Ways the cloud has changed supply chain management
Moving raw materials and assembled components through production facilities and across borders involves byzantine systems. At first glance, the cost savings achieved via such complicated chains look very labor-intensive and expensive to administer. However, the savings are retained, thanks to one particular technology: cloud computing. How is this possible? Let’s take a look.
Augmented IT departments
Businesses that decide to focus on creating their products often sign up for supply chain management (SCM) services. To support the use of such services, firms must either soup up their in-house IT departments extensively, or they can offload the IT requirements to a cloud provider.
SCM apps — plus the data these produce — can be hosted in the cloud instead of in expensive on-premises servers that consume electrical power and require your IT staff to do repairs and maintenance. A cloud provider frees your IT department from having to manage an enlarged IT infrastructure.
It's hard to find out-of-the-box apps that can readily be used with other apps. However, the standardized protocols of cloud platforms make apps more “cooperative” with one another, allowing for the creation of a software chain that can be quickly configured to complement your supply chain.
Automation minimizes costs
Cloud-hosted apps can automate tasks that would be costly if done manually. For instance, if a particular material is starting to run low in one warehouse, a cloud-hosted app can be triggered to generate a report that leads to an automated order submission, which then initiates a shipment — all with minimal to no human input.
The cloud scales with you on demand
When demand for your products starts to shoot up, production can increase tenfold or more. Your supply chain manager will require more processing power to handle the additional orders, and thankfully, cloud providers can quickly allocate additional resources as needed.
Conversely, scaling down is achieved just as easily. If off-season demand slopes down or another economic disaster strikes, cloud services can be reduced or canceled altogether.
Raw materials in transit can be tracked in real time, and the popularity of products can be projected. Both involve the rapid collection and processing of huge amounts of data, which cloud computing makes possible. Market insights are generated at breakneck speed — which is the secret behind how Amazon picks products to produce under its own labels.
Because cloud providers must comply with many government data regulations and care about how the public perceives their ability to protect the latter’s privacy, they implement the latest and best cybersecurity measures for the services they provide. This means that when it comes to your supply chain, you can expect a high level of data security for your firm.
In your supply chain, use the cloud to replace the old and heavy links that are slowing you down. Reach out to SimplyClouds to learn more about how cloud computing can make your processes as cost-efficient as possible.