Time and again we see pieces of news depicting how retailers ‘get caught’ disposing of returned and/or only slightly damaged consumer goods. Amazon does this regularly too, but their process rarely sees daylight. The more expensive the product, the smoother the process.
The common reaction is to frame the retailer as immoral and unsustainable, but it is most often the product manufacturer who enforces this in order to maintain image and quality. The retailer only follows the contract, and is usually paid for destroyed product in full.
Different countries and states have discussed this a lot, and in food industry there are even some results, where products nearing expiry date are effectively discounted or even given out for free.
But leaving this to the regulators is lazy and unsustainable. Our take is that any (even consumer) product company should completely redesign all their customer relationships, effectively ending the Fire-and-Forget (FF) business model and have situational awareness of each and every product they’ve produced and delivered.
This can be effected by creating unique Digital Twins for all products and transforming the FF model into entire lifecycle management. Customers are not yet used to this, but gradually it will also transform product development, preventive maintenance and create completely different level of trust between suppliers and customers.
You can either act now, or wait that others (the major cloud companies) take over your customer relationship. When the latter happens, there’s actually quite a little you can do to control your business destiny.
In this era of heightened environmental awareness and conscious consumerism, the need for sustainable practices in product management has become more pressing than ever. Beyond merely complying with regulations, companies must proactively take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products. Embracing the concept of Digital Twins offers a transformative solution, enabling businesses to gain real-time insights into the status and usage of each product. By creating unique virtual replicas for every item, manufacturers can monitor their products’ journey from production to delivery and beyond. This paradigm shift not only fosters a sense of accountability and transparency but also opens doors to innovative approaches like preventive maintenance and personalized customer interactions. As the major cloud companies gradually encroach on customer relationships, now is the opportune moment for companies to seize control of their destinies, cultivate trust, and pioneer sustainability in the product landscape.
Check also this related nBlog “Who controls your customer base?”