Customer experience is disrupting and changing the supply-chain world from the inside out. New delivery models and e-commerce are causing customers to expect immediate, accurate and flexible product delivery at any quantity. So how can you deliver this new level of customer experience, while managing costs and limiting business disruption? By making your supply chain customer centric.
Today, there’s greater emphasis on enhancing the end-user experience at each touchpoint in the supply chain. Many businesses have yet to figure out how to drive more value from these touch points, and that opens an opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves in today’s crowded market.
It’s likely that you initially chose your logistics model based on satisfying your company’s needs. But now that customer experience must take top priority, that model might need to change. You should ultimately choose one that focuses on all aspects of the customer experience, and how it’s impacted along the way.
Here is how you can prioritize your customer within your supply chain:
The first step is to align key performance indicators to the end-customer’s needs and wants. These KPIs should be approached at an organizational level rather than a departmental one since goals can vary at different levels.
Next, consider which disruptive technologies most enhance the customer experience that also help you manage costs. For example, the internet of things is gaining traction as a means of uncovering insights into supply-chain events and patterns. IoT-based improvements in today’s digital-age warehouse mean faster, more accurate delivery for end-users while minimizing costs.
When it comes to global consideration, be sure to look at distribution facilities to meet customer demand. Also, gain an understanding of local regulations, tax implications and the human resources and expertise required in each location. Each region has its unique characteristics, and by understanding and accounting for these nuances, you’ll naturally elevate your end-customer experience.
Finally, new customer expectations demand that you offer end-to-end, real-time visibility. This includes real-time actionable insights, status updates, ETA calculations, analytics, and reports. It’s about analyzing data, identifying gaps and implementing processes to leverage that data to continually improve operations with the customer in mind.
A customer’s experience with a company is perhaps the most vital decision-maker in whether the company is going to retain the customer. The supply chain’s success or failure significantly impacts that experience, and that success or failure is incredibly powerful in either establishing and retaining trust or in the loss of trust of a customer in that company. By focusing the approach on knowing the customer and allowing the customer to participate and engage with the company around their personalized needs, changes supply chain from a process efficient to a customer centric effort.