It is all about customer needs … A supply chain has only one purpose: To deliver the products to the customer (or consumer). Everything else in the chain is only a means to make the one objective happen. Customers have one big problem: They often do not know themselves what they want. This relates to products, volumes, timings. These often change - thus the concept of responsiveness has become vital in todays world. This is also the point to distinguish between the different roles along the market chain: Who is the customer, who is the consumer, and who is the final user of the product? What are the requirements along this chain, to which extend are they similar, and where do they differ? And who as which decision authority in the chain? Another key area to understand, address, and follow the dynamics of customers is a clever segmentation. But - it is important to understand that a marketing driven, and a supply chain driven customer segmentation can differ significantly! There are some common elements, but in the end the supply chain has to ensure the required availability of the product, whereas marketing addresses the desire of the customer for the product. Common element is that the type of service offered to the customer / consumer can have an impact on the product decision (especially when it is a short term need). In our market research, we have identified that companies using a high number of segmentation techniques are usually more successful in their supply chain operations, and also in their business results. These are all vital questions, and considerations which need to be addressed and answered before starting to do a big data analysis, with or without “BIG DATA” methods.
Supplier Competitor Market changes, Technology & Substitutes Company Consumer Decision Point  Who are the customers?  Where are the customers?  In which way shall the customer  be reached?  Who is the decision - maker?  Who is  the„ultimate user“? Customer User