Characterizing supply chain visibility – A literature review

Sirirat Somapa, Martine Cools*, Wout Dullaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review that aims to provide insight into the characteristics and effectiveness of supply chain visibility (SCV), as well as to identify metrics that capture these aspects in business processes. Design/methodology/approach – A systematic review of the supply chain literature is conducted to identify the characteristics and the effectiveness of SCV. The synthesis of SCV effectiveness and its metrics are based on the process-oriented approach which relates the effectiveness of SCV to improved business performance. Findings – This study reveals that the characteristics of SCV can be captured in terms of the accessibility, quality, and usefulness of information. The benefits of SCV are found to extend beyond improvements to operational efficiency of business processes or to the strategic competencies of an organization. Practical implications – This study underlines that clear agreements between all players involved in the SC can help to solve problems caused by information completeness (type and amount of information), and unlock the full potential of SCV projects. Originality/value – By using a process-oriented approach, this review provides a comprehensive explanation of the functions of SCV, as well as its first-order effects, in terms of automational, informational, and transformational characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-339
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Australia
  • Europe
  • Information visibility
  • Literature review
  • North America
  • Process-oriented perspective
  • Supply chain management
  • Supply chain visibility


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