What Is Supply Chain Visibility and Why Is It Important?

Updated on April 1, 2022

Supply chain visibility is the ability to know where your items came from and where they are going to now that you can. It is not easy to do, despite how simple it looks. As a result of bad weather, natural disasters, and other things, a lot of supply chain delays have recently happened.

If you don’t know where your goods are coming from, you’re more likely to have accidents. Corporations were often unaware of important connections in their huge supplier networks. Trying to get back to work after the COVID-19 lockout is the same for businesses.

What is supply chain visibility?

The ability to track raw materials and components all the way back to their original suppliers and producers, all the way to the client. One method to describe this is through supply chain visibility. In retail operations, this term refers to the process of tracking things from the time they leave the supplier until the time they reach the customer.

The chief supply officer, in an ideal situation, would have access to precise information on each order, such as the following:

  • Supplier’s order receipt
  • Raw materials order status
  • Deliverance status
  • Shipping information
  • Clients information
  • And so on….

This data must be trackable in real time for supply chain visibility to be successful, but only a few organizations have attained this level of complexity.

In general, you can see at a glance how the supply chain is moving. You might also go further into the specifics to extract new information.

A range of goods must be easily available when working in a production setting, and you must guarantee that all of the items you want are immediately available. To facilitate order tracking, the company, its suppliers, and those who deliver orders should all use the same computer system.

If there is a well-known problem in your supply chain, it will tell you immediately. All supply chain visibility software systems are linked to give individuals time to settle or make new arrangements.

Why is supply chain visibility important?

The majority of today’s supply networks are quite complex. Geodis conducted a global research of over 600 high-level global supply chain professionals in 2017. When it came to supply chain visibility, they discovered that supply chain complexity was a major concern. Only 6% of those polled said their organization had complete awareness of all internal, inbound, and outgoing components in the supply chain. The majority of firms questioned felt that enhancing supply chain visibility was equally as critical as ensuring that items were available and delivered on time. Those who had complete insight of the supply chain had a greater EBIT from sales on average than those who did not. This demonstrates how critical it is to be able to observe where your goods are going.

They demonstrate the importance of having a well-known supplier network and how it offers you a competitive edge over organizations with less well-known supply chains.

Techniques and Tools to Enhance Supply Chain Visibility

The capacity to observe where your items originate from and where they go is referred to as supply chain visibility. Even while it appears to be simple, it is not. There have lately been some supply chain delays as a result of harsh weather, natural catastrophes, and other factors.

You’re more likely to encounter difficulties if you don’t know what’s going on in the supply chain. Corporations frequently were unaware of critical links in their vast supplier networks. Businesses are having difficulty resuming operations following the COVID-19 lockout.

Facilitates Forecasting

Demand forecasting and planning is a time-consuming task. Small firms may be able to predict how much demand there will be by employing some simple methods. Moving averages and exponential smoothing are also used to adjust for seasonality.

Moving averages are calculated by taking the previous month’s sales data and averaging it over the preceding few months. To calculate the moving average, add the sums of weeks two through five and divide by four. When using moving averages, older data is less valuable than fresh data, but it still functions the same way. Moving averages and exponential smoothing could outperform trend forecasting.

Forecasting demand, reducing unnecessary inventory expenditures, and anticipating price fluctuations are all advantages of supply chain management.

Forecasting is a talent that involves both academic preparation and practical practice. This data must be converted into numbers, compared to other data, and utilized to make meaning of it.

The most essential aspect in determining how much consumers will buy is requests for proposals.

Demand Forecasting impacts

 Below are the possible impacts of the demand forecasting on the supply chain management.

Improved relationships with the supply partners

Supplier relationships and payment terms have gotten better: As part of the raw material planning process, demand forecasting helps purchasing managers make sure they order materials from suppliers on time. When the demand for raw materials is made more obvious and transparent, purchasing managers have more power to get better prices for their businesses. Because of this, they can get better deals for their businesses.

Better quality of resources

Production should be better planned based on how much inventory there is, how much raw material is available, and how many customers are likely to order in the future. Industrial resources are used more efficiently, which leads to more capacity.

Inventory development

Having enough raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods on hand at all times is important, so you need a good Demand Forecast to figure that out. Because of this, the Bullwhip effect has less of an effect on the Supply Chain. As a result, there are less stock-outs and overstocks because inventory levels are better kept track of.

Improved logistics and distributions

The more SKUs and distribution channels a company has and the smaller it is, the more at risk it is. Network managers will be able to better balance their stocks and get better deals from carriers thanks to this new feature.

Better customer experience

Keeping the right amount of stock on hand as well as planning better distribution and logistics can help improve customer service metrics like on-time delivery, complete delivery, case fill rate, and other things, like how many boxes are filled.

Better management of production

The medium- and long-term demand forecasts give more information about when new goods will be put on the market and when they will be taken off the market, as well. New things can be made more quickly, and old ones are less likely to become obsolete, which are both important.

Better overall performance

Managers can use long-term plans made during the Demand Forecasting process to set goals and KPIs for different parts of their businesses. Some parts of a business can be better at being effective, efficient, and productive.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.