Cloud-Based Collaboration Tools for Seamless Supply Chain Management

  • Jan 15, 2024
  • 5 Min Read

A case study: A retailer adopted SCM for seamless management. A good plan indeed! But, in the pursuit to stay ahead, the management did not check if the integration is complete with real time visibility, data sharing, inventory management, store location and other aspects of operation management. This led to several business losses… The retailer was into instant delivery business, many times it was not able to fulfil order request as there was no automated system to direct the customer to the nearest store. Customers used to receive calls to cancel orders and book again. Dissatisfied customers shifted to other instant delivery eCommerce sites for placing their orders. A case of SCM going wrong, since vendor could not provide the best solution. Take away is vendor should be knowledgeable and should understand customer requirement.

In recent times, the volatility of the market and customer behavior ask for better coordination in supply chain for real-time visibility and order fulfillment. The cloud-based supply chain solutions are a more integrated management system. They have opened avalanche of opportunities with improved security and scope for global scalability. The new architecture confirms there is transparency and seamless flow of communication within the departments and the customers. Cloud based technologies anchors APIs at one place. This harmonious synchronization is accessible from anywhere and with features as digital whiteboard, sharing experiences and cross-checking facts is possible in real-time.

With traffic moving towards cloud-based collaboration tools for seamless supply chain management, the question is what are the benefits of using and integrating it in the system? How is it going to change the profit margin and increase customer satisfaction? Let’s explore functionalities of cloud-based supply chain.

Before moving ahead, a word of caution to avoid situation as above case study is, preview the supply chain management software with respect to business operations. Each system is different and requires a little tweaking to suit the need and serve the purpose.

Cloud-based Supply Chain System

Cloud-based supply chain, centralizes operations by offering online space for data to co-exist. This coexistence of information from various APIs in the supply chain pyramid, gives access to real-time information for fact-driven decision making, collaborating on tasks, and expansion of business. This overall improves communication, reduces delays, connects with customers in real-time, brings transparency in order fulfillment and inventory management.

Benefits of Using Cloud-based Collaboration Tools in Supply Chain Management

OMS software can be customized as per the size of an organization. A big business would require an OMS which is inclusive of all aspects of supply chain management for tracking of order and building strong connect with the target customers by bringing transparency in customer communication. For online retailers or startups, the volume of OMS can be controlled and made more specific to suit the need of a retailer.

1. Cost Efficient Operation: Collaborating with cloud service providers, brings down infrastructure cost. The shift to a centralized system reduces capital investment required for setting up own IT base for supply chain. Instead of installing segregated software for WMS or Logistics or transport or OMS, opting and subscribing for storage, applications and computing power as per requirement prove to be much cost-effective and holistic.

2. Improved Visibility: With traditional modus operandi for supply chain, each part of the system as warehouse management systems, logistics and transport, marketing, order management worked as isolated sections, where there is no sharing of data unless asked. Cloud computing leverages auto update of data in real-time. This real-time visibility integrates departmental requirement and provides enough information for data-driven decision making. As in the above case-study, the retailer could have taken an immediate action if data sharing had been on a single dashboard. Warehouse management systems would have got the notification and order would have automatically shifted to the nearest outlet for instant delivery. All this happens in real-time and within micro-mini seconds, which helps in generating better customer response and higher ROI.

3. Scalability: Along with seamless supply chain management, one of the biggest benefits of shifting to cloud-based system is, it allows industries to scale their operations as per market demand. Data sharing among stakeholders brings flexibility in taking calls over SKUs and its distribution, packaging and marketing. It improves scope for scalability as all the stakeholders are on the same platform and there is constant communication about a product performance.

4. Efficient Collaboration: Cloud computing has a big role in efficient collaboration among the stakeholders as retailers, distributors, manufacturers, transporters, and researchers. Communication is shared with all at a reduced cost and in real time without any loss of data. During order fulfillment, supply chain management tools enable real-time communication with the customers. This improves overall goodwill of a business among the end-customers which proves to be beneficial for scaling the business.

5. Crisis Management: No business is ever free of crisis and last-minute action. With the real-time visibility through cloud-computing, business continuity stays intact. There are automatic alerts which warns about impending disruptions or any upcoming crisis. Cloud computing service providers leverage sharing of information with all the centres and handle crisis in no time irrespective of regions or geographical locations, business never stops.

Challenges of Cloud-based Collaboration

1. Cloud-computing Solutions: Each business is different with their USPs. It is this USP that makes them unique and successful. This uniqueness cannot be compromised and while collaborating with cloud service provider, it has to be considered. Customization of product is always a safe option to see the real growth.

2. Wrong Choice of Service Provider: A cloud-based service provider should be able to understand business requirement and work out a plan which works best for the client. Integration of software should be holistic and give cost-effective supply chain management software that covers all aspects of business.

3. Security and Privacy: Another important issue is security and privacy. Vendor should be able to provide a safe and secure gateway through encryption and other safety measures to safeguard property of the client.

4. Lack of Understanding: Collaborating with cloud-service provider would be a happy and a successful venture, if and only if employees and other stake holders are properly educated on how to use the tools for their purpose. Lack of learning and understanding will lead to disaster and would boomerang. The vendor should teach all the stakeholders how to use cloud-based system for efficient supply chain management.

Advatix Cloudsuite™: Piloting Seamless Supply Chain Management

Imagine a supply chain so smart, it not only navigates disruptions but also uncovers hidden growth opportunities. Advatix Cloudsuite™, a 100% cloud-based platform, transforms your supply chain into a competitive weapon. Experience an unprecedented blend of agility, resilience, and profitability, all tailored to give your business the edge it needs.