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  • Writer's pictureMicha Veen

Customer-centric supply chain is key for Australian retailers to survive!

When Amazon announced to enter the Australian market, various large and medium retailers quickly started reviewing their current operating and supply chain model. However, now, with only weeks to go before Amazon enters the Australian market, the real question is asked. Have Australian businesses effectively been able to introduce the required innovative changes to minimise the impact of these global supply chain machines, like Amazon?

Over the years, numerous leading supply chain experts have highlighted that Australian businesses should address these "broken" supply chain processes independently of any new external competition. An element that many Australian supply chain organisations are lacking is the customer-centric approach that many leading multinationals have adopted many years ago.

So, how can the Australian business landscape remain competitive with these retail and supply chain operations giants?

Customer-centric Supply Chain

As described earlier, organisations like Amazon, start their supply chain process with the customer experience and behaviour, and works backwards into the operational aspects of their organisation. By putting your customers as your main priority, organisation focus on understanding their buying behaviours, purchasing requirements and preferences at a granular level. It's wven said that Amazon is conducting predictive purchasing. By offering your customers the optimal experience through a wide selection, competitive pricing, a convenient purchasing process, organisations, like Amazon, don't only attract new customers, but also continue to have repeat customers.

Reliable customer experience

One of the key element for customers to conduct repeat purchases is to provide a highly reliable supply chain experience. Many businesses only focus on when a customer buys their product/ service to the deivery of this product/ service. Amazon takes it many steps further, Amazon tracks and shows customers their browsing history, what other similar customers bought, similar products, and customer reviews. It relentlessly seeks feedback and facilitates questioning prior to the actual purchase. And even once the purchase has completed, Amazon will continuously validate and review the actual purchase and ensures tgt tge customer will continue to "feel good" about his/ her purchase.

Redefined "Direct Delivery"

Once an purchase has been completed, the supply chain process should directly trigger the most effective, cost efficient and fastest route to the customer. To support this, leading, innovative supply chain organisations have defined multiple, tailored supply chain sub-processes that, depending on different logarithms, select the most optimal delivery route. This is contradictory to what many management consultants have been saying for years. Instead of single process and technology standardisation, the focus should be on supply chain harmonisation with a tailored supply chain sub-process and technology elements. This innovative supply chain model allows for a "personal", customer-centric delivery model.

Technology, technology, technology

All this is supported by leading edge, customer-centric technologies. Many highly effective supply chain organisations have a combination of robotics, AI and drones. Amazon is no different, they are leading the technology innovation in a number of these technology areas, and many argue that Amazon is more a technology company than a supply chain company. This simply highlights the continued importance businesses to invest in innovative technologies...

Overall, there is a need to be refreshingly innovative otherwise it would be a continuous challenge for Australian retailers and other businesses to deliver innovative, customer-centric supply chain operations to effectively compete with global innovative supply chain organisations like Amazon. It's therefore crucial to understand how to deliver an optimal customer experience!

For more information in how Unique Excellence is able to introduce Supply Chain Innovation or Operational Innovation to deliver your connected supply chain with your end-customer, please contact us!

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