The battle for the cloud in supply chains is underway

Cloud computing is changing industries. This is especially true for manufacturing industries with longer chains.

In the general depressed atmosphere of the global manufacturing industry, both giants and small and medium-sized enterprises are looking for ways to break through. While optimizing product quality, more and more manufacturers begin to make efforts in the supply chain -- reducing the manufacturing cycle, improving supplier quality, improving the prediction of market changes, and optimizing inventory, hoping to save new profit space in the supply chain.

In this case, SCM (Supply Chain Management) came into being. SCM is also becoming known and reused in many enterprises due to its rapid deployment and rapid goal realization properties. SCM hot, once let some insiders call it, and ERP, CRM parallel development of enterprise services industry one of the three carriages.

Gartner, a consultancy, estimates that more than 90% of supply chains will adopt cloud solutions by 2021. In its report, it said 75 percent of supply chain talent shortages among the top 500 manufacturers will be alleviated by 2023, mainly through the use of supply chain digital software.

On the other hand, cloud-based SCM is becoming the core competitiveness of manufacturing enterprises.


The last black box

Cloud SCM opens up the last black box in the manufacturing industry, exposing every detail in the information flow of the supply chain.

Among its pervasive capabilities, cloud SCM software can track and report quality levels by production center, product, and customer levels. Another benefit of having a cloud-based SCM system is the ability to monitor and track any component, component, or sub-component throughout the supply chain in real time.

In addition, cloud SCM can quickly collect and access data from multiple locations around the globe. Without the cloud, huge cross-border warehousing operations would not operate according to time zones and geography. With cloud computing, any member of any part of the supply chain can access and exchange data with other users.

This means that managers can know at any time why and where delays are occurring during manufacturing. For medical device manufacturers, cloud-based standard text eliminates the burden of spending valuable employee time cataloging and reporting records.

Now, foreign regulators also require supply chains to provide relevant information when performing services. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires each manufacturer to maintain batch, batch, and unit level equipment history records.

In SCM, cloud-based applications are able to generate federated device History (DHR), which is a significant time-saving competitive advantage for users in enterprise services.


Cloud supply chain logic

To solve the complex problem of supply chain, the whole SCM industry has adopted a new product logic. Among them, the first is "decomposition dimension reduction", that is, complex requirements are decomposed layer by layer until they are decomposed into standardized parts or standardized workflow one by one; Then there is the "merge upgrade", which selects different standardized parts or standardized workflow to merge according to the needs of users, so as to achieve diversified customized needs.

This corresponds to the objective law of the development history of supply chain:

In the past, the structure of supply chain was a simple linear topology, showing a single chain. Only one single supplier is responsible for each process.

Later, the supply chain began to show a network chain, in which logistics, information flow and capital flow are multi-source single chain, with some characteristics of chain and network, that is, suppliers can serve multiple downstream within a specified process.

Later, with the rise of information networks, downstream supply chains began to transmit demand upward. The logic of a buyer's market began to take shape as "C2M" began to appear. In addition, after flexible supply chain and agile production became the trend, supply chain even began to remove the previous commodity attributes, and began to develop toward fewer and faster.

So far, the supply chain system has begun to transfer data to the cloud, and due to the open source, every atomic level information in the supply chain can be fully displayed, completely breaking the previous information flow/logistics diffusion chain based on the manufacturer into a unit of each commodity or each bit.

Supply chain competition has reached a new level thanks to artificial intelligence and low/no code enabler, such as auto-fill forms that are now embedded in many products. Simply type a company's name into a search bar and the form will automatically fill in information about that company. This mode undoubtedly greatly improves the efficiency of logistics turnover, and further realizes standardization and compliance in the entity business.

Today's offerings, represented by Oracle SCM Cloud, include product innovation, strategic material sourcing, outsourced manufacturing, integrated logistics, omni-channel fulfillment, and integrated demand and supply planning. In this way, enterprises in the supply chain competition dimension and management nodes are completely opened, a supply chain competition also comes.


Competition in the cloud supply chain

So far, a race has begun on the cloud in SCM and supply chain.

Like our series of articles, this is a comprehensive transformation that includes giant Internet companies, listed companies, traditional software manufacturers, emerging enterprises and traditional business enterprises.

Warehouse scenario:

Supply and Marketing Daji (000564) is an A-share listed company, and its subsidiary, Zhanghetian, is transforming the traditional warehousing and logistics business. At present, in the name of "palm cloud warehouse" in the product, has been unified warehouse distribution, supply chain finance, brand marketing and other services. For idle storage space, the partner can build cloud warehouse with the palm supply chain to share benefits.

In the next three to five years, Zhanghe Cloud warehouse plans to build no less than 1,000 cloud warehouse projects in China together with its partners, serving 1,000 important cities with storage and transportation capacity, and eventually creating a nationwide industrial circulation supply chain service network.

Under the banner of Cloud Media, there are intelligent supply chain products "cloud storage". In addition to the conventional product functions, all kinds of enterprises on it can automatically form alliances based on "business flow" and realize resource allocation through intelligent vehicle scheduling, intelligent LBS order allocation, intelligent optimization of distribution routes, real-time monitoring of business data and other functions.

