Procurement is facing issues with a series of complex working procedures. The supply chain process, with many suppliers and shipping partners, can get cumbersome. However, cloud solutions have lately become the choice of procurement units owing to new opportunities in information sharing and network management. Cloud computing creates substantial advantage across associated business units. As the number of people involved is too high, cloud may be the only platform to track and improve procurement.
Why Cloud is here to Stay
Businesses use cloud as it doesn’t need them to buy mainframes and servers. Saving the cost of IT staff and software is a big advantage. Software works as a service solution or SaaS and the solution provider takes care of server maintenance, software upgrades, information security, and training the staff. Although a software service provider is necessary in the cloud model, SaaS is much cheaper than hiring internal teams and equipment.
Issues with IT in Procurement
Larger businesses usually work with multiple supply partners, each supply partner having their own chain. There may be multiple outlets where a company simultaneously has to track inventories and supplies. If the entire work is handled by the internal IT team, it can be a huge burden on them, just storing the information and processing. In some cases, they pass the information to all stakeholders. Introducing cloud computing into supply chain helps businesses a lot. This is why:
- With global and national supply chains getting increasingly cumbersome and information laden, in-house procurement becomes very tough. An in-house IT department won’t be able to update the procurement software on costs, availability, and report tracking to all partners. Cloud-optimized systems can respond easily to communication between requestors and suppliers, and provide feedback as well. Even third-party suppliers can update their information, keeping it absolutely separate from other secure processes. Company requesters can update their requirements and provide inputs about the quality of service their partners provide. All of these can be easily managed without investing in expensive technology or a server space. Cloud takes care of that.
- When a procurement system is cloud based, it can provide a complete view of the inventory and supply needs across units. With cloud computing solutions, businesses can expect to make the business environment fully visible. Inventory and budgets get updated instantly as all users can check changes in real-time and not wait for central servers to load the information throughout the network.
- In cases of change in large supply chain centric companies, integrated procurement software solutions which are cloud-compatible can provide maximum benefits. Cloud can provide rapid information access that can readily streamline business across a large number of customers and/or suppliers. The team that interacts with clients and checks shelf status, can let third-party vendors or decision makers know about unexpected demand and vital feedback on products. Cloud provides faster reaction to any change across multiple platforms.
- Managing additional suppliers, IT staff, and requesters can be a huge challenge internally. With cloud, businesses can add additional server capacity and storage merely using phone or email. With the help of SaaS, businesses can handle issues of new suppliers and partners.
- Having cloud-compatible solutions, businesses can easily add resources when the period of growth is high or there is high volume of business. In case of internal management, there may be abrupt increase in employees. Slashing down the IT budget later causes productivity issues. With cloud solutions, it’s mostly a one-time buy, hence budget slashes bring no effect and keep the process running smooth.
All managers and entrepreneurs understand that change is the only constant in business. With options of SaaS and cloud computing, businesses can manage changes much better and use them for competitive advantage.