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Shifting to a customer centric-culture in supply chain needs PRISM, says Gartner

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Creating a truly customer-centric supply chain culture will need a PRISM framework as the starting point for that cultural change, according to research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.

According to Gartner analysts, the Gartner PRISM framework contains five dimensions of culture – purpose, rituals, identity, support and merit.


Discussions in team meetings about customers based on facts and data are usually less impactful than customer stories that provide direct feedback.

“CSCOs should invite customers to their meetings or better still, do a joint walk-through around the factory shop-floor to their depots and outlets. The stories they’ll hear will provide tremendous insights on how to do things better,” said Simon Bailey, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice.


Customer-centric thinking has to become a habit. Supply chain leaders can accomplish this by frequently giving team members the opportunity to share their own experiences of truly exceptional customer experience. CSCOs also need to ask the team to discuss how those learnings can be applied within the organisation.


Gartner explains that many parts of the supply chain don’t identify themselves as champions of customer experience because they work in non-customer facing roles. But every part of the supply chain contributes to customer experience (CX).

“The best way to foster customer-centricity is to showcase how tasks influence CX – from logistics delivering the goods, to manufacturing supporting a desire for sustainable, high quality products,” Bailey said.

“Conducting a customer journey mapping workshop can help make the link between task and customer needs much clearer. The whole supply chain has a massive influence on CX,” he said.


Employee experience is closely linked to CX. A motivated and supported employee is more likely to go the extra mile to make a customer happy. Supply chain leaders can show their support by removing unnecessary effort for repetitive, overly complex or simply unnecessary tasks. Customer-facing employees value freedom to exercise judgement when dealing with customer issues.


A very effective way to foster customer-centric thinking is to integrate CX in metrics and goals and make it a part of bonus agreements. “CSCOs must clearly communicate the ROI for CX in the supply chain, but also empower people to act on the metrics they just set,” Bailey concluded.

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