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To deal with the challenges of today’s global economy, companies need to transform their supply chains into information-driven value chains - A portfolio of order management and fulfillment applications can address these issues. Executives see a large gap between the current state of digital transformation across their extended global value chains and what they expect to see in just five years from now.
The concept seems straight forward in practice, but it is often very difficult to accomplish. Take the example of a large, multinational manufacturer that had siloed back office systems, multiple distribution centers, scores of inventory locations, and a diverse mix of suppliers. Their initial thought was to “rip and replace” their existing legacy systems; however, this ambitious choice would have been extremely time-consuming, expensive, and disruptive.
They also considered integrating the systems, an effort that might address today’s problems but lead them into the same situation down the road when their business processes changed again. For most large organizations, however, order management complexity creates problems, including escalating supply chain costs, inaccurate promise dates, and higher-than-needed inventory.
This challenging environment is presenting companies from all industries with a startling reality: How effectively they manage their order management and fulfillment processes has a direct and immediate bearing on the success, even survival of their business. At the same time, the increase in demand volatility coupled with an explosion of delivery channels, more complex global supply chains, and ever-rising expectations of customers and end consumers, means perfecting order management and fulfillment is incredibly challenging.
Nowhere is this more evident than in some of the most dynamic industry sectors driving our global economy: manufacturing, high-tech, and retail.
This article, which is based in part on a research study of 589 supply chain executives conducted for Oracle and Capgemini, looks at those issues as well as the opportunities to address them with a portfolio of order management and fulfillment capabilities.
One of the key findings from our study was the extent of the issues facing organizations from these industries. To begin with, businesses across the board are in agreement that managing fulfillment processes is becoming more multi-faceted and subsequently, more complicated.
In particular, the complexity of order management systems, the ongoing challenge of keeping customers satisfied, adhering to delivery schedules, and combating rising costs related to fulfillment are among the major issues companies now face in all three sectors. A key area of challenge for companies is understanding and managing customer demand effectively.
Contributing to the complexities of order management processes are the multiple, disparate order capture and fulfillment systems such companies now operate. Roughly four out of five of the executives surveyed rely on several order capture mechanisms (79 percent), while more than two-thirds employ more than one order fulfillment system.
As one vice president of supply chain operations responded: “Currently, we do not have the ability to create one invoice for a customer that has placed multiple lines of shipping from different facilities.
As shown in Exhibit 2, ordering through different channels is particularly common and complex with retailers.
While our survey went into more detail on the range of challenges presented by today’s economy, the overall point is clear: Organizations in dynamic industries face complex and increasing challenges when it comes to order management and fulfillment. Customer satisfaction and retention are put at risk and businesses are forced to allocate additional spending on resources and labor to address the situation.
While a list of challenges that spans organization, process, technology, and strategy seems daunting, there are low-hanging opportunities for companies in the manufacturing, high-tech, and retail industries to improve both their competitive positioning and their top and bottom lines. Demand sensing: According to respondents, as shown in Exhibit 4, the number of customers ordering from multiple channels during the last 12 months has either stayed the same (50 percent) or increased (45 percent). Applications such as demand signal repository allow companies to capture real time multi-channel demand signals and analyze, through “slice and dice” capabilities, the demand information to reveal patterns.
Demand shaping: Technologies such as trade promotions optimization complement demand sensing by creating incentives to stimulate demand or optimize product promotions to maximize growth and profitability. The result of these advanced demand management capabilities is a demand-driven organization with higher service levels and sales, more satisfied customers, and lower inventory and distribution costs.
To meet rising customer and end-consumer expectations, organizations across all industries need to increase their on-time deliveries, improve the reliability and accuracy of their promises to customers, and manage their commitments to key customers. In fact, in the Oracle and Capgemini study mentioned earlier, 39 percent of respondents named inaccurate order promise dates as a top inventory management challenge.
Take, for example, a high-tech company that was developing a product that had a quality issue. It was difficult for the company to determine what part of the development process was causing the problem.
By combining dynamic, real-time data-driven processes with manufacturing, supplier, and logistics constraints, organizations can have more responsive, reliable, and profitable promising processes that improve customer service levels and increases fill rates.
GOP similarly enables retailers to balance planning and execution when those cycles are out of synch.
