Monday, December 31, 2007

Fixed Assets - Introduction

In simple terms, an asset is a resource having future economic benefit owned by an entity. Future benefit could mean in terms of contributing to the profit for profit oriented organizations and providing services for non-profit oriented organizations.

Assets are formally controlled and managed within larger organizations via the use of asset tracking tools. These monitor the purchasing, upgrading, servicing, licensing, disposal etc., of both physical and non-physical assets.

Assets may be classified in many ways.

1. Current assets (Current deposits, Inventory)
2. Long-term investments (Investments in securities)
3. Fixed assets (land,buildings, machinery, furniture, tools)
4. Intangible assets (patents, copyrights, franchises, goodwill, trademarks)

Fixed assets are those that are expected to keep on providing benefit for more than one year. Some common examples are: scientific equipment, office equipment, photo copiers, land and buildings, vehicles, Machinery, Property held for Investment purpose.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Understanding Discrete Manufacturing

In discrete manufacturing, the manufacturing floor works off orders to build something. Examples include toys, medical equipment, computers and cars. The resulting products are easily identifiable

Discrete manufacturing is often characterized by individual or separate unit production. Units can be produced in low volume with very high complexity or high volumes of low complexity. Low volume/high complexity production results in the need for an extremely flexible manufacturing system that can improve quality and time-to-market speed while cutting costs. High volume/low complexity production puts high premiums on inventory controls, lead times and materials costs.

Discrete Manufacturing includes makers of consumer electronics, computers and accessories, appliances, and other household items, as well as consumer and commercial goods like cars and airplanes. Discrete Manufacturing companies make physical products that go directly to businesses and consumers, and assemblies that are used by other manufacturers.

(With Thanks, Source: Wikipedia)

Saturday, December 22, 2007



DFF provide customiszable expansion space to capture information which otherwise is not captured by the standard application. Gives you the flexibility to satify different group of users without having to reprogram the application.

DFF can be context sensitive where the information your application stores depends on other values your users enter in other parts of the form.

Each DFF has a name you assign. You can specify valid segment values or setup criteria to validate the entry of any value.

DFF is made up of subfields and appears in a pop-up window on the form. DFF are implemented as a set of database columns with one column for each segment. The brackets [ ] indicate the presence of a DFF. When the cursor reaches the brackets the DFF pops open. DFF can be enabled and disabled - hence it only pops open when it is in enabled mode.

Friday, December 21, 2007


As the name suggests, flexfield is a "flexible field". Flexfield is a field made up of multiple segments which are actually table columns. Each segment has a name that can be assigned and a set of valid values.

There are 2 types of flexfields in Oracle Applications namely "Key flexfield" (KFF) and descriptive flexfield (DFF)

Using KFF and DFF, Oracle gives enormous amount of flexibility to customers to customize (or rather I may call it configuring) to match the different business needs without the need for programming. Flexfields provide the flexibility to implement code structure and capture additional information.


KFF represents an 'intelligent key' that uniquely identifies an application entity. Each KFF segment has a name you assign and a set of valid values you can specify. Each value has a meaning which can be again specified. KFF provides with a flexible 'code' data structure that users can setup in whichever way they like to use the KFF segments. As mentioned, for each segment one can also define valid values for each segment as well as cross-validation rules to describe valid segment combinations.

Oracle General Ledger Accounting flexfield is an example of a KFF used to uniquely identify a General Ledger account. Another example of KFF would be Item flexfield in Oracle Inventory - its used to uniquely identify inventory items. It could contain segments such as product class, product code, size, color and packaging code. You could valid values for the color segment - for example a user can enter only from a range of "01" to "10" (where "01" meand red and "02" means blue and so on).

Cross validation rules can also be applied to validate combination of segment values entered by the user. For example, take an example of shirt - if a user select "01" in color code (which means red color), size can be only "40" and "42" and not "44". This is because business has red color shirts available in size "40" and "42" only.

Flexfield segments are usually validated against a set of valid values - called as value set. Oracle Applications provide a couple of seeded Key flexfields.

Watch out for the next post on Descriptive Flexfields (DFF). If you wish to receive an email whenever that is posted, drop a email on

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oracle Projects - An Introduction

It has become vital for industries like project based manufacturing companies (like building products on order basis), construction, professional services, telecom, product development and as well as government agencies need to track costs and revenues of each project. The manner in which projects are planned, executed upon, and controlled can vary widely from organization to organization. Oracle Projects is comprehensive yet flexible to occupy these complex needs of different organizations.

Currently its called "Oracle Projects suite" which includes following modules:
1) Project Costing
2) Project Billing
3) Project Resource Management
4) Project Management
5) Project Contracts

However the most used among the above are Project Costing and Project Billing - which could be together called "Project Accounting" - it collects or calculates your project costs and revenues, translates them to your chart of accounts, and automatically posts journal entries to your General Ledger. Project Costing and Project Billing make up a true core of the suite.

