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Stay Ahead of the Game: The Risks of Late Inputs from Suppliers and Customers in Business

In business, late inputs from suppliers and customers can create significant risks. Staying ahead of the game requires
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Global Supply Chain Group - vivek BWVivek Sood: Sydney based managing director of Global Supply Chain Group, a strategy consultancy specializing in supply chains. More information on Vivek is available on and more information on Global Supply Chain Group is available 

Vivek is the Managing Director of Global Supply Chain Group, a boutique strategy consulting firm specialising in Supply Chain Strategies, and headquartered in Sydney, Australia . He has over 24 years of experience in strategic transformations and operational excellence within global supply chains. Prior to co-founding Global Supply Chain Group in January 2000, Vivek was a management consultant with top-tier strategy consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Vivek provides strategic operations and supply chain advice to boards and senior management of global corporations, private equity groups and other stakeholders in a range of industries including FMCG, food, shipping, logistics, manufacturing, chemicals, mining, agribusiness, construction materials, explosives, airlines and electricity utilities.

Vivek has served world-wide corporations in nearly 500 small and large projects on all continents with a variety of clients in many different industries. Most of projects have involved diagnostic, conceptualisation and transformation of supply chains – releasing significant amount of value for the business. His project work in supply chain management has added cumulative value in excess of $500M incorporating projects in major supply chain infrastructure investment decisions, profitable growth driven by global supply chain realignment, supply chain systems, negotiations and all other aspects of global supply chains.

Vivek has written a number of path breaking articles and commentaries that are published in several respected journals and magazines. Vivek has spoken at several supply chain conference, forums and workshops in various parts of the world. He has also conducted several strategic workshops on various aspects of supply chain management. He received his MBA with Distinction from the Australian Graduate School of Management in 1996 and prior to these studies spent 11 years in the Merchant Navy, rising from a Cadet to Master Mariner.

More information on Vivek is available on  and more information on Global Supply Chain Group is available on

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Over the years, SCM has undergone several transformations, with the latest being Supply Chain 3.0. This development places the consumer at the center of the supply chain, making their input crucial to the success of any business transformation. Without input from consumers and suppliers, companies risk failure in their transformation efforts. It’s imperative for companies to engage their suppliers and collaborate closely with them to achieve their business goals. Failing to consult with suppliers can lead to delays and disruptions in the supply chain, ultimately affecting the bottom line. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of consumer input and supplier collaboration in the Supply Chain 3.0 era and how it can help businesses achieve successful transformations.

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SCM 3.0

The evolution of SCM has been rapid, and the latest development is Supply Chain 3.0. This new approach to supply chain management puts the consumer at the center of the process, recognizing the importance of their input in driving business success. SCM 3.0 is built around the concept of the digital supply chain, which incorporates a range of technologies including cloud computing, big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain to create a seamless, end-to-end supply chain process that is faster, more efficient, and more transparent than ever before. By leveraging these technologies, companies can gain greater visibility into their supply chain operations, identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and make real-time adjustments to ensure that goods are delivered to customers on time and at the right price.

The role of customers in SCM 3.0

Supply Chain 3.0 is all about understanding the consumer and meeting their needs. In this approach, the supply chain is designed around the customer, with the aim of providing them with the best possible experience. By putting the consumer at the center of the supply chain, businesses can better understand their needs and preferences, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Engaging with the consumer in the supply chain is not always easy. It requires businesses to gather and analyze data on consumer behavior, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. Nonetheless, it is essential for businesses to invest in the technology and resources required to engage with consumers effectively. This can include tools such as social media listening, big data analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Impact of customers in a business- SCM 3.0 perspective

1. Driving demand: Customers are the ultimate source of demand for products and services, and as such, they play a critical role in shaping the overall supply chain process. By understanding customer needs and preferences, companies can better forecast demand and optimize their supply chain operations accordingly.
2. Driving innovation: Customers also play a key role in driving innovation in SCM 3.0. By listening to customer feedback and insights, companies can identify new trends and opportunities, and develop new products and services that meet the changing needs of customers.
3. Driving collaboration: In SCM 3.0, collaboration is a critical component of the supply chain process, and customers play an important role in fostering collaboration between different stakeholders. By sharing information and insights with suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers, customers can help to optimize the supply chain process and ensure that goods are delivered on time and at the right price.
4. Driving value: Finally, customers play an important role in driving value in SCM 3.0. By focusing on the customer experience, companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and create long-term customer loyalty. This, in turn, can lead to increased sales and profitability, as well as improved brand reputation and market share.

Role of suppliers

Suppliers play a critical role in the supply chain, providing the goods and services that businesses need to operate. By collaborating with suppliers, businesses can access the expertise and resources needed to transform their operations. Suppliers can help to reduce risk in the supply chain process by providing backup options and contingency plans in case of unforeseen disruptions or changes in demand.

