Improving Supply Chain Visibility

Apr 14, 2021 |Posted by Brett Simmons | Coaching
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We live in an interconnected world with processes that produce many different outcomes, such as information or a physical product.  An organization can be challenged when these processes are misaligned or improperly sequenced to its goals.  Our operations should make the outcomes of identified processes visible to the appropriate supply chain stakeholders. Doing so requires a high level of collaboration that improves process interconnectivity in a supply chain system.

I have observed three areas that can increase supply chain visibility to improve process misalignment and improper sequencing.

Enhance Communication

Enhancing communication does not necessarily mean sending more emails.  For emails, it may mean simplifying your email communications to include only pertinent information.  With less noise, more attention can be given to the most impactful details.  Additionally, being respectful of others and mindful of who is sending and receiving the information will be helpful.  You can strengthen your impact by paying attention to how and when your stakeholders prefer to communicate.

Increase End-to-End Engagement

Your customer can often be the most underutilized member of your supply chain.  Does your organization take advantage of opportunities for customer input?  Delivery performance and product quality are areas that customers can assist in providing valuable information to your organization.  Suppliers are another resource that can be underutilized.  Improving the relationship with your suppliers by initiating projects to include more value-adding information will help improve visibility.

Champion Technology Utilization

Maximizing technology does not mean focusing only on new technologies.  Expanding the use of current technology can also be beneficial.  Increasing the utilization of technology that can help facilitate communication in areas like shared calendars, EDI, and file-sharing can have a quick return on increasing visibility.  Expanding an application’s integration across business units and suppliers can be constructive as well.

 

Balancing these three considerations can increase your return on supply chain investment and asset utilization rates.  In my next blog, I will discuss how you can manage the change of an identified process.

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Brett Simmons

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