Global shutdowns and fluctuations in consumer purchasing habits have caused disturbances in the supply chain ranging from material, inventory, and labor shortages to port blockages and industry backlogs.
These disruptions have impacted consumer experiences and loyalties significantly. So, how can you solve challenges in the supply chain to enhance the customer journey and meet specific expectations?
Given that uncertainty in the supply chain is an ongoing issue unlikely to resolve soon, brands must respond to the instabilities strategically to ensure operational reliability. This requires developing a resilience strategy to identify and address functional gaps in your supply chain.
For example, when mapping out your multi-layered operations, you may discover setbacks from your product suppliers or discrepancies in your production line. By collaborating with external suppliers and stakeholders, you can gain insights and share crucial feedback to build solutions and facilitate effective processes.
Once you’ve developed a sound operational strategy, you need to invest in digital technology to test and execute resiliency. According to Gautham Acharya, Strategy and Portfolio Planning Leader at IBM, “investing in digital technologies helps you get a better view of your supply chain…and predict shortages in certain areas and overcapacity in other areas.”
Artificial intelligence simplifies your supply chain operations and consolidates multiple systems to maximize visibility. Additionally, automating your supply chain optimizes effective decision-making on forecasting and allows you to create simulations of key supply chain issues to evaluate resiliency.
With inventory shortages and more brands entering the market, customers have switched to competing merchants with available products that provide quality service and speedy delivery. For this reason, brands should communicate product availability and ensure delivery times.
So, what can you do to retain customers and improve experiences?
Each of the aforementioned supply chain strategies must be optimized to fulfill consumer expectations. This involves interacting with customers at every touchpoint to collect data and feedback to establish a customer-focused culture. With a customized experience focused on accomplishing individual goals, Stephan Bieber, Group Product Manager at Adobe, says you can achieve “higher customer satisfaction rates, reduce churn, and increase retention rates.”