Supply Chain Visibility

Visibility is a critical requirement that any supply chain needs to succeed and win a competitive market advantage. Simply put, supply chain visibility underscores a state where a business or company, or organization makes everything transparent from the initial shipment to when the order is finally delivered. There are many ways of ensuring visibility, with the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and the Electronic Product Code Information System (EPCIS) being the commonest techniques. Whichever technique a company uses, the entire process should be visible to the company and the client, who can both access data on the order at the same time. Visibility also touches on transparency between a supplier and the company, especially when procuring raw materials. Absolute visibility comes at a cost, but it is worth the investment. Here are the top ten benefits of ensuring supply chain visibility in business operations. 

1. It allows seamless business operations

One reason many businesses opt for supply chain visibility regardless of the cost is the seamless operations that come with it. When a client can see where his ordered goods are at any point in time, he is more at peace. This translates to smooth operations by the company since the chances of random calls to enquire about where the orders are or when they are likely to be delivered are reduced. While this might not seem weighty from the surface, it has a huge bearing on the company that now has the opportunity to focus on other things. Now imagine that some thousands of clients didn’t know where their orders are, and they bombard the company with calls. Of course, no one wants such chaos.

2. It results in cost-saving

Supply chain visibility, especially between a company and the supplier, helps save cost. For instance, making business operations open and transparent helps the company know where the procured raw materials are at any point. As such, random actions like sourcing other materials from another vendor, particularly when a company cannot trace the location of raw materials, are reduced. Sadly, lacking visibility within a supply chain means that a company and all other stakeholders will incur losses. For instance, when a vendor delays the delivery of raw materials, a company may decide to opt for an alternative B, thereby discarding the initial vendor’s order. As such, the initial vendor is left with his goods (raw materials) which will likely go to waste.

3. Visibility ensures a better reputation for the company

Any company needs to have a good reputation among the clients it has dealt with to build its portfolio and break more deals. One way to ensure a good reputation is to ensure supply chain visibility within your operations. How do you feel about a company you ordered an item with, but it disappointed you by delaying the delivery and keeping you in darkness the entire time? I am sure your chances of you ordering another item with that particular company are low. Now think about another company that kept you updated about the location and details of your order every time; you likely will opt for this company the next time you want to order something. And that’s the power of visibility in supply chain management. 

4. Transparency helps manage shipment-related risks

Shipment comes with its unique challenges, which increase if many countries and continents are involved in delivering the order. For instance, many governments now feel inclined to be part of the global supply chains that pass through their countries. Besides, the scene of political systems is also changing, which can interrupt shipment. Thankfully, having supply chain visibility in place means a company handles its inventory well and can easily manage the risks as they come.

5. It may help widen a company’s profit margin

The sole purpose of doing business is to make profits and not losses, although the latter is a usual part of business operations. Thankfully, supply chain visibility does not only reduce costs but also widens profit margins in a number of ways. Seamless operations allow the brand to focus on other activities, generating more income. Building a good reputation with clients also means that they will recommend your brand, further attracting more revenue.

6. Visibility boosts customer satisfaction 

‘The customer is always right,’ is a common phrase that also stands true for supply chain visibility. Realizing profits comes when you recognize customer needs and respond to them appropriately. Besides, giving them peace of mind, delivering the right orders at the right time and place, and keeping them updated through system visibility ensures their satisfaction. This, in turn, improves the company’s bottom line.

7. It ensures efficiency

Digital transformation is becoming the new norm in all businesses and supply chains for many reasons. It mainly ensures seamless operations and visibility in the system, minimizing disruptions and allowing the company to focus on profitable activities. Supply chain visibility is an aspect of digital transformation (especially when it incorporates the RFID and EPCIS) that ensures not only wider profit margins but also maximizes efficiency.

8. With visibility, you have faster speed to the market

Shrinkages are common while shipping orders to clients and transporting raw materials from a supplier to the processing premises. Thankfully, you can mitigate them as they come using supply chain visibility tools. For instance, tracking items helps you know about accidents or any challenges and send a rescue team, ensuring faster delivery amid crises.

9. It helps you be better equipped to negotiate

Tracking shipment and recording the data at every stage prepares you to be better equipped to negotiate terms. For instance, you can see the challenges that come with shipping orders to particular locations and their bearing on your business. As such, you can incorporate the cost into shipping fees or the item’s price and explain the reasons behind it when need be. 

10. With supply chain visibility comes great access to data

A visible and transparent supply chain allows a company to have greater access to data and use this information well. For instance, tracking goods helps the company know the risks, shrinkages, and challenges of shipping particular goods to some areas. As such, the company can adjust its planning, forecasting, and other business operations to mitigate the challenges.


Supply chain visibility is whereby a company ensures transparency when transporting raw materials from a supplier to the manufacturing/processing premises and between the company and a client when delivering orders. Such transparency comes with financial implications, but it is worth the benefits. For instance, it ensures customer satisfaction, efficiency, better preparation for negotiations, seamless operations, wider profit margins, reduced costs, and a reputable company bottom line.