Four Ways Real-Time Visibility Can Improve Your Supply Chain

Dagny Dukach
Dagny Dukach

It's no surprise that companies like to know where their goods are and how they’re doing. But what are the specific, tangible ways in which real-time visibility is helping companies today? We've identified four benefits of incorporating an end-to-end visibility solution into your supply chain.

Reduce Product Damage

When you're shipping goods all over the world, some level of product damage is inevitable. But with real-time visibility into the condition of your shipments, you can get a notification as soon as damage occurs, and you can use that insight to address the problem proactively by alerting the receiver or expediting replacement goods. Not only that, but you can also use contextual information about the location and condition of your shipment at the exact time of damage to identify and resolve the root cause of the issue. Are your products frequently damaged in a particular location? Perhaps you should alter the route, or call the carrier for that leg of the journey to identify why the issue may be occurring and how to resolve it for future shipments. The ability to precisely identify when and where your product is being damaged gives you the tools you need not just to mitigate the negative impact of that damaged product, but also to reduce future damages.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Customers expect that when they order your products, they will arrive on time and undamaged. End-to-end supply chain visibility enables you to deliver on that expectation. Instead of finding out from your customer that the product was delayed or damaged in transit, a real-time alert notifies you immediately, giving you the time and information you need to solve the problem -- ideally without the customer ever even realizing that there was an issue. Even if you're not able to replace damaged or delayed product in time, real-time visibility makes it possible for you to alert your customers of any unexpected delays so they can plan around the issue in advance.

Prevent Manufacturing Disruptions

Visibility isn’t just about unhappy customers. Sometimes damaged or delayed shipments can cause expensive, time-consuming manufacturing disruptions downstream in your supply chain. Real-time knowledge of the precise location of your shipment of raw materials or equipment means you can schedule your manufacturing or assembly teams accordingly. If you see that a key shipment will be delayed, you can shift your labor schedule to avoid wasted hours. Conversely, if you see that a shipment will be arriving early, you can ensure that the receiving team is prepared to receive it, the facility has room to accommodate the unscheduled shipment, and the operation can proceed smoothly. And if you see that a shipment is likely to arrive damaged, you can advise the receiving team accordingly and potentially reroute a replacement shipment. Real-time insight into the location and condition of shipments helps to ensure that manufacturing and assembly continues according to schedule no matter what happens en route.

Lower Safety Stock Levels

Finally, as much as companies aim to run their businesses lean, the uncertainty of traditional supply chains has led many companies to invest in expensive safety stock. But with visibility into the location and condition of your goods throughout the supply chain, it becomes possible to significantly lower safety stock levels without sacrificing acceptable risk tolerances. If you know exactly when your shipments will arrive, you can proactively reroute shipments or reschedule labor to avoid delays and inefficiencies without relying on large quantities of safety stock. And reducing required safety stock reduces facility costs, labor costs, and of course the cost of all that extra product.

The Benefits of Supply Chain Visibility

These are just a few of the ways in which real-time supply chain visibility solutions are helping companies cut costs, increase efficiency, and improve quality. If you’d like to learn more about how your supply chain could benefit from real-time visibility, request a demo today.

Topics: Supply Chain Visibility

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