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Supply chains are notoriously difficult to manage, with disruptions and changes happening constantly.
In fact, the global supply chain pressure index has been at an all-time high since the beginning of 2020, as businesses grapple with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
With so much uncertainty in the supply chain, complete visibility is more important than ever before. Luckily, the digitization of the supply chain has made real-time visibility a reality for businesses of all sizes.
So, what is real-time supply chain visibility? And how can it benefit your business? Keep reading to find out.
What is Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply chain visibility is the ability to track goods and materials as they move through the supply chain from supplier to customer. By having visibility into the supply chain, businesses can better manage their inventory, shipments, and logistics.
In today's global economy, supply chains are often complex and span multiple countries. Having visibility into the supply chain can help businesses to identify potential problems and delays, and make necessary adjustments to keep the supply chain running smoothly.
By tracking every item throughout its journey, businesses can identify issues and inefficiencies early on, ensuring a smooth and efficient flow of goods. However, most businesses crave more visibility and connectivity in their supply chain.
What is Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility?
In the past, visibility was often limited to information about shipments that had already been made. However, the development of new technologies such as RFIDs, APIs, and ELDs has made it easier than ever for businesses to achieve real-time visibility into their supply chains.
This forecasting method can help businesses optimize their supply chains and improve efficiencies. In order to achieve real-time supply chain visibility, businesses need to have a clear understanding of their supply chain processes and be able to track data points at each stage of the journey. However, only 31% of businesses use real-time data tracking, which leaves a large majority of businesses without true visibility into their supply chain, which can be a recipe for disaster.
By tracking data in real-time, businesses can identify bottlenecks and make changes accordingly. Giving all stakeholders access to real-time data makes it possible to make informed decisions that can improve efficiency and optimize the supply chain.
8 Benefits of Real-Time Supply-Chain Visibility
In today's fast-paced business world, real-time supply chain visibility is an essential tool for staying competitive.
Here are some of the benefits that real-time supply chain visibility can bring to your business:
#1 Reduced Inventory Costs
Maintaining accurate inventory levels is crucial for any business, but it can also be a challenge. According to Wasp Barcode, 43% of small businesses in the US don't track their inventory or do so using a manual process.
However, too much inventory ties up capital and takes up space, while too little can result in lost sales and unhappy customers. Real-time supply chain visibility can help businesses to strike the right balance by providing accurate, up-to-date information on inventory levels. This allows businesses to make informed decisions about production and ordering, which can lead to significant reductions in inventory costs.
#2 More Accurate Forecasting
By tracking data in real-time, businesses can identify patterns and trends that can be used to predict future demand, as well as the estimated time of arrival for shipments. This information can then be used to adjust production schedules and inventory levels accordingly.
#3 Faster Response to Disruptions
Disruptions to the supply chain are inevitable. But with real-time supply chain visibility, companies can minimize the impact of these disruptions and get back on track quickly. By tracking every movement of goods throughout the supply chain, businesses can identify disruptions as they happen and take action to mitigate the damage. This type of visibility also allows businesses to predict where disruptions are likely to occur and take proactive measures to avoid them.
#4 Improved Customer Service
In today's fast-paced economy, customers expect to receive their orders quickly and without any problems.
By having real-time visibility into where your products are, you can provide your customers with up-to-date information on expected delivery times. This transparency can help to build trust, loyalty, and satisfaction with your customer base. In fact, 29% of customers wouldn't even order an item if they couldn't track it.
#5 Data-Driven Decision-Making
In any business, informed decisions are key to success. This is especially true when it comes to supply chain management, where the consequences of a wrong decision can be costly and far-reaching. Real-time supply chain visibility is a tool that can help logistics teams make better decisions by providing them with up-to-the-minute information on inventory levels, shipment status, and more. With this information at their fingertips, managers can adjust production levels, reroute shipments, and take other actions to ensure that the supply chain runs smoothly.
#6 Greater Visibility Into The Marketplace
Real-time supply chain visibility is essential for companies that want to be able to respond quickly to marketplace changes. With up-to-the-minute information on where inventory is located and what condition it is in, companies can make decisions that will improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs.
In addition, real-time visibility into the marketplace can help companies anticipate future trends and adjust their strategies accordingly. Given that only 6% of businesses believe they've achieved full supply chain visibility, companies that utilize real-time supply chain visibility tools can gain a significant advantage in the marketplace.
#7 Enhanced Risk Management and Mitigation
Any business that relies on manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors knows that the supply chain is fraught with risks. These risks can include everything from product recalls to natural disasters, and they can have a major impact on the bottom line. However, according to a Gartner study, only 21% of businesses stated they had a highly resilient supply chain.
With real-time supply chain visibility, businesses can identify risks quickly and take action to mitigate them, which ultimately leads to both cost savings and improved efficiency.
#8 Better Stakeholder Relationships
When everyone is working with the same information, there is less room for error and miscommunication. Real-time supply chain visibility helps to ensure that everyone involved in the supply chain is on the same page, which leads to trust and transparency between all parties.
In addition, real-time supply chain visibility can help to build relationships with suppliers and other partners by giving them visibility into your operations, from payments to delivery. When your stakeholders know what you are doing and why, they are more likely to be supportive of your initiatives.
Say Goodbye to Guesswork By Investing in Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility Software
The takeaway is that if you want to be able to trust the numbers your business relies on, you need to invest in real-time supply chain visibility software. Leaving things up to guesswork will only lead to mistakes and wasted time and money.
Investing in quality supply chain visibility software will help your business say goodbye to guesswork and hello to real-time insights. With the right tools in place, you'll be able to make better decisions, faster - leading to increased efficiency and profitability across your entire organization.
Cargoflip's smart real-time notifications provide businesses with up-to-the-minute information on your shipment statuses, discharge dates, and more. Ready to take your business operations up a notch? Contact us today to learn more about how Cargoflip can help your business streamline its supply chain.