What the customer wants, the customer gets—if not from you, then certainly from someone else. Susan Fourtané writes an article breaking down the steps to building a supply chain that gives the customer what it wants, and gives you the profits you like to see.
Dimensions and Strategies
Fourtané says you can think of supply chains today as being three-dimensional, having internal, external, and customer dimensions. The internal dimension is the supply chain that you control, including things like manufacturing, distribution, and retail capacity. External dimensions then are those nebulous elements beyond your control—government regulation, environmental requirements, macroeconomic factors—where visibility and agility come into play. Lastly, the customer dimension is where you do not have total control, but you have an ability to push things in your favor through a concept-to-customer approach. There are eight steps to building a concept-to-customer approach:
- Dynamically adjust the network.
- Take a global view of the demand.
- Work the supply network.
- Boost asset productivity.</li>
- Expand your visibility.
- Know what happens, when it happens.
- Design to deliver.
- Track performance for continuous improvement.
Fourtané elaborates on each of these points in her full article over at EBN, helping you to build a relationship with customers that keeps all parties happy. You can read it here: http://www.ebnonline.com/author.asp?section_id=1364&doc_id=273002