Cloud computing and the intelligent optimization of logistics in the Supply Chain 4.0
What is cloud computing?
The offer, use and billing of IT services dynamically adapted to requirements via a network is known as cloud computing. These services are offered and used via defined technical interfaces and protocols. The services include infrastructure (e.g. computing power, storage space), platforms and software.
The goal of cloud computing is to build an intelligent company equipped with sensors and devices which are able to transmit information and data about processes to the responsible persons in real time. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (Link) are used additionally. Only by investing in new technologies is it possible to make the entire supply chain more efficient and to control it in the best possible way.
Investments in the following new technologies facilitate digitization:
- Automatic storage and handling systems that enable automated transport
- Robots for collaborative work
- Systems for the automatic identification and traceability of products
- Automatic warehouses, with connection to management systems
- Systems to automatically check materials inside and outside of warehouses and to manage and monitor consumption
In a time of increasing customer needs and growing service demands, it makes sense for companies to focus on logistics optimization.
Often human intervention is still necessary to fulfil certain tasks, but striving for a comprehensive digitization of the company is no longer a utopia. The basics for building a more efficient, digitized supply chain are as follows:
- Introduction of automatic systems that reduce the risk of errors
- Synchronization of processes
- Use the networking between all components of the value chain in order to inform customers about the status of their order in every phase of the production process and thus improve the customer experience
- Standardize procedures and information flow in order to make processes faster and leaner
- Constant interaction with everyone involved in the value chain in order to create trust, optimize processes, reduce waste and increase profitability within the supply chain
- Detailed planning of the supply chain
- Optimization of logistics and efficient inventory management, in order to meet various customer requirements, to increase the level of service and at the same time, to reduce operating costs
Cf. Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, Cloud Computing Grundlagen, accessed 09.09.2020,
Cf. Think Vertical, Digitale Supply Chain: Anwendungen und Ergebnisse in der digitalen Logistik, accessed, 09.09.2020,