Cash in the cloud

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Companies are most likely to improve supply chain efficiency by taking incremental steps with new technology, inventory management and supplier consolidation, according to a new report from KPMG.

CFO Insights, a global survey of consumer markets executives surveyed some 300 senior finance executives in the retail, food, drink and consumer goods sectors around the world. The good news is that three quarters see an increase in consumer spending in their target markets in 2011 driven in the first instance by the emerging markets.

However, CFOs identified cost of inputs and merchandise as the greatest threat to profitability closely followed by discounting and other sales incentives.

So it’s not surprising that cost control remains at the top of the agenda for senior finance executives.

KPMG argues that one path to success is to develop a demand driven supply chain in which robust information on customer demand is tightly integrated with the supply chain o the business in real time.

And it highlights the role that cloud computing can play in this arguing that: “In our experience, the right combination of cloud-based solutions and on-premises technology can provide the information companies need quickly and cost-effectively.”

If the people with their hands on the purse strings have taken up the message then you can guarantee that cloud computing will get a massive push forward.

The danger in this, of course, is that it is all too easy to be caught up by the bandwagon and go for a technology which is not necessarily the most appropriate for the particular operation.

There are times when a strong sense of perspective is the most valuable asset.

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