Researchers Urge Internet Integration For Customers, Not Just Suppliers

By Deborah Austin Manufacturers can be up to 70% more profitable by connecting online with all trading partners -- but typically destroy value by focusing only on supplier integration -- says a new study by Deloitte Research, an arm of Deloitte Consulting and professional services firm Deloitte & Touche. Today's manufacturing executives began in a product-centric era with competitive advantage achieved through product branding, quality, and cost, says Jim Kilpatrick, global head of Deloitte Consulting's Supply Chain practice. Improving supply-chain performance through supplier focus is more natural for them. "However, in this Internet era, the power has shifted dramatically to the customer." Well-implemented digital loyalty networks let companies prioritize customers so the most valuable are served first, says the study, "Digital Loyalty Networks: e-Differentiated Supply Chain and Customer Management."

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