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Consumer-focus, key to supply chain effectiveness: Leaders at India D2C Summit 2023

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Business leaders at the India D2C Summit 2023 discussed factors that impact supply chain effectiveness and mantras for success

Mumbai: Business leaders of leading brands speaking at the India D2C Summit 2023 in Mumbai underscored that any supply chain transformation will only be effective if it is consumer focused. This is true for not just pure-play D2C brands but also for traditional brands that are now venturing into the D2C segment.

“Any supply chain should be consumer focused,” Rishabh Jindal, head of D2C business and growth at Jockey said. By eliminating middle parties and adopting a direct-to-consumer model, businesses can optimize their supply chains to meet customers where they are. According to him, in the online space any store which is CoCo (company owned-company operated) is direct to consumer. “Industry to industry, the strategy for supply chain can be different. Brands should think about how they can be where the customer is,” he added.

Role of customisation

Customization in terms of products is catching up as a trend. And this impacts supply chains. Through digital advancements, today’s supply chains are able to cater to individual customer preferences. Speaking about the same, Akhil Srivastava, managing director of lingerie company Parfait India said, “With customization in terms of packaging coming into play, companies need to focus on how they can save some money in terms of the packaging or in terms of the supply chain costs so they start giving certain good dimension option,” he said.

“So, if the product comes in a different shape, customization of the cost, customization of the delivery and the customization of tracking the order come into the picture,” he added.

Timely delivery and communication

Since supply chains ultimately affect customer satisfaction. Therefore, timely delivery plays a pivotal role, especially once the customer makes the purchase. “Post order, the time till the item is delivered is the biggest gap we have today. So, the first target is to reduce that time from four days to one or two days,” Srivastava added, speaking about his company.

According to him, the most important part though is keeping the communication going with the customer during that wait period. “You may just have the consumer sitting and thinking about calling customer care while waiting for the delivery. So, if you have a whole slotted system, you keep your customer excited or you end up losing them,” he said.

Demand forecasting

Accurate demand forecasting too impacts supply chain operations and product availability. According to experts, it is important to get it right, especially if the product manufacturing is outsourced. It pays D2C brands well to know how their bestsellers are moving.

“It is difficult to predict how the market is going to respond. So, the demand forecasting would help you to have it at your warehouse at the right time and in turn, the front end will become much easier,” Ashmeer M Sayyed, chief retail officer of men’s apparel brand DaMensch said.

India D2C Summit 2023, presented by DHL and powered by GreenHonchos, is being held on the 7th and 8th of June at The Westin Mumbai Powai Lake. This year, the annual event dedicated to promoting and supporting the growth of direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses in India, brings together more than 200 speakers, 1000 attendees and 400 brands and companies for two days of Knowledge and networking.

The event also recognizes and celebrates the achievements of outstanding D2C brands through the India D2C Awards.

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