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4 Reasons for visibility within a supply chain system

Visibility encompasses not only sensing data but also how to analyse it and take appropriate action across a supply chain system. A supply chain system allows collaboration and communication between internal and external trading partners and should give visibility to activities up and down the supply chain. Significant benefits are gained from this end-to-end visibility, such as higher order fulfillment rates, improved customer service levels, increased operational efficiency, higher profitability, and revenue growth.

Order Fulfillment Rates

Order fulfillment rate is the percentage of customer or consumption orders satisfied from stock at hand. It is a measure of an inventory’s ability to meet demand. Also called demand satisfaction rate. The best solution to gaining visibility may be to invest in cloud technology capable of managing big data. This facilitates communication and the ability to make quick, informed decisions. Bearing in mind that order management and fulfillment has long been considered one of the core competencies of the supply chain—and business—success.

Customers Service Levels

Meeting the needs and demands of customers is by far the biggest challenges facing today’s supply chain professionals. Not only do customers expect to receive their products in a timely manner, they also want choices of when it comes to when (and how) those products are delivered. Visibility allows for business to respond as quickly as possible, know customers, fix mistakes, go the extra mile, think long term – A customer is for life. Customer Service Level has an impact on both existing customers and potential customers. A recent survey found that 68% of consumers would react by telling family and friends about a bad experience by posting it on a social network. And as each Facebook profile has an average of 229 friends, the reach of this experience can quickly reach thousands.

Operational Efficiency

One of the ways companies measure efficiency is with order fulfillment processes by looking at the Perfect Order Metric. A perfect order is one that is on time, complete, and undamaged, along with the correct paperwork to accompany it. This metric is similar to the fill rate. To determine the fill rate, divide the amount of work or product a supplier has provided by the total amount of work or product necessary. Imagine that a customer requests 60 cases of product from a business and the business has shipped 20 cases. The fill rate is 20 divided by 60, or 33.3 percent. Visibility of operational efficiency allows for continuous process improvement.

Profitability and Revenue Growth

As organizations look to increase revenues by expanding their product portfolios, they’re also introducing complexity and risk into their supply chains.  A 2017 global survey by supply chain consulting firm Geodis found that visibility has become a bigger concern among companies in recent years. In the report, 70% of respondents described their supply chain as “very” or “extremely” complex. Only 6% of those who participated in the study were confident that they have full visibility of their supply chain.  This has been attributed by the peerless research group study to the lack of necessary systems to handle the visibility (transparency).

Visibility enables the business to increase profitability by reducing cost and risk within the supply chain system. Achieving an increase in the business surplus which creates value within the supply chain simultaneously impacting revenue growth. As a supply chain management professional you are expected to leverage these benefits to facilitate business sustainability and competitiveness.





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Collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR)

Supply chain integration (or synchronisation) is to a large extent still only a promise, despite many considerable efforts by organisations and their customers and suppliers. Lack of visibility of true consumer demand and collaborative relationships based upon joint decision making remain significant barriers to the goal of supply chain integration.

Collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR) is a strategy which promises to overcome these barriers and seeks through joint planning, joint decision making and the development of a clearer understanding of the dynamics of the supply chain replenishment process to deliver some of the promised benefits of actual supply chain integration.

With firms taking cooperation to another level through involvement in collaborative planning/forecasting/replenishment (CPFR). Using automatic replenishment systems that restock inventory based on actual demand triggers rather than relying on long‐range forecasts and layers of safety stock. That means optimizing demand forecasting,

However, a greater understanding of the elements that make up supply chain collaboration, and in particular how the relevant cultural, strategic and implementation elements inter‐relate with each other is highly recommended. click here.


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UK Food Standard Agency Completes Blockchain Pilot for Food Supply Chain

UK food regulator the Food Standard Agency (FSA) has successfully accomplished a pilot using blockchain technology according to an announcement published July 2. This was reportedly the first time blockchain has been used as a regulatory tool to ensure compliance in the food sector.

The pilot was implemented in a cattle slaughterhouse, where both the FSA and the slaughterhouse were authorized to access data in order to improve transparency in the food supply chain. In July, the agency is looking to launch another pilot, which will allow farmers to access data about animals from their farm. Sian Thomas, Head of Information Management, said:

“Our approach has been to develop data standards with industry that will make theory reality and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to show that blockchain does indeed work in this part of the food industry. I think there are great opportunities now for industry and government to work together to expand and develop this approach.”

In the future, the FSA states that they will attempt to replicate the program in other plants. The agency said that in order for blockchain to be permanently implemented, it must be an industry-led initiative, as the current data model is used only for the collection and communication of inspection results.

Blockchain continues to gain momentum in the supply chain sector, potentially reducing inventory management and enabling greater efficiency. Recently, a group of companies including Walmart, Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co., Driscoll’s Inc., Tyson Foods Inc., and Unilever NV teamed up with IBM in order use blockchain technology for tracking food globally through its supply chain.

Last month, Microsoft partnered with supply tracking solutions provider Ardents to develop a new product tracking platform using blockchain and artificial intelligence. The system reportedly offers end-to-end traceability and visibility from the point of origin along the whole supply chain, allowing users to trace single product items within a case.


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