Supply Chain Visibility Software

Supply chain visibility software (SCV software) connects all the needed data from every point in the supply chain network.

A study by Aberdeen Group found that companies with good supply chain visibility have 20% higher profits than those with poor visibility. 

Poor visibility may be due to businesses relying on complex supply chains that span continents and involve multiple stakeholders. 

Whether raw materials, manufacturing, warehousing, or delivering finished goods to customers, maintaining efficiency and transparency across every step is essential for success. 

Supply Chain Visibility Software


What Is Supply Chain?

A supply chain is a network of individuals, organizations, resources, processes, and technology that helps businesses move their goods and products from beginning to delivery. 

Basically, it’s the process of getting a product from its raw materials to the finished product that ends up in the hands of the consumer. 

The supply chain can be divided into 5 main stages: 

  1. Procurement: Sourcing raw materials and components from suppliers. 
  2. Production: Converting raw materials and components into finished products. 
  3. Warehousing and Distribution: Storing finished products and distributing them to retailers or customers. 
  4. Sales and Marketing: Promoting and selling finished products to customers. 
  5. Customer Service: Providing support to customers after they have purchased a product.

Key Aspects of Supply Chain Management

Real-time Visibility: The ability to react to issues by seeing all your supply chain data in a consolidated location and understanding what’s happening to minimize and deal with them efficiently. 

Improved data-led Planning: To look at what went wrong in the past and create a plan to ensure the same issues won’t be repeated in the future using data-led insights for you and your supply chain. 

What Is Supply Chain Visibility?

Supply chain visibility gives businesses a detailed overview of the complex movement of products throughout the different stages, from initial raw material procurement to the customer’s destination. 

This means better control!

This happens based on the data collected and created by the technology used to operate the supply chain. 

Businesses gain supply chain visibility by connecting and managing the data in the supply chain, further optimizing operations performance, and planning more effectively in the future. 

Supply chain visibility tools include detailed maps and real-time GPS guidance, providing crucial information that offers visibility into raw materials, production stages, inventory levels, transportation movements, finished products, and reading end customers. 

Benefits of Supply Chain Visibility Software

There are various benefits of supply chain visibility that come with the best supply chain visibility software, such as: 

Enhanced Inventory Management: Supply chain tools to collect data are used for real-time data inventory levels across locations, minimizing stockouts and overstocking, optimizing stock levels, and reducing carrying costs. 

The supply chain visibility software platform can help pull together an immaculate amount of data from shipping companies to ports and even weather and temperature – all relating to your supply chain, helping you see your inventory in real time. 

Improved Demand Forecasting: Leverages data and analytics, in which businesses can predict customer needs, enabling efficient production planning and minimizing wasted resources. 

Reduced Transportation Costs: Optimized routes, consolidated shipments, and cost-effective transportation choices lead to significant savings. 

Proactive Risk Management: Early warnings of potential disruptions, such as weather events or supplier issues, allow for contingency plans and risk mitigation. 

Streamlined Collaboration: Communication barriers are broken down, facilitating information sharing with all stakeholders (suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, customers) through logistics visibility software, harboring collaboration and boosting overall supply chain performance. 

Data-Driven Decision Making: Comprehensive data and performance metrics across the entire supply chain, empowering informed decision-making based on real-time supply chain visibility. 

Supply Chain Visibility Challenges

Though it has many pros and values, global supply chain visibility software has its own challenges:

Seamless integration with existing systems and diverse data formats can be complex for supply chain visibility applications, requiring compatibility and prioritization of smooth data flow. 

Managing visibility across multi-tier supply chains with multiple stakeholders necessitates collaboration and standardized communication protocols/data-sharing agreements. 

Inconsistency processes and lack of standardization across partners can hinder visibility. This makes collaboration a crucial aspect of establishing standardized processes and data formats. 

Sharing sensitive data demands robust security measures, encryption, and access control to safeguard critical information. Partnering with vendors known for their commitment to data security and privacy is of utmost importance.