Oracle Projects closely integrates with couple of modules such as General Ledger, Human Resources, Purchasing & Payables, Receivables, Inventory and Fixed Assets.

Multi-Organization (Multiorg) feature in Oracle Applications

Oracle Applications 11i has a feature called Multi-Organization (popularly called Multiorg), what brought a lot of benefits for customers which has multiple business units. Using the Multi-Organization feature, this kind of company will need only one single instance to support its business, keeping transactions data separate and secure.

This model allows you to support any number of business units on a single instance of any Oracle Applications product, even if those business units use different Set of Books. We can define different structures using Multiorg feature to suit the business needs

Couple of basics business needs that need the multiorg functionality are...

1) Use a single installation of Oracle Applications product to support any number of organization
2) Sell products from a legal entity which uses one set of books and, ship them from another legal entity using a different set of books
2) Purchase products through one legal entity and receive them in another legal entity
3) Support any number of legal entities within a single installation of Oracle Applications.
4) Secure access to data, so users can access only the information that is relevant to

This structure is the first definition that has to be done when implementing Oracle E-Business suite. It has to be done carefully, since it is not possible to change after it is defined in the system !

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CRM beginners note

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a process or methodology used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them. CRM helps businesses gain insight into the behavior of customers. This in turn can help businesses to Provide better customer service, Increase customer revenues, Discover new customers,
Cross sell/Up Sell products more effectively, Help sales staff close deals faster,Make call centers more efficient and Simplify marketing and sales processes. CRM is more than just technology, its a strategy. It is about the interactions of the entire business with your customers.

Typically a CRM solution would cover broad areas of Marketing, Sales and Service.

Things are looking bright for CRM professionals over the next year, according to a number of recent reports, job boards and industry developments. Year 2007 has seen couple of postponement of CRM projects just for the simple reason of unavailability of skilled consultants. That shortage of skills seems to be translating into increased pay for those that have them. Last year, the financial services industry had the most demand for CRM jobs, followed by manufacturing and healthcare & then services.

Major players in the CRM domain are SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. With Siebel, Oracle CRM and Peoplesoft CRM customers to serve, it seems that Oracle would be busy in serving the huge client base as well as getting them togther.

Oracle’s acquisition of Siebel will hit SAP hard and make it more difficult for Microsoft to make inroads into the enterprise market. So its all going to be interesting !

Questions? Mail me on

Sunday, December 9, 2007

ERP Jobs opportunities - for beginners

ERP is a skill, which was once mastered by reluctant learners, who now command premium price in the recruitment market. Today, recognising the potential of ERP training, professionals from as diverse streams as sales and marketing, human resources, manufacturing, production planning, supply chain management, quality, projects ...are ready to invest to get themselves trained for a much sought after global career.

The job opportunities are in the areas of Functional Consultant, Technical Consultant and in ERP Sales with well-defined growth path at different levels:

Associate - Technical Consultant / Functional Consultant
Technical Consultant / Functional Consultant
Associate Sr. Technical Consultant / Sr. Functional Consultant
Technical Consultant / Sr. Functional Consultant
Asst. Project Manager/Project Manager
Sr. Project Manager/ Chief Technical lead/ Chief Functional Lead

For Sales: Right from Sales Consultant, Business Development Manager to Head-Sales which all need a reasonable indepth knowledge on ERP product you sell to interact with the clients.

Obviously an extensive growth in new ERP installations creates tremendous employment opportunities. Companies that have used ERP achieved significant savings in payroll expenses by terminating large number of clerks, accountants and technicians. However, these firms require many "new breed" employees to support and run ERP - people who know business processes and have good technical programming skills. They need even more consultants to install, customize, and roll out new releases of ERP packages.

Any questions? Email me :)

Difference between due date & close date on RFQ

Due Date is when you want your suppliers to reply.
Oracle Purchasing prints the reply due date on the RFQ. Purchasing notifies you if the current date is between the RFQ reply due date & the close date and if the RFQ is Active. Purchasing knows that a supplier replied to an RFQ if you enter a quotation for this supplier referencing the RFQ.

Close Date is the date after which you dont allow to receive Quotations for the RFQ. Purchasing prints the close date on the RFQ. Purchasing notifies you if the current date is between the RFQ reply due date and the close date and if the RFQ is Active. Purchasing warns you when you enter a quotation against this RFQ after the close date.

2-way, 3-way, 4-way matching

2-way matching verifies that Purchase order and invoice information match within your tolerances:
Quantity billed <= Quantity Ordered
Invoice price <= Purchase order price

3-way matching verifies that the receipt and invoice information match with the quantity tolerances defined:
Quantity billed <= Quantity received

4-way matching verifies that acceptance documents and invoice information match within the quantity tolerances defined:
Quantity billed <= Quantity accepted.
(Acceptance is done at the time of Inspecting goods).

Whether a PO shipment has 2-way, 3-way or 4-way matching can be setup in the Shipment Details tab when entering the PO


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