Surprise! B2B Leaders Say Supply Chain Management Systems Are Most Important to the Customer Journey

A new survey finds 87% of respondents said the SCMs are the most important solution to ensuring a smooth digital purchasing journey

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The past three years have afforded supply chain professionals power within the executive ranks they have never enjoyed. Disruptions, materials shortages, and constant change have elevated the supply chain profession to heights it has never achieved, with seats inside boardrooms and on executive committees.

A new report is adding more fuel to that fire, showing that perhaps, there is no department more important for a business the supply chain and logistics department.

Pivotree, a frictionless commerce provider, and Spryker, a composable commerce platform, commissioned a report on how to drive digital growth in the B2B customer journey. The report was conducted by WBR Insights, a custom research division of Worldwide Business Research, and co-authored with B2B Online.

What it found is quite interesting. While the goal of e-commerce is to make the buying experience as painless and efficient as possible, that can’t happen without supply chains, specifically supply chain management systems.

According to survey respondents (made up of over 100 B2B leaders in the U.S. and Canada), 87% said the most important solution or technology for a smooth customer digital purchasing journey was the supply chain management system. Following that, in order of importance, respondents also cited:

  • Customer relationship management system (76%)
  • Third-party e-commerce platforms (53%)
  • Mobile and smartphone apps (51%).

“B2B companies must drive digital growth in the customer journey, especially as younger buyers begin to take control of company budgets. According to Gartner, B2B buyers already only spend 17% of their total purchase journey with a sales rep, and 44% of millennial B2B buyers prefer no sales rep interaction at all,” the report noted.

The report also found that B2B buying behavior is now more closely aligned with consumer buying behavior, and as a result:

  • 90% of respondents said the demand for digital B2B buying experience has increased over the past two years.
  • 33% of respondents claimed they are not satisfied with the customer buying experience they’re able to provide.
  • 40% claim their customers have difficulty finding what they’re looking for. And of those respondents, 60% cite lack of personalization as the issue that’s causing the problem.

Survey respondents occupied roles in sales (21%), marketing (19%), e-commerce (16%), business (15), strategy (15%) and digital (14%). The survey focused on the overall customer journey, but the supply chain portion, which is briefly touched upon by the authors, should bolster the case for supply chain professionals getting into, or staying, in the executive suite moving forward.

According to the specific question on supply chain management systems, 87% said they are very important to the customer journey, with 7% agreeing they are somewhat important.

“This is likely because companies rely on these technologies to ensure products are available for purchase and that they can be delivered to customers when they need them,” the authors note.


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About the Author

Brian Straight, SCMR Editor in Chief
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Brian Straight is the Editor in Chief of Supply Chain Management Review. He has covered trucking, logistics and the broader supply chain for more than 15 years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children. He can be reached at [email protected], @TruckingTalk, on LinkedIn, or by phone at 774-440-3870.

View Brian's author profile.


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