¿Visibility or transparency?

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Visibility is always one of the great challenges of the supply chain, and obtaining it in real time through all levels of suppliers as customers can improve market speed, reduce investments, identify shortages and quality problems. However, many do not even have it at the first level of contact.

Transparency is related to what and how data is communicated to customers and suppliers. Visibility is important from the perspective of the provider and is the same as transparency from the client side. The reality is that both are needed.

The visibility in the chain refers to being able to see and follow your inventory levels, your trucks and their movements, from your suppliers to your customers. Transparency is related to operations, especially in sharing information related to quality, safety, ethics and impacts on the environment. Example: in a shipment of avocados, the visibility tells us where the product came from, where it is and where the transparency is going, it could include information on whether the avocados are organic, the name of the producer and the certifications that it has.

Increasingly consumers, governments and businesses are demanding transparency about the origins of products in food products, pharmaceuticals or toys. There is greater concern about quality, safety, ethics and impacts to the environment of the products we consume. With the question, where does this come from? The mistreatment of workers, organic contamination and harmful ingredients, are cases that alter us that companies still have no control in their supply chains.

For many products, the origin is an essential characteristic of what the customer buys and is essential to establish trust and reputation. It will be easier to follow up and share the manufacturing trajectory of the products. RFID tags are smaller and less expensive and can and less expensive and can be used in virtually any product (such as jewelry, paper or plastic) making the source information part of the product or material.

To the extent that customers have a greater interest in the origins and authenticity of the things they buy, giving them tools to track them will be an important part of the marketing mix and will give producers and stores new ways to capitalize on the value of the brand.

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