Building a Cloud Supply Chain

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The benefits of the cloud are becoming more evident with each passing day, but the real challenge lies in moving your entire supply chain to the cloud. That gives you the enviable advantage of true mobility and a system that is highly scalable for at very little cost. But it’s not a simple task, as any seasoned supply chain manager knows.

Here are the things to consider when moving your supply chain into the cloud:

  • Better networks: If a supply chain is to function in the cloud, the data and application logic both need to be online and processes related to business intelligence should be made a part of the network. This means that the traditional view of a network gets redefined.
  • Process visibility: The process visibility needs to be very high, and the entire supply chain should be mapped from end to end to make sure there are no bottlenecks. Only then can it be moved online.
  • Targeting communities: Cloud is characterized by communities – specialized groups that subscribe to common services. These represent a wonderful opportunity for building a customer base, and your supply chain needs to take into account how to engage and influence these users.
  • Add in small doses: A bottom-up approach works best in the cloud. Try to implement a small, fully-working system first, and then scale it up step by step after rigorous testing.
  • Weigh security options: Finally, make sure you are aware of the various security options your service provider has on offer. It’s a good idea to go on a limited trial and do comparison shopping.

While moving the supply chain to the cloud offers extensive advantage in terms of flexibility, the process calls for responsive change management and attention to detail.