Cloud Computing in Supply Chain Management — What are the benefits?
Supply Chain Management (SCM) covers a wide range of business activities designed to optimise the production, logistics and delivery of goods and services. Many companies now use SCM software in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) format in the cloud to manage and optimise these processes.
This has become such a popular option that the global market for Supply Chain Management software is predicted to reach $222.23 billion by 2028, up from $12.44 million in 2020.
What are the advantages of using Cloud Computing in Supply Chain Management? Let's take a look.
1. Increased visibility
Knowing what’s happening in your supply chain and where is crucial to effective SCM. When managed in the cloud, managers get end-to-end visibility of the supply chain, including all the processes, people, and systems involved. This transparency improves data sharing and collaboration between suppliers, distributors, and retailers, and allows companies to gauge performance at every stage of the chain.
With a supply chain management SaaS in place, managers get a centralised view of their entire operations, one that’s also accessible to anyone with a connected device, regardless of their location.
2. Improved integration between systems
Although shipping logistics alone requires multiple systems, having too many in the mix can cause significant delays. Also, traditionally, they need to be overseen individually. Cloud solutions allow supply chain managers to access data that’s stored in other systems such as ERP or CRM. This means companies can make more informed decisions and avoid miscommunication and missed savings.
3. Scalability and growth
Organisations need flexibility to grow. Cloud Computing technology is able to scale to meet the growing demands of businesses.
Supply Chain Managers can add data storage capacity as and when it’s required, without the burden of maintaining expensive hardware or software. Companies can adjust the availability of their services to meet increased demand rather than having to offer longer order processing times, thereby improving customer service.
4. Improved security
The cloud creates a more secure environment for data than previously. AI-based cloud solutions in particular offer very high levels of security, as data is replicated using virtual machines and backed up automatically via connected devices in different geographical locations.
5. Improved analytics
Every link in the supply chain produces vast amounts of valuable data, from raw materials costs to sales figures and delivery timeframes. Cloud technology has transformed the way companies perform supply chain data analysis, giving them a way to gather important insights about the performance and health of supply chain networks. This allows them to prepare for downturns and act to prevent problems before they occur.
6. Increased efficiency
When all services are online businesses can automate repetitive tasks, and use configurable rules, routing guides and custom workflows in the cloud. Along with data analysis, automation leads to more intelligent re-supply operations. It can also pinpoint any bottlenecks that are causing delays and signal that execution needs to be speeded up.
7. Keeps everything up-to-date
Cloud Computing is plugged into all available resources, ensuring all kinds of content, like carrier rates and embargoed countries lists, is up-to-date. Intelligent software provides increased innovation and gives companies access to real-time pricing and real-time inventory.
Cloud Computing is making the world more connected than ever and companies are reaping the benefits of using cloud-based solutions to drive efficiencies and growth. Supply Chain Managers can access information remotely and manage it more effectively than ever before, achieving better supplier quality, forecasting accuracy, and inventory optimisation.
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