The Cloud and the Supply Chain: What CFOs Need to Know

October 15th 2014 17:10:00 PM

The role of the CFO may be constantly changing, but the purpose of the position remains the same. No matter what area of the business the CFO may be focusing on, his or her sole priority is to protect the bottom line and ensure financial profitability. Traditionally, CFOs have played a limited role in supply chain management. However, as the global economic environment becomes more unstable and dynamic, CFOs are taking a more hands on approach in their financial management and venturing into new areas.

In early 2003, CFO Research Services conducted a survey of around 250 CFOs and financial executives in the United States to gain an understanding of how the role of the CFO is changing in particular to the supply chain. When asked how involved they were in making supply chain decisions, 20 percent said they played an “important role” while 8 percent said they had no involvement at all. When asked how much involvement they expected to have in 2 years, however, 32 percent stated they planned on having an “important role” and only 3 percent planned on having no involvement at all.

Today, those numbers are dramatically higher. According to a 2013 global survey of CFOs and supply chain leaders by professional services organization EY, 70 percent of CFOs and 63 percent of supply chain leaders say that their relationship has taken on a more collaborative nature over the past three years. Due to the economic instability that resulted from the last recession, cost reduction became the number one priority for businesses, and because the supply chain houses a fair share of a company’s costs, it was one of the first places many CFOs turned to for savings.

While your company’s financial performance will ultimately be determined by a number of factors, a strong partnership between the CFO and the supply chain will definitely make a difference. Through this unique partnership, CFOs can support supply chain leaders by ensuring greater alignment with the company’s strategy, better risk management, better investment decisions, and improved supply chain insights through the use of analytics. By looking past the dollar signs and seeing the supply chain as a strategic asset, CFOs can begin to drive the business forward at lightning speed.

Depositing into Your Technology Bank

Knowing how to move your company forward while securing your bottom line is an important part of your role as CFO. In order to help your company succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace, you must be willing to try new things and stretch your imagination to include the new boundaries of technology. Cloud solutions and mobile devices have provided many CFOs with the tools they need to make the necessary changes in the supply chain and realize cost savings. By trading in old warehouse management software for newer, more innovative solutions, you can make achieve both your operational and financial goals in one fell swoop.
If you don’t believe us, take a look at the cold, hard numbers:

• Cloud warehouse management solutions can reduce management costs by 75 to 85 percent and maintenance costs by 50 percent.
• Cloud and mobile warehouse management applications (apps) can reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for these apps by 23 percent.
• 24 percent of midmarket businesses with Cloud and mobile warehouse management solutions were able to significantly reduce cycle times within two years.
• Businesses who have invested in Cloud solutions have reported an average revenue increase of 22 percent.
• The average cost reduction is 23 percent due to savings on infrastructure and equipment.
• Manufacturers are saving $774,000 a year just by using Cloud solutions.

To put it simply, you cannot afford to not invest in new technology to improve your supply chain efforts. Not only will new technology allow you to capture cost savings of which you were unaware, but it will also help you keep track of the financial information you need to create crucial reports and make effective decisions. Our Sage 100 mobile warehouse management applications are designed specifically to help businesses just like yours achieve true supply chain success. With an easy-to-use interface and numerous warehouse management and inventory control features, these apps provide CFOs with everything they need in their supply chain partnership.

If you’d like more information on our products and services, contact us today.


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