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Supply Chain 2 min read

What is supply chain visibility and why is it important?

A container ship travels through the Panama Canal.

Having a clear, end-to-end picture of your business's supply chain can help build resilience. But as the past two years of conveyor-belt shocks has shown us, full visibility has never been more crucial.

Supply chain visibility (SCV) is the capacity to track your final product — or its constituent parts — as they make their way from supplier to manufacturer to consumer.

It's an integral part of successful business operations, allowing firms to track the movement and status of goods throughout their life cycle at any given time. The ability to access to quick and accurate insight into where products are located is essential for efficient planning, problem-solving and decision-making — none of which can happen without clear and accurate visibility in the supply chain.

By integrating location technology into logistics operations, businesses can now accurately monitor the movement of goods in real time throughout the entire supply chain.


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

This newfound visibility empowers companies to optimize routes, predict delivery times, and respond swiftly to any disruptions or delays. Consequently, supply chain stakeholders can make data-driven decisions, enhance inventory management, and streamline operations, resulting in reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction. 

Location technology has facilitated tighter collaboration among suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers, fostering a seamless flow of information and trust throughout the supply chain network. As a result, this transformative impact of location technology has elevated supply chain management to new heights, ensuring greater resilience and agility in an increasingly competitive global market.

By tracking every step in the process, businesses can identify areas for improvement and focus on making small changes leading to multiple marginal gains, helping them maximize efficiency.


Delivery Man eBike Berlin eCargo Bicycle Bike

The advantages of supply chain visibility go beyond efficiency and cost savings though. Strong and solid SCV helps companies maintain brand integrity by ensuring products are delivered on time, product quality is consistent and customer satisfaction remains high. 

At the same time, supply chain visibility also enables businesses to make informed decisions about their supply chain management strategies and identify potential areas for improvement. 

Manual supply chain processes can create vulnerabilities which then become bigger issues. Using software rather than manual inputs eradicates these potential gaps and improves overall visibility. 

In short, when operations are in sync and information flows freely from one source to another, supply chain visibility helps companies stay ahead of the competition in today's ever-changing marketplace.

Clare O'Reilly, Contributor, HERE360

Clare O'Reilly


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