How Can Cloud Help You Reboot Your Supply Chain? - American Technology Consulting

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Cloud Transformation

How Can Cloud Help You Reboot Your Supply Chain?


Vaishnavi Shah

Published August 17, 2022

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Managing the intricacies of the supply chain has always been a struggle for many business leaders. A shocking study revealed that only 22% of businesses have a proactive supply chain network. Having a proactive supply chain means that companies can address shifts in demand and supply of goods. With less than a quarter of enterprises able to manage change in demand and supply, they are exposed to many vulnerabilities and risks. 

Furthermore, the disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic and the rise of geopolitical conflicts has threatened the manufacturing and distribution of goods worldwide. With so much at stake, businesses should look at the bigger picture to ensure they can distribute goods quickly, safely, and securely. 

Thankfully, cutting-edge technologies like cloud computing and AI are shaping the future of the supply chain and building the way for better visibility and efficiency across the manufacturing and logistics industries. 

Let’s look at how the increase in cloud supply chain solutions can improve our global economy. 

Top Ways Cloud Supply Chain is Driving Change!

Traditionally, the supply chain was only about handling the flow of goods. From converting raw materials into finished goods and delivering them to customers, supply chain management was a relatively simple process for businesses. 

But the ‘Amazon Effect’ changed this. 

The ‘Amazon effect’ disrupted the e-commerce industry and established that the supply chain is a dominant factor impacting the customer experience. 

Bringing the concept of ‘two-day delivery’ and price flexibility across the online marketplace, Amazon pushed retailers to incorporate technology into their business and make their supply chain agile. 

Current economic challenges have made 53% of supply chain executives evaluate their supply chain strategies, and many are considering investing in technologies that provide them a competitive edge. 

One of these technologies is cloud computing. 

Here’s how cloud supply chain management is helping companies become agile and driving change. 

  1. Massive Cost Savings

Recent research by Gartner shows that 42% of chief supply chain officers are under pressure to maintain margins and accelerate innovation. Whether it is resource shortage or extreme disruptions, cloud supply chain solutions can help you cut costs. Let’s look at the top ways these solutions are making businesses more sustainable. 

  • Reducing production delays: Delay costs are a significant factor that causes organizations to lose millions. They represent fewer cash flows, lost sales, piled-up inventory, and customer dissatisfaction. With cloud solutions, you get enhanced tracking visibility, enabling quicker decision-making to eliminate production delays.
  • Low upfront costs: Cloud solutions don’t require high investment costs. Since many cloud solutions are subscription-based, you can reduce your spending on building an expensive infrastructure that involves computing, storage, and networking capabilities.
  • Less error: Another reason why companies lose valuable resources is due to wrong order fulfillment. With advanced cloud solutions, you integrate RPA technology to automate most of your retail operations to reduce manual error costs. Legacy systems require you to log into multiple systems, making order fulfillment tedious and time-consuming. Cloud stores everything in one place, making it easier for you to improve the order fulfillment process.    
  1. Unlocking Quality Insights

The upheavals across global trade have established one fact﹘Normal doesn’t exist anymore. 

To tackle these upheavals and reduce uncertainties, supply chain professionals are moving to a strategic approach﹘Data analytics. 

Leaders in the fields, including Amazon, The Home Depot, eBay, and more, rely on connecting data from end-to-end points to deriving actionable insights. 

Let’s explore this more in-depth!

Today, companies need to key in public information, weather forecasts, customer preferences, and financial data and connect this with enterprise data to seek visibility. 

Using cloud solutions helps enterprises save and turn large data sets into actionable insights to manage shipments and customers in real-time. The combination of the cloud, AI, and Big Data technologies are aiding businesses in anticipating supply chain issues, smoothening them, and becoming future-ready.  

  1. Strengthening Buyer-Supplier Relationships 

While 41% of executives say they want to migrate to the cloud supply chain for enhanced efficiency, they ignore a significant benefit of using the cloud - Collaboration. 

Despite its value at stake, the collaboration between buyer and suppliers have often been underestimated. Companies that successfully collaborate with their key suppliers have enjoyed dramatic cost savings and speed improvement, enabling long-term value across the supply chain network. 

With cloud supply chain solutions, you can involve your suppliers throughout the procurement process, making your supply chain more efficient and responsive. 

Here’s how the cloud can help you build better buyer and supplier relationships!

  • Streamline your workflow: From onboarding suppliers to resolving issues, cloud solutions help you partner up with suppliers from anywhere in the world on one platform. 
  • Digitalize all transactions: Automating manual transactions eliminates errors and increases connectivity. You can digitalize all B2B transactions across your supplier network for enhanced transparency. With all records in one place, you can increase the security of your operations and ensure that everything complies with rules and regulations.  
  • Sharing information: With cloud solutions, you can track the impact of collaborative projects and share vital information with key suppliers and partners. 
  1. Improved Forecast Accuracy

No business ever remains the same. Growing workload demands scalable solutions that can store massive data from multiple sources. Since the supply chain relies heavily on forecasting, you need an infrastructure that helps in end-to-end data assessment, optimization, and monitoring. 

By integrating cloud computing with AI and machine learning, you can streamline the process of data ingesting and modeling for accurate forecasting. Doing so will mitigate risks, protect the functioning of your network, and aid you in developing a suitable strategy to avoid disruption. 

Another way these solutions can help is by making the forecasting process more collaborative. Your team gets unrestricted access to the data, enabling you to get their real-time inputs. 

  1. Accelerating Innovation 

Global companies like Pfizer, Schneider Electric, and Ford Motors are already using the cloud to drive innovation and agility across their supply chain. 

A recent report published by Gartner states that Pfizer achieved continuous delivery of 99.998% on time for their mRNA vaccine. By powering its supply chain network with a powerful cloud platform and integrating its warehouses with advanced tracking capabilities, the company could distribute its product across the globe with complete real-time visibility.  

What’s Your Take on Cloud Supply Chain?

If COVID-19 has taught us anything is that it's time to transform your retail operations. 

There is plenty of room for you to innovate and transform your operations. While 79% of large organizations believe in actively investing in technology for risk management, understanding the implications of these technologies is critical for success. 

Instead of using cloud computing for short-term problems, you should evaluate your choices and consider the applications to match the required capabilities. 

In the end, it is critical to ask yourself - How prepared are you for future disruptions?

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