Open Insights 26 – Logistical Fitness

Issue 26 – Logistical Fitness
November 1, 2006

by Sean Hull

Founder and Senior Consultant
Heavyweight Internet Group

Happy Holidays to everyone and welcome to our free monthly newsletter, discussing news, developments and business best practices at the intersection of Oracle and Open Source software.

In This Issue:

1. Feature: Logistical Fitness
2. New Articles
3. Audio Interviews
4. Current Reading
5. Lightweight Humor
6. Past Issues
7. Technical Articles
8. About Heavyweight Internet Group

1. Feature: Logistical Fitness

A few months back, the Economist featured a special survey on “logistics” that emerging science of supply chain management. They talked about what they termed the “physical internet”, ie the delivery of products in the global marketplace.

More and more the winners in business are the ones who manage their supply chains best. Zara, an example in the fashion industry, is a company that has managed to deliver clothing inspired by the latest runway trends five weeks later to the checkout. This is absolutely astonishing, given that other companies take six to nine months to do the same. They manage this feat with a mix of close coordination with all of their stores, and a Dell computer-like supply chain coordinating material from Asia, and production at their base in North-west Spain.

Wal-mart has managed to grow into the giant they are today by similar management of it’s supply chain, avoiding too much stock, and attendant sales to trim down, and shortages on the other hand. The head office has practically instantaneous information about stocked items at their different stores, providing unprecedented logistical information.

These same efficiencies are what has driven Dell computer to the top, allowing it to build each computer to a customer’s own specification, and keeping little inventory in the process.

All these efficiencies drive down costs, and make these companies incredibly nimble, despite their size. And what makes all this supply chain magic work together? At the heart of all of these technologies are enterprise databases like Oracle, and suites of software like Oracle Applications, or SAP AG.

So the next time you order a package from, track it day-by-day or hour-by-hour on, and are only mildly impressed when it shows up from halfway around the world at your doorstep in only a couple of days, realize that is phenomenal logistics, and supply chain management at work that makes it all possible.

If you’d like to download the Economist section on Logistics from June 2006 go here.

Other articles can be found at Yossi Sheffi’s “Resilient Enterprise” website.

Also visit the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

2. New Articles

Oracle 10g RAC versus DataGuard for High Availability

3. Audio Interviews

This month we have the opportunity to talk with William Hurley aka Whurley, the Chairman of the Open Management Consortium.

In our interview, we discuss open-source, and it’s impact on commercial software and solutions, and wrestle head on with some of the concerns people have on both sides of the fence.

William Hurley is the CTO at Qlusters, where he launched the openQRM project. He has been awarded IBM’s Master Inventor title, multiple awards for innovation at Apple Computer. Prior to joining Qlusters he was CTO and founder at Symbiot. He holds 11 patents for research and development at IBM, Tivoli Systems, and Apple Computer. He was recently elected Chairman of the Open Management Consortium.

4. Current Reading

The Resilient Enterprise by Yossi Sheffi

Mr. Sheffi’s new book explains how supply chains are transforming companies, making them more competitive and nimble in the process. With plenty of success and failure stories, it is very readable material.

iWoz by Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith

The original innovator, and inventor of the personal computer, Steve Wozniak discusses the fascinating origins of Apple computer, and how it rose to be the incredible company it is today.

The New CIO Leader by Marianne Broadbent & Ellen Kitzis

This is really a how-to book, offering insights and advice to CIOs on how to transform their position and take on a more prominent influential role in the enterprise.

5. Lightweight Humor

Check out the funny fake walmart blog at Gaping Void.

6. Past Issues
Issue 25: Which Red Button
Issue 24: Consulting Conflicts of Interest
Issue 23: Devil In The Details
Issue 22: Beware of Software Fashion
Issue 21: Open Season, Open Sesame?
Issue 20: Better Web Better Business
Archive: Past Issues

7. Technical Articles

Oracle DBA Interview: click here
Tools for the Intrepid DBA: click here
Oracle9i + RAC on Linux/Firewire: click here
Migrating MySQL to Oracle: click here
MySQL Disaster Recovery: click here

8. About Heavyweight Internet Group

In a nutshell, Oracle. Everything related to and surrounding the database technology we specialize in, but specifically setup, admin and tuning of Oracle technology. I have 10 years experience with Oracle, wrote a book on the technology, and write and lecture frequently. I’m founder and senior consultant of the company. In capacities where your company might hire Deloitte, AIG, or Oracle Consulting we can bring the same level of service and experience, at about half the price. Simple equation.

Looking for top-flight a DBA? Visit us on the web at