Supply Chain Visibility and Insights

Gain real-time visibility to manage and improve your supply chain processes and leverage actionable insights to optimize business outcomes.

Explore the path to a "thinking" supply chain.

Services & Solutions > Capabilities > Supply Chain > Supply Chain Visibility & Insights

Disruptions, customers, and costs are forcing rapid supply chain transformation

Supply chain managers are under immense pressure to optimize operations and reduce cost. They’re also being urged to deliver better customer experiences. It’s a daunting task under the best of circumstances, but even more so when coupled with unpredictable disruptions and wild fluctuations in demand.

As we’ve all learned, wholesale change can occur without warning. Our globally connected markets suddenly grind to a halt, and organizations can be required to make instantaneous adjustments. They may need to suddenly shift the sources of their raw materials or find alternative methods of transportation. They might even be required to retool production lines to create entirely new products that meet a sudden and critical demand.

As a result, the importance of a smooth flowing supply chain has gone from oft undervalued backroom coordination to blazing front-page news. Expectations have shifted. Vulnerabilities have been exposed. Disruptions are more visible than ever, and agility to overcome them is now a recognized and respected competitive advantage.

Knowledge is power in supply chains

Some leaders have distinguished themselves as they’ve moved swiftly and have acted wisely in tumultuous times. How are they able to achieve a level of competence that others are unable to match? 

Through informed monitoring and management of their supply chain by enabling visibility and analytics made possible by digitization.

Innovative technologies help to see precisely what is happening throughout the transaction lifecycle and analytics provide insights that make it possible to optimize performance, predict issues, and avoid disruption.

Your job isn’t just managing the supply chain – it’s also managing the tools for supply chain management.

Every day, you’re faced with enormous challenges, including maintaining the continuous operation of your supply chain and managing the tools you use to keep it running. In the past, this process required numerous phone calls, faxes, and mail.

But as supply chains have grown in sophistication and complexity, more sophisticated digital tools became necessary. Otherwise, the system would suffer costly errors and prohibitive time delays.

The speed, accuracy, and agility demanded by today’s supply chains can be achieved only through advancements in B2B technology.

The numbers confirm the need to improve
supply chain processes.

ai advanced technologies
More data

The typical supply chain accesses 50x more data than just five years earlier.

Unusable formats

80% of data is dark or unstructured and invisible to most companies.

Wasted data

<10% of supply chain data is effectively used.

Lack of insights

3 out of 4 line-of-business leaders say lack of actionable insight into key supply chain processes impedes performance.

Visibility and insights create resilient,
reliable supply chains

Visibility alone is not the answer to the supply chain problem. While it’s a huge achievement to collate and integrate data from multiple disparate sources, it’s not the end game. Once data can be accessed, it must be analyzed to deliver actionable, informed insights – the more real-time, the better. 

This is where AI and cognitive technologies become essential. AI has enabled the development of solutions that can think, reason, and learn almost like humans. And, like humans, AI-enabled machine learning continues to evolve and improve over time. So, the more you use it, the better it becomes. This new technology provides such critical value that IDC estimates that soon 50% of all business software will incorporate some cognitive computing functions.

artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence can be applied to massive feeds of both structured and unstructured data. In supply chain solutions, it’s already being used to discover insights, detect changes in behaviors, and recommend alternative actions – leading to new levels of performance and productivity.

Armed with detailed information about how their supply chain is operating, organizations are better able to monitor and manage activities, prevent disruptions, and assess the performance of individual members against KPIs and SLAs.

Visibility is the foundation of supply chain optimization

What you can’t see, you can’t manage. When you digitize supply chain transactions, you can benefit from real-time visibility. Visibility empowers more of your stakeholders to manage and optimize transactions and processes. It also your company to unleash the power of predictability and timely action.

Modern supply chain solutions, like the IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions, enable an unprecedented level of visibility.  They provide various stakeholders with the information they need to make better-informed decisions. They’re empowered to set expectations and improve performance based on data related to order processes, inventory, delivery timelines, potential supply chain disruptions – and much more.

The extensive visibility enabled by these solutions:

  • Empowers stakeholders to easily see the status of transactions throughout the lifecycle
  • Helps to identify and address issues and anomalies that may impact the business
  • Enables performance monitoring to ensure SLAs are met
  • Helps to reduce risk and mitigate disruption
  • Enhances relationships through greater transparency and responsiveness with customers, suppliers, and trading partners.
  • Enables timely insights and analytics to make solid predictions, prevent downtime, and improve performance.

Visibility brings many advantages to your organization and to your business partners. Ultimately, it creates the foundation on which you can build a more intelligent, agile, and resilient supply chain that becomes a competitive advantage.

Application Development Solution IMplementation

Insights are the impetus for action.

Cognitive and AI technologies are bringing a new level of actionable insights into supply chain processes. These technologies can understand, reason, learn, and interact like a human – but at enormous capacity and speed. 

They can automatically sift through large amounts of structured and unstructured data to help organizations improve forecasting, identify inefficiencies, respond better to customer needs, and drive innovation. This can include information around external forces such as weather, war, workers, and regulations.

