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- April 26, 2012 -


Supply Chain Graphic of the Week: The Changing Nature of Supply Chain Visibility


Visibility Focus Has Expanded from Focus on Logistics to Demand, Supply, Analytics and More


By SCDigest Editorial Staff



Supply Chain Visibility is clearly one of the most important topics in supply chain management today and a top focus area for most companies.

That's why we focused on Visibility for our latest edition of the SCDigest Letter, just released.


In that Letter, we offer two views of supply chain visibility, the first of which shown below. That initial concept of visibility, from the late 1990s to 2005 or so, had a very logistics-dominated orientation - where's my stuff? It generally focused on three main objects: inventory, orders and shipments. The concept of event management, largely focused on meeting milestones in the shipment of goods, was also part of this initial framework.




Source: Supply Chain Digest Letter on Supply Chain Visibility 2012


In the past few years, a more all-encompassing view of supply chain visibility has taken hold. Today, while "where's my stuff?" is still critically important, visibility is also understood to mean a near real-time view into demand and supply, performance managent and more, as shown below.




Source: Supply Chain Digest Letter on Supply Chain Visibility 2012


We believe that supply chain analytics will increasingly be an essential element of the supply chain visibility equation as well.


To download an e-version of the full 16-page Letter, go to the Supply Chain Visibility Resources Page.



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Oct. 3, 2008

There are valid reasons for both the DC and DSD distribution models, but neither should determine the store assortment, which depends on the consumer.

The Distribution Center model makes sense when you have many prepackaged products which are continuously replenished and require little in-store servicing. With the facility justified, you can also add seasonal and holiday 'in and out' products which can share the distribution network.

The key is to manage the time supply of inventory in the warehouse and distribute it efficiently.

The Direct Store Delivery model can be implemented purely as a distribution method or also allow the manufacturer to manage some of the in-store merchandizing.

I do not see any advantage of using DSD simply to deliver merchandise. Although it may help the 'mom and pops' that are on the same route as a large retailer, the DSD model must be more expensive. Once the big drops are removed, it will become more costly to reach the independent retailers but the larger retailer must benefit.

If DSD is used to support in-store merchandising, then you have a different story. The manufacturer's representative can give their products the individual attention that increases their sales. The bad thing is that they can also load up the store with inventory if no one is watching.

Bill Bittner
BWH Consulting


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