Why Use End-to-End Supply Chain Visualization?

Supply chain visibility is a key business challenge: in a recent survey of business continuity professionals, nearly 75% reported a lack of visibility into their supply chains. The problem is even more pronounced for extended supply chains: most companies have little to no information on second- and third-tier suppliers.

End-to-end supply chain visualization models the flow of products from raw materials to finished goods, enabling new kinds of analytics for operations, risk and sustainability. Originally developed by MIT engineers in 2009, this technology was spun off by MIT startup Sourcemap Inc. in 2011.

How it works

Traditional data visualizations – pie charts, bar graphs and the like – are designed to highlight simple quantitative relationships. Today’s advanced visualizations make it possible to uncover the patterns and relationships behind big, multi-dimensional datasets. A typical end-to-end supply chain includes hundreds of shipping links connecting thousands of vendors, manufacturers, distributors and customers. Modeling such complex networks relies on techniques that were originally developed to visualize the millions of users in a social network. Unlike traditional business charts and graphs, these network diagrams need to be interactive so that it is easy to instantly search and sort the supply chain by individual products, shipments, and key performance indicators.

75% of business continuity professionals report a lack of visibility into their supply chains.