Analyst Insight: As companies struggle with supplier shortages, transportation constraints and labor challenges, businesses need end-to-end visibility into their global supply chains, to know where their cargo is, the reason for delays, the estimated time of arrival for goods, and contingency plans for rapidly mitigating issues.
When the Japanese earthquake of 2011 left the country with $235 billion in infrastructure damages, supply chains across the globe came to a screeching halt. Many businesses were relying on supply from Japan, including 22% of the world’s 300mm silicon wafer supply, 60% of critical auto parts, critical lithium battery chemicals and flash memory. The devastation resulted in massive shortages affecting supply chains for years. Managers woke up and realized that the information they needed to survive and thrive was locked away in multiple information silos.
Supply chain visibility technology and related data integration allow companies to react quickly to disruptions. End-to-end visibility provides real-time data and a holistic understanding of partners across the supply chain, from procurement to the end customer.
Visibility goes beyond just knowing where your stuff is at any point in the supply chain. More and more organizations are recognizing that access to data is equally critical to planning, relationship management and crisis response. Armed with real-time information about the location, production and delivery of raw materials, components and finished goods, companies can more easily identify and mitigate disruptions.
Data helps supply chain executives make informed decisions about where to position inventory in the event of an issue with a transportation mode, such as a potential rail strike. The supply of empty railcars, for example, can be increased at key facilities so that plants can continue to operate.
In 2022, only 6% of companies reported having total visibility into their supply chains. The solution lies in the implementation of intelligent visibility tools. They help companies to react more quickly, develop contingency plans and make more informed decisions as disruptions happen. With the help of supply chain visibility technologies, businesses improve inventory management with fewer stockouts, acquire better fulfillment processes with more on-time deliveries, and improve customer service levels.
Outlook: At its core, visibility improves and strengthens supply chains by making data readily available to every stakeholder, all the way to the customer. Companies with high levels of visibility tackle their most significant data challenges and transform information into valuable insights. Such wins are crucial in today's uncertain global business environment. With total supply chain visibility, businesses tackle market issues and disruptions with greater agility, and are able to thrive regardless of the situation.
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