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Achieving Together: When your Product is Getting Smarter Enough to Sustain your Supply Chain
Achieving Together: When your Product is Getting Smarter Enough to Sustain your Supply Chain

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30 September 2020

Achieving Together: When your Product is Getting Smarter Enough to Sustain your Supply Chain

How can manufacturers compete when its products and prices are so like many others? The answer is by involving the end consumers as players into the supply chain ecosystem.

Nowadays, any business can face disruption in production due to automation, dematerialization, and changes in the value chain. To keep well positioned among competitors, companies are forced to continuously innovate, by proposing new products and services according to consumers’ needs.


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Diversified products portfolios can be easily proposed, just by gathering digitally, any related information from people, assets, and processes as an added value to differentiate (i.e. the data goldmine). However, such strategy is not free of complexity and challenges, but the outcomes are very promoting at operational and strategic levels. Supply chains are not away from such context where manufactures are becoming increasingly digital by leveraging useful technologies that can help in the monitoring and optimization of their business performance.


It is the era of Industry 4.0, where any physical thing, person or process has a near real-time copy (its digital twin) to expose useful information for fast and predictive decisions resulting in smart connected products. How can manufacturers compete when its products and prices are so like many others? The answer is by involving the end consumers as players into the supply chain ecosystem (Customer Engagement).


Digital transformers believe in the high potential of customer-related data that can be analyzed to provide big insights and newly differentiated and even personalized services for their consumers. Using Digital Personalization to enrich the Customer Experience is one major outcome of Digital Twin projects. It not only customizes by offering tailor-made solutions to any customer problem, but also personalizes one’s offer as per customer history and preferences or digital behaviors (micro-segmentation).


For example, Digital Twin projects can help us to personalize and customize our products or service offerings to different micro-personas that can surely avoid customers’ diversion.  We can promote end to end transparency by engaging customers in the supply chain from farm to fork and offer more trust in potential purchases, by knowing each product’s origin while tracking & tracing its movement as added value through the whole supply chain.


Based on a research conducted by Salesforce[1] in 2019, to collect insights from over 8,000 consumers and business buyers worldwide about the state of the connected customer, we can realize the following:


  • Customers are defined as the combination of the direct consumers of your products/services and the business buyers/retailers.
  • Customer expectations continue to shift. They require more real time communication with an efficient connected experience and personalized products/services.
  • Many emerging technologies are transforming standards for engagement such as Artificial Intelligence, Mobile/Cloud computing, Internet of Things, Mixed Reality (AR/VR) and Big Data Analytics to build real time 360° insight on each customer’s behavior.
  • The role of trust in customer relationships based on different attributes such as: honesty, security, privacy, reliability, transparency, ethics, confidence and authenticity
  • The rising importance of corporate values in buying decisions such as companies with corporate social responsibilities and sustainability culture are attracting more people.


To tackle such expectations and make them real, brand owners in global supply chains had to make a consensus with all the players involved for best alignment and interoperability. As best practices we can highlight for example:


  • Digital transformation within each company starting from the business model to the infrastructure and skillset. It is the concept of Digital Twin to implement digital ecosystems solutions for every business case.
  • Omnichannel digital marketing to enrich the communication with every unique customer anytime anywhere with a 360° view on all his preferences and behavior.
  • A fast innovation rate for new products and services, differentiated enough to meet all the needs for all generations in all countries.
  • Smart & connected digitally products to put humans in the loop of performance. Consumers through smart products and services can be connected easily to the brand owners, bypassing retailers, for a fast and reliable communication. Their feedbacks and concerns should be considered to build trust and loyalty for long term. Most recalls can be solved easily without destroying the image of the company if this trust relationship is strong enough to communicate even negative feedback in a friendly way through mobile device apps so that the withdrawal is done without reaching a public scandal.


In conclusion, more you make your product or service digitally connected to your end consumers through a smart label and emerging technologies in a digitally transformed supply chain, more your customers are happy to buy, communicate and stay loyal to the brand owners because they are considered in your development plan and strategies. The voice of your consumers matters, not only for them, but especially for all players in each supply chain.

So, empower your product with Trustparency® and Stay tuned for more scenarios that may disrupt your global supply chains.



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