For example, we worked with one large retailer that was concerned with cost effective fulfillment of customer orders. In addition, tight integration of GOP with order management processes enables accurate order promising of complex configurations while extensive backlog management allows organizations to promise a group of orders in a priority sequence. As the survey highlighted, order complexity is a key challenge for supply chain professionals (42 percent of respondents) when managing order management and fulfillment. The dramatic growth in the number of systems can be attributed to organic growth and M&A activity. With Distributed Order Orchestration, organizations are able to apply enterprise-wide rules and processes, and identify and rectify problems before they become an issue for customers. For example, the ability to consistently view margins during promising, fulfillment, and particularly expediting activities, can help improve decision making and drive profitability without sacrificing service level agreements. Automotive and high-tech companies are examples of industries that often struggle to meet commitments to key customers at the time of order execution.
The business process layer organized the allocation commitment process and provided visibility into the end-to-end processes, including proactive monitoring of customer complaints with their agreed-upon allocation commitments. While Distributed Order Orchestration systems benefit organizations of all sizes, they represent a major opportunity for large, complex organizations.
It is not a big surprise that this survey revealed the increasing complexity and costs associated with managing and fulfilling orders. Success in order management and fulfillment relies on the speed of decision making and continuous monitoring of the impact of those decisions at all levels in the organization. Returning to the story of the large, multinational manufacturer, this company found a solution to design and implement a new, integrated, end-to-end business process without re-implementing non-value added functionality. By leveraging systems that separate the master data, business rules, and business processes from the physical integrations, they now have a platform for the future that delivers immediate benefits, including: greater transparency and a single source of inventory information, reduced cycle times for proposals, orders and fulfillment, and improved ability to address complex customer needs more quickly and with fewer data errors. The insights this analysis delivers will help in the development of new models that can be implemented across people, processes, technology, and metrics. About the Editors: Maha Muzumdar is Vice President of Supply Chain Management Marketing for Oracle.
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You’ll want to make sure that your wood is cut to the right length and diameter for your appliance.

After your wood has dried you should move it to a dry and sheltered storage area for the winter. I have a smaller stove (Vogelsang Frontiersman), and the best length for wood is 15 – 17 inches. Coal burns with a blue.indigo flame playing over the top, and once I started the stove in the winter, it never got shut down until late spring. I have not made it quite off the grid yet and am trying toget my home sold so that I can get the transition going… however has anyone mentioned using a dehumidifier at all. Coal burns fine in woodstoves; in fact, in the past in coal-rich regions, even fireplaces were built to use it. Thanks for all your comments I wanted to find out if I could burn coal in my stove because I want to prepare for inflation or disaster. About 3 years ago, I moved back into the city,(BIG MISTAKE), after 1 year I moved back onto my property outside of a small town in Arkansas.
An easy way to start a fire in your wood burner is to use 8 brickets of easy lite charcoal and stack your wood over it.
I noticed that a couple of woods were not mentioned in your list: Sweet Gum, Magnolia and Cedar are all here in the South.
Wood Stoves: If your stove vents off of the top, you can readily burn any type of wood, without worrying about creosote build-up.
Chinmey Fires: If your stove and chimney are properly installed, they are designed to handle a chimney fire, without damage to the chimney or your home. Just an observation, when living in south Texas lived in a 125 yr old house that had a fire place and wood stove, we were never sick and the ash when spread around the house and at the base of the trees helped to move the fire ants away from the yard and the fire ants were terrible.
A good source of seasoned oak wood is broken pallets that people will give you for free….
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Leading contributors to this problem are outdated planning processes and disconnected execution systems that are too slow to respond to increased demand volatility; they lack visibility, increase supply chain risk, and cannot react quickly to unexpected supply chain events. The company ultimately determined that they needed the flexibility to change their business processes without the hassle of changing out all the systems in which they had invested during the last 30 years. To deal with the challenges of today’s global economy, maintaining a core competency in order management and fulfillment is more important than ever for companies that want to transform their supply chains into information-driven value chains.
The mounting complexity has been caused by a number of factors, such as increasing globalization, M&A activity, multiple channels to market, and complex supply chains—factors that are here to stay. To fully understand the situation, it is important to consider some of the key issues and opportunities these industries face in order management and fulfillment. While many business executives think that their issues are unique to their organizations or industry, businesses across the manufacturing, high-tech, and retail industry sectors face many of the same challenges in managing their supply chains, according to the study responses. Many large companies continue to have complex, fragmented order management processes and technology infrastructure.
