In this blogpost you can get inspiration for how you can increase digital visibility of your Supply Chain, while putting the conscious consumer in focus.
What describes a conscious consumer?
Being a conscious consumer in 2020 is linked to the way we live, the choices we make and the meaning we create. What we are looking for is to simplify our options and having smooth purchasing experiences. More specifically we could say, that conscious consumers are becoming wiser. This is forcing companies to constantly innovate, drive prices down and streamline their offerings.
At the same time conscious consumers are becoming more self-sufficient. They make use of apps and personalization services to create a product uniquely to them. Being able to look after yourself is seen as a luxury, that allows people to be more versatile and expand possibilities. Dictating, designing and personalizing your life allows you to be more flexible.
At the same time, conscious consumers demand immediacy, an “I want it now” attitude. Consumers are seeking frictionless experiences that mesh with their lifestyles, allowing them to dedicate more time to their professional or social lives.
Conscious Consumers want a plastic free world. Consumers will use their wallets to protest the irresponsible use of it and create a virtuous circle, where industry stand to gain by improving sustainability. Consumers are rejecting the mass-produced and generic and will favor products positioned as simplified, back to basics and better quality.
The conscious consumer’s impact on the future Supply Chain
The Conscious Consumer increasingly drives innovation from the heart of the supply network, rather than being on the receiving end of the supply chain. This means, that we are shifting towards consumer-led, data driven, highly complex supply networks.
These shifts demand mass product customization, more accurate supply chain planning and synchronization, and faster multichannel responsiveness that go far beyond the abilities of the typical workforce and infrastructure. It requires instant visibility, quick decision making and increased flexibility across the whole network.
Digitalization is an enabler
Digitalization can be an enabler for both enhanced visibility and transparency, cost reduction, enhanced customer focus and service. As well as the foundation for a more agile and dynamic operating model and performance improvements in the full value chain. In building the vision, where should a company start?
You could be inspired by a recent study which PA Consulting Group has conducted:
Digitization should bring value
According to the recent study done by PA Consulting Group, 30% of those who responded could not say what value digitalization would bring. 79% said, that they do not have the right mix of skills and capabilities. Half of the respondents said, that they have no clear vision for their digital Supply Chain.
This would mean that they have no way to align Supply Chain initiatives with the business strategic objectives, no formula to establish appropriate budgets for investments and no framework for establishing a dialogue around, how the future would look like.
How can digitization bring benefits to the company?
There are several ways in which digitization could bring benefits to the company:
Create a knowledge funnel
As a leader you have to accept, that the shaping of a vision is an ongoing process of discovery, disruption, experimentation and learning. It is situational. It is not a fixed object it is invention in motion. As a leader you have to shape the vision, but you have to seek the broad involvement of a broad set of suppliers, employees, conscious consumers and other partners -which could provide an idea about how the future might look like. Even more, you uncover and partner with industry provocateurs and pioneers who anticipate what is next.
This will also help segment the complexities that exist within the Supply Chain and the marketplace you are operating in. It will help you understand the different consumers that exists within your Supply Chain and describe the patterns around them.
Organize the chaos
You can use the following framework to organize the chaos in the marketplace and describe the patterns of your consumers. For each category you can ask the following questions:
1. How will the trends within this industry affect our company and Supply Chain?
2. What opportunities and threats will these trends imply?
3. What actions could we take to anticipate and respond to these trends?
4. What characterizes our consumers?
Design and visualize the future
Once you have organized your chaos it is time to design the future. Here it is important to visualize the interaction between the customer needs, the formulation of appropriate strategic responses and the successful execution of these strategies by shaping the necessary internal capabilities and corresponding leadership styles.
Use simulation and modelling Supply Chain software to find opportunities. You should utilize data gathered from multiple sources, creating an authentic digital twin of your complete Supply Chain to visualize current and future Supply Chain models and find new opportunities.
Sources: Power Your Potential, The value of the smart Supply Chain,
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