Custom Supply Chain Visibility Software
Features, Integrations, Benefits
ScienceSoft applies 11 years of experience in supply chain management software development to design and build powerful technology solutions that help achieve full supply chain visibility.
Supply Chain Visibility in Brief
Supply chain visibility software tracks shipments (raw materials, finished products, product components, etc.) in real time and provides insights based on actual supply chain data to supply chain stakeholders (suppliers, manufacturers, carriers, etc.) to help them enhance logistics, predict the demand, and optimize stock levels.
Custom supply chain visibility software is aimed to help companies drive improvements across their unique supply chain operations and introduce excellent customer and vendor experience by providing full insight into the multi-party supply chain operations.
Supply chain visibility software development takes around 7–12 months and requires $200,000–$400,000+ in investments.
Supply Chain Visibility Software: Functionality to Look For
The feature set of supply chain visibility software differs based on the supply chain network complexity, the industry a company operates in, the company’s business objectives and budget, etc. Below, ScienceSoft outlines the core functional capabilities such solutions should have.
Supply chain data management
- Integration of structured, unstructured, semi-structured supply chain data types.
- Support for real-time supply chain data ingestion from RFID and barcodes, IoT sensors, etc.
- Loading data from internal systems (supplier management system, order management system, supply chain planning system, etc.) and external data sources (management systems of inbound and outbound carriers, distributors, etc.).
- Built-in data processing capabilities (data cleansing, profiling, enrichment, etc., according to the user-defined rules).
Supply chain monitoring
- Tracking shipments within the supply chain in real-time.
- Real-time inventory level and location tracking within one and across multiple warehouse facilities.
- Tracking order fulfillment at each stage of the supply chain – raw materials sourcing, production of finished goods, their storage and delivery to end customers.
- Multimodal and intermodal transport tracking.
- Tracking product condition (temperature, humidity, vibrations, etc.) during transportation.
- Tracking greenhouse emission levels across the supply chain.
- Automated alerts and notifications triggered by user-defined supply chain events:
- Inventory stock level drop-downs or overstock.
- Inventory stock reaching safety levels.
- Inventory movement across warehouses.
- Returned inventory delivery.
- Shipment delays.
- Shipments entering high-risk zones (e.g., high-risk piracy areas).
- Loads not meeting regulatory requirements.
- Freight damage, etc.
- Alerting supply chain stakeholders (suppliers, carriers, customers, etc.) about supply chain issues via phones, emails, app notifications, etc.
Supply chain data analytics
- Calculating KPIs for end-to-end supply chain performance analysis (dwell time, OTIF, driver productivity, warehouse throughput, quality and anomalies across carrier loading, unplanned expedites, etc.).
- Supplier performance analysis based on the percentage of supplies delivered on time, average delays in order fulfillment, percentage of returned orders, etc.
- Inventory analysis (inventory turnover, inventory discrepancy, inventory safety levels across various facilities, etc.).
- Carrier performance analysis based on on-time delivery performance, routing compliance, freight damages, etc.
- Root cause analysis of late freight arrivals based on all the events that occurred throughout the transportation.
- Analysis of the environmental impact of the supply chain (identifying the biggest sources of GHG emissions and waste across logistics operations, reasons for empty miles, detention and dwell time, etc.).
- ML capabilities for:
- Predictive ETA calculations.
- Optimal departure time recommendations for the in-house fleet for on-time delivery based on the real-time and historical shipment data analysis.
- Prescriptive recommendations for mitigating potential disruptions (shipment delays, inventory stockouts, cargo damage, etc.) across the supply chain based on the analysis of historical data and real-time logistics data, traffic data, weather data, and more.
- Dynamic order rerouting (in case the delivery address changes, according to specific weather and traffic conditions, etc.).
Supply chain data reporting
- Pre-configured reports and dashboards for different user groups (suppliers, contractors, carriers, manufacturers) to get the following information:
- Percentage of orders delivered on time by different suppliers.
- Inventory stock levels across multiple locations.
- Carrier performance by lane, customer, across the entire supply chain.
