Why the customer should be the primary focus of the supply chain

Peter Tulisaari

By Peter Tulisaari Director of Business Development at King Solutions

When it comes to supply chain efficiencies, logistics companies are always looking for ways to improve. Whether it’s switching carriers, consolidating routes to minimize cost, or cutting waste and redundancies, supply chain management becomes a game a saving time and money.

But as great as accomplishing both of those things can be, it should never come at the cost of the customer experience. Customer service should be the key deliverable in your supply chain. After all, the reason your supply chain exists is to ultimately service the customer.

And while that’s a bit of a loaded statement, there are many reasons why the customer should be your primary focus.

Logistics relationships work best long term
There’s a lot of effort that goes into setting up a relationship with your customer. Mapping routes, providing estimates, figuring out warehousing, supply chain management, carrier provision, the list goes on. Having a high turnover of customers is going to constantly put you in the grueling planning stages.

But providing a top-level customer experience, you can build a lasting relationship, enabling you to build a stronger, more optimized supply chain. Instead of doing surface level planning, you’re able to dig in deeper and focus on doing your work better.

The industry changes rapidly enough without your customers constantly changing. Keep your customers by providing superior customer service, and you’ll be positioned to stay more relevant.

It shows that you’re promising what you’re delivering
There are a lot of great ways to measure KPIs. They allow you to make sure your hitting your goals for your supply chain from budgets to schedules and beyond. Yet, they don’t always fully reflect customer satisfaction. However, satisfied customers can say a lot about your business.

Simply put, if your customers are pleased with your service, and you find your business being referred to other customers, it’s safe to assume you’re doing something right.

Happy customers are more forgiving
Try as they might, no one will ever create a flawless supply chain. Bad weather will happen. Cargo will get damaged. Items may be misplaced. A shipment will run later. Sooner or later, something will go wrong.

If you have great relationships with your customers, they will be more forgiving if/when these incidents arise.

It will lead to more business
Particularly for your newer clients, there’s a good chance that they’re not doing all of their business with you. Whether it’s strictly cost reasons or pre-established relationships or something else entirely, they probably have more business they could put your way.

By offering the better service to those customers, the likelihood of them sending you more business greatly increases.

Even if they don’t have more business for you themselves, they’re much more likely to refer you to others. When you ask someone for a recommendation, they may give you the cheapest. It’s possible they’ll give you the quickest. But most of the time, they’re going to recommend the best.

And that’s something that’s determined by the customer experience.

You will get the best customers
Offering a cheaper alternative might win you some easy business, but it’s likely to bring more headaches than it’s worth. Often, the ones looking for the cheap and easy solution don’t turn out to be loyal customers in the end.

Great customer service, on the other hand, often draws the best customers. It creates a mutual respect. You work hard to meet the needs they care about. They, in turn, relay their appreciation.

Saving money is great. Increasing efficiencies is fantastic. But making your customers happy, that’s the dream.

Interested in becoming one of our happy customers?

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