Business Strategy
Building a Customer-Centric Supply Chain Strategy: Enhancing Competitive Advantages

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jun' 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Business Strategy
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJBS21906
Author Name : Pankaj M Madhani
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15



Customers are crucial to any business, as without customers, there will be no sales; and without sales, there will be no revenue and profits. Hence, there is a lot of attention on ‘customer-centricity’. With competition now at the supply chain level, competitive advantage comes from the ability of supply chain partners to co-ordinate and integrate strategies aimed at satisfying the ultimate customers of the supply chain at a relatively low total cost. Customer-centric supply chain strategy provides an approach to respond to these challenges as it strives to match supply and demand, thereby driving down costs and simultaneously improving customer satisfaction. This study works in this direction to underline the significance of customer-centric supply chain strategy. The study also provides supporting matrix to underscore the various attributes of customer-focused supply chain strategy; develops 4Rs (responsiveness, resilience, reliability and realignment) framework for building customer-centric supply chain strategy; and formulates a value creation framework to emphasize the overall benefits in terms of improved firm performance.


In today’s highly competitive business environment, organizations are struggling to survive as Product Lifecycles (PLCs) have become shorter, clock-speed has become faster, and the consequences of disenchanting a customer have become more severe. Thus, organizations are looking for ways to be more creative, competitive and innovative as these factors affect their performance. There are various drivers influencing the performance of the organizations. One of them, customer-centric performance, is the organization’s performance as perceived by its customers. Accordingly, dependability, responsiveness, delivery speed, customization, and customer satisfaction are manifests of customer-centric performance (Evans and Lindsay, 2005). Slogans such as “The Customer Comes First” or “The Customer Is the King” are quite common in the business world. These slogans are used to emphasize the role of a customer to the stakeholders such as owners and employees of a service firm (Olsen et al., 2014).