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For Many, 'Information Disconnects' Make Comprehensive Visibility a Dream

Ideally, the goal of the information supply chain is end-to-end visibility. Without adequate end-to-end visibility, including all internal and external tiers, the globally connected supply chain is doomed to suffer the consequences of volatility - and in many cases, experience amplified consequences. Unfortunately, most companies still struggle with information disconnects and black holes.

This is not a technology issue in most cases. Rather it is a lack of investment in, and attention to, integration. "At a time when, generally speaking, information is abundant and connectivity is more feasible than ever, supply chain executives still rank visibility as their greatest management challenge," observes a recent report from IBM Global Services. "Although more information is available, proportionally less is being effectively captured, managed, analyzed and made available to people who need it."

Smarter supply chains will take advantage of unprecedented levels of interaction - not only with customers, suppliers and IT systems in general, but also with objects that are monitoring or even flowing through the supply chain. These objects include RFID sensors and other monitoring devices. "Besides creating a more holistic view of the supply chain, this extensive interconnectivity will also facilitate collaboration on a massive scale," IBM says. "Worldwide networks of supply chains will be able to plan and make decisions collectively."

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