So, you’ve decided to leverage supply chain visibility technology to streamline your operations and mitigate any risks that come your way – congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards implementing operational and cost efficiencies to create a resilient supply chain.
The next step is finding a supply chain visibility platform that allows your organization to understand and capitalize on relevant data throughout your entire supply chain. Legacy supply chain visibility solutions were survey-based and solely focused on direct, Tier 1 suppliers, but newer supply chain technology uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human oversight to map an entire supply chain, providing continuous monitoring and analysis.
Implementing the right supply chain visibility system will be crucial to your organization’s ability to handle risks efficiently and effectively. To evaluate platforms, you may already have thought of costs, types of risk, and other factors important to your organization. But there are three less commonly targeted features that will determine how effective your platform performs over the long term. Here’s how to evaluate a supply chain visibility system for accessibility, scalability, and compliance reporting.
Supply chain visibility technology for accessibility
Supply chains are busy spaces, and sub-tier visibility can be difficult to obtain. Additionally, there are often several sets of stakeholders throughout the supply chain process, all of whom need access to the supply chain risk management platform to manage potential risks. Therefore, it is critical to implement a system that not only provides end-to-end visibility throughout the supply chain, but can be utilized by all relevant stakeholders.
The most effective visibility data will integrate with transportation management system (TMS), supplier relationship management systems (SRM), supply chain planning systems, or enterprise resource planning (ERP) on one dashboard leveraging a digital twin. Users can combine scenario planning with risk management to see the ripple effect of a single change.
Single sources of data will no longer suffice. Legacy supply chain systems often involved surveys that had to be filled out by a supplier and manually added into an operation’s risk management platform. With this system, it is easy to miss potential risks in Tier 1 suppliers, and almost impossible to understand the risks arising from sub-tier suppliers. Instead, opt for a platform that uses AI and algorithms to aggregate and synthesize data from multiple sources, providing risk scoring and risk mitigation suggestions in alignment with existing software platforms.
Armed with this level of information, stakeholders can take proactive action when a potential risk is highlighted, or make a quick decision in response to an incident. A proactive move will not only maximize business efficiency, but can become a competitive advantage.
Supply chain visibility technology for scalability
Organizations need continuous monitoring capabilities, not just a one-time risk check. With supply chain risks increasing every year, including cybersecurity attacks, compliance and regulatory requirements, and climate change and other unforeseen incidents, organizations need a supply chain solution that can scale to their needs.
To achieve this, your chosen platform should be customizable to your organization’s requirements, equipping stakeholders with dynamic, ongoing monitoring. Looking to change or add suppliers? Your supply chain visibility technology should be able to vet suppliers before the contract and onboarding stages.
The right platform will be able to grow with your operation, continually monitoring and highlighting business-critical issues to create operational resilience throughout your supply chains. Look for a digital plug-and-play solution that can be augmented or adjusted quickly when necessary.
Supply chain visibility technology for compliance
Supply chain regulations and legal obligations are mounting, and failure to comply can lead to costly fines, damage to an organization’s good standing, and lost revenue.
For example, the Uyghur Force Labor Protection Act (UFLPA) mandates that organizations ensure that forced labor isn’t used within their supply chain, among other provisions, requiring them to provide evidence of the Chain of Custody of materials and products. The only way for organizations to certify that these conditions are met is to have thorough visibility of their supply chain, and into the state of their supply chain through the lens of this regulation at all times.
Therefore, look for supply chain visibility technology that includes on-demand legal and compliance insights for Tier 1 and sub-tier suppliers. Multiple data streams and expert analysis can provide continuous monitoring, incorporating the latest regulations and aligning them to products and materials. Stakeholders should be able to easily understand the potential impact of risks associated with UFLPA and other regulations where your operation does business.
Remember, not all supply chain visibility technology is built equally. Taking control of your supply chain risk offers improved efficiency, competitive advantages, easier compliance, and higher profitability from reduced cost and higher efficiencies. But this can only be achieved with full supply chain visibility across all tiers. And that’s only possible with advancements in AI that can keep up with today’s rapidly changing and interconnected business environment.
When implementing supply chain visibility technology into your organization, make sure the system provides accessibility, scalability, and compliance support. With the right tools, your stakeholders will have the insights necessary to manage even the most complex supply chains.
Learn more about building an effective risk management strategy in our supply chain risk management white paper