When I hear the word manufacturing, my mind immediately shifts to sepia-toned steam-powered factories. But the adoption of innovative technology is putting that outdated image to rest. Digital technologies that have emerged in the last five or so years, like the Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, robotics, and data analytics have fundamentally changed the manufacturing sector. As Daniel Newman notes in a recent Forbes article about the top 5 digital transformation trends in manufacturing, “Not since Henry Ford introduced mass production has there been a revolution to this scale.”
As manufacturers look to make their operations leaner and more competitive, integrated cloud-ready IT systems like Oracle Engineered Systems have become crucial for effective digitization strategies—helping to manage operating costs, improve efficiency, and enable almost instantaneous responses to changing customer and market demands.
Competing in the Digital Age Requires Significantly Better IT Systems
That’s a fact. In the digital age, we have high expectations for seamless experiences—making the business environment increasingly more competitive. This is especially true for manufacturers, who must manage ever-growing complexities to meet the needs of their customers. Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to beat the competition by moving faster, cutting costs further, and winning customer loyalty. Modernization doesn’t just happen by deploying a new web-based SaaS application. And it doesn’t just happen by upgrading your critical systems to the latest version (although that is a place to start). IT systems are the backbone of every company’s technological prowess; its how companies compete now.
These two real-world examples demonstrate how companies can leverage new cloud-ready technologies to adapt their existing IT systems for the digital age; improving application and reporting speeds, enabling real-time analytics, and reducing unplanned downtime of their most important business applications while preparing for the cloud shift. They both do this by leveraging Oracle Engineered Systems to enable their current enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to perform faster at maximum availability. The additional cost savings are just a cherry on top.
Speeding Up Global Growth
Worthington Industries, a rapidly growing diversified metals manufacturer, was experiencing growing pains as a result of global expansion. Worthington Industries had grown sales to US$2.8 billion, with 10,000 employees at more than 80 facilities in 11 countries.
The company was looking to consolidate its financial management systems across multiple lines of business and wanted to reduce costs by standardizing operating procedures across the business. Worthington also wanted to improve its manufacturing processes while providing near real-time reporting to give managers the insights necessary to better manage the business. Higher system capacity, improved availability, and quicker disaster recovery were required to safeguard mission-critical systems. Worthington wanted to be able to do all of this without significantly increasing its IT team.
A coengineered IT system, with storage and applications designed to work together and purpose-built for Oracle Database, was Worthington’s solution to provide a foundation for global growth. The company upgraded its integrated ERP and supply chain management system on a managed-cloud services platform, implementing Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 with Managed Cloud Services.
Worthington’s new system improves scalability as the business grows and expands through acquisitions. Most impressively, Worthington Industries was able to meet its goals and improve system availability to 99.8%.
Manufacturing Downtime Equals Penalties and Lost Business
Spain-based CELSA Group, a highly diversified manufacturer of forged, laminated, and processed steel, is the largest steel producer in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. With more than 50 companies operating on five continents, CELSA Group knew it needed to improve its IT infrastructure to support international growth.
CELSA Group runs SAP ERP systems and was concerned about excessive downtime, which had delayed shipments of its steel products and exposed the company to late penalties and lost business. CELSA Group needed to be able to provide managers with better and timelier financial reporting and resource planning across its businesses, while optimizing its backup processes to reduce downtime.
CELSA implemented a new IT infrastructure based on Oracle SuperCluster and Oracle Exadata Database Machine. With diligent project planning, migration was accomplished seamlessly in less than a day.
Additionally, with the new engineered IT system, CELSA was able to improve on-time delivery by eliminating downtime, saved more than $650,000 annually in labor costs, optimized financial reporting across 2,000 users in 50 entities, and tripled backup speeds.
Ready for the Cloud, Ready for the Future
By upgrading and standardizing their IT infrastructure to an integrated, co-engineered technologies that are purpose-built for Oracle Database, these two companies have been able to realize tremendous improvements in efficiency. Because Oracle Engineered Systems have exact equivalents in the cloud (see Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customerand Oracle Exadata Cloud Service), both companies have gained flexibility unique to Oracle, allowing them to scale easily, cut costs, and gain a single view across the business for greater market agility.
Learn more about how Oracle Engineered Systems and cloud-ready solutions can address today’s problems and prepare you for the shifting market demands of tomorrow. Check out the CIO magazine and Oracle collaboration on cloud-ready infrastructure here: