Gone are the days when the supply chain's main focus was on meeting delivery dates. For companies with top-performing supply chains, the goal now is to delight the customer.
That was the message during the opening session at the first day of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP's) annual EDGE Conference. In a panel discussion, executives from Amazon, IBM, and Nike stressed how the customer must now be central to the supply chain.
David Bozeman, vice president of transportation services for Amazon, talked about how the e-commerce giant's culture of "customer obsession" has seeped into its supply chain. "We start with the customer first and work backward," he told the room of close to 3,000 supply chain executives. "Every day we go to work with the purpose of going to war for the customer. We innovate for the customer. And we can't do any of that without our supply chain being on point."
This customer focus is no longer limited to business-to-consumer firms such as Amazon. Joanne Wright, vice president of enterprise operations, and services for IBM, said her company has also transformed itself so that its key focus is on the customer experience. "Our enterprise clients want the same one-click experience that they receive from Amazon," she said.
Nike even sees its supply chain sustainability efforts as part of the company's overall mission to serve athletes. "After all, it's not possible to go for a run if you live in a super-polluted city with poor water quality," said Mike Brewer, vice president of global sourcing and manufacturing for Nike.