Operational Visibility is the ability to see what is going on, both in a routine report, and as it happens.
Visibility is probably the most important way to detect issues within your operation. Most operations practice this in certain ways, but seriously lack in others. This occurs for two reasons, firstly because visibility adds cost; however these costs are entirely justified in the long run. The second is because people are increasingly busy and unable to take advantage of such tools; especially on the small business end of things. When referencing business operations and visibility, there is one key truth: If you cannot see the problem, you cannot solve the problem. One unhappy client or customer will tell one hundred potential customers, this bad publicity could be stopped ahead of time with proper visibility.
On the logistical side of things, security and loss prevention are very important. Large global logistics corporations have millions of dollars dedicated to visibility at all times. Having served as a logistics operations supervisor and manager, as well as having consulted with global logistics firms, seriousness of security; It is absolutely necessary. Beyond security, operations management teams in logistics need to have their own visibility over the people they supervise. Whether it applies to direct observation (no sitting in the office getting fat), or through other methods it is most definitely necessary. I have been a part of logistics companies that did not have these controls; I instituted them immediately upon my arrival.
Small businesses however, rarely have the capital or labor necessary to be able to hire and purchase the necessary equipment to have high levels of security and visibility. The owners and operators of these businesses, also usually do not have the ability to be watching everything, everywhere, all the time. The owners and operators of these businesses are then more secure and have information when and where they need it.
The last part of visibility references back to another post. A business that has ownership that practices internal visibility will have higher quality in its products and services. We teach our clients how to see their business from their clients’ point of view. Doing this, owners and operators get a view of their business that is very important, but also a view that they rarely see.