Capabilities of Cloud Supply Chain and Logistics
Back in the day, most supply chains had their strategies built around a more or less stable business environment. While tackling ongoing challenges, the managers had their eyes on cost-effectiveness by introducing lean approaches, establishing cheap local manufacturing, optimizing inventories and supplier base.
With the advent of the digitalization era, the business began to revolve around conveying value — an entirely new mindset that requires innovative tech across supply networks and beyond. The time has come for integrity, transparency, and collaboration. And that has been successfully achieved with cloud computing. The market is set to reach $11 billion by 2023, and it’s high time to look closer at available solutions.
Let’s go through supply chain industry trends, challenges, and how cloud computing transforms and helps a business.
New normal: trends that reshape supply chains
Even though volatility is nothing new to supply chains globally, its scope and pace are truly impressive. Today, unfortunately, only a minority of businesses can adapt, react quickly and relevantly, survive and remain competitive. Many organizations find themselves in a position where the partial introduction of tech results in data being scattered and underused.
The supply chain is a huge, complex ecosystem with multiple stakeholders. The data volumes — both internal and external — are growing exponentially. And companies are challenged to accumulate, store, analyze, share and convert it into optimization actions. Also, the question of cost-effectiveness does not go anywhere.
I am not saying that the pandemic was the one and only trigger for transformation to happen. It definitely aggravated things. Nevertheless, the problem of understocking and overstocking was quite serious long before the present day. In 2020, the global inventory distortion cost businesses $1.8 trillion. Covid should be considered as a harsh lesson: an organization can go downhill when the supply chain activity — every step of it — lacks effective management.
All in all, for the ecosystem to operate like clockwork, organizations have to realize the power of end-to-end visibility, close collaboration, flexibility, and real-time responsiveness. As the enabler of seamless data flow, cloud computing brought unparalleled intelligence to supply chains.
Advantages of cloud computing logistics and supply chain
Let’s focus on the key specific benefits of cloud and logistics combination.
- Real-time inventory and pricing. Cost optimization and risk mitigation are in direct correlation with top-notch inventory management. Having real-time inventory information allows for rapid reaction to whatever market fluctuation occurs. Cloud enables constant data flow on crucial aspects such as profit margins, sellers, etc. Therefore, having this information, an organization can increase sales levels, enhance customer experience, and positively influence performance. As far as pricing is concerned, weather conditions, market fluctuations, and demand spikes can significantly impact business margins in concise time frames. The round-the-clock access to rates, a company can take action in a matter of minutes.
- Connectivity. Having all the elements glued together and synchronized, a company acquires due visibility. Cloud technologies give the opportunity to connect with clients, vendors, suppliers. Therefore, a connected supply chain opens doors to tight collaboration and highly evolved operating models.
- Intelligence. The connectivity mentioned above paves the way to deploying analytical tools and cognitive tech to bring a timely and relevant decision to the table. Intelligence literally means being proactive rather than reactive to significant challenges while dealing with the minor ones via rule-based decisions. Industry leaders use predictive analytics to process data received from numerous sensors and provide guidelines on operations.
- Scalability. Since gaining…