Today’s supply chain bears little relationship to supply chains of the past. Where supply chain management once focused solely on improving an individual company’s performance within its own four walls, today’s more “outward” focused supply chains look to optimize the entire supply chain including all upstream and downstream nodes. This change in focus has ushered in a new era of software solutions that rely on the cloud to help eliminate traditional communication and visibility barriers and silos. These new cloud-based solutions streamline efforts and help bring about greater cost efficiency.
Greater visibility & efficiency with Cloud Supply Chain Management
One area contributing to overall supply chain optimization is the ability to bring additional stakeholders into the forecast process. Receiving demand input directly from customers and balancing that against supply and production capabilities helps companies remain more competitive in a world where speed is often the key differentiator in an industry or product niche.
Visibility across all nodes helps companies make fact-based decisions faster so supply interruptions or demand fluctuations have less impact on supply chain cost and on-time delivery performance. In addition, the cloud allows companies to pull together disparate data from multiple sources for rapid analysis. This widespread data availability and analysis accelerates the improvement of existing processes rather than relying on guesswork or rules of thumb that result in higher costs and overall inefficiencies.
As companies adopt management techniques such as lean manufacturing, increased visibility and data analysis enables them to eliminate waste across the supply chain and create new, more efficient business processes and workflows.
Integrated solutions, improved communications with Cloud Supply Chain Management
One reason for the lack of coordination across business entities in the past was the proliferation of enterprise business systems. Each company in the supply chain had its own systems and its own data, and companies rarely shared their data across company boundaries because of the difficulty in integrating so many disparate systems and singular focus of the supply chain.
The cloud makes it easy to integrate multiple platforms, business systems and to share data or even provide direct access to applications. In fact, many cloud supply chain software applications now have a new and inexpensive user type designed expressly for suppliers and partners to share information.
The cloud also reduces the impact of system changes and integrations on your IT department. Cloud solutions are simpler and faster to implement and cloud providers manage most of the mundane day-to-day operational tasks such as upgrades, backups, maintenance, and security. This offloading of routine tasks enables your in-house IT team to focus on more strategic initiatives that have a greater impact on the business.
Simplify operations…one cloud at a time.
The cloud makes it easier to optimize production, order flow and deliveries to customers, resulting in lower operational costs and happier customers across the entire supply chain. If you’ve been thinking about making a move to the cloud, but aren’t sure how to begin, contact us today for information and ideas to get you started.