RS Group's President of Supply Chain – Debbie Lentz explains how becoming first choice for customers, employees and suppliers is transforming the business…

At RS Group, supply chain is the beating heart of the organisation. My team are the last people to physically handle, pick and package all customer orders before they are delivered. Being passionate about the customer is a key ingredient in running a successful supply chain.
Our customers love us because of the huge variety of products in our range. We offer attention to detail and commitment to maintaining and improving our service, which is increasingly important for businesses like ours. Everything we’re trying to do across the business is to make sure our customers have the best experience, from the point where they are looking for potential products, through ordering, to the moment they have the product in their hands.
With distribution centres all over the world, we are exceptionally well equipped to serve the growing needs of our global customer base. We ship over 60,000 parcels daily, and with distribution centres around the world, we pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers with the quality they are looking for and the fastest possible delivery of their order.
“We know that to exceed our customers’ expectations, we need to be efficient, innovative and proactive in how we run our operations”Debbie Lentz, President for Supply Chain, RS Group
To ensure we develop our business in the right way for the customer, we have a rigorous continuous improvement strategy – we’re always looking at ways in which we can improve our operational effectiveness and service reliability. We know that to exceed our customers’ expectations, we need to be efficient, innovative and proactive in how we run our operations.
As you would expect we use a number of different mechanisms to measure our performance, but one that we’ve recently introduced is having customer experience teams in our distribution centres. Their role is to constantly monitor live data from customers via feedback they provide us, to evaluate how we are performing in terms of hitting on-time targets and ensuring the packaging we use is meeting the customers’ needs. This constant checking and looking at the quality of our service means that we can quickly spot any issues and act positively to resolve them, and the customer’s views are fed directly into what we do.
“The customer is so important, that I have made ‘Love the customer’ one of the strategic objectives for my whole team”Debbie Lentz, President for Supply Chain, RS Group
An example of some ways we’re trying to do this, is our distribution centre in China, where we have a small team of people whose expertise is in the product and distribution side of the business rather than customer service. They have been given the role of responding directly to customer feedback by calling customers back to resolve any issues. This may not sound like much, but it means that these customers are talking to people who know distribution inside out, can speak their language and can quickly resolve issues as a result of feedback. We are also trialling an SOS Service in Central Europe that is providing a fast-track for issue resolution for our customers in order to meet their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I know that my team are just as passionate as I am about the customer. I regularly see our distribution team working late because a customer has called with an emergency order. We will always try to go the extra mile for our customers.
Our business would not be where it is today if I did not have the very best people working for me, who understand what we’re trying to achieve and have an insatiable desire to do the right thing for the customer.