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4 Reasons Why a Customer-Centric Supply Chain Belongs in the Cloud

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Dominic Reagan, Senior Director for Value Chain Execution, wrote about four reasons why a customer-centric supply chain belongs in the Cloud.

Business leaders are becoming more customer-centric thinking because, in today’s market, customer expectations are shifting, and businesses need to meet those needs. It’s so easy for customers to find alternatives quickly and easily, so it’s important for businesses to stay competitive and relevant. To do so, product-centric companies need to consistently deliver a fast, flexible, and fully transparent fulfillment process that adapts to personal preferences.

The solution is to leverage the new generation of Cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) applications. Cloud-based SCM applications provide four key capabilities that are essential to building and managing a customer-centric supply chain.

  1. Maximized agility
  2. A simple and seamless omnichannel experience
  3. New opportunities for differentiation
  4. Opportunities for innovation through technology

Maximized Agility with SCM Cloud

Cloud-based SCM applications maximize supply chain agility. This agility helps managers respond quickly and efficiently to evolving product requirements, changes in market conditions, and shifting customer preferences.

There’s very little room for error when demand changes or unplanned disruption delays production in today’s customer-centric era. Agility and the ability to respond quickly is key. Customers aren’t interested in why stock-outages happen; they only care about the inconvenience that it causes when it does.

SCM Cloud applications help reduce this risk with capabilities that support:

  • End-to-end orchestration: Shared information drives coordinated action across every system, transaction, and function in the supply chain, so it’s easier to find inventory when it’s needed.
  • Responsiveness: Businesses can be more proactive with Cloud-based SCM applications because the applications incorporate automation for repeated transactions and push out alerts for exceptions. This allows managers to concentrate on responding to customers in real time.
  • Visibility: Cloud-based SCM integrates planning and reporting data into a single view. This lets managers check the status at-a-glance and make changes with confidence and know that they are delivering the expected outcomes.

These capabilities help businesses become more agile. Businesses will be able to spot risks and opportunities faster, make quicker decisions with more confidence, and anticipate and adjust to unexpected variations in demand.

A Simple and Seamless Omnichannel Experience

In today’s world, customers aren’t purchasing products and services through a single channel. Now, customers have an omnichannel experience that on-premises applications aren’t designed to support.

Customers want a consistent, effortless experience across all channels and device types. Luckily, Cloud enables a profitable omnichannel strategy that supports multiple fulfillment methods and channels while enabling control for inventory and lead times. Cloud provides end-to-end information consolidation and the application power needed to access real-time information and tools to execute actions quickly based on the information. It also provides customers with detailed, real-time information and several options for contact and customer service.

New Opportunities for Differentiation

Cloud-based SCM applications transform business data into a unique source of value and create new opportunities for differentiation. Analytics tools in legacy, on-premises applications use operational data to present insight based on historical trends. However, Cloud applications incorporate additional data and can provide forward-look analytical insights that can predict and anticipate customer demand. Looking back can be helpful but looking forward is essential.

These forward-looking insights help minimize risk in production, distribution, and inventory planning. Decision makers have more context within each to assess the relevance and business value of potential decisions. In many cases, they can also see previously unnoticed correlations and patterns in business data through machine learning algorithms that are integral within Cloud applications. Ultimately, these insights lead to efficiency improvements and new business opportunities.

Innovation and Technology

If your competitors are more capable of leveraging digital technologies, your business is at risk of disruption. However, Cloud-based SCM applications give businesses the chance to get on the right side of disruption—to be the ones causing the disruption.

Cloud-based SCM applications bring open standards and modern architecture to accommodate upgrades and advanced technologies that enable supply chains to respond and change quickly while minimizing disruptions. These applications can also integrate quickly and efficiently with existing enterprise applications.

With SCM Cloud applications, businesses will be able to leverage cutting-edge machine learning within applications and take advantage of the latest innovations in analytics, blockchain, process automation, mobility, and other emerging technologies.

Leveraging Cloud-based SCM applications can be a game-changer for your business. These four reasons show how running your supply chain in the Cloud can help you become more customer-centric, efficient, and forward-thinking.

For more information about these four key capabilities that come with running your supply Chain in the Cloud, check out the Oracle blog below. For more on the future of supply chains and how they will be transformed in the near future, browse through some of the additional Quest resources attached below.