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Consumers’ Demand for ‘Now’ Will Impact Service Supply Chain in 2019

The focus on how the “now” experiences buyers enjoy in everyday life is rippling into the service supply chain. It makes total sense when you think about it: The consumer who buys a widget and receives it immediately, or close to it, isn’t thinking about the ramifications of logistics companies getting that widget into their hands so quickly.

The waves through the supply chain that happen due to this immediacy are real and expanding daily. During this, the one thing I have learned is that you should not underestimate the power of a customer or supply-partner relationship.

Why, you might ask?

Because relationships are the glue that will hold us together as we collaborate to find solutions to the challenges of “now.” We’ve been watching these changes over the past couple years and they will continue into 2019.

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Here’s how immediacy will continue to impact how service companies — let alone service supply chain companies — view the level and characteristics of the services provided.

Maximizing opportunities

The Uber, Amazon, or Google effect on buyers’ expectations and experiences of what “service” currently means also ripples into the service supply chain. And why shouldn’t it? After all, the technology and push into a digitized supply chain should create a simpler, more visible and optimized service delivery experience.

With customers’ and supply partners’ expectations shifting, 2019 will continue a strong trend for the supply chain to continue creating and delivering a holistic service experience. This experience not only must meet SLA expectations, but also provide greater visibility into various supply points. This, in turn, will enable us to optimize and scale as required due to budgetary pressures and customer demands.

We have recently witnessed several large Fortune 500 companies downsizing their workforce, which is a potential leading indicator of an economic downturn within the next 12 to 18 months. At the same time, in the services world, now is the time to maximize opportunities that help companies either outsource an in-house service supply chain and/or look to optimize existing outsourced models.

The power of relationships

Why are relationships so important? Besides the obvious reasons, now is the time to create, innovate and adjust —and that happens best when we work together. It’s going to take the collective mindshare of customers and supply partners to truly understand all of the critical elements that will drive overall value.

We depend on this intimacy, since the service supply chain is complex. It’s not as simple as picking up a person on a street corner. It’s time-sensitive, involves expensive inventory and contains multiple companies reliant on service events performing flawlessly with complete visibility — all of this happening in some of the most challenging countries in the world.  

I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution for many reasons. After all, the world is a big place filled with local nuances, but I do believe it’s our obligation to create immediacy in the service supply chain. With this push, 2019 will include trial and error, plus the development of innovative solutions to create an Uber-like experience related to service delivery. The time is now.

Last year, Sam predicted the top logistics trends for 2018. See how his predictions turned out here.

3 comments on “Consumers’ Demand for ‘Now’ Will Impact Service Supply Chain in 2019

  1. ElliotParker
    January 3, 2019

    Thanks for good writing! That was interesting to read. I woulda like to add the article about the power of relationships in business. I guess it will be helpful too. 

  2. markgrogan
    January 22, 2019

    Service providers need to be prepared to take on the overwhelming role as demand is soaring. Though things could get tough but this challenge would definitely open up various opportunities for them. They should not disregard this chance for them to become even more relevant in the industry even if it means forking out new costs beforehand.

  3. StephenGiderson
    February 4, 2019

    I'm reminded of those Jetson's cartoons when you can virtually “call” whatever you want from some storage space in the air to appear in front of you when you want it. Now tell me when is this happening for us huh?

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