Is a Customer-Centric Supply Chain Management a “Must Have” to Stay Relevant?

Marketing Team
Published on November 7, 2021

Supply Chain management in other words is handling the flow of goods and services from raw materials to the final product. Effective supply chain management enhances a company's financial position by producing value that is aligned with the company's business strategy. Through the distribution of products and services, Supply Chain Management plays an important role in customer satisfaction. Procurement activities, to operations and logistics departments, and across the supply chain, good supply chain management is crucial for lowering operational costs. The magnitude of profitability for major businesses is determined by how well their supply chains are managed. The supply chain is one of the fundamental elements of customer responsiveness. Assuring a good relationship with your customer will generate new leads and create a trusted customer base for you.

After the pandemic of Covid 19, consumer behavior has changed. It has demonstrated the critical need for responsive and adaptable supply chains, in order to get life-saving materials and daily necessities The customer-centric supply chain is no more a luxury but a necessity. A client would expect, at the least, that orders placed be fulfilled quickly, delivered on time, and with no sacrifice in quality. As a result, a real customer-centric supply chain program must go above and beyond the ordinary. Customer-centric manufacturing organizations go above and beyond to satisfy their customers, going beyond fundamental customer expectations by using more accurate predictive research, such as market trends and social listening, to predict what customers need even before they ask for it. Customer-centricity necessitates a customer-centric continuous improvement strategy and customer data segmentation.

What is a Customer-centric Supply Chain?

A customer-centric supply chain refers to the flow of products from supplier to consumer with embedded customer experience improvement initiatives. Customer-centric businesses are frequently found at the forefront of industry innovation simply because they pay attention to the things that others overlook. Customers must now be at the core of everything a company does. Businesses can guarantee that their supply chains are focused on the value propositions that matter most by knowing their customers' ever-changing expectations. Prioritize the development of sustainable supply chains to give consumers information on ethical purchasing and sourcing, recycling, and lowering environmental footprints. While B2B and B2C organizations have different priorities, sustainability in supply chains and production is becoming increasingly crucial for both.

What has changed in terms of client expectations? Customers expect faster delivery in all industries, and they want it cheap—or even free. They want more control over delivery windows, real-time visibility and order tracking, and even direct connection with suppliers and drivers. Survey shows that

  • 90% of customers track their online order status.
  • 81% of customers are unwilling to pay more than $5 on delivery.
  • 27% cancels their order due to unavailability of fast delivery sys

This increase in customer expectations also enhances the development of the B2B market, only 12% of the supply chain is digitally equipped with e-commerce service. But this number is going to change in the coming years.

 

What are the Key Elements of a Customer-Centric Supply chain?

  1.  Flexibility: Companies must set themselves apart by providing a tailored experience to their clients. This might include customized last-mile deliveries and direct-to-consumer offerings from a fulfillment standpoint. However, according to a 2020 survey, most businesses lack the flexibility to provide diverse client services on demand. Traditional models connected to categories, markets, or enterprises must be updated in order to achieve this flexibility. It's also critical to think about reorganizing to establish numerous supply chains customized to different segments with different value propositions. Companies will be able to focus on the customer experience across the value chain for each segment as a result of this.
  2. Agility: It is one of the important features to build a resilient customer-centric supply chain. The customer expects a lightning-fast delivery and it is up to you how you can provide the same. Companies should consider an asset-light supply chain strategy and re-evaluate the physical length of their supply networks to boost agility (and how close they can bring fulfillment and other agile components to their customers). In some circumstances, the corporation may rely solely on ecosystem partners to meet incremental demand from categories it cannot successfully or financially handle on its own.
  3. Building Trust: In order to build a long-term customer-centric supply chain, trust is essential. In fulfillment, there are several possibilities to earn the customer's trust—but there are also numerous opportunities to fail them. Customer confidence and satisfaction are now primarily provided via the supply chain, and numerous competencies play a role in helping organizations acquire and maintain trust. Blockchain has the potential to be a key enabler in this space, allowing for complete traceability from farm to factory, transportation and distribution, and ultimate delivery.

