Why Improving Supply Chain Visibility is More Important Now than Ever

Why Improving Supply Chain Visibility is More Important Now than Ever

Why Improving Supply Chain Visibility is More Important Now than Ever
Why Improving Supply Chain Visibility is More Important Now than Ever

Supply chains around the world have been turned on their heads in the face of a global pandemic. It wasn’t that long ago that people were fighting over toilet paper and hand soap as supermarkets struggled to replenish their shelves and keep up with demand.

The problem wasn’t necessarily the lack of immediate product availability, but rather in not knowing when supply channels would correct themselves and regain predictability.

This isn’t a unique problem to consumer goods, either. Many industries, from aerospace to cabinet manufacturing, are also feeling the effects of supply chain disruptions. And without having visibility into the supply chain at large, it’s becoming increasingly harder to restore confidence in buyers and partners.

Does Supply Chain Visibility Matter?

Supply chains continue to grow in complexity, particularly as more connections, vendors, and partners are now linked overseas. And while these complex networks may offer many benefits, it also invites risk into business operations when the supply chain isn’t well developed or managed.

Supply chain visibility refers to the ability to know where inventory is at any given time. Companies need to be able to track the movement of their products and know when to expect their arrival. When delays occur at some point in the supply chain, it creates a domino effect that impacts all downstream participants and end users.

Knowing how products travel from source to destination allows companies to better understand this aspect of their operations, which may allow them to avoid (or at the very least, plan ahead for) the following risks:

  • Supply Chain Disruption. Disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic can and do happen. Companies can identify potential risks to their supply chains before they occur to mitigate damage IF they understand how their supply network functions.
  • Poor Supplier Partnerships: Consumers and companies alike have high expectations when it comes to quality and country of origin. Knowing who has a stake in your supply chain allows you to uphold specific initiatives, such as sustainability or ethical practices. It also lets you hold each of your partners to high-quality standards.
  • Incorrect Data: Your data is one of your most valuable assets. Without full visibility into that data, companies may struggle to collaborate with vendors and partners, predict obstacles or delays, or improve efficiency throughout the supply network.

Things You Can Start Doing Today to Improve Supply Chain Visibility

There’s no doubt that supply chain visibility offers a number of advantages to all participants, including the end user. To get there, take the first step: make it a priority.

Then, do the following:

Identify potential gaps

If your supply chain has been impacted by the pandemic, it’s time to review your supply operations to see what bottlenecks or inefficiencies are inhibiting business continuity and resilience.

Explore supply chain data tools

Aim for real-time data tools that can give you instant insights into your supply chain. This level of transparency ensures everyone involved is working from the most up-to-date data at any given time.

Review your supplier partnerships

Now is an excellent time to review your current partnerships and explore new opportunities to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Make sure your partners prioritize supply chain visibility and efficiency just as much as you do and understand what they do to support your needs.

At etaGLOBAL, we’re dedicated to your success. Contact us today to learn how we can help you build continuity and resilience in your supply chain.