Oracle recently announced cloud computing tools that monitor supply chains from suppliers to distribution centers to store shelves. The warehouse management software helps businesses to manage online and offline inventory as well as information about their workforce.
The latest version of Oracle’s Warehouse Management Cloud takes cues from software built by LogFire, a supplier of cloud computing tools that Oracle bought last year for an undisclosed sum. Using mobile devices to scan bar codes and RFID tags, its systems could collect accurate inventory data in almost real-time.
“We believe that 2017 is the year cloud computing in warehouse management systems will go mainstream,” said Jon Chorley, Oracle’s vice president of supply chain management product strategy, in a statement. The Version 8 software was “built from day one for the cloud,” he said.
Other parts of the supply chain are not shying away from the cloud. According to a 2016 survey by Supply Chain World, 58% of managers and executives ranked cloud computing as a “disruptive and important” technology for the supply chain industry, up from 33% in 2014.
Only big data analytics, the digital supply chain, and the Internet of Things ranked higher among survey respondents. But the survey’s authors warned that the view cloud computing in the supply chain had mellowed. The number of respondent that ranked it as disruptive rose by only 2% from 2015.
“This may be because cloud-based applications and computing power are widely established,” the report said. “In terms of total cost of ownership, cloud offers significant advantages over on-premises software systems, but breakthrough process enablement may be more behind us than ahead.”