- Cycle time and performance for every transport mode (ocean, rail, intermodal, etc.).
- Emissions by mode, by lane, per particular shipment, etc.
- Support for custom role-based reports and dashboards.
- Filtering and drill-down capabilities for reports and dashboards to check specific shipments, suppliers, warehouses, carrier lanes, carriers, drill-through to define root causes of delays and delivery issues, inventory stock-outs/overstock, etc.
- Support for automated report distribution (scheduled and triggered by certain events).
Security and compliance
- Supply chain data anonymization and end-to-end encryption.
- Dynamic supply chain data masking.
- Configurable role-based access control.
- Multi-factor user authentication.
Key Integrations for Supply Chain Visibility Software
Supply chain visibility solutions are usually a part of a supply chain management suite. If built independently, ScienceSoft recommends integrating the solution with the following supply chain management and planning systems to make it facilitator of supply chain data movement across systems and enable overall supply chain data transparency:
- To analyze suppliers’ performance and rate them accordingly.
- To promptly suggest an alternative supplier and mitigate unforeseen supply disruptions.
- To notify on upcoming and received supplies.
Transportation management system
- To gain visibility into supply chain logistics disruptions that could affect order delivery.
- To suggest optimal routes, transportation carriers, and vehicle load modes.
- To enable transportation cost analysis, detention costs analysis.
Order management software
- To enable order fulfillment tracking across the supply chain.
- To estimate order delivery time and enable dynamic order delivery scheduling.
- To enable dynamic planning of inventory replenishment and reallocation.
- To optimize warehouse labor scheduling.
- To enable dynamic demand planning, inventory planning, production planning, etc. based on real-time supply chain visibility data.
- To ensure the accurate execution of supply chain plans.
Factors that Drive ROI for Supply Chain Visibility Software
ScienceSoft’s consultants have defined a range of important factors, which help maximize the value and cost-efficiency of a supply chain visibility solution.
Advanced analytics capabilities
To forecast shipment arrival times and prescribe actions for supply chain optimization (optimal departure time for on-time delivery, supplier/carrier assignments, order reroutes, inventory reallocations, etc.).
Convenient role-based reporting and self-service analytics capabilities
To accelerate the adoption rate among users and maximize solution effectiveness.
To enable smooth integration with internal and external supply chain management software and overall solution scalability.
To safeguard a large volume of customer, order, inventory, logistics, etc. information with end-to-end data encryption and role-based data access.
Supply Chain Visibility Software Development: Success Story by ScienceSoft
Supply chain e-collaboration network for 1,700-store retailer
- Real-time monitoring of buying and selling processes, inventory levels, supplier performance, and more.
- Role-based access control for category managers, store managers, suppliers, accountants, etc.
- Trackable communication with suppliers via a vendor portal.
- Advanced analytics for demand planning.
Customer’s benefit: Enhanced visibility into supply chain operations, improved cross-department and supplier collaboration.
How to Build Supply Chain Visibility Software
Supply chain visibility software development with ScienceSoft usually covers the following key steps:
Business analysis and eliciting requirements for a supply chain visibility system.
Introducing an optimal feature set, architecture design, and tech stack for the solution.
Project planning: scope, deliverables, team composition, timelines, budget, etc.
Supply chain visibility software development.
Integration with the required corporate and third-party systems, including hardware systems.
Support and evolution of the supply chain visibility solution (optional).
Costs and Financial Outcomes
The cost of supply chain visibility software depends on:
- The number of the required functional modules and their complexity (e.g., advanced analytics capabilities or supply chain automation level).
- Supply chain visibility software integration needs (the number of systems for integration, their complexity, etc.).
- Supply chain data management needs (data volume, complexity, quality, data storage type, etc.).
- Requirements for supply chain visibility software availability, performance, security, etc.
From ScienceSoft's experience, building custom supply chain visibility software may cost around $200,000–$400,000+, depending on the solution complexity.
Want to understand the cost of your supply chain solution?
