Real-time visibility in the supply chain involves having up-to-date information about events unfolding at precise moments within the chain. This facilitates monitoring operations at each stage as they happen, from production to reaching end customers.
The collection of real-time information is made possible by technologies such as GPS, radio frequency identification (RFID), carbon footprint measurement, among others. These technologies enable companies to react quickly to any disruptions that may occur, predict future problems, and make the chain more efficient and sustainable to ensure customer satisfaction.
Technologies providing real-time visibility in supply chains
The integration of technologies in the supply chain has completely transformed the way companies plan, execute, and control the flow of products and services. Increasingly, more tools are being developed to enhance the visibility of the supply chain and improve it. In this regard, some of them are:
• Carbon footprint measurement: allows detailed measurement of polluting emissions in supply chains.
• Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): enables real-time tracking of products and assets throughout the supply chain, from reception to delivery.
• GPS: provides real-time visibility of the location and performance of logistical resources, facilitating informed decision-making and improvements in operational efficiency.
• Security systems: Immobilizers, satellite fencing, signal blockers, and satellite custody are some of the technologies that allow real-time protection of goods throughout the supply chain.
• Inventory Management Systems (IMS): these systems automate product replenishment, helping to avoid shortages or excess stock.
• Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): optimize operations in warehouses and distribution centers, improving accuracy in inventory management, product location, and the picking process.
Visibility for Efficiency in Supply Chains
Thanks to technologies that provide visibility, companies can: anticipate delivery delays, giving them time to take measures to mitigate the effects of delays, such as notifying customers or reordering products; reduce costs by early alerting to unpredictable variables impacting transportation, such as traffic or weather; assess current and forecasted demand for their products to plan production more efficiently and avoid shortages or overproduction; and comply with regulatory requirements throughout the supply chain, as well as track any changes that may occur to adapt the supply chain in a timely manner.
Companies can measure the impact of real-time visibility on their operations through a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which help understand if this approach is improving supply chain efficiency and customer satisfaction. Some common KPIs used to measure the impact of real-time visibility in the supply chain include: delivery time, inventory, transportation costs, and customer service. Improvement in these areas can indicate that real-time visibility is helping the company increase its efficiency.
Visibility for Customer Satisfaction
Customer expectations regarding delivery time and product quality continue to rise. Real-time visibility into all supply chain operations allows reliable fulfillment of these expectations, ensuring that customers have a positive experience with companies by providing them with timely and updated information on the status of their orders. This way, customers can feel more confident that their orders will arrive on time and in proper condition.
Moreover, companies can use real-time visibility to provide customers with more accurate delivery estimates. This can help customers plan their purchases and avoid the frustration of receiving their orders late. In the event of delays, companies can proactively notify customers, preventing them from having to contact the company for information.
Visibility for Increased Sustainability in the Supply Chain
The growing importance of real-time visibility in the supply chain is having a significant impact on its sustainability. Carbon footprint measurement stands out as a key tool that enables companies to account for their carbon emissions throughout the entire supply chain. This allows them to optimize transportation routes, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and use resources more efficiently, avoiding waste that directly impacts the environment.
In this regard, real-time visibility can help companies meet consumer expectations, as customers are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of supply chains. It enables companies to attract more customers and enhance their reputation. Overall, real-time visibility can become a valuable tool for companies looking to improve the sustainability of their supply chains.
At SPARX Logistics, we offer the ECO platform, allowing our clients to monitor the CO2 emissions from the transportation of their goods. This innovative solution for reporting and reducing carbon footprint also enhances traceability, efficiency, and cost savings within logistics. If you want to learn more about our ECO service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Real-Time Visibility in the Coming Years
The landscape of real-time visibility in the supply chain is expected to undergo significant changes in the coming years, becoming more affordable, customizable, reliable, and effective. This transformation is driven by several factors:
The increasing complexity of supply chains, characterized by a greater variety of suppliers, partners, and distribution channels. Consequently, there will be a need to tailor visibility to the future intricate supply chain.
The growing customer demand and expectations for increasingly greater access to information about the status of their goods.
Rapid evolution in real-time visibility technologies, opening up new possibilities.
In conclusion, real-time visibility in supply chains is vital for improving efficiency, meeting customer expectations, and contributing to sustainability. Technologies such as GPS, RFID, carbon footprint measurement, IMS, and WMS enable this visibility, transforming logistics management and allowing companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent waste. This, in turn, enhances the operational efficiency and sustainability of the supply chain.
Real-time visibility in the supply chain is a necessity for businesses now and in the upcoming years, given the increasing complexity of supply chains, customer demands, and the evolution of visibility technologies. It is expected to become more affordable, customizable, reliable, and effective, empowering companies to make more informed decisions and enhance the performance of their supply chains.