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Tom Brouillette Thoughts at Large

1,008 posts


The retail supply chain must be more connected now than ever to support the changing demands of the extended supply chain from suppliers to consumers.  This connectivity should be loosely coupled in order to ensure simplicity of connection and also flexibility in changing to meet new demands. This is important because it provide the flexibility to add and change partners across the supply chain quickly and efficiently as demands change while providing the framework to share and collaborate efficiently and quickly.  The ability to quickly and efficiently collaborate is extremely important in the retail marketplace and this demand for speed of turn around will only increase going forward. This is the value provided by a loosely coupled framework and this is also why it is so important to build this flexible framework as a foundation to supporting the new retail omni market.

 

Unfortunately there are no real hard and fast rules to this connectivity and the partners must, to a certain extent, feel out the rules as they go along.  These must start with guidelines of the types of information and integration points in the market that are most beneficial to share. The key benefit of the loosely coupled framework is the ability of this framework to change and grow to support the changing demands of the market.  This is a very important aspect that will allow, and support, an efficient continuous change model to support the changing demands of all partners across the extended supply chain network. 

 

The loosely coupled integration model has been a standard practice in much of the extended supply chain for quite some time, for instance going back to the EDI model of standard integration message formats shared with partners in the extended supply chain.  The Internet and growth and acceptance of XML has all but eliminated the need for the EDI Value Added Network now and this dramatically expands the opportunities to partner across the extended supply chain with small and large partners. This provides great opportunities to expand collaboration and engagement quickly across the partners with very low cost of entry making this practice almost the price of admission to the market now.  There are really no other types of tools or practices that bring the same impact or capabilities to the supply chain and this is very important to the retail omni market to allow the partners to quickly meet new demands from the marketplace.

 

The technology required to support the loosely coupled framework is a very low cost of entry with a very high return based on the results and potential of the technology and the framework.  This simplified platform framework allows the partners in the extended supply chain to quickly and efficiently react to the changes and most importantly the velocity of changes experienced in retail omni market.  This is especially important as the velocity of changing demands increases the disruption in the market.


Consumers have changed the way they shop and purchase and retailers must react and adjust to these consumer changes now in a manner that understands this is only the beginning and a new framework is required to support omni market retail simultaneously across all channels.  Consumers are not going to wait for retailers to catch up to their demands because these consumers have the ability and imagination to use the social networking tools at hand in combination with search and purchasing tools to support their demands. Retailers now must develop a shopping framework that provides the integration and flexibility to support the increasing velocity of change along with the tools and practices to sense and respond to these changes.  Velocity and flexibility are the guidewords of today and there is no time to hesitate while the changes continue in waves across the industry.

 

The natural tendency of retailers to follow the lead of others is no longer supportable because the velocity of change has quickened to such a pace that there is no time to follow the lead of others.  On the other hand it is no longer viable for retailers to go it alone, they must collaborate with other retailers and the partners that support their retail omni market needs. Collaboration is the new key to success in this marketplace and all partners supporting the market must engage and collaborate to meet the consumer needs in the most efficient manner for all partners across the supply chain.  Amazon started a revolution in the retail market and the echos are spreading across the marketplace in waves of disruption. Many retailers now have recognized they must change and they are starting to make course corrections and acquisitions to react and support the changing consumer demands.

 

The introduction and capabilities social network practices in the retail marketplace have driven the change and especially the velocity of these changes.  Consumers are formidable collaborators and embrace the capabilities and practices to improve their shopping and purchasing practices. These are the changes that are driving the market disruption and there is no hint that consumers will slow in their drive for improvements and change.  It is no longer necessary for consumers to wait for their demands to be met by retailers. Consumers are using the mobile tools and network capabilities now to create their own shopping frameworks and retailers must recognize that they must engage and support this framework in order to survive.

 

Consumers will not wait for retailers to catch up and the statistics of retailers unable to react to the changing marketplace are piling up.  Retailers must accept these changes and engage to integrate into the retail shopping framework utilized by consumers to support their shopping and purchasing.

 

 

 


Retail omni market practices are based on relationships and collaboration across the entire market chain requiring a combination of flexible and robust practices and tools to support these practices.  This framework requires a focus on process and collaboration rather than any tool or even set of tools in particular. This can be a very difficult lift because it requires a focus on process and collaboration first and then a focus on tools and technology second.  This relationship framework requires a level of understanding and collaboration practices across the retail market network that can be difficult to maintain and the framework implementation requires a robust collaboration practice at a culture level across the network.  The process framework of collaboration and engagement must be developed in order to deliver the sense and respond capabilities that will then utilize the technology tools and platforms to deliver.

