19 July 2001 | Robin Parker
Software provider Oracle has launched an online collaborative supply chain solution targeting manufacturing purchasers with long-term supply plans.
SupplyChain.Oracle.com combines collaborative demand planning, supply planning and vendor-managed inventory. It is built on Oracle's established Supply Chain Exchange and gives users the choice of running the software themselves or using an Oracle-hosted service on a basic PC web browser.
The browser option, which can be reached through the public access web presence at the front end of the site, makes the solution more accessible for smaller firms, Phil Wood, marketing manager, told SM. "They do not always have the capacity to invest in large IT projects and this allows them to participate without a huge financial burden."
Buyers can publish a plan on the system of the supplies they are likely to need over a given period, and can also vary the levels. Chosen suppliers then respond with their best offer. If this does not meet the buyer's requirements, they can hold an auction or appeal for more quotes from the online catalogue of suppliers.
The integrated solution is completely visible and enables companies to see, control and collaborate on demand and supply, added Wood. "It enables concurrent engineering in the supply chain, and problems are evident immediately. Since they see problems early, suppliers can suggest alternatives to buyers."