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For companies considering the purchase of supply chain planning software, one major decision to be made up-front is whether to purchase on-premises or cloud-based software. Traditionally, on-premises software applications were the norm. These systems offered automation, advanced features, and the ability to improve productivity and accuracy within supply chains.
However, with the growth of the Internet, cloud-based solutions have advanced to the point where they are on par or better than on-premises solutions. They are also more cost-effective and offer other advantages as well.
Today’s cloud-based planning software platforms can even be integrated into other enterprise software such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to standardize and leverage data across the operation and to allow inputs from other functional areas that enhance the planning software’s capabilities.
Originally, on-premises software was used by larger companies to ensure the security of data and improve operational efficiency. However, this left smaller companies at a disadvantage. With fewer resources, they could not afford the cost of a full-fledged on-premises system. But with the arrival of more flexible cloud-based planning applications, small and medium-sized sized businesses (SMB) can now enjoy full-feature planning software applications that are more flexible and agile than any on-premises alternative.
With the expansion of the Internet, cloud-based systems now offer applications that are on par or that exceed the capabilities of on-premises systems. And as today’s ever-shifting supply chain indicates, agility and flexibility are paramount in any planning system.
Except for specific industries that work with classified or extremely proprietary data, there are very few reasons not to use the Cloud for demand and supply planning. In fact, as data is becoming an asset to be leveraged for improved performance, companies are utilizing the Cloud to tap into the power of that value-rich output.
The first advantage is the Cloud’s ability to centralize the data and make it available to all stakeholders within the supply chain increases transparency. This allows greater collaboration and improved relations with vendors and suppliers.
Secondly, its deep analytical capabilities are more advanced than ever, allowing real-time data to be used to gauge demand and apply it to realistic forecasts, optimized inventory plans optimization, and improved service levels.
Cloud-based planning software such as Plex DemandCaster’s Advanced feature-rich Supply Chain Planning Suite offers robust cloud-based functionality that can vastly improve flexibility and agility. By leveraging the Cloud, demand planning, supply planning, S&OP, capacity planning, and inventory optimization offers a customizable, feature-rich platform that can be integrated with other enterprise-level software such as ERP systems. This means the software can deliver accurate forecasting and planning through the use of real-time data and advanced analytics.