How to gain Supply Chain Visibility and Efficiency
4 MINs

As economies around the world are changing and accepting the new normal. Modern supply chain logistics must evolve to meet the new challenges that are growing in complexity due to several factors relating to demand and supply. Besides the need to react and adapt, supply chains should also leverage emerging digital supply chain business models, and they should contain four qualities simultaneously:

  • Connected: Helps enable communications between interconnected devices, systems, and processes. 
  • Informed: Supports a range of data sources accessible in the present digital world
  • Smart: Integrate advanced analytics to operate real-time insights. 
  • Automated: Utilize automatic technologies to boost productivity and lower costs

The Role of Supply Chain Control Towers

The Supply Chain Control Tower is a centralized hub containing all the technology, which is used for gathering and distributing information. A supply chain control tower provides the company with the capacity to assemble and estimate real-time data through the end-to-end supply chain. The information is then used to give the company full visibility for monitoring performance and acting on inefficiencies more quickly. According to a recent research paper shared by Gartner, “The aim of end-to-end supply chain visibility is to provide controlled access and transparency to accurate, timely and complete events and data transactions, content and relevant supply chain information within and across organizations and services operating supply chains.”

The control tower team uses four levels to detect and take necessary measures to better KPIs throughout the extended value chain, which are as follows: 

  • Visibility: Control tower enables real-time access to information from across the end-to-end supply chain at the right time. During this procedure, the data elements are used to know which events need tracking, and then these components are plotted to the enterprise system. After obtaining the data from the system of records, it is compiled and prepared to find helpful information. After that, a dashboard is used to present the information to users, which gives a synchronized vision over the organization and supply chain partners. According to an MPO survey,”44% of respondents said they wanted to gain better visibility into their downstream and upstream supply chains. Even direct shipments often lack good visibility, with 43% of respondents reporting they’d like to gain more visibility into inbound shipments, and 42% seeking additional visibility into outbound shipments.”
The next generation of supply chain
  • Alerts: A well-set alert system is an important factor to implement a strategy. Control tower will help supply chain managers to take necessary action during real-time alerts based on the lead times marked to all the events.

  • Decision-support: Predictive analytics helps supply chain control towers to predict what is going to happen next, which allows users to carry out scenario-based analysis and understand the impact of pursuing one or more situations with the use of analytic tools. It also helps the supply chain operators to predict and measure the impact of an event which enables an appropriate response.

  • Autonomous: Process management allows diverse teams to support workflow capabilities to implement a practical approach to an event and workflow tools can be integrated with enterprise systems to automate various response mechanisms when started off by the control tower team.

How can supply chain control tower can accelerate Digital's Business Benefits

Better Visibility: Organisations can get an intense vision of the end-to-end supply chain, the subcontractors, suppliers, transportation carriers, third-party logistics providers, and consumers using control towers. 

Better Monitoring: Control tower also enables supply chain operators to calculate the performance on the go and work on cost-effectiveness continuously. Supply chain operators can improve supply chain competitiveness by keeping track and trace of key enablers. 

Collaboration: Control towers can offer collaboration between supply chain executives which is the key for efficient planning, based on the alerts and notifications it will help them in better management of demand and supply issues. 

Better Insight: Human errors can be eliminated using a control tower, with automated data capture and enhancing the accuracy of supply chain data analytics systems, additionally it can know the difference between an event and an exception in supply chain operations. 

Better Exception Handling: Control towers can advise corrective steps and “best practices” to follow to enable the functioning of an operation without incidents which help the organization in proper planning and management. 

Cost Management: Control tower will help in proper cost controlling through continuous data monitoring and tracking by enabling proper accuracy of demand forecasting and inventory management. 

Real-time tracking through collaborative information sharing: Control towers help by sharing information and collaboration in real-time which helps the supply chain operators to make informed decisions with precision and on time.

Predictive and prescriptive decision-support: Supply chain performance analytics can be performed continuously which enables one to view not only the current happenings but also provides a view on the future happenings that might affect the organizations unfavourably.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What is supply chain visibility? 

Supply chain visibility is about knowing the exact location of the inventory at any given point in time. It is the ability to track the inventory as it moves from the manufacturer to the consumer.

Q2. Why is visibility in Supply Chain important?

According to a recent research paper shared by Gartner, “The aim of end-to-end supply chain visibility is to provide controlled access and transparency to accurate, timely and complete events and data transactions, content and relevant supply chain information within and across organizations and services operating supply chains.”\

Q3. How supply chain improve efficiency and effectiveness?

To improve supply chain efficiency and effectiveness, companies have to increase visibility, automate processes, improve costs and analyze data.

Q4. How do control towers help in reducing costs?

Control tower helps in cost reductions and operations with increased efficiency by providing supply chain operators with real-time data which helps them to identify the positives and negatives in the supply chain. Organizations can leverage control towers to do the same task at a faster pace and at less cost than human assets, leading to cost reductions and more efficient operations.

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