go ahead and create another pick order to do that.
So we get all the works in the replenishment signals, and then we have the empty card signals going back to go ahead and do those additional replenishments.
And then beyond doing in a warehouse replenishments, we can also do supplier and production replenishment as well.
Jim: So, the way you set up your work center will define, you can define your work center to the capacity that your work center has. So essentially, you’ll say — I want these items for a bill of materials, that needs to be, and then how many of them you want sitting in that work center will be the capacity that you have to control that work center.
So the question was — does the system have the capacity to look at the machine capacity?
It’s somewhat manual in that you set up what that capacity is. But then after that, it replenishes automatically based on what the capacity was set up for that machine.
Jim: Well, you do in that, you say it’s — whether you trigger the completion somehow, you don’t have to… I mean, you’re basically completing what’s done there, and it knows, okay, I just used X amount here, I need to replenish that much more.
I think I kind of covered all this. It ensures that your work centers always have the available inventory that’s needed. Again, work centers and cards, both of those things can be set up.
One thing that isn’t interesting is virtual cards, and totes. So you don’t have to have. So a lot of times in traditional Kanban processes, somebody is using an actual card that somebody grabs, and they take it back and they replenish what’s on that card. We do that now all electronically. So it can save those steps in the material handling process for that.
And then picking priority suggestions. We can pull that, we can create our own, or we can pull that from Oracle so it can work with your setups that you have configured within Oracle.
And we do have a video online available. And this is just a little video of the process. I will apologize up front that he speaks a little bit quick on here, but just to try to do for time. So I’m going to go out and play this video.
Video Voiceover: The Cloud Inventory platform delivers productivity, compliance, inventory optimization, and increased revenues for users of Oracle SCM Cloud. In this demo, we’re going to take a look at DSI’s Kanban application for Oracle SCM Cloud.
This application helps support Kanban process within a manufacturing organization by eliminating non value-added steps, and providing automation were needed to ensure materials are readily available to keep the processes going.
The application features a fully customizable card template. Simply select the items, quantity and number of cards needed for a process. The template manager is connected to Oracle SCM inventory, so real inventory displays in real time.
Additionally, the templates use Oracle SCM Cloud’s replenishment rules for back stock. It supports FIFO and fixed-picking options. It has entries for special picking instructions. Each card can be uniquely named, carry an autogenerated name for Cloud Inventory.
Picking priorities can be selected by organization or sub inventory. The DSI Kanban application can assign and suggest multiple sub inventories and priority for picking. Work centers can be added and configured through a browser or a mobile device.
Emptied cards generate an automated movement request transfer in Oracle SCM Cloud with a status of pre approved. A picking record is automatically generated to keep the process moving.
The picking application provides configurable picking option preferences. It supports batch or single pick, in full lot and serial control. Completed picks close the pick request in Oracle SCM Cloud.
Transactions are fully reported. It can be viewed for tracking and tracing accountability. The user and card number are also recorded for tracking.
There’s also a handy utility application which expedites printing and labeling of cards, further advancing the accuracy of the Kanban process.
DSI’s Kanban for Oracle SCM Cloud provides support for manufacturing processes, eliminating non value-added steps, and providing in-time material replenishment automatically.
So in the life sciences company I was mentioning, it is kind of on that digital transformation journey from E-biz to Fusion Cloud. They’re taking a multi step process in that journey. There’s no way with manpower, and the proper decisions that they want to make, that they could do it all at once in their organization. It’s too large of an organization.
But they actually were Kanban, using Kanban in EBS before, and they actually liked the interface that we provided so much that they actually wanted to integrate that back. So it was an easy transition for their users once they went from EBS to Fusion.
So,definitely just a great story about that. I’m certainly happy to answer any questions afterwards. I know I’m getting a little short on time. So I’m going to kind of move on to our field inventory applications.
A number of different use cases that we see.
So our field inventory product I think is really one of the things that sets us really apart. There’s a number of companies out there that do warehouse management. But there’s not a lot of companies out there that think about inventory from the raw materials process all the way through to out in the field, and how you make sure that that valuable inventory is properly tracked.
