Today’s supply chains have become increasingly complex and often create a risk for disruptions, lack of timeliness and miscommunications. Since supply chains are frequently dispersed both nationally and around the world, supply chain transparency is more important than ever. Supply chain managers should have clear visibility of all moving parts both upstream and downstream in the chain to avoid complications and quality assurance issues.
Implementing supply chain transparency does not happen overnight, but it is a best practice for manufacturers and suppliers to maintain optimal communication in their partnerships. Here’s a closer look at how to effectively boost transparency in your supply chain.
The Basis of Supply Chain Transparency
Supply chain transparency is a strategy that all supply chains can benefit from. When establishing transparency, supply chain members must identify:
- Where is visibility required? Who should have access to supply chain data specifically?
- What format should the information be shared? Should members display their data in a map or utilize traceability technology?
- How frequently should information be shared and updated? Should transparency include real-time tracking for every process in the chain?
Answering these questions will help supply chain members increase visibility and remain on the same page. Boosting transparency efforts is a great way for manufacturers to showcase their sustainability efforts and maintain an honest display for customers and stakeholders. With clear goals, communication and trust at the forefront, supply chains can expect transparency to be established.
Supply Chain Mapping
Supply chain mapping creates a full picture of every tier in a supply chain from start to finish. This mapping process enables supply chain managers to see a full scope of all potential hands that may play a role in product development, manufacture and distribution. Once every piece of the supply chain is listed and mapped out, you should be able to see where visibility is most limited. From there, you can work to improve transparency and close all informational gaps along the chain.
Supply Chain Traceability
Supply chain traceability is a method of tracking the journey of your products from start to finish as they move along the chain. This process creates opportunities to increase communication within the chain, meet all regulatory requirements and ensure customers are aware of the product journey so they have a good understanding of how their product was made.
When it comes to sustainability, traceability allows for supply chains to verify their social and environmental claims, such as certified organic or carbon neutral. Some companies are opting to utilize blockchain technology to trace ingredients and host a more connected supply chain. Blockchain technology can allow all members of the chain to agree on their processes and have a mutual understanding of where their products have been and where they are going. This allows for seamless transparency in a supply chain, giving every member the opportunity to monitor their products and trace their development.
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