How Cloud ERP Helps Build Strong Supply Chains

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How Cloud ERP Helps Build Strong Supply Chains. white text over an image of two workers in hardhats and hi-vis vests standing in front of freight shipping containers.

Building a thriving distribution or manufacturing business hinges on the strength and resilience of your supply chain. It serves as the backbone of any manufacturing or distribution business, guaranteeing access to vital raw materials and products essential for your operations. The surge in supply chain disruptions witnessed since the early 2020s vividly illustrates the vulnerability of nearly every product supply chain. These disruptions have led to missed customer order deadlines, erosion of trust, and declining profits for manufacturers and distributors. In light of these challenges, businesses require solutions that offer comprehensive visibility, optimize efficiency, and confront supply chain hurdles head-on. This is precisely where modern cloud ERP solutions come into play, empowering your business to navigate these complexities effectively.

The Importance of a Strong Supply Chain

In order for your supply chain to withstand both short-term disruptions and long-term challenges, you need to take an active role in strengthening it where you can. Adapting your processes and operations to evolving business conditions allows your business to respond more efficiently and effectively to potential disruptions across logistics, facilities, manufacturing, development, and beyond. This resilience isn't just key for survival but also crucial for those looking to thrive in a competitive landscape.

According to the BCI’s 2023 Supply Chain Resilience Report, 45.7% of respondents encountered supply chain issues in 2023. Despite efforts to mitigate disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 44.1% still reported limitations due to pandemic-related disruptions, with 33.8% experiencing significant knock-on effects and 10.3% facing serious consequences. Additionally, participants in the study highlighted data breaches from cyberattacks, staff shortages, energy shortages, natural disasters, and adverse weather events as significant factors impacting supply chain reliability in 2023. Given the multitude of threats, it's no wonder that more organizations are prioritizing the resilience of their supply chains, with 73.4% reporting that they actively track and report on supply chain disruptions.

For more on the benefits of a modern cloud ERP solution for your manufacturing business, check out Advantages of Cloud ERP For Manufacturing Companies or access our latest webinar on Streamlining Manufacturing Processes: Addressing Pain Points for Efficiency & Compliance.

Click here to watch the webinar on-demand: Streamlining Manufacturing Processes: Addressing Pain Points for Efficiency & Compliance

Six Ways Cloud ERP Solutions Help Build Strong Supply Chains

1. Data Consolidation and Integration

Conventional supply chains often struggle to manage the complexities of diverse data sources. They typically adhere to linear models, which focus on tracking materials, products, and personnel. This approach frequently leads to issues such as excess inventory, prolonged lead times, and decreased productivity.

However, by embracing a cloud ERP solution, you can revolutionize your supply chain into a circular model. This innovative approach seamlessly integrates and coordinates actions across various departments, spanning logistics, engineering, assembly, and packaging.

In essence, cloud ERP empowers your business to transcend the limitations of disparate systems, eliminating data silos and accelerating the implementation of new services. These capabilities are indispensable in navigating the dynamic and unpredictable global landscape of today's supply chains.

2. Improve Operational and Logistic Visibility

The IDC defines resiliency succinctly as "resiliency equals visibility plus agility." Bear this in mind as you assess your factory's current status. How much do you know about ongoing operations, logistics, and inventory levels across your distribution sites?

With a modern cloud ERP, you are able to consolidate data from every facet of your supply chain into a centralized dashboard. This creates a singular point of reference that offers immediate and comprehensive visibility across logistics and inventory channels in real-time. With this elevated visibility you can make informed, data-driven decisions swiftly and effectively address any disparities in demand and supply.

3. Harness AI and Machine Learning Capabilities

Most modern cloud ERP solutions incorporate AI assistance and machine learning capabilities to enhance operational efficiency. These features streamline data analysis, expedite decision-making processes, and mitigate risks while improving forecast accuracy.

For instance, Dynamics 365 Business Central, a cloud-based ERP platform from Microsoft, utilizes AI to optimize inventory management. By analyzing actual usage, demand patterns, and inventory availability, along with sales forecasts and projected stock-outs, it automatically generates purchase orders.

Furthermore, with the recent integration of advanced AI assistants like Microsoft Copilot, managing diverse datasets across your business becomes more manageable. A modern cloud-based ERP equipped with AI functionality not only analyzes internal data but also incorporates external factors such as market trends, competitor activities, and sales reports. This enables you to make well-informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

4. Streamline Production and Distribution Planning

Harness the capabilities of cloud ERP to refine your production and distribution strategies in real-time, ensuring optimal inventory management across all your operations. With a modern cloud-based ERP solution, you gain the ability to accurately predict demand, streamline material requirement planning, and ensure resource availability to optimize overall operations and reduce costs.

Take Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management as an example. This cloud-based solution is equipped with in-memory microservices. With this advanced technology, your business can swiftly adapt to rapidly evolving customer demands by executing production and distribution planning tasks within minutes.

5. Efficient Warehouse Management Solutions

Unlock the potential of cloud ERP to streamline and enhance your warehouse management processes. This enables your business to fulfill orders with greater efficiency, resulting in improved delivery times and increased customer satisfaction. With a cloud solution like Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, you gain access to an integrated warehouse management system. This equips your company with the necessary tools to consistently meet delivery deadlines.

Moreover, you can leverage this solution to create customized heatmaps using low-code techniques and automate workflows. This empowers you to optimize warehouse capacity, layout, material consumption, and the flow of both raw materials and finished goods in real-time.

6. Secure Operational Continuity

Cloud ERP solutions come with built-in remote access capabilities, empowering you to safeguard your manufacturing operations. This ensures seamless continuity for critical production and warehouse processes, guaranteeing uninterrupted business operations across various locations.

Additionally, these solutions provide robust backup and recovery plans, minimizing the risk of data loss. Unlike traditional systems, cloud ERP solutions are less vulnerable to disruptions caused by power outages, hardware failures, or network issues. For instance, Microsoft's Dynamics 365 offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This ensures that your operations remain consistently accessible and functional, even during unforeseen circumstances.

For more info to help you decide if your business should invest in a cloud ERP solution, check out:

Use Cloud ERP to Build a Strong Supply Chain for the Future

In today's dynamic environment, investing in a modern cloud ERP solution such as Dynamics 365 Business Central is essential for strengthening your supply chain's resilience. With its intelligent features, a cloud ERP empowers you to effectively navigate disruptions and adapt your operations to change.

At Kwixand Solutions, we're dedicated to partnering with you on this journey. Our commitment extends beyond providing comprehensive solutions and strategies to offering ongoing support and training through our Customer Care Program. Reach out to us today for a free consultation with a Kwixand ERP implementation expert, and take the first step towards initiating your digital transformation journey.

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