Supply chain studies begin by mapping out the workflow of the key stakeholders in the supply chain of interest.
Identifying what specifically happens, and in what sequence, for each workflow phase can be exacting work, particularly in complex areas. For this reason, our approach involves a few study phases.
The first phase involves having the respondent complete pre-interview work to delineate their activities, including desired / ideal outcomes (needs) and common challenges (pain points) at each workflow stage.
A second phase of interviews—often a mix of traditional qualitative and ethnographic (on-site) interviews—allows the moderator/ethnographer to probe for clarification and depth on these same topics.
On some projects, between phase 1 and phase 2, we work with the client team to write concepts for new products or resources designed to satisfy the identified needs and solve/alleviate existing pain points in the supply chain workflow.
We then test these concepts in the phase 2 interviews—providing focused insights to the team about the most promising areas for strategic development.