What’s the path to building customer centric supply chains?
According to a Gartner survey of supply chain leaders in the second half of 2021, 62 percent are investing in capabilities to capture, analyze and leverage supply chain specific customer satisfaction data to help drive commercial growth instead of focusing on cost-cutting innovations.
In a study last year, Deloitte likewise said the seemingly boundless customer data accessible online is enabling supply chains to react more quickly to market shifts and proactively address consumer needs to drive revenues and loyalty rather than their past dual focus on cost and speed.
Many supply chain organizations, however, are still believed to lack clarity on how to transform to be more customer centric.
In a study released last fall, KPMG concluded that, “A customer-centric supply chain is driven by visibility, insightful data, and a shared commitment to customers. It also looks to balance customer expectations with profitability, by delivering the desired customer experience without under or over-investing in capabilities.”
Gartner said c-level buy-in, goal alignment across the organization and clearly-defined metrics are required to drive customer centricity in the supply chain. Also seen as critical is listening at multiple interaction points and examining product use and/or satisfaction data to gain a better understanding of the customer at critical touchpoints. Gartner’s survey showed more than 60 percent of supply chain leaders investing in developing and maintaining access to voice of the customer (VoC) data.
Beth Coppinger, an analyst at Gartner’s supply chain practice, said in a press release, “CSCOs (chief supply chain officers) can use VoC data to identify problematic touchpoints — or the key drivers of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. It is crucial that data isn’t just collected, but also analyzed and acted upon.”
Deloitte said a broader challenge is building trust with consumers to gain better access to their data. Another core challenge is the “vast scope and volume” of data now being generated, along with the rising costs of shifting to new operating models. Deloitte wrote in its study, “As companies shift to digital-first and customer-centric supply chains, they will need to actively manage costs to maintain profitable growth.”
- Gartner Says CSCOs Must Take 3 Actions to Improve Supply Chain Customer Experience – Gartner
- Reinventing Supply Chain for the Future – Gartner
- Consumer connectivity: Creating customer-centric supply chains – Deloitte
- Customer-centric supply chains: Shaping your customer experience – KPMG
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the obvious and less obvious challenges to leveraging customer data to create a more responsive supply chain? What advice overall would you have about creating a customer centric supply chain?