At the heart of every supply chain optimization lies the customer experience. Healthy supply chains are important for efficiency and for keeping balance sheets in balance, but at the end of the day, logistics improvements can also support a better experience for the end customer.
Despite this, research by Gartner shows that only 27 percent of companies believe they offer superior service over their competitors. And while the supply chain has not traditionally held the responsibility of customer experience management, Lisa Callinan, research director at Gartner, believes this may be changing.
“The supply chain organization typically plays a secondary role to marketing in driving customer experience strategy…Things are changing, however, in forward-thinking organizations, because the supply chain is uniquely placed to identify customers’ needs and drive better customer experiences.”
Of course, leveraging the supply chain to support the customer experience is a multi-faceted strategy that requires end-to-end coordination of supply chain processes. A supply chain that lags in on-time performance or that requires frequent expedites to achieve customer commitments can’t be a sustained success. Because of this, companies that want to turn their supply chains into customer experience management tools need a new way to monitor supply chain performance.
Managing Experiences with Visibility
The ChronosCloud platform aggregates data from every aspect of a company’s supply chain, including supplier ERPs, edge devices, and Internet-of-things sources to create chronological timelines for each customer order. These timelines let users track each sales order in real-time as it travels through the supply chain pipeline, and helps operators identify areas of inefficiency that may have gone unnoticed. And when these inefficiencies are exposed and corrected, the benefits to the end customer are significant:
Supply chain lags are reduced, such as unexpected buffer time during supplier handoffs. This supports agile supply chains that can move products more quickly from the factory floor to the customer’s door.
By integrating data from each supplier’s ERPs, mobile devices, and internet sources, data is gathered in the ChronosCloud dashboard no matter where it was produced. This control tower approach provides users with the visibility they need to provide their customers omni-channel purchasing and delivery tracking across multiple supplier websites, mobile applications, and more.
Laying out the supply chain from end-to-end provides operators a comprehensive view of supply chain processes, both for ordering and returns. Research by comScore showed that 63 percent of online shoppers look at a business’s return policy before ordering. Optimizing the supply chain through greater visibility means that businesses can accelerate returns to quickly re-integrate stock and easily refund customers.
Supply Chain Solutions for Better Customer Experiences
Building a supply chain that supports optimal customer experience is an emerging trend in third-party logistics. However, though the competitive advantages of these supply chains certainly exist, they require complete end-to-end visibility to achieve. Businesses that leverage visibility solutions like ChronosCloud open the doors to a wide spectrum of supply chain optimizations that can improve internal efficiency, support customer fulfillment, and create better experiences for everyone involved.
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