Things change in the millennial world with disruptions of newer sorts every passing day; be it in technology or solutions be it across diverse industries or also in the equations related to economies. The world order they say is poised to change on multiple fronts; be it power, people or money. India emerges as a strengthening economy with changes like demonetization or the Goods & Service Tax or the GST seeping in into the functioning of every industry possible. The changes touch all the core business processes like Supply Chain & Logistics accepting into its fold a completely new genre of Logistics IT solutions.

The biggest gain from GST is a digitized economy, along with efficiencies in logistics leading to efficient supply chains. Though there will be initial hiccups, the changes that the new tax regime will unleash will lead to a forced morality and a willingness to pay taxes…..”

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

A prominent Indian Investor & Chartered Accountant

The Economic Times 04-July-2017

Cloud for Logistics


The Digitization of Supply Chains


The Supply Chain is no longer restricted to the correlation of demand & supply or the actual inventory of what is inside a warehouse or just logistics. Supply chain is getting digitized, thanks to the millennials executing businesses around the world who believe that technology should empower production, manufacturing including all other industries that supply chain impacts.

Digitization in supply chain & logistics depends heavily on trending technologies including mobile technologies, analytics, sensor based techniques like beacons, networks and of course the Cloud.


Logistics – The Backbone of the Supply Chain


Supply chain management is a comprehensive portfolio of all business processes related to procurement, distribution, manufacturing and transportation. Logistics is the key component of supply chain, and is responsible for managing the flow of essential commodities and goods along with their attributes, like documentation, point of entry & exit information, handover channel details, manpower to commodity mapping or any other aspect involving data.

It is imperative to have a properly designed & well managed logistics channel to ensure that the correct set of products & commodities are dispatched from and sent in the quickest ways to the destination to meet the demands. Effective Logistics IT solutions lead to controlled transportation costs, optimized cost structure and improved consumer service.


Challenges for Logistics in the Millennial World


With user expectations demanding high levels of agility the disruptive millennial world, logistics face a completely new set of challenges which are all set to be combated by the scalability & flexibility offered by solutions delivered on the Cloud.

Enabling a Tech Savvy Workforce

Resource recruitment, retaining and managing is never easy. Training costs, an important factor logistics & supply chain management organization have started actively considering.

Organizations need tech savvy resources to manage the goods & products to be delivered, as well as to run the complex management systems involved with manufacturing, ERP, record management and more powered by sophisticated devices & solutions. New age devices for automation right from the tiny beacons to the aerial drones are becoming an important part of the Supply Chain.

Seamless Transportations Across the Globe

Logistics is not just about the origin and destination point, it also needs to be trustworthy across oceans, railroads and road transport. High levels of reliability are required with supply chain, making transportation costlier by the day.

While modern day systems help with tracking, route optimization and communication on-the-go, the overall transportation cost continues to remain a challenge. Managing the transportation factor becomes even more challenging when logistics & supply chain management is distributed or intertwined with multiple vendors, wherein vendor management becomes critically important.

Managing Inventory Intelligently

Logistics is tightly coupled with inventory management, which involves managing the warehouses & the stocks along with their movements. Appropriately set Logistics operations are very crucial in providing the all-important visibilities into the inventory statuses and the demand & supply projections.

Practical technology like Cloud enables on-the-go and anytime-anywhere solutions for accurate & timely actions to ensure on time deliveries for a satisfied clientele.

Meeting Diverse Regulatory Compliances

Rules & laws pertaining to logistics &inventory management change from one geography to another, and are often overlapped to meet the most stringent requirements. A constant challenge for logistics companies, software solutions need to be geared up to cater to rules laid down by various governments.

Handling Technology Complications

It is difficult to have a single platform or frameworks that house all IT systems, logistics & supply chain management, ERP, related business processes as well as customer management. Adding the analytics layer to the existing systems makes it even more complicated, sometimes compelling Logistics departments to make the tough choice between housing a dedicated team for software development or outsourcing.

It goes without saying that solutions & services over the Cloud emerge as the most practical, hassle-free and cost-effective options in putting systems in place.


Cloud Based Logistics Support to an Advantage


The benefits of accessing services & solutions from the Cloud are more than well known for diverse industries including Logistics bringing Cloud Application Development into the limelight.

Limited IT Overheads

With Cloud based systems, businesses remain focused on their own niches like manufacturing, distribution & customer engagement completely avoiding the need to recruit teams for software. Cloud provider is responsible for the availability of IT servers or applications required for Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Better Scalability

It is easy to add a couple of servers, or application instances with Cloud based systems. When inventory management software or real-time shipping or transportation tracking requires more computing power, it is just a matter of few clicks.

This means that the business is better equipped to handle peaks or sudden surges in demand, when Logistics and Supply Chain management swing into full scale action. On the same lines, when the needs fall, the services can be easily tapered down.

Real Time Tracking

Cloud based systems allow the organizations to track inventory status in real time, as well as transportation status and adherence to distribution schedules. The accuracy of logistics management achieves new levels with Cloud based systems.

Improved Business Processes & Collaborations

Cloud empowered systems improve collaborations across the chain as well as assist in system consolidation leading to improved & effective business processes. The savings are not just in tangible formats by moving away from physical infrastructure, but also in the form of overall IT spend reduction in correlation to business processes.

Increase in Productivity

Cloud based systems ensure increase in associate productivity, as all applications and workflows can be modelled online. Provisioning new infrastructure as well as recovering from crashes is extremely easy. Rule configuration and policy setup is backed by Cloud base intelligent decision making solutions, as it is easy to run simulations over the cloud.

Easier Upgrades

Cloud provider is responsible for system maintenance and upgrades. This is not just limited to infrastructure or application updates, but provisioning or re-provisioning the setup in reference to changing guidelines, regulations or specific business requirements. This makes otherwise complex systems like ERP, which are at the backbone of logistics management easier to upgrade & be current.

Improved Quality Management

Cloud based systems facilitate better software solutions when it comes to quality management. Standard deployment is easier and so is testing for new rollouts. Verifications of data & quality happen with a few clicks only.

This helps control costs, improve efficiency and retain customer base.


In a Nutshell


Investments in Cloud based transformations improvise the Logistics operations of the Supply Chain not just to control costs or manage services but for effective returns on investments in the overall value chain. Logistics & shipping remains one of the most critical industries in the world today touching almost every global operation. Millennial age solutions for this industry based on Cloud Application Development bring in radical changes & transformations.

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