Executive Briefings

In Customer Relationship Management, You Must Adapt to Stay Relevant

Analyst Insight: Even a solid collaborative relationship between the buyer and the supplier can struggle if the consumer somehow gets lost in the cloud or pigeonholed on a complicated supply chain dashboard. The key is to listen to your customers constantly and set up communications frameworks within an adaptable governance structure to include and maintain a customer-centric focus. - Kate Vitasek, faculty, University of Tennessee's Center for Executive Education, and Founder, Supply Chain Visions

The relationship with your customer is the most valuable asset your company and service provider have. The experts say CRM needs to be recalibrated as a business strategy, starting with a "true customer focus" and evolve into a customer-adaptive enterprise (CAE) approach. Organizations in an adaptive enterprise establish a framework that matches and synchronizes goods or services supply and demand at all times. This optimizes the use of resources (including information technology resources) by using only what is needed and paying only for what is used, while ensuring that the supply is adequate to meet demand. The adaptive enterprise concept has been widely used by Hewlett-Packard in marketing its products.

The keys here are agility and flexibility, coupled with a strong communications and review structure. Technology in this space remains a key enabler, but is not necessarily at the core of the CAE approach. Many believe the traditional software-centric CRM has largely run its course. Other perhaps more important elements of CAE include focusing on a team-based collaborative ecosystem, an engaged workforce, decentralized decision-making, ethical guiding values and a customer-focused vision.

There's a lot of talk about the need for creative disruption to make fast organizational decisions and changes; this idea applies to customers as well if they are viewed and accepted as disruptive forces for progress. That's because customers impact markets more quickly and in greater volumes than ever before through IT applications, crowd sourcing and social networks. Customers can literally force companies to change their service approach - in real time. That means expectations are constantly shifting and companies must be prepared to innovate and adapt - fast. It also means that the traditional approaches to CRM are becoming a thing of the past; it needs to evolve as a business strategy that quickly creates and delivers sustainable value.

Alignment, collaboration, flexibility and innovation are essential components of a customer-adaptive approach. Those elements are also hallmarks of the Vested movement's collaborative drive to create, share and expand value for the buyer-supplier win-win. By including customers in this mix, it becomes a win-win-win.

The Outlook

Customer-adaptive capabilities are at the cutting edge of current CRM thinking. Companies such as IBM, Apple and GE have established organizational structures that display customer-adaptive behaviors. Look for CAE to become more widespread as customers demand a new and more agile customer-first approach from companies.


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, customer-adaptive enterprise, customer-adaptive capabilities, Vested, vested outsourcing

 

The relationship with your customer is the most valuable asset your company and service provider have. The experts say CRM needs to be recalibrated as a business strategy, starting with a "true customer focus" and evolve into a customer-adaptive enterprise (CAE) approach. Organizations in an adaptive enterprise establish a framework that matches and synchronizes goods or services supply and demand at all times. This optimizes the use of resources (including information technology resources) by using only what is needed and paying only for what is used, while ensuring that the supply is adequate to meet demand. The adaptive enterprise concept has been widely used by Hewlett-Packard in marketing its products.

The keys here are agility and flexibility, coupled with a strong communications and review structure. Technology in this space remains a key enabler, but is not necessarily at the core of the CAE approach. Many believe the traditional software-centric CRM has largely run its course. Other perhaps more important elements of CAE include focusing on a team-based collaborative ecosystem, an engaged workforce, decentralized decision-making, ethical guiding values and a customer-focused vision.

There's a lot of talk about the need for creative disruption to make fast organizational decisions and changes; this idea applies to customers as well if they are viewed and accepted as disruptive forces for progress. That's because customers impact markets more quickly and in greater volumes than ever before through IT applications, crowd sourcing and social networks. Customers can literally force companies to change their service approach - in real time. That means expectations are constantly shifting and companies must be prepared to innovate and adapt - fast. It also means that the traditional approaches to CRM are becoming a thing of the past; it needs to evolve as a business strategy that quickly creates and delivers sustainable value.

Alignment, collaboration, flexibility and innovation are essential components of a customer-adaptive approach. Those elements are also hallmarks of the Vested movement's collaborative drive to create, share and expand value for the buyer-supplier win-win. By including customers in this mix, it becomes a win-win-win.

The Outlook

Customer-adaptive capabilities are at the cutting edge of current CRM thinking. Companies such as IBM, Apple and GE have established organizational structures that display customer-adaptive behaviors. Look for CAE to become more widespread as customers demand a new and more agile customer-first approach from companies.


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, customer-adaptive enterprise, customer-adaptive capabilities, Vested, vested outsourcing