Six Keys to Serving the Post-Pandemic End Customer

Companies that have the skills and knowledge to have a tighter relationship with the end customer will emerge stronger, more resilient, and more digital

Much has been written about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains and the predicted long-term effect on the global economy. What no one expected to emerge from this disruptive period, however, is clarity into the key attributes that will define success in a post-pandemic global economy.

We have seen many enterprises accomplish more in the last year than they planned, in many cases, to accomplish in the next decade. The digital transformation of businesses, by any measure, has accelerated at speeds previously not thought possible, and while capital investment was tightly controlled, and employees were working remotely. Yes, much was done by government to help keep the economy afloat, and some sectors were more devastated than others, still overall private enterprise accelerated their digital transformation of core functions like supply chain and rethought their operating models. The digital transformation of the supply chain, whether embedding sensors in products and networks, using Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) tools, deploying a new generation of robotics, or applying data analytics, is opening new opportunities.

It is our view, backed by our research, that enterprises will emerge post-pandemic stronger, more resilient, and more digital, with a clear focus on what the Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI) identifies as, the New Customer. The “New Customer,” whether B2B or B2C, has a fundamentally different way to make purchasing decisions based on criteria that include near-instant delivery, bespoke products and services, dynamic pricing, and among other factors, a delightful user experience.

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