Cloud technology is one of the most important advancements in business in the last decade. It has allowed for businesses to store and share information more easily, saving time and money.
But how can cloud technology help with supply chain visibility?
There are three keys to supply chain visibility through a cloud: data sharing, communication tools, and reconfiguration capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
What Is Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply chain visibility is the ability to track and monitor supply chain activities, processes, and data in near-real time. This allows businesses to identify issues and bottlenecks, optimize operations, and improve performance.
There are many benefits of supply chain visibility, including:
- Improved customer satisfaction: By being able to track orders and shipments, businesses can provide their customers with up-to-date information on the status of their order. This helps to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Reduced inventory costs: By having visibility into the supply chain, businesses can more accurately forecast demand and plan their inventory accordingly. This helps to reduce unnecessary stock levels and the associated costs.
- Improved supplier performance: By monitoring supplier performance, businesses can identify issues early and take corrective action to improve supplier performance. This helps to reduce disruptions and ensure a smooth supply chain operation.
- Reduced risk: By being able to track shipments and monitor inventory levels, businesses can reduce the risk of stockouts and other disruptions. This helps to protect the business from potential losses.
How Can You Achieve Supply Chain Visibility?
There are a number of ways to achieve supply chain visibility. The most important step is to choose the right technology solution for your business.
There are many different software platforms and applications available, so it’s important to select one that will meet your specific needs. Once you have the right technology in place, you can begin to track and monitor your supply chain data.
Another key to achieving supply chain visibility is to establish clear communication channels between all of the different parties involved. This includes suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers, and customers.
By having an open line of communication, you can quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise.
Achieving supply chain visibility requires a commitment from all of the different parties involved. But the benefits are well worth the effort. By having complete visibility into your supply chain, you can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
Supply Chain Visibility Goals
Here are some of the goals of supply chain visibility:
The goal of supply chain visibility is to mitigate disruptions. By understanding where your products are at all times, you can avoid potential delays and ensure that your customers receive their orders on time.
In the event of a disruption, such as a natural disaster or a supplier issue, visibility allows you to identify the problem and take steps to resolve it quickly.
In addition to mitigating disruptions, supply chain visibility can also help you improve the efficiency of your operations.
By understanding where your products are and how they are moving through your supply chain, you can identify bottlenecks and optimize your processes. This information can also be used to forecast demand and plan production levels accordingly.
Supply chain visibility can also boost your agility. In today’s fast-paced business environment, being able to respond quickly to changes in demand is critical. With visibility, you can see when a customer’s order is going to be delayed and take steps to expedite it.
You can also use visibility data to adjust your production levels in real-time, ensuring that you always have the right products in stock.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Finally, supply chain visibility can help you improve customer satisfaction. By providing your customers with up-to-date information on the status of their orders, you can keep them informed and reduce the likelihood of them experiencing delays.
This transparency can also build trust and loyalty, making your customers more likely to do business with you in the future.
Types Of Supply Chain Visibility
Below are the common types of supply chain visibility:
Accurate and up-to-date records are critical for any business, but they are especially important in the supply chain. Inaccurate or outdated records can disrupt the flow of goods, ultimately affecting the bottom line. That’s why auditing records is a key part of supply chain visibility.
There are two main types of audits that can be performed on supply chain records:
- Operational audits: These audits focus on the day-to-day operations of the supply chain and ensure that all processes are being followed correctly. This includes things like verifying that orders are being fulfilled on time and that goods are being properly tracked throughout the supply chain.
- Financial audits: As the name implies, financial audits focus on the financial aspects of the supply chain. This includes verifying that invoices are accurate and that payments are being made on time. Financial audits can also help identify areas where cost savings could be achieved.
Auditing records is an important part of supply chain visibility because it helps to ensure that the supply chain is running smoothly and efficiently. By identifying and correcting errors, audits can help to improve the overall performance of the supply chain.
Rates visibility is the ability to see, track and compare the rates charged for goods and services throughout the supply chain. This information can be used to negotiate better rates with suppliers, identify areas where cost savings could be achieved, and generally make more informed decisions about how the supply chain is run.
Rates visibility is typically achieved through the use of a rate management system. This is a software application that stores and tracks rate information. The system can be used to generate reports detailing the rates charged for specific goods or services, as well as comparisons between different suppliers.
A rate management system can be a valuable tool for achieving supply chain visibility because it provides insight into the cost of goods and services. This information can be used to make informed decisions about where to source goods and services, and how to negotiate better rates with suppliers.
Supply Chain Activities
There are many different activities that take place within a supply chain. Some of these activities are more visible than others, but all of them play a role in the overall functioning of the supply chain.
The following are some examples of activities that take place within a supply chain:
- Order management: This is the process of taking customer orders and ensuring that they are fulfilled correctly. This includes things like taking customer phone calls, processing customer orders, and tracking the progress of those orders through the supply chain.
- Inventory management: This is the process of keeping track of the inventory levels throughout the supply chain. This includes things like ordering new inventory from suppliers, storing inventory, and distributing inventory to customers.
- Transportation management: This is the process of managing the transportation of goods throughout the supply chain. This includes things like scheduling shipments, routing shipments, and tracking the progress of shipments.
- Warehouse management: This is the process of managing the storage and distribution of goods in a warehouse. This includes things like receiving shipments, storing goods, picking orders, and shipping orders.
- Supplier management: This is the process of managing the relationships with suppliers. This includes things like negotiating contracts, placing orders, and tracking payments.
3 Key Points Of The Benefits Of Supply Chain Visibility Through A Cloud
Below are the 3 key points of the benefits the cloud can bring companies in their supply chain and logistics operations:
Moving wholesale distribution processes to the cloud makes it possible for data to flow seamlessly. It brings about improved communications between the wholesalers and their customers.
Now everyone can work in sync with the same data, audit trails, and real-time accuracy at every stage. Having a common platform will ensure a smooth flow of communications and a high level of accuracy.
Single data set
Rather than data stored on multiple platforms, applications of spreadsheets, all data is now consolidated from a single source. This saves time, effort, and money in having to manage and process data from multiple sources. The cloud enables wholesale distributors to build and manage a single data set on trading partner performance.
In fact, from a Detrack point of view, some of our users are using Detrack as a platform to consolidate all the delivery data and share it with their customers and vendors (often 4PLs).
By doing so, the level of communication between stakeholders has improved bringing about a significant increase in the last mile delivery efficiency and cost savings.
Business and IT agility
From an IT perspective, using a validated prebuilt application from a software vendor on the cloud is faster and far less costly compared to on-premise solutions (which often come with hefty additional costs including maintenance, updating, training, setup, etc).
Choosing a cloud solution that meets your needs translates to more resources to be channeled into building the business, not managing IT.
Gain Supply Chain Visibility with our Cloud-based App
Companies that adopt supply chain visibility reap substantial financial rewards and trade faster, more efficiently, and with fewer risks. Improved data accuracy reduces the number of errors in inventory.
As a result, companies avoid costly mistakes, ship products on time, and improve customer satisfaction rates. In addition to reducing risk, adopting supply chain visibility also enables companies to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
By being able to track goods throughout the supply chain, companies can quickly adapt to changes in consumer demand or unexpected events that might impact production schedules. When you have real-time information about your supply chain at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever before to make decisions that lead to improved efficiency and profitability.
To see how Detrack can help you gain better visibility and control over your supply chain, create an account and get instant access with our limited trial.