In order to properly manage their supply chains, it is essential for retailers and manufacturers to increase visibility throughout the supply chain. By increasing supply chain visibility, companies can monitor on shelf availability, lost sales, inventory turnover and consumer demand. Here are three ways your company can increase its supply chain visibility:
- Upgrade Technology
Technology must provide data in a quick, effective view that is relevant to specific users. Companies are resource strapped and people are asked to do more with less, making efficiency more important than ever. Manufacturers and retailers need a sophisticated cloud-based supply chain management system (SCM) technology that provides data in real time, analyzes data automatically, identifies potential issues and provides possible solutions. In addition, the right technology should not only provide visibility into what has happened, but the “why.” This will move companies from a reactive supply chain to a proactive supply chain and help avoid typical supply chain outages and disconnects.
- Centralize Data
Ensuring the credibility of your data is important as nothing will stop people from trusting a systems data more quickly than if it is inaccurate. The practice of cleansing and harmonizing ensures data is accurate and that partners across the supply chain have a common view of the truth. Pulling data from different systems into a cloud-based, centralized data repository makes it easier to institute and maintain the discipline of cleansing and harmonizing data. In addition, centralized data provides manufacturers and retailers a complete, consolidated view of what is happening within their supply chains.
- Foster Collaboration
Simply looking within your own four walls gives you part of the picture but true collaboration demands visibility across the entire supply chain. A supply chain that is driven by consumer demand needs collaboration between trading partners, distributors, retailers and consumers in order to obtain the visibility needed to be responsive to consumer trends. In addition, eliminating silos within an organization gives a holistic view of the organization’s role in the supply chain.
There are many companies that can benefit from a higher level of visibility in their supply chain. These three steps will give manufacturers and retailers a detailed view of their supply chain helping them become more flexible, efficient and profitable.