According to a new report from the Aberdeen Group, 63 percent of the 149 firms polled with global supply chains listed increased visibility over partners and suppliers as a top priority. Additionally, another 28 percent listed further supply chain visibility as a medium-level priority.
The research also found that the top one-fifth of companies claimed to comply with the standards set forth by GS1, the global supply chain standards organization. Increasingly, all disparate supply chain partners need to have greater oversight over the entire process, which is why those firms that utilize GS1 data collection standards are twice as likely as other firms to monitor their supply chains either on a per-unit or a per-container level.
"Increasing visibility is a critical strategy for enterprises aimed at reducing costs and improving operational performance in the context of their increasingly complex and multi-tiered global supply-demand networks," said Bob Heaney, a senior research analyst at Aberdeen specializing in supply chain management. "The importance is only amplified for those with global supply chains and partners."
Rising Disruption Concerns Prompt More Investment
Many firms have long relied upon global networks, but rising compliance and disaster recovery concerns may be pushing this most recent demand for more supply chain logistics management solutions. Gary Love, vice president and staff operations underwriting manager at FM Global, said at the recent Property Insights Conference that in the aftermath of calamitous events such as the 2011 Japanese tsunami and Hurricane Sandy last year, companies are finally starting to realize just how many supply chain partners they have and just how fragile their increasingly vital networks are to disruptions, PropertyCasualty360 reported.
While major disasters from over the past five years have taught companies about the dangers of not knowing about multi-tiered supply chain partners, many corporations still fail at supply chain optimization because they do not take into account all the inherent risks and they lack the means of ensuring effective oversight, Jill Dalton, partner at consulting firm Dempsey Partners, said at the event.
One way to address these concerns is to ensure that a standardized barcode data collection system is implemented across the entire supply chain. This allows a business to not only have oversight over its internal supply chain processes, but also makes it easier for other disparate firms to feed information into the same system. With this kind of configuration in place, organizations are far more likely to realize supply chain successes both now and in the future.
"End to end supply chain visibility has never been more important for all involved parties to speak the same language," GS1 president and CEO Miguel Lopera said.