What does mean in the supply chain context? visibility In a nutshell, it's not only about keeping things running smoothly. Visibility provides companies with the ability to identify and minimize risks, meet customer expectations, and ensure quick deliveries. To create more intelligent supply chains, invest in supply chain visibility, putting themselves in leadership positions. Let’s see what tools and technologies contribute to the success of solving the visibility puzzle. 92% of global companies Why is supply chain visibility important? Supply chain visibility controls every aspect of a supply chain, from strategic planning to delivery and returns, offering a clear view of from raw materials to the customer. , every supply chain element There is no wonder that visibility has rightfully taken a leading role in supply chain management in recent years. According to , visibility lets global supply chain leaders build resilience and minimize the impact of past disruptions. McKinsey considers "end-to-end forward-looking visibility" a rising trend of modern supply chains. KPMG Companies that prioritize end-to-end supply chain visibility benefit from data-driven decision-making, reduced supply chain disruptions, increased operational and business efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction. How to improve supply chain visibility? Implementing visibility in real-world scenarios can demand considerable time and effort. Nevertheless, there are specific essentials that can simplify this process. Let's take a look at that companies can employ to gain full control over their supply chains and logistics operations. 5 technologies Blockchain The decentralized nature of blockchain, along with smart contracts being part of the technology, makes it an ideal solution for invoice management, freight monitoring, product traceability, and information processing. Here is how integrating supply chains with blockchain technology can empower companies and help them establish end-to-end visibility. Blockchain provides an open and secure record of transactions and events, allowing stakeholders to follow the entire supply chain path. Transparency. The technology provides a secure and immutable ledger that lets all involved in supply chain operations verify the origin, authenticity, and condition of goods in real-time. Trust and authentication. Blockchain enables live tracking of goods, letting everyone see the movement and status of products at each stage of the supply chain. Real-time tracking. Blockchain removes the need for intermediaries, lowers administrative costs, and improves efficiency. Efficiency and cost reduction. The technology facilitates secure and direct interaction among supply chain participants, as well as encourages collaboration and data sharing. Collaboration and data sharing. Just like described above, blockchain-driven supply chain transparency builds customer trust, lets businesses authenticate product origin, and monitors goods in real time. Intelligent automation Logistics process automation covers all stages and areas of supply chain management, from document digitization to warehouse stock monitoring, and contributes to supply chain visibility in several ways: Intelligent automation helps organizations integrate data from ERP, WMS, TMS software, and IoT devices into a centralized platform that shows an integrated view of the supply chain and allows them to access all real-time information in one place. Data integration and consolidation. Automation and RPA tools monitor supply chain activities and save data on inventory levels, order status, shipment tracking, and other relevant metrics. Real-time monitoring and alerts. RPA allows companies to automatically generate reports and invoices, minimize errors, and ensure accuracy and consistency in reporting. Streamlined document management and reporting. Intelligent automation makes it possible to process large volumes of supply chain data. It streamlines trend identification, forecasting, and anomaly detection, extracting near real-time insights to identify areas for improvement. Data analysis and insights. Automating repetitive and manual tasks gives supply chain professionals the freedom to focus on strategic activities and dedicate more resources to monitor, analyze, and optimize supply chain processes for better visibility and performance. AI and data analytics AI plays a crucial role in inventory planning, route optimization, demand forecasting, sales and marketing, and fault analysis. In addition, the technology can help to improve visibility in the external aspects of supply chain management. AI algorithms manage large amounts of real-time data from IoT sensors, RFID tags, and social media. They analyze critical supply chain information, offering up-to-date visibility into inventory, demand, and production. Real-time data processing. AI-powered predictive models can project future demand, identify potential disruptions, and optimize inventory levels to avoid shortages or excess inventory. Predictive analytics. Intelligent algorithms assess historical sales data, market trends, weather patterns, and other factors to accurately predict demand and ensure the right products are available when needed. Demand planning. AI analyzes news feeds, social media, and weather updates to notice potential supply chain risks and disruptions. This way, the technology helps companies create risk-minimization strategies for uninterrupted business operations. Improved . risk management ML algorithms monitor transportation routes, warehouse operations, and production schedules to simplify resource allocation, enhance efficiency, and shorten lead times. Supply chain optimization. AI helps supply chain managers make well-informed decisions regarding order fulfillment, inventory replenishment, supplier selection, and demand management. This, in turn, provides companies with a comprehensive and intelligent decision support system. Logistics customer portal software Responding to the increasing demand for service quality from their customers, companies incorporate real-time order tracking features into customer logistics portals. Here's how such software contributes to achieving visibility in the supply chain. Customers can monitor the real-time status and location of their shipments on the portal to get more visibility into the progress and estimated arrival time of their goods. Shipment tracking. The portal gives access to bills of lading, customs clearance data, and invoices, which keeps customers informed about the necessary paperwork related to their shipments. Access to documentation. A logistics portal lets customers submit new orders, modify existing ones, or schedule pick-up and delivery requests. Also, it provides clients with product specifications, quantities, and delivery instructions. Order placement and management. The portal allows customers to submit inquiries, request quotations, and receive responses directly through the portal. This feature simplifies communication and promotes collaboration between stakeholders. Communication and collaboration. In case of delays, damages, or inventory discrepancies, the portal allows customers to report these incidents, track them, and ensure timely resolution. Exception management. Logistics customer portal software increases supply chain visibility through real-time tracking, document access, communication, order management, and exception handling. As a result, it leads to streamlined processes and improved overall visibility throughout the supply chain. Logistics dashboards Logistics offer a visual representation of all the data related to logistics operations and let businesses efficiently track their KPIs. Dashboards play an important role in establishing a direct link between supply chains and visibility. dashboards Logistics dashboards collect data from transportation, warehousing, inventory, and order management systems to provide a comprehensive view of all supply chain levels. Centralized information. Using interactive charts, graphs, and visual representations, logistics dashboards help companies notice trends, patterns, and exceptions to understand the current state of the supply chain and see potential gaps. Data visualization. Dashboards facilitate the real-time tracking of KPIs and metrics for logistics visibility, such as on-time delivery rates, lead times, and transportation costs. Real-time KPI monitoring. Logistics dashboards let users see detailed information at various levels of granularity. This way they can explore specific metrics, transactions, or geographical regions, and understand the root causes of issues. Drill-down capabilities. Users have the freedom to configure their dashboard views, selecting the most relevant KPIs, visualizations, and metrics for their specific responsibilities. Customization and personalization. By delivering centralized, real-time data visualization, performance monitoring, exception management, and collaboration capabilities, logistics dashboards elevate visibility across the supply chain and contribute to operational excellence. In conclusion The diverse set of digital tools and technologies can effectively solve the challenge of limited visibility in the supply chain. Furthermore, using the essential technologies mentioned earlier not only improves operational efficiency but also builds trust with consumers and supports business expansion. However, achieving supply chain visibility is a complex task. That’s why introducing visibility solutions demands a strategic approach and the engagement of highly skilled subject matter experts.