Your Marketing Might Target Consumers, But What About Your Supply Chain?
The tool must fit the task, and that’s true whether you’re working on a DIY project at home or on a supply chain to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. But some companies take a risk when they try to service e-commerce-savvy shoppers using old models of fulfillment and logistics.
“Supply chains built to meet the demands of B2B customers are rarely able to adapt to the very different requirements of D2C [direct to consumer],” observed Liam Casey, founder and CEO of PCH International. “Supply chains built to service large bulk orders, or large builds that are delivered to a single, or few locations, won’t support a D2C model. A supply chain overhaul is often needed.”
Casey offered the following advice to organizations that want to reconfigure their supply chains to support direct relationships with consumers:
- Proximity matters, which could mean relocating postponement and fulfillment operations close to manufacturing.
- The supply chain needs to be reconfigured from end to end. “The key is to start with the consumer experience and design your supply chain to deliver this experience,” Casey blogged. “If you integrate consumer expectations at the product requirement stage, you can drive unique special edition products and sustainability goals to deliver an engaging consumer experience, as well as capture end-to-end supply chain data that results in efficient inventory management.”
- A reconfigured supply chain must be designed with flexibility, transparency and sustainability in mind.
“The ability to deliver direct-to-consumer is key for brands,” Casey concluded. “This channel offers the opportunity to be close to customers, have access to valuable consumer data and realize a variety of operational efficiencies. But it isn’t as simple as making adjustments to the way brands market and sell products. We advise our customers to put in place the right supply chain to realize the full benefits of direct-to-consumer.”
More observations and advice about making the transition to D2C can be found here.