When supply chain leaders talk about innovations, it’s not necessarily talk about self-driving trucks or automated warehouses. It’s often more about how they view innovation with respect to working effectively with stakeholders and delivering the best possible customer experience.
For job seekers, understanding the connection between innovation and customer satisfaction can mean the difference between getting a job offer and rejection. Therefore, it’s critical you gain a deep understanding of how companies are using the latest technology to provide a better customer experience.
Experience making a difference
With improvements in manufacturing and product engineering, differentiating between products has become harder than ever. Marginal benefits and branding have slowly dropped in consumers’ decision-making process as they increasingly make choices based on convenience, transparency and customer service.
Supply chain flexibility
For decades, we’ve thought about the supply chain in a linear way: Suppliers send materials to distribution facilities and these facilities pass goods on to other companies or end users.
However, today’s supply chain is much more dynamic. For example, a manufacturer that has goods traveling to a warehouse overseas can now split the shipment in route to satisfy a last-minute order, providing a good experience to the customer. Thanks to the latest communications and tracking technologies, flexibility in the supply chain now allows for better service to customers without a higher cost of expediting. Having this flexibility leads to decreased inventory costs, more on-time deliveries and reduced expediting costs.
As companies have invested in ramping up their supply chains, they have focused on lowering cost and boosting efficiency. While being quite good for the bottom line, this focus has resulted in fixed supply chains designed for mass fulfillment. However, expectations of today’s customers now require more customization, driving intricacy in supply chains and requiring multiparty coordination.
For instance, a company making perishable goods must treat every order with great care. Any exception with providers, storage, customs or delivery is potentially devastating to sales and company success. Therefore, these companies must take action on these exceptions rapidly in real-time for each order.
On the other hand, a company looking to expand offerings and maintain a seamless customer experience must address a fragmented supply chain that spans a number of warehouses and suppliers. In this supply chain, the ability to bring orders together for the customer calls for flexibility and real-time cooperation with all partners.
In the coming year, the supply chain will call for better flows across a number of parties with the ability take fast action on any order that encounters issues.
Companies are looking to drive more specificity into how they track and assess the lead times of supply chain services as orders flow through the supply chain. Achieving this requires more than just track-and-trace capabilities. This can include visibility into inventory inside warehouses, providers, partners as well as in transit; specific internal actions inside the customer supply chain like picking in the warehouse, make-to-order manufacturing; and the ability to inform logistics partners how dynamic they must be to satisfy orders.
Work With the Best Supply Chain Recruiters
At ZDA, we stay on top of the latest supply chain trends and technology in order to better serve clients and job seekers. If you are currently looking to take the next step on your supply chain, please contact our team of supply chain recruiters today.