Many reports are now linking the customer experience initiatives to supply chains and cloud as a key technology enabler.

The IDC survey states that

  • 60% of companies noted that meeting customer/consumer needs was the driving force behind their supply chain transformation efforts.
  • 75% felt that the cloud was a critical element to delivering supply chain excellence both today and into the future.

and our recent roundtable with supply chain leaders at Intent Group event echoed the same sentiment.

However, what can be done so that more supply chain organisations play a primary role in establishing this link? Here are a couple of ideas:

a) Challenge any customer-centric initiatives and ensure the sponsors are thinking of meaningfulness and profitability, and not just personalisation.

b) Ensure customer-centric initiatives consider end-to-end customer journeys, rather than building a customer facing app here or there. Design thinking is a great technique to understand outside-in view of the customer journey and get the organisation aligned.

c) Ensure that you structurally design the supply chain into appropriate segments to reflect the customer behaviours. John Gattorna (Supply Chain Thought Leader) provides a solid framework as below.

d) Gain understanding of the business benefits of the cloud platform and how the modern cloud native applications are not only designed to support end-to-end business processes, but always remain current. This can dramatically reduce the cost, complexity and risk of your technology platform, while improving the agility. Cloud is not just about hosting your data somewhere else.