How the Cloud Can Revolutionize Your Supply Chain

March 18th 2014 12:23:24 PM

As any manufacturer knows, managing your supply chain effectively can be a challenging task. Not only do you have to keep track of your inventory as it moves in and out of the warehouse, but you also have to maintain accurate stock levels, manage supplier shipments, and create accurate forecasts to anticipate future inventory needs. That’s a lot of information to keep track of, and even with the help of warehouse management and ERP software, many manufacturers are struggling to effectively manage their supply chains.

The introduction of Cloud computing has changed many things for manufacturers and distributors. Sales teams are now able to use their mobile devices to update customer orders automatically, communicating with the warehouse to ensure that orders are processed quickly and accurately. Warehouse managers are able to view and create crucial reports via their tablets and smartphones. Using mobile apps and Cloud technology, executives are able to view progress on company goals and obtain a real-time picture of the warehouse. To say the Cloud has transformed warehouse management is an understatement; it has completely revolutionized it.

While many manufacturers attest to the value of Cloud computing for warehouse management, many question whether or not supply chains can be truly managed in the Cloud. The truth is, supply chain management is actually better in the Cloud. Inventory shortages, forecasting errors, and supplier delays abound in the warehouse, and Cloud computing gives manufacturers the tools they need to address these common issues. Let’s take a look at each problem area and how managing your supply chain in the Cloud can ease these supply chain pains:

  • Inventory Shortages. Unfortunately, inventory shortages happen to every manufacturer and – as you know – can be very detrimental to your manufacturing operation. When forecasting fails and suppliers are unpredictable, you run the risk of running out of high-demand products. If you can’t fulfill your customers’ orders on-time every time, your supply chain is in trouble. This can lead to disappointed customers, lost sales, and an overall negative effect on your company’s reputation.With Cloud software, you can stay current with your inventory levels and schedule orders as you see items dwindling. This allows you to take a more proactive approach to inventory management and ensure that your supply chain is running as smoothly as possible. Many manufacturers even use mobile applications such as Scanco Counts for Sage 100 ERP to count their inventory and relay the information back to their ERP system via the Cloud.
  • Forecasting. Many manufacturers have trouble creating accurate forecasts mainly because they don’t have access to real-time supply chain information. Many forecasts are created using partial data which does not offer a holistic view of the supply chain. When forecasts are created via incomplete data, their accuracy declines and executives cannot make effective decisions. Cloud computing makes it possible for manufacturers to create accurate forecasts using real-time data. When updates are made to the company’s ERP system from the warehouse floor, the office receives the data instantly. This helps them take an honest look at their supply chain and formulate future scenarios to plan for inventory needs.
  • Supplier Management. A substantial part of supply chain management involves supplier management. It’s important to track the performance of your suppliers to ensure that you are receiving a fair price and adequate service to improve your company’s profitability. Running your supply chain in the Cloud allows you to sync multiple systems in real-time so you can properly analyze your company’s cash flow and supplier situation.

The Cloud ensures that you always have the information you need to know. By syncing your ERP system with your mobile devices, you can more effectively manage your supply chain and improve your customer satisfaction rates. Our Sage 100 mobile Cloud solutions, such as Scanco Warehouse and Scanco Counts, are designed to simplify supply chain management so your company is always prepared to meet customer demand. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about our Cloud-based Sage 100 warehouse management systems.


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