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Solving Supply Chain visibility issues with ERP solutions

If you’ve felt a lack of visibility into certain areas of your supply chain, you aren’t alone.

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Geodis Supply Chain Worldwide Survey found that, of the more than 600 businesses interviewed, only 6% could say they had achieved full visibility across their supply chain network. What’s more, making improvements for transparency was one of the top three priorities, alongside on-time delivery and inventory availability and management.  

But what exactly is it that’s plaguing supply chains and preventing visibility? Where are the blind spots? How can you shine a light on these areas through ERP solutions? We’re here to provide answers to all these questions and more - let’s get started.  

Top challenges hindering supply chain visibility  

A lack of visibility is something that’s easy to notice but difficult to pinpoint. Operations managers might feel as though they don’t have all the information they need to make good decisions, but they aren’t exactly sure what data might be missing or where they should get these details. In other cases, stakeholders might not have access to a single, unified portal to support their logistics and visibility, and instead have to switch between systems to get what they need.  

With so many dependencies and moving parts, it’s imperative that supply chain activities run smoothly and efficiently. However, these kinds of problems can creep up and prevent that all-important visibility:  

- Vendor siloes: Supply chain partnerships are carefully crafted, with each company relying on the next to complete the chain and keep operations running. But when vendors use their own tracking methods, or put in place other siloes that prevent access to key data, it can affect other stakeholders’ ability to see the full picture.  

- Overall complexity: It’s no secret that supply chains have become increasingly complicated over the last few years. Much of this has to do with the rise of e-commerce, third-party marketplaces like Amazon and other digital channels disrupting traditional wholesale channels. Since this wave of online activity isn’t going away anytime soon, these are trends that supply chain partners need to recognise and address.  

- Inventory tracking management: One of the biggest problems is poor or siloed inventory tracking, which can prevent proper management and lead to shortages. This, coupled with the fact that some vendors use their own internal systems for inventory tracking, complicates accessibility.  

How ERP solutions restore supply chain visibility 

While these problems may seem complex, putting in place an ERP solution like NetSuite can help address some of the most pressing issues as well as unleash considerable advantages for wholesale distributors and supply chain stakeholders.  

First and foremost, an accessible, user-friendly ERP system means that vendors will have a single access for inventory tracking and management, delivery schedules and more. Eliminating existing data silos through a unified and secure resource planning platform means vendors save time and effort. They won’t have to switch between solutions to view the data they need and can respond to changes quickly.

Because inventory management is a critical challenge in and of itself, ERP software like NetSuite provides powerful functionality to address these problems. NetSuite users have reported benefits like:  

  • 30% reduction in cycle planning times.  
  • 40% decrease in obsolete inventory and related costs.  
  • 30% reduction in inventory needs.  
  • 85% improved fulfillment rates and reduced backorders.  

These statistics translate to smoother logistics, improved decision-making, considerable cost savings enabling the ability to grow or diversify as a result.  

An ERP solution like NetSuite also provides complete visibility into customer activity, ensuring that the end of the supply chain is properly managed. Users enjoy key features like:  

  • The ability to view every step of the purchase process, through every related supplier and vendor.  
  • In-depth warehouse metrics, including fulfillment and delivery key performance indicators.  
  • Comprehensive visibility of sales, including current prospects, pricing and the overarching sales pipeline.  
  • A 360-view of each and every customer, including case management, returns tracking and options for self-service customer support.  

With NetSuite, nothing falls through the cracks, and you and your supply chain partners are always on the same page. Eliminate siloed data, and ensure that you have the complete picture. Connect with us to find out more about how NetSuite can benefit you and your supply chain partners.  If you need help assessing if an ERP is what your company needs, we've made it easy with our Navigating Change Checklist.