Logistics and transport managers will often complain that software development and updates in technology seem to pass them by. This makes sense because ERP and manufacturing applications are usually more important for an organization as a whole. However, logisticians and supply chain managers will tell you that their operations could also become far more efficient if they had proper EDI supply chain technology. Thankfully, it seems that industries have started to listen to these requests, particularly as a result of cloud computing. For the first time, those who work on the supply chain seem to have benefited first.
EDI Supply Chain Technology on the Cloud
Cloud computing has revolutionised the way businesses work. Interestingly, the cloud is a reasonably new type of technology but its roots are actually in the formation of the internet itself. Towards the end of the 1990s, IBM first developed the e-business concepts, moving away from using the internet solely for surfing and gaming. For the first time, business information started to be shared across the internet instead of on external tools.
Over the past 10 years or so, the concept of Cloud technology has developed very rapidly and it is now known as cloud computing. This concept really came in existence when web 2.0 technology was developed, followed by web 3.0, followed by software as a service. In reality, there is little difference between software as a service and the cloud, other than the fact that Microsoft started referring to it as cloud and giants such as IBM and Oracle accepted this terminology.
So how has this helped in the supply chain? In order for these to be able to operate in an efficient and effective manner, it is vital that they can exchange knowledge in real time and collaborate with both internal and external partners. That includes the logistics operators, the customers, suppliers, and so on. EDI technology, which runs on the cloud, has made this possible.
The reason why the supply chain has been the first to be able to enjoy this type of technology is because being on the cloud is not as beneficial for other departments. Manufacturing and production, for instance, have little to no contact with other departments and certainly not with external partners. There may be a few differences in resources, goals, and principles within these departments, but they’re differences are certainly not as wide as what they are in the supply chain.
Supply chain, as the name suggests, involves a lot of different steps and elements. The different processes are shared between different product ranges, sectors, and internal and external partners. EDI technology has enabled all of this to come together, allowing all the different players and Partners to share information between each other in real time. It is therefore by now a vital piece of technology in any business that has a supply chain, rendering operations far more efficient and effective overall, which in turn has a dramatic positive impact on gross profits.