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.
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.
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.