Building a Business Case for Supply Chain Execution in the Cloud

Supply Chain Execution on Cloud
Going Multimodal
Even the smallest businesses have the potential to expand their reach and even go global in
today’s marketplace. With that growth opportunity comes greater complexity and risk in
managing transportation and logistics. It is becoming increasingly important to improve visibility
not just of outbound domestic shipping, but also to improve inbound visibility across all modes of
transportation – truck, air, rail and ship.
This means that an effective transportation management strategy – and an effective transportation
management system (TMS) – must include features that can help you manage the challenges that
come with multimodal transport, including order-to-delivery visibility, carrier selection, rate
management and compliance with local customs and trade regulations for international shipments.
Cloud-based supply chain execution solutions that include a TMS component are particularly
conducive to multimodal transportation environments because they enable fast integration to
large numbers of partners, automatic updates to carrier rates and customs regulations, and
on-demand visibility from anywhere. In addition, cloud-based supply chain execution and TMS
solutions provide scalability as you need it, so there are no worries about not having enough
capacity or investing in too much infrastructure before you need it.
Gaining Competitive Advantage
In the past, small to mid-size firms have been unable to afford enterprise supply chain execution systems
due to the high upfront costs of an on-premises deployment and the lack of IT resources to support it
both during and after implementation. This has put smaller firms at a distinct disadvantage to larger firms
who are gaining the many benefits that the more sophisticated transportation management systems
deliver.
Today, Cloud and SaaS-based SCE and TMS solutions level the playing field. The upfront cost is low, no
hardware investment is needed and IT support is handled by the solution provider. In addition, partner
integration is faster and easier, and updates to data such as carrier rates and customs requirements are
automatically populated.
Through the Cloud, you have an opportunity to quickly close the gap with larger players and gain a
competitive advantage over your peers. With the right supply chain execution platform in place, you are
well-positioned to increase your reach – nationally, regionally or even globally, improve warehousing
efficiency, handle multimodal transportation requirements and accelerate business growth.
Cloud based SCE and TMS
Delivering Return on Investment
Supply chain execution systems that include transportation management have proven their ability to
deliver high returns on a recurring basis. In fact, transportation management systems and inventory
management systems are cited by companies as delivering greater ROI than other supply chain
technologies.
Cloud and SaaS deployments of a SCE system have the potential to deliver that return on investment
even faster thanks to low upfront costs and ease of integration.
Quantifiable measurements of value include faster order-to-delivery cycle times, lower freight costs,
lower inventory management costs, reduced compliance fines, less time spent on maintaining customs
paperwork and the ability to select better carrier rates. Other benefits include increased visibility,
greater agility and lower risk.
No matter how you look at it, a supply chain execution system is a good investment..
Transportation Management System
Selecting a Cloud-based SCE System
Armed with a business case that justifies moving forward, the next step is to select the cloud-based supply chain
execution system that’s right for your company. Since one of the benefits of going with a Cloud solution is fast
implementation time, you don’t want your selection process to be too long and delay your business from realizing the
benefits. We’ve provided a short checklist to guide you. Assessing the breadth and depth of platform capabilities – e.g.
does the vendor offer transport, logistics and warehouse management solutions in the Cloud – is a good place to start.
Software vendors who also offer an on-premises enterprise SCE platform are more likely to have greater breadth and
depth of capabilities than a newly formed cloud-only solution provider. These vendors are also more likely to have an
established track record of success and greater portfolio of lessons learned and experience that will contribute to
your success.
Global presence is also important. Even if all of your business is local right now, you may want to expand
in the future. Global expertise is critical when it comes to multimodal support and knowledge of
international customs requirements.
Finally, a solution that delivers flexibility and visibility via on-demand dashboards will give you
the control and insight you need to keep your supply chain in motion.Logistics CheckList

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