What it is supply chain visibility?

Today’s businesses deal with global demand and supply chains that have gone from linear and simple to widespread and complex. Tracking and tracing goods has since become more and more difficult. Therefore, when talking about lowering supply chain costs and improving customer satisfaction, the focus has increasingly been placed on supply chain visibility. The term refers to a company’s ability to locate its shipments at any point along the transport route and provide up-to-date information to all involved stakeholders. 

Supply chain visibility can be defined in various ways. For the food industry, transparency and real-time information is important when it comes to monitoring the condition of products. There may be specific logistics requirements when moving goods from their point of origin to their final location to prevent food from expiring, such as ensuring an uninterrupted cold chain or a guaranteed delivery period.

For the automotive industry, it is advisable to track the movement of manufactured parts and materials as they move from the supplier to the assembly area. Let’s say you have an assembly planned for the next week, but due to unforeseen circumstances at one of your suppliers, their parts are not going to make it on time. Supply chain visibility allows you to mitigate disruptions and improve your overall planning. 

It is a challenging, yet crucial task for companies to track their shipments across multiple modes of transport. Any issues that may occur in a supply chain may either increase your costs or lower your income. 

… and why is it important?

Tracking your shipment with Kizy.
In fact, the lack of accurate information about shipments and assets on the move costs the industry approximately 250B USD per year. These expenses are caused by delays and problems associated with them, such as late fees or congestion fees. A container loses about 2 % of its value for each day that it is late, but as a matter of fact, more than half of the containers arrive with an average delay of four days. In most cases, companies do not know where these containers are located. This is a major problem, considering that “74 % of firms use four or five different transportation modes in their supply chain” (Geodis, Supply Chain Worldwide Survey, 2017). This means that at least five or six different warehouses or distribution centres and more 
than 20 people are involved in the handling of a shipment. At each stage, there is a risk of goods being misrouted, damaged or stolen – problems that affect the rest of the journey. In the end, the result is unsatisfied customers. In order to maintain high quality levels in today’s global economy, companies must improve their supply chain visibility. They need a solution that gives them easy access to all relevant information. The data provided will enable them to understand the underlying links and patterns. Systematic analyses of the data will enable them to make valuable predictions and recommendations for the future and optimize their supply chain by moving from hindsight to foresight. They will work more efficiently by being able to react to supply bottlenecks and find out what is the best time, date and route for their goods and the best transport company to work with.

How to strategically select a solution to achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility

When looking for a supply chain solution, you should strategically select one that is most suitable for your needs and fits your processes. If your shipments require long-term tracking as they take several weeks from sender to recipient, you will want a solution that comes with long autonomy. In addition, shipping globally requires good coverage, so you know exactly where your goods currently are. Thinking about expanding or adding more trackers at some point in time? Check for a solution that does not require setting up a major infrastructure and is easily scalable. Ideally, your solution also comes at low cost. Kizy Tracking can provide all of this.

Supply chain visibility no matter who you're shipping with.

Uncover your supply chain with active global tracking – Kizy

Kizy Tracking is an active solution to make supply chains visible by providing relevant shipment data in real time. It enables companies to tackle problems when and where they arise. 

Businesses that use passive technologies such as RFID and barcodes only get partial information. These systems need reading infrastructure, like a scanner or reader, otherwise there will be no information on the position of shipments. Hence, if something happens in between the reading points, it is highly unlikely to find out the causes.

Because Kizy Trackers use cellular phone networks and WIFI only, they have several advantages: for one, the trackers work anywhere where networks are available, which means 98 % of global coverage, including the inside of buildings and containers. Secondly, they require much less energy than GPS-based solutions because they don’t need to connect to a satellite via antennae. Despite being the size of a credit card, Kizy Trackers work autonomously up to one year, whereas similar-sized GPS trackers would only last a couple of days. Their small design and light weight of 42 g make it even possible to include the trackers in a regular letter and send them worldwide. Kizy is also a lot less expensive than similar GPS devices. Kizy Trackers are between five and ten times cheaper, with regard to the total cost of ownership.

Kizy Tracking in logistics
In addition, the trackers are very easy to use. Based on the principle ‘configure once and reuse’ only one configuration is necessary to reuse the template for as many shipments of the same kind as needed. All the configuration requires is a combination of time, state and place to obtain notifications of your liking, from very basic to very specific: From ‘Your shipment has arrived at its destination’ to notifications when your shipment passes specific checkpoints, such as borders, or leaves predefined routes. By smartly combining rules you can turn a supply chain that needs to be monitored into a supply chain that monitores itself and will raise your attention, if a problem occurs. You will be able to spend more time managing your clients and shipments with the same capacity you already have.

It is as simple as this. You can start a project within hours and test, if you get the desired data to see what is happening in your supply chain. There is no need for additional equipment. Just send a Kizy Tracker to the place of origin, activate it and put it into your shipment. What are you waiting for? Be proactive. Just like Kizy. 
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