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Supply Chain 4 min read

The state of freight: supply chain resilience vs visibility

A conveyor belt loaded with boxes in a warehouse.

As demands on logistics intensify, supply chain managers race to achieve end-to-end adaptability and transparency.

Visibility and resilience are becoming crucial components of effective supply chain management. While each brings its advantages, together they play a key role in ensuring that supply chains are running smoothly and efficiently

We explore how merging the two helps businesses navigate the evolving challenges of modern logistics.

A supply chain manager tracks her company's assets using location technology.

A robust approach

At its core, supply chain resilience refers to the ability of a supply chain to withstand unforeseen challenges and recover quickly from them. It’s about being prepared and adaptable, ensuring that operations can continue or resume swiftly despite unforeseen circumstances

By applying a strategy that involves identifying potential risks, implementing contingency plans and continuously monitoring for any signs of trouble, resilience in supply chains helps prevent major disruptions in logistics.

Warehouse staff performing inventory controls.

Sharpening the view

While resilience provides high adaptability, visibility focuses on the transparency of operations within the supply chain, providing critical information in real time and allowing managers to make informed decisions quickly. 

It's the extent to which businesses can track products and materials as they move from supplier to manufacturer to distributor to consumer. This aspect of supply chain management is crucial for identifying bottlenecks, optimizing logistics and ensuring that products reach their destination as planned.

A warehouse worker lifts a box onto a shelf in a fulfilment center.

Building foundations

When looking at supply chains as a whole, achieving resilience and visibility may seem like two separate goals. But they are closely interlinked. Visibility acts as a foundation for resilience. It provides the information needed to anticipate disruptions and react quickly. Without a clear understanding of where goods are and where they are going, it would be challenging to mitigate risks effectively.

But visibility can’t exist without resilience either. A resilient supply chain framework ensures that when issues arise, the tools we need for visibility already have the necessary support through accurate and fresh data to adapt to challenges.

Together, they create a more robust and reliable supply chain.

A van travels under a low bridge in the UK.

Unlocking agility

Location technology is essential for improving the visibility and resilience of supply chains. It serves as the foundation of modern logistics operations and helps businesses build their strategic and operational methodologies. It can help identify alternate routes, predict delays and even optimize inventory levels based on real-time demand signals. In essence, spatial intelligence offers both a holistic view and a granular look at the supply chain.

The adoption of location technology facilitates a more interconnected, informed and agile supply chain framework, enabling companies to effectively meet the challenges of a dynamic global market. This provides the visibility required to monitor goods at every stage and the resilience to adapt to disruptions promptly.

As these systems become more advanced, they will offer deeper insights and more flexible responses to challenges. Logistics managers who invest in these areas can safeguard their operations against disruptions while gaining a competitive edge through improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.

A truck travels on a highway at sunrise.

Learning prediction

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) with location technology creates a powerhouse of capabilities for logistics companies. It enables smarter, more predictive logistics operations that can anticipate disruptions before they occur and respond dynamically to changing market conditions. This level of intelligence is vital in creating antifragility in logistics.

Supply Chain news story

Future-proof logistics

The future of supply chain management is firmly rooted in the blend of resilience and visibility, powered by the latest advancements in location technology. With these systems evolving to become even more advanced, they promise to unlock deeper insights and adaptable solutions to meet various challenges head-on.

Maja Stefanovic

Maja Stefanovic

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