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In order to stay relevant and thrive in a constantly evolving context, businesses will need to adapt to the New Reality. This provides interesting challenges, but also ample opportunities to work more efficiently and in a much more modern way, especially when it comes to your supply chain. 

The competitive market has altered as a result of COVID-19 and customers expect more now from businesses more than ever before. They demand excellent experiences which meet their expectations, involve minimal time and effort, demonstrate integrity and authenticity, reach a resolution, are empathic and personalized. These demands have, in turn, forced businesses to rethink their supply chain. Keeping your supply chain flexible and agile while keeping the costs low is key in the face of changing customer behaviors.

Many customers have started to use digital commerce and have become more digitally mature as they’ve discovered that different technologies have made their lives easier - and this behavior is very likely to remain post COVID-19. Customers have become less forgiving toward issues related to non-seamless customer experiences, lack of digital engagement channels and lack of delivering personalized experiences; implying that companies need to digitally transform themselves in order to meet customers’ demands. For example, during the pandemic, a lot of companies have set up an e-commerce platform or web shop. 

The global pandemic has caused some fundamental disruptions in the supply chains of many organizations. In these unprecedented times, it is even more important to be strongly connected to your customers, and since customers are changing their behaviors, your supply chain needs to adapt quickly in order to avoid disruptions. With these changes to customer behavior and distribution channels, the following trends have emerged: the rise of micro supply chains, supply chain platforms and Industry 4.0.

Micro supply chains are mini operating models based around customers. They guide companies in the customization of products, policies, production, systems and flows around specific customer segments. When a supply chain is smaller and more locally oriented, a company is more agile and able to meet demands easier. Therefore, micro supply chains can turn market volatility and risk into a competitive advantage.

A second trend that the recent pandemic has triggered is the rise of supply chain platforms. ‘Supply-chain-as-a-service’ has already been a trend for several years. And while most aspects of the supply chain can now be bought from third parties or sold as a service - such as supply chain planning, commercial optimization and logistics - in the coming year, supply chains will become more modularized and connected. Platforms can help facilitate this trend as they can help to connect with other supply chains, introduce new products faster and help decrease the reaction time to changing customer demands.

A third important trend is Industry 4.0. The application of the Internet of Things, the use of advanced robotics, and the implementation of big data advanced analytics within supply chain management will not only help transform your supply chain, but also help you better understand your customers and their changing behaviors. Discover these topics and how to react to them in our supply chain webinar.

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Customer & Supply Chain Webinar

Competing on consumer delight and supply chain performance