In today’s globalised economy, where many companies rely on a vast network of suppliers and partners to source raw materials, manufacture products, and distribute them to customers, having visibility into the supply chain is more important than ever.
Supply chain visibility refers to the ability of companies to monitor and track the flow of goods, services, and information as they move through the supply chain. This includes everything from sourcing raw materials and components to manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and distribution. The goal of supply chain visibility is to provide companies with real-time information about their supply chain, allowing them to identify and respond to potential disruptions or inefficiencies.
Away from the more operational functions regarding supply chain operations management is strategic supplier management, powered by enhanced supplier visibility. Supplier visibility is a specific type of supply chain visibility that focuses on the ability to monitor and track suppliers. This includes identifying all of the suppliers that contribute to a company’s supply chain, understanding the products and services they provide, and monitoring their performance and risk profile. The goal of supplier visibility is to help companies better strategically manage their supplier relationships, ensure that they have the right suppliers in place to achieve their goals, and identify and mitigate potential risks.
Having visibility into your supply chain and suppliers is critical for effective supply chain management. It allows you to proactively identify and respond to potential disruptions or risks, optimise your supply chain operations, and improve their overall performance.
The Benefits of Visibility
Just as a lighthouse guides ships navigating through rough waters, supplier visibility illuminates the path for companies traversing a complex network of suppliers. With a clear view of their suppliers, companies can avoid potential pitfalls and stay on course, ultimately reaching their destination of successful and efficient operations.
The benefits of supplier visibility act as beacons, guiding companies towards improved supply chain transparency, better risk management, and stronger relationships with their suppliers.
There are many benefits of supplier visibility for companies that rely on a multifaceted or large network of diverse suppliers:
Improved risk management
Supplier visibility allows companies to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities in their supply chain, such as supplier bankruptcies, production disruptions, or quality issues. By monitoring suppliers in real-time and having contingency plans in place, companies can minimise the impact of these risks on their operations and ensure continuity of supply.
Better supplier relationships
By having visibility into their suppliers’ performance, companies can identify areas for improvement and work collaboratively with their suppliers to drive better outcomes. This can include setting targets for quality, delivery, and cost, providing feedback on performance, and implementing joint improvement programmes.
Supplier visibility can help companies identify opportunities to optimise their supply chain and reduce costs. By consolidating suppliers, negotiating better pricing and payment terms, and streamlining logistics and distribution networks, companies can reduce their overall cost of goods sold.
Supplier visibility can also help companies ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. By monitoring supplier practices related to labour, human rights, environmental impact, and other issues, companies can ensure that their suppliers are operating in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Supplier visibility can also promote innovation and product development. By having a better understanding of their suppliers’ capabilities and strengths, companies can identify opportunities for joint innovation and new product development, which can help drive growth and competitive advantage.
Supplier visibility is an essential component of effective supply chain management. This visibility can ultimately help drive better business outcomes, including improved cost efficiencies, better quality, and higher customer satisfaction.
Improving Supplier Visibility with Data
In today’s world, data has become the lifeblood of businesses, and improving supplier visibility with data is no exception. Companies that rely on an intricate network of suppliers can harness the power of data to gain a deeper understanding of their suppliers’ activities and performance. This includes collecting data from various sources such as supplier contracts, invoices, purchase orders, delivery receipts, and even social media platforms.
We can’t be specific about your data needs in terms of what you need to collect, from where or how you can do this effectively, but here are the five key stages required to improve supplier visibility with data:
Collect data from various sources such as supplier portals, ERP systems, purchase orders, invoices, and logistics systems. This data should include information such as supplier performance, delivery times, quality metrics, and financial health. Some of this data may not be readily available in your organisation, so there must be a plan devised to identify the data required, the sources (internal, external or API from a 3rd party) and then connect the data together in one single source of truth.
Use data analytics tools to analyse the data and identify patterns, trends, and outliers. This analysis can provide insights into supplier performance and activities, such as delivery times, quality issues, and pricing trends.
Visualise the data using charts, graphs, and dashboards to make it easier to understand and share with stakeholders. This visualisation can help identify areas for improvement and support decision-making.
Share relevant data with suppliers to facilitate collaboration and improvement. For example, sharing quality metrics can help suppliers identify areas for improvement and work collaboratively with the company to address issues.
Monitor and track
Continuously monitor and track data to ensure ongoing supplier visibility and identify new areas for improvement. This monitoring can help detect changes in supplier performance and proactively address issues before they become problems.
How SourceDogg Can Help
SourceDogg can be a useful tool for improving supplier visibility, particularly in managing supplier master data and supplier relationship management.
Supplier master data includes information such as contact details, product offerings, pricing, delivery times, and performance metrics for suppliers. This information can be spread across different systems and departments, making it difficult to manage. However, SourceDogg’s supplier management platform can help you centralise and streamline your supplier master data, making it easier to access and manage. This platform can also be configured to provide updates and alerts on supplier performance, allowing you to quickly identify and respond to potential issues.
SourceDogg can help facilitate the process of quickly and efficiently collecting and connecting data from various sources, such as supplier portals, ERP systems, purchase orders, invoices, and logistics systems.
We’ve also got an extensive Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) module to help manage and improve the relationships between companies and their suppliers. It’ll help you in the process of identifying suitable suppliers, negotiating contracts and pricing, managing supplier performance, and collaborating on new product development. SourceDogg can help you improve our SRM by providing a central platform for managing supplier information, tracking performance metrics, and communicating with suppliers. This platform can also provide analytics and insights into supplier performance, allowing you to identify opportunities for improvement and optimise your supplier relationships.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your supplier visibility – request a demo from Sourcedogg today and discover how our supplier management platform can optimize your supply chain management.