3 Reasons Why Visibility Matters in Your Supply Chain

Supply chain management is changing – Fast.

As demand patterns shift, the dynamic landscape is challenging traditional linear models, creating a paradigm shift that’s opened the door for developing services and technologies to support flexibility in cold chain solutions through data and visibility. This is a topic that’s constantly in the industry news but it’s also ever-changing.

As customers demand greater and greater flexibility to how they can place orders, food producers and retailers must constantly evolve their supply chains to keep up with that demand, or perhaps risk losing that customer.  Expanding e-commerce solutions, large-scale shifts in distribution flows, and an increased demand for chilled and frozen foods tailored to personal tastes have bred supply chains that are employing smart tactics and grasping smart logic to fulfil those needs.

We’re living in a world-connected where cold chain complexities are best managed through the internet of things, an economic impact that could reach $11.1 trillion by 2025, according to McKinsey & Company’s Global Institute. And as smartphone penetration continues to sky-rocket, managing the moving parts of your cold chain will require innovative solutions through advanced technologies.

Securing the integrity of temperature-sensitive products, reducing waste, and improved management are a part of being a successful cold chain, and that requires the right technology every step of the way.

According to Thomas Musgrave, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Americold, visibility and management of inventory is becoming paramount to driving success.

“The industry is quickly driving focus around things such as On-Time In-Full , fresh product and ever-changing demands on shelf life,” Musgrave said.

With such demands, cold chains are allocating resources in iot technologies to best help you manage your supply chain.

“Our main technology investments are around our i-3PL portal, Warehouse Management System functionality and new applications such as Online Appointment Scheduling to continue to drive solutions so our customers’ next set of challenges can be met in the most efficient manner possible,” Musgrave said.

The Americold i-3PL supply chain control system is a customer service tool that offers direct visibility into your inventory, and soon, across the entire enterprise providing real-time data from your hand-held smart device.

With Gartner, Inc. forecasting 20.4 billion connected devices in use by 2020, next-generation supply chains are optimizing fulfillment capabilities and driving efficiencies through technology.


Efficiency: Your customers expect on-time-deliverers and with e-commerce solutions, expect shorter cycle times; no exception. To help meet and ease these consumer demands, it’s vital to have systems in place that provide transparency and visibility into your entire supply chain. With the use of such systems, you’re able to track your flow of goods at every point in your supplier network.


Decrease Risk: Supply chain visibility and traceability will help you to quickly identify and adapt to potential risk within your supplier network.


Reduce Cost: From inventory to transportation, supply chain visibility provides real-time data that will help you trace your product at each stage. According to a recent survey by Supply Chain Insights LLC, within 13 months, 70 percent of companies that acquired supply chain visibility solutions saw a return on their investment.


As instant data notifications become the norm and technology continues to empower supply chain professionals, Musgrave says Americold’s i-3PL tool continues to add functionality that will benefit its customers and facilitates visibility in one-single place.

i-3PL is the leading portal in the industry, and when combined with our vast EDI offering, is able to give our customers many options around visibility and management of the products they store with us,” Musgrave said.

As real-time data continues to provide supply chains with smarter inventory management solutions, it’s apparent, visibility in supply chain matters!


For more information about Americold’s Supply Chain Control system, visit i-3PL.