Digitally connected consumers have turned retail models upside down as omnichannel shopping has transformed supply chain from an important business concern to a mission critical one. So profound is this change that 50 percent of CEOs recognize that their supply chain can be a strategic differentiator. However, 83 percent of worldwide CEOs believe that their retail supply chains are "not optimal" for today's changing retail environment.
Customers have been spoiled. Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, they now expect every organization to deliver products and services swiftly, with a seamless user experience. Are your processes up to that level of expectation?
A recent TAKE Supply Chain survey indicated that the primary reason companies choose to outsource some or all of their manufacturing or distribution activities is cost reduction. This was the number one reason chosen by 61 percent of survey respondents across all global regions. However, a frequent issue faced by companies after the outsourcing project goes live is that they're not achieving their expected cost savings. Two common causes for this disconnect are vague contract terms or metrics, and manual processes.
Analyst Insight: With the rise of e-commerce, higher customer expectations and skyrocketing transportation costs, the business case for automation has changed. It's not just about accuracy and labor savings anymore. It's also about the incremental revenue and competitive advantage that comes from improving customer service and better managing inventory. – Frank Jewell, Food & Beverage Industry Leader, Fortna Inc.
Analyst Insight: Customer relationship management evolved from contact management, a sales-focused process for suppliers. In many cases, CRM must be rethought; it should be stood on its head, starting with customers' needs and working back to suppliers. Because most companies lack sufficient resources to satisfy every customer, this approach initially leads to frustration. But "every customer totally thrilled" is the wrong objective. To the contrary, it's critical to focus: to "wow" the most profitable customers, and serve them perfectly. Supply chain responses must match segmented and targeted relationships to build satisfaction and profit. - Robert Sabath, Principal Essentialist SCM, Trissential
You know all that CRM data you've been so lovingly collecting from loyalty programs, special offers, POS systems and any other way you could find to gather shopper information? It's about to be put at risk by a data broker - and not in the way you expected.
Over the next three years, manufacturers increasingly plan to use service as a competitive differentiator and aim to grow business through product service innovation and value-added services for existing products, according to Business Strategy: Modernizing the Service Chain with Smart Technology, a report from IDC Manufacturing Insights.
It's fairly common practice today for major brands to have a social media team at the ready to respond to customer complaints on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The practice is so widespread that a recent Call Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI) report released by CFI Group found that call centers should perhaps be renamed "contact centers."