More and more emphasis is being put on the importance and benefits of ensuring end-to-end supply chain visibility for businesses. With so many different organisations and individuals involved in the overall supply chain, it can be difficult for companies to have total clarity and visibility at all stages. In turn, this makes it more challenging for businesses to ensure optimum efficiency at every point in the supply chain.
Working with a carrier like MSC gives your business access to a full portfolio of solutions that can help improve the efficiency of different stages of the supply chain, and ultimately, the speed and cost effectiveness of the supply chain as a whole.
The primary benefit of end-to-end supply chains is the increased visibility they offer to everyone involved. Unlike traditional supply chains that view each operation in silo, end-to-end supply chains integrate all the different functions.
Not only does this improve the supply chain’s overall efficiency, but it highlights how the decisions made at each stage of the supply chain operation can have positive or negative consequences further down the chain. For example, if a business is looking to reduce costs, they may decide to switch to a different supplier for their raw materials. However, the new supplier could be based further away from the business itself, meaning that the raw materials have further to travel before production can begin. This means that the ‘supply management’ stage in the business’s supply chain will have to be updated to allow for the raw materials’ increased travel time.
The ability to observe the impact that each decision has on the next, combined with the objective view that an end-to-end supply chain offers everyone involved helps each individual to make more considered macro and micro choices, which ultimately means the overall supply chain operation will run more smoothly. It also increases communication across the entire supply chain, which helps to prevent bottlenecks and encourages a smooth flow of operations.
End-to-end supply chains help reduce the risk of miscommunication between the business and their customers. Customers can track their shipments more easily, increasing their satisfaction and potential brand loyalty. End-to-end supply chains also increase the ability of shippers to communicate with customers. For example, if a parcel of perishable items such as meat or dairy products is due to be delivered, the transportation and logistics teams can communicate with the intended customers about how best to store the items and resolve any issues relating to the delivery quickly.
There are four stages in every supply chain, and the enhanced visibility of an end-to-end supply chain means that businesses can improve their overall planning and strategic approach.
For instance, in the demand management stage, businesses need to try and project customer demand so that in the supply management stage inventory planning, capacity planning, and distribution management are as accurate as possible to maximise the return on investment.
Similarly, for the marketing activity that takes place in the sales and operations planning stage to be successful, products need to be available for consumers to purchase. Having access to all data relating to each of the stages within your business’s supply chains means that each operation is more accurate, and less time and profit are lost due to potential bottlenecks or errors.
Waste reduction is becoming more and more important for businesses from both a profitability and a sustainability perspective. From the outset, businesses have a clear overview of their inventory and administrative processes, reducing the chances of unprofitable overproduction.
Equally, from a transportation perspective, if shippers and carriers have access to the data that monitor things like weather conditions and the onboard equipment, they are in a much stronger position to be able to react quickly if there is a problem during the transportation of cargo. Having access to different data sets across the supply chain enables everyone involved to help minimise waste.
As well as helping to minimise waste, end-to-end supply chains also help encourage transparency and ethical supply chain management.
Ethical supply chain management describes supply chain operations that deliver the highest levels of sustainability and ethics throughout. Ethical supply chain management is divided into three core areas; economic, environmental, and social responsibilities.
Ensuring ethical practices across each stage of the supply chain is the responsibility of everyone involved. However, the transparency and visibility enabled by using an end-to-end supply chain strategy make it easier for businesses to ensure that their ethical policies and practices are being followed throughout.
It’s also beneficial from a consumer perspective. As more and more customers are choosing brands that practice sustainable manufacturing, marketing, and shipping methods, the transparency afforded by end-to-end supply chains gives consumers more information about the manufacturing process of certain goods and allows them to make an informed choice during their purchases.
At MSC, we pride ourselves on offering you agile solutions needed to help improve different stages in your overall end-to-end supply chain. As well as providing you with increased visibility, our teams of experts have the vital knowledge needed to provide advice and consultation to help you optimise your existing supply chain to help your business increase its overall efficiency.
We offer a range of shipping and logistics solutions, all of which can be tailored to the needs of our customers. Contact us today to find out more.