 

The market partners must remember that the focus should be based on process to develop sense and respond practices and when this is done the tools and technology can be identified to support the process.  This is a challenge now because the velocity of change demands a velocity of response from the market partners and this velocity of response has been reactionary rather than coordinated. Every partner in the market now has capabilities in market features and functionality to support increased partner collaboration and the reaction of the larger partners in this market has been a focus on acquisition of these partners to realize the capabilities they have developed and therefore improve their ability to react to market change.

 

The velocity of change is a key business factor in development and implementation of a relationship framework and this must remain a key factor in the development and implementation of this framework.  The tools will come and go in this environment and this drives a key business requirement for the relationship framework to design a flexible and robust foundation for the framework that supports the future ability to add and remove tools as the factors changes and the tools change and improve. 

 

This requires a difference in the culture of the design and delivery of the relationship framework for all partners involved and this change includes a change in the culture to embrace robust collaborative sense and respond capabilities to identify and implement not only changes to the relationship framework and tools related to the framework, it also requires change to the development and implementation new business capabilities.  The partners must not lose site of the fact that the strategic goal of the relationship framework is improved ability to sense and respond to the changes and the velocity of these changes in the most efficient manner.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


Technologies and capabilities are changing so quickly now that the retail omni marketplace partners must focus on developing and maintaining a robust and flexible framework that can incorporation changing technologies and tools efficiently and quickly.  The marketplace must support change in a continuous and efficient manner that can respond to change demands when they are identified without a great deal of effort, especially from an integration perspective. It has become abundantly clear in the recent years that the rate of change is quickening and that the incremental change introduced at this quickening velocity will soon create a revolution in demands.  The omni market must introduce and maintain a framework and collaboration capabilities that eliminates the friction and delays in meeting the changing demands.

 

I am convinced that market ‘revolution’ occurs when the level of incremental change pushes the market over the cliff of a major market disruption.  This disruption occurs as a surprise only to the participants and partners in the marketplace that have not focused on meeting the velocity of change due to either lack of funding for the change, lack of ability to internalize and support the change, or finally an unwillingness to change.  The real disruption then occurs for the participants that are not maintaining and reacting to the change in the marketplace and in this situation when the disruption occurs it really doesn’t matter the reason why participants cannot meet the change, it only matters that they cannot meet the change.

 

This marketplace sense and respond framework can be relatively straightforward to put into place in a manner that provides both the early warning sensing and the flexible framework to support the change.  This is all very straightforward when you come down to it because the technology capabilities are just as available to participants across the board. The difficulty in this comes from the work required by the retailers, carriers and suppliers to support the integration to their back office financial and operational systems and functionality.  This does not mean however that these requirements for this relationship sense and respond framework should be ignored just because it's hard to develop, it simply means that the participants need to put a program in place both internally and across their partner network to put a framework in place to support these requirements.

 

All of this does not change the level of importance for recognizing and implementing a relationship framework that can provide the tools to sense and then the framework to support a quick response to the demands.  The alternative is to slowing lose market share until the level of change reaches the point of disruption and then the pace of disruption and loss increases. This is when these marketplace partners that have been either reluctant or unable to meet the changing demands will fall by the wayside to either fail or fall into a niche that prolongs the eventual demise. 

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


Retail marketing is all about the relationship across the entire end-to-end chain and with the steady march of technology and consumer demands changing the marketplace this relationship can be very difficult to maintain.  These relationships are expanding across the supply chain to include consumers, retailers and suppliers in a decentralized manner that supports the distributed nature of the participants and the technologies. This expansion across the supply chain network is based on the social technologies along with the integration of mobile and IOT technologies to complete and maintain the linkage.  The goal of these efforts is building collaborative relationships across the entire chain to share and maintain the flow and use of information.

 

I think that one of the most promising aspects of these technology developments is the inclusion and extension of transportation and carrier information integration into the relationship equation.  This is the next wave of consumer collaboration as a direct result of the expansion of the retail omni market and the consumer embrace of technologies. This, like other developments in consumer collaboration, has been driven by the demands and the imagination of consumers for supply chain carriers to share and coordinate deliveries of their eCommerce purchases.  Parcel carriers have provided tracking capabilities for a long time, this is nothing new, the new developments are push notifications and the abilities to redirect the deliveries based on changing consumer needs.

