For many decades, the diamond pipeline has stretched a long road from the mine to the consumer. From upstream, where the diamond is mined and sourced, to midstream, where is it planned, cut, and polished, all the way downstream, where it is traded among wholesalers and retailers, and finally marketed to the customer. The journey from rough stone to polished diamond has always been complex – but also predictable.
In recent years, however, there has been a subtle but significant shift in the way the pipeline functions. As consumers become savvier and more demanding, there is more pressure on the downstream of the diamond pipeline to provide customers with the products they want, when they want. The proliferation of online information and shopping opportunities means that retailers can’t afford to simply wait and see what customers ask for next. They must be actively aware of changing trends and demands in their target markets and be in a position to satisfy those markets almost in real-time.
The diamond pipeline works both ways
This phenomenon is known as the “reverse pipeline”. Once, mines and manufacturers would supply the downstream players with the goods they had. Now, downstream traders and retailers are searching for specific goods according to consumer demand. And to stay competitive and maintain secure, mutually beneficial partnerships with retail customers, manufacturers must find a way to supply what retailers are asking for.
In other words, the diamond pipeline is “demand-driven”, fueled by consumer demand in various retail markets worldwide. Depending on the location and customer base of the specific retailer, the demand will vary. But the principle remains the same.
Data brings it all together
This evolution of the diamond pipeline – from a one-way stream to demand-driven reverse pipeline – has only been possible thanks to data.
Since the introduction of diamond scanning and analysis technology, first implemented around thirty years ago with Sarine DiaMension®, the entire diamond supply chain, from tenders to manufacturing and grading, has become completely linked by data. Accurate, in-depth data of the diamond, including cutting plans, proportions, inclusion maps, and much more, is gathered and stored along the manufacturing flow. This data can then be aggregated, analyzed, and utilized in producing optimal diamonds with very specific characteristics according to customer requests.
Data, more important than ever
Demand-responsive: The next gen diamond supply chain