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4 Ways Real-Time Visibility is Indispensable

by simon
It’s hard to imagine any company getting by without supply chain visibility. Without supply chain visibility, how does a company know if its safety stock is enough or too much?

How can it respond to crises that impact lead-times and customer service levels? How do they know what stock is selling and what isn’t without sifting through tomes of spreadsheets?

Real-time visibility of inventory isn’t just fundamental to keeping costs under control.  Yes, digitization and the cloud have made this an affordable and indispensable entry level tool.

Beyond that, observers see digitized supply chains and real-time visibility as the difference between “getting by” and being a contender.

A recent Supply Chain Dive article pointed to Adidas and Amazon’s ongoing supply chain ventures. Omnichannel and drone fulfillment can increase sales but they can only be accomplished with real-time digitized visibility that quantifies their efforts.

Real-time visibility helped show that when Adidas implemented ship-from-store in Russia, the new channel increased sales and reduced returns by 20% to 30%.

It Reduces Anxiety

Getting your inventory levels right can be worrisome. Real-time visibility of your supply chain gives you the data you need to optimize your stock levels, keeping costs under control. Real-time visibility coupled with extensive reporting give you the data you need for making decisions now and for planning ahead. All too often, companies have no data on their entire supply chain or they must compile data from disparate systems and spreadsheets. Data from a single source that provides real-time visibility and reporting will reduce a company’s anxiety over stock levels.

It Reduces Costs and Fosters Growth

The great thing about optimized inventory levels is your costs come down.

But real-time visibility of your supply chain—from supplier to warehouse to your omnichannel—can also reduce your cycle times, improve order fulfillment, and allow you to grow your business without necessarily increasing your capital requirements.

Your Customers Will Be Happy

The efficiencies you find from real-time visibility of your supply chain can lead to increased customer service levels.

Improved management of purchase orders, higher order accuracy, greater warehouse efficiency, and higher productivity all work toward customer satisfaction.

Happy customers are likely to continue buying from you, recommend your business to others, and may buy a larger assortment of your products.

You’ll Master the Omnichannel

Your customers expect the same service regardless of how they buy from you. Companies often struggle with this when they manage each channel separately, using different processes and technology.

Real-time visibility of your entire supply chain in a single platform means you can fulfill customer needs consistently.