Efficient supply chain management includes strategy, manufacturing, and logistics. So what exactly is Supply Chain Management? According to Wikipedia, “Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementating (sic), and controlling the operations of the supply chain with the purpose to satisfy customer requirements as efficiently as possible” (2005). Many companies have developed their own form of SCM and are marketing it to their customers. OracleÃ?Â®, i2, Lawson and SAP AG all have plans to ship new or updated SCM systems this month or in the upcoming months (Songini). The focus of this review is on predominately on the SCM model from OracleÃ?Â®.
A few months ago, OracleÃ?Â® announced that it was planning to buy the transportation management system (TMS) provider G-Log. Many on Wall Street commented that Larry Ellison, CEO of OracleÃ?Â®, was continuing his 2005 shopping spree. That spree included the purchase of Oblix, in March 2005, an identity software company. In April, OracleÃ?Â® bought the retail software maker, Retek. In June, OracleÃ?Â® bought TripleHop a context-sensitive search technology and Times Ten, a high performance database technology. They purchased a content integration technology from Context Media in July and announced that they had completed the acquisition of ProfitLogic, LLC, which is a producer of software that analyzes the patterns of consumer demands. Then, in August, they announced that they had acquired the majority stake in an Indian banking company, i-flex, at 61%. Later in August, OracleÃ?Â® announced a joint force action with Sun Microsystems to create a database infrastructure package. In September, OracleÃ?Â® agreed to purchase Siebel Systems. Finally, in October, OracleÃ?Â® purchased Innobase OY, the developer of the discrete transactional database technology, InnoDB and G-Log. All of these purchases have been to further the development of OracleÃ?Â®’s SCM. Rick Jewell, Senior Vice President of Applications Development at OracleÃ?Â® said, “With G-Log’s proven transportation management platform and OracleÃ?Â®’s leading technology infrastructure, ERP and supply chain applications, customers will now have an integrated offering for the lean enterprise” (qtd. in Purchasing, 2).
The idea behind all of OracleÃ?Â®’s purchases is to create a fully integrated ‘family of applications.’ As stated on the OracleÃ?Â® website, this includes the “[automation] of all key supply chain activities from design, planning, procurement, manufacturing and fulfillmentÃ¢Â?Â¦ in a unified model [that provides] a single, accurate view of your entire supply chain” (2005). What does this all mean? It means that you will get the most out of your supply chain, increase your revenues, and increase your level of customer satisfaction. After all, making money is what big business is all about and OracleÃ?Â® certainly qualifies as big business.
Another reason that OracleÃ?Â® is pursuing an increase in its SCM is the rising globalization of capital markets. Once a company’s biggest competition might have been the factory in a neighboring city. Now a company’s biggest competition could be on the other side of the world. The OracleÃ?Â® solution to this dilemma is its Support Global Networks and Outsourcing concept. This allows the customer “to collaborate with partners across global regions, manage complex suppliers’ networks with real-time information, and adapt quickly to global constraints and demands” (OracleÃ?Â®).
The following charts illustrate the specifics of Oracle’s SCM concept and its E-Business Suite of products.
(SCM Brochure, 2005)
(SCM Brochure, 2005)
The variety of SCM solutions available can seem overwhelming to an uninformed consumer. This is the reason many organizations select a team to make the decision regarding the type of software the company will use. Usually, once this decision is made, the company stays with the vendor – until death do us part. It is generally easier to upgrade the current applications than to completely overhaul the entire organizations applications to bring in a new provider. The choice of SCM provider is largely dependent upon the needs of the company and how the SCM is utilized. If the organization is small, a local SCM vendor, like FedEx may be the perfect choice, although FedEx does offer global SCM solutions. A larger company, one that does high-volumes of international business, integrating multiple software packages, may choose to utilize a larger scale SCM modality.
When dealing with an entire suite of SCM solutions, like what OracleÃ?Â® offers, using their software applications may be the best choice. The combination of services that OracleÃ?Â® offers, in addition to its open-source policy, will provide the company with a methodology for increased accuracy in decision-making, unified information sharing – regardless of location, lowered technological expenses and an overall more efficient enterprise. The more smoothly an organization can perform, the more likely its revenues will increase. OracleÃ?Â® boasts “the only completely integrated solution to deliver value in five critical areas – product development, planning, procurement, manufacturing, and order fulfillment – offering both enterprise-based and business-to-business solutions” (SCM Brochure, 2005). The solution, as offered by OracleÃ?Â® presents itself as a highly attractive package. In today’s society where the expectations are increased and delivery is expected in less time, and with fewer resources, OracleÃ?Â® appears to offer a complete package that is customizable per each organization.
“OracleÃ?Â® Buys G-Log.” Purchasing.com. 20 October 2005. 11 November 2005 from
“E-Business Suite: Creating A Networked Value Chain with Oracle Supply Chain Management.” OracleÃ?Â®. (2005). 11 November 2005 from
“Supply Chain Management.” OracleÃ?Â®. (2005). 11 November 2005 from
Songini, Marc L. “Vendors Unveil New Supply Chain Software.” Computerworld. www.computerworld.com (17 October 2005). 11 November 2005 from
Wikipedia. “Oracle Corporation.” 9 November 2005. 11 November 2005 from
Wikipedia. “Supply Chain Management.” 7 November 2005. 11 November 2005, from