Getting a product from point A to point B sounds so much easier than the actual reality. The truth is, gaining effective supply chain visibility takes the trust and cooperation of several partners, along with the implementation of modern technology, in order to successfully track a product from manufacturer through to the customer.
Though this may be difficult, the importance of supply chain visibility can not be understated. Poor supply chain management can lead to unaccounted merchandise, inaccurate shelving, and unnecessarily long wait times for customers to receive the items they have ordered.
Defining Supply Chain Visibility
For some, this may be as simple as knowing where inventory is at all times. Others see it as a system that is a bit more complex and involves analytics along with tools used to connect each stage of the supply chain. In either definition, finding a way to track products through the duration of its transport and making that information visible to all parties involved is the end goal.
What Needs To Happen in a Successful Supply Chain?
So you’ve identified that you want to improve your supply chain visibility. Now your next question is what needs to happen in order to fulfill customer expectations and create a transparent, reactionary, reliable supply chain that works at all stages of transport.
Transparency and Communication
Whatever system you have in place to track packages through its course of transport has to be clear and available to all parties involved. Manufacturers, fulfillment and shipment companies, retailers, and any other partners must have an open line of communication from start to finish. And each must be aware of where the package is at all times. This also means you must be able to trust your partners and have confidence they can fulfill their duties while providing those involved with accurate information pertaining to the location of any inventory.
This point is magnified if you are running a global supply chain. Because supply chain management is a collaborative endeavor that can stretch across far distances, you must have technology in place or invest in the technology that can connect all the stages and streamline information throughout the entire process. That means your technology must be able to effectively deal with warehouse management, communication from business to business, transportation and warehouse management, and customs compliance in cases where necessary.
Get Ready to React
Your best efforts can’t prevent problems from popping up from time to time. The question becomes whether you have a system in place that is ready to react to these problems with proactive solutions. Consumers are ultimately the end users. And whatever setbacks occur in transport impact them directly—which is the last thing any business wants to see happen.
In any instance, producing effective supply chain visibility is an ongoing process and should be treated as such. Continuously looking for ways to mine more data, get more out of your technology, invest in new technology, or innovate current systems are characteristics of the leaders in this industry.
APS Fulfillment has the team, technology, and expertise to ensure logistics and mailings are conducted efficiently. We know the importance of supply chain management and work with all parties to make the process as effective as possible. Contact us for more information.