Written by BSM Global

Optimising the Customer Experience

As a result of the past year’s events, a large proportion of the global workforce now exists in a fully remote or hybrid environment.


While COVID-19 served as a catalyst, accelerating the adoption of digital supply chains across the industry, it also revealed a major gap across many organisation’s operations. While many companies build their supply chains to maximise value through efficiency and productivity, they fail to capture a necessary component in the interconnected world we live in: transparency.


Remote work has entirely changed the dynamics of the customer experience. Looking towards the future, business leaders must utilise cloud-based technologies to identify and address vulnerabilities across their processes to build a successful and resilient digital supply network (DSN).


Sharing information with customers

To accurately assess and adjust their positions across their markets, organisations must recognise shifts in both their internal operations and technologies as well as the demands of customers.


As explained by McKinsey & Company, one of the leading capabilities achieved through cloud technologies is the ability to strengthen communications with customers and other actors within the supply chain. By accessing rapid, real-time information, supply chain managers are able to more accurately forecast supply needs and make data-driven business decisions. 


When the pandemic first began its rapid spread and nations started to lockdown, the world’s dependence on globalisation meant that suppliers were unable to match the systemic demand shocks felt across staple consumer goods. 


As the Institute for Management Development writes, the business models that dictate the retail distribution process traditionally have lacked in sophistication and require highly manual activity. This makes it especially challenging to redirect inventory, identify priorities and override previous supply proposals. 


However, for organisations using machine-learning and cloud-based systems, managers were quickly supplied with recommendations for how to deal with the fluctuations in demand as they began to emerge. This meant they could quickly adjust material planning and scheduling in response to new customer orders. 


In the context of one of the most widely discussed demand shocks, paper goods, having this technology and clarity across the supply chain has helped managers to proactively reallocate wholesale inventory typically sent to offices and businesses to the consumer retail channel instead.


Cloud-enabled supply chains promote transparency through the flow of information and shared data between suppliers and customers. By focusing on the collaborative relationship in producing and delivering products, organisations can quickly detect and address compromises to operations. 


Identifying new markets

While the pandemic revealed the need for transparency among suppliers and current customers, it also made it clear that companies must take a proactive approach to politics and global trade regulations. 


Trade relations between Australia and China rapidly deteriorated in 2020, increasing the overall strain on global supply chain networks as well as the risk of significantly increased costs, explains Reuter. 


If risk mitigations from trade policy changes are done as a reactive measure, they likely will emphasise organisational gaps and impact long-term decision making across the business. 


To succeed in a highly regulated global trade landscape, supply chain leaders must adjust their existing sourcing, manufacturing and distribution networks as well as the customers they primarily sell to. By using cloud-based technologies to achieve a more seamless flow of information, businesses can:


  • Optimise decision-making using machine learning for sourcing, manufacturing and product flow
  • Achieve agility by having global options for suppliers, contractors, manufacturing locations and customer markets 
  • Build digital simulations to test and predict for changes in the market


As cloud technology continues to develop, supply chain managers must focus on the customer experience by increasing communication and collaboration across business processes. 


Deploying cloud technology 

After over a year of uncertainty, COVID-19 proved to be the ultimate “stress test” on the global supply chain and the business partners within it.


Moving forward, the pandemic has made the need for resilient IT and cloud infrastructure in supply chain planning clear. Organisations must be prepared to market and fulfill orders in a fully digital capacity. This requires managers to track customer metrics and leverage that information to guide planning and forecasting.


If your organisation lacks the internal infrastructure to create, deploy and monitor a cloud-based system, BSM Global offers scalable solutions that are used by multinational organisations, large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, and sole traders.

Cloud-based systems will help your business to optimise its global trade and system processes by addressing some of the most disruptive obstacles across the supply chain. From simplifying the digital exchange of critical document data between your partners to managing complex regulatory certificates and compliance records, the cloud offers a wide array of solutions for even the most complex processes within the industry. 


If you are interested in discovering new ways to optimise your organisation’s own supply chain or have additional questions on the application of cloud-based technologies, contact us today.