Supply chain visibility has become a pretty well used term in the industry lately, almost obtaining buzzword status. On the plus side, this means there is lots of information out there for those seeking it. On the down side, some of that information is providing a very narrow view of what supply chain visibility is. For example, some think visibility is simply a track-and-trace of data, materials or final products, that it’s focused on a single tier of your supply chain, or that it’s limited to just ‘seeing the data’. True supply chain visibility – the kind that helps supply chain teams address some of today’s biggest business challenges (namely, the impact of increasing supply chain complexity and rising supply chain management costs) – is so much broader than that.
On its own, supply chain visibility won’t yield effective supply chain orchestration. Instead we need to think of it as the foundation that enables key supply chain capabilities. It is the prerequisite for making both the supply chain and the business more agile, resilient and competitive. It empowers supply chain teams with the ability to mitigate risks, identify and understand the impact of disruptive events, and respond quickly.