If someone asked you tomorrow, “how’s your supply chain running?” what would your answer be? We would wager that you’d hem and haw a bit, then say something noncommittal like, “things are going well.” What if we asked you what it would take for your answer to be, “It’s running great?” Chances are the words visibility, transparency, and data would all enter into your response. We get it, the dream of any modern supply chain manager is to achieve end-to-end visibility into their supply chain. And an essential piece of achieving that level of transparency is having a single, unified interface where you can see data from every stage of the chain.
Why End-to-End Visibility Is the Ultimate Supply Chain Goal
Enter turbo transparency, the concept of going above and beyond the expected level of supply chain visibility. Turbo transparency gives you a one-stop-shop for a holistic view of your supply chain planning processes, boosting your S&OP as well as S&OE by allowing planners to see in real-time precisely where their attention is needed. This availability lets them make split-second, data-driven decisions, and adjust the flow of supplies and finished product alike to decrease delays. Whether it’s the global supply of raw materials or your purchase orders and customer demand cycles, this extreme level of transparency gives you the insights you need.
Turbo transparency is all about getting you closer to the goal of end-to-end supply chain visibility. When combined with IoT sensors, RFID tags, and other Industry 4.0 technology, you can gain the insights you need to eliminate bottlenecks, reroute shipments, or schedule maintenance before the equipment goes down. Add advanced analytics to parse and sift all incoming data from disparate systems and sources, and you see the power this transparency has to do just that. But the question remains as to why this is the goal in the first place. We see three primary points where supply chains can benefit from increased transparency: eliminating data silos, locating and mitigating bottlenecks, and connecting different dataflows into a coherent whole.
Overcoming Hurdles On The Path To Supply Chain Visibility
Planning processes used to consist mainly of a series of siloed containers of information with only the bare minimum being shared from one stage of the value chain to the next. With turbo transparency, eliminating these data silos and giving every stakeholder access to the exact data they need to optimize their stage of the chain becomes possible. With data from each leg of production, everyone from planners to inventory managers to logistics directors can have precisely the information they need to keep things moving smoothly. Blowing away the silo walls and giving everyone the access they need to optimize their stages of the supply chain will open new possibilities for further optimization in a snowball effect of efficiency.
By removing silos, you can begin to tackle the root cause of many supply chain disruptions: bottlenecks. If you had one interface giving you a view into your organization’s entire supply chain, you would instantly be able to see where a bottleneck is forming, say a delayed shipment of supplies, and mitigate it by shifting production to a different product until the needed supplies arrive. The same way you can identify and eliminate bottlenecks stopping up the flow of product, this level of visibility opens further options for how to use the data generated by your IoT sensors, etc. When you can monitor dataflows with this much accuracy and ease, you can take that data, combine it with the flows coming in from other departments and even your partners up and downstream. This connectivity between dataflows is where the power of advanced analytics comes in, as there is no better way to pull actionable insights from terabytes of data instantly. Say you’re looking to secure freight options in advance of an upcoming shipment. With visibility like this, you can visualize all possibilities, project likely costs and price fluctuations for a variety of timelines and routing options, and secure the best rates for your shipment.
flexis Turbo Transparency: The Power of Real-Time Monitoring
Everything described above sounds great, doesn’t it? But how do you operationalize and integrate that level of visibility into your existing systems? Enter Turbo Transparency, our monitoring module that gives you a graphical representation of your supply levels, inventory, and logistics situation in real-time. Each step of the supply chain is directly linked to the stage before so the ability to closely monitor your raw materials order and inventory levels directly impacts your customer’s satisfaction with on-time delivery. Turbo Transparency gives you three crucial monitoring dashboards in one module: global supply, inbound, and outbound. The global supply monitoring dashboard centralizes data on what can amount to hundreds of thousands of individual parts and tens of thousands of suppliers. This allows you to closely monitor each supplier’s availability, capacity, and shipping times, so you’re never caught off guard by a delay in receiving a critical piece of material. And in the case of a delay, you can avoid disruption by shifting production to another product until that supply order comes in.
With real-time access to your demand forecasts and planning data, inbound monitoring can locate potential bottlenecks before they occur and eliminate any impact on production. You can know precise stock levels and the status of inbound supply orders, giving you the ultimate ability to make data-driven decisions and react proactively when issues are found. This proactive approach means you cut downtime and improve ROI. On the other end of the chain, outbound monitoring combines customer buying patterns with production capacity data to give you what you need to know to meet fluctuating demands. Communicate with the shop floor to coordinate order shelving data and cut turnaround times dramatically, ensuring customer satisfaction and stellar on-time metrics.
So what is Turbo Transparency? It’s the module that puts a graphically enhanced view of your supply chain at your fingertips. With it, you can move your supply chain management to the next level with visibility into the dark corners, eliminating data silos, identifying bottlenecks, and adapting to changing market conditions in real-time. With flexis and Turbo Transparency powering your digital transformation, you’ll never be in the dark about machine maintenance issues, inventory snafus, or other potential disruptions to the smooth operation of your supply chain again. Now you can answer the question in the introduction with confidence, “my supply chain is running like a Swiss watch.”