A top concern of executives managing global supply chain operations is poor visibility. According to "Supply Chain Visibility Roadmap Report," by Boston-based AberdeenGroup, fully 79% of large enterprises (over $1 billion in revenue) worry about their level of visibility. Inventory management and domestic transportation executives also point to visibility as a critical performance enabler.
Although survey respondents want to improve visibility into order, inventory and shipment status, most companies still have rudimentary levels of visibility, according to the report.
"Most companies depend on a hodgepodge of spreadsheets, carrier tracking websites, and homegrown department-centric applications that drain staff productivity and prevent proactive management," said Beth Enslow of Aberdeen."
The study found that companies that are using technology to improve visibility are 2.4 times as likely to have reduced their inventory levels since 2004 and three times as likely to have faster order to delivery times. They are also twice as likely to have an on-time delivery rate of 95% or higher.
"Visibility technology is no longer just a stand-alone application," said Enslow. "Companies are finding they can exploit visibility functionality now offered by their logistics service providers, cargo portals, transportation management system vendors, global trade solution providers and others."
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