The path to smarter logistics is through technological innovation. Emerging technology platforms are realizing the vision of a seamless and cost-effective logistics flow, enabling producers of goods and logistics service providers to make better strategic and real-time decisions that result in “real differentiating” competitive advantages.
At the helm of this digital shift towards better and faster systems are SaaS solutions that take supply chain management up several notches.
In a previous post we quoted Microsoft’s definition of cloud computing as the delivery of computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more – over the Internet (“the cloud”).
SaaS, or software as a service, is a cloud-computing service model. More accurately, SaaS is a licensing and delivery model used by software vendors to give users access to a fully functional and complete software product through a web browser, on a subscription basis.
The software vendor assumes the cost not only of hosting the software, but of maintaining and upgrading the software, as well. Unlike the expensive licenses used before, current SaaS services are typically billed based on consumption or with a flat monthly charge.
Every day, SaaS offerings are used by thousands of businesses across the globe. In fact, many users are probably using SaaS products without even realizing it, such as Office365, Salesforce, Google G Suite or Slack.
SaaS vendors develop, support, and deploy a single version of software across all customers, enabling the vendor to focus on ongoing value-added innovation.
Easy-to-deploy and flexible enough to meet the needs of organisations regardless of size or complexity, SaaS solutions are running the show in the global drive for digital logistics.
This new on-demand, pay-as-you-go, and Web-based delivery model for software is highly beneficial for logistics services clients and providers, as it considerably lowers the cost of using logistics management software capabilities. Cost for acquisition and use of supply chain management software is no longer an insurmountable barrier for small and medium sized logistics stakeholders in the strive to join the digital logistics community. Because they are delivered as a service, SaaS solutions for logistics can be easily scaled up or down according to business needs, without having to change or replace existing ICT infrastructure.
Driving a new era of enhanced and simplified supply chain collaboration, the end-to-end functionality of SaaS solutions applies logic to logistics: transport is cheaper, cleaner and offers greater margins to suppliers and LSPs alike.