The Path to Smarter Supply Chains and Omnichannel CX

- Mar 07, 2019-

62% of Supply Chain executives say that “they have no valuable data from indirect customers, with 34% stating that they have no data whatsoever”

Today’s customers have higher standards than ever – and they’re quite willing to pay for a better experience. In fact, according to leading customer experience research [I], the value of delivering a great experience is tangible: up to 16% price increase, plus brand loyalty gains. Good CX boils down to three major ingredients: Speed. Quality. Convenience. To achieve the omnichannel customer-centricity objective, manufacturing companies need to reconceptualize the way they do business. In this discussion, the supply chain is a major factor and a key driver of improvement.

The purpose of this paper is to help readers shift their perception of what makes a supply chain effective from a demand-driven towards a granular, customer-driven perspective.

The state of the Industry

According to SCM’s World Customer-Centric Supply Chain: Omnichannel Leaders Plan to Widen the Gap [II], achieving customer-centricity remains a difficult challenge for most supply chains. Specifically, when it comes to demand sensing:

  1. 74% of supply chain executives say that “access to insight on what customers desire and would pay for is highly valuable but difficult to access.”

  2. 62% say that “they have no valuable data from indirect customers, with 34% stating that they have no data whatsoever”.

The real problem, however, lies in how companies respond to demand sensing. What is the supply chain’s role in responding to customer data? Opinions vary heavily. From SmarterChains’ perspective, supply chains play a pivotal role in achieving the omnichannel objective.

Customers expect a seamless and integrated experience from order submission to order delivery and they expect it fast – possibly on the same day. Most importantly, even though the need for speed is greater than ever, customers won’t cut companies any slack. One-third of customers claim they’d give up on a brand, after just one bad experience. [I] But if you flip this fact upside down, it also means that customers will keep engaging with your brand, so long as you provide a product that makes them happy. In other words, a customer-centric supply chain is the path to business benefit.

Looking forward

To become customer-centric, companies must learn to treat demand differently. Responding to aggregated regional demand is hardly possible. Supply chains must meet the customer at the most granular level and respond with speed in order to deliver the omnichannel fulfillment experience.

The digitized, supply chain of the future will be splintered into smaller, more agile segments, better equipped to handle complex data. Each will be powered by a holistic stream of customer data, generated by sales, delivery, returns, inventory capabilities and more. Harnessing intelligent technologies, these nimbler smarter chains will respond to customer requirements faster and deliver much more customized products, achieving the customer-centricity objective.

SOURCES:

[I] PwC: Future of Customer Experience

[II] SCM’s World Customer-Centric Supply Chain: Omnichannel Leaders Plan to Widen the Gap