Market Overview

Customer Experience is Driving Supply Chain Innovation, Says Report from BluJay Solutions and Adelante SCM

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Research indicates that leaders prioritize customers, integrated
technology solutions, and supply chain connectivity and visibility

BluJay
Solutions
, a leader in supply chain software and services, and
Adelante SCM, a research firm and peer-to-peer community for supply
chain and logistics professionals, today released its research report,
"Competing on Customer Experience: The Driving Force Behind Supply Chain
Innovation."

The research, produced by Adelante SCM and presented by BluJay
Solutions, was conducted to explore the links between supply chain
management innovation, customer experience, technology adoption, and
company performance. The findings provide supply chain and logistics
decision-makers with benchmarks and insights to develop informed
strategies with regard to innovation and improving customer experience.
The research highlights leading factors driving supply chain technology
adoption and the next wave of innovation, as well as the barriers to
innovation and influence of a customer-centric approach over others.

"The most important lesson learned from companies that have been
disrupted is the danger of becoming too complacent with the status quo,"
said Doug Surrett, Chief Product Strategist at BluJay Solutions. "Our
hope is this research will provide insights to help companies determine
actions they can take to implement market-leading supply chain
solutions. As we move into the next evolution of supply chain logistics,
it's not just about getting goods from point A to point B at the lowest
cost, it's about innovating with a clear objective to optimize the
overall customer experience. This requires an approach that considers
the entire supply chain ecosystem."

Supply chain executives from industries including manufacturing, retail,
and logistic service providers (LSPs) were surveyed, with 140 qualified
respondents answering a series of questions about innovation, customer
experience, and technology. Participants self-identified their company's
effectiveness and maturity (Above Average Performers v. Average or Below
Average Performers, Innovators/Early Adopters v. Laggards/Late
Majority). Key findings from the survey include:

Market leaders place customer experience at the center of supply
chain design

The report uncovers the close affinity between above-average performers
and innovators, who both measure customer experience and rank it as the
top factor in supply chain innovation. Conversely, average or below
performers and laggards measure customer experience much less and
identify cost reduction as the driving factor in supply chain innovation.

The data indicates that logistics service providers (LSPs) are champions
of enhanced customer experience as they look for ways to differentiate
themselves, focusing less on competing on cost, which often leads to
commoditization. Cost is a top factor among shippers (manufacturer,
retailers and distributors) where cost reduction or competitiveness is
still a key indicator for success.

 
Q: Is delivering an enhanced customer experience a defined and
measured objective within your supply chain organization?
Responses    

Above Average
Performers

   

Innovators/Early
Adopters

   

Average or Below
Average Performers

   

Laggards/
Late Majority

Yes     78%     77%     56%     55%
No     18%     12%     24%     30%
I don't know     5%     10%     22%     18%
               
 
Q: What are the top three factors driving supply chain innovation
at our company today?
Rank    

Above Average
Performers

   

Innovators/Early
Adopters

   

Average or Below
Average Performers

   

Laggards/
Late Majority

1    

Deliver Enhanced
Customer Experience
(37%)

   

Deliver Enhanced
Customer Experience
(36%)

   

Reduce Cost/Cost
Competitive
(36%)

   

Reduce Cost/Cost
Competitive
(46%)

2    

Reduce Cost/Cost
Competitive
(28%)

   

Create Competitive
Advantage
(26%)

   

Deliver Enhanced
Customer Experience
(24%)

   

Deliver Enhanced
Customer Experience
(20%)

3    

Create Competitive
Advantage
(22%)

   

Reduce Cost/Cost
Competitive
(21%)

   

Create Competitive
Advantage
(12%)

   

Create Competitive
Advantage
(12%)

               

Innovators place greater emphasis on looking beyond internal
systems to improving the entire supply chain

Innovators/Early Adopters seem to have matured to the point where they
are less concerned about their existing systems and are now focused on
outwardly focused needs (i.e. flexibility/innovation of supply chain,
working with other functional groups). Additionally, they have adopted
an integrated solution for managing their supply chain. In contrast,
laggards are still focusing on updating their antiquated systems and are
trailing on adopting integrated solutions. A majority of laggards are
still relying on Excel spreadsheets to manage their supply chain. These
findings suggest that in order to drive faster and more efficient supply
chain innovation, leaders need to find flexible, future-proof solutions
(i.e. cloud infrastructure, open architecture) to continue to innovate,
while laggards must leapfrog ahead by replacing their outdated IT
systems with modern ones that eliminate the silos that still exist
between their systems and processes.

