MANUFACTURING | SUPPLY CHAIN
MANAGING AUTOMATION RECOGNIZES TWO ORACLE CUSTOMERS—
HOLOGIC AND BATESVILLE CASKET—THAT ARE REACHING NEW BUSINESS HEIGHTS.
BY TONY KONTZER
he magazine Managing Automation introduced its
Progressive Manufacturing Summit and Awards in 2005 to
recognize companies in the manufacturing sector that are
using technology to establish mastery in an area of their
business. After three years, it has become clear that Oracle cus-
tomers are making their mark in the manufacturing field.
Last year, two of the Oracle customers that were recognized by Managing Automation—Hologic and Batesville Casket
Company—were companies that leveraged Oracle technology to
streamline business processes, establish single data repositories
that reached across the enterprise, tackle complex hurdles for
complying with regulatory requirements, or achieve some combination of these.
“Our goal for our customers from a supply chain standpoint is to help enable what we call the information-driven
value chain,” says Maha
Managing Automation. More
companies are outsourcing
their manufacturing operations and relying heavily on
Muzumdar, vice president
of supply chain marketing,
Oracle. “That means being
able to provide complete
visibility of information
across their value chain and
provide capabilities to help
sense, shape, and respond
to demand; adapt to changing business conditions;
and align internally and
externally with their business
partners to maximize supply
That’s no easy feat, says
Jeff Moad, executive editor of
their partners, and that makes it more difficult to gain visibility
into inventory and how it can be affected by market changes.
“This is something that many, many companies are struggling
with,” says Moad.
And that, he says, makes projects like Hologic’s global
instance of Oracle E-Business Suite so noteworthy. Hologic has
transformed itself into a streamlined global business supported
by a common IT environment. “This is often a goal of companies, but it’s very difficult to pull off because frequently different
functions within a company either have their own systems or
want their own systems,” Moad says.
Still, manufacturing companies won’t be able to rest on their
laurels. As the markets they depend on continue to change
rapidly, they will have to find ways to adapt to those changes
by being able to adjust their operations on the fly. Historically,
says Moad, it has been the IT systems that have hindered agility.
That’s largely because enterprise software has tended to be dif-
ficult to modify and config-
ure, making it a challenge to
respond to change.
Going forward, Moad
expects growing interest
among manufacturers in
establishing robust service-oriented architectures
(SOAs) to simplify integration challenges.
One of the areas that will
get a boost from the spread
of SOAs is the need of manufacturers to extend their
technologies outside the
walls of the company and to
their networks of partners.
“It’s not that partners are
unsophisticated about technology,” says Moad. “It’s just
that it’s difficult.”