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Seven major business transformations > Seven major business transformations - Pg. 219

so too have they become harder to predict. The risk of over- or under-stocking increases. The challenge today is to enable supply chains to become demand- driven as a result of better visibility of real demand. Real demand occurs at the end of the supply chain and if that information can be captured and shared upstream then the dependency on inventory reduces. 4 From transactions to relationships There is a growing recognition that the route to sustained profitability is through building long-term relationships with selected customers. The focus in the past was on volume and market share and the company was transactional in its ori- entation. Today, customer retention is a key measure of success in the world of relationship marketing. One of the drivers of improved customer retention is the delivery of superior customer service. Hence there is a very clear connection between logistics and customer retention. Managing customer relationships has become a critical business process as organisations seek to improve the quality of their earnings. 5 From `trucks and sheds' to `end-to-end' pipeline management Over the last two decades there has been a dramatic broadening of the scope of logistics and supply chain management in many organisations. Previously logis- tics ­ or, more properly, distribution management ­ was seen as being primarily