Chapter 6: Consumer connectivity: forging supply chain success in the digital ecosystem
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This chapter extends the core message - supply chain configurations have been evolving in tune with changes in production technologies, competition, and consumption patterns - to further probe a series of pertinent issues critical to supply chain success within a digital ecosystem. It addresses questions such as: How can digital connectivity help supply chains gain competitive advantage? Why is consumer connectivity the lynchpin of supply chain success under the Industry 4.0 ecosystem? How are the digital ecosystems of Supply Chain 4.0 best poised to amass power? And why is Supply Chain 4.0 so different from the supply chains of previous eras? This chapter has highlighted that digitization has permitted businesses to connect with their customers in unprecedented ways. Central to achieving a multifaceted connectivity pattern is the mobile app, which has given many global corporations enormous power due to their 24/7 access to online consumers, allowing them to interact with suppliers, transporters, and producers anywhere, anytime and in as many ways as the app permits. Coupled with the distinctive characteristics of various physical distribution networks, digital connectivity has given rise to six productribution networks. Through their productribution networks, businesses have been able to amass almost limitless ‘power' from owning their social networks to creating the new fuel of supply chain operations.

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