Customer-centric supply chains

Partnering with marketing and R&D to build customer requirements into the supply chain can create competitive advantages.

Customers today want personalized services and rapid delivery. Do you think of supply chain as the biggest contributor to the customer experience? You should. And knowing your customers is an important part of supply chain success. 

Many organizations don’t understand their true cost to serve or who their most profitable customers are. They don't know if they are over-servicing or under-servicing. Between internally focused metrics and other metrics more inclusive of last mile and reverse logistics, they still lack the full picture.

To become customer-centric, supply chains must partner with marketing, promotion and R&D to ensure that customer requirements are built into the structure and metrics. The future-ready organization will focus on:

  • Micro-segmentation - Knowing exactly who your customers are will provide truer costs to serve and allow the supply chain to meet specific customer requirements.
  • Macro trends - Comprehending the changing landscape of customer behavior (e.g. offline to online to offline) will allow the supply chain to pivot to meeting new requirements (e.g. last mile/reverse).
  • Configure to order - Understanding customers will allow organizations to predict trends and configure to order quickly and efficiently.
  • Visibility - Seeing not just where orders are but also where they came from and what raw materials are associated will be increasingly important for sustainable supply chains. 
Supply chain is the biggest contributor to customer experience.
Brian Higgins, Principal and Practice Leader, KPMG Procurement & Operations Advisory

Discover five takeaways to rethinking the supply chain through a customer lens. Read our paper below.

Customer-centric supply chains
The supply chain must adapt to heightened customer expectations


The future of supply chain involves moving beyond fulfilment. Microsegementation for customers is critical. The supply chain must be built around key customers and segments to ensure alignment across the business.

And as customers will only continue to place increased value on personalized services, the demand on supply chain leaders to improve customer fulfilment and meet their expectations will only increase as well. The winners will be the ones that are able to evaluate new business models – direct to consumer, hyper-personalization, B2B2C and more – as well as understand their customers in order to stop over-servicing lower tier customers and focus on investing in the more profitable ones.


An agenda for the future of supply chain

The biggest limitation for supply chains is no longer technologies and what they can do, but rather the imagination of the people who leverage them. As enterprises around the world are facing a perfect storm of change, today’s supply chain leaders must transform business models, organizational structures and operations to thrive today and in the future. Learn more about the future of supply chain.