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The IUP Journal of Supply Chain Management :
Customer-Focused Supply Chain Strategy: Developing Business Value-Added Framework
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Customers are crucial to any business as without customers, there is no sales; and without sales, there is no revenue and profits. Hence, there is a lot of attention on ‘customer-focus’. With competition now at the supply chain level, competitive advantage comes from the ability of supply chain partners to coordinate and integrate strategies aimed at satisfying the end customers of the supply chain at a relatively low cost. Customer-focused supply chain strategy provides an approach to respond to these challenges as it strives to match supply and demand, thereby driving down costs simultaneously improving customer satisfaction. This study underlines the significance of customer-focused supply chain strategy. It also provides supporting matrix to underscore various attributes of customer-focused supply chain strategy; develops 4Rs (responsiveness, resilience, reliability and realignment) framework for building customer-focused supply chain strategy; and formulates business value-added framework to emphasize the overall benefits in terms of improved firm performance.

 
 
 

In the context of globalization, shortening product lifecycles, and changing customer preferences, the management of supply chains has become increasingly complex. Supply chain covers all movement and storage of materials and goods including inventory of raw materials as well as work-in-process, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Any initiatives to improve supply chain performance attempt to match supply and demand, thus simultaneously driving down costs and improving customer satisfaction. Customers are crucial to any business as without customers, there is no sales; and without sales, there is no revenue and profits. Hence, there is a lot of attention on ‘customer-focus’.

With competition now at the supply chain level (Craighead et al., 2007), competitive advantage comes from the ability of supply chain partners to coordinate and integrate strategies aimed at satisfying the ultimate customers of the supply chain at a relatively low total cost (Cohen and Roussel, 2005). Customer-focused supply chain strategy provides an approach to respond to these challenges and hence they are most likely to prosper within today’s competitive global landscape. Customer-focused supply chain strategy strives to match supply and demand, thereby driving down costs while simultaneously improving customer satisfaction. In short, customer-focused supply chain strategy maximizes value to the ultimate customers of the supply chain in terms of both satisfaction with the product and/or services and a relatively low total cost of the product and/or service.


 
 
 

Supply Chain Management Journal,Customer-focus,Customer-focused supply chain strategy,4Rs (responsiveness, resilience, reliability and realignment).