Businesses are spreading across the globe, and so are their supply chains. Effective supply chain management can be the critical difference between a successful project with a happy customer and failure with unhappy clients, a blow to the reputation, and a potential decrease in revenue. When companies maintain constant attention to their supply chain at all levels, they will be able to ensure that they get the supplies and raw materials required, when it is needed. Supply chain visibility gives the tools and data that are needed to maintain this level of vigilance on productivity. Supply chain visibility includes a set of monitoring tools, supply chain management software, electronic equipment, computer interfaces, and techniques that give information on the exact location and status of the supplies and materials at any given time. It allows manufacturers, retailers, and industrial companies to see the location of products, raw materials, supplies, and other vital materials at any point within the supply chain. A good supply chain visibility solution allows all the stakeholders and the parties involved to view, monitor, and track the movement of supplies through the system. Supply chain visibility helps businesses to boost productivity by providing visibility into critical components in the supply chain process, which include:
Companies can track the manufacturing, creation, or production of the raw materials, parts, components, and finished items. This can include items as common as nuts and bolts or as specialized as custom-made or one-of-a-kind components. For example, if a particular kind of part for the engines that a company makes is in demand, supply chain visibility lets companies know when those parts are scheduled to be made, when the production is underway, and whey they will be completed. This allows better scheduling of processes at the company’s end and avoids delays or shutdowns while waiting on parts, consequently improving supply chain management and operations.
An efficient supply chain visibility system should be able to immediately indicate the on-hand availability of supplies and materials needed for the business operations. The ability to know “how many” or “how much” can be accessed at once is a critical component of planning and productivity. Businesses can be notified well in advance when more supplies or materials need to be ordered. This will also help them to tell how quickly supplies are being used and whether or not there are signs of wastage or other factors that could influence acquisition.
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The supply chain visibility system should allow firms to tracks prices of components, supplies, and raw materials. When this information is available at hand, companies will be able to balance budgetary factors with productivity needs to keep all the processes moving forward.
A good supply chain visibility system also gives detailed information about the delivery. Delays in the delivery of parts, materials, or supplies can significantly reduce productivity in many business operations. By having the ability to track shipment at all steps from the provider to the company’s facility, companies can keep constant track of their supplies at all times. Whether a commercial carrier is used or direct delivery, businesses will be able to plan their actions and resources to reduce delays and enhance productivity.