Focusing on Consumer Trends: Need for Modern Supply Chains
As a company’s business drivers change, business processes, SCM technology investment and the overall approach to supply chain management must change and keep pace with the current market scenarios. Nowadays, demanding consumers are causing changes in how shippers and supply chain providers work together. In the past, consumers have had very little or no influence at all on the supply chain because they were oblivious of what it was. A consumer would order an item but could have no clue where it is made or who makes it or even when to expect the delivery. However, today’s consumers are though indirectly, but actively involved in the creation of the supply chain.
Consumers today are actively involved in each process of the supply chain activity. With the ability to track orders, consumers expect more from their suppliers. Order tracking allows the customer to gain insight into where their order is at any given point of time. From the time an order is placed until it is delivered, the customer wants to know everything. Answering the customer requires visibility across multiple processes and systems. Companies must pay more attention to their supply chain and quickly solve any shortcomings that could possibly delay the delivery time. Whether it’s for a manufacturer or distributor, order accuracy is positively impacted by order tracking. Customers are easily able to double-check orders as they move through the fulfillment process, in many cases allowing them to catch mistakes before orders are shipped or order alternative items when a desired item is out of stock or backordered.
Consumer demand for more sustainable business practices can have significant supply chain implications. For instance, mobile phone purchasers may typically consider four key factors into consideration when buying a new phone: the desire to upgrade, the need to stay within a budget, the durability of the product and environmental sustainability. Consumers today are willing to pay more money for a product they consider to be more sustainably efficient. Supply Chain players should therefore focus more on making their supply chain environmentally sustainable to attract these group of customers. Companies that have a pro-environmental view need to be ready to take responsibility and to move towards sustainable business practices. Consumers’ interest towards recycling and sustainable solutions has increased. They appreciate the idea of recycling waste to produce something new; circular products have become “the new normal”. Consumers are asking for more visible and concrete information about how the products that they are using has affected the environment.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction:
Understanding consumer trends and order histories serve as a sort of blueprint when companies need to make decisions about how to boost sales. Instead of guessing, one can make informed planning based on actual data and trends. That includes keeping accurate inventory, even during the busiest periods. Maintaining stocked shelves so as not to miss out on sales opportunities. Distributors and suppliers must innovate and optimize every step of the shipping process to meet consumer expectations. Understanding consumer trends and demands helps the networks to increase business efficiency and eliminate customer pain points by integrating new supply chain activities to ensure overall customer satisfaction.
- A leading e-commerce company uses its patented anticipatory shipping model for predicting the products that consumers are likely to purchase, when they may buy them and where they might need the products.
- The company uses predictive analytics to increase its product sales and profit margins while decreasing its delivery time and overall expenses.
- By analyzing consumer trends and taste they try to increase the efficiency of the overall supply chain.
- A leading food aggregator in India discovered that customers spend a lot of time on the app’s order tracking screen.
- Customers came back to the order tracking screen multiple times in the time span of 20 to 45 minutes just to keep a tab on their order.
- The company made the order tracking screen accessible via a special Picture-in-picture (PIP) mode. The company saw over 30,000 impressions of the order tracking screen on the app.
- The order tracking helped them to find just the right time to ensure delivery, but not too high to discourage the customer from placing an order.
- A leading QSR chain is using sustainable practices and converting used cooking oil into biodiesel to power the trucks that make trips to its 275 restaurants carrying supplies from its distribution centers.
- It was good move considering that doing something good for the environment can never go out of trend and attracts a large section of society simultaneously.
- The communication of this to the consumers should be timed correctly by using multiple communication channels to attract this segment to generate more sales.
- A major online shopping website is a leader in collecting, storing, processing, and analyzing personal information of the customers as a means of determining how customers are spending their money.
- It analyzes what items customers have purchased previously, what is in the online shopping cart or on the wish list, which products were reviewed and rated, and what items they have searched for most.
- This is used to recommend additional products that other customers purchased when buying those same items.
- The company uses the power of suggestion to encourage the customers to buy on impulse.This helped the company to generate 35% of the its sales annually.
Evolving Customer Channels:
The ongoing shift away from traditional retail to direct-to-consumer(DTC) shipping is rapid. 40% of brands now sell directly to the consumer. The DTC sales are projected to reach around $130 billion by 2025. Supply chain players should therefore focus on reorganization of the supply chains. They should emphasize on providing a Unified Brand Experience i.e., creating a DTC model that gives full control of the brand and develop direct engagement with customers to gain real time feedback and optimize supply chain accordingly. Selling DTC allows you to collect first-hand data and own it to focus on improving customer experience. A global sports accessories brand is focusing on its DTC channel and aims to reach $16 billion through the DTC channel by 2020 (a whopping rise of more than 140 percent from 2015).
By choosing the right systems, approaches, and partners within the supply chain, companies are providing the customers with great service, transparency, and visibility they desire. Having an efficient supply chain means one can beat the competitors on price and improve profitability. Having high performing operations means one can meet or exceed the customers’ expectations on delivery of the product.
The relationship between Customers and supply chain players have created a network to incorporate individual components of the supply chain into an interconnected web that enables seamless information transfer and support, thus providing opportunities to improve bottom lines and provide exceptional experiences to consumers.
At Radhakrishna Foodland, we strive to provide accurate demand planning, forecasting and inventory solutions by analyzing historic demand, historic sales and trends in consumption pattern to help reduce the pressure to match stock to anticipated sales as accurately as possible and inculcate greater transparency in all supply chain operations. Our Order and process management solutions assure seamless integration of order receipts to cash receipts to consumer feedback and ensure standardization of processes across all domains.
We strive to warrant safety and authenticity of data to provide real-time traceability throughout the supply chain. This helps businesses to focus more on increasing their profitability and enables them to optimize their overall customer satisfaction.