How Supply Chain Visibility Works

The way supply chain visibility software works is as follows: 

By using a combination of data, technology, and processes that help them track activities in real-time, manufacturers can gain supply chain software visibility,

Shipment visibility software includes GPS, RFID, and other technologies track goods in real time, monitoring location, estimated arrival times, and potential delays. 

Using inventory visibility software, you can check inventory levels across all warehouses, distributing centers, and retail stores, which are tracked, ensuring optimal stock levels and minimizing carrying costs. 

With secure online platforms and data dashboards, you can facilitate communication and information to stakeholders, letting them know the stage of their delivery process. 

Reports and dashboards provide insights into the supply chain performance, allowing the chance to revisit and see what worked and what didn’t for further improvement. 

Supply Chain Visibility Trends

Continuously evolving, supply chain is always attempting to help companies overcome challenges to achieve supply chain visibility. Some trends are: 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Advanced analytics provide deeper insights, predictive capabilities, and automated decision-making for optimized operations. 

AI algorithms can analyze datasets of historical sales, market trends, and external factors to predict future demand accurately. This helps businesses optimize production, minimize inventory issues, and maximize profits. 

Real-time analysis of data streams helps AI identify potential disruptions, recommend optimal shipping routes, and even automate routine tasks. 

Machine learning can analyze sensor data from equipment to predict potential failures before they occur. This minimizes downtime and ensures smooth operations.

Blockchain Technology

Security and transparency are achieved by securing data sharing and tamper-proofing transaction records. 

Every step of a product journey can be tracked and verified on the blockchain, providing complete transparency from raw materials to finished goods. 

Smart contracts, automated agreements executed on the blockchain, can expedite transactions and eliminate paperwork, increasing efficiency and cost savings. 

Internet of Things

Real-time data from sensors embedded in physical assets such as vehicles and warehouses provide deeper visibility into the supply chain. 

From tracking the location of every individual shipment to monitoring environmental conditions within warehouses, IoT offers unparalleled visibility into the entire supply chain. 

The numerous data collected through IoT can be used to optimize various aspects of the supply chain, such as transportation routes, inventory management, and resource allocation. 

How to Choose the Right Supply Chain Visibility Software

With numerous options, choosing the right supply chain visibility software is important. To choose, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Needs and Goals 

Established key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the software’s impact. 

Which segments of your supply chain demand heightened visibility? Is it inventory management, transportation logistics, procurement processes, or a combination?

Will you track inventory turnover, on-time delivery rate, risk mitigation metrics, or a combination?

Step 2. Tailoring 

Different industries have distinct operating models, compliance requirements, and data complexities. Choose software specifically designed for your industry. 

This ensures features align with your workflows and seamlessly integrate with industry-specific regulations. 

Research solutions that cater to  your field, whether manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail, or any other unique aspect. 

Step 3. Scalability and Flexibility 

Choose a supply chain visibility software that has the ability to assess its capability to accommodate future growth without compromising performance. 

Ensure its openness to integrating with new technologies and adjust to evolving industry trends. 

Step 4. Integration and Streamlined Operations

Frictionless integration with your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems (WMS), and other software is essential. 

Seamless data flow across all your systems eliminates manual intervention and promotes efficient operations. 

Prioritize solutions with proven integration capabilities and compatibility with your current technological landscape. 

Step 5. User-Friendliness

Your SCV software should empower stakeholders across your organization, regardless of their technical expertise. 

Look for an intuitive user interface, comprehensive training programs, and readily available support resources. User adoption is key to maximizing the software’s benefits and driving ROI. 

Step 6. Customization 

Explore visibility software that offers customization options to cater to your specific workflows and reporting needs. 

Consider choosing pre-built modules that can adapt to your unique processes or the ability to tailor dashboards and reports for targeted insights. 

Step 7. Reliable Provider

Choosing the right vendor is a very important part of your journey. 

Thoroughly research their track record, industry expertise, and customer support reputation. 

Prioritize providers with a proven commitment to data security, ongoing support, and a deep understanding of your industry’s specific requirements.