Supply Chain Visibility Technologies

Supply Chain Visibility Technologies: What’s Driving Retailers to Implement More?

Supply chain management has evolved, and the underlying technologies used by supply chain leaders have transformed the way supply chains operate. An entire array of supply chain visibility technologies, ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT) to big data analytics, empower supply chain leaders to make informed decisions. Gains within supply chain visibility have a direct benefit on profitability, proactive management, and more. Supply chain leaders need to understand the challenges driving the adoption of such technologies, their benefits, and a few tips for implementation.

Challenges Solved by Supply Chain Visibility Technologies 

Supply chain visibility technologies increase the level of oversight and accuracy within the supply chain. This is most commonly applied to inventory management, but it has implications for all operations. For example, increased visibility within shipping processes may open the door to instances of overbilling or inaccurate rate invoicing. Consider these critical challenges in the supply chain and how visibility could solve the problem:

  • Lack of real-time data. Increased visibility means collecting data more often, so real-time data access is available.
  • Inability to collect data. Limited resources and technologies decrease the frequency of data collection, but visibility technologies leverage automation to collect and apply data on the fly.
  • Poor visibility contributes to assumptions, not data-driven decision making. Supply chain leaders cannot improve what they cannot measure, and poor visibility will lead to assumptions.
  • Increasing consumer demand for faster service. Customers also expect faster, more efficient service, including automated notifications for every product movement, so visibility improvements will naturally lead to greater transparency for consumers.
  • Changes within regulations governing supply chain processes. The transparency topic also applies to government regulations. Improved visibility will result in enhanced compliance with such regulations.

Benefits of Better Supply Chain Visibility

The benefits of better supply chain visibility are significant and include:

  • Transition to proactive supply chain management, such as using visual tools in planning to meet increased consumer demands.
  • Improved labor management, reducing the costs associated with high employee turnover, and improving employee morale at the same time.
  • Enhanced accuracy in forecasting, increasing accountability, and offering a way for consumers to get their favorite products at your business, regardless of the season.
  • Reduced risk for disruption, which, according to Supply Chain Brain, reduce disruptions by 30%.
  • Enables agile management, responding to changing demands within your network, and further reducing risk of poor customer service.

What Do Retailers Need to Do Right Now?

Remember this acronym, EATERS:

  • Evaluate Your Systems. Reviewing the current systems used in your supply chain will help leaders identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as build the business case for upgrades.
  • Assess Available Solutions. If upgrading is necessary, it is essential to thoroughly review available solutions, focusing on features and functionality in off-the-shelf solutions. This will help you choose the best solution for your needs.
  • Test Chosen Solutions Before Initial Implementation. Testing is a critical part of the implementation process. Failure to test will lead to delays and disruption.
  • Evaluate Again, Reviewing the Functionality and Benefits of New Systems. Even after testing, remember to review the system’s functions, capabilities, and benefits. This will increase adoption rates among staff and generate faster ROI.
  • Retrofit Your Supply Chain With Automated Technologies, Including the IoT. Installing automated sensors and technologies will further refine the supply chain and increase visibility, making the supply chain more responsive and intuitive.
  • Share in the Work and Reward by Partnering With an Expert. Change can be hard, so more companies choose to work with an expert, such as Veridian, to streamline the process.

Join the Push Toward Increased Supply Chain Visibility

The rewards of supply chain visibility technologies impact every activity in your network. More visibility reduces risk and provides a massive jolt to the efficiency and productivity of your network. More importantly, it ensures transparency for customers and governing bodies alike. These are prerequisites to building a successful, omnichannel supply chain. If your organization is ready to augment its omnichannel supply chain, request a consultation online with Veridian today.

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