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Enhancing Customer Experience - The Supply Chain Paradigm
Author : Adrian Johnston - Senior Vice President of Cloud (SaaS) Applications at Oracle Asia Pacific
Monday, November 05, 2018

1. How does the supply chain affect the customer experience?

There’s no place as exciting as Asia, where the online consumer base grew by 50 percent: Definite trend toward further individualization and customization, online-enabled transparency and easy access to a multitude of options regarding where to shop and what to buy drive the competition. With this, customer experience extends into delivery, fulfilment, returns or repairs and if this is not well executed consumers quickly move on to a competing brand or a competing on-line platform. Superior supply chain practice is core to delivering great customer experiences and the operational transparency linked to customer interactions for a seamless and dynamic brand experience.

However, the transformational impact of supply chain processes on the customer experience is built based on a customer-first, personalised proposition. Customer-centric supply chain initiatives create and protect brand value by enabling experiences that are co-created with customers and orchestrated across all supply chain partners.

For example, customer usage data and reviews can be mined for insights that can help enhance future iterations of a product. Similarly, IoT can link and integrate supply chain operations from suppliers through to customers, with decisions on cost, inventory, and customer service made from an end-to-end perspective jump-start performance, and customer satisfaction

2. How are legacy supply chain models hindering businesses attempts to enhance customer experiences?

The main challenge is the lack of understanding of a comprehensive view of how performance standards are changing and what customers really want. The barrier is siloed data and processes. These siloes have existed within organisations because of historical business models– say between the manufacturing, distribution, sales and fulfilment – and between supply chain partners. Customer-centric businesses of tomorrow, or rather today means securely opening parts of the business, internally and externally, to encourage collaboration ecosystems. These, in turn, drive new customer-first business models. Organisations that maintain siloed business functions will struggle or perhaps cease to exist for not being able to collaborate effectively losing out to agile competitors and new market entrants.

Agility is an important factor. Organisations with slow and unwieldy business processes and supply chain operations are less able to react quickly to market trends or get new products out to market ahead of competitors. Businesses today need to be agile by design and able to react immediately to market opportunities. That means having a flexible supply chain that can be endlessly reshaped.

3. How can supply chain modernisation help?

Supply chain modernisation knocks down business siloes and increases supply chain transparency to ensure operations are agile and open for collaboration. Modernisation also helps the organisation identify customer needs and drive better experiences. It’s all about creating a seamless innovation ecosystem, fuelled by data and focused on the customer.

 

4. What are the key technologies businesses need to use to modernise their supply chains?

There are a growing range of emerging technologies that will help drive supply chain modernisation. These include IoT devices to gather data from across manufacturing, supply chain operations and even post-sales through the products themselves. This data needs to be combined with other corporate and third-party data and then turned into meaningful insights through advanced analytics. Today, analysis is frequently augmented by AI to reduce time-to-insight and find hidden patterns that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Blockchain will also become increasingly important as a means of creating a secure ledger of all supply chain transactions.

However, the key enabling technology is the cloud as the platform with Software-as-a-Service for supply chain operations as the core, which makes it easier for companies to interact with a global supply chain in an economical way. The cloud enables the seamless and secure integration of corporate, customer and supply chain data for analysis by any approved business or supply chain partner. As such, the cloud is the perfect platform for collaboration. Additionally, the cloud enables agility to incorporate new business models. Resources can be dynamically scaled up or down as the market demands and new concepts rapidly trialled and then scaled up if successful. It also allows businesses to cost effectively trial emerging technologies at low risk, so they can ensure their supply chain is always at the cutting-edge.

5. What is Oracle doing in this space? Are any of your customers supply chain leaders?

Oracle is helping many firms in Asia Pacific with a comprehensive, next-generation supply chain platform that enables organizations to embrace outside-in demand driven processes and capabilities without the complexities and constraints of traditional supply chain architectures.

One of India’s leading logistics businesses, Safexpress has long differentiated through innovative uses of technology. It is an approach that it still uses today, having adopted the Oracle ERP Cloud to accelerate decision making and better serve its customers. Oracle’s technology has enabled the company to become even more customer-centric and responsive. Thanks to Oracle’s leading cloud capabilities, Safexpress has been able to remove a wide range of administrative burdens, increase visibility, and drive real-time availability for customers. The core benefit of the approach is that Safexpress has been freed to concentrate on its core business without needing to manage and maintain in-house ERP systems. Oracle is also helping the company enhance services for its customers. For instance, Safexpress’ IT team is planning to integrate weather forecasting into its systems to increase visibility into the supply chain and improve fleet management.

Safexpress India

One of India’s leading logistics businesses, Safexpress has long differentiated through innovative uses of technology. It is an approach that it still uses today, having adopted the Oracle ERP Cloud to accelerate decision making and better serve its customers. Oracle’s technology has enabled the company to become even more customer-centric and responsive. Thanks to Oracle’s leading cloud capabilities, Safexpress has been able to remove a wide range of administrative burdens, increase visibility, and drive real-time availability for customers. The core benefit of the approach is that Safexpress has been freed to concentrate on its core business without needing to manage and maintain in-house ERP systems. Oracle is also helping the company enhance services for its customers. For instance, Safexpress’ IT team is planning to integrate weather forecasting into its systems to increase visibility into the supply chain and improve fleet management.

HelpAge India

Using Oracle ERP Cloud applications, HelpAge India has been able to gain on the potential of dispatching mobile healthcare service personnel to remote villages across the country. The company has been able to manage just-in-time inventory, get the best credit terms with its suppliers, and account for every rupee it receives from the donors. Also, the organization has been able to automate all its project functions seamlessly.

Using Oracle ERP Cloud applications, HelpAge India has been able to gain on the potential of dispatching mobile healthcare service personnel to remote villages across the country. The company has been able to manage just-in-time inventory, get the best credit terms with its suppliers, and account for every rupee it receives from the donors. Also, the organization has been able to automate all its project functions seamlessly.

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