5 Ways to Improve Supply Chain Visibility
The whole objective of supply chain visibility is to gain meaningful insight into the processes, so as to identify areas for betterment. Without a complete visibility of the end-to-end supply chain, discovery of issues could be possible, however what is causing them may not be observable. This is particularly true of big companies with supply chains across the globe. In this scenario, it’s just a guess and check approach to identify concerns and fix them. However, with strong visibility, one is in position to make the right calls as soon as an issue arises.
Achieving true supply chain visibility is not an easy task and certainly is not achievable in a fortnight. It requires a careful step-by-step approach to reach the complete level of transparency sought in the supply chain. Here are 5 ways to improve supply chain visibility:
1. Define Clear Objectives
Majority of processes start by defining clear objectives, and achieving supply chain visibility is no different. Although a strong visibility offers meaningful insights about the complete supply chain, one needs to concentrate on certain points of priority. For instance, are there issues with timely deliveries? Or discovery that the excess inventory levels are constantly high?
In the end, the objective of ‘fixing the supply chain’ is very dubious. However, the objective of cutting down the excess inventory levels in next 6 months is much more specific. This not only offers an actionable course of action to solve the issue but also allows one to quantify and monitor objectives.
2. Integrate Systems
Let us now look at the software aspect of the process. There is a possibility that multiple software systems are employed throughout the supply chain. The supply chain visibility depends on the fact that one has full access to all the information at any given time. Thus, if there are multiple systems in place, it becomes quite a handful task. In such a case there is a need to integrate the different pieces of software so that all the information can be collected from the supply chain in a single place.
3. Collect all the Information
The most critical aspect of achieving supply chain visibility is the actual collection of the data. It can be anything from employee work hours to supply chain related data. It is near impossible to manually collect all this information in real-time. This is the stage where you need the supply chain software. It collects the data in real-time and keeps you updated with all the latest information. It also offers supply chain insights in real- time that allows you to make necessary changes if and when required.
4. Evaluate the Information
In spite of the fact that the supply chain visibility software can gather all sorts of data, it is important to focus more on the data sets that are relevant to the set objectives. Several systems have the features of setting up dashboards to keep a close on specific data sets. In addition to this, the best systems also have reporting features. With this, you can develop visual reports that give actionable insights to optimize the business process.
5. Make the Necessary Changes
This is a very obvious step and the subhead says it all!
Once the underlying challenges in the supply chain are found, it is critical to take suitable actions to address those issues.
Best Supply Chain Visibility Software Suppliers:
- SAP Supply Chain Management
- Oracle E-Business Suite SCM
- Sage ERP X3
- GT Nexus Supply Chain Management Solutions