When an organization has multiple systems in place, it is difficult to get a single compete picture or a single view of a customer. In general, the companies in the study manage slightly more than three (3.1) order-taking channels such as e-commerce, call centers, and electronic data interchange (EDI). The study showed 50 percent of manufacturers have done an acquisition or have been involved in an acquisition during the last three years, and 45 percent of total companies are demanding orders through multiple channels.
Retailers maintain an average of four different selling channels that their customers actually go through. Expediting fulfillment and shipping to meet order commitments is the primary factor contributing to order management expenses. In short, these trends, coupled with the rising price of raw materials and mounting transportation costs, pose a growing threat to the bottom line of businesses everywhere. Businesses can utilize advanced demand management capabilities to significantly improve their ability to better manage demand volatility, improve demand-planning processes, and realize higher forecast accuracy.
When combined with demand history for a given product, this information can provide businesses with the insights they need to develop a more accurate forecast.
For example, leading supply chain companies use capabilities such as dynamic pricing to influence demand. In other words, over promising and under delivering is a huge concern for organizations in dynamic, ever changing industries. At the output part of it, the company had less supply than expected, so a balancing act was needed to determine which customers would receive their orders. This uncertainty raised questions about how to fulfill all of the orders in a way that upset the least number of customers.
GOP addresses this issue by enabling organizations to make quick delivery promises that customers can rely on.
Rather than tell customers that a product is out of stock, retailers with global order promising technologies now have complete visibility into their supply chain and can commit to customer orders taking into consideration the total order fulfillment cost. The retailer had full visibility across the network and could see the available inventory at each store location.
When combined, these advanced management capabilities help organizations to improve customer satisfaction to retain existing customers while attracting new ones—the key to any successful business. This difficulty in managing orders efficiently and accurately has been caused by a number of factors, including the explosion of order capture and fulfillment systems that many companies now operate.
Of course, the number of systems isn’t exactly the problem here; instead, it’s more the fact that they are often poorly integrated or not integrated at all.
By giving business managers complete control over order management processes, they are able to monitor order progress, review issues, resolve problems, and modify fulfillment processes as the business evolves. One manufacturer wanted to develop a system that allowed it to commit to and manage allocation commitments. This was a brand new process that was not supported by its current mainframe system, and it was too expensive to simply throw people at it. By streamlining order management processes across global organizations, they can help lower costs, increase margins, and greatly improve customer service. The survey did, however, reveal several opportunities for companies in the manufacturing, high-tech, and retail industries to embrace these changes and improve their competitive positioning and bottom lines.
This can be achieved with advanced systems, like the ones outlined in this article, which enable best-in-class processes across all order management and fulfillment processes. They inserted applications that could co-exist with their existing legacy systems to create a new standardized process, across all sites.
But as anyone that works in the complex world of supply chains will know, that alone is not enough.
In addition, the manufacturer should consider following retailers in embracing the new multi-channel reality by evaluating up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, and in some cases, end-customer direct across product lines. The key to successful wood burning is proper planning for laying in your supply, storing it properly, and seasoning it well. If you don’t own a chainsaw and can’t cut your own wood, then ask friends and family for some recommendations for people who sell firewood.
It’s the moisture content of the wood and the density of the wood that determines how slow or fast it burns.
Stacks that are placed too close together, covering up the sides of the firewood, and stacking firewood on the ground will keep your firewood from properly curing.
We got caught up in this and although the wood may have sat, it sat outside in the rain till it was delivered to us.

Each winter a lot of birches either come down or bend over from the snow and ice, Those I cut up in addition to oak, Maple and beech. A rick of longer pieces would be a pain, and I would wind up cutting the pieces up, leaving lots of short and unmanageable scraps. I would highly recommend you add the ” Magic Heat ” waste heat circulator to your stove, above all other brands! Initially we had one of those old cast iron stoves and went through wood like crazy but bought a good soapstone stove and barely burn three cords to heat a 2,400 sq ft log home. And when they need clean water, elite soldiers are choosing the Paratroopers Water Purifier -- the smallest, lightest, and most durable water purifier on earth! Complying with the heightened demands likely increases internal costs to meet these order fulfillment requirements in a short time frame. In addition, they have nearly three (2.7) systems for carrying out orders, which often includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Order Management applications. If there are three distinct channels, customers are often required to put one purchase order through one channel, a second purchase order through the second channel, and a third order purchase through the third channel.
