Leverage supply chain visibility technology to address discrepancies


supply chain discrepanciesA global enterprise consists of numerous channels, branches, departments and operations, so it takes more than a few set of eyes to oversee the complete business and operational lifecycle.

This underscores the importance of supply chain visibility solutions. Of course business executives must rely on managers to monitor activities in specific departments or locations, but supply chain visibility technology allows supply chain leaders to look into and oversee all processes, data and reports in real time.

Yum identifies issues with providers in China
One example of a global enterprise using supply chain visibility tactics to improve overall performance can be seen at Yum Brands Inc, which recently opted to stop working with more than 1,000 slaughterhouses in China. Yum Brands has decided to tighten its food safety efforts and standards across the supply chain, hoping to increase business after profits suffered from a food contamination incident. The slaughterhouses in China that are being cut from the supply chain failed to meet company standards in food safety measures and performance. Supply chain visibility technology keeps track of company metrics and departmental performance, allowing decision makers to pinpoint what areas of operations should be improved or eliminated when new initiatives are adopted.

In the case of Yum Brands, the Chinese slaughterhouses were found to be distributing chicken supplies with chemical residue. Yum Brands leaders decided to eliminate smaller providers in the supply chain that had failed to modernize operations to meet food safety regulations. The public had already responded to the contamination reports, and Yum Brands felt it was easier to eliminate the troublesome sources of profit losses rather than work with the suppliers to modernize operations.

If a company were to catch the problem early through supply chain visibility technology, however, it may be able to remedy the problem before the discrepancies impact overall supply chain performance, public reputation and profit margins.

When decision makers have access to data within each sector of the business on demand, changes can be made more efficiently and problems can be addressed before they escalate into catastrophic downfalls. 

Why you need eyes in the back of your head
Supply chains are complex, intertwined networks of processes and transactions spread out across various departments and locations. Keeping track of everything going on within a supply chain can be a daunting task, but must remain a priority to keep a company from experiencing a costly delay or discrepancy in regulatory standards that can set back business growth or reduce market share.

Supply chain executives may feel confident in their managers reporting activities, developments and operations to them on a regular basis as enough oversight to keep business running smoothly. Each aspect or location of operations, however, may function under unique processes, procedures or guidelines, which can alter reports.

One distributor, for example, may implement certain standards or oversight tactics that differ greatly from another provider. This can pose a problem for executives looking to ensure operations are compliant with management practices or industry policies.

If one aspect of operations deviates from the standards set forth by decision makers, a ripple effect can occur, disrupting performance and advancement in the market. To address this threat, business leaders should look to supply chain visibility technology to better integrate supply chain processes and locations, including carriers and suppliers.

With locations and operations spanning across geographic locations, many practices may vary and threaten enterprise consistency or compliance. Supply chain visibility solutions provide details on transactions and functionality to determine what departments are falling behind based on performance metrics and industry standards.

How does your supply chain enable access to monitoring and oversight across all operations? Are decision makers able to use integrated technology keep an eye on key operations from afar?