A quality customer experience begins from the back-end

Businesses in Asia Pacific face what is arguably the most critical customer experience imperative in the world.

Here, according to Experian, 71 per cent of consumers make online purchases and investments in e-commerce are on the rise. Meanwhile consumers are becoming more demanding: research from Eptica concludes 76 per cent of consumers in Asia Pacific say customer service should be a company’s top priority.

That’s why businesses across Asia must therefore do all in their power to raise the game and create winning customer experiences that keep people coming back for more.

Challenged with delivering differentiated customer experiences, many business leaders are now rethinking the way they design their supply chain operations. These organisations must cope with dynamic demand patterns, and supply chains need to become faster, more precise and deliver at the speed of demand. As businesses in Asia set out to meet these challenges, this year looks set to be a critical one, with 94 per cent of business leaders telling Forbes that digital transformation will fundamentally change supply chains this year.

Moving quickly, business leaders in Asia are investing in digital tools to obtain real-time demand data, shorten replenishment cycle times, optimise deliveries and predict future demand. The laggards will be left behind.

Supply chain transformation in action

In the current regional landscape, we see how breakthrough innovation happens when the right amount of logistics and e-commerce expertise combines. Thereafter, customer experiences are taken to a new height.

Take SpeedFactory by Adidas, a concept that’s making its way to Shanghai and Tokyo, using advanced 3D printing technology from Carbon, Adidas’ supply chain partner. By rethinking its supply chain, Carbon has enabled something special: athletes are able to order hyper-personalised running shoes with unique soles tailored to an individual’s weight, foot contours and running style. The shoe design even incorporates data that takes account of conditions in different cities, thereby meeting the needs of runners in the exact environment in which they’re running.

Marketing on a truly individual level, Carbon has been able to make this possible through advanced cloud applications for areas such as customer service and supply chain. This has enabled interactions within a global supply chain ecosystem in an economical way as it ramps up production with global brands.

Another example is Carousell, one of the world’s largest mobile classifieds marketplaces. By adopting Oracle Responsys to orchestrate and personalise customer experiences and messaging, Carousell was able to exponentially increase the number and complexity of its managed campaigns, resulting in more precise segmentation, and more powerful data use to drive editorial content. This approach also resulted in Carousell launching its lead-scoring model within just 12 months of deployment. Leveraging the new insights uncovered by Responsys, Carousell has effectively increased its attributes for customer targeting from the previous 30 to more than 150. This has helped Carousell to engage more effectively with previously inactive users, while encouraging new interactions with existing users on the Carousell app.

Digitising supply chains to enhance service levels

According to Bain & Co, companies that integrate digital technologies into their supply chain can quickly improve service levels while cutting costs up to 30 per cent. Agile supply chain operations are, therefore, critically important to ensuring front-office innovations are a success. But most companies are not yet rebuilding their back-office functions at a fast-enough rate, given common challenges of siloed internal processes, which approximately 80 per cent of organisations cite as barriers preventing them from achieving their business goals.

Successful companies build a short-term roadmap with concrete initiatives that will start delivering benefits quickly, and provide flexibility in reaching long-term supply chain goals.

We believe that the cloud roadmap, with Software-as-a-Service for supply chain operations as the core, is the answer. The cloud brings together the disparate data, systems and partners that comprise supply chains and facilitates their integration across the enterprise. As such, the cloud provides the basis through which back-office operations can be made agile rapidly, and with minimal disruption to the business. When you start adding AI and IoT led business applications to the supply chain operations, this transforms businesses into intelligent enterprises, further fuelling innovation and customer experience differentiation.

Adrian Johnston is senior VP of Cloud (SaaS) applications at Oracle Asia Pacific.

Adrian Johnston is senior VP of Cloud (SaaS) applications at Oracle Asia Pacific.

Why you need to act quickly

Begin your next business meeting by debating the following questions: What will the business and retail scene in Asia look like in five years, and what supply-chain capabilities will we need to support our growth?

Organisations that are leading the way in the adoption of cloud and data technologies are making e-commerce faster and more personalised than ever. Other innovators are using data from manufacturing and post-sales to improve their services and create additional revenue streams through new business models.

The supply chain is thus a fundamental driver of success in the digital age and all organisations need to act now by looking at how their own supply chain is set up and whether it is still fit for its purpose.

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