If you’re a supply chain professional, chances are you’ve heard the term “visibility” about a hundred times in the past decade – give or take a few! The ability to trace inventory through every stage, aspect, and touch point of the supply chain. It’s that heightened state of visibility that all supply chain professionals crave. But true supply chain nirvana can feel nearly impossible to obtain.
Supply chains are continually growing in complexity; with globalization, massive increases in e-commerce sales, and brands like Amazon pushing these boundaries, it can be tough to keep up. And to make matters worse, governmental agencies around the world have started to enforce stricter rules and regulations, making it more difficult than ever to meet compliance requirements.
But — tighter control and visibility over your supply chain is not as unreachable as it seems. Despite increased challenges, supply chain managers are improving visibility by implementing new practices that ensure operations flow efficiently and proactively.
Here are some tips to improve your supply chain visibility.
Utilize Available Technology
It’s obvious when it comes to supply chain visibility, advanced technology is a must. Emerging technology allows supply chain managers to monitor key performance metrics in real-time. With this real-time data, you can make proactive decisions and respond to changing conditions swiftly and efficiently.
Setup Key Performance Indicators & Metrics
It’s important to know what you are measuring and how it impacts your company. Make sure to define your key performance indicators. These KPIs and metrics allow you to establish clear and measurable benchmarks to ensure your supply chain is running efficiency.
Identify Underlying Business Processes
As much as you need to adapt to new technology improvements, it’s important to review the basic processes that drive your business. Do they need updating? There’s almost always room for improvement. Discuss how to manage incoming information better and how to optimize workflows.
Next to technology, communication is the pillar of visibility in supply chains. Your supply chain network needs to be as connected as possible. Increased communication will help you locate any gaps that exist within your current system.
Understand Ongoing Efforts
Maintaining supply chain visibility involves ongoing investment and oversight by you and your partners. As customer demands change and market trends fluctuate, you need to continually invest time and effort to maintain a clear view of your supply chain activity.
Improving the visibility of your supply chain can be a lengthy and complicated process, but it will enable you to operate more efficiently, ultimately reducing unnecessary costs and improving customer satisfaction.