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Landed Cost Simulator added to Global Trade Management

Oracle Transportation Management 6.4 and Oracle Global Trade Management 6.4 have renovated their user experience and added a Landed Cost Simulator.

Process innovation and user experience (UX) improvements claim the spotlight in the new releases of Oracle's Transportation...

Management 6.4 and Global Trade Management 6.4.The new features for the 6.4 versions are improvements on the business process that work as part of the redesigned UX.

The most notable new feature in Oracle Global Trade Management 6.4 is the Landed Cost Simulator. Landed cost is the total expense of bringing a product into a country. This total includes not only the actual cost of transportation, but also customs fees, taxes and duties.

Attempting to lower global transport expenses

An estimated 20% to 50% of the cost of a physical product can come from international transit, said Derek Gittoes, vice president of supply chain management product strategy at Oracle. The Landed Cost Simulator helps customers select the most cost-effective suppliers by taking international transportation costs and laws into account. It also shows the borders where the responsibility for the product moves from the international transport company to the local one.

The Landed Cost Simulator opens up a 'whole new area of the business process that we hadn't supported before.'
Derek Gittoesvice president of supply chain management product strategy, Oracle

Gittoes said that many companies spend 5% to 10% of revenue on transportation, so the No. 1 reason people buy transportation management products is to lower costs. With a global supply chain, the main need for features like the Landed Cost Simulator is the increasing complexity of transport in a worldwide economy, he said. The simulator, Gittoes added, opens up a "whole new area of the business process that we hadn't supported before."

The core of the Landed Cost Simulator stemmed from work by the UX team as part of a larger UX initiative across Oracle. The simulator, Gittoes said, is designed to be used by a customs analyst who determines landed costs; such a person is typically a business user, not a technology specialist. To better create a feature that is easy for a customs analyst to use, the UX team is "trying to understand in much more depth the business process steps the user has to go through," Gittoes said.

Based on this understanding and customer feedback, the UX team developed a persona for the customs analyst. In this case, the persona represents the identity of everyone with a specific business role -- the customs analyst. Since the user's experience is tied to the persona, the UX team can tailor the experience of the customs analyst to simplify the types of activities that job requires on a day-to-day basis. The same technique went into the development of other business roles and features in Oracle Transportation Management 6.4 and Oracle Global Trade Management 6.4.

Rate maintenance, shipment planning bring new options

The UX team is 'trying to understand in much more depth the business process steps the user has to go through.'
Derek Gittoesvice president of supply chain management product strategy, Oracle

Other new features in Oracle Transportation Management 6.4 include the following:

  • Rate maintenance, which makes it easier to manage goods, contracts and the data associated with contracts. It works by using a Microsoft Excel template to capture the contract, and then users can import the contract into Excel and modify it there.
  • Advanced shipment planning optimization, which optimizes the ratio of internal employees to external contractors for the most cost savings. This feature is helpful for Oracle customers who use both outside parties and their own private fleet for transportation.

Oracle also added REST services to the 6.4 releases. Gittoes explained that many large companies are interested in using Transportation and Global Trade Management from mobile phones, but already have an in-house application for tracking order status. REST services allow companies to port these Oracle products into their internal application systems.

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