Practical Visibility?


How can better visibility help organizations improve performance and cut costs in their supply chain? We’ll elaborate on the importance of visibility in the supply chain and major pain points for organizations.

In today’s global world, your supply chain is no longer isolated to your own organization. Instead, today’s supply chains encompass a spider-web of partners and dependencies, whether you want it to or not. Materials in an agency’s supply chain may make stops in multiple warehouses, ride a global transportation network, or sit for months or years before suddenly being needed in a matter of hours or days in the event of an emergency.  The complexity and unpredictability of requirements makes the supply chains for departments such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the military, among the most difficult to manage.

One proven way to increase the reliability and responsiveness of supply chains is to increase visibility into everyday supply chain functions. Better information can reduce bottlenecks, identify process improvement opportunities, and make government supply chains function better and at a lower cost.

So, what does “visibility” mean in the 21st century supply chain?
Visibility means more than just awareness of where materials are at a given point in time or the amount of goods in a warehouse. Instead, visibility means a window into a wider range of data, supply chain processes, events, and patterns that enable automation, dynamic responses, and predictability. Great visibility into a complex, 21st century supply chain not only answers the basic questions of what is the current state, but it also helps answer questions like: how are we in this state; why are we in this state; and what will the state look like in the future?