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Here is a list of roles played by suppliers

1. Strategic Partner: Suppliers can be strategic partners in the transformation process. They can provide valuable insights and expertise in areas such as product design, manufacturing processes, and distribution strategies. This collaboration can lead to the development of innovative products and services that meet the changing needs of customers.
2. Input Provider: Suppliers can provide input that is critical to the success of the transformation initiative. This can include feedback on the quality of products, the effectiveness of manufacturing processes, and the efficiency of supply chain operations. Such feedback can help the company identify areas that require improvement and develop effective solutions.
3. Supply Chain Management: Suppliers are an integral part of the supply chain, and their role in managing the supply chain cannot be overstated. Suppliers can help the company optimize supply chain operations by providing timely delivery of materials, reducing lead times, and minimizing inventory levels.
4. Risk Management: Suppliers can help the company manage risks associated with the transformation initiative. This can include identifying potential disruptions in the supply chain, developing contingency plans to mitigate risks, and providing input on risk management strategies.
5. Cost Management: Suppliers can help the company manage costs associated with the transformation initiative. This can include providing cost-effective solutions, identifying areas where cost savings can be achieved, and working collaboratively to optimize supply chain operations.


Failure to engage with suppliers can lead to delays and disruptions, which can have serious consequences for the business. Businesses that do not share market information with their suppliers are at risk of losing their competitive advantage. Suppliers need to understand the market conditions in which they operate to make informed decisions about their products and services. By withholding this information, businesses are limiting their suppliers’ ability to innovate and grow, which can have serious consequences for the supply chain.


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Blockbuster was a leading video rental chain that dominated the market in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, as the digital revolution transformed the entertainment industry, Blockbuster failed to adapt to changing consumer preferences and the rise of online streaming services.

One of the key reasons for Blockbuster’s downfall was its failure to incorporate customer input and anticipate changing consumer behavior. While consumers were increasingly turning to online streaming services like Netflix, Blockbuster continued to focus on its brick-and-mortar stores and traditional video rental business model. As a result, it missed out on the opportunity to develop a robust online platform and compete effectively with new digital entrants.

In addition, Blockbuster’s relationship with its suppliers was strained. The company was notoriously difficult to work with, often delaying payments to suppliers and insisting on rigid terms that limited innovation and flexibility.


Supply Chain 3.0 has emerged as the latest development in the evolution of supply chain management, with the consumer at the center of the process. Businesses that engage with customers and suppliers in this new approach can benefit from improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, innovation, optimized supply chain operations, and cost savings. The role of suppliers in business transformation is critical, as they can serve as strategic partners, input providers, supply chain managers, risk managers, and cost managers. Failure to engage with suppliers can lead to delays, disruptions, and the withholding of market information, which can negatively impact the supply chain and business success. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to prioritize customer and supplier engagement and invest in the technology and resources required to support these relationships.



The global supply chain of products is an immense and complex system. It involves the movement of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption, with intermediate steps that involve resources, materials and services to transport them. A supply chain encompasses activities such as purchasing, production, distribution and marketing in order to satisfy customer demands. Companies rely on a well-managed supply chain to meet their business goals by providing quality products and services at competitive prices.

Efficiently managing a global supply chain requires considerable effort, particularly when dealing with multiple suppliers located around the world. Complex logistics tracking systems are needed to monitor product movements from one place to another. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) can help companies keep track of shipments across different locations for greater visibility into their processes.

what did Our Reader say?

(549 rating) 1676,People
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Chief Operating Officer Graphite Energy

I have experience with many of the well-known top-tier strategy firms but chose Global Supply Chain to support me on my supply chain projects. They always meet and exceed my expectations due to the quality of the work, the ability to work collaboratively with internal teams, and the flexibility to adjust the project approach when required.

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CEO - Large Global transnational corporation From: FOREWORD - OUTSOURCING 3.0

When I engaged Vivek’s services for supply chain transformation in one of the companies I was heading, we expected the careful and methodical approach that he was famous for... I was pleased to note that the original target set for 3 years was surpassed by almost 70% in just 18 months.

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Vice-President Supply Chain Asia Pacific

I have used their services for several business transformations and workshops in many companies. Each time an outstanding workshop and project result was delivered ensuring the success of the business transformation project. Savings surpassed $25 Million per annum in one case. Very powerful ideas, were implemented very diligently.

Global Supply Chain Group - Jean Briac Le Dean

Jean-Briac Le Dean
Co-Founder & Agen

Vivek is a very collaborative and open leader who leads teams by example. Whether internal teams, or clients teams, all are impressed by his intensity, energy level and drive to make things a little better.

Global Supply Chain Group - Lorna Calder Johnson

Lorna Calder Johnson
Omni-Channel Product Marketing
P & L Executive

Vivek's transformation expertise is apparent from his results and dedication to operations and supply chains. His strategic expertise, knowledge and network make him a standout even among an excellent team.

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