Supply_Chain_Visibility.jpgThe nature of global supply and demand networks introduces distance, cultural and time-zone challenges. These, in turn, create increasing complexity, which is difficult to see into and manage.

Ongoing mergers and acquisitions create even more complexity as each new division finds itself operating in silos and unable to leverage economies of scale across the organisation. Such complexity makes it difficult for businesses to see what is happening in their international supply chain in real-time and could cause global supply chain challenges:

• Lack of visibility of global shipments moving through the supply chain.
• Lack of consistent and timely collaboration with international suppliers.
• Unpredictable lead times on international shipments.
• Excess inventory of raw materials and finished goods at supply chain nodes.
• Silo challenges of focussing on individual metrics versus corporate costs.

Below are three capabilities that are key to attaining global supply chain visibility.

1. Quick access to global supply chain information

For better decision making and taking the right actions businesses must look out for what is new and innovative. Global visibility enables you and your organisation to monitor performance across purchase-order and service-operation lifecycle processes, global trade requirements, products, customers and suppliers, you can then cut down to the details when required. Access to global supply chain information enables better decision-making.

2. Proactive supply chain alerts

Success depends largely on the ability to manage the unexpected. Count on supply chain visibility to help your business identify key metrics and create alerts to enhance management by expecting capabilities and taking instant corrective action. It is easier to proactively identify trends and events that lead to performance issues. Supply chain visibility helps automate the decision process, making it easy for employees to focus on business activities that require attention.

3. Efficient collaboration with global trading partners

Business partners worldwide vary greatly in strategic importance, size, technical sophistication and communication capabilities. These partners include suppliers, customers, carriers, customer brokers, etc. Visibility brings this all together and utilises existing infrastructure without the need for extensive integration projects. Better communication allows you to increase revenue by decreasing out-of-stock situations and ensure products are available and delivered to customers in the promised timeframe.

Adapted from ‘Three Must-Have Capabilities to Achieve Global Supply Chain Visibility’ published by Amber Road.