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4 Reasons Why Supply Chain Visibility is Crucial

The disruption created by COVID-19 led supply chain experts to search for real time visibility to help them move goods and services to the right place at the right time. While being affected by a rapidly shifting operational field, they turned to the tools they already had to see through the murk.

“In an attempt to keep pace, supply chain leaders either looked to IT to help customize their existing core systems, bought expensive point software solutions, or scrambled to manage workflows in DIY tools like spreadsheets and e-mail,” said Kayla Mackay, Solutions Marketing Manager at QuickBase, on the Age of Agility podcast. “Despite all these efforts, supply chain experts are still constrained by unresponsive, inflexible systems and a lack of visibility into supplier data.”

As the global pandemic atmosphere clears, many companies acknowledge that having visibility throughout the entire supply chain is an urgent requirement. 

This post will show you what supply chain visibility means and why supply chain visibility is important to achieve lasting business success.

What is Supply Chain Visibility

Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) is, in its broadest sense, a way of viewing one’s supply chain from start to finish.

Let’s say a company who produces sheet-paper wants to integrate SCV into their business. By making their supply chain visible, the company can view each stage of their products’ development from when the raw material is purchased, all the way to when the ream of paper reaches the customer.

SCV reveals each step of a company’s supply chain and gives each business the opportunity to analyze and prevent potential disruptions no matter where in the world their products are being developed.

1. Cost-Effectiveness 

A clear and immediate benefit of improved supply chain visibility is that real-time insights on where a product or component is at all times during the transit stage. This can help businesses reduce the cost of operations. Understanding lifecycles, inventory requirements, and other metrics can help with better management of logistics. Besides, it places businesses in a better position to count potential risks and respond to issues as they emerge. Thus, better supply chain visibility results in a higher return on investment in about a year.

2. Reduced Risks 

The entire supply chain management (SCM) system is fraught with risks, which, if come to pass, can have detrimental effects on a business’s health. Mitigating these risks is something every business owner wishes upon.

Supply chain visibility delivers on this wish by helping you identify risks long before they pose a potential threat. For example, inventory shortages can be countered with supply chain visibility, helping you to zero-in on defaulting or late suppliers, giving you a vantage point to take corrective measures before such shortages start impacting business operations. Every mitigated risk results in improved efficiency of operations, a better quality of goods, greater brand loyalty, and, ultimately, higher returns.

3. Consistent standards and continuous improvement

A shared platform with customizable workflows and task-specific quality control checklists ensures that all teams in your supply chain operate within the same framework and follow your standards.

Plus, it is worth remembering that even if your suppliers are willing to follow your exact specifications and meet your market’s requirements, their efforts may fall flat if they don’t have the experience with your particular market or product. With custom-made checklists and readily available training materials, you can directly help your suppliers deliver better results and perform to your and your market’s standards with greater confidence.

4. Better Customer Experience

Customers today expect better, speedier service from businesses, irrespective of the vertical they’re operating in. This has resulted in the creation of a highly competitive marketplace with shorter delivery-cycles and lesser tolerance for delays and mistakes.

A transparent supply chain, supported by a well-managed flow of information, can help businesses cope with these pressures a whole lot more efficiently. Without a single view system that is used to consistently track goods, identify SKUs, and enforce timelines, any supply chain can crumble under this kind of pressure. 

Conclusion

While supply chain visibility isn’t a regulatory requirement for retailers, it’s a beneficial system worth considering, especially since the data, analytics, and machine learning derived from RFID technology and other solutions can provide valuable insight into customer patterns and behaviors.

Retailers who aren’t committed to an RFID strategy or another solution may find themselves falling behind when it comes to maintaining accurate inventory or responding to customer needs.

Supply chain risk management is driven by supply chain visibility, and this can only occur when every item (and associated movement) is tracked along the supply chain.

With advancements in technology and customers embracing the digital world, it makes sense for retailers to implement a solution that not only provides valuable data and analytics, but also allows for a more comprehensive and efficient business operation.

Do you know any other benefits of supply chain visibility? let us know in the comment section.

Continue reading The benefits of conducting a supply chain audit for your business.

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