What does the consumer segment have to do with procurement? The better question is: What doesn't it have to do with procurement?
In order for purchasing management professionals to deduce what materials or products their employers need to make finished goods, they must deduce what consumers want from the company they work for. The marketing department can be a huge resource in this regard.
Ford Motor is one enterprise that's trying to figure out what it needs to do to appeal to the next wave of customers. For the automotive manufacturer, that contingency is made up of people belonging to Generation Z, also known as "Gen Zers," according to IndustryWeek.
Who are the Gen Zers?
According to Sparks & Honey, Gen Zers are those born from 1995 to the present. Many would assume there are a wealth of similarities between Gen Zers and millennials, when in fact the source maintained that numerous differences exist between the two. A slide show created by Sparks & Honey depicted the following insights regarding the younger generation:
- Gen Zers enjoy the feeling of making a difference, so it's safe to assume that they would purchase products from a company that conducts itself ethically.
- Approximately one in four Gen Zers are living in poverty, which has made them more resourceful.
- Many Gen Zers have seen their older siblings move back home after graduating college, making them recognize that traditional choices don't guarantee success.
What does this have to do with cars? From a preliminary standpoint, one can speculate that Gen Zers aren't necessarily going to fall into buying vehicles with features they may deem as "excessive."
What has Ford found?
Ford research complements Sparks & Honey's almost identically, also finding that Gen Zers aren't ones to skimp out on conducting research. For example, one instance found that Gen Zers are "acutely aware of where ingredients come from and find more enjoyment in how their meals are prepared."
Take this attitude toward cuisine and reposition it toward the automotive sector. As was mentioned earlier, Gen Zers are cautious about their investments - they're not going to pay top-dollar for a new vehicle just because a salesperson says that car is fantastic. In addition, ensuring the materials used to manufacture that automobile were sourced under ethical circumstances (in regard to social and environmental concerns) is a likely priority of theirs. In summation, Gen Zers will look for cars that are reliable, will last them a long time, are fuel-efficient and responsibly produced.