Cloud's impact on Asia's supply chain industry

Thomas Halliday
AEB (Asia Pacific)

Asia is a unique region where each country has its own unique culture, customs and network of relationships; including suppliers and partners. Hence supply chains are more complex than their Western counterparts. Put together with higher global volatility, changing customer demands and uncertain market conditions, Asian businesses need to be able to streamline operations across borders better.

For an industry and region where collaboration and visibility is key, cloud computing is a new business model that has the potential to transform supply chain management. However, it has yet to take off in supply chain management. Research by IDC reports that globally only 20% of manufacturers, process agents and retail businesses use cloud computing and one can expect this figure to be even lower for Asia. In the same research IDC states that 75% of the companies surveyed are asking for or researching for alternate cloud solutions and project a growth rate of at least 7% for 2013.

What is driving supply chain professionals to the cloud model?

1. Cost savings

Cloud computing offers an alternate method of deploying supply chain solutions. The most obvious benefit of adopting cloud computing solutions is the cost savings from deployment and ease of speed at which a solution can be set up. Unlike in legacy systems, either custom - built or packaged software, there is no IT infrastructure to set up and maintain on premise, no upfront licensing fees, and no software programs to install and maintain. The company saves on integrating costs as internal departments, partners and suppliers can also link up through the cloud, giving them a much quicker return on investment.

Companies are not dependent on limited IT resources, or bottlenecks and can deploy and implement supply chain solutions on-demand at a much-reduced cost and also scale at will. For example, if your business opens a new warehouse, you can immediately scale your existing solution to incorporate the new warehouse without having to set up IT infrastructure.

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