The transformation wheels are turning fast, but we can rest assure that it will never be this slow again.
The continued increase of capability breakthroughs under the umbrella of digitalization, big data, automation and artificial intelligence will just continue, which is a good thing. At the same time, this puts different challenges and needs on us as individuals and companies. We have to go from a view of competence as “know it all” to an ability of “learn it all and then learn again”. To a large extent, this is a mindset issue and a self-perception issue. Those who feel that they have to have all the answers will fall short. Creating a company culture of constant learning will be essential to stay relevant and competitive in the future.
Digitalization will change client-vendor relations
Digitalization will change the way we create relations between client and vendor. From being a primarily person-to-person interaction, the interface is more and more replaced by person-to-machine and machine-to-machine. The answer is not to slow down the technological part, but rather finding the role and collaboration for the people in this future system that we are heading against.
I feel that we in the logistics industry are very attracted by our products. We love to talk about our sea freight, air freight, road freight and rail freight solutions and capabilities. I have had the opportunity to both be a customer of the industry, as well as a provider within it, and I see an area of improvement here. To have a customer centric ambition is not unique and most companies have already stated “customer first” or similar, but in reality a few actually have it embedded in their ways of working and ways of thinking.
To be the company who always takes the outside and in approach, who looks at customer value creation in every instance and has this as the starting point in all they do, will have a clear advantage in tomorrow’s less relationship centered business where one earn business based on bringing insight. Especially in a world where person-to-person relations are lesser and lesser. Note that relations will always be very relevant, but I’m a strong believer of insight sales and I think the digitalization will accelerate this.
Four fundamentals defining customer centricity
Being able to create a customer value mindset across the entire organization takes more than highly connected tools, foremost it takes a genuine interest for customers as well as their business and a good portion of perseverance. A start would be to define what customer centricity means for your company, how shall that translate into shaping who we are, how we should do things and why. There is not just one solution, and it is dependent on where one operates and what legacy one has. The journey should not be static, but highly dynamic.
The below four fundamentals are how we in Greencarrier have re-shaped our strategy in this direction:
• Personalized approach: Accountability and the notion of having everyone in a company leaning-in and taking accountability. In this, I include the accountability and ability to truly understand the customers challenges within their value chain, demand drivers and supply planning process etc.
• Innovation: What brought us here will not keep us here. To constantly challenge how we together with our customers do things and seek constant improvements are a necessity to stay relevant. I believe that business is earned by delivering insight and helping customers to be better than they would be alone. Having a genuine interest and deep knowledge of our customers value chain is critical to achieve this.
• Green: There is no tomorrow if we do not manage to create a more sustainable future. Being “green” is no longer nice to have, it is a must. We need to take the stance in the customers value chain, know the customer’s business and bring insight with the overarching dedication to enable the smallest environmental footprint one can.
• Long term: As a vendor, one must strive for the long-term mindset in any customer relation. And always be relevant. A relevant vendor is seldom replaced. Know your customers business and in its detail, have a personal accountability and one that the customer senses. Do not always respond what they ask for, rather challenge them, improve them, educate them, and help them be the greenest and best performing self they can be.
Remember, being relevant has never been more important.
What is customer centricity to you and your organization? Let me know what you think and feel free to continue the discussion in the comments! If you want to read more inspiring blog articles, check them out on our Greencarrier Blog.