Supply Chain Visibility (SCV): What is It and Why Is It So Important?
February 21, 2023
Reading Time: 7minutes
If you’re running a business, then you know that having complete control over your supply chain is essential to your success. But what is supply chain visibility, and why is it so important? And just as important, what software can help you achieve it?
In this guide, we’ll answer all of these questions and much more. We’ll cover what supply chain visibility is, why it’s so important, and how Argos Software can help you get a complete view of your entire supply chain. So read on to learn more.
What is Supply Chain Visibility?
Supply chain visibility (SCV) monitors orders, shipments, and inventory across the extended supply chain. What does this mean? In simple terms, the inventory that you use could be in different places:
Your own warehouses
At a contract warehouse
At your supplier because you have not bought it (order) or at your customer’s location (vendor-managed)
In transit (shipment)
In other words, visibility enables the tracking and monitoring of inventory across the supply chain in real-time. This includes everything from raw materials to finished goods.
With high supply chain visibility, you can see where your products are at every step of the production process, which helps you identify bottlenecks and potential problems quickly. SCV helps business users with supply chain planning and execution by providing visibility into an organization’s supply chain.
Different Types of Data Collected in Supply Chain Visibility Systems
The type of data required to be monitored in modern supply chains varies from industry to industry. However, traceability and visibility requirements typically include more than just the physical location of components. Other common data collected includes:
Manufactured on date
Component lot number
Safety, legal, and material certifications
By collecting this supply chain data, businesses can track inventory and ensure that they are meeting all legal and business requirements throughout the various supply chain processes. It’s important to note that to obtain the most precise and insightful conclusions from data, companies must make sure to gather real-time and pertinent information.
Understanding Supply Chain Visibility: An Example
To better understand how visibility works, let’s look at an example. Consider a small business that manufactures and sells handbags. In order to make the handbags, the business needs to source the leather from a supplier, have the bags made by a manufacturer, and then ship the products to their third-party logistics warehouses for eCommerce sales fulfillment.
With visibility into its supply chain, the business would be able to track the leather as it’s being sourced from the supplier. They would also be able to see where the bags are in production and when they’re scheduled to ship. This way, they’re able to plan their inventory and marketing around these dates.
Finally, visibility allows the finished bags to be tracked at their 3PL partner locations. This provides insight into inventory and order levels and shipping speed. This way, the business can see what designs are ordered in different parts of the country and how long it takes for the bags to reach customers. This enables the manufacturer to make changes to their inventory levels at different 3PLs as well as shipping methods, if necessary.
The Importance of Supply Chain Visibility
Why is supply chain visibility so important? The need for visibility is in order to tie your orders, shipment, and inventory together so that a company can know where its inventory is. Whether it’s at their own locations, on order, or in transit, visibility enables planners to plan effectively.
Without a visibility system, being able to plan is difficult because the information required is in disparate systems and is not connected.
Benefits of Visibility
We talked about why visibility is so important for supply chain businesses. Here are two important benefits it provides:
1. With visibility, you can plan better and minimize stock levels (this is critical for lean).
2. Having alerting mechanisms in place that notify of disruptions right away will help mitigate their downstream impacts.
What are the Characteristics of a High-Visibility Supply Chain?
High supply chain visibility occurs when all aspects of the supply chain are monitored and tracked in real-time. This includes everything from raw materials and finished goods to transportation and logistics.
With high visibility across your supply chain, you can see where your products are at every step of the production process, which helps you identify bottlenecks and potential problems quickly. While one hundred percent full supply chain visibility is difficult to achieve, businesses can strive to get as close to this goal as possible.
Supply Chain Visibility Software (SCV Software): What is it?
Supply chain visibility software is a type of software that helps organizations track and manage the flow of goods and information throughout the supply chain. It can help to improve visibility by providing a more complete picture of the supply chain. It can also help to optimize the supply chain by identifying problems and inefficiencies quickly.
Argos Supply Chain Software: the Best Solution for Complete Visibility and Control
We believe Argos Software is the best WMS choice for those looking for complete control and visibility in their supply chain because we offer a comprehensive solution that helps organizations track and manage the flow of goods and information throughout the supply chain.
Our ABECAS Insight Software and modules offer a wide range of features that can help to optimize the supply chain, including data analytics, integration with other systems, and automation.
Technology Requirements for SCV
SCV technology requirements depend on the type of data that needs to be captured. For example, if a company wants to track inventory levels, it will need a system that can track this data in real-time. This might include barcodes or RFID technology. On the other hand, if a company wants to track customer orders, it will need an order management system that can integrate with its eCommerce platform.
