With the constant growth in logistics, it’s extremely important to have full visibility and transparency within the supply chain starting from the warehouse to the customer end process. As new technologies enter the market and shipments get sent out faster and faster, the standard of logistics operations is ever-rising and must be achieved at its highest potential in order to keep growing.
By having good transparency best practices in place, these companies can better connect with their consumers, build greater trust, achieve higher visibility in all areas of the supply chain, and react quicker and more effectively to any problems that may arise.
Despite transparency and visibility becoming increasingly important within logistics, it is not always clear what is exactly meant by those terms. In this blog post, we look closer into the definition as well as the benefits and how technology is helping achieve a visible and transparent supply chain.
What does transparency mean for the logistics industry?
Both terms include every party that is involved in the logistics processes of a company - manufacturers, distributors, carriers and drivers, freight forwarders, 3PLs, suppliers, and even the customers themselves. Although those terms sound very similar there is indeed a slight difference between supply chain transparency and supply chain visibility.
Transparency in logistics is not only about knowing every step within the supply chain but also about communicating the different steps and parties included internally but also externally. This includes providing information on the origin and procurement of the raw material used, the product quality and safety standards as well as environmental efforts. Being transparent creates the image of a very honest and authentic company which helps build trust between suppliers, companies, and also customers leading.
Visibility means the company's ability to have access to detailed information on every step of the supply chain. Providing and sharing this information in real-time to everyone within a logistics network allows companies to stay on top of every operation going on at that moment. This gives them the opportunity to react to issues immediately, avoid greater problems and ensure a smooth and efficient supply chain.
Creating a fully transparent and visible supply chain takes a lot of effort and time, but the prolonged effort is necessary.
Benefits of a more transparent logistics
There are many advantages to having transparency. One of the greatest benefits is providing companies and partners full confidence their materials, carriers, suppliers, and products are exceeding company standards. Furthermore, this solidifies a customer’s loyalty to a brand with full insights into the materials, sources, and delivery promises.
The many benefits include:
- Reduction of Disruption- Catching risks and identifying problems quickly.
- Advanced Technology- Having better-digitized solutions and efficiencies throughout the supply chain.
- Performance Management of Operations- Improvements in the workforce with visibility in all decision-making.
- Dashboard Views and Control- Openness and data sharing for all parties involved in the supply chain process.
- Trust- Building trust towards customers as well as suppliers.
How is Technology Meeting the Challenges of Supply Chain Visibility?
- Supply chain mapping
- Data collection, analyses, and sharing in real-time communication
- Testing, Inspection, Blockchain, and Certification Assistance
- Product Traceability
- Certification Verification
- Integrated Learning Management Software, Internet of Things, Big data analytics, and Cloud Logistics
- Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and digital twins
- Self-driving vehicles, Digital Warehouses, Robotics, and Automation
Having the right digital solution which provides transparency in your supply chain is a short-term investment for a long-term investment. This will ultimately show your partners and customers that you are trustworthy and easy to work with, which is only going to serve the growth of your business year after year.
Businesses are easy to build… trust is not.
Author(s): Alena and Christie