Looking up to Supply Chain Software in the Cloud

  • Written by Peter Needle
  • Published on 4 October 2018
  • Our Voice

Cloud computing is “a real game-changer”, according to a recent report by Accenture, and we believe that it's redefining the traditional supply chain model.

Cloud computing can help organisations to cope in almost any marketplace. While manufacturers still spend on materials, machinery, factories and employees, investments in supply chain management tools are accounting for an increasingly large chunk of money nowadays.

Cloud-based technology can help to make complex supply chains more competitive, efficient and transparent. As a result, Gartner predict that the market for cloud-based supply chain technology will grow from $2.3 billion (£1.5 billion) in 2014 to $4.4 billion (£2.8 billion) in 2018.

We’ve identified four key ways that Segura’s supply chain software benefits from the cloud...

1. Reliability

Reliability and security are big concerns for any hosted service platform and especially so in supply chain management. With cloud-based supply chain solutions, the service provider is responsible for implementing the required security frameworks and encryption, and is also responsible for keeping the platform online.
If we used a traditional hosted services model with dedicated hardware, our in-house experts would be responsible to keep the service up and running, and would take all responsibility for any issues or technical failures. However, Segura’s cloud-hosted platform and all associated customer information is built around a geocluster resilience model across multiple global tier 1 data centres from Amazon Web Services (AWS). This means that if a single location has issues, there’s no lost data or disruption to our service. We promise our clients 99.999% availability of our system – and since day one, we have been able to maintain 100% accessibility.

2. Usability

Using a new supplier shouldn’t cause a big headache. Rather than having to align various systems, our customers can simply request for suppliers to sign up on Segura's platform. Contacts effortlessly become part of an overarching supply chain framework, and all interactions are conducted through Segura's system to form a comprehensive ‘audit trail’ for all orders.

Cloud-based supply chain technology also has the capability to analyse large amounts of collected data. For example, Segura can calculate rebates due from individual suppliers, bringing together valuable insights automatically which would otherwise require a lot of time and effort to be invested.

3. Accessibility

Modern supply chains can rely on the collaboration of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors, often spread across several continents and time zones. In order to make this possible, supply chain management tools need to be easy to access.

With cloud-hosted supply chain software, users can gain real-time information from anywhere in the world at any time - all that’s needed is a secure internet connection and log in details. Segura is simple to set up, and once all parties are signed in, they each have access to the same tools and information.  

As well as an informative, flexible and easy to understand User Interface, Segura also provides a full EDI transactional layer, allowing our more sophisticated partners with ERP and PLM systems to transact with us via web services and electronic data exchange. This allows for much greater productivity, reduction in administrative overhead and removal of human errors.

4. Flexibility

Traditional self-managed hosted services models require racks of servers, as well as duplicated back up and recovery locations. This means a big capital investment, big overheads and a big energy footprint to boot. The cloud model still provides the same levels of capability, but aggregates these services for larger numbers of customers. Cloud hosting providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) therefore allow cloud focused businesses like Segura to replace this kind of CapEx heavy service provision with a manageable regular service fee, and we pass these savings onto our clients.

Cloud-hosted supply chain platforms are also fast and affordable to set up, roll out and operate. Cloud-based software can be expanded at a rapid rate, allowing an almost unlimited number of new supply chain partners to join a company's flexible framework. This can help to operate an efficient and responsive supply chain, working and expanding at top speed whilst staying in control.

Originally Published 01/12/2014

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