The cloud is taking over the SCM world. The incredible opportunities for advanced analytics and big data are just a few of the features that are making businesses take notice of Software-as-a-service (SaaS) supply chain management solutions.
There are numerous cost reduction implications that are associated with streamlining your supply chain using cloud-based SCM solutions, but the actual advantages of the switch from on-premise legacy systems go far beyond that, and in fact, are changing the entire concept of supply chain management.
And while there are still concerns that make some companies hesitant to make the switch, it’s obvious that cloud-based SCM systems have revolutionized how small and medium businesses plan their product lifecycle.
How Cloud Computing is Changing SCM
Cloud-based SCM applications are having a far greater effect than previously anticipated – businesses are beginning to understand that SCM is no longer just about the physical flow of products and services, but that it goes far beyond, encompassing every aspect of the business and its values, including data, talent and even finance.
The ability to integrate data and analytics into the SCM workflow can help companies make actionable insights and streamline the data flow across the entire organization, and even to partners.
The digital supply network now encompasses every part of the enterprise, allowing for seamless collaboration between different supply chains, and creating an environment in which it’s much easier to ensure an efficient workflow and a quick response to disruptions.
Instead of focusing on individual functions, businesses are now able to monitor the SCM as a whole, creating ever new opportunities for cost improvement and greater performance.
Benefits of Cloud-Based SCM Systems
The transition from legacy systems to cloud-based SCM solutions can be challenging, but more and more businesses are seeing the huge benefits it can bring, and are choosing to make the switch.
Here are just a few of the advantages that come with employing a cloud-based SCM system:
The one benefit that puts cloud-based SCM head and shoulders above in-office solutions is the ability to make real-time decisions. This gives companies an unparalleled ability to precisely track each part of the supply chain, making it easy to make on-the-spot adjustments.
Once connected, the use of cognitive equipment and smart apps allow to make informed decisions about each aspect of the digital supply network. The advanced analytics potential can also help businesses take their demand planning to a whole new level by giving access to an unprecedented amount of usable data.
The connectivity potential of cloud SCM software also allows for never before seen flexibility to “plug-in” new parts of the system. It’s very easy to introduce new elements to the supply chain using cloud software – adding new partners or suppliers has become a nearly automated process, especially when compared to the in-premise solutions.
The top supply chain management software solutions all have a seamless UX design that allows to easily integrate new people and processes, as well as do deep customization for different segments of the market.
No Maintenance Required
With Cloud, you don’t have to worry about taking maintaining your software and IT infrastructure. Current technology advancement and the increase of stable internet speed has allowed for even such complicated software as SCM become less dependent on location, and fully function as a cloud-based SCM solution.
Since software updates and maintenance are handled by the service provider, companies can drastically reduce their IT departments. This not only saves money but is efficient in and of itself because the SCM SaaS has better-equipped resources to solve any problems quickly.
Never before small and medium businesses had access to professional software that allowed to greatly increase efficiency. Not long ago, small businesses had to rely on very simple tools such as Excel and MS Project, while advanced SCM software was reserved for big companies who had the resources to host and maintain it on their own.
Right now, with the rise of Cloud SCM solutions, even smaller businesses have affordable access to the most cutting-edge planning and logistics tools, which can have a tremendous impact on efficiency. Cloud-based SCM systems also mean that scaling up doesn’t come with the financial burden that it used to while being much more time-efficient at the same time.