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What is end-to-end visibility and why is it so important in B2B?

27/09/2023 by Bluugo

In its shortest definition, end-to-end visibility can be thought of as a combination of situational and strategic awareness. What are the main components involved and why is it so important for B2B companies?

What is end-to-end Visibility?

End-to-end visibility (or E2E visibility) refers to having a comprehensive and real-time understanding of a business process from its initiation to completion, including all stages, stakeholders, and relevant data. It involves many different areas, such as tracking & traceability, promoting collaboration between different stakeholders, and leveraging integrated technology & IT systems to ensure transparency, operational efficiency, and informed decision-making.

In more simple terms, end-to-end visibility can be thought of as a combination of situational and strategic awareness. It allows every party involved in your business processes to always stay on top of the situation and provides you with reliable information to make well-informed decisions both in the short and long term.

Tracking & Traceability

Traceability – the tracking, monitoring, and identifying the various moving parts of your business processes is an integral element of end-to-end visibility. The tracked things can be either physical objects, such as products, components, vehicles, containers, or equipment, or non-physical objects, such as purchase orders, digital transportation documents, or certificates. By utilizing modern technologies and IT tools, companies can track every element of their business throughout the entire value chain, from raw materials to aftermarket services – even with serial number -level granularity.

Promoting Collaboration

To run any business effectively, you need to know what’s going on in your company. Just being on top of your own function is not enough as every part of the value chain is connected to several others either directly or indirectly. In today's fast-paced and digitalizing B2B landscape, collaboration across different business functions and over company boundaries has become a necessity.

There are two main ingredients for successful collaboration – easy communication and seamless data sharing. When everyone has access to reliable information and efficient tools to inform other stakeholder groups when needed, all parties can focus on fulfilling their role in mutual trust that others will handle theirs.

Leveraging Integrated Technology

By utilizing various technologies and IT tools in intelligent ways, companies can bring their entire value chain with all of its phases, stakeholders, and assets on a single platform. A single source of truth with all required data available for every stakeholder whenever they need it – sounds too good to be true, but it really isn’t. With modern cloud platforms, like Bluugo’s Tracking Cloud®, even smaller companies can now achieve true end-to-end visibility over their business without huge investments or 12-month IT projects.

Unfortunately, many companies are still relying heavily on conventional IT tools such as legacy ERP systems to run their daily operations. These types of tools do have their place in the IT landscape, but are mainly designed for internal processes – including external stakeholders and sharing data over company boundaries is often difficult or outright impossible. Read more about the topic in our blog Focusing on ERP systems in business digitalization can ruin a company”.

The benefits of end-to-end visibility

Scientia potestas est – knowledge is power. This famous phrase by Francis Bacon does a great job at encapsulating the concept of end-to-end visibility. By always being on top of the situation, every element of your business will run more smoothly. Here are some examples of the numerous benefits having end-to-end visibility can provide for your company.

Transparency & good stakeholder relations

The terms Visibility and Transparency are often used interchangeably, and while they are closely related concepts, they do have distinctive differences. Shortly explained, visibility focuses on the availability of data, while transparency emphasizes the willingness to disclose and communicate that data to foster trust and effective collaboration in B2B relationships.

Having end-to-end visibility enables companies to provide their customers and business partners with valuable information such as order statuses, lead and delivery times, and inventory availability to ensure reliability and enable proactive communication regarding any potential disruptions or delays. This enhances customer satisfaction and makes it easy for business partners to work with your company, helping you to build long-lasting relationships.

Improved operational efficiency

Having a real-time overview of the business enables companies to increase their operational efficiency in numerous ways. When every involved party knows what is going on at all times, they can focus their efforts on performing their part of the value chain in the best possible way. Time is not wasted on endless inquiry emails and calls or searching for scattered data across multiple systems or spreadsheets. Everyone can embrace a more proactive working mode and focus their full attention and resources on solving possible problems or anomalies instead of working hard in a constant reactive mode just to keep everything running as usual.

Data-driven decision making & continuous improvement

End-to-end visibility allows companies to analyze real-time data and insights from every phase of their value chain to identify areas for optimization and proactively address issues and react to anomalies. By reacting quickly to changes in the business environment and basing their decision-making on reliable data, companies can significantly enhance their performance on the short term and ensure continuous improvement on a strategic level and longer horizon.

It is hard to be successful without end-to-end visibility

In conclusion, having end-to-end visibility is a critical factor in the success of any modern B2B company. By providing transparency, building long-lasting relationships, improving operational efficiency, and enabling data-driven decision making, it unlocks numerous benefits throughout the value chain. From streamlined processes and reduced costs to proactive risk management and improved collaboration, end-to-end visibility empowers B2B companies to optimize operations, meet customer expectations, and drive overall performance. In today's fast-paced and everchanging business landscape, embracing end-to-end visibility is not just an option, but a necessity for any B2B company aiming to stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustainable growth.

Useful resources

If you’re interested in learning more about end-to-end visibility and how it – or the lack of it – can affect your business, here’s a couple of interesting resources to check out:

Blog: “Many companies don’t know what’s in their warehouses”

Blog: “Focusing on ERP systems in business digitalization can ruin a company"

If you have already identified a pain point in your business and are looking for the right tool to solve it, check out Bluugo’s Tracking Cloud® - the world’s first hyperadaptive cloud platform for business digitalization. This revolutionary SaaS product enables companies to achieve true end-to-end visibility and digitalize their mission-critical business processes in supply chains, manufacturing, and aftermarket services with unprecedented ease, speed, and efficiency.

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