Consumers Demand Supply Chain Visibility Now more than Ever

supply chain visibility

Consumers are becoming smarter when it comes to making purchases. They are demanding more visibility from big brands, asking questions like why shelves are empty and when new stocks will be available. Online shoppers are also wondering why they cannot track the goods they bought over the Internet. Most importantly, they are asking where the goods come from and who manufactured them.

Supply chain visibility changes the expectations of consumers. If these expectations are not met, they resort to social media and post about their inconveniences. They demand information about the goods they just bought and they expect data to be delivered immediately. However, omniscience is beyond the capabilities of consumer goods companies. This creates major trust issues between consumers and manufacturers.

In a world of highly complex, cross-border supply chains, managing tens of thousands of suppliers was practically impossible. Corporations are almost too big to manage. Most of them are unaware of large, unwieldly supply chains. According to multiple reporting systems, consumers have conflicting accounts of spend patterns that makes it difficult for corporations to track supplier details.

Although consumers are accustomed to operating with limited visibility, they still expect total knowledge. They believe that companies are not transparent about the goods they sell to the public. However, others also show cognizance by requesting information about their goods and by looking at country of origins. They have become curious to learn about the supply chain. This pushes development for manufacturers to practice supply chain visibility.

In the past, consumers were not aware of the supply chain. But, that is different now. Manufacturers need to market their goods openly to meet the increasing supply chain visibility demands of consumers. These buyers will increasingly probe information before they make a purchase. Unless companies can respond to these demands, they can resign to future press disasters that come from their own supply chains.

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Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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