Everything for the customer. Ultimately, that is the primary focal point for every company.
In modern marketing, this is supported by buyer and customer journeys that help to provide insight into every step in a purchase process and can be organised in such a manner that they result in permanently happy customers.
Essential, this customer focus! But is there also the realisation at the right level that the happy customer can only exist thanks to the preceding logistics? I highly doubt it. Far too often, sales opportunities are missed in practice because goods more or less disappear into a black hole after the primary purchase order. The various logistics links are managed by and provide feedback through telephone, e-mail and Excel, by definition making this reactive. The result: goods that are not available to requesting consumers at the right moment. Or, the other way around: stocks that pile up just to make sure that the customer cannot miss out.
What causes this? In many cases, the first step is the purchasing of the logistics. Especially at larger companies, the purchasing and logistics departments are often miles apart. Price is and will therefore continue to be the decisive argument for purchasing managers. Without giving any further consideration to what really matters in order for logistics to contribute to the ultimate goal of happy customers.
Primarily focusing on price is inhibiting and, in my opinion, even counterproductive. Out of necessity, every (logistics) supplier will fully focus on optimising its own part of the chain. Without taking into account the preceding or subsequent links in any way. Everyone does their part, but the sum of the parts is ultimately negative. The logistics department has little or no overview and insight. Making adjustments is virtually impossible. At first glance, the logistics chain may seem optimally structured in terms of price, but in practice this is not quite the case. Consumers miss out or, the other way around, warehouses overflow.
These kinds of undesirable situations can be prevented by already prioritising chain collaboration when purchasing logistics. By engaging suppliers in the higher goal – the happy customer! – and by next also providing the tools for this. By properly organising this right from the start, each link is able to optimally perform, proactively provide feedback and actually contribute to the result. What at first sight may seem suboptimal for a purchasing department in terms of price will actually prove to be the opposite in practice. Through chain cooperation, logistics will actually start contributing to the operating result, with higher sales thanks to happy customers!
Chief Commercial Officer Yellowstar