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Improving visibility in supply chain

During peak periods, supply chains may experience more disruptions than usual. Supply chain leaders need to anticipate disruptions, but they cannot do it alone. 

By leveraging on supply chain networks, supply chain leaders are able to make decisions in real-time and take corrective actions in the earlier stages to minimise damage along the way. With greater visibility over the supply chain, supply chain leaders can more easily identify problems, mitigate risks and save costs.

Leveraging supply chain networks

More businesses and industries like supply chains, are relying on a global network of suppliers, contract manufacturers, logistics providers and other shipping and transportation partners. Supply chains now work with a network of partners to serve the end-customer. Successful collaborations have seen reduced costs, lower complexities and disruptions, timely deliveries and satisfied customers. 

This is possible because by leveraging a large global supply chain network, businesses and partners are able to exchange information and work collaboratively and securely together in real-time which is useful when operating during peak periods. In doing this, businesses are empowered to focus on the end outcome opportunities while minimising risks and inefficiencies.

To leverage this information exchange, it is important to implement different systems that sorts, filters and organises the data, allowing partners to retrieve the necessary data needed. Having a network of partners drive significant improvements across demand, supply, logistics and global trade ecosystems and enables businesses to work together and drive solutions to the supply chain. 

Today, there are multiple platforms available like Supply Application Suite which allows for collaboration with suppliers and contract manufacturers across every tier of multi-enterprise supply chain. Such tools allow supply chain leaders to take control and automate real-time information exchange amongst partners to increase efficiencies, improve quality, adhere to consistent standards, establish supply availability, and reduce supply risk.

This platform enables smarter decision making and bottom line results through building trust and confidence within the network and leading to efficiency and collaboration for optimal decision-making, increase profitability and more agility for accepting unexpected orders.

Importance of supply chain visibility

With an established network of partners, supply chain leaders will also be able to have increased visibility over supply chains. It is imperative to gain visibility so that supply chain leaders know what happens from the start, the middle and the end so that potential problems can be identified and real-time planning and action can be devised accordingly.

In addition to anticipating problems, it is equally important for supply chain leaders to take corrective actions when a problem occurs. With the information shared by partners, supply chain leaders are able to react in real-time to make time-sensitive decisions that can alleviate a potential major disruption and issue. 

As there are multiple partners and intermediaries involved, this may at times create an extra level of complexity when it comes to making decisions. Hence with proper integration to and from partners and intermediaries, supply chain leaders will gain the necessary visibility needed to make optimal decisions without hindering each other’s objectives. With greater visibility over supply chains, supply chain leaders and businesses can improve customer service, experience and cost controls through management of inventory, status updates and risk mitigation. 

For better visibility and control over supply chain, it is crucial to gather data from all upstream and downstream partners, regardless of their tier and ecosystem. Similarly, supply chain leaders themselves need to provide updates and directives to partners in real-time, making it an efficient collaboration for better visibility through all points. 

With more technology advancements, the supply chain industry in particular should keep up with these changes as it will be beneficial for them. For example, there are tools today for supply chain leaders to utilise to gain end-to-end visibility and control through a single, automated operating platform.

This tool provides enhanced levels of visibility data that includes accurate predictive arrival times and logistic visibility for logistics operations teams to access information for shipments moving across all modes, regions and shipment legs. This feature collects and connects data from all global partners and analyses it against comprehensive, high-quality and timely data for supply chain leaders to accurately anticipate problems. 

With this, supply chain leaders can move at a faster pace when they are aware of what to expect and therefore are able to implement actions instantly. Additionally, as supply chain leaders are able to make changes when needed, it enables them to meet customer’s evolving demands especially during the peak and festive periods.

They are able to take actions and implement what is needed to ensure customer’s demands are met on time, enhancing the customer experience. 

As supply chains grow, they will need to ensure they keep up with the evolving changes and trends to remain competitive. One way that sets them apart is how they manage peak and festive periods. To ensure they perform at their level best in a timely manner, it is imperative they leverage on supply chain networks as collaboration with partners will yield greater results. Together with gaining visibility over supply chains, supply chain leaders and businesses will be able to anticipate problems, make changes, minimise disruptions and save costs. 

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Paul Soong

Paul Soong

Paul Soong is the Regional Director ANZ of connected supply chain platform e2open and has over 20 years' experience providing sophisticated solutions in supply chain, mobility, business intelligence and cloud. Paul is passionate about driving efficiency and innovation in supply chain through technology and helping industry transform into a customer-centric focused one. E2open helps the world's largest companies transform the way they make, move, and sell goods and services. E2open’s SaaS platform anticipates disruptions and opportunities to help companies improve efficiency, reduce waste, and operate sustainably.

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