There are several ways that supply chain visibility can be improved. These start with using supply chain visibility technology and include the following examples:
Integrating Systems: One way to improve SCV is to integrate systems. This means that different parts of the organization use the same system to track and report data. This can help to eliminate data silos and provide a more complete picture of the supply chain. Argos Software already integrates financials with order management, inventory, and shipping.
Automating Processes: Another way to improve SCV is to automate processes. This can help to eliminate manual processes and reduce errors. It can also help to speed up the flow of information and make it easier to get accurate, up-to-date information about the supply chain. Argos’ ABECAS Insight includes Task Manager functionality to automate tasks and provide instant notifications.
Using Data Analytics: Another way to improve SCV is to use data analytics. Data analytics can help to identify trends and patterns in the data. This can help to optimize the supply chain and improve decision-making. Argos Software includes 1,200 customizable reports in the base software. An additional module for data analytics provides drill-down dashboards to make managing a business even easier.
Argos Software is the best choice for those looking for complete control and visibility in their supply chain. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you optimize your supply chain.
Tools to Help Improve Supply Chain Visibility
With Argos’ industry-leading ABECAS Insight Software, you get all of the tools needed for in-depth visibility and management across your operation and supply chain. We offer primary modules, tools, and functionality that cover:
However, we also have an extensive list of additional modules that can also be added to build out the exact requirements of your business. These include everything from Personnel Management to Barcoding and Mobile RFID Technology. Think of Argos’ ABECAS Insight Software as the foundational supply chain technology tying your business together.
Challenges that Affect Supply Chain Visibility
There are several challenges that can be an obstacle to supply chain visibility. These make it difficult to get a complete picture of the supply chain and can lead to problems such as inefficiencies, stock-outs, and disruptions.
Some of the most common challenges include:
Lack of data: In many cases, organizations lack visibility into their supply chains because they don’t have access to the necessary data. This data may be held by suppliers, manufacturers, or logistics companies.
Data Silos: One of the biggest challenges to SCV is data silos. Data silos occur when different parts of the organization or in the supply chain have different systems that don’t communicate with each other. This can make it difficult to get a complete picture.
Lack of Standardization: Another challenge that can affect SCV is the lack of standardization. This occurs when different parts of the supply chain use different methods for tracking and reporting data. This can make it difficult to compare information from different parts of the supply chain and identify trends.
Manual Processes: Another challenge that can affect SCV is manual processes. Manual processes are time-consuming and error-prone. They can also make it difficult to get accurate, up-to-date information about the supply chain.
Is it Difficult to Achieve Full Visibility?
Yes, it can be difficult to achieve full visibility of the supply chain. This is because the supply chain is often complex and consists of many different parts and players. As we mentioned there are various challenges that can impact SCV such as lack of data, data silos, lack of standardization, and reliance on manual processes.
That being said, it is possible to achieve full visibility of the supply chain. By using supply chain management software like Argos’ ABECAS Insight software, businesses can overcome these challenges and have complete control and visibility of their supply chains.
Supply Chain Visibility: Important Things to Keep in Mind
There are a few important things to keep in mind when trying to improve supply chain visibility. First, it is important to have a clear understanding of the business goals that you are trying to achieve. Second, you will need to choose the right technology for your needs. And third, you will need to partner with the right software provider.
Supply chain visibility is the ability to see and track inventory throughout the supply chain. It is important for businesses to have supply chain visibility in order to make more informed decisions about many things, such as where inventory should be sent, when it should arrive, and how much needs to be produced.
Argos’ ABECAS Insight Software provides supply chain leaders with all of the tools they need to have complete control and visibility of their supply chain. With Argos’ software, businesses can overcome challenges such as data silos, lack of standardization, and reliance on manual processes.
If you’re looking for complete control and visibility of your supply chain, Argos is the best supply chain management software for you. Contact us today to speak with one of our supply chain experts and learn how our software can benefit your business.
What Are the Goals of Supply Chain Visibility?
The goal of good supply chain visibility is to have a clear understanding of the location and status of inventory at all times. This allows businesses to make more informed decisions about where inventory should be sent, when it should arrive, and how much needs to be produced.
What Are the Reasons for Seeking Supply Chain Visibility?
There are many reasons why businesses may want to improve their supply chain visibility. Some of these reasons include:
Improving profit margins
Improving customer satisfaction
Increasing inventory turnover
Reducing or eliminating stockouts
Complying with government regulations
What Is the Difference Between Supply Chain Visibility and Tracking?
Supply chain visibility is the ability to see and track inventory throughout the supply chain. Tracking is a method used to collect data about the location of inventory.
Argos’ ABECAS Insight is all-in-one business management software that’s flexible and modular, offering the functionality of an enterprise (ERP) solution at a fraction of the cost. ABECAS Insight is ideally suited for companies in 3PL, transportation, agriculture, field service, and utility industries, and for small- and medium-sized businesses selling to other companies (B2B).