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Flexible and transparent, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms have been disrupting the logistics and supply chain industry for some time. The shift to a global economy requires numerous business processes that internal enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems were never designed to handle.
Before discussing why it has become increasingly important for companies to consider adopting SaaS for supply chain management, let’s review some foundational benefits of the technology.
SaaS systems speed up return on investment (ROI), simplify benchmarking, and make collaboration possible between all stakeholders.
SaaS solutions offer a cost structure ideal for most companies, with no upfront technology investment or upgrade fees. As a result, achieving ROI throughout implementation to integration to optimization is much faster. Companies with limited budgets can ensure smooth-running logistics strategies at an affordable cost.
Efficient supply chains rely on the ability to scale infrastructure quickly in response to changing business needs. SaaS solutions can react proactively to supply chain shifts, enabling complete control of the logistics process life cycle.
The cloud’s supply chain information makes it easier to manage logistics requirements in one combined place. You can see the entire journey, from freight forwarding requests to shipping timelines. Thanks to real-time information sharing, data collected at every stage remains in sync and up to date, regardless of where it is accessed and by whom.
SaaS allows all organization members, customers, carriers, and trading partners to collaborate through a common platform. All transactions flow through the cloud-based, centralized hub, providing the ability to monitor critical activities. Plus, the millions of transactions processed across SaaS platforms mean that network data such as carrier performance, rates, and transit times can be accessed as comparable data sets that can be used to create market-level indicators.
SaaS systems incorporate intense security best practices such as pre-existing disaster recovery protocols. In cases of a data breach or system failure, user data remains secure and available.
Thanks to the pandemic’s impact on the global supply chain, the need for SaaS technology has never been more apparent. Here are three specific reasons why companies should consider adopting a SaaS supply chain now.
Supply chains are under increasing pressure to deliver faster and provide a seamless customer experience across multiple sales and distribution channels. SaaS platforms enable companies to be more agile and responsive by staying in sync with fluctuating customer needs and demands.
With SaaS, companies can change processes to manage the rising complexities in the global supply chain. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and internet of things (IoT) capabilities are now being built directly into SaaS platforms. This allows companies to leverage their potential without the need for expensive, complicated customization projects.
Over a decade, the average company loses 45% of one year’s profits due to supply chain disruptions. The pandemic has only served to intensify disruptions, and they aren’t over yet. For example, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (which account for 40% of shipping containers entering the U.S.) are now running 24/7 to relieve bottlenecks.
Without end-to-end visibility, information can become siloed and segmented. However, SaaS platforms provide digital control towers that help businesses take advantage of the unique opportunities and value-adds offered by a dynamic multi-party supply chain ecosystem. Improved communication between supply chain partners allows leveraging combined resources, making it possible to better plan for contingencies while also controlling cost.
Higher visibility makes it much easier to pinpoint situations that may be leading to problems within the organization or holding your team back. It helps you highlight where strategies can be improved, creating better outcomes in both the short- and long-term. SaaS technology enables you to evaluate whether your current supply chain has areas of missed opportunity.
After the pressures of the pandemic, many SaaS platform providers are offering innovative pricing models such as usage-based pricing, under which customers pay only for the software features used, and user-license pricing, which bases the customer’s price on how many people use the software for a given period.
Transparent pricing structures make it easier for supply and logistics firms to budget as they look for more ways to cut costs in the wake of pandemic challenges. You get immediate information regarding optimal business spending practices.
If it’s time for your company to consider a SaaS supply chain, look to Redwood Logistics. We create solutions to take your business to the next level and beyond. Whether you need integrative SaaS solutions or help to create applications for your logistics team, Redwood Logistics has you covered.