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When you need to ship products from your factory floor to the buyer, there are multiple steps involved. It is an elaborate logistics plan that begins with packaging the goods, loading it on a truck, sending it to the warehouse for storage and delivering it to the buyers.
As a business owner it is necessary that you keep track of the movement of the goods so that there is no interruption in the supply chain. To track your goods in real time you would need supply chain visibility.
What is supply chain visibility?
Supply chain visibility is the ability to track individual products in transit from the supplier to the factory floor to the buyer with the help of supply chain technology.
For example, you are a CNC manufacturer. Supply chain visibility is in tracking the transit of raw materials sourced from various parts of India to your factory floor. Then monitoring the flow of the finished CNC machines that leave your factory floor to reach the buyer. This end-to-end visibility improves supply chain efficiency and enhances supply chain management.
Benefits of supply chain visibility
Improved supply chain visibility leads to improved workflow and increased profits. Here are some of the key benefits of supply chain visibility:
- Real time updates
- More agility within the supply chain
- Avoid supply chain disruptions
- More control over the goods in transit
- Data-driven decisions
Challenges of supply chain visibility
There are some challenges supply chain companies face in supply chain visibility through their applications:
- Limited control over supply chain disruptions during transportation
Slowdowns caused due to roadblocks during transportation of goods like traffic jams, poor weather, etc., are tough to control. The technology you use should have alerts on potential disruptions on the route planned to make timely decisions.
- Sharing supply chain data within the company
Supply chain data like the routes planned, delivery timelines, number of products in transit, etc., should be shared among the tiers of the supply chain. In case you are exporting your product then you would need real-time global visibility across all transport modes and regions in a single platform.
- Making data driven decisions
The supply chain application that you are using will show you a bunch of data about a specific transit. An ideal application should be able to comb through the data and show you the relevant information first.
How to achieve supply chain visibility?
The lack of supply chain visibility can lead to an inefficient logistics strategy and increased costs. Here are a few ways to achieve supply chain visibility:
- Employ the best supply chain technology
Supply chain visibility is enabled by supply chain management technology, which provides real-time data for visibility into supply chain and logistics. This data helps companies avoid bottlenecks, handle inventory shortages, meet compliance rules and track products through to the final stage of delivery.
The best supply chain visibility applications should enable everyone involved in the supply chain to find where everything is, and what to do when there are disruptions. The best apps share information should real time without any lags. It is also capable of giving timely alerts of potential disruptions in the transit route.
- Integrate systems
Integrate people, applications, machines, and information that is a part of your supply chain to create a connected supply chain that runs at maximum efficiency and eliminates silos. This provides a holistic view of all the activities.
- Work closely with logistics partners and buyers
Making information available to the network of stakeholders involved in the supply chain leads to transparency between suppliers, distributors, and retailers. This makes it easier to know their inputs and find any problems that might impact the delivery of the final product.
Supply chain visibility for increased supply chain resilience
Supply chain experts at Accenture say that many companies use a concept called ‘Intelligent visibility’. A practice that helps firms assess where they are most vulnerable and enables them to see what is occurring across their supply chain using supply chain visibility metrics. Intelligent visibility is of two types; structural visibility and dynamic visibility.
- Structural visibility
This is a snapshot of a company’s supply chain operations at a point in time or over a certain period and helps uncover hidden issues. Structural visibility helps companies understand:
- The location of the suppliers
- The points of manufacturing
- What logistics routes they use, including those of their logistics partners
- Interrelationships across the larger supply chain network
- Potential supply chain risks and weaknesses
- Dynamic visibility
This gives an in-depth view of all the details regarding the finished products in the supply chain. Dynamic visibility allows firms to capture data including:
- The location of individual products across the supply chain
- How the plants and warehouses are running
- When and where disruptions are occurring
- What are the disruptions and how are they affecting processes
Achieving supply chain visibility will mean reduced costs and more automation in supply chain operations for your company. Hiring the best logistic partners can help you enhance your supply chain management while helping you to achieve faster delivery times at reduced costs.
Solutions like Logistics from Tata nexarc can help you find the trusted logistics partners to transport your goods across India at affordable prices.