Bluecrux, a leading value chain consulting and technology company, has embarked on a journey with Henkel, a Germany-based multinational industrial and consumer goods company, toward a customer-centric future, building connected and digitized value chains for tomorrow.
Starting from a joint belief
Henkel´s Adhesive Technologies business unit, the global leader on the markets for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings, aimed to transform its activities in a changing environment. Essential to its transformation, the business unit completely reimagined its supply chain to make it more customer centric. Rather than relying on internal perceptions of what worked and what did not, Adhesive Technologies made it its mission to find out directly from its customers.
Two years ago, as part of this mission, Bluecrux and Henkel launched a joint effort. The ideologically aligned companies started from the shared conviction that supply chains should no longer be linear and that one-size-fits-all standards can no longer be applied.
“We were very clear that we needed a partner who can help us go through the process, engaging with the organization, not only in customer centricity but also in supply chain, because in a traditional way of looking at supply chain, customer centricity wasn’t the focus,” says Bjoern Neal Kirchner, the corporate VP of supply chain for Henkel Adhesive Technologies. So, we looked for a partner, and found that in Bluecrux, who not only have deep supply chain knowledge, but also a very strong customer centricity track record.”
From ideation to transformation
In the initial phase of the transformation journey, Adhesive Technologies investigated the impact of treating customers differently in the future based on what they value most. What was gleaned is that differentiation based on specific value clusters within a supply chain operating model positively influences the overall customer experience. Moreover, it was determined that this improved customer experience can be leveraged as a competitive advantage.
In the next phase, the transformation shifted from the theoretical to the actual. Bluecrux and Adhesive Technologies vision was translated into a clear plan, containing 13 concrete and impactful initiatives that enabled a strategic, step-by-step execution.
Today, the customer-centric strategy is proving successful, with a tangible result—an incredible customer experience as a competitive edge.
From a linear to a 360-degree view
Kirchner says: “While most supply chains focus on improving cost positions, inventory and working capital—in other words, KPIs established on traditionally internal data— we believe that supply chains can also improve how customers engage with the company itself. By optimizing the many touchpoints that customers have with Adhesive Technologies throughout the entire supply chain interaction, such as ordering, logistics and planning, we aim to provide a unique customer experience that can set it apart from its competitors.
Henkel has a philosophy that digital capability should overcome a purely functionalist view of supply chains. Traditionally, supply chains are viewed as a linear chain of events that transform raw materials into finished goods, with the customer only at the end of the chain. However, Adhesive Technologies believes that new technologies can enable a 360-degree view of the customer, putting the customer at the center of all functions that interact with them.”
Anouk Schoenmakers, managing partner of Consulting Solutions at Bluecrux, adds: “We at Bluecrux are not only looking into what the value chains of tomorrow look like, but also the transformation to get there. In other words, how do we get from your current starting point to powerful outcomes, and what are the critical transformational elements to it? It’s time to move forward toward a connected and digitalized value chain that puts the customer at the centre of it.”
Today -two years later- , Adhesive Technologies and Bluecrux are on a mission together to implement a true customer-centric supply chain: an amazing customer experience that will become a competitive edge for Henkel. Forging the value chains of tomorrow together.”
To discover more, join our keynote presentation at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo in Barcelona (Tuesday 6th of June 2023, 11AM CET) or read the full article about Henkel’s secret to success here: Henkel – May 2023 by BizClik Media – Issuu
Natalie is the head of brand marketing at Bluecrux.