Trust and Supply Chain Visibility

supply chain visibility

Companies realize that trust is very important within their walls. What they do not realize is trust is needed to increase supply chain visibility. Without trust, trading partners are not willing to share real time information with partners. The question is, then, how do businesses build trust with trading partners so they can increase supply chain visibility?

Neutral Platform

First, businesses need to use a neutral platform for their supply chain management system. A neutral platform ensures that all trading partners use the same standards and practices. It also ensures that everyone follows the same business rules. This helps build trust, since one trading partner does not have more control or power than another trading partner does.

Cloud-based systems are neutral and easy to implement, so they are very popular for building trust across the supply chain.

Reliable Data

Setting up the platform is not enough. Reliable data is needed to build trust across the supply chain. Trading partners have to be able to trust data. If data is not reliable, the trading partners cannot use it to measure performance. In order to provide reliable data, trading partners must use the same method for capturing and analyzing data across the board.


Training is also needed to build trust. If trading partners do not implement proper training techniques, it will be difficult to trust them in making major decisions or providing information. Fortunately, training can be included in supply chain management software. This makes it much easier to keep all trading partners on the same page when it comes to training. Trading partners can also review training progress to ensure that everyone is on track with their training.

Independent Audits

Independent audits help build trust by ensuring that all trading partners are running efficient businesses. Third party audits are much more powerful than internal audits are for building trust. With that in mind, it is a good idea to include audits in the supply chain management system. That way, the system can run the audits and the trading partners cannot interfere with the process. Then, all trading partners can evaluate the data from the audit.

Once the trading partners build trust, they can begin to share real time information with the supply chain. This increase in supply chain visibility helps all members of the supply chain. All members can become more profitable and efficient once they gain access to real time information.

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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