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The Cost of Poor Visibility to Supply Chain and Inventory Management

September 15, 2020

The Cost of Poor Visibility to Supply Chain and Inventory Management


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Poor visibility has long been a thorn in the side of supply chain professionals. It’s a detriment that can be a drag on revenue, efficiency, productivity, and customer experience. And as the world continues to grapple with the challenges created by Covid-19, achieving end-to-end supply chain visibility has become even more of a business imperative. In a recent webinar, Flexport Vice President Mathijs Slangen talked with Richard Evans, Managing Director of Slimstock UK & Nordics, to discuss how to succeed in connecting different subsegments of the supply chain for greater transparency.

Slangen and Evans touched on their experiences of integrating inventory management and shipment lifecycle management platforms for a joint customer. Referring to best practices, they demonstrated how sharing data in this way increases supply chain transparency and allows organizations to make more informed decisions. Below is a summary of the discussion.

At a time when supply and demand swings wildly out of balance, being able to pivot to deploy a new strategy is everything. But it relies on seeing what is happening upstream, downstream and internally. From procuring materials from suppliers to ensuring products reach customers, organizations face challenges around lead times, communication, and lack of data—all of which can impact critical business decisions.

During the webinar, attendees were polled on the biggest pain points they face as a result of poor supply chain visibility within their organisations. The results revealed how costly lack of transparency can be. Most cited the risks of not being able to recognize changes in demand as the biggest challenge. Problems due to incomplete views of internal information—such as operations not being informed of upcoming sales promotions—was the second chief concern.

For businesses to meet such challenges, inventory data and processes must be connected with the shipment life cycle. Both elements are interdependent; the more detailed and accurate, the smarter the decisions and the easier the planning.

With data integrated into business strategy, common challenges become less daunting—questions like, what needs to be expedited and what goods can take a bit longer? Do I need to rely on airfreight?

As market volatility continues, alongside regulatory changes and trade tariffs, industries need to quickly gain control of supplier risks. And data provides the key.

Tune in to the full recording of the webinar and its slides to learn more.

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