November 09, 2023 | Supply Chain Strategy
The success of businesses and satisfaction of customers depends on the efficient and effective movement and tracking of goods from suppliers to consumers.
But many businesses aren’t succeeding in this endeavor.
Despite the hard lessons learnt during the pandemic and other unforeseen events in recent times, they do not have a mechanism to effectively deal with disruption or track the movement of goods across their supply chains.
At any given time, they have a limited visibility of their supply chain and external partners. The little visibility they have is restricted to tier 1 suppliers.
Additionally, different functions within the business continue to work in silos and do not have visibility into other functions. Disjointed processes and lack of cross-functional visibility impact collaboration and increase the chances of mismatches in demand and supply.
The modern supply chain is a complex web of interconnected processes, spanning across the globe.
With multiple stakeholders involved — from suppliers and manufacturers to logistics providers and retailers — maintaining smooth operations can be challenging. The traditional paper-based systems and manual tracking methods are no longer sufficient to meet the demands of this intricate network.
How can businesses get a 360-degree view of their supply chains and get information in real time?
Real-time supply chain visibility is all about instant access to critical information about the movement and status of goods as they traverse the supply chain.
This allows businesses to monitor every aspect of their supply chain, including the location of shipments, the condition of products and potential disruptions or delays.
This data is collected in real time and made available through advanced software and technologies, which centralize and organize the information for all stakeholders to access.
Real-time visibility enables businesses to detect issues as they arise and take immediate action to address them. Whether it's a shipment delay, quality control problem, or inventory shortage, being able to respond quickly can prevent small issues from escalating into major crises.
With access to real-time data, supply chain managers can make informed decisions based on the most current information. This leads to better planning, optimized routes, and improved resource allocation.
Real-time visibility allows businesses to provide accurate and up-to-date information to customers regarding their orders. This transparency builds trust and enhances overall customer satisfaction.
By identifying inefficiencies and areas for improvement in real-time, supply chain visibility helps reduce operational costs. Optimized routes, minimized inventory levels, and efficient resource allocation contribute to savings.
Real-time visibility also helps in identifying potential disruptions such as weather-related delays, labor strikes, or geopolitical tensions. With this knowledge, businesses can proactively develop contingency plans to mitigate risks.
Utilizing AI-powered supply chain technology to track raw materials and finished goods as they move through the entire supply chain — from sourcing and manufacturing to final delivery — offers real-time visibility. Data is instantly uploaded to cloud-based software that centralizes and organizes information for all stakeholders.
Traditional paper-based management systems are inadequate for today's intricate supply chain environment. The transition to a digital workspace provides real-time visibility through the following means:
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) swiftly process large data sets, allowing supply chain leaders to analyze industry trends, rectify errors and prepare for potential disruptions.
Real-time visibility software can accurately detect patterns in data logs, enabling the identification of possible trends and bottlenecks.
A unified platform allows all stakeholders to monitor and audit logistics progress, ensuring quality service and accountability.
Instant communication facilitates the swift resolution of irregularities.
Real-time data enhances decision-making confidence and dependability.
Real-time supply chain visibility has become a necessity for businesses looking to thrive in the dynamic marketplace. The ability to monitor and respond to every aspect of the supply chain in real-time empowers businesses to stay agile, efficient and customer focused. Leveraging data and technology is the way forward to bring real-time visibility in supply chains.