It rarely gets openly discussed, but having low or no visibility of the supply chain process is a constant source of personal frustration for all those responsible for and outwardly answerable to customers, buyers, or suppliers.
The typical scenario begins with “ Where is my order?”
or, “When can I expect delivery,”
Regardless of the excuses, or reasons, low visibility instantly jacks up the pressure, and puts the business on the back foot. If they can’t instantly or quickly get an answer – while on the phone, then someone has to go and investigate, someone has to go upstream or downstream in the chain for answers, and then someone has to deliver the news, good or bad.
This is all a total waste of time, because it just drains energy from more positive and proactive things that could drive better relationships, and can make the department look or feel stupid and inefficient.
In most businesses, there is someone, somewhere who’s enjoyment of coming to work is constantly eroded by constant firefighting. The main risks of doing nothing is, of course, eventual erosion of employee performance, seeing no end in sight – or the creation of meaningless and stressful jobs just to avoid angry suppliers and partners. The knock-on effects are high turnover of staff, or loss of confidence in the business all the way up to losing the business.
Other distributors can easily differentiate with visibility technology and thereby gain competitive advantage, leaving the business behind, and facing an uncertain future.
This was the single biggest fear expressed to us by our clients when they searched for solutions to supply chain visibility.