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.