Build Robust Supply Chains Using Serverless
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5 min read Jul 12, 2023

Build Robust Supply Chains Using Serverless

Does Serverless Help Businesses Build Robust Supply Chains?

Organisations require supply chain solutions that can proactively react in real-time to satisfy customers’ expectations in today’s dynamic and fast-changing world. Scalable global platforms that collect data across the supply chain and intelligently respond to events with minimal human intervention are now possible. This is thanks to the rapid development of technology and the use of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), and cloud-based platforms.

This article will explore how serverless technology assists customers with resolving supply chain issues. Explained below is a use case of AWS.

Freightways Lowers Logistic Costs by 90% With Serverless Technology

In New Zealand, Freightways is the go-to company for Express Package delivery. Freightways picks up, processes, and delivers more than 50 million goods annually across New Zealand. It does so via its broad point-to-point, hub-and-spoke, and road and air freight distribution networks, which connect to and from worldwide markets. In addition to shipping goods, Freightways offers various complementary services throughout Australia and New Zealand, including Business Mail (both physical and electronic), Information Management, and Secure Destruction.

Freightways looked to Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a platform for digital capability and enablement. It allowed them to create an inexpensive solution to construct, maintain, and operate while generating new revenue streams by adhering to their “be easy to integrate with” concept.

1. Maximising IT Spending

Enterprise architect Scott Robinson claims that working with AWS has helped Freightways get more out of its IT budget.

“Freightways saved roughly 90 per cent on platform expenditures,” says Robinson, “and we could focus on driving company expansion without devoting significant amounts of resources to satisfy the high standards of technical uptime and speed required by our business.”

By creating its own Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Freightways could install a new courier processing system. This system better integrates its operations with all customers, from small family-owned enterprises to giant Australasian retailers. Freightways’ DevOps team completed the proof of concept for a go-to-market solution in 2020 in only three months. It was possible due to AWS’s advice on best practices, resilience, and architecture.

2. Innovating for Business Resilience

Freightways’ David Kelly, manager of group development and data in New Zealand, says the company is interested in learning more about how other AWS services might help it achieve its objectives.

He continues, “With the backing of a huge and established corporation like AWS, we got the flexibility to design solutions and innovate swiftly. We have a lot of leeways to pick the best service for the job because there is such a wide variety to pick from.

Freightways intends to continue migrating more workloads to serverless databases, utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to develop predictive insights on courier delivery metrics. It also utilises data analytics to improve the visibility of courier routes and partners to drive greater innovation and better customer service for sustained business growth.

3. Speeding DevOps

Since November 2019, AWS has been helping Freightways modernise and migrate critical workloads to the cloud, reducing the impact of software bottlenecks in the company’s outdated system.

Freightways operates its containers in the cloud using AWS Fargate and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), eliminating the requirement for the company to maintain any on-premise equipment.

Freightways can quickly and easily access data, business logic, and functionality from its backend services via Amazon API Gateway, allowing for scalable API development. Freightways uses Amazon DynamoDB, a key-value and document database for low latency. It also uses millisecond-level data access and launches containers in a dedicated Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) for maximum isolation and security throughout the app development.

Five Challenges Tackled Using Serverless Functions

1. Inventory Control

You may use serverless platforms like Amazon Forecast to anticipate customer demand better and make informed decisions about how much stock to buy and where to deploy it. By doing this, you may save money on stock while providing excellent service to your customers.

2. Warehouse Management

Data in Amazon DynamoDB would be kept up-to-date in response to events transmitted by the Warehouse Management system, such as changes in product stock levels. The Amazon SNS service can initiate a workflow that notifies relevant parties through text or email when more supplies are needed.

3. Delivery Tracking

A company’s reputation can take a hit if orders are delivered late or missing parts. Keeping customers happy and loyal in this “age of the customer” requires providing the right product to the right person at the right location and time. Big Data allows forward-thinking companies to see all sides of their customers’ experiences. That way, you can anticipate their needs, learn their likes and dislikes, and give them a one-of-a-kind brand experience.

4. High Operating Costs

When it comes to resolving high operating costs issues quickly and efficiently, intelligent factories can take advantage of serverless functions. Serverless services are a valuable resource for manufacturers, aiding in operation costs involved in creating plans, disseminating data, creating predictive models, and integrating factories into the management of operations. Serverless functions help reduce the operating costs of supply chain management.

5. Poor Yard Logistics Systems

Logistics management is another area where serverless services have proven useful in supply chain management (SCM). It is a perpetual challenge for logistics systems to maximise customer satisfaction across a wide range of service metrics, including the speed of delivery, the efficiency of resource utilisation, and the breadth of geographic reach. Employing serverless functions in SCM helps lessen the likelihood of delivery delays due to miscalculations. This will aid in enhancing traceability, which ensures product tracking from the factory to the store.

Wrapping Up

In addition to offering end-to-end visibility and facilitating communication and information exchange, a dynamic supply chain quickly responds to unforeseen events. Several services available in the AWS cloud make this possible. Thus, in today’s digitised world, more businesses should transition to serverless systems to function smoothly.

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