Disrupted supply chains have been a hot topic across vertical organizations, where tumultuous instabilities in demand destabilized different phases of the chain. Making risk management a focus point when planning to innovate through digital transformation.
With customer expectations continually rising, organizations are digitalizing processes to enhance the level of service delivered. So, for example, when a visibility gap exists across an organization’s transport operations, their fleet and subcontracted services find it challenging to forecast delays and problematic to alert customers in advance. Without this level of notification and relevant information, customer satisfaction is strained, and companies could incur financial penalties.
For these reasons and more, we explain why supply chain visibility is essential and how supply chain visibility solutions can create a depth of high-quality data for logistics and transport operations.
Challenges for supply chains
In the face of adversity, the need to build resilient supply chains is evident, attributed to many blockers and operational barriers that occur after disruptive events. Operating costs, scaling production based on demand, and job specialization makes overcoming supply chain issues challenging. Not to forget the complexities of a contemporary supply chain, like the interconnectivity of suppliers, logistics, ecosystem partners, and other decision-makers, need to be thoroughly robust.
To avoid these complications and better anticipate issues in supply chains that organizations can mitigate with ease and the right operational processes in place, supply chain visibility can hold the key to solving many of these headaches.
What is supply chain visibility?
Supply chain visibility (SCV) permits users to share considerable data with technology. Significantly enhancing communication between suppliers and manufacturers on what is and isn’t working in the supply chain—enabling companies to follow individual elements, subgroups, and finished products on their journey from production, supplier, right up to consumer level. So to have visibility of the supply chain concerns access to data – either requested or through a notification - connected to delivering on any commitment from these groups.
Organizations are under pressure to offer higher service levels more agilely to serve customers with rapidly evolving needs. Increasing the difficulty of acting on results, keeping pace with competitors, and avoiding disruption. Without visibility, it is not conceivable to make quick judgments with conviction because the data is not there to make an informed decision.
The importance of data
Any inefficiencies in handling customer queries can tarnish the customer experience and reduce efficiency. If issues occur on the production line or stock runs out, it causes operational and planning headaches for supply chain managers.
Therefore, It makes sense that process visibility can be better attained by having access to adequate operational data, to support teams with analytics.
What is a supply chain visibility solution?
A supply chain visibility solution provides instant access to predictive and real-time information of the location of assets, order process, inventory, delivery, and possible supply chain disturbances. The idea is that the platform aggregates detailed information, so organizations can reliably gauge performance, perform a root-cause analysis, and locate areas of improvement.
Organizations should also note that tracking any item in the supply chain as it moves in real-time is becoming increasingly accessible with the availability of faster and more reliable connectivity, cost-effective Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more compatible systems.
Why is a supply chain visibility solution necessary?
Since comprehensive data gives an overview of product demand, sales projections, availability of materials or parts, a supply chain visibility solution is a valuable resource. Organizations can improve customer service with an accurate view rather than focusing on time-consuming tasks. Reducing the level of unexpected events and disruptions that can negatively impact the broader business while also worrying less about the manual tracking of deliveries and putting that time into analyzing and optimizing operations.
Other benefits include reducing inventory buffers - thanks to more accurate forecasts - and non-compliance costs along with other expenses related to third-party logistic fees, shipping costs, or distribution center labor, to name a few. Companies can manage their own logistics services more efficiently with higher levels of precise data that drive better decision-making.