If you look at any industry today, from technology to services, the entire way they are managed and executed have changed completely. When it comes to delivering goods and services, this is quite obvious.
In order to remain competitive in an age of Amazon and Uber, businesses that deliver such as parcel and postal services, as well as 3PLs and restaurants chains, need to turn their traditional supply chain strategy on its head… literally.
Today’s supply chain strategies were created with the challenges of a previous decade in mind; they are no longer relevant to meet the needs and challenges of today’s industry realities.
Today, more than ever before, customers have high expectations about how their experience will be when ordering, and being delivered a product or service. Meeting these expectations requires a complete overhaul of the supply chain. Given the consumer’s new expectations, supply chains must move from back office activities and focus more on bringing them to the front office.
This is what creating a customer centric supply chain is all about.
In previous decades, the relationship between business and customer was heavily lopsided towards the business. However, in the age of Amazon and Uber, where a consumer can have full choice over the products the purchase, quick delivery, and a last mile experience giving them full visibility over when their product or service will arrive, the customer now has regained power in the relationship.
Given this new dynamic, it is incumbent on businesses, especially those that deliver such as restaurant chains, parcel and package delivery services, and 3PLs to create a supply chain that centers around the end-customer, rather than the business – a customer centric supply chain.
In a recent study by Gartner, 42% of CEOs surveyed stated that customer engagement was listed as one of their top 2 priorities – putting it ahead of product and other internal activities. This staggering statistic speaks to to the greater understanding today that in order to remain competitive, and for established companies, retain their position, you have to provide the kind of customer experience that makes you stand out.
In the same study, Gartner concluded that business must “Review your innovation investment mix, and make sure that you are giving at least equal weight toward programs that improve customer experience or risk falling behind your competitors.”
In a hyper competitive world, especially when companies like Amazon are creating supply chains that are unparalleled to anything in history, incumbent businesses that deliver must create differentiation by focusing on turning the focus of their supply chains to center around the customer in order to make a customer centric supply chain.