Through Integrating CloudGIS into the supply chain management, using the spatial data management and analysis, as well as the graphical display function, the production and sales processes of the transportation, warehousing, loading and unloading, delivery and other aspects can be easily managed. It helps companies to use existing resources effectively, reduce cost and improve working efficiency. Also, with the development of e-commerce, logistics and CloudGIS, the CloudGIS technology will become an indispensable part of supply chain management.
The supply chain (shown in Figure 1) is a functional network chain structure that conducts the procurement of raw materials, the production of intermediate products and final products, and delivers the products to consumers through the consumer network, which can connect suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and end users as a whole by focusing on the key enterprise and controlling the information flow, logistics, capital flow. It is not only a logistics chain, information chain, capital chain, but also a value-added chain that materials can increase their value due to processing, packaging, transportation and other processes in the supply chain, and bring profits to involved companies.
Figure 1. Structure of supply chain
Currently, due to the global manufacturing strategies, the entire production process (from design to manufacturing) is conducted by the best companies worldwide that selected by manufacturers. The research that focus on the design and the operation of the supply chain is an important work for enterprise. The new business and operation model of supply chain management has gradually received widespread attention. And the advent of economic globalization and the information age provides a broad space for the development and application of supply chain management.
In the business management activities of the enterprise, it not only needs a large amount of commercial information but also needs supports from more geographic information. While, CloudGIS technology is the means to achieve the combination of these two kinds of information. By using the management and analysis and the graphical display functions of spatial data, the production and sales processes of the transportation, warehousing, loading and unloading, delivery and other aspects can be easily managed, especially in the problems of the selection of the route, the scheduling of delivery vehicles, the selection of warehouse and distribution center location, the warehouse capacity, the layout of warehouse and the reasonable loading and unloading strategy. It can conduct effectively management and decision-making analysis, which helps enterprises to take advantage of the existing resources, reduce the cost and improve the working efficiency. In fact, with the development of e-commerce, logistics and CloudGIS, the CloudGIS technology will become an indispensable part of supply chain management.
So what are the applications of CloudGIS in supply chain management?
Application of process management:
Figure 2. Supply chain management system combined with CloudGIS and traditional business background management
As GIS is not only the result of geography research, but also is the integration of geography, computer science, surveying and mapping, environmental science, urban science, space science, information science and management science. This integration makes CloudGIS very adaptable and it can provide information services, such as processing, integrating and applying of various information and management decision-making basis for various users. CloudGIS can better adapt to the process management network requirements, high-performance computing and distributed analysis processing to introduce the application environment requirements of process management into CloudGIS, so as to build a geographic information-based CloudGIS supply chain management system platform.
To implement the purchase by using a CloudGIS-based supply chain management model, the information in the supply chain can be shared, and the procurement transactions can be conducted online, that the procurement staff can get the information without traveling to the local. On the CloudGIS platform, the flow of products from suppliers, transit agents, distribution retailers and the logistics status of products in various transportation stages on the entire chain will be recorded. Users can view any regional electronic map at any time, and all business information and related geographic information can be displayed and viewed, which can make more comprehensive and scientific decision (as shown in Figure 3). Therefore, with the implementation of new model in process management, the cost will be greatly reduced, the efficiency will be significantly improved, and the risk will be reduced at the same time.
Figure 3. Supplier and supply relation flow in supply chain, and map display of goods flow
The Applications of Decision Management:
Decision management belongs to the strategic consideration of the supply chain management. Many major decisions of enterprises are made through scientific decision analysis. The supply chain management based on CloudGIS can be effectively used in decision management, site selection, resource allocation, customer analysis, disasters emergency management, etc.
Figure 4. Analysis of the impact of disasters on product supply chain in supply chain management system
The Applications of logistics analysis management:
Location: The geographical location of the consumer, which enables the company to accurately find the distribution point and track the location of customer.
Condition: Find the raw material supplier who can save the cost most.
Trend: Conduct the analysis of the purchasing power of the final consumer and the trends of the product purchasing in the region.
Mode: The spatial distribution patterns of users who has the ability to purchase the product.
Simulation: What problems will arise if a large distribution center is constructed in the area.
Figure 5. The analysis of user distribution, consumption trend and situation statistic based on CloudGIS
The supply chain management is an important topic in the management, while CloudGIS is a technical concept. In order to achieve profits, enterprises need to combine appropriate CloudGIS technology to promote management changes through industrial optimization and efficiency improvement. In the supply chain management system, the management information system can be taken as the core and CloudGIS technology can be taken as the application framework, and along with the mature analytical techniques and methods of logistics and other professions.