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Study Details How Supply Chain Management Impacts the Customer Experience

By Tracey E. Schelmetic February 27, 2023

What do customers want today? They want to pay less, receive their items faster and have quick access to easy buying and returns processes, according to a new study. The same study, The Körber Supply Chain Benchmarking Report, found that most companies aren’t doing so well meeting these expectations. The study reinforces the mission-critical role of the supply chain in meeting customer expectations but discovered that while 92 percent of supply chain professionals recognize that supply chain performance has a critical impact on customer satisfaction, only 28 percent excel in the end-customer experience.

While many companies believe that the customer experience begins and ends in the call center, the supply chain makes a huge impact on how well a company services customers. (After all, you can’t sell or replace products you don’t have due to interruptions in or mismanagement of the supply chain.)

The Körber study provides detailed insight into the state of the industry and the mechanics to respond to ever increasing consumer expectations on price, speed, convenience and choice. The survey grouped participating companies into four maturity levels (leader, advanced, developing and initiating) and indicated that 72 percent of companies struggle to keep pace with end customer demand.

Körber analysts have concluded that leading companies look beyond warehouse and transportation operations with technologies to address their end-to-end operations, especially through the use of order management systems (OMS) to optimize order orchestration and fulfillment across locations at the network level. Additionally, businesses are starting to address sustainability aspects across the supply chain, especially with a key focus on transportation optimization, which has a strategic or high priority for 89 percent of businesses overall.

"Investing in technology that enhances the end-customer experience is becoming more critical to meet the overall demand of an increasingly complex and fluid supply chain environment,” said Rene Hermes, EVP and CMO Software at Körber Business Area Supply Chain. "Successful companies need to conquer a highly competitive, crowded marketplace where the customer has many options to quickly move on from companies that can't deliver. The right digital tools and technologies are pivotal to add speed, reliability, and agility to their end-to-end operations to consistently exceed customer expectations."

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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