Improving Supply Chain Visibility

Apr 14, 2021 |Posted by Brett Simmons | Coaching

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.

Picture of Brett Simmons

Brett Simmons

Brett is a Senior Consultant at OUTLAST Consulting LLC, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations with strategy, process improvement, and professional development. He graduated from the University of Alabama with his Bachelor of Science in Marketing and received his Master of Science in Supply Chain & Logistics Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has years of experience in warehousing, transportation, and operations in industries such as Mining, Railroad, and Consumer Packaged Goods.


June 29, 2021

Tuning In

For some, listening like the other person is the lead singer of your favorite band…

May 20, 2021

Beginning the Process of Changing the Process

So, you have identified your processes, and they are more visible to your supply chain organization.  Because of your success…

March 2, 2021

More than apple pie: Motherhood is a leadership development bootcamp

Motherhood builds skills that are competitive advantages in the workplace.  “Motherhood and apple pie” are…

May 27, 2020

Amateur coaches and professional development

What if you had to be nominated for an Academy Award before you could get…


Let’s Work Together

Learn more about how our consulting, coaching, or assessment services can drive a lasting impact for your company.