Insight

Supply Chain: With visibility comes clarity

The importance of supply chain visibility and how to improve it

Rob Barrett

Rob Barrett

Principal, Advisory/Supply Chain Leader, KPMG US

+1 480-459-3535

David Cepek

David Cepek

Director, Advisory Customer & Operations, Supply Chain, KPMG US

614-256-3634

Elancheran Jayaraman

Elancheran Jayaraman

Director, Advisory Customer & Operations, Supply Chain, KPMG US

484-602-4045

There is no shortage of stories we hear that illustrate continued frustrations with the state of supply chains today. Despite being nearly two years into this pandemic, there still seems to be a collective resignation from many that their supply chains are in no better shape. The constant pressure on supply chain professionals to deliver, both literally and figuratively, on the day-to-day crises that disrupt any ability to establish sustained supply prevents those same individuals from re-engaging with the strategic objectives of the organization, such as supplier relationship management, process efficiencies, and cost savings/recoveries.  

There is a universal lack of supply chain visibility to efficiently make business decisions and operate the supply chain on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, consumers (and regulators) are increasingly demanding transparency around product origin, safety, and sustainability—information that requires deep visibility and insight into a firm’s supply chain, beginning-to-end from suppliers to customers. Many are struggling to get access to the information in a timely and efficient way. Others have access to information but it’s either too much to effectively comprehend or it’s not organized in a way that enables effective analysis. They lack the capabilities to quickly evaluate the impacts of the disconnects they are seeing to drive the most profitable or advantageous decisions.   

There is an opportunity to change the way you collaborate with your suppliers—removing friction, streamlining processes, and reducing administrative efforts—while improving supply continuity and enabling you to be more responsive to your customers by:

  • Focusing on exposing information gaps that enable earlier identification of potential demand and supply imbalances and considers all constraints and priorities
  • Driving collaboration—providing the opportunity for all parties across the supply chain to work as one virtual team with a common view of processes, exceptions, and performance metrics
  • Building supply chain resiliency—enabling scenario modeling and integration to quickly evaluate alternate plans against key performance indicators and gain insights to manage risks more effectively
  • Designing a standard experience and single point of entry for all collaboration activities—automating manual activities, which allows buyers and planners to focus on managing the business instead of managing the flow of information
  • Developing a business case and shared benefits model that targets and tracks measurable improvement across all process participants—focusing on changing behaviors and user adoption of the new collaboration processes and tools.

Increased visibility and collaboration have helped companies significantly reduce inventory costs, increase order fill rates, reduce administrative (nonstrategic) workload on the Buyer/Planner organization, and lower supplier defect rates. KPMG has experience helping organizations improve their visibility and collaboration—contact us to find out more.