Software as a Service (SaaS) has transformed supply chain management and logistics operations in recent years. As technology has advanced to where a significant number of tasks can be handed over to the Cloud, the scope of what that technology can do for companies has evolved. This change is especially evident in the fashion industry where supply chains have many moving pieces, and the opportunity for problems is considerably higher.
SaaS has proven invaluable in streamlining businesses and creating transparent supply chains, which are more important than ever in today’s world of global, interconnected companies.
Why is having a transparent supply chain important?
Consumers are increasingly aware of their impact on the world around them, be it environmental or humanitarian. For this reason, accountability has become an ethical concern for businesses and a financial one. Companies that don’t have adequate transparency over things like where materials are sourced from, whether factories they use pay living wages, what their impact on the environment is with regards to emissions, waste, and recycling, all stand to suffer real financial losses compared to rivals who offer more disclosure and reporting.
Such issues are not merely a conscious choice by your brand. The more spread out your factories and suppliers are, the more difficult it is to ensure your partners meet the necessary standards. But with the right SaaS model, you can improve communication across your whole supply chain, increase transparency, and ensure your partners are operating ethically and supporting your brand vision. For more details, check out the Suuchi GRID.
How SaaS helps SCM
SaaS offerings are considerably more accessible than their offline ancestors, making it easy for professionals at all stages of the supply chain to access critical data from a wider variety of locations and devices. Where more traditional systems would have required expensive, specialized hardware for remote access, users can access SaaS applications through just about any connected device.
It is also more cost-effective and stable in the long term. Storing data in the Cloud removes the need for onsite infrastructure, not to mention the security and maintenance that comes with that infrastructure. With a Cloud-based service, a company only pays for what they need, and it often works out considerably cheaper than an in-house solution, where scalability is something that needs to be factored in. Another issue with in-house solutions that is often overlooked is obsolescence. Software and technology improve fast these days, with new applications seemingly out of date in the time it takes to install them. With SaaS, your software has continuous support and updates, adapting to changing technology as it emerges.
Finally, SaaS allows your supply chain to be up to date at every stage, instantaneously. There is no waiting for emails or phone calls, notifying every member of directions from further up the supply chain or delays from further down. You do not have to wait for delivery drivers to return from their route with paperwork to update the system with, as the updates can be handled immediately and remotely by the driver.
All of this contributes to a general boost in efficiency, mainly through stronger communication between different departments and partners, and supports your brand and your supply chain for the future.