Minggu, 29 Juli 2012

Supply Chain Challenges, Customer Service's Contribution

Most of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Companies are becoming customer driven companies; configure its business based on customer necessity. Customer Service as part of Supply Chain Division in all FMCG Companies has the chance to create direct contact with their customers. Nowadays, it has evolved into more collaborative actions. Most of FMCG Companies must focus on customer collaboration projects more intensively since the competition in all over countries has increased dramatically.

Customer Service Operations are starting with capturing customer order; processing order; validation order; coordination with warehouse team; coordination with financial risk team; coordination with commercial / sales team; coordination with Demand & Supply Planner, and doing claim, return & refusal. It has become amusing works and daily attractive challenges. With these tough competitions with other companies, Customer Service must do these daily works with very fast speed. They also have to think how to reduce their order processing failures, increase their service level to their customers, reduce dispute management in pricing by improving their master data alignment, improve their coordination with other functions, and many other challenges which comes-up everyday.

By reviewing and analyzing these operational activities, there are some main competitive advantages which are really critical for all organizations:
1.       The speed and reliability of order processing system.
2.       Good collaboration with other functions, from Sales/Commercial Team, Warehouse Team, Demand & Supply Planner, and Financial Risk Team.
3.    Implement clear business rules especially with Sales/Commercial Team, so Customer Service can manage the order processing time and method more properly.

Back into customer collaboration projects, nowadays it becomes a special competitive advantage for some companies because they are starting their focus on continuous improvement projects. Innovative ideas become big requirements for all collaborative projects with customers. Continuous improvement projects start from how to reduce delivery lead time, reduction of operational cost, collaboration in order processing system, improving master data alignment, enhancing service level with some projects, and ensuring on shelf availability in customer’s stores.

Quite different with above operational activities, these collaboration improvement projects really need these important things to be considered:
1.   Trustworthy with their customers, which will be very critical for doing customer collaboration projects.
2.         Win-win business visions and goals
3.         Companies have become top suppliers for the customers.

By focusing on those critical points, company can drive the performance of their supply chain management significantly within a short period.  Moreover, business system and customer relationship are the most important keys for winning this tough business competition.

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