Supply chain visibility is a critical function of any modern (and competitively advantageous) supply chain. However, the term itself leads many leaders to focus just on the capture and display of supply chain data.
With today’s growing supply chain complexity, we’re seeing organizations struggle to deliver customer value with their supply chains at a cost that helps to make their business profitable.
It’s a huge problem that is getting more difficult by the day as organizations and supply chain professionals look for answers in their strategies and the technologies they use as the foundation for their supply chains. Oftentimes, the solution is not replacing the legacy systems they have in place but by connecting and extending them with a supply chain control tower.
As organizations move forward with determining how to transform their supply chains, it’s critical to understand that successful supply chains aren’t driven just by more investment into static resources but about agility in the way that we use our assets, investments and partners. The one constant we know is that business changes will happen and these changes will have a direct impact on our supply chains increasing the need to adjust and adapt quickly to drive cost efficient and customer focused practices.
Supply chain control towers are often misunderstood and the term control tower itself can mean different things from different vendors. We have tried to categorize the control towers you’ll see from analytics to operational control towers in previous posts and today we want to focus on the innovation that is happening with control towers focused on the end-to-end supply chain.
Everything you know about supply chain visibility is wrong or at the very least it’s limited. You may look at your supply chain today and say “I have good supply chain visibility” but I’d ask you how you define it.
Yesterday, preorders for the new (or old) SNES Classic were made available at multiple retailers including Target, Amazon, Best Buy and Gamestop (Toys R’ Us is offering them in-store only on 9/29). It was an exciting moment especially for all the people who grew up playing 16-bit games in their youth.
But it quickly turned into a mess. Again!
Supply chain visibility is one of the hottest topics in supply chain and for good reason. As our supply chains grow larger and in turn get more complex, supply chain leaders are increasingly realizing the gaps they have in their visibility across the supply chain.
The data and research is right in front of us. Whether you read Gartner’s Supply Chain research, daily articles from supply chain media outlets, or the Geodis 2017 Worldwide Supply Chain Survey, you’ll notice that a major concern for supply chain leaders is increasing supply chain complexity.
“By the year 2020, 80% of the goods (compared to 20% today) will be manufactured in a country different from where they are consumed.”
Th insight above from McKinsey & Company's supply chain study illustrates the changing nature of supply chain in today's landscape. Supply chains are becoming more global and international not only with the parties involved in fulfilling and delivering an order but also in the flattening of the potential market for our goods and services. Companies that are pursuing growth will need to think about how to deal with this global environment and all the supply chain complexity that comes with it including quicker lead times, increased options and expanded product portfolios.