Leveraging these capabilities, the supply chain can become much more informed, responsive, and predictive based on an increasing number of variables. This information can feed dashboards and analytics tools and be presented in user-friendly, dynamic graphs, charts, and other means. Stakeholders can leverage this to make sense of previously unused – but highly valuable – data, uncovering patterns and accessing business-critical insights that empower them to make smarter, quicker, and more efficient decisions.

Through better insights companies can:

  • Increase accuracy in planning order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes
  • Better understand risks and take steps to mitigate them
  • Prepare for the future by spotting patterns and trends
  • Monitor transactions, performance, trends, and more for better-informed decisions.
  • Gain a greater return on investment by acting upon better information.

A “thinking” supply chain delivers descriptive, prescriptive, predictive, and cognitive analytics to help organizations make better decisions. The results include reduced risk, optimized performance, and improved relationships with customers, suppliers, and business partners.

World-class supply chain management capabilities
are well within your reach.

As an IBM Platinum Business partner, we’ve helped thousands of companies leverage IBM solutions to optimize their supply chains.

Solutions for improved supply chain visibility and insights include:

cohesive pragmatic integrate

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Solutions

This comprehensive set of solutions helps organizations of every size achieve full connectivity, integration, visibility, and insights. Our consultants have extensive development, implementation, and management experience with the IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions and can help you select and deploy the ones that best meet your supply chain requirements.

cohesive pragmatic integrate

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network

Quickly connect, engage, and transact with over 800,000 preconnected trading partners. This core cloud solution enables seamless, secure, and reliable collaboration and increased visibility into transactions across your supply chain network. Its AI capabilities provide real-time intelligence and recommendations, while Blockchain also enables greater transparency.

cohesive pragmatic integrate

IBM Sterling Business Transaction Intelligence

Data silos within your company or across multiple partners can lead to disputes or disruptions of supply chain transactions. This solution illuminates B2B transaction blind spots, detects anomalies using AI and blockchain, and provides real-time shared visibility – from order through delivery. Predictive capabilities help determine whether a specific milestone, such as purchase order acknowledgment or shipping, will be completed by a certain date.

cohesive pragmatic integrate

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights with Watson

Predict, assess, and effectively mitigate disruptions and risks to your supply chain. This AI-powered solution delivers advanced, powerful insights. It quickly correlates a wide variety of data from siloed systems and external sources, and harnesses organizational knowledge to help resolve issues faster.

cohesive pragmatic integrate

IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower

Gain end-to-end visibility and insights to better manage and act on inventory to meet demand. This solution provides accurate, real-time, available-to-promise data, helping to see your inventory wherever it is, understand the impact of events, predict disruptions, and take the right actions.

cohesive pragmatic integrate

Lightwell Visibility Portal

Gain extensive visibility, control, and insight across your supply chain transactions. Customizable dashboards provide the details and control IT users need while delivering real-time views that empower business users to answer questions and resolve questions without the need for IT.

ibm excellence award

Honored During Think 2020

IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year

IBM Sterling develops innovative supply chain visibility solutions. We provide the expertise to optimize them for your organization.

Supply chains are complex networks of vastly different types of organizations with a wide variety of technologies and skillsets. That’s why you need reliable, adaptable solutions to connect, integrate, and analyze supply chain information. And you should work with a partner with the expertise to help you implement and leverage these solutions most effectively – while also helping you reduce complexity where possible.

At Lightwell, we help companies improve their supply chains leveraging a combination of expertise, tools, and techniques that include our own proprietary innovations plus superior quality solutions developed by IBM. We’re proud to be an IBM Platinum Business Partner whose outstanding performance was recognized with the 2020 award for IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year.


With end-to-end, comprehensive supply chain services, we work with you from the start, helping to determine the right tools, processes, and approaches that are the right fit for your needs. If needed, we’ll help you optimize your current supply chain strategies or help you develop a new one for today’s demands.

Leveraging our integration and data analytics expertise, we can help you unlock and connect valuable data sources that may be invisible to your team today.

Working together with you and our colleagues at IBM, we’ll combine the tools best suited to the specific requirements of your current and future supply chain. Our goal is to implement the solutions that optimize performance today while establishing a scalable and affordable foundation for the future.

As a result of working with us, you’ll gain extensive visibility and insights to empower your decision makers, improve supply chain performance, and optimize outcomes for your customers, company, and partners.

Comprehensive services and solutions for digital supply chains

IBM Sterling Supply Chain: This suite of industry-leading solutions provides critical capabilities for digitizing supply chains. This includes:

Developers services

Lightwell Supply Chain Services and Innovations: Our comprehensive, end-to-end services and innovations will help you accelerate, streamline, and optimize.  This includes:

Learn about supply chain solutions for your industry.

Many IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions are specialized for the unique needs of various business sectors, ensuring that standards are met for privacy, security, and other important areas related to business transactions and transmissions:

Illuminating Resources​

Let’s Get Started

Interested in improving supply chain visibility and insights?

Contact us to discuss how we can help you advance your supply chain capabilities and create a strong foundation for the future.

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