Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How Cloud Technology Can Change Supply Chain Management

       In the past 20 years many companies, in an effort to cut down on costs, have decided to offshore most of their manufacturing processes to Asia. The amount of money save from labor would offset any of the travel and shipping costs incurred from shipping the goods to the retailers. However, one of the biggest challenge of this movement is how to ensure connectivity for all the stakeholders involved? Considering the global expansion of any supply chain, a supply chain manager would have a hard time coordinating the necessary logistics to ensure that products are being made and delivered on time, in good quality, and to the right place.
       Cloud computing could help usher in a new age of supply chain management. The cloud technology could serve as a multi-tenant platform for receivers, shippers, and service providers. The technology enables all stakeholders to input core information to their business, such as schedules, supply list, pricing information only once on the cloud. Once the information is uploaded, all parties involved have access to the information anywhere anytime. This will provide any business entity as significant competitive advantage. Cloud computing will allow users to be more agile and the supply chain to be more responsive. More importantly, the technology allows enhanced supply chain visibility, a supply chain manager's dream. With increased visibility a manager can more accurately see where breakdowns and variability are occurring along the supply chain almost in real time.
       Overall, cloud computing offers a more responsive, agile and connected future for supply chain management. The technology may still be in its infancy, but the potential it offers is boundless.

Question: What challenges does a corporation faces when trying to integrate cloud technology into its existing processes?

Source: http://www.cio.com/article/734647/How_Cloud_Technology_Can_Transform_Supply_Chain_Performance?page=3&taxonomyId=3015

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