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Customer satisfaction.

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1. Introduction According to Retail Glossary of Terminology Online a customer is a person that purchases merchandise or a service. The more complex definition of a customer was given by Dale M Lewison the customer becomes accustomed to buying from seller and is established through purchase and interaction on frequent occasions over a period of time. From the following the logical conclusion is that supermarkets only consider customer relationship because buyers by now have already become customers. Without a strong record of contact and repeat purchase the person is not a customer but the person is a "buyer"(Lewison 1997). Customer added value characteristics such that the shopping mission is satisfactory and both tangible product characteristics and added value characteristics together make an offer to the customer which is clearly preferred to that of any competitor (Walters 1994). In simple words this quote basically determines what is a customer satisfaction. Although all economists still have not agreed on the precise definition of Supply Chain Management some of those should be considered in this assignment Supply Chain Management can be described as the process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow and storage of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from point of origin to point of final consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements (Eastham et al 2001). ...read more.


The problems which arise in Supply chain management can be identified as follows: * Unstable Supply from the suppliers (yield in farms unpredictable) * Variety of products is highly competitive * Perishable products (short storage period) * Seasonal factors - fluctuated demand * Quality control (food damage or perish during transportation) Factors which have to be ensured at constant level just show how difficult it is to achieve perfect supply chain in food retailing. At the same time those problems are being considered by major supermarkets all the time Aldi chain of stores has undertaken most problems above by establishing a low cost operation throughout the supply chain. Establishing such supply chain has made ALDI the number one low cost operator in Europe With just one size and variety available of most grocery products - whether it be baked beans, washing-up liquid or orange squash - customers are able to navigate the store quickly and easily, without having to spend time considering which to buy out of a wide range of similar items. Product quality is said to be comparable to that of branded goods and sizing is determined by consultation with a panel of consumers. ...read more.


After identifying the costs, trade-off can be done to balance between the costs, which means to find out a cost and service balance (Stewart, 1992), like in the example optimal level of maintaining certain level of freshness may identify, then work out a more optimal frequent of deliveries to perform more efficient use of cost and the whole distribution system. Nevertheless, clear identification of the costs can indicate the problems in the Supply Chain, in the certain extend, after identifying problems measures can be worked out to improve efficiency and achieve cost savings. Benchmarking with Competitors Benchmarking (Lynch, 1997) with the competitors can be done to identify the possible measures to solve the problems and improve the operation in Supply Chain Management, in the same time, to maintain and strengthen the competitiveness in the market. In the case of Tesco, benchmarking with major competitors like Sainsbury, ASDA can be done. Sainsbury, for example, a operational distribution report is done for past 24 hours, summarizing performance in distribution, then, problems have to be identified and take instant correction actions, this helps to maintain the quality of performance in its Supply Chain (Stewart, 1992), like problems of stock-out can be prevented and keep their customer satisfaction with products availability. Customer Satisfaction and Supply Chain Management - Linkages and strategic advantage in food industry. ...read more.

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