Reality is kicking in. Omni-Channel environments are not just for retailers, they are critically important to the manufacturers and distributors that support product and service delivery. If the term ‘Omni-Channel’ doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps ‘customer engagement’ does. Omni-Channel has been used primarily for the end customer-facing environments. With either term the functionality and goal is the same.
Developing the Customer-to-Cash value stream is the same process as mapping for the Omni-Channel experience. The roles of producing the product and delivering the product are prominent in both their location and their importance. The ability to quickly and efficiently change to meet the needs of your customer – whomever that customer may be – is increasingly defining the success of a company.
End-user customers are not only expecting seamless, consistent, and personalized product offerings from companies – they are demanding flawless execution across all the processes that support these offerings. This puts manufacturers and distributors that sell to and service these retailers directly into the Customer-to-Cash value stream.
Manufacturers and Distributors who support companies aggressively pursuing Omni-Channel excellence are transforming themselves in order to support their customers in a number of critical areas:
|Speed:||They must be able to revise production schedules in response to almost “real time” feedback on what is selling and where.|
|Decision Making:||They are becoming flatter organizations in order to facilitate decision making on their customers?۪ timeline, not their own internal schedule.|
|Total Cost:||They are becoming more knowledgeable, transparent, and timely in educating their customers on the value, not simply the cost, of their product.|
|Integration:||They are working with their total supply chain to develop long-term partnerships and information integration to focus on the final customer while meeting their own goals and targets. It is a lot more effective to retain and grow with your current customer base than to win new business.|
And the last, and often the best, reason that manufacturers and distributors are changing is for their own, corporate strategic reasons. Any organization whose success is in any way dependent on their brand and the quality of their services, whether with retail or commercial customers, will be part of the Omni-Channel world. They will decide how much of this presence they control and influence through embracing this opportunity, and how much will be decided for them by forces they do not control.