High visibility is needed for effective supply chains


visibilityCompanies that know how every part of their supply chains function are better placed than those still in the dark. This statement is far from controversial, so all that remains is to convince supply chain managers that the benefits of enhanced visibility outweigh the costs of implementing the new technology it requires. Compliance expert and field CEO Greg

Holder recently told Supply Chain Digest some of the benefits that companies can reap from enjoying visibility over the supply chain process and some of the ways that changes can be made. Holder told the source in more detail what the benefits could be should companies monitor products more closely. High visibility means more risk management capability for businesses, as problems will be readily apparent when and if they arise. If every part of a manufacturing and shipping process is monitored, the exact site of any problem becomes easy to identify, saving companies significant amounts of time and money on trouble diagnoses.

"Visibility also provides insight to make more intelligent decisions early in the order cycle (just in time inventory) and perform more intelligent audits in the distribution centers on inbound shipments (expense savings). Finally visibility can also be a major driver increasing throughput in the existing distribution network and thus delaying the need for costly new DCs," Holder told the source.

Holder stressed that predictability is one of the greatest benefits of visibility. Companies with knowledge of every link of their supply chain can build advanced models about business performance. These companies use their data to determine whether their average order is late, volumes are off and by how much they are missing targets. That information can lead to closely targeted models aimed at improving specific processes. Targeted fixes are faster and more affordable to implement than wide-reaching programs and have the potential to be just as effective.

According to a survey conducted by Global Industry Analysts, more companies are investing in supply chain management strategies that focus on visibility, reflected in a spike of sales for RFID tags. Companies are eager for real-time reporting from their increasingly busy supply chains and are turning to the tags to provide a cohesive view of their distribution networks. With the cost of the technology dropping and standards being developed, the new chipless version of RFID tagging is serving as an entry point for companies eager to adopt a new strategy with high awareness of every step.