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Unlocking Business Success: Why Knowing Your Customers Better Than Themselves is the Key

In today's globalized economy, understanding and mastering the intricacies of the supply chain is a key factor in unlocking business success. Knowing your customers better
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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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In the highly competitive business ecosystem of today, eroding profit margins can pose a significant threat to the survival and expansion of companies. When faced with this challenge, businesses often seek ways to expand their operations beyond their traditional expertise. One strategy the business may employ is to explore mergers and acquisitions, which can provide access to new markets, products, technologies, and talent.Through collaboration, businesses can create a symbiotic relationship where each partner contributes their unique skills, knowledge, and resources to achieve a common goal. This not only helps businesses expand beyond their traditional expertise but also creates a more resilient and adaptable organization that can respond to changing market conditions.

Henry Ford has been quoted as saying–

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Customers are no longer passive recipients of products and services; they are vocal and empowered. With the advent of social media and other online platforms, they have a plethora of means to spread their word about their experiences – good or bad. This has led to an increase in consumer power, and businesses must find themselves orbiting around their target consumers like planets around the sun.

Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying–

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

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In the modern business landscape, companies are facing an ever-increasing challenge of eroding margins. This situation is often driven by factors such as global competition, changing customer preferences, and technological disruption. When profits begin to erode, companies may find that their traditional expertise is no longer sufficient to power their growth and profitability. To remain competitive, they must look for ways to expand beyond their core business and find new avenues for growth and markets to explore. One common strategy is mergers and acquisitions, which enable companies to acquire new capabilities and technologies quickly.

However, while mergers and acquisitions can be an effective way to expand a business, they can also present significant challenges. One of the most significant challenges is integrating the cultures and operations of two distinct organizations. Mergers and acquisitions often involve combining different corporate cultures, systems, and processes, which can lead to a range of operational and management issues. These issues can undermine the success of the merger and result in lost opportunities for growth and profitability.As businesses expand and grow, they often encounter resource gaps that can hinder their ability to operate at optimal efficiency. These gaps may arise in various areas, including technology, marketing, human resources, and supply chain management. The challenge for businesses is to identify these gaps and find a way to fill them. Collaboration with complementary businesses can be an effective solution to this challenge. However, identifying and targeting the right B2B network partners is essential for success.

The problem with not addressing resource gaps is that they can impede a business’s ability to meet customer demands, innovate, and scale up operations. For example, a company may lack the technology expertise required to implement a new system, which can delay product launches and result in missed opportunities. Similarly, a shortage of skilled personnel may lead to quality issues, affecting customer satisfaction and reputation. Resource gaps can also limit a business’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions, making it vulnerable to competitors.

Collaborating with other businesses can help to overcome these resource gaps. By pooling their resources and expertise, businesses can create a network of complementary partners that can support each other’s operations. This can include acquiring smaller businesses that possess world-class resources in specific domains and integrating them into a super-networked business. By doing so, businesses can create a more agile and flexible operating model, better able to respond to customer needs and market changes.

With access to vast amounts of information, consumers are more informed than ever before. This increased consumer power is forcing businesses to re-evaluate their strategies and find new ways to meet the changing needs of their target market. One solution to this challenge is to collaborate more closely with customers, and this has given rise to the concept of Supply Chain 3.0. Consumer’s power has grown for several reasons, including the internet and social media. Consumers can easily research about products, compare prices and read reviews from other customers. This makes it harder for businesses to hide behind marketing campaigns and ensures that customer satisfaction is now more important than ever. The power has shifted from businesses to consumers, and businesses must find new ways to engage and collaborate with their target market.

The idea of Supply Chain 3.0 is revolved around the concept of collaboration with customers. This new approach recognizes that the supply chain is not just a series of transactions between businesses, but rather a complex network of interactions between businesses and their customers. Collaboration with customers can help businesses to gain valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviour, and use that information to make better decisions about product development, marketing, and distribution.


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A company acquiring another to fill in the gap in their ability to serve customers and target the growing middle class population is Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart, one of India’s largest e-commerce companies, in 2018. Walmart recognized that India has a rapidly growing middle class population with increasing purchasing power and Flipkart was well positioned to serve that market.

Prior to the acquisition, Walmart had struggled to penetrate the Indian market, as the country has strict regulations on foreign-owned companies. By acquiring Flipkart, Walmart gained access to a large customer base and a strong e-commerce platform that was already established in India.


In conclusion, the modern business landscape is characterized by an ever-increasing challenge of eroding margins, which is driving companies to expand beyond their core businesses and find new avenues for growth. Mergers and acquisitions and collaborations with complementary businesses can be effective solutions to address resource gaps and overcome operational challenges. Furthermore, the rise of consumer power is forcing businesses to re-evaluate their strategies and find new ways to engage and collaborate with their target market, which has given rise to the concept of Supply Chain 3.0. By embracing collaboration, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences and use that information to drive growth and profitability.



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?

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global supply chain group

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.

global supply chain group

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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