Drones will soon become essential in delivering necessities, from consumer goods in cities to vital medical supplies in remote areas. Using drones can reduce the need for forklifts or possibly replace the conveyor system often used to transport boxes around distribution centres. Outside the warehouse, drones will be really useful to reach rural streets and areas that cannot be passed by truck or are difficult to be walked on by humans.
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As the future supply chain will be more advanced, how can supply chain managers consistently delight customers? Here are five essential building blocks to do just that:
- Align the supply chain with wider corporate strategy and integrate it with customer facing functions, with common performance metrics and rewards that focus on fulfilling customer needs. Open collaboration with suppliers, and in some cases, competitors, can also boost efficiency and responsiveness.
- Enhance visibility and share information, to help ensure that every player in the supply chain understands what customers want and can trace the status of materials, parts and finished product. Forecasting and demand planning must incorporate real-time data to become more accurate and reliable.
- Instill greater flexibility and agility to adapt to expected and unexpected market events, and seize opportunities to source new materials, arrange logistics, scale up or down, or enter new markets.
- Structure the supply chain to address local and global competition and evolving regulations, such as royalties, tax, customs, transfer pricing and anti-profit-shifting initiatives.
- Address different customer needs and values by segmenting end-to-end supply chains and building the foundation to efficiently provide offerings valued by customers.
Customer experience is becoming undeniably more important, yet many companies lack responsive supply chains that can continually adjust to fluctuating customer requirements. All too often, manufacturing is based upon forecasted demand, while purchasing and inventory replenishment is driven by current, rather than future consumption patterns. The five tips above hopefully can help retain the customer base and attract other customers to collaborate with your supply chain.
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