Today's consumers are more enlightened and educated, and they are empowered more than ever by the information that they have at their disposal from the Internet and other sources. Their access to supply sources has expanded dramatically beyond their immediate locale by virtue of catalogs, the Internet, and other media. They have the opportunity to compare prices, quality, and service.
Consequently, they demand competitive prices, high quality, tailored or customized products, convenience, flexibility, and responsiveness. They tend to have a low tolerance level for poor quality in products and services. Consumers also have increased buying power due to higher income levels. They demand the best quality at the best price and with the best service. These demands place increased challenges and pressure on the various supply chains for consumer products.