On top of that, only 38 percent of them actually have the software to manage these channels. Adding resources to respond to shipping delays and taking on additional labor to handle order processing are among the other major expense factors. Two important capabilities that augment demand planning include demand sensing and demand shaping. With so many customers using various purchase paths, the ability to capture purchase data is becoming increasingly challenging. However, it used GOP capabilities to utilize inventory without increasing transportation costs.
To eliminate these silos and give organizations a holistic view into global operations, a solution is needed that cuts through order management complexity to create a centralized view. In order to avoid or reduce errors and costs related to change orders in the fulfillment process, the company wanted to offer a program to encourage customer commitment well in advance of product availability.
Instead, a Distributed Order Orchestration solution served as a hub to provide the integration between planning, order capture, and fulfillment. As to ensure success, organizations must strive to continuously enhance their order management and fulfillment processes to improve both their competitive positioning and business results.
They should also consider focusing on creating a consistent customer experience across all channels.
Pieces that are not seasoned right will not burn efficiently, will deposit creosote that can build up and lead to a dangerous fires, and will be all around frustrating to deal with. If possible, have it delivered in the spring so that you can stack and season the wood yourself, and know that it’s properly done. Softer woods that you stack in the spring should be ready by fall, but harder woods may need a year or more to cure out. Not only can mold grow on the wood, but it’s the perfect spot for insects and pests to hide. We’re still drying it, while having to buy lesser grade bundles to use as starter for the few pieces we find dry. To the East, Plant Apples and Cherries where Dogwood flourish— whose pies and jellies for us will nourish.
Here in New Hampshire its close to $250 a cord but we have 40 acres of hardwood so we just cut down trees every summer and stack the stumps and every year we are left with 4 cords of wood, free of charge. One needs to watch the flue for creosote build up, but that’s just good common sense when burning wood for heat. It’s so small and lightweight you can easily carry it in your pocket or purse, backpack or glove box.
A retailer with a different set of inventory allocated to its website versus inventory allocated for store replenishment increases the cost inside the entire supply chain, as only 21 percent of retailers utilize the inventory inside their store.
Anijay Zinzuwadia is Distributed Order Orchestration Solution Lead, North America at Capgemini. Always better if you can go get your own (check your local forest service office for permits), cut it and know when it should be ready and the quality of storage of it. Also, if I can’t move wood for some reason, I always have enough to burn for a week or so. I had cleaned it myself with my neighbors store bought sweep and found out from the professional their equipment is differant the brisols are made stonger than store bought. We have so much standing dead firewood in our area that it’s actually sad to see these beautiful trees being wiped out by this little bug.
To the West, Plant Peaches, Pears and Plums where Caneberries thrive— later to taste sweented Honey from the Hive.
We don’t have much trouble with creosote or soot residue due to our stove and chimmney design and trying to stick to burning hardwoods. Between you and your four neighbors, chances are that at least one of the five households will experience a break-in… or worse, a home invasion. As demonstrated in the survey, even if high-tech firms do a good job of planning their allocations, customer commitments are not being enforced at the time of order execution. Don’t fall for the idea large companies are better to buy from, they are no better than the smaller guys trying to make a quick buck on lesser grade wood stored improperly, get references from people who have bought from them successfully. If you need to buy wood, the least expensive is buy truck loads of green oak from logging companies. They did alot checked the linner fixed a stone inside and came all the way down the flume that I needed reach the length can fool ya. To address this situation, companies need to integrate their allocations into the promise dates that are provided to customers. However, we don’t have the luxury of choosing the trees that grow in our areas, and the newer efficient wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and furnaces can overcome shortcomings in the wood itself. Of course you will need a chain saw to cut to length and be good at splitting but it is all good excercise. The fire and noise really scared me three fire trucks came with local voulenteers they checked the attic and found a piece of cardboard agaist the pipe. Ask anyone whose home has ever been robbed what if feels like, and they’ll say it feels like they were violated. I usually buy enough for the winter because they tend to run out at the store late in the burning season.
When I started using these, I did see a difference in my chimney build up between sweeps, that’s why I have kept using them. Because not only do criminals violate what should be your sanctuary from the world and walk away. All in all, cutting, collecting and splitting wood is great exercise not to mention the constant restocking in the house through out the winter. So, I really think it is an effective exercise program and also, helps keep my heat bills very low.

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