The importance of the supply chain in today’s experience economy

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Wednesday 08 December 2021 18:36
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Customer demands are driving a tighter integration of supply chain technology data

Digitisation has been transforming the B2C buying process for years, while in B2B a preference for the traditional face-to-face sales model has remained in place. But the continued development of digital capabilities, coupled with the evolution of the buying demographic to a millennial, more digitally receptive audience, has started to challenge the status quo.

Gartner research shows that 44 per cent of millennials prefer no sales rep interaction at all in a B2B setting. Add to that the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we start to build a better picture of why the past 18 months have seen a gradual rise in B2B businesses moving sales online. It sounds simple, but is it?

B2B buyers want an improved experience through the channel they prefer without completely losing the benefits they had from transactions in the more traditional face-to-face model. The ‘aftermarket’ is also becoming a fundamental component of the pre-sale – something less relevant in B2C.

Clients want to do more through a single interface – personalise, configure, order, subscribe, track, maintain and reorder. It’s a new world. So, in the experience economy, how does a manufacturer or distributor change the direction of the ship to win like they were before?

What becomes fundamental is that businesses need to understand that the management and visibility of the supply chain is essential for delivering the end-to-end customer experience. While the technology is paramount to achieving this, getting the strategy and organisational change right to ensure it’s delivered effectively is just as critical.

This is something digital consultancy Enigen is heavily focused on for their clients. ‘This isn’t about giving customers some data and the ability to buy online, and removing salespeople,’ says Managing Director, Alex Love. ‘It’s about people and technology working together in a new world – the people are the information givers, the evangelists, and the technology delivers the service with speed and accuracy.’

Self-service portals are helping to deliver this in a uniformed way, using technology that’s modular – enabling you to create an entirely customised portal from building blocks that match your requirements. Those building blocks come together to deliver a tailored offering where the journey and the experience are the same whether you’re buying, consuming or servicing – all in the same place. It’s a one-stop shop for the buyer and you as a provider that incorporates product information, order management, logistics, manufacturing, and maintenance, through an e-commerce interface with rich, valuable content as and when it’s needed.

Enigen helps organisations adjust to this new way of working, which aside from purely delivering an enhanced customer experience also drives better operational efficiencies and margin management. But while the conceptual and organisational aspect is key, it can’t be delivered without it being underpinned by technology that is designed to work together, modularised, and industry-leading with the breadth that Oracle has. ‘That’s why Enigen works with Oracle on everything we do,’ adds Love. ‘The world changes rapidly, but Oracle’s technology is robust, scales, and is the broadest in capability across CX and supply chain management in the market. It de-risks everything for the client and allows us to focus on delivering the change.’

‘Oracle has a fully integrated suite of applications across the enterprise, which includes supply chain and advertising and customer experience technology,’ says Oracle’s Vice President for Mid-Market Applications for Western Europe, Andre Robberts. ‘It allows us to contribute to our customers’ success in a way that is completely unrivalled. Enigen’s experience of what the market is doing, and the technology, really puts our relationship at the forefront of that digital change. It’s helping clients sell and serve and empower their own clients online.’

This was a sentiment echoed by Oracle’s Sales Director for Supply Chain Management Western Europe, Richard Buxton. He commented: ‘The enterprise space is getting disrupted and legacy technology is slowing down competitiveness. Enigen’s experience of packaging this up with our connected solutions is invaluable for B2B businesses who will need vast amounts of data and real-time information around complex orders, product availability and ongoing maintenance.’

To begin your journey, get in contact with Enigen at www.enigen.co.uk

Originally published on Business Reporter

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