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Matt Johnson, Senior Director, Supply Chain Collaboration Product Strategy

A new edition of the Yellow Pages landed on my doorstep last week. It was shockingly thin compared to the fat tomes I remembered from my youth. I barely gave it a glance as I tossed it in the recycle bin.

Google Maps, Yelp and Facebook displaced the Yellow Pages long ago. It would never occur to most of us to consult a physical document to find a plumber, florist or attorney. Yet it would also be fair to claim that the Yellow Pages introduced us to the digital transformation that we’re experiencing today.

It all began with the wildly successful “Let your fingers do the walking” marketing campaign in 1962. Telecommunications were strictly analog at the time, of course. So what was the digital breakthrough? Replacing footsteps with fingers (in other words, “digits”).

“Do you have any #12 Phillips head 1 1/2” screws? How much do they cost?” my grandfather might have asked, after dialing up the hardware store he found in the Yellow Pages. Today I might say the same thing to my phone, just prefaced with “Hey Siri…”

Nearly every detail of the supply chain has changed in the past 55 years, but digital transformations still have the same objective: use real-time information to eliminate unnecessary physical processes. It’s something we at Oracle call Supply Chain Collaboration and Visibility. Stream answers on demand, when and where they’re needed; monitor and predict failures instead of stopping and servicing perfectly functioning equipment; work together to adjust supply as demand changes up and down the supply chain.

We can evaluate whether a digital initiative enhances service, reduces costs or eliminates waste. Or we can just ask, “Does it let my fingers do the walking?” That catchy jingle still rings true today.

To learn more about how Oracle Supply Chain and Visibility Cloud can detect, analyze, and resolve disruptions in your enterprise, visit us online.

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