SCM World’s Chief Supply Chain Report says that 72% of supply chain leaders prioritize supply chain visibility. But why? As you know, supply chains are complex networks involving multiple stakeholders, geographically dispersed locations, diverse transportation modes, and extensive data. So, without proper visibility, business’s struggle to understand the faults of their supply chain and the potential risks associated with it. The impact of such risks are disastrous! Including financial losses, decreased customer satisfaction, reputational damage, and competitive disadvantages. But here’s the thing, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the domain of Supply Chain Visibility and Risk Management.
“Supply Chain Visibility is the foundation of effective risk management. It enables organizations to identify vulnerabilities, assess the impact of potential disruptions, and implement proactive strategies to mitigate risks”
-(Ginni Rometty, Former CEO of IBM)
Before proceeding, let me tell you that TheCodeWork’s extensive research on supply chain management has provided some intriguing insights into…Tech Trends in the Logistics Industry for 2023 – you may have a quick look over there. Once you do that, you will know how AI is playing an integral role in supply chain visibility. On the other hand, it is also leveling up the decision making skills of entrepreneurs to a cutting-edge breakthrough. Hold on, I will walk you through the entire detail here.
The Basic Business Problem: A Real Conversation
Recently, I had a conversation with a senior representative of a major apparel brand, who works in the procurement department. So basically his department is responsible for managing the process of acquiring goods, services, or the operations from external sources. He told me about his company’s struggle with supply chain management.
The story goes like this,
He received an urgent memo from the finance team about a renewed credit crunch in the market. This development led to a scenario where organizations, including his key suppliers, were struggling to secure cash flow.
At first, he was relieved knowing that his company is well capitalized with substantial cash reserves. However, a month later, he stumbled upon some concerning information. He discovered that two of his key suppliers, accounting for 60% of next season’s products, faced shortages due to limited credit. Upon learning this, he realized the gravity of the situation.
Without the necessary raw materials, these suppliers won’t be able to fulfill their commitments! Thus leading to a potential shortage in the upcoming product line. Also, the supply chain disruptions impacted the production timelines and ultimately – sales.
That’s where I realized how important it is to address supply chain visibility & risk management. He could have had real-time insights into the financial status of his key suppliers. That would have helped him to detect credit limitations or financial difficulties before they escalated.
This is a real roadblock in the logistics industry. And it happens majorly due to complex global supply chains and suppliers at different levels. Don’t you agree?
Now what’s the solution here? Well, having Supply Chain Management Tools in place will mitigate such risks. It will also provide you with additional insights on how to navigate through such situations with minimal disruption in your workflow.
In short, Supply Chain Visibility and risk management should be your next priority to drive your business to the path of success.
The Mechanics of Supply Chain Visibility in Risk Mitigation
As a matter of fact, in the mechanics of Supply Chain Visibility – AI plays a pivotal role in enhancing the visibility for risk management. In my experience, it can be utilized in these distinct ways:
Spotting risks by running logical checks on real-time data.
Swiftly measuring risks by using probabilistic analysis of both real-time and historical data.
Backing up the reallocation of resources as risks show up.
While these approaches using AI in supply chain risk management have transformative benefits when combined and deployed effectively. Okay, so now let’s discuss each of the aspects in depth to show you how it will leverage your business operations.
1. Enhanced Risk Identification
This is an exciting concept that can greatly benefit your organization. It involves harnessing the power of AI to detect and predict potential risks lurking within your supply chain. Also, Gartner predicted, 50% of global enterprises will invest in AI-powered decision support for supply chain capabilities. Impressive, ain’t it?
But how does AI take risk identification in supply chain visibility to the next level? Here,
Predictive Analytics: AI-powered predictive analytics will forecast future events and identify potential risks based on historical data and real-time inputs. By analyzing supply chain data, and market trends, it can identify patterns and correlations that indicate future risks.
Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP techniques allow systems to analyze and interpret unstructured data, like emails to extract valuable insights. Such capabilities will allow you to stay updated on external factors that could affect your operations.
Data Fusion for Holistic Risk Assessment: Fusing data from different departments, suppliers, logistics partners, and external sources, will give you deeper insights into potential threats.
Seeking these risk identification strategies? Get in touch with our TechTeam at TheCodeWork and discover how our solutions can empower you to address potential areas of improvement in your business.
Now coming back to the topic, I hope it is clear that focusing on Risk Identification for supply chain visibility will put your first step ahead.
2. Intelligent Decision Making
It involves the use of advanced analytics and data-driven technologies to gain real-time insights into supply chain operations. So, that you can make informed decisions to address any disruptions or bottlenecks promptly. There are crucial reasons why intelligent decision making is important for supply chain visibility:
Better Understanding of Supply chain: This brings advanced analytics into play, enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of your supply chain dynamics. With statistical models, optimized algorithms, and data visualization tools, you can uncover hidden opportunities and identify potential bottlenecks. Also, you can evaluate the impact of different decision making scenarios.
Optimal Inventory Management: You can optimize your inventory by analyzing various factors such as demand patterns, lead times, and supply constraints. While considering multiple variables, AI models will determine your optimal inventory levels and even safely restock.
Supplier Selection and Relationship Management: It assists in supplier selection and relationship management by analyzing supplier performance data, quality metrics, and risk factors.
