With so much of the modern world dependent on internet-based processes (from file storage to entertainment to food delivery), it’s hard to believe the concept of cloud computing was just born in the mid-90s. Today, businesses across every industry, size, and region have adopted cloud-based operations in some way for faster processes, greater agility, and increased security. Yes, even in supply chain management.
Yet, legacy systems and manual SCM practices still exist. And while it may be feasible to continue running a supply chain outside the cloud, it doesn’t make much sense for those who intend to keep up with the competition. See, cloud-based supply chain management isn’t about being “en vogue.” It’s about streamlining the supply chain for the highest efficiency and scale.
The Benefits of Cloud-Based SCM
Cloud-based technology plays an integral role in supply chain efficiency and has become the go-to solution for companies who want to streamline their business. But from new architecture to implementation and adoption across the company, digital transformation is also a huge undertaking. This is most likely why a whopping 46% of supply chain professionals still rely on Excel spreadsheets for their operations.
But as the supply chain becomes more complex and customers expect the fastest, most accurate real-time service, investing in cloud-based SCM software has pros that far outweigh the cons.
1. Growth and scalability
As buying activity increases and the manufacturing industry experiences major upticks in growth, managing the supply chain becomes more complex. Cloud computing allows you to push beyond the limits of manual tracking with a single system to track, communicate, and manage supply chain processes. Whether your team or your customer base grows, you can meet their needs with digitized SCM.
2. Cost efficiency
With a single platform to house all supply chain operations, teams are kept more efficient, allowing them to do more with less effort. While 48% of supply chain professionals say their biggest barriers to tech implementation are cost-related, the return on investment is much greater. In fact, 79% of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth greater than the average within their industries.
3. Automated intelligence
Spending too much time tracking down shipments, connecting with team members in other regions, or managing compliance? Human errors are bound to happen across a global supply chain. But automated intelligence spots risks before they happen and identifies opportunities for greater efficiency. Automated supply chain software takes the guesswork out of SCM, leaving you with more time to manage the overall supply chain, work with partners, and grow the business.
4. Real-time visibility
It can be difficult to keep up with all the interactions happening across your supply chain — especially as it grows and expands around the globe. Cloud-based supply chain tech allows you to see the big picture instead of a single snapshot in time. With real-time visibility across the supply chain, you can more accurately predict challenges and draw trends to aid in future planning.
5. Increased speed
One of the biggest benefits of cloud software is the ability to increase your team’s responsiveness and agility. No more waiting on communications with vendors or unforeseen challenges to clear. As soon as new issues or opportunities arise, you can spring quickly into action. Using an end-to-end supply chain solution can even help you achieve a 50% faster time-to-market.
6. Integration capabilities
Your company may be dependent on a number of third-party tools. The benefit of a cloud platform is that open API allows these solutions to come together as one, allowing you to break down silos and view your entire operation from a single pane of glass.
Adopting a Cloud Supply Chain Platform
In the fourth industrial revolution, customers expect companies to operate in the digital world. They expect real-time communications, top-notch service, and immediate answers across the entire supply chain. Managing your supply chain in a spreadsheet is not only inefficient for your team, but frustrating for those trying to work with you. Investing in cloud-based supply chain software is an investment in your company for long-term growth.