The coronavirus pandemic has jolted many industries out of their comfort zones. Suddenly, sectors such as transportation, logistics and supply chain needed to adjust to the disruption caused by quarantine measures and border restrictions.
Companies that were caught unprepared, paid a heavy price in terms of lost opportunities.
What enabled others to overcome the challenge is their early adoption of cloud computing—the on-demand availability of IT assets such as storage, processes and intelligence on the Internet.
Cloud technology enables companies to make their supply chain responsive to fortuitous events. This is because it allows organizations to access data anytime, anywhere, thus enhancing visibility, flexibility, collaboration, and innovation—factors needed not only to sustain business operations but also to get ahead.
Cloud’s services have evolved—from just mere storage and reporting to business intelligence and predictive analysis. Organizations using the Cloud benefit from accurate foresight, or the ability to anticipate changes, by using data, tracking developments, and analyzing trends.
In a 12-page report, Accenture expounds on how cloud-based computing equips companies with foresight to make their supply chains more competitive. It says cloud computing can transform the supply chain by making services more valuable, accessible and affordable.
The key to this is the reimagining of the supply chain as a digital supply network “that unites not just physical flows of products and services, but also talent, information and finance”.
The benefits of using Cloud computing include enhanced responsiveness to supply chain disruptions; real-time data from multiple sources that facilitate actionable insights; and greater collaboration.
Digitization can also help companies save on costs and achieve competitive edge by fostering networked processes. It can also optimize the whole operations and drive new ways of thinking and working. In short, a cloud-based strategy results in improved efficiency for the business, lower costs, enhanced performance, and greater coordination among the elements that make up the supply chain.
Cloud computing transforms traditional supply chains into digital supply networks. The advantages of digital supply networks include connectivity that provides real-time visibility which leads to intelligent supply network. This means that companies can quickly connect with suppliers, vendors, and customers. It improves interaction and collaboration that are important to meet customers’ demands.
Another advantage is the intelligence or insights made possible by the massive data that can be retrieved anytime. Intelligent technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence use these data to provide accurate insights which can form the basis for decisions. Predictive analytics can also prevent the occurrence of risks and provide alternative options for decisions.
With the right information, organizations are ready to scale up their operations to serve the growing needs of the market or scale down if required by the conditions. Cloud computing provides companies with flexibility to respond to any changes in customer demands and market conditions.
Cloud solutions also enable companies to operate at speed—especially in the face of uncertainties where they need to execute decisions without delay. Faster planning and execution allow them to grab the opportunities in the market ahead of other players.
More supply chain organizations are now migrating to the Cloud to take advantage of its rich features and capabilities.
One dependable Cloud architecture for supply chain management is the Netsuite platform which is the ERP of choice for many organizations.
Netsuite has fully-integrated manufacturing, inventory, warehouse management, and logistics solutions. Using NetSuite, companies can run their businesses on a single, unified platform that enables real-time connectivity and visibility, flexibility, cost-savings and prompt business intelligence.