 
Q: What are the top three barriers to supply chain and logistics
innovation at our company today?
Rank     Innovators/Early Adopters     Laggards/

Late Majority

1    

Lack of flexibility/innovation of supply chain partners
(21%)

   

Existing IT systems are outdated
(29%)

2    

Lack of support from IT or other functional groups
(19%)

   

Siloed systems and/or processes
(20%)

3    

Existing IT systems are outdated
(17%)

   

Change management hurdles
(17%)

4    

Siloed systems and/or processes
(13%)

   

Lack of support from IT or other functional groups
(15%)

5    

Change management hurdles
(11%)

   

Lack of flexibility/innovation of supply chain partners
(12%)

       
 
Q: What systems do you currently use to manage your supply chain?
Rank    

Innovators/Early Adopters

   

Laggards/
Late Majority

1    

TMS
(77%)

   

Excel spreadsheets
(78%)

2    

WMS
(56%)

   

TMS
(61%)

3    

Excel spreadsheets
(56%)

   

WMS
(44%)

       

Transportation, visibility, mobility, and automation will occupy
greatest mindshare as companies look to the future

In terms of the future, the five supply chain investment priorities that
received the greatest percent of overall top rank votes were
Transportation, Supply Chain Visibility, Warehousing, BI/Analytics, and
Trading Partner Connectivity. The results are not too surprising
considering that many of the respondents are involved with
transportation, and that many of these investment areas, especially
Supply Chain Visibility, will continue to be of key importance as more
companies look to optimize their operations, decrease costs, and improve
the overall customer experience. Despite all the hype surrounding
blockchain, drones, and driverless trucks, those technologies ranked
near the bottom of the list in terms of which technologies will deliver
the most innovative benefits to the supply chain in the next five years.
Instead, companies believe technologies such as Mobile Devices and Apps,
Control Tower Visibility, and Warehouse Automation/Robots will lead the
way. In general, the top three technologies are all further along the
maturity curve and have more established records of delivering benefits
than the technologies lower on the list. The findings suggest that
perhaps there's still a level of skepticism or a "wait and see" attitude
among supply chain executives when it comes to some emerging
technologies.

 
Q: What are your supply chain investment priorities?
Rank    

Above Average
Performers

   

Innovators/Early
Adopters

   

Average or Below
Average Performers

   

Laggards/
Late Majority

1    

Transportation
(26%)

   

Warehousing
(23%)

   

Transportation
(32%)

   

Transportation
(31%)

2    

Supply Chain Visibility
(18%)

   

Supply Chain Visibility
(19%)

   

Supply Chain Visibility
(22%)

   

Supply Chain Visibility
(24%)

3    

Warehousing
(18%)

   

Transportation
(17%)

   

Warehousing
(20%)

   

Warehousing
(20%)

4    

BI/Analytics
(14%)

   

Trading Partner

Connectivity
(15%)

   

BI/Analytics
(12%)

   

BI/Analytics
(10%)

5    

Trading Partner Connectivity
(12%)

   

BI/Analytics
(11%)

   

Trading Partner

Connectivity
(7%)

   

Trading Partner Connectivity
(5%)

               
 
Q: In five years, which technologies will have delivered the most
supply chain innovation benefits?
Rank     Technologies
1    

Mobile Devices and Apps
(28%)

2    

Control Tower Visibility
(20%)

3    

Warehouse Automation/Robots
(19%)

4    

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
(11%)

5    

Internet of Things
(9%)

6    

Driverless Trucks
(8%)

7    

Blockchain
(2%)

8    

Drones
(2%)

9    

3D Printing
(<1%)

   

"Competing on Customer Experience" highlights keys to winning in the
new age of supply chain logistics

"Competing on Customer Experience: The Driving Force Behind Supply Chain
Innovation" takes a look inside the drivers of supply chain innovation.
It offers key insights that to help readers identify how their
organization stacks up against competitors in terms of innovation, and
perspective to develop informed strategies to approach supply chain
innovation and customer experience.

The report also provides historical views on recognizing disruptive
technologies, the importance of customer experience as a key competitive
differentiator, and pitfalls of outdated and rigid supply chain
solutions.

"Competing on Customer Experience: The Driving Force Behind Supply Chain
Innovation" is available for free download at: www.supplychainresearch.info.

About BluJay Solutions
BluJay Solutions delivers supply
chain software and services to the world's most progressive retailers,
distributors, freight forwarders, manufacturers, and logistics service
providers. Transforming supply chain logistics with the BluJay Global
Trade Network, we enable customers to unlock the power of more than
40,000 universally connected partners. With BluJay, companies can
achieve greater trade velocity, transform their supply chain economics
for disruptive advantage, and see beyond the horizon to optimize their
future in the global economy. To learn more, visit: www.blujaysolutions.com,
or follow us on Twitter at @myblujay
and LinkedIn.

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