云端运算将为沉寂的供应链管理带来创新

上网时间: 2012年09月26日? 作者:Barbara Jorgensen? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:云端运算? 供应链?

Cloud Can Unlock Supply Chain Innovations

Barbara Jorgensen

Supply chain innovation can come from anywhere: A minor process change can streamline a time-consuming function or a full-blown MRP solution can automate such processes. One of the more promising platforms for supply chain innovation is the cloud.

The cloud, proponents say, enables better communication and collaboration across supply networks. The systems most often used by the electronics supply chain -- EDI, MRP or ERP -- are closed, costly, and don't communicate very well. Two key aspects of the cloud are enabling businesses to come up with new solutions to old problems, such as partner connectivity and cost.

First, the cloud is Internet-based and scalable, so it allows partners to share data across a supply network without a lot of upfront investment. Second, users can develop a set of "rules" that enable partners to see the information they need while protecting other data.

"ERP systems weren't designed to work across multiple platforms," explained Greg Kefer, director of corporate marketing for cloud-based solutions provider GT Nexus, in an interview earlier this year. "Every company's data is stored in 'silos;' in some cases a corporation will have more than [one] silo within its own four walls. The data simply isn't flowing across the [supply] network."

GT Nexus takes data, translates it, and makes the data available to select members of the network. Although the information is standardized, linked, and centrally stored in the cloud, it is also partitioned. It is visible only to stakeholders that have been granted permission. "Being part of a group does not necessarily mean every partner sees the data," explains Kefer.

Large OEMs are using the cloud to make it easier for small partners to collaborate in a supply network. PC manufacturer Lenovo, for example, uses a cloud-based solution from E2open to reduce partner on-boarding time as well as cost. It also uses the cloud for its procurement system.

"One of [Lenovo's] key challenges was to increase control and transparency of purchasing costs associated with strategic components, while continuing to reap the efficiency and risk mitigation benefits of outsourcing," according to a recent case study published in conjunction with E2open. By leveraging the cloud, Lenovo now has direct control of strategic components purchasing regardless of where its PCs are manufactured. Procurement is managed through a single hub in Hong Kong.

Specifically, Lenovo's Hong Kong procurement solution provides:

· Complete automation and tracking of the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes

· Elimination of the need for manual touches and data aggregation

· Support for discrete orders and blanket orders/scheduling agreements

· Purchase order (PO) collaboration between Lenovo and its suppliers and contract manufacturers

· Confidential pricing agreements with key suppliers

The system also provides support for Lenovo's global service network, enabling post-sale, warranty, and service providers to purchase their materials at lower, pre-negotiated prices. To date, Lenovo's solution has yielded the following benefits:

· Improved cash conversion cycle

· Strengthened market competitiveness through reduced purchasing costs of core commodities

· Improved supply assurance and supply allocation abilities

· Cycle time on supplier responses reduced from hours to minutes

The cloud itself is not a solution to all supply chain problems: Experts cite security concerns among the cloud's shortcomings. As a tool, though, the cloud could provide endless opportunities for innovation.

According to a recent Accenture article:

Cloud computing promises to enable a wide and powerful range of capabilities; yet its potential uses are exceptionally broad and difficult to foretell. What is certain is that -- in the years to come -- it will radically reshape how computing power is sourced and managed, how information is controlled, and the economics of supply chain information technology.

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  • 什么是供应链
  • 供应链,由供应商、制造商、仓库、配送中心和渠道商等构成的物流网络。 所谓供应链管理,就是指在满足一定的客户服务水平的条件下,为了使整个供应链系统成本达到最小而把供应商、制造商、仓库、配送中心和渠道商等有效地组织在一起来进行的产品制造、转运、分销及销售的管理方法。

  • 什么是云端运算
  • 云端运算(cloud computing,中国大陆译作云计算,台湾译作云端运算),是一种互联网上的资源利用新方式,可为大众用户依托互联网上异构、自治的服务进行按需即取的计算。由于资源是在互联网上,而在电脑流程图中,网际网路常以一个云状图案来表示,因此可以形象地类比为云运算,‘云端’同时也是对底层基础设施的一种抽象概念。
    云端运算简单的说就是将目前个人电脑中的储存,以及运算功能,透过网路全部放进超级电脑,就是所谓的“云”里面。只要进入云端,就可以连接这些超级电脑处理资料。
    云端运算的资源是动态易扩展而且虚拟化的,通过互联网提供。终端用户不需要了解“云”中基础设施的细节,不必具有相应的专业知识,也无需直接进行控制,只关注自己真正需要什么样的资源以及如何通过网络来得到相应的服务。

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