Today, all eyes are on supply chain management. Supply chain leaders must figure out how to deal with changing demand and disruptions. COVID-19 taught us we can’t just optimize for the new normal. In fact, in new Accenture research on supply chain and the cloud, 53% of supply chain executives said the pandemic made them rethink their overall supply chain. That’s why companies are using the cloud to help them move beyond their current supply chains. Leading companies see the cloud not as a destination. They see it as a continuum of capabilities that can help them create powerful new operating models.
With the cloud, leaders are reimagining, building, and operating new supply networks. These networks orchestrate change. They deliver outstanding customer experiences. And they positively impact business, society, and the planet.
What’s the true value of the cloud?
Many people still mainly think the supply chain cloud provides cost savings, which it does. Saving money is the top reason companies in our research gave for migrating their supply chains to the cloud. But cost savings are just the beginning.
The cloud drives speed, agility, scale and visibility. The cloud helps companies quickly adjust computing resources. It helps them reduce the time and cost to develop and deploy new applications. It integrates companies with a new world of players. And it provides visibility to make faster and more-informed decisions. As a result, companies can anticipate and predict market changes and risks across the supply network. They also can design, make and deliver personalized products and services to boost customer loyalty.
The cloud also enables supply chain innovation. The major cloud providers invest billions of dollars in new features every year. This gives companies affordable, unrestricted access to cutting-edge technologies and capabilities. So, companies can connect data with a digital thread across the value chain. This digital thread enables new ways of working. It also provides continuous innovation for operating models, products and business outcomes. The proof: Cloud leaders in our research were more likely to say they’ve outperformed competitors in supply chain innovation.
Finally, the cloud helps drive responsibility and sustainability across supply networks. It helps companies use emerging technologies to reduce the supply network’s environmental footprint, improve resource efficiency, increase regulatory compliance and improve risk mitigation. With the cloud, companies can manage business performance and decisions based on a balanced view. They can consider growth, profitability, sustainability, and diversity at the same time.
Our survey of 1,050 supply chain executives around the world uncovered intriguing insights into how companies are using the cloud in their supply chains and the benefits they’re getting. Some highlights:
Move forward confidently in the cloud.
Creating a cloud-based supply network is an ambitious effort. It requires a structured, disciplined approach. This approach, and the starting point, will be different for every company. Supply chain leaders need to know where their organization currently stands on the cloud maturity spectrum and what they must do to advance.
The world faces ongoing challenges and supply chain disruption. All companies have to figure out how to respond so they can thrive in this reality. Success will depend on building a robust, agile cloud-based supply network. This network can help companies excel in key areas: Meeting fluctuating demand. Building resilience. Managing costs. Delivering personalized, superior customer experiences. And fostering greater responsibility for society and the environment.
Supply chain transformation on the cloud
This article was originally published on May 6, 2021, and was updated with new information on June 10, 2022.