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Overcoming Barriers To Supply Chain Visibility: A Quick Guide

Evolving customer expectations and an alarming need to make operations cost-effective are driving supply chain and logistics businesses across verticals to act upon the monumental visibility problem. Organizations are finally waking up to the fact that disparate supply chain units cannot work in silos anymore. As much as 94% of supply chain and logistics businesses say that they do not have “full visibility” of supply chain operations.

Traditional ways of executing supply chain, lack of system interoperability, no real-time insights and a dearth of digitalization are some of the major factors that fuel visibility challenges across supply chains.

Traditional methods of executing supply chain operations have inherent limitations when it comes to ensuring end-to-end operational visibility. These practices are heavily dependent on manual processes making it difficult if not impossible to track and trace ground-level supply chain activities like warehousing, delivery operations, in-plant movements of goods and more. This, in turn, increases operational expenses, risks and prolongs delivery cycles. 

Systems working in silos is another major barrier to improving supply chain visibility. If disparate IT architectures are not interoperable, it becomes impossible to gain a holistic view of supply chain operations, accurately benchmark delivery KPIs and ensure seamless logistics operations. For instance, if there is a complete disconnect between an order management system and a transport management system, it will be extremely difficult to allocate delivery jobs and track goods that are in transit.

Today, achieving end-to-end visibility of supply chain and logistics processes is not a herculean task anymore. An advanced supply chain and logistics visibility platform can make disparate legacy systems interoperable, deliver predictive visibility, track fleet in real-time, keep customers updated on delivery proceedings and more. Altogether, these help enterprises deliver high levels of transparency in supply chain and logistics functions. In short, it easily addresses the age-old supply chain visibility problem.

Why Supply Chain Visibility Matters

Even though in general terms supply chain visibility is mostly associated with tracking and tracing fleet, it’s actually so much more than that. It encapsulates visibility of freight, customer experience, inventory availability, route planning, insights into delivery KPIs and more. A supply chain and logistics visibility platform offer a holistic approach to ensuring visibility across different functions and value chains. Here is how.

Enhanced Customer Experience

To thrive in the age of instant gratification, businesses need to provide visibility to customers at every step of the delivery process. A supply chain and logistics visibility platform constantly updates customers as to what’s happening with a delivery, when was it shipped, who is going to deliver, ETAs and more. Organizations that are transparent with their delivery process have a large base of loyal customers and according to Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profit.

Also Read,

Overcoming Challenges in Achieving Supply Chain Visibility in 2020

Four Reasons Why Supply Chain Visibility is More Important Than You Think

Supply Chain Visibility – An Elusive Predictability

Reduced Delivery Costs

Leveraging a visibility platform enterprises can gain crucial insights from real-time data generated by fleet movement. They can easily eliminate unnecessary diversions, vehicle idling time and prolonged breaks. This can help enterprises save millions of dollars in the guise of fewer miles traveled, increased driver productivity and reduced fuel consumption. Overall reducing the cost incurred per delivery. 

Improved Procurement

In a production environment, there are a lot of stakes in terms of managing continuity and keeping the production cycle up and running without any hiccups. Lack of proper planning of stocking at production time could not only lead to a chain reaction that ultimately affects the end customer but also causes undesirable disruptions in everyday operations. It also leads to unplanned activities that affect yard management, dock management and triggers a vicious cycle of contingencies that are difficult to handle. A visibility platform makes procurement processes transparent and therefore can help a great deal to avoid these above-mentioned scenarios which are counter-productive to the interests of the business.

Accurate KPI Benchmarking

Accurately measuring performances of 3PLs, delivery executives and routes are important to make logistics a cost-effective business function. A supply chain and logistics visibility platform carefully analyze previous performances of individual last-mile delivery stakeholders and routes by leveraging machine learning capabilities and recommends the best possible delivery partner and route to execute last-mile operations. It even motivates delivery executives by empowering them to analyze their own performance with regards to the number of successful deliveries, delayed deliveries and benchmark their own performance against peers. 

Risk Mitigation 
Predictive visibility is indispensable when it comes to risk mitigation. Leveraging machine learning businesses can quickly analyze historical data regarding route performance and can significantly reduce the chances of theft and pilferage, helping logistics stakeholders get proactive when dealing with risks and delays. Large manufacturing businesses have successfully eliminated chances of theft and pilferage by more than 55% and have saved millions of dollars of worth cargo from being stolen. 

To better understand how lack of logistics visibility is affecting your bottom line and learn how a traditional manufacturer leveraged digitalization to address the challenge, signup for a quick demo here.