Benefits of a real-time supply chain visibility solution
reduced OTIF penalties due to accurate prediction of ETA, dynamic optimization of transportation activities
reduced container dwell time due to real-time container tracking and enhanced logistics operations planning
reduced driver detention due to accurately scheduled supply chain operations (shipment pickups, truck loads/unloads, etc.), dynamic route/transportation mode optimization, etc.
reduced warehouse labor costs due to accurate shipment arrival prediction and achieved transportation visibility
reduced inventory carrying costs due to the visibility of current inventory levels across every step of the multi-echelon supply chain
reduced expedited shipping costs due to dynamic route/transportation mode optimization
Off-the-Shelf Supply Chain Visibility Solutions ScienceSoft Recommends
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management for mid-sized and large-sized companies.
- 360-degree overview of supply chain data (order fulfillment, procurement, production, inventory, warehousing, and transportation).
- Tracking of inbound shipments and calculating procurement and transportation costs.
- Real-time on-hand inventory monitoring with the Inventory Visibility Add-in.
- AI-powered supply chain forecasting and recommendations (optimal stock levels calculations, warehouse throughput forecasting, predicting issues in the supply chain, etc.) with Supply Chain Insights.
- Self-service supply chain analytics capabilities with the Power BI integration.
- Multi-language support.
FourKites Real-Time Transportation Visibility Software
End-to-end supply chain visibility.
- Visibility over transportation, yard, warehouse, stores, etc. operations via GPS, ELD, AIS, mobile device data ingestion.
- Real-time freight tracking across all transportation modes.
- Fully customizable, automated ETA notifications for suppliers, carriers, customers, etc.
- 21 out-of-the-box analytics reports and dashboards (OTIF, detention and dwell time, carrier and lane performance, facility performance, etc.)
- ML-based forecasts and prescriptive recommendations across the supply chain (ETAs, potential delays, best reschedules, etc.)
Upon request to the vendor.
Transportation operations management.
- Multimodal shipment tracking across the entire supply chain.
- Predictive ETA scheduling for shipments across all transportation modes (ocean, rail, air, etc.).
- A set of pre-built integrations with TMS, WMS, ERP, etc., including Oracle Transportation Management and SAP LBN.
- Built-in supply chain data management (cleansing, normalization and enrichment).
- Customizable analytics dashboards for carrier managers, supply chain network analysts, customer representatives, etc.
Upon request to the vendor.
When Custom Supply Chain Visibility Software is a Viable Option
ScienceSoft recommends custom supply chain visibility software development in the following cases:
Supply chain visibility software has to be integrated with a vast number of internal and external systems, which may be costly and time-consuming in case of platform-based software.
You need supply chain visibility software that can be easily evolved with advanced functionality (AI and ML prescriptive supply chain recommendations, creating and sharing role-based dashboards for real-time supply chain tracking, etc.).
Implementing platform-based supply chain visibility software will evoke considerable subscription costs due to numerous solution users.
You operate in a highly regulated industry (e.g., government sector, healthcare) and need a supply chain visibility solution fully compliant with specific security and compliance requirements (SOC 1 and SOC 2, GDPR, etc.).
Consider Professional Services for Supply Chain Visibility Software Implementation
Since 2012, ScienceSoft provides full-cycle services to help companies implement effective supply chain visibility solutions.
Supply chain visibility software consulting
- Analysis of needs for supply chain visibility.
- Conceptualization of a supply chain visibility solution.
- Solution architecture design and tech stack selection.
- Solution implementation planning.
- Business case creation, including cost estimation, time budget estimates.
Supply chain visibility software development
- Analysis of needs for supply chain visibility and elicitation of solution requirements.
- Conceptualization of the supply chain visibility solution.
- Solution architecture design and tech stack selection.
- Solution development and integration with required software (SMS, TMS, WMS, etc.).
- Supply chain visibility software quality assurance.
- After-launch support and evolution (if required).
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We provide advisory and development services to help companies maximize supply chain visibility. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, ScienceSoft relies on a mature quality management system and guarantees that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security. Feel free to contact us in case you need full-scale supply chain visibility software.