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Supply Chain

Supply Chain Visibility: A Quick Guide for Operators in the Food and Beverage Industry

Everything you need to know about achieving supply chain visibility in the Food and Beverage industry.


Do you have visibility into your supply chain? 

According to a recent study, 92% of leaders say supply chain visibility is important for their company's success. However, only 27% have full supply chain visibility. With consumer behavior rapidly changing and customers prioritizing companies that offer near-immediate delivery, supply chain visibility should be a priority, especially if you're in the Food and Beverage industry.   

Unplanned supply chain disruptions are commonplace and could be caused by any number of random factors, such as factory fires or even natural disasters. When these occur, your operational costs increase and your customer satisfaction decreases. If you haven't achieved the right level of supply chain visibility, these events could catch you off-guard and cripple your operations.

The good news is, you can use technology to track your raw materials from the original supplier to when the end product gets to the customer. Here's everything you need to know about achieving supply chain visibility in the Food and Beverage industry. 

The importance of supply chain visibility

It's impossible to run a company blindly, which is why supply chain visibility is vital to your organizational growth. If the people in your company can't comprehend the activities happening on all levels of production, there will be a lack of synchronization, which will ultimately impact your bottom line. 

Here are four main reasons you can't afford to ignore supply chain visibility. 

1. It enables you to identify gaps in your supply chain

The supply chain has many stakeholders, including manufacturers, warehouses, logistic providers, in-house staff, etc. With all these parties involved, any kind of disharmony could result in late deliveries, missed deadlines, and administrative mistakes. 

Traditional collaboration methods are no longer efficient, and the only way you can identify and eliminate gaps in your streams is through the smooth flow of information between the stakeholders.

Supply chain visibility gives you a full view of all the processes, allowing you to identify and eliminate any inefficiencies.  

2. It helps with predictive analysis

Predictive analysis enhances real-time decision-making by allowing you to use data to anticipate future activities and events. It also enables you to develop futuristic strategies that streamline operations within the supply chain

By being able to anticipate the future, you can be more proactive. And easily improve product tracking, optimize logistics and focus on areas with the greatest potential for driving business growth.

3. It cuts your costs and reduces risks

A 2020 study revealed that a 100-day disruption of the supply chain in the Food and Beverage industry could reduce earnings by as much as 34%. With supply chain visibility, you'll be able to respond to any arising needs swiftly, ensuring there are no interruptions. For instance, if your orders are getting delayed due to slow transportation, you can streamline this by finding more efficient routes. This will, in turn, reduce the cost you spend on fuel and reduce the risk of the products getting to the consumers late. 

4. It helps you keep up with customer expectations

The Food and Beverage industry is very competitive, and customers have various alternatives to choose from. This has changed consumer expectations and given them the liberty to ask for more. For instance, consumers prioritize high-quality products and fast service. If you don't offer them that, they will quickly switch to your competition.

Supply chain visibility streamlines communication among stakeholders, which reduces the chances for order errors or logistical delays, and enhances customer satisfaction.

What are the best ways to achieve supply chain visibility?

Due to technological advancements, complex processes and increased data, supply chain management is no longer linear. You have to track goods, share information with people on the chain,  and streamline transportation –all of which is difficult to achieve using traditional methods. 

Here are the most effective ways of achieving supply chain visibility. 

Gather meaningful data

You can either keep track of the data manually, which is difficult to do or gather insights from an automated system. This will help you identify the pain points and prioritize the areas that need your immediate attention. 

Helpful areas to collect information on include:

  • Orders –the number of products your customers have requested and the process of receiving, fulfilling, shipping and tracking the orders.
  • Inventory –the process of ordering raw materials, management of the components & finished goods, processing, and warehousing.
  • Supplier relationships –the evaluation of your vendors to determine their contribution to your organizational success.  

Analyze that data

Go through the data collected and use the insights to gain a better view of the bigger picture. Are there any identifiable patterns? Did you find areas in the supply chain that are experiencing friction? Which high growth potential areas are being neglected? Pay attention to the data that is closely related to your organizational goals.

Data analysis will also help you identify and eliminate communication gaps, improve delivery times and enhance operational efficiency. 

How software can help 

The amount of data that goes through the supply chain is massive, and it's near impossible to collect it manually. There are also many gaps to fill, which is why you need reliable software. 

Other benefits of supply chain visibility software include:

  • Streamlined processes –once you identify the gaps that are causing inefficiency in your supply chain, you can easily eliminate them and speed up processes. 
  • Generate valuable insights –most software has reporting capabilities, and you can easily analyze insights from the data collected. 

Leverage the power of supply chain visibility

The benefits of supply chain visibility in the Food and Beverage sector can't be ignored. Collaboration among the stakeholders in the supply chain is important, and you can only activate this if there's efficient communication. This is the only way you'll be able to identify gaps in your processes and keep up with consumer expectations. 

With the vast amount of data available in the modern supply chain, it's difficult to keep track of it manually, which is why you need to find software that works for your business. 

If you'd like to gain meaningful insights from your supply chain, contact us today for a demo. 

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