Supply Chain Visibility has become an essential component in Modern Supply Chains. However, as per recent study, not more than 6% of companies have achieved complete supply chain visibility. Most supply chains today, still have some components/areas that are not connected and the data is bounded which hinders the ability of all business involved to understand all the operations completely.
To stay in the competition, modern supply chain managing experts need to understand the significance of boosting supply chain visibility to achieve overall success. The benefits of Supply Chain Visibility are mostly about creating the big — picture knowledge to ensure the smooth running of business, with transparent collaboration with partners, and hence being as productive as possible.
The starting step is not about discovering the hidden truth that will change the world, but about setting up for the discovery.
The main benefits of Supply Chain Visibility are:
Sustainable supply chain functions
Consumers today have been proven to be more socially conscious, skeptical and also volatile. They look for the best in all aspects, and if not found, do not hesitate to switch to more sustainable businesses.
Sustainability is when the business provides productive and environment friendly conditions for the workers and employees, end to end visibility in all aspects from raw materials to delivery.
Toss over any one aspect, say if the logistics operation of one company do not follow sustainable practices, this could push the customers further towards competitors.
Hence, supply chain leaders believe that visibility and transparency automatically drive the businesses to achieve sustainable business practices, which means that, everything in a modern Supply Chain management maps to Social responsibility.
Maintaining Customer trust with any business’s brand value and products are crucial aspects of Modern Supply Chain Management. However, this comes with various unique challenges. These challenges being capacity of systems to share data efficiently without restrictions which can be complicated with the rising complexity of modern supply chains.
Data sharing is valuable, so is its timeliness, which makes real-time information most valuable. The inability to manage data presents challenges in achieving supply chain visibility.
However, if the data is managed efficiently and Visibility achieved, this would be an area where Visibility shines.
Though comprehensive knowledge about the state of things does not prevent problems, it does help in high lighting them quickly. Monitoring alerts that come with Supply chain Visibility make it much easier for the managers to run operations which can adapt quickly.
Identifying issues as they occur allows the business to adjust. Even if things cannot be fixed on the fly, there is a chance to immediately keep the customer posted, may be on shipment status, product availability, recall or anything else that has occurred.
Customers may not be super happy as if nothing had gone wrong, but they would appreciate getting enough notice to change their plans. Also, sharing this type of track and trace data would definitely yield positive customer experience which increase their lifetime value for the business.
Reduction in risk in the overall business
The most significant benefit of Supply Chain Visibility is that, it can protect the business and keep the higher management from peeping in, by helping reduce the likelihood that things will go wrong. One of the best information that Supply Chain Visibility can provide is identifying areas with a single point failure, implying typical products that have only one vendor.
Efficient visibility can also provide businesses the data, to better forecast demand, so they do not run out of a facility in lean times. Also, it helps in noticing areas where some goods may be at risk in transit, track shipments or transitions while they move through every node and company.
In terms of warehouse management, Visibility is the foundation that will allow warehouse managers to make better orders based on inventory counts, understanding lead time for each product or spare part, and understanding the final sale price/value of the products after they have rested on the shelf for a while.
More Efficient operation at every step
Supply Chain Visibility implies real-time data and robust dashboard tools which can create snapshots of various nodes of the business. This type of data gives the power to business to look across the business to identify where the trouble may be, and where a potential workflow shift may remove bottlenecks.
Business intelligence can be leveraged to check if business is receiving too much in a short time or if orders are being rushed because of check time of orders. It might also help in highlighting if there is any slow vendor or if there need to be shifts that need more people to run smoothly. Identification of such changes in labor force can save big costs.
Visibility also allows to check on the management’s gut feeling and reactions. It may be found that the worst vendor is performing well, but its warehouse is causing the actual issue or that the best vendors have consistent orders that make it easy for planning and delivery.
Better collaboration between partners
Businesses are always better where there is better collaboration between all the business partners. In many cases, partners can get skeptical among themselves which would finally affect the business in a negative manner. Visibility ensures transparency in the business flow which makes everyone trace easily whatever components they want to.
With this, any doubts within partners can be easily checked and clarified, also building trust among them which would lead to better collaboration, better way of transacting and hence improvement in the overall business. This may also increase the chances of future collaborations with existing partners and attract bigger companies to come forward for partnering.
With all such benefits of Supply Chain Visibility, all the business should look forward to migrate towards better Visibility and more strategies to utilize the Visibility which ensures better quality.
The improvement in quality of the products and services further helps the business in going the extra mile compared to business competitors and hence attract more customers and orders.
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