There is a sea change occurring in global supply chains and operations, driven by a series of massive environmental shifts – digitization, the "Internet of Things," geopolitical cost and risk structures and, less noticed by senior executives but every bit as important, a huge increase in the power of customers, whether consumers or businesses. This last factor is driven by social media, ubiquitous connectivity and increased communication, and is resulting in decreased brand loyalty and increased demands and expectations across a wide range of service and experience. To respond to, and be ahead of, these changes, companies need to be agile, resilient and low-cost while simultaneously driving increased customer retention and acquisition. No longer is the question "do we prioritize customer intimacy or operational effectiveness?" Now everyone needs both!
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
IBM continues its journey toward creation of a truly global supply chain, through the use of embedded analytics to gain cross-process visibility. A finalist in the 2013 Supply Chain Innovation Award competition of CSCMP and SupplyChainBrain.
One of the hottest topics of discussion at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2012 was supply-chain segmentation. Chris Gordon, practice head and global network lead with Wipro Technologies, explains the concept, and its compelling benefits.
Companies dream of one cohesive supply chain that can harmonize information and business processes worldwide. But what if your customers' needs in regional markets are so different as to make that dream impossible?