No one could imagine how cloud computing would impact our lives, specially when it comes to business. Nearly all businesses nowadays depend on the cloud in some way, for many daily functions.
If we take a general view, we can see many examples of how it has changed the way things happen. United Parcel Service (UPS), for example, started a Supply Chain Management system to make their monitoring process more transparent. After they implemented UPS Order Watch, their customers can manage their inbound supply chains very easily.
Supply Chain Management Explained
Globalization has taken supply chains to a more complex level. To give a more illustrative example, just think about how revolutionary products are manufactured. Let’s take the iPhone as an example.
Apple designs their iphones in the USA, but they are manufactured in China by Foxconn. But Forbes has a different version of that. According to their article, Foxconn only gets parts of the iPhone from different places and brings all together.
As you can see, it involves different parts of the world: USA, China, Japan, Malaysia… and specially in Asia, logistics can be very difficult.
Issues in Supply Chain Management
This challenge is even bigger when we consider a lack of effective transportation infrastructure and reliable logistics data in Asia Pacific region. That makes it difficult for any visibility into the supply chain.
Not to mention the difficulty for many companies to communicate one to another. This can make any simple operation a big problem that supply chain managers must deal every day. They must come up with good and creative solutions, establish partnerships, and also cover the shortfalls in the supply line. All this might take into consideration the time and cost it will involve.
Cloud Supply Chain Management Solutions
The magical solution to all these challenges lies in cloud supply chains. Considering the increase in internet usage, mainly in developing countries and specially through portable gadgets, supply chain managers can monitor the value chain on the go. Tracking is the main issue in supply chain management and can be done with cloud-based softwares.
Just like UPS, many companies use the cloud technology to boost their supply chain management. Procter & Gamble, HP, and Pfizer are just some examples of businesses that adopted cloud-based supply chain management solutions. In general they help tracking and managing global trade and logistics.
In order to provide control and visibility to inbound and outbound transportation flows, GT Nexus adopted a multi-modal solution. This is a very important issue for transportation companies.
In a similar way, BT Global Service has developed BT Trace, which was tested and adapted by TNT Express. It facilitates by providing real-time information about assets and goods that move along complex supply chains. With this solution, companies are able to collect and share this information with their collaborators and partners.
The analytic tools from SAP, one of the biggest companies in the Enterprise Resource Planning market, added more flexibility to their supply network. In general, their software helps you cover different issues from the supply chain.
Within the business and supply chain world, cloud computing has shown how it can help making processes more visible and transparent. At the same time, it makes easier for companies to maintain their customer, collaboration and partnership relationships.
In other words, cloud computing has allowed businesses to manage their supply chains and also to create collaborative backup plans.