The supply chain is the lifeblood of any modern-day business and keeping all its components running smoothly ensures the timely delivery of your product or service. The global supply chain market value is $15.85 billion and is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 11.2% by 2027. Global supply chains need a foundation of trust and transparency, which is only possible through end-to-end visibility.
According to Zippia, 69% of the companies do not have total visibility, and only 6% of the companies report complete visibility. Moreover, around 38% of small businesses in the US suffered from supply chain delays due to lack of visibility and disruptions caused by Covid-19. Still, many industries struggle to recover from these disruptions, consistent shifts in demand and supply strains.
Lack of visibility in supply chain leads to numerous problems such as productivity loss, increased costs, and a negative impact on the brand's reputation. Therefore, businesses must improve their supply chain visibility to become more resilient. In this article, we will share five vital steps to enhance visibility in supply chain in 2023.
What Is Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply chain visibility refers to having an inside view of all the operations and processes taking place from the site of raw material extraction to the consumption point. Greater visibility in the supply chain lessens the uncertainty and fluctuations in the transfer of goods and information across the entire supply chain. Following are the two significant aspects of supply chain visibility:
End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility
End-to-end supply chain visibility refers to insight throughout the entire supply chain management process, from acquiring to shipping finished items to buyers. Its steps include inventory management, logistical operations, bearing expenses, quality control, and customer service.
Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility
Real-time supply chain visibility refers to data that is updated in real-time and enables you to track the movement of the items and their precise location at any time. It allows you to comprehend what happens, why it happens, and why problems arise.
5 Supply Chain Visibility Solutions
Improving visibility in the supply chain can lead to greater efficiency. Here are five steps to follow so you can achieve that goal:
Analyze the Current State of Your Supply Chain
Understanding and analyzing your firm's supply chain is crucial in improving its visibility. It helps detect the current pain points and provides a clear picture of your supply chain. For this purpose, you need to connect with your internal and external stakeholders. Map out all the functions and elements of your supply chain and leverage data analytics to get improved visibility across the supply chain.
Interpret Data to Facilitate Effective Decision-Making
Once you have identified the pain points, understand them, and prioritize them according to your strategic goals. Be clear on what needs to be achieved and communicate it to all the stakeholders. You must utilize and interpret the data into relevant information by developing reliable data structures. Once you have discovered the issues across your supply chain, you can easily start executing solutions.
Think of how you can create value through the supply chain or what supply chain visibility solutions can be used. Similarly, what do your customers expect from the supply chain, and how are the pain points affecting the performance of your supply chain.
Collaborate With Suppliers, Partners, and Competitors
Collaboration with vendors, partners, and competitors increases visibility across the supply chain and has several other advantages. You should encourage both horizontal (partnering with competitors) and vertical (collaborating with suppliers) collaboration. Building strong and long-lasting connections with business partners can optimize data flow throughout the supply chain, increasing visibility.
Find the Best Technology
The supply chain industry is undergoing a revolution because of digital technologies like cloud computing, supply chain automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and IoT that offer high-level resilience and visibility.
Nowadays, various supply chain management software are available that help you improve visibility in your supply chain. Platforms like PackageX offer a wide range of apps and APIs that modernize your logistics operations and provide greater visibility with increased efficiency. You can use PackageX apps to automate your receiving, shipping, and inventory management operations.
Measure Performance and Keep Improving
Anything you don't evaluate, you can't change. Keep on measuring the impact of your efforts and identify the key performance indicators. Also, use systems that can accurately measure data for insights extraction. Keep discussion on track with your team members by sending frequent progress reports.
Keeping in mind that improving supply chain visibility is a cycle of constant, long-term progress is crucial. Review your company's objectives and make the necessary adjustments based on the latest information as it arrives.
Benefits of Supply Chain Visibility
There are numerous supply chain visibility benefits for businesses which include the following:
- It helps companies get an in-depth understanding of supply and demand.
- It enables businesses to respond faster to problems.
- You get better access to precise data and insights.
- Additionally, it helps minimize costs and losses due to reputational damage.
- Moreover, it aids businesses in managing risk and mitigating disruptions.
- You can improve the agility and adaptability of your supply chain.
With increased visibility in the supply chain, companies can enhance operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. According to the worldwide survey conducted by GEODIS, around 57% of the companies believe that supply chain visibility gives them an edge over their competitors.
Supply chain visibility is critical for businesses and organizations if they want long-term success. It is important for companies to invest in their supply chain, considering all the supply chain visibility benefits in mind. By understanding underlying problems, making the right decisions, increasing collaboration, investing in good tech, and measuring performance, businesses can enhance visibility in their supply chain and reap the benefits.