Skip to Content

Creating a Visible, Agile, & Transparent Supply Chain

Digitising Your Supply Chain How to Compete in a Global Market

Read how creating a visible, agile, & transparent supply chain with Salesforce helps businesses expand to meet customer needs & avoid issues.

Supply chains haven’t always been visible to the sales, marketing, and customer service teams — especially for small businesses. In the past, customer orders went to the production and supply teams. But, there was no visibility of potential issues with the product or service.

Implementing a visible, agile, and transparent supply chain can help prevent these setbacks.

But what exactly is a visible supply chain? Basically, supply chain visibility allows a business to see the operations of every stage of its supply chain. Internal partners can then share relevant information with each other, including:

  • Day-to-day production updates
  • Quality control inspection reports
  • Compliance and certification verification
  • And more

This internal sharing of data allows team members to stay on the same page and collaborate more efficiently.

So what is an agile supply chain? One of these enables businesses to react quickly and adapt to market changes and customer demand. With an agile supply chain, companies can expect, respond to, and recover from unforeseen or disruptive events.

And what about a transparent supply chain? Essentially, it means that a business completely understands the actions and requirements at each stage of its supply chain. This is similar to a visible supply chain. They differ in that the company shares this factual information with both internal and external audiences. Some key topics include:

  • Safety standards
  • Business practices and working conditions
  • Product quality
  • Sustainability
  • Raw material sources
  • And more

The most powerful supply chains will be visible, transparent, and agile. This combination will help businesses better serve their customers.

At our World Tour London event, we spoke to Mark Smedley, Global Sales Director of Brompton. Read on to find out how its smart supply chains are helping them move their businesses forward.

Agile supply chains for custom orders

All product-based businesses can benefit from having a transparent and agile supply chain. It helps them improve their customer service and supports business expansion.

Agility is especially important for companies that produce custom products. Tailor-made products can’t easily be resold or rerouted to a different customer. Therefore, anticipating and responding to issues is essential.

An agile supply chain allows products or supplies to be rerouted to meet order demand. This helps keep companies from losing money on products they can’t sell. Combine this with transparency and your service team can interact with a customer if there is a delay or issue with their order.

Brompton understands this too well. A single missing piece of the 1200 parts needed to craft a Brompton bicycle slows down the entire production line. A visible, transparent, and agile supply chain keeps the company from losing sales. It also helps its teams anticipate customer demand as the business expands.

Find out more in our World Tour London episode: ‘Creating a Visible, Agile & Transparent Supply Chain’.

A visible, agile, and transparent supply chain is crucial for small businesses. Discover Brompton Bikes’ Journey.

A transparent supply chain also allows for increased forecasting

A transparent supply chain supports business supply chain forecasting. Once again, this is especially crucial for companies that produce tailor-made goods. These businesses need to understand which products, colours, or other elements are commonly in-demand or out-of-stock.

Supply chain demand forecasting allows companies to understand the highest demand. It also helps businesses anticipate — and deal with — fluctuations in demand. This is because the increased data from supply chain forecasting helps produce more precise predictions.

By understanding demand levels, businesses can keep healthy stock levels, plan for future sales, and provide accurate inventory during busy shopping times. Accurate forecasting can also help companies recognise where they are in relation to their goals. Are they going to hit their sales targets, or are they pacing behind? A transparent supply chain improves the accuracy of your forecasting, which can answer these questions.

Increased ability for business expansion

A visible, agile, and transparent supply chain helps overall business development. Businesses can achieve this through easier product expansion. An intelligent supply chain allows companies to understand which products are in higher demand. Then they can tailor products to meet that need.

For example, Brompton is working to meet the higher demand for electric bikes. Global markets are scaling at different paces as e-bikes become more common. Having a supply chain that is transparent, visible, and agile helps Brompton understand which products to focus on as it expands.

A good supply chain can also help with expanding the different regions where products are sold. Companies can reroute and move products quickly. By ensuring its supply chain is agile, Brompton has been able to move from predominantly wholesale products to a larger focus on direct-to-consumer (D2C). Now it is selling products in approximately 50 countries across the world.

Learn how Brompton is using a visible, agile, and transparent supply chain with Salesforce

The historic supply chain system cannot keep up with today’s fast-paced world. You need a supply chain that is visible, agile, and transparent. It’s not enough for your supply chain to be just one of these. In fact, it’s not enough for your supply chain to have two of these qualities. Your business needs a supply chain that is all three.

Find out more in our World Tour London episode: ‘Creating a Visible, Agile & Transparent Supply Chain’.

A visible, agile, and transparent supply chain is crucial for small businesses. Discover Brompton Bikes’ Journey.

Salesforce UK

Get our bi-weekly newsletter for the latest business insights.