UPS updates cloud technology to improve supply chainLogistics leader UPS recently introduced cloud technology to better manage international supply chains. Its UPS Supplier Management service is set to be improved by new development UPS Order Watch, and will assist consumers to handle their shipments and work with international suppliers and manufacturers. It is expected to be available to new UPS customers early next year and assist those who source products and supplies from across the globe.

Making supply chains easier to manage
UPS Supplier Management will be updated and will improve customers' ability to manage suppliers and international bookings, show near real-time shipment progress, optimize shipping plans and improve internal operations.

With this cloud-based technology, customers also be able to ensure their vendors are keeping up with requirements and provide an online approval system. This will reduce the need for client-supplier emails and record keeping and ensure the procurement process runs more smoothly.

These improvements increase the control UPS customers have over their supply chains and supplier management. With the enhanced visibility that comes with the updates to the UPS Supplier Management system, consumers will be better able to view their orders and have an increased level of control in determining how late or incorrect shipments are managed, saving the time and money it would cost to have the product resent or expedited halfway through the shipping process.

Managing global logistics
As more companies become global, sourcing and manufacturing from countries across the world is now common. However, this can lead to supply chain inefficiencies if not managed correctly, and logistical expenses can become enormous if processes are not watched closely and streamlined. Therefore, it has become more important for companies to track their logistical operations and ensure things are running smoothly.

"Companies are beginning to look to the cloud for opportunities to improve supply chain collaboration and reduce operational inefficiencies," said Tom Boike, the company's vice president of supplier management. "Through scalable cloud-based supply chain management technologies such as UPS Order Watch, companies are not only able to streamline management of vendors, but also manage all of their inbound shipments via a single platform. This can provide opportunities to consolidate ocean freight shipments and improve container usage to realize cost savings, which is increasingly important as COOs are looking for ways to mitigate ocean transportation costs following the ocean carrier rate increases in 2012."
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