This past December, Supply Chain Digest and Gartner partnered for their annual survey to discover what’s on the minds and agendas of supply chain professionals. This week, Supply Chain Digest released some of those results, which showed an interesting shift in priorities in accordance with the more recent positive economic news.
Just two years ago, the primary concern during the economic downturn was to cut costs wherever possible, to lean up and ride out the turmoil. Last year, as companies began to shift from cutting as much as they could to figuring out how to initiate growth without adding more employees, there was a push toward more productivity from the resources they already had in place. This time, survey results are showing an interest in moving beyond focusing on staying afloat. Instead, Supply Chain Digest is reporting that improving customer service and increasing supply chain innovation are among the chief concerns for supply chain professionals in 2012.
This likely means excellent growth opportunity for cloud-based supply chain solutions. As businesses continue to regain their footing, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is poised to become part of their supply chains, allowing them to increase efficiency and productivity while operating in a leaner fashion. Recent cloud computing advances in supply chain management allow for the type of on-demand, easily acquired software that can fill the gaps for companies that aren’t quite ready to add new employees. Solutions like warehouse management, asset management, inventory management or transportation management software are all available through SaaS-based subscriptions and capable of providing the supply chain innovation companies seem to be looking to acquire.