Christiane Soto, Senior Content Manager at Oracle, spoke with Charles Chamberlain, Director of IT at Srixon/Cleveland Golf, a golfing equipment manufacturer, about how his company leveraged Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud for on-time shipment improvement. Chamberlain has been with the company for over 32 years and recently led the company’s implementation of Oracle SCM Cloud.
During the search for a new SCM system that could provide accurate delivery data to customers, Srixon/Cleveland Golf initially considered building their own solution. However, they ultimately decided that a move to the Cloud was the right choice.
In this interview, Chamberlain discussed the challenges that they faced during the implementation, what the old process looked like before SCM Cloud, why they chose Oracle as their Cloud provider, the benefits they have noticed since implementation, and much more. Check out his answers below.
What is the biggest customer experience challenge you face?
Before adopting Oracle Global Order Promising (GOP) Cloud (within SCM Cloud), our main challenge was being able to promise accurate dates to our customers. We offer a lot of product variety and a lot of custom products and variations that could be low in stock. That was our focus in trying to find a solution – how can we give customers reliable dates? At the time or order entry, we want our customers to know exactly when they are going to get their product.
It was difficult for our customer experience department to get a complete picture of our inventory. At a high level, we can see our inventory, and we know how many pieces we have. What we didn’t know is how many pieces were already dedicated to work orders. With Oracle GOP Cloud, we are able to spin up our orders, run through the processes, and come back with accurate, reliable customer delivery dates within a reasonable timeframe.
What did your old process look like for predicting customer delivery dates before leveraging Cloud?
As I mentioned, our biggest challenge was pulling the large amount of item and component data and making it work together to provide accurate, reliable delivery dates. That cannot be done in a spreadsheet – we tried. There are too many factors involved. Therefore, our best method was to manually go through and try to figure out when a product would be available based up item availability, which was based upon purchase order data. However, that still doesn’t give our customer experience team any good information because they do not know what has already been allocated to other products by the planning department. It was quite an ordeal because our customer experience representatives never had accurate information.
What different solutions did you consider?
Issues around promised dates is not a new problem for us. In the 32 years that I have been with Srixon/Cleveland Golf, we have gone through cycles of trying to see what we can do to solve the problem. We didn’t know that Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud existed, but we knew what we wanted, so we tried to develop the software for ourselves.
We brought in a developer, which was a great opportunity for our teams to get together and document the process and what we wanted. It was a great exercise, but we ended up with a process proposal that was unproven and hard to maintain. We ended up back at the drawing board.
Why did you decide to go with Oracle as your Cloud provider for on-time shipment improvements?
I got a cold call from an Oracle representative one day. We started to talk about the things that we were interested in –on-time shipment improvement, pegging orders to work orders, and being able to provide accurate promise dates to our customers. That conversation led to easily gaining buy-in from our Vice President of Operations that we needed to investigate the Oracle Cloud suite of products. Once we did, that was it. The next step was Oracle GOP Cloud.
It was reassuring to know that the label on the brand was Oracle. We are already an Oracle customer and have been involved with Oracle for over 20 years. Having the name Oracle behind the product gave us confidence that we were going with a product that we knew we could put our trust in.
What are some of the benefits of Oracle SCM Cloud that you have noticed?
Within two and a half months of our go-live, we have seen an 81.5 percent improvement in our on-time shipments compared to the year before. Our promise dates are accurate, and that’s a comfort to us that we haven’t had before. Just last month, we achieved an 89.5 percent completion rate.
One thing that did surprise us is that, once we did go live, there was not a huge shift (or change) in our processes. The word is “disruptive” nowadays. With the migration to Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud, nothing was disruptive. There was not a situation where everyone had to learn new processes and procedures. Now, of course, we had to learn the modules, but the core business did not suffer because we added functionality. As the IT Director, that was great because it removed tasks for my team around change management, training, and fielding questions and/or complaints.
Other than on-time shipment improvements, how has the technology supported your custom products business?
One thing that we do well, that makes up about 20 percent of our business, is custom products. We have a wide spectrum of product offerings, which can be built to meet any golfer’s needs for various reasons. To facilitate those customizations, we have a configurator, where every item ends up with its own part number because every club could be different.
Every custom product has its own unique bill of materials. In the past, every time you would do a manual look-up on that bill of material, you would have to manually go into the work order, manually go into the parts list, look those parts up, and then do your inquiries. Now, all of that sorting is done for us – providing us with the promise dates that we were after in the first place. This frees up the employees who were manually processing those records and doing manual inquiries to do other things like providing top-notch customer experiences.
Did you encounter any resistance or challenges when moving to the Cloud?
This was our first toe in the water when it comes to Cloud, but we have experience with hosting our ERP system in a private Cloud, so Oracle Cloud ended up being an easy choice. We chose to move to the Cloud and kept our internal resources focused on other areas. Ultimately, we won’t have to bring in other employees to fulfill complicated tasks that we are not even experts in, since we were moving to new technology. For us, it was an easy step into the Cloud.
What was your experience like, as a smaller company, when working with Oracle?
In the Oracle world, Srixon/Cleveland Golf is a small company – probably one of the smallest companies that we see when we go to conferences. However, what we have seen is that even though we are a small company that is into these big software products, we still get the same benefits that the large companies get because we are running the same processes that they are running.
We now have the expandability and the ability to go forward to hit our secondary goals of order allocation and total order fulfillment. One thing that we want to do is deliver a customer’s order in one shipment. That’s the ultimate goal.
For more information about Srixon/Cleveland Golf’s SCM Cloud implementation and how they leveraged Cloud for on-time shipment improvement, check out the Oracle blog and additional Quest resources attached below.
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