Supply Chain in the “Era of the Customer”

The world today is increasingly digital and connected, feeling smaller than ever and yet more complex in many ways.  We talked a little in a previous post about the “Amazon Effect.”  The “Amazon Effect” is a driving force for the change in the supply chain and logistics space, and has forever impacted the way consumers do business.  Customer expectations are changing as quickly as developments throughout the digital landscape.  Capabilities that were “nice to have” just a few years ago are now considered essential by customers.  They expect to know how their goods are being transported, when they will arrive, and if there are any disruptions to the schedule.  Having a seamless and efficient supply chain is no longer just a competitive advantage – it’s essential for keeping pace in today’s climate.

Companies that were pioneers in the supply chain and distribution space – including Amazon – set precedents around tracking packages, communication on shipment schedules, and speed of delivery.  Originally an e-commerce phenomenon, these expectations have permeated customer mindsets.  Now, customers throughout the world doing business in any forum expect to be able to view account details, track shipments, understand who is bringing their package, and be notified immediately if there is a delay.  According to a recent article in Forbes, we are in the “Era of the Customer,” where consumers are shopping smarter, and expect convenience and fast information as a necessity of earning their business.  Does your business provide these services?  If not, you’re already falling behind.

A 3PL partner can help manage the process smoothly using the latest technology and processes that have been proven over time.  Most companies don’t have the resources to make an impact in their supply chain area, while also managing the day-to-day growing of the business.  This is when the right provider can be key, carrying out these duties efficiently and effectively.  A 3PL provider’s job is to offer resilient and reliable execution of your logistics strategy.  You know your business best – so you direct the strategy.  When it comes time to turn your vision into a reality, a 3PL partner like ALS can handle the ins and outs of making that happen.  We know issues can happen.  It’s our job to make sure those issues are handled, and you’re made aware of anything that affects your business.

Having a seamless and efficient supply chain is not longer just a competitive advantage – it’s essential for keeping pace in today’s climate.

Whether you’re a small company, or an enterprise level organization, we have the people and the process to execute on your strategy.  If you feel that you’re not able to meet lofty customer expectations, or are just curious about what the changes in the supply chain world mean for you, let’s talk.

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