In vertical industries:

For example, in the automobile industry, there is a start-up company "Che Tong Yun". In addition, JINGdong has also created a "cloud distribution alliance". The alliance with retail dealers as the main members, on the connection of manufacturers, the middle of the alliance of accessories, on the link of maintenance stores, so far, the cloud alliance partners have covered the country's 26 provincial administrative regions, the number of signed stores 355. The number of stores is expected to grow to 3,000 in the next three years.

In the field of fresh food, Ali released the global fresh supply chain gathering platform Yunxiang. This platform is also an SCM in the field of vertical segmentation. In this platform, in addition to meeting the basic procurement of the company's internal channels, ali will also unite with all channels to establish the advantage of collective procurement, aiming at integrating and contacting more source supplier resources, so as to further serve all domestic demanders.

For export vertical, Yunde Supply Chain Technology can provide customers with customs clearance, goods delivery, storage, label replacement, packaging, reservation and delivery services across the United States. It is a platform for sellers on Amazon platform in China to realize return and exchange of goods.

In the field of livestreaming with goods, There is Xiamen Online, which put forward the concept of online celebrity livestreaming with goods in a cloud warehouse in 2020, and established China e Livestreaming with goods in a cloud warehouse sharing supply chain platform. In the platform, the host before live if goods can be consolidated into the data to a YunCang undertakes to supply chain platform, inventory system docking to organizations or individuals live, live with the shipper and the platform through, after the live broadcast of the host assistant will order goods a push to bring China e live undertakes to share YunCang supply chain platform, 24 to 48 hours to complete the delivery.

In the field of clothing, there is the collar cat SCM. Lyncat SCM will be electronic signature, electronic contract and other access system, can effectively simplify the transaction process. After entering into the clothing industry through SaaS and cooperating with hundreds of clothing brands, LINGmao SCM has accumulated a number of high-quality suppliers, factories and teams, with outstanding capabilities in industry understanding and Internet technology.

In the field of in vitro diagnosis (IVD), which is the fastest growing in medical care, there is also Cloud Medical shopping. The enterprise provides the procurement and marketing cloud system for upstream manufacturers and midstream distributors of the industrial chain, as well as SPD and regional sharing service platform for terminal hospitals, so as to promote the whole link of the upstream and downstream IVD industry.

In the field of energy and chemical industry, there are 66 cloud chain. At present, 66 Cloud chain has built 66 Express, Ship cloud bang, Canghaibang three product series, is the only domestic storage and transportation integration of energy and chemical digital supply chain.

66 Cloud chain ecological architecture diagram

Among other vertical industries, there are Frozen Cloud of Hainan (covering 22 cities in Guangdong and serving 66,000 catering enterprises), jinyiyun of import scene (currently carrying out strategic cooperation with more than 3,000 international famous brands in more than 40 countries/regions around the world. With direct authorization or indirect authorization of more than 1000 brands), fast retailing products and drinks and beverage industry cloud warehouse distribution and so on.



If look from the Angle of development, at present, SCM has not appeared a monopolistic company in the development of the country. Although so, but the industry has erupted strong, these years by the industry SCM is mushrooming.

Cloud vendors and a host of vertical startups have created this noisy scene, and are starting to move toward the "same world" in terms of product functionality.

Like Oracle, Kejian, Tianyi Cloud Technology, Best Supply Chain and other companies also have self-developed and continuously iterative cloud solutions for order management (OMS cloud), transportation management (TMS cloud), warehouse management (WMS cloud), reservation management (AMS cloud) and supply chain control tower (SCCT), covering the whole link of business operations. At the same time, it can also provide customers with more intelligent decisions based on big data.

Competitors in this field all hope to create a closed loop scenario of stores (declaration), order center, warehousing and distribution, procurement center, central factory, suppliers (delivery).

However, whether it is the disruption of large companies or the rise of start-ups, SCM companies are building a new mode of competition. From this perspective, SCM's greatest contribution is to further digitize the experience and cost that is fundamental to retail.

Due to the role of cloud platform, enterprises also extend the supply chain management from the previous internal management to the overall management. Even for some manufacturers, strategies such as modular product design, controlled procurement, and rolling production have been developed to meet downstream demand.

And in the SCM vendor innovation, also introduced more new business data. There has also been considerable innovation in data management (for example, some sensitive information can be evaluated through other means such as contract management, rights management and risk management).

In the new generation of SCM management system, due to the integration of big data analysis, machine learning prediction, operations research optimization and other underlying basic science, The calculation of warehouse network layout, the setting of safe inventory level, the optimized generation of business owners' plans, the order assignment of delivery personnel, the design of transportation routes, the real-time connection between vehicles and demand and other previously unimaginable supply chain management methods have also been moved to the front of the table.

It is worth noting that SCM has the potential to be a clear dividing line between digital distributors and non-digital practitioners. As mentioned above, for those who are good at using digital products, they can be more familiar with the local market and consumer environment, which means that such competitors have the ability to seize more market shares in the competition of similar products.

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The battle for the cloud in supply chains is underway