The Importance of Visibility in the Supply Chain


By Ken Carpenter

Biotempak, a leading provider of temperature, humidity, protection and cold chain monitoring equipment, hosted a webinar in October with Cloudleaf, featuring Chief Evangelist David Parker. Biotempak showcased its solutions for cold chain monitoring, while David discussed trends in supply chain visibility and how organizations can achieve near-optimal visibility.

Here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the webinar to help you understand how supply chain technologies are enabling companies to dramatically improve visibility. Be sure to watch the webinar in its entirety to learn more.

Takeaway #1: Supply chains need to be more connected, scalable and transparent to address emerging consumer trends and demands.

Every supply chain has complex execution challenges. These challenges typically fall into three areas.

1) Product flow: continuous end-to-end intelligence is required to reduce temperature excursions and product losses, track chain of custody and route/carrier performance, and be in compliance with government regulations.

2) Inventory control: end-to-end visibility is essential to have the right inventory in the right place at the right time, to avoid obsolete inventory, to have safety stock, to be able to fulfill omnichannel orders, and to perform demand forecasting.

3) Customer demands: companies require visibility to be able to provide next-day delivery, adequate product availability, authenticity, sustainable products, ethical sources, and cost-effective channels to meet customer demands.

Takeaway #2: Continuous visibility and intelligence drive business value.

Cloudleaf solutions emit hundreds of millions of data points per day, and this sheer volume of data exposes countless visibility gaps in our customers’ supply chains.  Cloudleaf customers typically see a 3x to 5x improvement in their supply chain visibility, resulting in increased revenues and decreased costs that are measurable, often totaling tens of millions of dollars. Applying analytics and AI/ML to location, condition and contextual data results in continuous real-time visibility throughout the supply chain ecosystem.

Takeaway #3: Gaining more points of complete visibility through the end-to-end ecosystem builds supply chain capabilities and enables accelerated progress toward demand-driven maturity.

One of the typical “black holes” in supply chain visibility is the manufacturing plant. This “Make” portion of the supply chain is often disconnected, but for a truly demand-driven ecosystem, it must be visible in considerable detail. There are many points in a production facility where gaining visibility can deliver enormous value.

As an example, one of the largest appliance brands in the U.S. deployed Cloudleaf to monitor the real-time condition and location of 32,000 pieces of heavy equipment that’s spread across a dozen production plants across the United States. By collecting location and condition data throughout the supply chain — indoors, in the yard and in transit — the company now has a comprehensive digital audit record that tracks capital asset location, condition and context in real time for accurate inventory levels nationwide.

Takeaway #4: End-to-end supply chain visibility provides companies with the real-time information they need about their products, starting from the source to manufacturing to final delivery.

Speed and agility are the keys to staying resilient and competitive. But in order to react quickly, it’s paramount to have complete visibility into your supply chain, so that you know where your products are, if they’re in good condition, if they’re delayed, how many are shipped, if the products are in compliance, and if the products will arrive on time.

Limited supply chain visibility can be rectified by deploying Cloudleaf’s Digital Visibility Platform, which enables you to have real-time, end-to-end visibility and decision support across your supply chain. Continuous visibility gives you the ability to leverage real-time vs. aged, static data and interpret the data to make sense of it.

Takeaway #5: Biotempak is fully integrated with Cloudleaf so that you can manage the quality and control of your products in transit.

Biotempak offers several robust, industrial-strength products, such as their BT3 Real Time sensor, which is a real-time temperature recorder that continuously uploads data to the cloud, making temperature, light and location information accessible in real time. Customers receive notifications via SMS, email and in the BT3 app.

The Cloudleaf and Biotempak partnership enables us to leverage our combined supply chain expertise so that we can provide solutions within Latin America, as well as around the globe. Contact us to learn more.