SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY
Eliminating Supply Chain
Silos Crucial to Success
Ditching spreadsheet programs and stand-alone supply
chain solutions for integrated
software solutions is key to
increasing visibility throughout
the supply chain. By improving
visibility, supply chain leaders
can further optimize inventory
and improve forecasting abilities, as well as increase the
business’s ability to react to
disaster within the supply
chain—a top priority for many
—Michael Koploy, ERP analyst,
any supply chain leaders have difficulty moving past “
silo-based” approaches—or relying on spreadsheet programs
or non-communicative software solutions to manage various supply chain functions. By adopting software solutions
that can provide accurate and up-to-date inventory data, supply chain managers gain a more realistic portrayal of their entire value chain. One way this
can be done is through the deployment of integrated supply chain solutions in
a supply chain hub. This hub uses a centralized access point and automated
inventory collection methods to improve inventory accuracy. In doing so,
human error is reduced and inventory data is visible to anyone within the
organization with access.
The ability to collect, organize and evaluate inventory is one of the most
important aspects of any supply chain software solution. When evaluating software, the functionality of features such as automatic identification and data capture, inventory dashboards, programmable notifications and pre-set alerts will
be key focus points.
Some of the benefits of supply chain visibility can be realized in the follow-
• Improved inventory policies. Visibility allows inventory managers the abil-
ity to analyze how subtle changes (e.g., changing days’ worth of supply for spe-
cific products) will affect inventory levels and profits.
• Improved procurement and sourcing analysis. Visibility impacts downstream facets of the supply chain as well. Spend analysis is more accurate with
improved supply chain visibility, and purchasing managers can successfully
analyze areas that require improved supplier performance. Additionally,
impact spend analysis findings can be shared with other departments.
• Improved communication between manufacturing and transportation.
Information from manufacturing, distribution and logistics operations can be
further integrated to increase the entire supply chain’s reaction time. The entire
process becomes much smoother and able to quickly adapt to disaster or rapidly developing change.
Visibility was a top priority for executives in 2011. Look for this initiative to
increase in 2012 as more executives are concerned about supply chain risk in
light of recent natural and supplier disasters. Additionally, look for more executives to focus on improving inventory accuracy and accessibility to obtain
greater insight into the entire value chain.