Supply Chain Visibility: Challenges, Benefits, and Improvements
Supply Chain Visibility means being aware of what's happening in your supply chain. Unexpected weather occurrences, industrial fires, and many other possible events have created unplanned supply chain interruptions for several enterprises. So, effective supply chain visibility becomes necessary to prevent them. As a result, the need for companies to achieve supply chain visibility is significantly increased in recent years.
What is Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply Chain Visibility is the capability to monitor various items, products, or components from the point of production to their final destination to provide a complete overview of the inventory and operations. Because of this visibility, businesses can stay updated on their products across the whole supply and distribution chain, cutting down on errors and enhancing client satisfaction. SCV helps businesses to boost the efficiency of their manufacturing processes by identifying supply chain elements that contribute to delays or wasteful spending.
Supply Chain Visibility aims to improve and strengthen the supply chain by allowing easy access to information for all parties, including customers. Supply Chain Management technology allows the SCV to real-time information on logistics and other supply chain components. By using this information, businesses may avoid inventory shortages, overcome traffic jams, and track the progress of their items from production to delivery.
Major Challenges of Supply Chain Visibility
Let's take a look at a few of the major challenges that supply chain professionals may experience. But, in the end, these should be reduced by increasing supply chain visibility.
The majority of supply chain information is only visible to specific departments. Without missing out on any departments, supply chain visibility systems must be aware of all information formats, and manage and guarantee data integration.
Having the Ability to Search through Data
Visibility won't have the best impact on your supply chain if you don't know which data will be useful and which data may be ignored. Knowing the different supply chain stages and communicating the necessary information can be quite helpful.
Inability to respond quickly to solve a situation
Most consumers will return products created with poor materials in the retail sector. It is very essential to track the quality of purchased goods or supplies. It enables retailers to take appropriate action as well as quickly detect any faults.
External threats to the supply chain
The number of unexpected disturbances that are beyond the control of supply chain professionals is limitless. Some of them include traffic, worker strikes, weather, etc. It becomes very challenging to make smarter decisions to avoid these disruptive impacts.
Benefits of Supply Chain Visibility
The major benefits of greater supply chain visibility result in better productivity and higher earnings. It also enables companies to lower prices for clients and minimize risk. Real-time information sharing throughout the whole supply chain can significantly increase workflow, accuracy, and customer service. Some of the main benefits of supply chain visibility are mentioned below:
Developing Agility is one of the major objectives and benefits of getting supply chain visibility. With visibility, you can stay ahead of all the challenges that come with running a supply chain and make the necessary adjustments to increase productivity under any conditions.
A competitive advantage can be gained by having relevant information regarding the tracking of products. This data enables a business to determine exactly when to place an order for supplies, when to get in touch with suppliers, and when to fulfill the customer's purchase.
Better Risk Management
The ability to recognize and control risks is a key component of supply chain visibility. You can immediately resolve any possible problems when you have a complete picture of your supply chain. Early on, risks are much simpler to manage by supply chain visibility.
Enhanced Customer Service
You can resolve any problems right away if you can observe what's going on in your supply chain. As a result, response times are shortened and customer become happier. Supply chain visibility is an important factor in delivering excellent customer service.
Better Decision Making
You can make better decisions based on the right information when you have visibility into your supply chain. You'll be able to identify what's operating and what isn't so that you can update as necessary. This results in better decisions and more productivity.
Your costs will decrease as you get more visibility into your supply chain. You can optimize your shipping routes and make sure you're obtaining the best rates for your products when you have the ability to trace the flow of goods and materials througout the route.
How to achieve better Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply chain managers are responsible for ensuring the correct products and supplies are ordered, delivered, and replaced at the proper times and locations. For this, they require access to a real-time view in order to control every component of the chain. The instability and variation in the flow of information and items along the supply chain are decreased via improved visibility. There are some of the following ways that describe how you can achieve better supply chain visibility.
Collaboration with Stakeholders
Visibility between suppliers, distributors, and retailers is improved when information is exchanged within your network of stakeholders. This makes it simpler to track their contributions and record any problems that might affect the delivery of the end product.
Data exchange rate and frequency are both growing rapidly and drastically. It is essential to use this data immediately. The main factors are identifying what data is most relevant for solving key business challenges, what it means, and what to do when exceptions happen.
Something that is not measured cannot be improved. Choose the key performance indicators (KPI) that will help you measure your progress in meeting your specific goals, and keep in daily contact with your team members by sending performance metrics on a regular basis.
Your understanding of the entire operation can be improved by outlining the specific phases that make up a process and the connections between each step. This helps in identifying any barriers or unnecessary actions that are generating delays that result in better SCV.