1. Visibility can reduce operational costs:
Visibility can help you notice inefficiencies in your operations. Inefficiencies lead to thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses. Removing inefficiencies reduces unnecessary expenses. Without operational visibility, inefficiencies can go unnoticed.
For example, a warehouse operator can have 15 minutes of unnecessary idle time for every hour of work. Those 15 minutes of idle time can easily go unnoticed in a bustling warehouse. If the said operator gets paid $50K a year, that means $12.5K of their salary was paid for them to sit idle. 10 of such operators could cost a business $125K in idle time expenses. Operations visibility allows you to notice and stop these small windows of idle time. For example, an operator on the clock without any movement of goods or task associated with them can be flagged as idling.
2. Visibility can help you foresee bottlenecks in your operations:
Every operation has at some point experienced a logistical disruption or bottleneck. Such a disruption can either be activities slowing down or operations grinding to a complete stop. When you have a bottleneck in logistics your customers get unhappy. Moreover, you end up spending more to deal with the disruption.
Visibility can help your business foresee and stop a bottleneck before it becomes a problem. Visibility allows you to monitor how fast goods are moving in different segments of your logistics. The logistical segment with the slowest movement of goods usually ends up being a bottleneck. If you notice activities slowing down in one of your logistics segments, you can deploy additional resources to speed things up. This will allow you to avoid a bottleneck before it becomes a big problem.
3. Visibility creates a suitable environment for continuous improvement:
"You can't improve what you don't measure" is an adage that makes visibility necessary for continuous improvement. Visibility allows you to measure the performance of your logistics. Performance measurement creates a suitable environment for continuous improvement. If you don't have visibility, you can't objectively measure performance. Thus, you can't be certain if a process improvement initiative is improving your logistics.
Visibility has more benefits than the 3 above. Visibility can also help improve reliability, accountability and operations management among other things. The most important thing to keep in mind is: benefits of visibility only come to life if there is a deliberate effort to improve logistical processes.