Supply Chain Visibility Software for Current and Future Improvements

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Supply Chain Visibility Software for Current and Future Improvements

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Unpredictability in global sourcing may be unavoidable these days, but it does not have to mean uncertainty. Supply chain visibility software can help your business close the gap between disruption and corrective action.

Recent years have proven that no forecast can see every supply chain disruption coming. Even if your business is good at predicting its future production needs, one major disruption or several minor ones can throw your entire sourcing ecosystem into disarray.

How can you mitigate this risk? One key tool is supply chain visibility software, which organizes granular quality control (QC) data and allows you to monitor the daily performance and interplay of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, and shippers. Having access to such data allows you to investigate the root causes of production problems as they arise, and implement better ways to meet production and customer demands moving forward.

To make an educated choice of supply chain visibility software, you must first understand its potential benefits, as well as how to best apply it in your supply chain for greater efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Supply Chain Visibility Software

Improved Perfect Order Rate

A perfect order is a shipment made without incident, such as product damage, inaccurate product fulfillment, or delays.

Supply chain visibility software can alert managers to product defects and order fulfillment inaccuracies before the shipment leaves the factory or warehouse. On the other hand, catching these problems en route will result in costly product returns, repairs, and reshipment, which will inevitably erode your business's profitability and credibility.

Meanwhile, visibility into your supply chain may not prevent every delay--but it will help you discover the reason behind the delay through point-to-point delivery data, potentially enabling you to make the necessary changes to avoid the issue in the future.

Performance Assessment and Risk-Based Actions

With the help of supply chain (SC) visibility software, you can quantify and understand most supply chain disruptions, and assess the potential risk to your business.

A one-time disruption, such as a shipping delay, might trigger a 'high-risk potential' alert if the problem reoccurs. However, the solution might be as simple as altering a delivery schedule to avoid reoccurrence. 

On the other hand, if the data shows that an operation in your supply chain has repeatedly failed your quality and efficiency standards, and risk assessment warns of potential damage and recall of an entire product line, you may need to make changes to your supplier portfolio by finding a more reliable alternative to a partner with a history of poor performance.

A Connected Network

To work more closely with your more reliable suppliers, those with a solid track record and a clear desire to further improve quality and efficiency, you can leverage a unified platform for direct communication between your quality team and the supplier’s QC inspectors. Your other supply chain partners can also be part of this dialogue and support network.

Examples of such mutual support can be a notification of an ongoing production difficulty, or brainstorming between managers in preparation for shifting market demand, challenging delivery conditions, or rising material costs.  

Better Transparency

Now more than ever, your consumers, employees and other stakeholders want to know that your production process is ethical and sustainable --from source to shelf and table. This means ensuring that your sourcing processes are in line with international worker rights, fair trade practices, and environmental protection--and providing documented proof to that effect.

Having visibility into your supply chain allows you to obtain proof of ethical and sustainable sourcing, and support your claims of social and environmental responsibility, thus upholding your brand's image. 

Supply Chain Visibility Ensures a Better Customer Experience

Even if every aspect of a company's production could be contained within a single factory, warehouse, and raw material source, you would need a monitoring system to ensure the big three requirements of customer satisfaction: high quality, fast delivery, and ethical means of production.

Of course, as once explained by economist Milton Friedman, even an everyday item like pencils requires a supply chain, with wood, graphite, and rubber coming from different parts of the world.

However, while limiting an entire production cycle to one location may be impossible, supply chain visibility software can, and does, bring scattered global networks together under one digital roof:

  • Network mapping and geo-visualization, as well as real-time, point-to-point product tracking, allows users to pinpoint potential risk areas;
  • Quality inspection failures, production cycle bottlenecks, and even unauthorized sourcing can be clearly attributed to a single location, accounted for and addressed;
  • Data-driven supply chain mapping gives you a clear view of every opportunity to improve quality, efficiency, and transparency, this allowing you to assure customer satisfaction.

Improving Supply Chain Visibility

To ensure continued customer satisfaction, which is a paramount driver of business decisions, leading businesses across every industry have been pursuing ever-increasing supply chain visibility by such means as:

  • Defining supply chain visibility goals -- What are the specifics of your supply chain, and which sourcing data do you need to focus on? For example, if you are an artisanal producer of small-batch items made with high-quality raw materials, a focus on sourcing integrity could be a key priority for you.
  • Connecting communication systems -- Without a shared platform through which all stakeholders can interface, it will be difficult to communicate established goals, roles, and expectations, or collect feedback from on-site sources.
  • Gathering and analyzing data -- Your supply chain visibility and mapping tools are only as useful as the data that informs them. You need to know which sources your big data is collected from--mobile devices, IoT sensors, etc.--and how your software can shape it into actionable insights that enable informed decisions.

With true supply chain visibility, you can drive improvement and innovation across your entire supply chain, giving your business a real competitive edge and fostering improvement on an industry-wide scale.

How Can QIMAone Help?

Supply chain data, when used well, can make a world of difference to your business.

QIMAone's end-to-end quality and compliance platform can bring your supply chain's siloed data storage and disparate communication systems into harmonic view, using crisp visualization, mapping, and scoring features to help you gain valuable insights into your production and distribution, point-by-point.

Our software provides access to an extensive library of product- and market-specific QC inspection templates, as well as customizable workflows to guide your in-house inspectors through specific quality and compliance checks.

Additionally, real-time inspection monitoring allows responsible managers to take corrective action as soon as issues arise, not days or weeks later.

QIMAone supply chain visibility software gives you a 360-degree view of your supply chain, while real-time communication and disruption alerts ensure your day-to-day management decisions are informed by real operating conditions.

Learn more and see QIMAone in action by scheduling a demo today.

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