Challenges in Achieving Supply Chain Visibility

June 9, 2016 Gary Neights

Are Massive Data Sets the Holy Grail?

"Visibility" has many meanings in B2B supply chain world.

According to, Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) is defined as: the ability of parts, components or products in transit to be tracked from the manufacturer to their final destination. The goal of SCV is to improve and strengthen the supply chain by making data readily available to all stakeholders, including the customer. Supply chain visibility technology promotes quick response to change by allowing privileged users to take action and reshape demand or redirect supply.

Software vendors like Oracle and SAP offer visibility packages. But the real challenge is that the data needed most resides outside of the company's ERP as shown in the graphic below from AGILE Government Summit.








Many cloud providers are offering services to bring in massive data sets to the ERP. However, layering on tools to troll social media, crawl across web sites, access third-party content, and integrate the internet of things (IoT) sounds sexy, but you need to avoid catching ID (Irrelevant Data) overload. The critical time-sensitive supply chain execution decisions needed to keep plants running and transport moving need accurate business data. Supply chain decisions have financial impact and need to be taken in near real-time. Could bringing all these data streams into a ‘control tower’ inside the ERP and applying fast in-memory processing actually cause information overload and analysis paralysis? It's a real possibly.

Elemica’s goal is to protect you from the information overload up front. We do this by inherently normalizing the data from your supply chain – carriers, contract manufacturers, customers, IoT,  mobile devices, suppliers, third parties, etc. We provide you with a rich, reliable data set that lets you visualize what is really happening and what might happen based on hard data. Elemica serves as the network of networks for the Process Manufacturing industries. Elemica solutions power your planning and ERP systems with reliable data and keep you safe from ID overload.


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