Wednesday 8 July 2009

How the KAM can 'Educate' Supply Chain Colleagues in a recessionary environment

Because of the importance of each supply chain member’s contribution to the total package of consumer satisfaction via the customer, it is essential that the KAM shares customer insight and helps colleagues focus their collective output on meeting consumer, customer and company needs, in harmony.

Given the changes in consumer-shopper need-sets arising from a maturing recession, the KAM as the overall co-ordinator of the company/customer interface, with a deep knowledge (?) of the joint-consumer profile, is in a unique position to help both companies optimise the use of supply chain resources.

The KAM can begin by helping brand colleagues ‘recognise’ their consumer within the in-store traffic flow. This means accessing the growing wealth of consumer buying behaviour insights via loyalty-card data analysis, and encouraging brand managers to integrate the results with their knowledge of consumers’ consumption behaviour. This combination can then be fed back into both ends of the supply chain to provide an enriched view of new consumer needs and a focus for demand management.

By establishing clear criteria and working parameters, and relying upon finely-tuned political sensitivity, the KAM can ensure that other functions are not inadvertently compromised by arrangements made between company/customer partners. Moreover, as company/customer co-ordinator, the KAM can and should ensure that the learnings from these mini-partnerships are shared throughout the company.

Where marketing colleagues are concerned, the KAM needs to develop a deep understanding of the brand, its positioning and consumer profile. In turn, the brand team needs to be persuaded that consumer trust in the brand will not be transferred to the store, and thence to the store brand.

Here the KAM’s knowledge of the decision-making process within both companies can help to ensure that both teams appreciate the value of consumer insight, its importance in enabling differentiation (brand and store) and the need for rapid response to preserve the balance of power.

Within these constraints, suppliers are finding that there still exists sufficient benefit in collaboration with the right partner in the search for increased influence over the joint-consumer in releasing the demand side potential of ECR.

The KAM can be part of that process, but needs to provide and communicate the overall plot......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been looking all over for this!