Supply Chain Visibility

A study from Aberdeen found that companies that have the most visibility into their supply chains also have the lowest out-of-stocks, the lowest landed costs and the highest on-time shipment rates. That’s no surprise.

Visibility means knowing where things are now; why they are there; and where they were before. It means knowing how many days of production can be done with the raw materials on hand, or whether inventory levels reflect the total of what’s in the back room plus what’s in the distribution center plus what’s in transit. Visibility can create a chain of custody for pharmaceuticals, confirm that a returned product was purchased legitimately, or provide product authentication to fight counterfeiting.

In short, supply chain visibility translates directly into business value. For an item to be visible, it must first be identified, its activity captured, and the information collected shared in a standard way so that all who need the information can access and understand it. GS1 provides the system of standards for structuring and sharing visibility information.

GS1 US™ has created a Visibility Framework, an integrated suite of global standards that identify, capture and share information about items, locations and events so that visibility becomes a reality. Download a copy of the GS1 US Visibility Framework, a white paper which explains in non-technical terms the basics of the visibility framework. Using Visibility Data to Improve Business Processes is an additional document which explains in more detail the positive impact visibility data can have on business processes.