Supply Chain Visibility Challenges
Having visibility across a supply chain means knowing what’s happening at any stage across it. The reality is that this is very difficult to achieve, as supply chains are complex, with lots of moving parts at any one time, relying on ecosystems made up of many partners, often using different tools and systems.
The value of supply chain visibility is not always fully understood or appreciated until something goes wrong and it’s really needed. Supply chain disruptions range from extreme weather, to natural disasters, damaged factories, political interference and trade wars, pandemics, canal blockages, and more. And while visibility can’t prevent these events from happening, it’s clear that a lack of visibility makes dealing with such crises much more difficult.
Organizations don’t always have data on where their suppliers and sub suppliers are based and can be unaware of the potential impact of a shortage of even just one small component. For an example, you only need to look at the many industries currently experiencing a shortage of semiconductors and other electronic components. Although entire industries can be affected by shortages, those organizations with better visibility across their supply chains will be more empowered to make agile decisions and often fare better than those with less sophisticated tools and capabilities.