Visibility has long been viewed as an important part of transportation management. Today’s supply chain managers are going beyond basic track and trace functionality, and are working to achieve complete, accurate and real-time visibility across their entire network. With many supply chains involving multiple modes, carriers, and global origins or destinations, there are a lot of opportunities for supply chain visibility gaps. By closing those gaps, managers improve the agility of their supply chains, while also gaining the ability to avoid risks by intercepting and pivoting when a shipment appears to be off course.
Unraveling the visibility challenge was the focus of a recent episode of Talking Logistics. Participants included John Martin, Vice President at MercuryGate, and Brian Thompson, Chief Commercial Officer of SMC3, a less-than-truckload (LTL) data and solutions provider. Adrian Gonzalez, President of Adelante SCM, hosted the conversation. Watch this video blog to hear about common visibility gaps and technology solutions to both identify opportunities and achieve full control-tower visibility.
Breaking down visibility blind spots, as Thompson points out in the discussion, begins with managing data and the potential data overload. Data is constantly being exchanged through multiple disparate systems. Capturing that data and converting it insights and information, is the first step to adding value to the business.
One key takeaway from this informative conversation is that visibility isn’t necessarily the end goal for supply chain operations. Rather, visibility should be seen as a method to pave the way for larger business benefits. And, while there are some general best practices that companies can implement, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work for every company. Each company is different with different objectives. Companies really need to look at what their business objectives are and align their visibility efforts to what they are trying to achieve.