Improving visibility into the supply chain

During peak periods, supply chains may experience more disruptions than usual. Supply chain managers must anticipate disruptions, but they cannot do it alone.

By leveraging supply chain networks, supply chain managers can make real-time decisions and take corrective action at earlier stages to minimize damage down the road. With greater supply chain visibility, supply chain managers can more easily identify problems, reduce risk and save costs.

Operation of Supply Chain Networks

More businesses and industries, such as supply chains, rely on a global network of suppliers, contract manufacturers, logistics providers, and other shipping and transportation partners. Supply chains now work with a network of partners to serve the end customer. Successful partnerships have seen cost reductions, fewer complications and disruptions, on-time deliveries and satisfied customers.

This is possible because, using a large supply chain network, businesses and partners can exchange information and collaborate and work securely in real time, which is useful during peak periods. Doing so empowers businesses to focus on bottom-line opportunities while minimizing risks and inefficiencies.

To promote this information sharing, it is important to implement various systems that sort, filter and organize data, allowing partners to retrieve the data they need. Having a network of partners creates significant improvements in demand, supply, logistics and global trade ecosystems and enables businesses to work together and drive solutions across the supply chain.

Today, there are many platforms, such as the Supply Application Suite, that allow collaboration with suppliers and contract manufacturers at every level of the multi-enterprise supply chain. Such tools allow supply chain managers to monitor and automate real-time information sharing between partners to increase efficiency, improve quality, adhere to consistent standards, establish supply availability and reduce supply risk.

This platform enables smarter decision-making and results by building trust and confidence in the network and through efficiency and collaboration for effective decision-making, increased profitability and greater agility to handle unexpected orders.

The importance of supply chain visibility

With an established network of partners, supply chain managers will also be able to have greater visibility into supply chains. It is imperative to gain visibility so that supply chain managers know what is happening from the beginning, the middle, and the end, so that potential problems can be identified, and actions can be planned and processed accordingly in real time.

In addition to anticipating problems, it is equally important for supply chain managers to take corrective action when a problem occurs. With information shared by partners, supply chain managers can respond in real-time to make time-sensitive decisions that can mitigate a potential major disruption and problem.

Because multiple partners and intermediaries are involved, this can sometimes add an extra level of complexity to decision-making. Therefore, with proper integration of partners and intermediaries, supply chain managers will gain the necessary visibility needed to make optimal decisions without interfering with each other’s goals. With greater visibility into supply chains, supply chain managers and businesses can improve customer service, experience and cost control through inventory management, status updates and risk mitigation.

For better visibility and control of the supply chain, it is important to collect data from all upstream and downstream partners, regardless of their level and ecosystem. Likewise, supply chain managers themselves must provide real-time updates and instructions to partners, making it an effective collaboration for better visibility across all points.

With more advancements in technology, especially the supply chain industry should follow these changes as it will be beneficial for them. For example, today there are tools for supply chain managers to use to gain end-to-end visibility and control through a single, automated operational platform.

This tool provides an enhanced level of data visibility that includes accurate predictable arrival times and logistics visibility for logistics operations teams to gain insight into shipments moving across all modes, regions and shipping lines. This feature collects and links data from all global partners and analyzes it into comprehensive, high-quality and timely data for supply chain managers to accurately predict problems.

By doing so, supply chain managers can move at a faster pace when they are aware of what is expected and can therefore take action instantly. Additionally, because supply chain managers can make changes as needed, it enables them to meet evolving customer demands, especially during peak and holiday periods.

They are able to take action and implement what is needed to meet customer requirements in a timely manner, enhancing the customer experience.

As supply chains grow, they must ensure they keep up with evolving changes and trends to remain competitive. One of the ways they differentiate themselves is how they manage peak and holiday periods. To ensure that they perform at their best in time, it is imperative that they leverage supply chain networks, as collaboration with partners will yield greater results. By gaining visibility into supply chains, supply chain managers and businesses will be able to anticipate problems, make changes, minimize disruptions and save costs.

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