Business rivalry mired with unstageering competition has made it necessary for organizations to take advantage of every ounce of the technological edge at their disposal. As a result, numerous businesses have realized the technical importance of operations and supply chain management, which explains the development of OSCM software packages. Software packages facilitate raw materials sourcing, production, and supplying the end product to the market. Companies have thereby integrated their operation management with supply chain management in handling products at various production levels. As a result, companies have depended on OSCM software packages to enhance event marketing and logistics and ease sourcing. However, the use of the software is not without limitations. This essay will explore SAP SCM, Oracle SCM Cloud, and E2open OSCM software packages highlighting their capabilities and limitations.
SAP SCM is used in managing the company’s supply chain processes through networking, planning, and execution of supply chain-related activities. It is used to attain effective and seamless supply chain management, leading to a competitive advantage in the market. For example, McDonald’s India company uses SAP SCM software to coordinate the whole supply chain process regarding business environment changes (Pagare, 2020). Through these software packages, McDonald’s India has taken advantage of technology in daily company operations. SAP has four main components, the supply chain (SC) collaboration where forecasting is conducted; the supply chain planning, which generates operational plans per the available data; supply chain coordination, where organization and coordination of data exchange and information in the company take place; and supply chain execution which ensures execution of plans to optimize on results.
Capabilities of SAP
- Reduces the production costs in the company due to increased production efficiency. In addition, SAP provides various modules that handle diverse business requirements ranging from short-term, such as detailed scheduling and production planning; medium-term, supply planning; and long-term, such as demand planning.
- Proper management of forecasts and handling of sudden changes and demands and supply. SAP facilitates the availability of various statistical methods of forecasting diverse patterns such as cyclical, irregularity, and seasonal, thereby providing a lead time.
- The software package boasts of simplicity in integrating core enterprise resource planning to facilitate transactional and master data transfer.
Limitations of SAP
- SAP is a complex software package with a high number of releases that cannot be met through high integration needs. Suppliers require Electronic Data Interchange to connect seamlessly to the customer’s ERP systems.
- The software has integration challenges in some areas, such as adhering to a crafted communication implementation and plan process to generate SAP ERP integration values. In addition to that, the integration involves a complex set of procedures.
Oracle SCM Cloud
The Oracle SCM software package is a cloud-based inventory management system that offers numerous applications acting as solutions to supply chain issues. It is a modern suite targeting improving performance and company efficiency (Weir, 2018). For example, Bolivia’s leading pharmaceutical company, FarmaCorp, uses this software package to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase visibility in the warehouse. FarmaCorp utilizes the software package through Oracle’s Warehouse management System to increase visibility, costs, and efficiency. The Warehouse Management System (WMS) removes the IT backlog and permits the company to manage its inventory effectively.
Capabilities of Oracle SCM
- Comprehensive management of material. Provides users a platform for viewing material flows, product costs, and managing materials in the supply chain.
- Manages order across all supply chain channels with a single view of customers in the entire network. As a result, it can manage order to cash cycles while optimizing sourcing and ensuring high order profitability (Weir, 2018). In addition to that, it guarantees transparency in the supply chain through proactive monitoring.
- Facilitates visibility cloud and supply chain collaboration by analyzing and resolving disruptions in the company and its main trading partners, improving business performance. It undertakes this through improving supplier collaboration, where it enhances the acquisition of contract commitments.
Limitations of Oracle SCM
- Integration challenges associated with cloud computing. The Oracle SCM software faces adoption obstacles regarding the cloud-based supply chain. In addition, it requires data mapping, which presents a problem for firms lacking unified systems.
- Uses blockchain technology which faces data-governance integrity issues associated with cloud computing. Although the main issue with blockchain technology is confidentiality, it faces cyber security risks. This is because users have to also decide on the data they value and want to protect while leaving the rest vulnerable.
E2open is a cloud-based provider of supply chain network solutions. It provides planning, manufacturing, shaping, execution, supply chain management, and demand sensing solutions. The software allows linked intelligent supply chain management by sensing and quickly responding to real-time supply and delivery constraints and demands (E2open, 2021). Moreover, the software offers agile and collaborative supply chain platforms, allowing companies to utilize real-time data, with machine learning and artificial intelligence resulting in more intelligent decisions. Land O’ Lakes company uses this software package in multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization and demands sensing through advanced Supply Chain Analytics Demand Management provided by E2open.
Capabilities of E2open
- It fosters collaborative manufacturing by tracking numerous serial numbers in the supply chain, thereby extending traceability to service organization and supply chain all from the manufacturing point.
- It optimizes logistic operations by reducing errors and maximizing the visibility in shipment creation. It also provides soft and hard support in lot additions, thereby removing erroneous attachment of shipment lots.
- It ensures channel shaping by providing simplified reporting and audit based on goals, fast inventory reconciliation, and increased data quality and productivity. In addition, the application leads to faster inventory reconciliation by improving serial number tracking status and one-click error resolution.
- Demand sensing through downloading and uploading data and API support. The software web service works alongside the REST API support for inventory collaboration and customer sales forecasts.
- Improve supply management. The software package improves productivity because it enhances dashboards that permit consumers to track supplier performance and order fulfillment. In addition, it enhances tracking, acceptance, and configuration of T&C for trading partners by fostering supplier relations.
Limitations of E2open
- It requires advanced skills through the use of consultants and experts. E2open is a connected and intelligent supply chain that links customer data suppliers, logistic partners, distribution channels, and contract manufacturers. These linkages are complex and require advanced skills to operationalize.
OSCM software packages are ideal for companies that want a competitive advantage by integrating operation and supply chain management. These software packages also facilitate seamless workflow and improvement in company performance and productivity. Of the three software discussed, Oracle SCM proves to have taken a significantly advanced perspective on supply chain management by using cloud-based systems. The future will embrace its effort even though it presently faces challenges. E2open is similarly cloud-based, although not as diversified in operation as the Oracle SCM. SAP SCM software is efficient in planning, management, and execution activities relating to supply chain management. I would recommend SAP SCM to small-scale retailers who have short-term operational goals. In contrast, for companies with long-term organizational goals, I would encourage them to take advantage of the Oracle SCM Cloud at its infancy.
E2open (2021). Company.
Pagare, A. (2020). Supply Chain Management and Its Tools Used by McDonald’s in India.
Weir, S. (2018). Supply Chain Transparency.