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Measuring visibility to improve supply chain performance: a quantitative approach

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a quantitative approach to assess the degree of visibility that a focal company has of its supply chain, addressing specifically complex networks and ecosystems. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on an in‐depth literature review concerning the measurement of supply chain visibility and the assessment of its value. An extensive, six‐month discussion and refinement process with the supply chain managers of nine leading companies was conducted to validate the proposed approach and to conduct real case studies. Findings – The main outcome of this paper is a model to measure the visibility level in complex supply networks. Such a measure can be used for benchmarking and as a diagnostic tool for practitioners to find more easily the areas where a visibility improvement is more urgent. Research limitations/implications – The model provides a measure of the visibility across the inbound supply chain. Further research will extend the approach to the internal and outbound supply chains. Moreover, limited empirical evidence is presented in this paper, which mainly aims to validate the proposed approach. A wider application of the model could offer interesting opportunities in terms of managerial practice and provide a more extensive basis for benchmarking. Originality/value – Various authors have attempted to quantify visibility across a supply chain, but they either calculate it only for simplistic, two‐tier or linear supply chains, or they fail to provide a comprehensive visibility metric. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Benchmarking: An International Journal Emerald Publishing
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