Oracle Corp. is continuing its aggressive development of new features in its Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing suite with the addition of artificial intelligence-enabled lead time estimating for supply chain planning, the company announced today.
Oracle is also enhancing the quote-to-cash process in several of its financial applications and adding career guidance features to Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management. The combination of post-pandemic disruption, continued supply-chain instability and the drive by manufacturers to diversify sourcing has complicated forecasting, said Natalia Rachelson, group vice president of outbound product management for Fusion applications at Oracle.
“We’ve gone from just-in-time and cost efficiency to multisourcing, which means you have to re-optimize your routes and reconfigure factories so you can be making something else as you wait for parts to arrive,” she said.
Oracle has been steadily boosting its supply chain features with the addition of data warehousing in late 2021 and a broad set of new logistics management capabilities added last year.
The new supply chain planning features can help organizations improve the accuracy of lead time assumptions by applying machine learning to highlight variances based on actual historical performance. That yields improvement in planning efficiency by identifying lead time trends, anomalies, and their potential impact. The machine learning is applied to supply chain data most customers already capture and the model improves as new data is added, Rachelson said.
The improved quote-to-cash process in Oracle Fusion Applications is mainly aimed at the subscription models that many product companies are now adopting for the first time. The features help them centralize subscription orchestration and usage ratings, comply with accounting requirements, improve order management and reduce costs and time to market. They cover Oracle’s Fusion Applications for Subscription Management, Configure Price and Quote, Order Management and core Financials modules, enabling businesses to quote, capture and fulfill orders that combine physical goods, subscriptions and services with disciplined revenue recognition.
“As businesses shift from being product-focused to being service-focused, they need a more complex quoting process that mixes physical goods with services and subscriptions,” Rachelson said. “This is about being able to present a customer with a complicated quote and also being able to process the necessary inventory, procurement, and accounting.”
New rebate management capabilities in Oracle Channel Revenue Management are intended to help automate the rebate management process from calculation to financial settlement to improve payment accuracy, reduce administrative costs and enable customer claims to be quickly settled.
The functions are aimed at business-to-business scenarios in which rebates are widely used, such as pharmaceuticals and construction, Rachelson said. Companies can streamline both the management of their own rebate programs and the rebates they may qualify to receive.
Personal career guidance
Finally, Oracle is enhancing Oracle ME, the employee engagement platform within Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management that it introduced a year ago, with career development features that combine learning, skills growth and career mobility in a personalized experience that employees can use to identify opportunities for self-directed learning and skills development.
Oracle Grow applies artificial intelligence to HCM data to provide personalized guidance on the next steps employees should take based on their responsibilities, career interests, desired skills, learning styles and changes in the business. It streamlines the discovery of new career opportunities in the organization and provides step-by-step guidance and development plans tailored to each person based on their HCM profile.
A feature called development playlists enables employees to create customized goal-based content that provides guidance on finding coaches, classes, gigs and development resources. Managers can monitor skills needs and gaps across their teams and the entire organization, assign specific skills needed to achieve business objectives and automatically add them to recommendations made to employees.
“The system helps employees with career planning as well as figuring out where their skill gaps are today if they want to be a controller in five to seven years,” Rachelson said. “What skills do I need? What steps in my career do I need to take? It helps catch all of that and gives you tips on which classes to take and skills to develop and tracks your steps along the way.”
The system can be customized with learning resources offered by the employer and can connect to external sources through application program interfaces. “At the moment we don’t have integrations with various certification services, but that’s something that a customer can easily add,” Rachelson said. “There are endless possibilities.”
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