3. Real-Time Monitoring & Adaptation (A Game Changer for CEOs)
Do you know what could be a secret weapon for CEOs to make informed choices? It’s Real-Time Data Monitoring in a rapidly paced environment. Apparently, it is all about having the most current and relevant information at your fingertips.
Let’s see how real-time data saves the day for CEOs:
Timely and Accurate Insights: Real-time data gives CEOs the inside scoop on how the company is doing. From sales figures and financial metrics to operational data and KPIs, they can keep a close eye on everything that matters.
Enhanced Visibility and Transparency: You can get a real-time view of production, inventory levels, and supply chain activities. Plus, it brings transparency to the whole team, as everyone can access and analyze the data that drives decision-making. After all, It’s all about playing open cards and working together.
Agility and Responsiveness: With real-time dashboards and fancy performance metrics, CEOs can see if their strategies are hitting the mark. If something’s not right, they can make quick course corrections based on solid data. It’s all about staying on track and reaching those big goals with trial and error in play.
Quiet Evident, isn’t it? I strongly feel that with real-time insights, CEOs can react to changes in the blink of an eye. By closely monitoring supply chain data in real time, you can identify vulnerabilities, assess risks, and implement contingency plans promptly.
This also helps in minimizing the impact of natural disasters, supplier issues, or transportation delays. What a savior!
4. Proactive Risk Mitigation
Proactive risk mitigation is all about a strategic approach that focuses on spotting potential risks before they become big problems. Sounds like an exact fit! Including establishing robust control systems, implementing safety protocols, conducting regular audits, and implementing best practices to strengthen resilience.
So, how will it benefit you:
Cost Savings: By addressing risks proactively, businesses can avoid financial damages, lawsuits, regulatory fines, and reputational harm that may result from unmanaged risks.
Contingency Planning: Includes defining alternative courses of action, establishing backup systems or redundancies, and creating response protocols.
Improved Stakeholder Confidence: Demonstrating an approach to risk management, you can instill confidence in customers, investors, and other stakeholders. On the other hand, you will be fostering trust and long-term relationships.
According to a Deloitte report, companies with proactive risk mitigation strategies had 20% less financial impact from supply chain disruptions.
AI-driven technologies provide unparalleled capabilities for mitigating risks proactively and fostering collaboration between you and your business needs. It is highly crucial to seize the transformative potentials in supply chain risk management without delay.
Now, that you have arrived this far. It is time for you to see how supply chain management visibility and risk management has helped prominent CEOs to operate flawlessly.
I bring forward to you some of the significant case studies conducted to understand the potential of Real-Time Data monitoring.
Case Study 1: Procter & Gamble (P&G)
P&G, a multinational consumer goods company, recognized the importance of supply chain visibility and risk management.
Use Case: They wanted to ensure business continuity and customer satisfaction.
By implementing real-time data monitoring and proactive strategies, P&G enhanced its supply chain resilience.
They leveraged advanced analytics and AI-powered tools to monitor supplier performance, track inventory levels, and identify potential disruptions.
As a result, P&G could quickly respond to unforeseen events such as natural disasters and supplier issues. This enabled them to optimize their supply chain operations, minimize disruptions, and maintain consistent product availability.
Case Study 2: Walmart
Walmart, prioritized supply chain visibility and risk management to maintain operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Use Case: With a vast global supply chain, Walmart faced numerous challenges in managing inventory, demand forecasting, and logistics.
By implementing real-time data monitoring systems and predictive analytics, Walmart gained visibility into its supply chain.
Soon, They were able to identify potential risks and optimize their operations accordingly.
For example, they could track inventory levels in real-time, detect patterns of high demand, and adjust their replenishment strategies accordingly. This enabled Walmart to reduce stockouts, improve inventory turnover, and enhance overall customer experience
Case Study 3: Maersk
Maersk, a global shipping company, utilized supply chain visibility and risk management to navigate the complexities of global trading.
Use Case: With a vast network of shipping routes and numerous stakeholders involved, Maersk faced challenges in tracking shipments & managing container movements.
They implemented real-time tracking systems, IoT sensors, and AI-powered analytics and soon they gained visibility into their supply chain.
Soon, they were able to identify potential risks and optimize their operations accordingly.
Apparently, it enabled them to monitor container movements, detect delays, and reroute shipments if necessary.
Such enhanced visibility and proactive risk management helped Maersk to optimize logistics operations. And provide reliable services to their customers.
These real-life examples highlight how supply chain visibility and risk management, supported by real-time data and proactive strategies, empower CEOs. Ultimately, this is what a CEO needs to handle tricky supply chains, minimize risks, streamline operations, and fuel business growth.
As usual, this article concludes by highlighting the key takeaways that are relevant and beneficial for your immediate work as a supply chain professional.
Supply chain visibility possesses methods that can aid in mitigating risks. The methods involve,
Performing logical checks to ensure the alignment between the intended and actual state of the supply chain.
The subsequent approach involves quantifying the likelihood of future outcomes through data mining using specific predictor variables.
Lastly, it involves providing transparency of the supply chain’s resources, typically to the most influential organization within the supply chain.
And most importantly! It empowers CEOs in effective planning and execution of risk mitigation efforts.
Ready to take control of your supply chain? Explore TheCodeWork’s comprehensive suite of supply chain visibility and risk management solutions. Request a demo today!
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