Consignment inventory. A lot of times we see that in health care and med device. Vendor-managed inventory. We’re seeing that in a lot of industrial manufacturing, industrial service, oil and gas. Actually, we’re seeing it actually not only as the ability to track inventory, but we’ve got two or three customers right now that are looking at changing over to actually becoming a revenue generating stream, because they’ve got their downstream customers who don’t want to have to manage that inventory out in the field. So they’re looking at using our product to not only manage their inventory, but manage our customers’ customers’ inventory.
Projec material management consumption. We see this especially in E-biz a lot. And we know that we’re going to see this in SCM Cloud, is a lot of engineering, construction, and a lot of industrial manufacturing companies, a lot of large service companies out there that have big projects going on — multi million dollar projects that are going on.
One example, the customer that we’ve talked to is, they said they actually wrote off $14 million worth of inventory several years ago of stuff that they had just lost. They literally could not find it anymore, and they wrote it off. And that was seven or eight years prior, and they knew they had a big bill coming at them again, of inventory. And it was things that get laid down in a yard somewhere, and somebody forgets it’s there. Or a project manager over-orders inventory because they know they need more than they actually are going to consume.
We have one customer, where they had said before working with us, they were ordering 150% of the project materials they needed in order to complete a job because they were having so much loss.
So anything, again, tracking inventory out in the field and making sure that it gets managed and tracked.
We actually like to call that inventory “inventory in the wild.”
One of the key KPIs of service organizations is first time fix rates. Service organizations that are typical are 77%. That means there’s 23% of the time that they’re having to come back to a customer, or to some kind of work site in maintenance, to be able to redo the job, because they most most likely either didn’t have the parts they needed on the first the first visit they had.
Best in class are doing about 90% first time fix rates. That delta and that gap can literally be millions of dollars that is being lost. Especially when average service tech cost trip is $200.
I’ve had some customers that are doing oil and gas service and things like that out in the backwoods of Louisiana, and other places like that, and I can guarantee you it’s cost a whole lot more than $200 to send a tech out. So they want to make sure that they get those parts, the right parts in the right place at the right time.
Disconnected. It is still a reality. Even with my 5G on my phone that I have right now, right here it works great, up in my room, it doesn’t. And again, doesn’t matter on somebody’s job, they still have to be able to do their job.
We see a lot of different environments, kind of almost have a connection, or a just-out-of-range type situation, so even the quality of the connection matters. If I can’t transmit a 2 or 3 meg image that I captured of the work I’m doing because my connection is too faulty, then the application needs to know how to handle that. The application also needs to have the right amount of data on it in order for the end user to still be able to do their job. They don’t want to be hung up with — oh, I got to turn off the wifi now, or I got to turn off the cellular coverage because I’m out of range — well, they just want to do their work.
One customer we have in the Fusion space is Monrovia. And I think probably a lot of people are familiar with Monrovia. I know when I go to Lowe’s and see their flowers, they have a very impressive operation on their growing of those flowers and how those retail centers get stocked like that.
Their existing solution they had in place when they were a JD Edwards customer, they wanted to make a transition as they went to Oracle Cloud, because they knew they needed that offline coverage out in their growing areas. They didn’t want to light up all those growing areas wifi and be able to manage that. So we were able to offer them a process that not only optimized their inventory better and get better accuracy of their inventory, but also did it in a way that allowed them to work both online and offline.
One final example of a customer that I really kind of feel like they really brought it all together was in our manufactured materials warehouse and field inventory processes, and with our low code platform, was a company called Old Dutch.
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with them. You’d probably have to be in the upper Midwest or in Canada to be familiar with their products, but they make these high end craft potato chips. And actually my favorite one which sounds disgusting is the ketchup potato chip. It tastes just like eating a french fry with ketchup, it is amazing what they’ve done.
But they have a bunch of different product lines that they sell, and their freshness guarantee to their customer is what’s really important. So they don’t put a lot of preservatives in their foods, so they’re keeping a lot of turning of their inventory. They go out and service. They’ve got, I think it’s 700 drivers that go out and service their customers in a fleet of drivers for delivery.
