Supply chain management can be a real headache for a business. Having what is essentially a production line that can span the globe, it’s hard to manage the stress of knowing that issues in one link in the chain can bring your whole operation to its knees. Add to that concerns of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, risk management, and you have a real recipe for some sleepless nights.
Fortunately, cloud-based SCM solutions can put a lot of these worries to rest or lessen the burden. Let’s take a look at some of the ways software as a service (SaaS) can help you effectively manage your supply chain.
With the superior interconnectivity that cloud-based supply chain management solutions offer, communications between various departments and partners is considerably more streamlined.
Every link in the supply chain can access up-to-date data, track progress and goals, and generally stay on top of their role. This connectivity simultaneously allows a higher degree of autonomy for each partner, as they will have all the information they need and a higher degree of cohesiveness across the supply chain.
The increased connectivity between each stop of the supply chain also allows for detailed reporting on every aspect. With this wealth of information, it is possible to highlight areas where things are perhaps not as cost-effective as they should be, and act to rectify that problem.
The financial benefits of SaaS are not limited to what it can do to streamline your supply chain, however. Using a cloud-based solution over a more traditional system will typically pay off over time. It will stay up to date and work with new technology, so you aren’t operating on outdated systems.
One of the trickier aspects of being successful is growth. Not merely how to achieve growth, but how to scale your business along with it. Having an in-house supply chain management solution presents new problems when looked at from the perspective of scalability. On top of the added costs of running your system, you also have to worry about upgrading and expanding it.
With cloud-based systems, it is a matter of linking new users to your existing network no matter where they are and what systems they use. And because providers of SaaS models rely on their software to support countless organizations every day, they can afford to continually innovate and improve their services at a fraction of the cost of doing the same in-house at your business.
One thing humans are good at is spotting patterns. Our brains were built for it. With the wealth of data, a cloud-based management system can provide, it is much easier to forecast potential issues, and proactively take steps to prevent or mitigate the fallout.
The increased transparency between all departments and partners means that each stop in your supply chain can be aware of the bigger picture. If a raw material supplier is struggling to get a shipment to one of your manufacturers, that manufacturer will know and can take steps to procure materials from another supplier. Overall, more communication and transparency leads to better management tools across the board.