How to increase supply chain visibility and combat unforeseen delays

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Many organizations in the past year have experienced supply chain interferences that could have been prevented. As a result, companies all over the world are taking steps to develop supply chains with maximum visibility.

Modern companies are becoming exponentially more complex, which disproportionately affects their visibility. According to a survey from GEODIS, Improving supply chain visibility (SCV) has progressed from the sixth priority of supply chains in 2015, to a top three priority in 2017. SCV is the concept referring to the ability to see the whole supply chain and visualize the important information with a broad scope.

SCV will be an essential focus for any large, complex supply chains that wish to stay competitive in our modern world. It also offers benefits to nearly all parts of the supply chain, from reducing risk to increasing consumer satisfaction.

We encourage our customers to consider the effects of increased visibility on the efficiency of their quote to cash cycle. Distributors can eliminate waste and speed up each step in a supply chain by examining that cycle. This is good for them and good for their customers.

Joseph Powell, VP of Business Development, Kissinger Associates Tweet

Four Main Goals of Supply Chain Visibility

Supply chain visibility was designed to achieve these four general goals:

  1. Reduce risk.
  2. Increase supply chain resilience.
  3. Improve customer satisfaction.
  4. Increase profits.

First, risks are reduced by SCV since most are spotted and dealt with before they become problems. Second, the supply chain is much more resilient to changes and unexpected delays; this is because supply chain professionals have full visibility of the issues as they arise, allowing them to make necessary changes and track their effectiveness. Third, customer satisfaction improves as companies can offer fast services with accurate order tracking. Fourth, profits will naturally increase with SCV as customers are satisfied and unexpected costs are decreased and managed.

Supply Chain Visibility in Action

The implementations of SCV can vary depending on the industry, but the basics are the same and encompass tracking raw materials and inventory as it moves through the chain. For example, in an optimal SCV situation, users would have access to information such as shipping details, order status, order receipts, and supplier’s manufacturing status. All of this data can create a clear image of where the materials are and when they will be used.

How to Enhance your Supply Chain Visibility

In order to increase visibility, it may be necessary to develop an efficient network of data accessible across the organization. Software such as an Acumatica or Sage 100 ERP system can offer a universal database where information, including material lead-times and other supplier details, is consolidated. Simultaneously, ERP systems can analyze the data and present role-specific dashboards for management and decision-making. Some changes in how information is recorded may be required to ensure all relevant data is being documented for use by the system.

Once the data is accumulated, it is up to management to make decisions with the newly accessible information. As more information is collected, deeper insights can be developed. Risks and inefficiencies will become clearer and allow management to make necessary adjustments and alterations as a result.

Implementing a proper ERP system can make a huge difference in increasing the visibility of a supply chain. For decades, Kissinger Associates has helped growing companies in manufacturing and distribution to leverage solutions built for them. Get to know more about the team and contact us for a free consultation.

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