Mitigating Supply Chain Risk Through Real-Time Visibility

Supply Chain Trends for 2024 - Trend #6

Written by Travis Hinkle

On March 11, 2024


Welcome to Part Six in a 7-part series on the top seven supply chain trends for 2024. This content is adapted from our webinar, Top 7 Supply Chain Trends for 2024. Click here to watch.

If you missed our first five trends, you can start with trend #1, The Continued Rise of AI and ML in Supply Chain Optimization, here. This week, we look at our #6 top trend for 2024, Mitigating Supply Chain Risk Through Real-Time Visibility.

Stepping Behind the Supply Chain Curtain with Real-Time Visibility

Imagine stepping behind the curtain of a Broadway spectacular, where you’re not just a spectator but the director, with the power to steer the entire show. This is the thrill of real-time visibility in the supply chain, our favorite trend for 2024. It’s like turning the intricate web of logistics and operations into a blockbuster performance, and you’ve got the backstage pass. 

Picture the supply chain as the only aspect of a company that’s in constant motion, much like the performers on a stage. Traditional snapshots of operation can’t capture the dynamic nature required for effective decision-making across the organization. With real-time visibility, it’s as if you’re pulling together accurate, moment-by-moment views, allowing you to adjust your strategies live, as the story unfolds.

Supply chain managers become the celebrated scriptwriters of this gripping narrative, capable of adapting to plot twists with finesse. The concept of strategic real-time visibility shines a spotlight not only on the decisions to be made but also on the unfolding story of the supply chain.

It’s about achieving more than just a glance behind the scenes; it’s about obtaining a clear, panoramic view of the critical moments within this production. Decisions become strategic moves, ensuring every change in direction enhances the story, keeping it aligned with the overarching goals.

The Perfect Cast and Crew: Crafting a Successful Visibility Strategy

Crafting a successful visibility strategy, however, is akin to assembling the perfect cast and crew for the show. It demands investing in both the right technology and the right talent. This ensemble must be adept at managing vast amounts of data—a necessity that comes with its own set of risks—and every data strategy must be backed by robust security measures, executed by partners who value your data as if it were their own.

Additionally, with the spotlight on point-in-time visibility, it’s paramount that teams are trained to interpret data with precision, making every performance insight-driven and purposeful. Without a coherent strategy for real-time visibility—whether it’s monitoring labor costs, inventory status, or revenue goals—teams risk being left in the wings.

As supply chains and their networks grow increasingly complex, the spotlight on visibility becomes critical, not just for monitoring success and profitability, but also for fortifying partnerships across the network. True visibility involves integrating systems, especially in an acquisition or 3PL- or 4PL-heavy supply chain, which can be a challenge without the right data partner. And when it comes to partnerships with 3PL and 4PL networks, visibility is going to be critical in monitoring the success and profitability across the chain and in strengthening those relationships with 3PLs and 4PLs.

How to Develop a Winning Visibility Plan

With the rise of technology, real-time visibility is becoming more attainable for supply chain managers. With this level of visibility, decisions can be made with greater accuracy and agility, leading to increased performance and profitability. However, it’s not just about having access to real-time data; it’s also about having the right talent and partnerships in place to make the most of this valuable resource.

Supply chain managers must invest in training and developing teams to interpret and act on real-time data, as well as establishing secure partnerships with technology providers who understand the importance of protecting sensitive supply chain information. Every KPI and every dashboard needs to be well thought out, purposeful, and insight-driven in order to increase comprehension and adoption.

Real-Time Collaboration with Partners through Visibility

In addition to improving decision-making and optimizing operations, real-time visibility also opens up new opportunities for collaboration within the supply chain network. By having a clear view of operations in real-time, supply chain managers can proactively identify areas for improvement and work with partners to make strategic changes that benefit the entire network. This level of collaboration and transparency has the potential to revolutionize supply chain management and drive even greater success.

As we move further into the future, real-time visibility will become an essential tool in the arsenal of supply chain managers. Its ability to provide a dynamic, accurate and comprehensive view of operations in real-time will continue to be crucial for making strategic decisions and driving success.

The Final Act

Whether it’s monitoring performance, reacting to disruptions, or collaborating with partners, real-time visibility will continue to play a vital role in the supply chain industry, propelling it towards even greater heights of efficiency and profitability.

With this powerful tool at our disposal, there’s no telling how far we can take our supply chains and the businesses they support. The possibilities are endless, and it’s up to us as supply chain managers to harness the potential of real-time visibility and make our operations truly shine on the global stage.

So let’s raise the curtain, take a bow, and embrace the power of real-time visibility as we continue to shape the future of supply chain management.

Stay tuned for our final top 2024 supply chain trend: The Role of People in Shaping the Supply Chain Future.

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