Supply chain management issues associated with globalization are coming closer home. Companies are showing a marked inclination to maintain absolute or virtual control over the offshore entities they employ.
Consequently, it is noted that companies are increasingly forced to make complex decisions about their outsourcing plan. They must consciously and deliberately weigh their off shoring options with reference to control and coordination needs in the context of global supply chain management mores. They must also have a say in the way in which mission-critical data is spewed out and recorded by employees or suppliers in countries which may not be “technologically-advanced”. Costs must also be kept under control if the off shoring is to be financially viable. The supplier(s) selection decisions must be research based and the lowest price may not be the only or the most important parameter in the process. The biggest challenge is to obtain quality data. Traditional methods of receiving and sending data can no longer serve the purpose of the global organization. It must develop a global view and new models of data management must be pressed into service.
Cloud based information platforms offer “utility based computing services”. The technology lowers costs and the network supports each new added link effortlessly; seamlessly. Data flows become instantly available to all the members—new members included. The structure provides a platform for cooperative, continuous improvement of data quality. The data quality can be achieved with a three step process.
The first step involves setting up the connection to the offshore partner. The process does not require build up of any kind of IT infrastructure. There is no need to create any kind of “data pipes”. The organization, merely, needs to ensure that the off shore partner has the basic required IT infrastructure, sufficient Internet bandwidth and connectivity.
Normalizing the data is the next step in the process. The cloud based software pipes the data to a central repository. Business specific cloud applications can be deployed on the cloud to process and normalize the data at the point of transmission or at rest. The architecture reduces switching costs that are generally associated with signing up of new partners.
The cloud precludes the need to set up and dedicate resources for monitoring data quality. The cloud software monitors and checks the data for quality, even as it is being backed up, and generates alerts wherever data quality is below par.