For the past 25 years or so, supply chain strategies have often been driven by market and technological changes rather than customer demand. Typically, this approach to supply chains has led to a focus on cost optimization during the past decade, but many companies are now starting to realize that they must move toward a more customer-centric approach. The main benefit of moving toward a more customer-centric perspective is that it can help companies become significantly more profitable while increasing customer satisfaction.
Building a customer-centric supply chain can be intricate; however, there are ways to transform the supply chain planning to become resilient and to sustain the company’s growth. Every company has its own operational requirements, but here are some relatively universal concepts to become more customer-centric:
1. Fast and proactive decision making
Gain speed or control by bringing more informed decisions to the picture. Quickly find out the cost of alternative decisions before choosing one. To make fast decisions, companies need to increase their capacities of visibility. With increased visibility, it can be possible to be alert to possible risks and disruptions so that necessary precautions can be taken. On the other hand, proactive decision-making can help companies find opportunity areas to utilize their capacities further and increase customer satisfaction.
2. Alignment and Collaboration
Alignment and collaboration are crucial keys for a path to success in customer-centric planning. Each domain (demand, supply, inventory) of the manufacturing companies is required to make cost-effective decisions. To stay competitive, teams should be aligned within the strategy and make those decisions while taking customers into consideration. To be aligned, companies need to have better visibility both internally and externally.
3. Respond with Agility in Continual Disruptions
To deal with a series of setbacks that emerged in whole operation processes, companies can come up with strategies to create extra supplier resources and in-house capacity management. With the help of that, they can make capacity expansion or contraction or introduce new material supply strategies to keep up with disruptions. However, companies can juggle these strategies to make optimal tactical decisions and achieve the best OTIF figures in a way of putting them into practice alternately. Possessing the ability to flex and change to keep up with continually evolving customer demands will gain an outstanding competitive edge over competitors.
4. Be Responsive with Customer Communications
Reliability is playing a crucial role in customer satisfaction in the long run. Be trustworthy by supporting visibility, traceability, and proactive behavior across the end-to-end value chain. Throughout the order realization process, it’s important to give reliable due dates and respond to customers proactively within a short amount of time.
At the heart of these, visibility lies. To achieve high visibility, technology, and artificial intelligence algorithms need to be leveraged. With the increasing need for end-to-end visibility and control, companies that want to thrive, need to differentiate themselves and start the transformation by adopting new technologies. With that help, their agility to adapt to changes in customer demands in a proactive way will be likely to increase drastically. By this means, the strategies aforementioned can be adopted much more easily while redesigning the supply chains as engines of growth and creating new customer-centric fulfillment capabilities. On top of that, the adoption of new technologies cannot not only deliver higher income growth, lower cost, and increase superior customer satisfaction, but also shared information can drive coordinated actions and alignments in your company.
Take the next step with ICRON Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning
ICRON is an easy-to-use, AI-powered supply chain platform. It provides you with insights and alerts on customer orders and OTIFs while helping you mitigate disruptions. The end-to-end platform helps you put the customers at the heart of supply chain planning.