Ask These Four Questions for a Customer-Focused Supply Chain

November 28, 2023

Begin with the customer’s worldview.

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Supply chain leaders recognize consumer expectations—and they adapt accordingly.

Key Takeaways

  • In a recent episode of The Logistics Leadership Podcast, Flexe CEO Karl Siebrecht talked with Michael Bender (former COO, eCommerce at Walmart) on how consumer behavior drives eCommerce decision-making.
  • Consumers have high eCommerce expectations. From value to quality to convenience, they want products delivered quickly and cheaply.
  • Building a flexible, customer-focused supply chain is difficult but essential. According to Bender, organizations need to ask four key questions.
  • Supply chain leaders use dynamic, scalable solutions beyond traditional, asset-based networks. By investing in flexible warehousing infrastructure, they test and learn to scale eCommerce strategies and continuously improve operations.

Flexe recently published two back-to-back episodes of The Logistics Leadership Podcast that examine consumer behavior and its impact on supply chains. In part two, Flexe CEO Karl Siebrecht talked with Michael Bender, former COO of eCommerce at Walmart, on how consumer behavior drives eCommerce decision-making—and how supply chain flexibility creates eCommerce success.

Their conclusion: Brands find eCommerce success with flexible, customer-centric logistics.

Customers expect great eCommerce experiences
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Consumers approach eCommerce shopping with high expectations. From value to quality to convenience, customers want products delivered quickly and cheaply.

Competitor sites and online marketplaces make it easy for shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for—on their terms. Earning and keeping customer loyalty is a challenge. To win and keep customers, leading companies focus on ways to create customer-focused brand experiences. And that starts with their supply chains.

Learn more with The Logistics Leadership Podcast

Ask these four questions to drive customer-focused logistics
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Building a customer-focused supply chain is difficult but essential. Michael Bender suggests first understanding the customer’s dynamic behaviors and expectations. He shares a simple framework. Ask and answer these four questions:

  1. What products do you have?

  2. How much does it cost?

  3. Where or how can customers get it?

  4. When (or how quickly) can they receive it?

According to Michael, “The best companies do the best job of answering those requests.” But traditional supply chains are not designed for speed and flexibility. Leading organizations develop flexible supply chains to improve delivery promises, manage costs and meet customer expectations.

Flexible supply chains drive eCommerce success #

Adding supply chain flexibility starts with a mindset change. As Michael and Karl discuss, supply chain leaders are starting to use dynamic, scalable solutions beyond traditional, asset-based networks. By investing in flexible warehousing infrastructure, leaders prioritize technology and networks over fixed assets. They test and learn to scale strategies and continuously improve operations.

For example, Fortune 500 enterprises work with Flexe to use flexible warehousing infrastructure to:

  • Continuously improve operations and add fulfillment nodes to quickly fulfill eCommerce orders.

  • Expand or contract distribution networks as needed to rapidly replenish store shelves and execute long-term strategies.

  • Add flexible capacity fast to prepare for the unexpected, manage peak demand and overcome capacity crises.

Invest in flexible warehousing infrastructure. Talk to Flexe.

Supply chain leaders recognize consumer expectations and demand shifts. They adapt accordingly to meet the unexpected, capture long-term opportunities and continuously improve operations. The result: strong sales and happy customers.