5 Key Strategies of a Customer-Centric Supply Chain
Written By: Olivia Klayman

Satisfying demand and driving customer loyalty is the single greatest weapon the Supply Chain Industry has against the fallout from COVID-19. Disruption to the industry has not only placed a heightened importance on fulfillment, but also has called for the adoption of personalized packaging, affordable products, and shorter lead times. A business’s ability accommodate demand will undoubtably distinguish them from their competitors.

In fact, Gartner recently reported that leveraging data to support the initiative of building long-term customer loyalty may be the single most invaluable tool toward driving innovation. This industry will continue to become an even more customer facing role, with a greater focus on commercial growth.

Here are the five key strategies that will set Supply Chain Functions apart from their competitors in 2022…

Much like every other industry, COVID-19 dynamically shaped the goals and strategies of how the supply chain industry functions today. Despite disruption in the supply chain industry, customers have become even less accommodating than they were pre-pandemic. With fulfillment being one of the largest factors in building customer satisfaction and confidence for an organization, the industry has no choice but to address customer demand for more personalized packaging, affordable products, and shorter lead times.

Long-term customer loyalty is one of the keyways that providers will distinguish themselves from their competition. In fact, a recent Gartner survey found that out of “983 supply chain leaders in the second half of 2021, 62% [were] investing in capabilities to capture, analyze and leverage supply chain specific customer satisfaction data to support reinvention of the supply chain to drive commercial innovation.” Thus, it’s almost irrefutable that 2022 onward, the supply chain industry will play a more customer-facing role, with a greater focus on commercial growth.

Here are the five likely strategies that will be adopted to gain competitive advantage in the supply chain industry …

Holistic understanding of consumer data. Supply Chain functions must establish critical touchpoints across the organization in order to successfully fulfill product and customer satisfaction. This powerful tool offers a holistic view of customers, with a gradual level of customer needs comprehension. Equipped with this knowledge, businesses will be able to more strategically and analytically address customer needs that both drives profit and customer loyalty.

In the same vein, Systech Solutions offers “Customer 360º,” an offering that enables business users to gain a holistic, deep understanding of their customers. This is not only impactful with boosting performance, but also empowers businesses to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Before it can be put into action, a strategy must be clearly defined so that the entire

enterprise can function as a unified front. Customer 360º is a powerful step toward becoming a results-oriented, data-driven organization.

A formal commitment to improved customer experience for the “win.” Customer-centric indicatives must not only exist but be consistently communicated across the enterprise. These metrics may pertain to Customer Effort Score (“how easy was this process?”); Customer Referral Rate; Customer Satisfaction; Customer Referral Rate; Product Quality and Consistency; and even Service Efficiency. Once strategies are clear and defined, it then cultivates a clear path to success that can be comprehended and executed by the Team.

Customer-centric governance across the organization. Organizations with a specialization in customer centricity are built into the foundation of the organization. Goals and desired outcomes must not only be communicated but executed accountability and agility. Chief Supply Chain Officers (“CSCOs”) of enterprises successfully carrying out this objective have been able to “align and communicate the CX vision to get everyone on board and clearly outline the behaviors that need to change.” This means that leadership actively not only supports these goals, but also embodies them through their leadership.

The longterm consequences of failing to maintain governance across an organization can result in a lower perceived company value, as well as a lower standard of integrity, security, and competence. It also can facilitate a lack of operational and managerial support, promoting a lack of trust in leadership. The voice of the customer (“VoC”) must be considered in ever decision, at every level. Whether creating products or determining how best to service customer needs, customer-centricity must be embedded into its work culture and everyday business practices. Thus, it is imperative that all business units and functions maneauver themselvs as a unified front.

Data made actionable: forecasting, satisfaction, inventory. Actional data generates revenue that can be instrumental in anticipating customer demand. Specifically, it can even pinpoint potential political and environmental factors that can contribute to disruption.

Customers are higher maitenence tha over before. Customer loyalty relies heavily on a business’ ability to handle the influx of customer demand. One way to beest serve customers is to make data actionable so that it offers visibility into real-time disruption. This empowers business users to make critical decisions at expediently and constructively as possible. This plays a key role in order fulfilment, as it equips business users with real-time knowledge of ongoing challenges and disruption with the organization.

Systech understands the power of delivering the right products – to the right customer – through the right channel. Their offerings enable businesses to deliver seamless and differentiated experiences using data-based customer insights. Systech’s expertise in cloud services and migrations also helps foster the creation of an agile infrastructure. Through the use of an omni-channel of data, businesses can create “comprehensive, enriched customer profiles with a scalable and accessible solution infrastructure.” What’s more, ML/AI can be used to generate predictive insights. This means that supply chain users are able to automate insights for reps and forecast merchandise planning. This not only allows for a first-mover’s advantage in the market, but also helps to service customers more reliably and efficiently than ever before.

Open flow of communication between supplier and customer. Communication is not limited to internal affairs, but also extrends to outside the organization. The advent of mobile smart devices, for example, has become an increasingly impactful way for providers to communicate with customers. Its ability to serve as immediate feedback loop helps supply chain providers offer more personalized and effective digital forms of contact with their customers throughout the product life cycle, which not only makes for happier customers but also reinvigorates loyalty with old and new partners.

Take for example Amazon’s customer service protocol. Dissatisfied users are able to immediately rectify issues surrounding missing, delayed, or damaged products through chat and phone features. Through a series of generated questions, customers are able to select the nature of their problem, resulting in an immediate refund or reorder. Not only does this squash the threat of resentment and frustration from the perspective of the customers, but also cuts down on the number escalated issues, allowing business personnel to address more time sensitive and financially impactful decisions.

The supply chain industry in the years ahead. The supply chain industry is undergoing what appears to be a complete digital and technological transformation. These five key strategies have helped mobilize enterprises to swiftly act on concerns surrounding governance, processes, tools, and customer centricity. A company’s value no longer relies solely on what they produce, but also how they also navigate the product lifestyle from start to finish. Customer-centricity is the key to longevity in the industry.

Explore Sysetch’s blog series to help you stay informed and up to date on latest innovations in the data and analytics space click here.

As a leader in Data Analytics solutions for CPG and Supply chain solutions , Systech offers a range of best-in-class solutions and services to support a customer-centric supply chain transformation. To learn more, click here.

CSCOs must take 3 actions to improve supply chain customer experience: Build customer understanding, set and adapt a strategy for improving CX, coordinate to create a customer-centric culture

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