If there’s one thing that’s become increasingly clear over the last few years, it’s the importance of secure, reliable, digital supply chain management. When COVID-19 lockdowns swept across the globe, organizations that relied on internal servers or even hand-written documents to manage their supply chains had a huge task on their hands. Now, most organizations have learned that digital is the way to go.
Still, there’s a difference between using digital spreadsheets to track cargo and utilizing a Transport Management System (TMS) or similar program. Organizations who don’t embrace cloud-based platforms and high-tech solutions will be quickly left in the dust.
If that sounds like your organization, don’t worry. We’ve got all the info you need regarding the benefits and concerns associated with cloud-based supply chain solutions.
Increased Efficiency with Blockchain
Blockchain’s nothing new, but that doesn’t mean all of the questions it raised have been answered. The logistics and supply chain management industries are continuing to explore the use of blockchain technology to increase efficiency and transparency in their complex operations. As we know, blockchain is a secure and permanent database that can record transactions between parties, removing the need for verification and coordination. This can minimize inaccuracies in freight data and simplify global trade, which leads to cost savings and more efficient logistics. Additionally, the technology provides transparency and traceability, increasing trust and improving communication between involved parties.
Despite concerns about its speed, security, and risk of monopolizing the market, blockchain can enhance existing systems and revolutionize industries. Organizations that are hesitant to implement blockchain should weigh its pros and cons to determine its potential for their specific case.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the importance of digitizing supply chain operations. The shift to remote work has highlighted the need for easy access to files and technology, and digitizing the supply chain also allows for the collection of valuable data, which can be analyzed to identify trends and inefficiencies. By identifying inefficiencies, businesses can rectify them and save money in the long run.
Using a Cloud-Based Supply Chain Network
If you only have a cursory understanding of the cloud, you’re not alone. In a nutshell, cloud computing provides mobility and data analysis by using remote servers to store data. One of its primary advantages is its ability to collect, store, and process data all in one, centralized location.
The cloud also offers opportunities to automate logistics-related management capabilities, such as truck movement and allocation, inventory management, sequencing and prioritizing new orders, and generating or updating supply or shipping routes to avoid delays. It can also digitize sourcing and procurement processes, facilitate faster communication between partners, provide a single source of truth to reduce errors and unnecessary purchases, and automate vendor changeovers based on current supplies.
So why all this talk about the cloud? Supply chain executives have had to re-evaluate their strategies and consider adapting to changes in demand and disruptions since the onset of COVID-19. Recent research by Accenture on supply chain and the cloud found that over half (53%) of supply chain executives have reviewed their operations in response to the pandemic.
The cloud provides numerous benefits beyond cost savings, including speed, agility, scale, visibility, innovation, responsibility, and sustainability. According to that survey, adopting cloud technology has led to increased demand in forecast accuracy, lower supply chain operating costs, and increased revenue growth and profitability for the organizations that have adopted it.
To create a cloud-based supply network, companies need to have a structured and disciplined approach that varies depending on how experienced they are with the cloud in general. By utilizing cloud technology, companies can better respond to fluctuating demand, increase their resilience, and manage costs more efficiently.
The Mercado Cloud-Based Import Order Management System (iOMS)
If you haven’t heard yet, TOC Logistics and Mercado worked together to develop the industry’s first Import Order Management System (iOMS) that connects the manual supply chain process with a digitized consumer demand network. The cloud-based platform enables businesses to manage their entire supply chain—from sourcing to procurement to logistics—automating the process and providing complete visibility and transparency of the product throughout the chain. By connecting suppliers, partners, and products, the iOMS improves control and predictability, leading to reduced costs, faster time to market, and increased sales. The iOMS is customizable and features dashboards and quick links to provide relevant information to stakeholders in real-time. Really, what more could you ask for?