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Supply Chain Visibility: Guard Against Disruptions

By Avetta Marketing
April 30, 2020
5 minutes
Supply Chain Visibility

Supply Chain Visibility: How to Guard Against Future Disruptions

Supply chain visibility (SCV) is the ability to readily see the available data of all links in the supply chain process, including the tracking of components and products from procurement to the manufacturer, and on to their final stop. 

The need for such visibility has increased drastically even over the last few years due to reciprocal increases in:

  • Customer demand 

  • Expectations of expediency

  • Outsourcing

  • Compliance directives 

Having a real-time picture of supplier inventory levels, shipping information, and standards of quality can go a long way in protecting your company against either forecasted interruptions or unforeseen disruptions in any of these areas. 

What Kind of Interruptions Can Supply Chain Visibility Protect Against?

Procurement operations, manufacturing plants, warehouse locations, and shipping routes are all prone to interruption for a variety of reasons. Take a moment to think about how experiencing any of the following six scenarios can have a significant domino effect on any (or every) link of your supply chain:

  1. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires are all occurring with increased regularity.  

  2. Utility outages can happen at any time, whether with the electrical grid, sewer/septic lines, or natural gas line. 

  3. Technological glitches that cause a temporary shutdown are usually unintended, but the threat of malicious hacking is present now more than ever.

  4. Union strikes or civilian protests can prevent employees from working, or from being able to make it to work.

  5. Theft of inventory or transiting cargo can be very costly in both money and time.

  6. Bad publicity or legal claims have a way of dropping demand significantly, which disrupts the flow of goods.

These scenarios can interrupt your supply chain for anywhere from a few hours to a few months (or even longer). This can be devastating for your business. Fortunately, the technology for gaining more accurate forecasting abilities with greater supply chain visibility is available. 

What Does an Increase in Supply Chain Visibility Look Like?

Ideally, a visibility increase looks like a well-timed orchestra where each player is informed and allowed to respond appropriately without missing a beat. When the supply chain “orchestra” is playing in perfect synchronization, it’s a much more successful operation than when each is playing individually. 

What, specifically, does an increase in supply chain visibility look like?

  • An instant gathering of deep insights that identify and mitigate risk

  • Improvement in processes and streamlining of workflows

  • Optimization of logistics and transportation

  • An improvement in on-time deliveries and a significant increase in speed-to-market 

  • Efficient inventory management

  • Lower material and labor costs, and a reduction in capital expenditures

  • Suppliers and corporate operations who align with each other using a simple system that integrates seamlessly

  • Customers whose requirements are satisfied directly and quickly 

Having a long-term, scalable, and sustainable business is possible when your supply chain closely models this. 

Supply Chain Visibility


How Can You Increase Visibility into Your Supply Chain?

Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex by the day, and it can be difficult to have full visibility on all the moving parts.

However, collaborative management on a real-time basis helps companies react more nimbly and reduce supply chain risk throughout their entire network, all at the same time. 

Here are five things you can do to increase visibility in your supply chain:

  1. Prequalify your suppliers: Collect and store supplier prequalification information to enable quick, consistent, and easy onboarding.

  2. Audit your suppliers: Take an in-depth analysis of your suppliers’ safety, sustainability, and quality assurance policies and practices. 

  3. Train your employees: Allow site-specific coaching to empower employers to work faster and safer.

  4. Monitor insurance documentation: Use a single repository for all supplier insurance documentation, reviewing and confirming them regularly.

  5. Analyze the data: Make better decisions by using easy-to-understand, real-time analytics. 

To accomplish all of this, you need some help. First, you need buy-in from the top and an efficient team on all fronts. Second, you need supply chain management software. This remarkable tool will help your organization mitigate unplanned interruptions by doing the above five things, all automatically. 

If you already have processes in place to identify and mitigate your risk, take a risk assessment to find out if what you’re doing is enough. Consider choosing Avetta for your supply chain management needs by requesting a free demo to find out more about Avetta’s award-winning technology!

For more information about Avetta's Contractor Management software, Contractor Prequalification or Supply Chain Risk Management, visit, email [email protected] or call 844.633.3801.


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