The Design-to-Source Buyer’s Journey – Part Three: Examining The Organization


The second article in the Design-to-Source Buyer’s Journey series explored the role of technology and analytics in achieving higher levels of customer engagement and accurate targeting of emerging design cycles, customer needs and intent to buy.

As an organization that provides solutions for both the buy and sell side of the electronics value chain, we are able to provide perspectives and insight not found anywhere else. This experience, combined with our Design-to-Source Intelligence (DSI) Network of over 10 million industry professionals, led us to create a Customer Engagement Maturity Model to help organizations define a new journey for their customers. 

In the final portion of this three-part series, we will examine the enabling characteristics related to the organization itself. Join us as we have a look at how organizational structure and planning, resource availability, and team composition affect digital commerce outcomes.

A Transformed Customer Experience Begins With The Organization

It’s common for supply chain organizations to be structured in such a way that Marketing, Sales and Product Management teams are siloed and separate from one another. This creates barriers to the collaboration that are crucial to building timely and relevant customer experiences. It’s also just one of several insufficient planning and coordination processes tied to the organization itself that describe an industry still in the lower levels of maturity. 

Consider these findings from a Forrester survey of B2B marketers

  • Only 47% of respondents claimed that customer needs drove marketing strategies for them.
  • A mere 40% reported that they prioritize customer needs over promotion of their products.
  • 36% of marketers still organize around industry segments, and 43% organize by channel-specific domain expertise. 
  • 73% of global B2B marketing leaders have adopted customer journey maps, but only 35% report that they are the basis for the marketing team’s planning. 

Marketers came face-to-face with the flaws in their strategies over the course of 2020, but regardless of external events a change has been long overdue. 

The unique characteristics of modern organizations mean that there is no “one-size-fits-all” model. That’s why Supplyframe’s approach considers various factors to allow for a wide range of different levels of maturity and existing organizational structures, thereby creating the basis for a roadmap tailored to your organization. 

The third segment of our Maturity Model is focused on multiple aspects of the organization, from structure and planning, to the resources available, and the talent to make it all work in the long-term. 

Let’s dive into the final segment of the Maturity Model and explore these dimensions.

Examining The Organization Itself to Reveal New Opportunities 

The third segment of our Maturity Model is broken into three sections:

  • Structure & Planning
  • Resources
  • Skills & Talent.

We break down key aspects related to organizational structure and the pathways available to you for making meaningful change. 

Structure and Planning

Successful customer engagement requires coordination across marketing, sales and product management. Lower levels of maturity are defined by one-off projects and individual performers. For much of the industry, this means an organization is relying on siloed teams with their own separate KPIs. 

In order to break free of the lower levels, organizations should focus on moving towards a centralized structure that allows for consistent metrics defined by higher levels of management. From here, sales, marketing, and engineering teams should align on their goals and work towards developing a cross-functional structure that integrates success metrics with planning and execution processes across the organization.  


The Resources segment of the Maturity Model refers to an organization’s effectiveness in leveraging available resources to maximize ROI. At the lowest levels of maturity,  teams are either assigned budgets with little input or have to justify the cost of each individual project. This results in budgets poorly suited to marketing requirements and wasted resources as time as resources are used to justify each expenditure or find workarounds for more expensive solutions. Even relatively large organizations typically use historical data to develop budgets for the current year, rather than doing the forward thinking required for increased success.

Tying budgets to the requirements for success of upcoming projects is a step in the right direction, but true maturity comes from metric-driven budgeting and investments in digital marketing that span multiple years, with a focus on the ROI outcome.  

Skills and Talent

The final element of organization maturity is the most basic. Does an organization have the  skills and talent available to take advantage of Digital Commerce? Depending on your organization, you may be at the beginning of a digital transformation, or perhaps you’ve been developing this strategy and are in the process of expanding skills through new hires and cross-training existing employees. 

Higher levels of maturity begin with a fully staffed team who are experts in their fields. From there the path forward is leveraging skills across multiple teams and disciplines to become an industry leader. The end goal is to become an innovator and influencer in the industry, attracting top talent through a reputation for high performance and success.

The Customer Engagement Maturity Model 

As an organization that addresses both the buy and sell side of the electronics value chain, Supplyframe’s approach provides a framework for organizations to evaluate their programs  and open up new avenues of revenue when engaging with a technical and complex audience. 

With this in mind, our Maturity Model was designed from the ground up to address the complexities of the electronics industry. Our interactive survey creates the opportunity to perform a self-assessment and discover where your organization stands, not only in this category, but in all segments of the full Maturity Model. 

Read the full Maturity Model introduction for more information on the other segments of the model, and take the self-assessment survey today to find out how you compare to your competitors, and what steps to take next on your roadmap towards intelligent customer engagement! 

Bradley Ramsey
Bradley Ramsey
Articles: 119

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