Let’s say, for example, that your company manufactures cameras. You, of course, need to make sure that you have full visibility into what’s happening when a camera is moving from your warehouse to your customer, from the packing process to the delivery to the retail store—after all, if your cameras don’t make it to these stores, they’re never going to make it to your customers. Companies everywhere are aware of this, and are working to implement all kinds of processes to improve downstream visibility: optimizing transportation/warehouse logistics, unifying ERP systems, creating digital twins of their production, and more.
If your organization is looking at these kinds of projects, well done: You’re right to be doing it. But if downstream visibility is your only focus, you’re only doing half the job—because upstream visibility is just as important to the customer. Let me put it this way: How are you going to get your cameras into the hands of your customers if you don’t have the parts you need to build them in the first place? This is why upstream visibility is just as crucial as downstream visibility.