Visibility on a Global Scale: Supply Chains


Talking Logistics’ Adrian Gonzalez met with Julian Duerschmidt, the VP of Global Supply Chain Optimization at GEODIS recently, and the two discussed the journey toward maximum visibility of the global supply chain.  Read on for a quick synopsis of what was talked about during that episode of Talking Logistics:

One of the main goals of any individual in the transportation and logistics industry is to strive for total global supply chain visibility.  

Gonzalez comments on how this is a difficult feat, and now many companies have been able to reach this “promised land”. One way to help companies on their way to supply chain visibility is to be sure everyone is on the same page regarding what that really means.  Gonzalez’s guest, Duerschmidt discussed three categories to answer the question of “what is the goal of supply chain visibility?” These categories include the ideas of “reliability”, companies “reshaping themselves through acquisitions”, and “visibility into upstream suppliers”.  Essentially, if visibility is to be a global phenomenon, then it needs to begin with complete visibility and open communication within each company itself.

Real-time tracking and communication is another important factor in visibility, but it is a difficult one at that.  Tracking devices and technologies can be expensive, especially if there is a large fleet of vehicles or a high number of products being moved that all need their own tracking device.  There is also the potential for data overload--if it is not collected and organized efficiently, it will hinder, not help, the visibility process. The decision to invest in and use tracking technology and data collection processes is one left to each individual company, so that they can make an informed decision based on what would best fit their needs.

Working toward complete visibility, especially on a global scale, is expensive and time consuming.  So why do it? There are a few reasons: visibility will help you see into your own company more efficiently, allowing you to know exactly what is happening with your product.  You can provide better customer service, and continuously update the consumer on where their shipment is. Also, you can identify where trouble arises if products end up getting damaged or lost.  Visibility may take time and extra funds, but when executed correctly, the long term benefits are worthwhile.

Read the full article for more information: