Customer knowledge and its application to the supply chain management
Por Jaime Orozco Morales, Aspirante al Doctorado en Administración
A company’s survival depends on good average earnings and cash flows generated, so that all businesses are forced to find creative ways to increase earnings. You can make use of strategies that allow increase sales (improving the rotation) either increase the unitary utility (by increasing the difference between the net selling price and the cost of sales), the same strategies that reduce all kinds of cost are well received. In general, however, the strategies that have an impact on the company’s variable costs are those that tend to give better results.
These strategies usually involve modifications to the company’s operations. Some of the operations have been grouped by Lambert (2004) in what it calls as “eight basic operations of the supply chain” within which is perceived as motor generator to customer, or rather to what is known of the customer. At the start of a review in literacy, is that there are no clear definitions of what are these operations and mostly remains in the air a definition that seems central to operations: defining what a customer is and what it means to know your customer. Accordingly, this paper will proceed to establish the need for having these definitions and to build, therefore one in this respect.
How, will be established to clarify these concepts, you can have more certainty about the direction of the operations of the supply chain. In order to develop the above, will start from the concept of trade, how to achieve profits. We will also discuss changes that are occurring in the segment retail and as these changes are impacting on the supply chain, reason which leads us to review the operations of the supply chain where we will identify the customer and what we know of him as the center of all these operations. This will allow us to establish a definition of what is a customer and what it means to know him. We end by establishing a procedure to determine the appropriate level of customer knowledge that is required to achieve the objectives of the company.
Key words: customer, knowledge, supply chain
Definition: It means “knowledge about the customer” to the qualitative and quantitative information which meets about the behavior and way of being of the customer and that is useful for establishing strategies of market and competition in a business. The information can be direct or indirect, product related reports or by inference.
Such information may include (in form but not limited):
• Customs of purchase: days and places they frequent.
• Purchase statistics: historical values and trends regarding shopping
• Personal relationships: including family, friends and some other factors of relationship
• Income levels
The level of knowledge of the client can be classified according to the following table:
To use the definition of Su, Tsai, & Wu (2011, p. 1), which States:
(a) identify the customer
(b) to understand and predict the behavior of the customer’s purchase
(c) identify appropriate offers
(d) deliver the previous personalized for the customer
From the above definition the following model intends to reach a level of knowledge E2, to subsequently build the foundations of a model of CSM. That level, is proposed to be which can be achieved if there is a customer loyalty tool such as frequent customer cards.
Minimum information to collect personal data of the customer (this information is presented short to protect the rights of intellectual property of the author)
(a) personal data:
(b) address data: Stratify customer and gather information from relationships
(c) labour Stratify customer
(d) education Stratify customer
Additionally you can meet customer information on almost any topic.
History of purchases
Information about all of the purchases made by the customer must meet such information must contain at least the following elements:
• The purchased item ID
• Quantity sold
• Sale price
• Date of sale
• Time of sale
• Identification of the point of sale
• Vendor ID
• Identification of the client
• Medium of payment
Also you should find out if the product is for own use, of their family or gift. Shopping history should include any movement that is performed, including returns and exchanges.
You should be invited to the customer form communities on Facebook or Twitter.
Construction of the level of knowledge E2
Identification of the client
In this model, it is essential that identified always to the client, which requires to have a process that allows the customer to navigate freely and with pleasure to this identification. In general the credentials or number of customer loyalty programs allow achieve this goal without difficulty (Ponzoa married & Reinares Lara, 2010, p. 199).
On the basis of previous constructions is verified compliance with the four elements proposed in the model of CRM:
to) identify the customer: this identification is achieved effectively through the loyalty model
b) understand and predict customer buying behavior: with the construction of a knowledge of customer level E2 is achieved this goal
(c) identify appropriate offers: type E2 of customer knowledge allows you to reach this goal
d) deliver personalized customer previous: type E2 knowledge allows you to do this customization because the customer knows is completely individually
What remains is to build a service management model for the client (CSM)
From a CRM with knowledge type E2 might thus create a CSM that optimize the services provided to customers. It is proposed the following definition:
A Client Service Management (CSM) is responsible for providing the following services in an efficient manner:
• Services prior to sale: are those that must be completed before a customer enters the (real or virtual) facilities of the company.
• Services during the sale: those provided during the purchase process for sale
• Post sale services: those that are provided to the customer once the purchase process has concluded.
With a CRM with E2 level of knowledge of the client it is possible to develop the three types of services focusing on the customer according to the following items:
a) generic services: provide basic data of statistics, such as average and deviation from standard: parking spaces, forms of payment, etc.
(b) specialized services: are generated from the stratification and the generation of correlations and analyses of causes and effects: installation services.
(c) individual services: designed from customer-specific knowledge
In general it should be noted that the proposal of services has two stages:
• Design: is usually an activity of research and development, in which you can work in an orderly manner or either act according to occurrences. The use of this model allows you to work in an orderly manner to provide elements that allow to lay groundwork for stratification and individualization that give rise to identify uniform groups which can receive specific services. With stratification, it is possible to measure the costs and profits generated with different proposals for services. Stratification helps to provide the level of service appropriate to the specific type of population. Allows, in addition, establish more accurately the size and location of test markets.
• Maintenance: involves constantly evaluate if they are delivering efficiently the services that the company has already defined. It is obtained from the data of the customer and your history of purchases. To perform multivariate analysis with regard to the resources used, the level of complaints, downtimes, it is possible to generate optimization strategies.
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