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  • Writer's pictureKwixand Team

How Cloud ERP Can Help Build Resilient Supply Chains

An agile supply chain is a resilient one. Here's how modern cloud ERP solutions can help you build resilience.

A shipping yard next to a canal where a freighter is being loaded

A resilient supply chain is the backbone of every thriving distribution and manufacturing business. Your supply chain is solely responsible for availing most, if not all, of the raw materials or products a business needs. With the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world witnessed supply chain volatility in action, with global disruptions resulting in missed customer order dates, leading to loss of customer trust, market share, and profits for manufacturers and distributors.

As companies are forced to become more agile, a modern cloud ERP solution can help them gain end-to-end visibility into their operations, increase efficiency, and address their supply chain issues.

What is a resilient supply chain, and why is it critical for businesses right now?

A resilient supply chain means that it can withstand the impact of both short-term and long-term disruptions, can recover quickly, and meet business obligations without significant impact on service levels.

Adapting your processes and operations as business conditions change allows your organization to react quicker and better manage possible disruptions across logistics, facilities, manufacturing, development, and more. This resilience is critical as it ensures your business can thrive and remain competitive.

The last two years have been a perfect example of what happens when businesses are faced with drastic change. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, a lot of businesses were thrown off balance. In April 2020, a survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management showed that 95% of companies had experienced operational problems due to the pandemic.

Besides market disruptions and global supply chain risks related to the ongoing pandemic, another factor affecting traditional supply chains is the change in consumer behaviour. Since 2020, e-commerce and online shopping saw a 149% increase from the previous year. There is also more demand for faster delivery speeds and increasing expectations for next-day deliveries. These factors highlight the importance of resilient supply chains now more than ever.

Click to watch a webinar on-demand: How to Navigate Supply Chain Disruptions & Remain Productive

Six ways cloud ERP can help you build a resilient supply chain

✅ Data consolidation and integration

Many traditional or legacy supply chains were not built to accommodate multiple data sources. They were built to mostly follow materials, products, and people based on a linear design, which often results in excess inventory, long lead times, and lost productivity.

With cloud ERP, you can design a circular supply chain that integrates and executes actions by working holistically with each related department, from logistics to engineering to assembly and packaging.

Essentially, cloud ERP allows your business to integrate across disparate systems, unifies data silos, and accelerates the development and deployment of new services – all of which are critical during volatile times.

✅ Enhances visibility into operations and logistics

As stated in a whitepaper by IDC, "resiliency is visibility plus agility." How much visibility do you currently have in your factory operations and logistics at any given time? What about visibility across distribution sites on inventory?

Bringing data from all parts of the supply chain to a unified dashboard enables companies to create a single version of the truth from organizational data and suppliers.

A modern cloud ERP solution can help provide real-time cross-channel visibility into your logistics and inventory, which results in better data-driven business decisions and help resolve demand and supply imbalances.

✅ AI and machine learning capabilities

Modern cloud ERP solutions often offer AI assistants and machine learning to help make sense of business data, reduce decisions, time, and risk, and improve the accuracy of forecasts.

For example, the cloud-based Dynamics 365 Business Central can help replenish inventory based on actuals, demand, and availability using built-in intelligence, sales forecasts, and expected stock-outs to create purchase orders automatically.

Solutions empowered with artificial intelligence make it easier to curate and analyze disparate data sets across the business along with market trends, competitor activity, sales reports, and more.

✅ Optimizes production and distribution planning

Cloud ERP helps your business balance demand and supply in real-time to ensure that the right inventory is in the right place at the right time.

It can make it easier to predict demand accurately, optimize material requirement planning, ensure resource availability to improve operations, reduce costs, and more.

For example, cloud-based Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management helps organizations meet the fast-changing customer demand by performing production and distribution planning with in-memory microservice in a matter of minutes.

✅ Simplifies warehouse management

A cloud ERP solution can optimize and simplify your warehouse operations, helping your company fill orders quicker, resulting in more on-time deliveries and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

For example, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management offers an integrated out-of-the-box warehouse management system that enables companies to deliver products on time consistently.

You can create low-code customized heatmaps and automate workflows to optimize capacity, layout, consumption, and flow of raw and finished goods in real-time.

✅ Ensures business continuity

Cloud ERP solutions help future-proof organizations and keep your critical manufacturing and warehouse processes up and running. As it enables remote work and access, you can ensure business continuity in remote locations.

They also help prevent data loss, as the vendor typically offers a robust backup and recovery plan. Cloud ERP solutions are also less vulnerable to disruptions due to power outages or hardware or the network issues as cloud ERP providers focus on avoiding downtime. For example, Microsoft's Dynamics 365 offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Ensure your supply chain is ready for what's next

An intelligent, resilient supply chain is vital in our dynamic, fast-paced landscape. Investing in a cloud ERP solution like Dynamics 365 will help you strengthen the resilience of your operations and reimagine your supply chain when facing change.

The Kwixand Solutions team is here to help you start this journey with end-to-end solutions and strategies. We'll help you get up and running quickly, so you can adapt to disruptions successfully, ensure business continuity during times of distress, and confidently make data-driven decisions during a crisis.

As a Silver Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner based in Vancouver, Canada, we help businesses across North America make the most of their transformation journey by equipping people with the right technology and processes. To get in touch with a consultant, book a consultation or contact us directly.

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