According to a report by reportlinker.com, the size of the global SaaS-based SCM market is anticipated to reach $19 billion by 2028, growing at a market growth rate of 12.9% CAGR during 2022 – 2028. SaaS-based SCM provides end-to-end commodities and product mobility knowledge through better insights and distribution network forecasting models.
Significance of SaaS in supply chain management
SaaS systems are easier to use and give professionals at all supply chain levels access to crucial information from various locations and devices. SaaS programmes can be accessed through nearly any connected device these days, unlike conventional systems that require expensive, specialized hardware for remote access.
Additionally, it is more economical and durable over time. With cloud computing, maintaining or securing on-site infrastructure is no need. Today, technology and software are developing rapidly, and new products tend to become obsolete almost immediately after they are introduced. SaaS provides you with ongoing support and updates, allowing your software to evolve as technology advances.
Benefits of SaaS-based supply chain solutions
Innovative tech-driven approach
Technology-driven acceleration will transform the logistics and supply chain industries. As clients’ demands and wants change, SaaS platforms will help businesses become more responsive and adaptable.
As consumers seek instant gratification, supply chains are under pressure. Daily and hourly deliveries are becoming commonplace. In order to enable improved deliveries, there is an increasing need for adaptable SaaS platforms that can keep enterprise delivery systems agile. Businesses seek these software solutions to aid them in managing priorities like customer expectations, growing demands for omnichannel distribution and sales, shortened product life cycles, and increasing complexity in the global supply chain.
Helps in digital transformation
Enterprises will be able to utilise the power of analytics to make more data-driven decisions thanks to SaaS. Predictive analytics can be applied to real-time data to improve inventory management. Centralised data dashboards will provide actionable insights for improving supply chain management. Digital transformation will significantly impact productivity, cost, and profitability.
Minimized operational discrepancies with complete automation
Supply chain operations no longer require using paper documents or other manual procedures. With the help of SaaS, businesses can introduce automation to gain a competitive edge. Automation has several advantages, including cheaper operational expenses and reduced human error. An automated supply chain can make repetitive tasks more efficient.
The IoT benefit
The internet of things (IoT), which is enabling smartphone-based applications and GPS-enabled sensors on delivery vehicles, is proving to be a game changer for the logistics and supply chain sector. Every software programme and smart gadget used in the global supply chain acts as a data source. Businesses may optimise every important facet of their operations with the help of the data that SaaS platforms formerly collected. In supply chains, IoT technology facilitates end-to-end visibility.
According to reports, IoT has a lot of room to grow over the next few years. According to research and advisory firm Gartner, the manufacturing and natural resources industries will have 1.9 billion installed IoT endpoints by 2028.
The margin of error is rapidly decreasing as global supply chains get more complicated because demands for quick delivery rise and as suppliers and business partners see increased efficiencies. This increased demand highlights the urgent need for machine learning capabilities (ML). ML offers several advantages, including learning addresses and cleaning them each time to cut down on delivery time. With AI, businesses can optimize capacity planning, increase productivity, reduce costs, and ensure high-quality delivery, giving them a competitive edge.
Primary SaaS systems
A large supply chain management system consists of three primary SaaS systems that cooperate with one another. Although each platform has the ability to collaborate, their functions in SCM are essentially different. Businesses that want to transform their operations and innovate their procedures should consider these software platforms.
Transportation Management System (TMS)
TMS, which is specialised software for managing logistics related to the transportation of physical items, enables businesses to plan, carry out, and optimize the shipment of goods. Users can book their desired cargo and follow freight on both domestic and international routes. They can compare shipping methods and optimize load and delivery routes to achieve the most cost- and time-effective solutions. Additionally, it automates time-consuming procedures like freight billing and trade compliance documents. A TMS is made to increase shipping effectiveness, lower costs, obtain real-time visibility into the supply chain, and guarantee customer happiness. For both the business and the end consumer, a sound transport management system may decrease complexity and expense for both the business and the end consumer.
Warehouse Management System (WMS)
WMS is a software system that enables businesses to manage and oversee all aspects of their everyday warehouse operations, from when items arrive to when they depart. Pressure has been put on wholesalers and 3PL providers to fulfill omnichannel orders to the same level as retailers due to the development of firms like Amazon, which promise unprecedented delivery times. Every aspect of warehouse management, including receiving and storage, picking, packing, and shipping, as well as inventory tracking and replenishment, may be streamlined with a good WMS. It digitalizes inventory management and gives businesses real-time access to all of their products in storage and transportation.
All of these functions can be performed by a warehouse management system from a single user interface, and it can link with other tools to perform more complex robotics and augmented reality wearables in addition to more routine tasks like bar code scanning and RFID labeling.
Any company with on-hand inventory needs a strong WMS since it may help cut costs and increase efficiencies across the board. It can increase operational efficiency by lowering errors, eliminating extra labour, ensuring smooth operations, and having the capacity to handle more significant volumes. By identifying products that should be picked up first and those that can benefit from a sales push, they decrease waste and costs. They can also evaluate the best use of warehouse space and inventory placement to optimize travel routes. Improved traceability and more precise demand projections are made possible by real-time inventory visibility. Due to the enhanced overall process can also strengthen labour management and result in stronger interactions with customers and suppliers.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The last but most important software system is ERP, which can operate a company’s whole operation by supporting and automating key business processes like finance, human resources, manufacturing, and procurement, among others. In essence, it can control all of these procedures through a single integrated system. ERPs today use cutting-edge technologies like AI and machine learning to give intelligent automation, excellent efficiency, and rapid insight across the business. They are now delivered through the cloud. The TMS and WMS can be linked to the Enterprise Resource Planning to give a full-featured service for Supply Chain Management on all fronts. Additionally, it can connect internal operations with international business partners, enabling businesses to interact quickly and flexibly globally.
The SaaS sector is dynamic, and forecasts for future growth are very optimistic. It should come as no surprise that 87% of supply chain and logistics companies are using the software as a service to reinvent their operations, according to Statista. Its flexible, cloud-based software enables organisations to get visibility and provide the transparency that many investors and customers demand.
The article has been written by Punit Sindhwani, CEO, Paxcom