Posted in Cloud Computing

Why aren’t you shifting your Product Life Cycle Management into the Cloud?

Solutions provided through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are increasing significantly; with Forrester Data predicting growth of 22% per annum over 2015-2020.

One of the areas that many companies are choosing to do this is in the Product Life Cycle (PLM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) areas. There are many reasons for this shift, including huge efficiency gains, greater visibility, insight and control across their entire end-to-end trading relationships.

This move to cloud software is already resulting in a number of positive changes in PLM and SCM for importers, and here a few of the key reasons that you should consider.

Connects trading communities in complex supply webs

Sourcing and managing vendors and products through their life cycle can be very difficult as trading partners will use different systems, processes, and product identification. Finding ways to communicate and trade effectively and accurately is critical. The use of Cloud based technology enables communication between these trading partners through a single platform. Everyone in a business network can use the same information from any point, on any device, irrespective of where they are located.

This “connectedness” relies on a robust technology that will allow different users to access different processes, whilst capturing all key milestone activity. By connecting supply chain networks, companies can achieve real-time visibility of the entire flow of activities from the moment a product concept takes shape through to a final sale.

Enables Collaboration

By connecting the potential trading partners mentioned via a system, it becomes much easier to collaborate. Decisions can be made in consultation with suppliers and service providers in real-time to ensure products are delivered on time and in specification. For example, if products are delayed through a manufacturing issue, a decision may be taken to either change the freight mode and fast track the delivery, or change the planned product mix as part of an updated marketing plan.

Enables scalability

With a company’s growth, the demand on systems also grows. Cloud systems enable growth in volume as your needs grow.

This applies to business size and complexity. Size means more users, products, vendors, customers, etc. and the system needs to be able to scale up to handle the transactions. Growth in complexity refers to the number of processes and functions that are managed between you and your various vendors – which can include in addition to vendors, all other service providers; auditors, freight companies, brokers, bankers, etc.

Optimises Inventory Planning

One of the key benefits of using a Cloud System for PLM and SCM is the ability to know where stock is in the pipeline, and when it will arrive. Planners are empowered to have inventory where and when it is required, and in the right quantities. Planning for known stock in “the pipeline” enables greater inventory efficiency – and thus the same or better results with lower stock levels.

Further, these systems can implement user-defined critical paths of key product milestones and timings right through the process of sourcing, design, manufacture, shipping and delivery. This allows planners and management to be alerted to intervene when there are exceptions, providing improved focus only on what matters – issues that are exceptions that need to be managed. If orders and stock flow the way that they are planned 95% of the time, then management focus can be directed towards the other 5%.

Enables Cost Reductions

One of the biggest impacts of using cloud technology for supply chain management is on cost, as it can significantly reduce the operational costs of a business.

This can be through the automation of routine tasks, reducing the resource required to manage administrative, everyday jobs. Cloud based technology also provides cost reduction in data security, hardware, data analysis and reporting.

It also provides access to better cost and service level information about PLM and SCM, enables better decision making. This can be through performance and cost measurement of suppliers, or for example with better cost visibility, by optimising transport design, such as consolidation and routing to plan the most cost effective shipping.

If you would like to learn more about how you could harness cloud technology to benefit your business, please contact us at

Paul de Guingand – Solution Design Director, Adjuno

Paul de Guingand is the Solution Design Director for Adjuno, covering Australia and New Zealand. He has significant experience as a senior supply chain executive, in several multi-national companies. Most recently he was Head of Bunnings International Supply Chain, responsible for the introduction of Adjuno systems – Lima and Liberty whilst in that role.


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