As international supply chains become increasingly complex, management teams must be able to collaborate effectively – and the cloud is the perfect tool
Supply chains have always been complex, but with many businesses now operating internationally, things are only getting more difficult to handle. The prominence of global manufacturing processes means that firms are now required to work with multiple partners, not to mention working indirectly with their partners’ partners – of which there may be hundreds.
The complexity is already obvious, but the issues are made worse by the lack of a level playing field. One supplier may be working on a platform that suits its own needs and budget, while the next is using something else entirely. The process, therefore, is completely disjointed.
This is where the cloud steps in. Collaboration is clearly a key benefit of this technology, and it’s particularly effective in a supply chain context, where various different parties are required to work together seamlessly without ever coming into physical contact with one another.
One of the core challenges of the modern supply chain is keeping track of a product as it moves through each stage of the supply chain. Traditionally, phone calls and emails would allow all companies involved to converse and share information when necessary.
Now, with the right cloud technologies implemented, this is done automatically, in real-time. If, for example, an error is raised at the early stage of the manufacturing process, those later on in the chain can have immediate access to the information that may affect them – allowing them to take the necessary steps to prevent potential problems.
More than this, huge amounts of data will be generated constantly, allowing managers to improve processes over time. At present, problems can be fixed when communicated properly, but without having the right data to hand, it’s difficult to realistically prevent them from happening again. If the supply chain is ever to get simpler, more emphasis must be placed on refinement.