Globalization has made delivery networks much more complicated. Due to large transportation networks, international shipping, numerous compliance standards, etc., supply chains are complicated and opaque. By leveraging data, SCV seeks to strengthen and improve the supply chain.
Gathering current information
Success for supply chain transparency lies in capturing real-time data. Key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to the supply chain should be monitored in real time to avoid last-minute logistics issues that reduce margins. SCV technologies strengthen and improve the entire supply chain by providing continuous access to data for all stakeholders. Data collection processes to improve supply chain visibility involve a variety of operations.
For example, typical information captured as part of SCV includes the following:
- Data on the origin of product orders
- Real-time data on the delivery time of products
- Relevant data on order status and receipt of items by other distributors
- Records of compliance and regulatory data for the entire supply chain
Positive effects of a transparent supply chain
A company can assume responsibility toward the environment and society and strengthen the trust of its customers and partners by making its supply chain transparent to learn what happens upstream and downstream in the supply chain.
The ultimate goal is also to maximize efficiency and respond to changes as quickly as possible.
- Relevant product order traceability data can provide a great competitive advantage. A company can use this information to determine the exact timing of material orders, discussions with suppliers, and delivery of goods to customers.
- Accurate prediction of supply and delivery times for a product is made possible by real-time data from across the supply chain. This improves business operations, tracking of goods, decision making, and sharing of information with customers.
- Customer satisfaction is enhanced: By quickly satisfying customer demand, SCV inventory management helps increase customer satisfaction.
- Compliance is ensured: Global supply chains are subject to numerous compliance requirements related to the sourcing, distribution and taxation of goods. As a business owner, it is critical to keep an eye on how products are handled along the supply chain to ensure compliance.
Use of SCV technology to digitize the supply chain
The supply chain can be digitized in a number of ways to improve visibility, some of which are listed below:
- API interfaces can facilitate data transfer between systems, provide access to data on transportation costs, and speed communication between carriers and suppliers.
- Tracking based on IoT devices can determine how things are moving and whether adverse conditions are affecting them. The sensors provide information about the condition of the products and how they are being transported.
- With the use of blockchain technology, companies can improve the monitoring and certification of goods, document flow, delivery routes, payment provisioning, security (fraud reduction, authenticity verification, etc.), and optimize secure and permitted access to all supply chain information.
- Predictive analytics are based on systems for unified and standardized data models. Theirs can be used, for example, to prove sustainable origin of goods. They are used throughout the supply chain to retrieve, cleanse and download both internal and external information.
What to consider when implementing SCV technology
SCV technologies enable logistics companies to significantly optimize costs, improve planning and decision-making, and improve customer service, among other things. However, the introduction of new SCV technologies is slowed down by a number of difficult aspects, such as a lack of information and time.
Modernizing inventory management, production, and distribution, e.g., using MRP procedures, bar code systems, etc., takes more time than using old technologies. Not many companies have the time necessary to implement supply chain management (SCM) systems and ensure a clear flow of data. There is a lack of professionals to use the new technology. To operate the SCM infrastructure, including IT systems for production, inventory management and distribution, companies need in-house professionals with the necessary skills, must invest in training their employees or hire outside consultants.
- Before and during the deployment of SCV technologies, a company needs potential technology partners to accurately plan the deployment phase and the impacts associated with it, so that there are no problems with the distribution and delivery of items to warehouses at some point during the deployment of the technology.
- Moreover, to effectively use the data collected, it takes not only technology, but also human intelligence. Some companies do not believe that more complex data will actually benefit their business. Complete supply chain visibility can only be achieved if everyone is aware of the benefits of real-time data and collects it.
In conclusion, Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) technology plays a crucial role in strengthening and improving the transparency of the entire supply chain. By capturing real-time data on the origin of product orders, delivery time, order status, compliance, and regulatory data, SCV technology helps companies make accurate predictions, improve customer satisfaction, ensure compliance, and make informed decisions. The digitization of the supply chain through API interfaces, IoT devices, blockchain technology, and predictive analytics can help companies optimize costs, improve planning and decision-making, and provide secure and permitted access to information. However, the implementation of SCV technology is slowed down by a lack of time, lack of professionals, and the need for accurate planning and human intelligence.
A digital logistics platform that offers just-in-time transports, avoids empty runs and paperless documentation can help companies streamline their supply chain operations and achieve complete supply chain visibility.