Search By Topic The Green Supply Chain Distribution Digest
Supply Chain Digest Logo

Nick Boland
Global Product Marketing
Amber Road

Supply Chain Comment

Nick Boland
Director, Global Product Marketing
Amber Road

For more information, please visit

July 27, 2017

Great Expectations: End-to-End Visibility

Agility is a key Factor in Enabling Organizations to Weather Changes and Disruptions, However, it is Only one Piece of the Puzzle That Makes a Good Company Great


With the global financial crisis now almost a decade back in the rear-view mirror, the pressure is on CXOs of top global companies to show continued improvement and growth while demonstrating the company’s resilience to live through the worst of storms. It is clear that agility is a key factor in enabling organizations to weather whatever changes and disruptions coming down the road, but that agility is only one piece of the puzzle that makes a good company great. It is only through in-depth knowledge of the global supply chain, inside and out, from start to finish, that a company can consistently meet consumer expectations, while ensuring performance in the face of such challenges as an ever-changing regulatory environment, complex trade regulations  and brand damaging potential enforcement actions.  

Boland Says...

Each company has unique needs and must manage their supply chains and solutions in the way that best fits their operations.

What do you say?

Click here to send us your comments

Consumers want more, and they want it now

The fast fashion trend and the “Amazon effect” on retail has disrupted supply chain operations, forcing organizations to reduce time-to-market and quickly deliver competitively-priced merchandise to meet consumer demand. The expectations of today’s buyers (both B2B and B2C) can be difficult to meet, even more so without full visibility of the entire production process, from raw material orders to product delivery. And quick delivery isn’t the only piece of this puzzle; consumers are embracing new ways to shop and buy goods, requiring innovative solutions that simplify the process and enhance the ease of purchasing. Organizations looking to offer consumers a 21st century buying experience must therefore themselves embrace 21st century technology.

Cloud-based global trade management (GTM) software that includes complete supply chain visibility can support the new retail demand by clearly identifying every step of the process. Brands and retailers require the ability to source, manufacture, and deliver products efficiently, while reacting to unexpected events quickly without compromising the customer experience. The pressure on organizations to meet consumer expectations is immense, clearly there is a need to digitize and automate key components of the supply chain. Even the best automation can’t predict global events, so having full visibility is a requirement for responding quickly to the changing winds of fate.

Ignorance is not bliss

These days, when supply chains experience disruption via social compliance concerns, the world stops and takes note. It wasn’t long ago that Ivanka Trump’s clothing and footwear line was making front-page news due to concerns over forced labor at Chinese factories producing her branded goods. The general public never stops long enough to investigate the truthiness of a sensational story, and the potential fallout from social compliance concerns can steeply affect your bottom line. Public opinion can sometimes be costlier than actual enforcement actions. Having complete visibility of all manufacturers in the supply chain can allow organizations to address concerns before they make the nightly news.

While customer demands increase, governments around the world are stepping-up trade enforcement. Global companies need to be tuned-in to every aspect of their sourcing, production and shipping activities – from start to finish – in order to avoid delays and additional compliance related costs. To achieve true agility – the power to respond to short notice demands and enforcement activities – companies need to build a “glass pipeline.”  

The glass pipeline

What does a glass pipeline look like in practice?

  • A centralized, digitized, cross-functional platform that provides both micro and macro events and trends.

  • Innovation should be supported—not hindered—within supply chains via increased visibility from the design and product development stages.

  • Direct management of raw materials supply and demand improves the ability to make design changes based on actionable information while reducing the development cycle for new products.

  • Monitoring factory production milestones with management-by-exception reporting gives early warning to missed events that impact downstream.

  • Capability to easily switch trading partners if required, and the flexibility to deal with unforeseen issues quickly and efficiently.

  • Pro-active alerts of regulatory blockages in the form of restricted party screening, certificates of origin, and complex entry requirements can be mitigated through efficient supply chain management solutions that include visibility into customer, product and country (ship to/ship from) data.

  • When delays and detentions do happen, agile organizations respond immediately with documentation to speed cargo release and mitigate further problems.

Today’s technology can provide unmatched clarity throughout the supply chain, a glass pipeline where every aspect of a product is visible end-to-end, where every piece of cargo is tracked and monitored electronically, and where all points of the supply chain are integrated into one accessible solution. GTM software that facilitates real-time communication gives organizations the ability to respond to critical and ad hoc issues, meeting and even exceeding both consumer and C-level expectations.

Learn why companies are digitizing their supply chain to remain competitive in today’s growing global trade landscape in our latest eBook, The Digital Global Supply Chain.

Any reaction to this Expert Insight column? Send below.

Your Comments/Feedback


Marketing Head, Octopus Tech Solutions
Posted on: Aug, 02 2017
"CONSUMERS WANT MORE AND THEY WANT IT NOW" - I truly relate with this statement. No matter whether it is logistics or retail, customer demands are increasing at a fast pace. They want their goods delivered faster and in a reliable manner. There can be many issues that arise during the logistics journey that begins at a warehouse and ends at the customer's doorstep. Reliable call center services can help logistics companies handle this confusion by being the point of contact for your customers and helping them resolve any queries or taking any requests. 



Follow Us

Supply Chain Digest news is available via RSS
RSS facebook twitter youtube
bloglines my yahoo
news gator


Subscribe to our insightful weekly newsletter. Get immediate access to premium contents. Its's easy and free
Enter your email below to subscribe:
Join the thousands of supply chain, logistics, technology and marketing professionals who rely on Supply Chain Digest for the best in insight, news, tools, opinion, education and solution.
Home | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
© Supply Chain Digest 2006-2023 - All rights reserved