23% of Supply Chain Leaders Utilize Customer Enablement: Study

Gartner surveyed 650 supply chain organizations on customer enablement and here are the results.

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Gartner surveyed 650 supply chain organizations on customer enablement. Supply chain organizations that give customers the opportunity to get their own jobs done are twice as likely to receive repurchase orders, compared with competitors that are only focusing on customer satisfaction. This survey also found that only 23% of supply chains are emphasizing customer enablement. However, this strategy will soon become the norm in about 5 years and 80-90% of all supply chains are planning to adopt these strategies. 

“The survey data showed that high-performing supply chain organizations are capturing competitive advantage and have capabilities at operational rates often twice as high compared to their lower performing peers,” said Jennifer Loveland, senior director analyst with Gartner’s Supply Chain practice. “These high performing teams have also succeeded in retaining the respect of the C-Suite; 72% are viewed as strategic partners at a time when perception of supply chain management’s importance has declined back to pre-pandemic levels at most organizations.”

From Gartner:

  • Gartner identified high-performing supply chain organizations by rating their ability to exceed expectations on eight distinct measures over the past 12 months, including customer experience, stakeholder expectations and business performance, among other categories.
  • Traditionally, supply chain leaders think of high, medium, or low value product or customer segmentations as the primary way to differentiate supply chain service. Enablement takes this further by looking at supply chain choices beyond cost, lead time and availability and differentiating experience order-to-order. The specific strategies to achieve this are being enacted at high performing organizations at significantly higher rates today compared with their low-performing peers.
  • Supply chain organizations perceive the challenges with reinventing their commercial innovation strategies similarly, despite their differing performance levels. Both high and low performing groups pointed to operational challenges related to providing a differentiated supply chain experience and a lack of funding to pursue opportunities as the top obstacles to success.
  • To identify areas of cost improvement and gain more funding, supply chain organizations across the board must emphasize cost transparency. A “cost-to-serve” model can help align supply chain costs to service choices, rather than functions, which provides better transparency and increases the chances of funding new commercial innovation strategies.