When they kind of came to us with this they were already a manufacturing and warehousing customer, but they were not a field inventory customer. They felt like they had limited visibility of what was happening. They had application — actually on the other side, it only worked offline — so you had to be parked in a dock and transmit back. So they had to actually have their field salesman actually go back to the warehouse every day and park that device. So, very manual and a lot of inaccuracy in their process.
Like I said, they had automated the warehouse on the shop floor. And they got everything that they expected out of that. So you increase accuracy, better inventory turns, increased quality, and they were also reducing risk in their process and paperwork.
We added in the delivery process. We personalized that to their specific business and the way they wanted to count that inventory and count the stores as they stock the stores.
So now they were confirming sales orders and delivery in seconds, so basically in virtual real time. They had a quicker in store experience. I think really the coolest part of this is they were able to adjust production schedules during the day versus waiting for all those drivers to come back. And as they saw trends, as they saw — sometimes it was things around holidays and other things where people were purchasing certain types of products — they got that information, that really high resolution information in real time, and were able to make business decisions in real time against that.
They were able to really improve sales, especially because they were able to spend more time with their customers, keeping the sales staff from having to go all the way back to the warehouse every day.
There was a use case study that was done on this customer, and it was really talking about how they leveraged their current systems of record, and they really used our product to make a system of automation, of system engagement. And they utilized really all of our company products in order to be able to do that and really see benefit out of that. There’s a Forrester research article that’s out on this.
Again, they collect order data throughout the day, able to immediately process that stock, able to continually monitor product quality, and they were able to adjust production schedules in real time.
So, what we talked about today, our Cloud Inventory product provides a broad range of standard applications. You guys saw all the standard applications that we make available. But our low code platform really helps personalize those applications to your business needs. So all those applications are a starting place. Sometimes they work out of the box for people exactly their business process.
Most companies have developed unique business processes to their organization over the years, and we’ve found that that’s where typically they have some sort of competitive advantage because of those processes. So we don’t try to force companies into — this is the way we do it, this is the way you should do it — and our low code platform allows our customers to make those changes on their own and make those in real time.
And really we’ve seen over the last couple of years the adaptability that we’ve had some of our customers and the agility that they’ve had, to be able to manage some of these disruptions that the supply chain is really offering.
So we’re certainly excited about our customers digital transformations and happy to talk to anybody afterwards if they want to ask more detailed questions, or talking to any of our use cases. So thank you guys.
Jim: I can scan transactions on my iPhone, Android, but we also have customers that… The question was — does it take a special device or can you use consumer devices as mobile devices for doing scan transaction?
Yeah, I can utilize the camera on my iPhone to take barcode scans, picture scans, videos, and be able to record that information. But a lot of our customers also by the ruggedized devices, like a Zebra device or a Honeywell device to be able to do those kind of transactions. And it really depends on the environment, and we certainly help our customers make those decisions and make recommendations.
Any other questions?
If you’re in an environment where you’re heat treating pipes and you’re outside, probably an iPhone is not going to last very long in that environment. It’ll work for a little while and then it probably will stop working. Whereas an IP64 device that’s got drops and good scanners in it will definitely perform better in that kind of environment. It really just depends on your use case.
Jim: Yeah, so the question was for — on-prem Oracle EBS installations, how are we doing the communications?
We actually have developed our own interfaces. So we have our own PL/SQL packages that we load. But we also work with other third parties, like OIC for Oracle Integration Cloud. We have a lot of, as you look at maybe going to Fusion in the future, we can use that kind of a tool. And OIC will talk even back to EBS.
Any other questions?
We offer a lot of different integrations, but we do have validated and certified Oracle EBS PL/SQL packages. Great question. Thank you.
Host: Alright, well thank you, Jim, for presenting this session and for all of our attendees for joining us today. If there are any final questions from the virtual audience, I have a few conference reminders, so I’ll give them another second here to post those in there.
Please go into your mobile app and select this session and you’ll find the link for the survey in there. So if you have a moment, please complete that short survey. [plus other announcements]
Jim, I don’t see that we have any further questions in the chat here today, so thank you so much for joining us.
Jim: Thank you. Thank you everyone. Appreciate it.
Originally published at https://techshim.com on October 12, 2021.