Supply Chain Goes Cloud First

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Cloud based services, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS Marketplace, and Oracle Cloud, provide
business solutions for a variety of industries and business types. But do they work? The simple answer is yes.

From Walmart’s global operations, to Top Value Fabrics, a small company in Indiana, Azure is accessible to all types of business. With the flexibility to create applications that are specific to your company’s needs, the cloud has so much to offer companies of every industry and size.


Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

Cost reduction

  • Eliminates operations costs of on-site systems
  • Lowers implementation expenses
  • Decreases maintenance costs
  • Infrastructure updates provided by cloud service provider

Increased time for innovation

  • Decreases manual processes to offer more time for innovation
  • Provides tools and resources needed to transform your business

Eliminates the tangled mess of legacy infrastructures/systems

  • Having everything in a cloud-based system improves connectivity
  • Improves communication by increasing visibility across the supply chain

Improves security

  • Provides more security than on-site systems and is backed by industry leaders such as Microsoft or Oracle
  • Complies with more regulations internationally then legacy systems

Business agility

  • Provides the visibility needed to foresee business issues
  • Scales quickly to compensate for seasonality or market condition change
  • Flexibility to deploy extensions and new capabilities how you want and when you want

Where to Start

Walmart is partnering with Microsoft to move thousands of business applications to the cloud. Tackling this job all at once is achievable when you have the combined market capitalization of these two giants. However, it is not always realistic for smaller companies to move everything at the same time. Most businesses should start with these steps:

ERP First

As you mature, your business applications from across the enterprise can be moved to the cloud. From finance and operations to customer service and supply chain, having a cloud-based ERP places all your information in a single data source. This takes your company to the next level by allowing for more flexibility, visibility, scalability and connectivity across your business. With your ERP in the cloud, you have - 

  • Evergreen IT to keep systems up to data without costly IT work
  • Improved accuracy and timeliness of analytics 
  • More scalability at a faster pace
  • Better security and more regulatory compliance

Migrate your TMS/WMS

Depending on your business, you may want a stand-alone WMS/TMS or an ERP solution with WMS/TMS already built into it. Oracle Cloud, Manhattan, and Microsoft D365 all have moved from offering only base ERP functionality, to providing Tier I levels of WMS and TMS capabilities in a platform designed for the cloud. Having your managements systems in the cloud will always but cost less, but there are some other benefits of having a cloud-based WMS:

  • Rapid implementations without upfront expenses
  • Easily scalable to meet changing demands
  • Simple access at anytime, anywhere

A single data source for analytics

There are several, easily implemented solutions that enable you to push supply chain data to the cloud to be displayed in business intelligence applications. For example, Power BI delivers
dataflows, enterprise reporting, and big data right to you when you need it.
Having cloud-based analytics:

  • Increases accessibility to give you insights when you need it
  • Improves accuracy by having data sourced from one place
  • Supports faster queries and reports  
  • Gives you control and security over your data and data management

What’s Next?

The promise of moving your supply chain to the cloud is real. Don’t wait to start taking the necessary steps to address the changes that can transform your business. Dig into your ecosystem or find an implementation partner that can help you identify what your supply chain needs are.

Questions? We can help. 

Topics: Supply Chain, Warehouse