Hitachi Vantara, the tech-forward division of Hitachi Corporation, knows quite a bit about digital transformation. The company’s mission is focused on helping customers develop practical, scalable digital strategies and solutions that transform operational processes, improve customer experiences and create new business models to drive innovation and growth. So when they decided to change their approach to demand planning, Hitachi Vantara’s team knew that they needed to upgrade to the cloud.
With their old solution, planners had been importing data for an unconstrained forecast from sales, shipments, procurement and manufacturing systems for the generation of each plan. This required a significant amount of data ‘massaging’ and aggregation in Excel prior to final plan release.
The cloud project objective was to get a truly industrial-grade solution in place, one that could deliver rich statistical modeling to fuel long-term sustainable success. It was no surprise then that, after a lengthy selection process, the company chose to replace a difficult to manage, multiple system demand planning process with the Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud.
Not only are data management and process key components in the software deployment, but the overall architecture of the Oracle Supply Chain Planning Cloud was created with templates to support migration from multiple environments. Hitachi Vantara’s selection of Oracle was also partly based on commitments to rapid deployment, which was delivered. In fact, Hitachi Vantara made its selection of Oracle and its implementation partner in December of 2018 and were live by May 2019.
Now, planners can focus on exception management and the workflows those drive to directly improve supply chain execution. Much of the data management and analysis was removed or reduced through the implementation.
Ken Au, Director of Demand Planning for Hitachi Vantara explains, “Instead of needing to be Excel experts, our teams have become valued decision-makers who can focus on specific projects, drive the majority of baseline forecast and spend more time analyzing data and engaging with other cross-functional departments”.
The implementation partner Avata has a more detailed case study here.
A Recognized Leader
Several years ago, Oracle began investing heavily in building and deploying a vertically integrated cloud which supports emerging needs for its customers to manage ever increasing data in a secure and persistently available global infrastructure. Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud Products are enabling more effective collaboration in support of global workforces, like Hitachi’s, with core supply chain planning capabilities and digital transformation features like guided problem resolution, embedded analytics, iterative real-time planning and an easy to use customer interface. Oracle has over 400 customers worldwide using its Supply Chain Planning Cloud.
Oracle Supply Planning Cloud is a recognized leader in Demand Management by both Gartner and IDC. IDC’s most recent “Worldwide Overall Supply Chain Planning Marketscape” ranks Oracle as a leader, stating “Oracle supply chain planning cloud is purposely built for agility with three goals of being simpler, faster, and better. The idea is to reduce complexity through simplified deployment and maintenance, enable responsiveness (identify problems quickly, guided problem resolution, iterative real-time planning, and machine learning), and empower business and supply chain planners (embedded business insights, self-service, and social collaboration). These enable unified planning to ensure that demand, supply, inventory, and S&OP are completely in sync and support the increasing speed of business.”*
In addition to the depth of available functionality, the vertically integrated cloud strategy from Oracle now pushes new features and enhancements to customers each quarter while providing easy to access training and live conversations via its’ customer connect platform which touts more than 200,000 members. The company also invests billions annually in R&D to ensure its products are at the forefront of innovation for its customers.
*SOURCE: IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Overall Supply Chain Planning 2019 Vendor Assessment, by Simon Ellis, Jan 2020, IDC Doc#US45863417