What makes a customer-centric supply chain different from a traditional one?

 The Traditional supply chain is a process where the customer stands at the receiving end of the chain of processes. The customer received no updates, no visibility till the product reached its end stop. But with the customer-centric POV, the customer information becomes the driving force of the supply chain.

supply chain management

How does Microsoft Dynamics 365 help you in building a flexible Supply Chain?

One of the major Supply Chain Management solutions like Dynamics 365 unifies the process of increasing efficiency and managing new and changing client demand. The Dynamics Supply Chain module includes all of the functionalities required by your company users and decision-makers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3Ol_-prHeI

With changing customer needs, businesses need to redesign their supply chain to gain trust and grow. Keeping in mind, that each business has its unique operational needs, here are some of the basic and universal characteristics which should be kept in mind while transitioning into a customer-centric view. With D365 Supply Chain Management, you can make real-time, data-driven choices across your entire supply chain while keeping the customers in the loop and driving force from them.

1. Predict Demand with Technology and Data

Data is the major driving force of any business nowadays. To stay relevant among your customers, you need, not just data but data in a structured form that can be used to predict future demands, customer needs, their preferences to provide them in an optimum way even before they can ask. You need to invest generously to obtain the preferred result. With Dynamics 365 CRM and add-on support from Power BI you will be able to obtain the desired analysis seamlessly. Power BI provides interactive dashboards which are automatically updated in real-time will help you to predict demands so that you can make critical business decisions with greater visibility.

2. Multiple Fulfillment Channels

Multiple channels or Omnichannel is a blend of physical and digital channels to provide an exquisite brand experience to your customers. Customers are more likely to take online mode as it is less time-consuming and easy. It is important to add multiple online modes of windows to make it easy for your customer to access. As a result, the delivery procedure must give the same level of service. Furthermore, the overall experience should be enjoyable — the delivery experience is frequently just as important as the thing being delivered. Due to customer demand for progressively faster deliveries, agility is a critical aspect of the customer-centric supply chain. According to research, 89 percent of businesses think that e-commerce is fuelling these expectations. By 2025, the same-day delivery market is predicted to have risen by 40% year over year, reaching $92 billion.

3. Improved Forecasting

Forecasting is critical in today's omnichannel world. But it isn't only forecasting in the traditional sense - divergent forecasts for multiple areas – it must be consolidated. This type of prognosis is possible with technology, but it will require investment. But technology isn't the only thing that has to be invested in; the process is just as vital. The best method to move forward is to conduct a comprehensive, top-down examination of the present forecasting strategy, determining what works and what doesn't, and then implementing new industry-standard practices that operate in an omnichannel age.

4. Better Visibility

There are two types of visibility: internal and external. Businesses require complete insight into their own fleets, inventory, warehouse, and drivers on an internal level. Customers increasingly want complete transparency over their deliveries, from the time they leave the warehouse, restaurant, or service center until they arrive at their home. A real-time map accessible via a mobile device is the gold standard for this type of visibility. What are the major benefits of a transparent supply chain? here are some listed:

  • Capital management: You know where your money is when you know how much inventory you have at a warehouse, on a ship, at the port, or waiting to be trucked from the plant. You'll make better decisions if you know where your money is.
  • Time Management: Have you ever noticed how much faster things get done while they're being monitored? When entities realize you're monitoring their progress, they'll endeavor to work more effectively to reach that goal.
  • Customer Relationship: Customer needs a constant update on their order, it is important to keep them in the loop. It provides security and helps you build a trusted relationship.

 

Take advantage of the Dynamics 365 SCM to get ahead of the curve and provide your customer with a unique customer experience. With advanced and updated features every day you will be securing your transactions and building a loyal brand base for yourself. The world is moving quickly, and customers are moving with it. For companies to achieve a competitive advantage, there’s no time to waste in embracing the customer-centric supply chain.