Commentary | IT Matters

How Real-Time Information Can Transform Your Supply Chain

Tags: Logistics I.T., Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain, Visibility

Tom Collins is VP of Supply Chain Planning, ModusLink, 781-663-5001

In the world of supply chain management, timing is everything. As same-day shipping is quickly becoming the new standard for many e-commerce retailers, companies are beginning to appreciate the true value of a highly effective supply chain management solution and its role in maintaining effective global operations and consistent customer satisfaction.

Enhancing your supply chain with real-time visibility can completely transform business as you know it, giving you the insight and details needed to operate quickly, accurately, and more effectively than ever before.

This particular type of innovation allows companies to take a magnified look into their operations and quickly identify potential deficiencies and issues before they become problems that affect sales.

Real-time visibility makes it possible to review supply chain effectiveness immediately—instead of at the end of a month or quarter—and make any adjustments necessary to remain in prime operating shape.

Some of the significant benefits real-time supply chain visibility provides include:

  • Demand updates – Providing a company with transparent visibility into potential delays, trends, and slowdowns gives it the ability to make any necessary changes before they become catastrophic and affect both customer satisfaction and the bottom line.
  • Strategic workflows – While this is especially beneficial for companies with seasonal product trends, all companies can benefit from the ability to adjust support, demand, and workflows to meet deadlines as they change over time.
  • Improved customer service – Access to real-time supply chain information means being able to provide customers with status updates on their shipments at an unprecedented speed.
  • Recognition of inefficiencies – Transparency within the supply chain allows for inefficiencies to be identified quickly and a solution to be implemented when it can be most effective, not after the fact when the damage has been done.
  • Better long-term processes – Analysis leads to improvements and insight into how your supply chain operates—which not only helps you identify short-term shortages, but can also give you visibility into longer-term problems such as seasonal hiring, shipping issues, inefficient locations, etc.

With real-time information incorporated into their supply chains, businesses will be able to recognize new ways to improve their practices and become as efficient as possible while better protecting against problems that could derail production and negatively impact customer expectations.

Visibility is truly a key attribute needed to establish a highly effective supply chain experience. Real-time technologies are a worthwhile investment for any company looking to develop or enhance their supply chain.