4 Challenges and Solutions for End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility

Dustin Caudell
Tue, Mar 24, 2015

Supply chain visibility is an increasingly important factor in today's manufacturing industry. The seemingly most successful firms are open and honest about their supply chain operations and practices, leaving little room for outside discrimination. This practice helps companies promote themselves as an honest and ethical organization, both of which are key to improving brand reputation and customer retention.

As supply chains grow in complexity and span different continents, companies need the right solutions to improve operational oversight. Comprehensive supply chain management software is essential to improving oversight and meeting fluid global demand. Companies can improve visibility by connecting their IT infrastructure through the entire network. The overview of all processes across the supply chain from supplier to the end customer can lead to a reduction in costs and improve service levels while also mitigating risks. 

For a modern-day manufacturer, full supply chain transparency is a key to driving bottom-line gains. In fact, according to a recent industry white paper, there are five areas transparency adds value to a supply chain

  1. Customer Satisfaction: Improved visibility can lead to better service levels if a company knows the state of production at all times.
  2. Inventory Management: Dynamic markets require strategic inventory management and need the flexibility to scale as demand grows.
  3. Procurement: selected and targeted information is in demand. Businesses need to the ability to obtain supply chain data when necessary.
  4. Risk Management: Manufacturers can identify potential risks and mitigate these challenges as they arise. Improved oversight helps douse potential fires in the supply chain.
  5. Supply Chain Cost: Transparency helps optimize the use of resources and decrease overall costs. 

Integrate IT with the Supply Chain
Today's cutting-edge IT systems and mobile data collection solutions provide manufacturers with the comprehensive visibility they need. Companies today need to have enough oversight to look up stream in the supply chain and predict where demand may shift in the near and distant future. Complete supply chain transparency - achieved through the latest supply chain management solutions - can help manufacturers not only mitigate risks and reduce operational costs, but also help organizations forecast and plan to meet market needs as they come to fruition.

End-to-end visibility can dramatically improve an entire supply chain operation. The key to achieving this holy grail is to acquire and integrate the necessary data. Information that allows a business to scale is critical to meeting demand as it arises. Companies can create a demand-driven supply chain if they implement the right solutions and improve oversight through their IT infrastructure.

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