 

Suppliers and resellers in the retail marketplace have demanded traceability for deliveries for a long time and the traceability practices and capabilities have been improving for a long time.  These carriers have taken advantage of the growth and improvements in wireless and mobile technologies just the same as consumers have and these logistics partners are also embracing these technologies, and adding IoT technologies and capabilities to improve their services and meet the consumer demands.

 

Consumers are at the center of control of the social marketplace and they are demanding flexibility and creativity in their shopping, purchasing and delivery of goods and services.  These technologies allow relationships and new, or expanded, services to be quickly and efficiently created to support demands. This social marketplace will only expand in demands and reach across all aspects and relationships between consumers and the partners that deliver goods and services.  The partners delivering goods and services now must focus on a flexible and robust foundation that supports collaboration and change in order to meet the changing demands. This will be the key challenge and during this wave of development and expansion there will be a great deal of fall out from the legacy partner marketplace.  We are already seeing the fall out with legacy retailers quickly falling by the wayside because the market and their customer demands changed while the retailer either did not recognize or could not meet the changing demands.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


Advanced technology such as IoT is converging in the extended supply chain space as a social supply chain demands increase as a means to support the extended partners in meeting changing consumer and partner demands.  This expansion of the social supply chain is really a natural progression of the changes that are rocking the retail marketplace and, again similar to the omni market retail development, the result of an evolution of technology expansion and capabilities in the supply chain that has reached the point of disruption.  The reasons for the growth and expansion of of the social supply chain have been growing for quite some time as a result of shortening product life cycles combined with the growth in demand in addition to the growth of security and safety concerns pushing the limit and increased velocity of change in the supply chain. 

 

The supply chain has been dependant of advanced technology capabilities for a long time now that was first driven by the expansion and growth of the global technology and the increased need and importance of communication and information in a global supply chain network.  The increase in demand and shortening of product life cycles is one of the drivers of these technologies along with cultural demands from the growth of millennials in the market. Another important aspect driving the growth and demands of a global social supply chain are being driving by large Internet retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba that have exposed global direct to consumer delivery to eliminate the middleman of the supply chain. 

 

These technologies could not have become accepted by the market without each of the above factors playing a role in driving change. At this point the supply chain technology has reached a level of flexibility and capabilities that can support the velocity of change.  The challenge now is in coordination and collaboration of the change across the entire marketplace. The tools of collaboration are widespread and fully accepted by millennials and consumers alike and this acceptance is also feeding the demand for change and increase in the social supply chain. I believe this is a major factor in the expansion of technology in the social supply chain and this growth of comfort in technology and expansion of capabilities based on growth of millennials in the market and business world has also increased the velocity and level of disruption.

 

The retail sales and purchasing practices of consumers along with the growth of millennials in the marketplace are changing the culture to expect a higher level of collaboration, a higher level of flexibility and a higher level of capabilities.  These are the factors that have pushed the social supply chain technologies to disrupt the extended supply chain and support the flattening of the entire supply chain in the retail omni market

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


The social supply chain is the convergence of the supply chain, Internet of Things (IOT) and social networks into a framework that supports and encourages collaboration across and between suppliers, carriers, merchants and consumers.  This has grown in capabilities as another result of the growth in capabilities and acceptance of mobile and wireless network technologies and is another example of the velocity of change driven across all everyday aspects and interactions of people and organizations that may need to interact on a regular basis.  The connectivity of things and people has reached a level of explosive growth and even more importantly the velocity of this growth as increased to to breakneck speed as a result of the acceptance or expectation of technology capabilities and is only limited by the imagination of consumers and industry itself. 

 

This social supply chain growth is driven by the consumer acceptance and embrace of mobile and wireless technologies, just as these same consumers are changing the retail omni market.  This increase in both change and velocity of the changes as it relates to consumer interactions is directly related and this relationship and consumer expectations are also extending across into other aspects of the supply chain as well because these social changes reverberate through the entire market to improve efficiencies and communications in support of expanding collaboration demands.  The social supply chain changes have the additional layer of interaction from the connectivity of tools and flow that is made capable by the IOT technologies and improvements. 

 

The growth of IOT technologies and tools in the market and especially as these tools and technologies relate to the supply chain execution increase the flexibility and the collaboration abilities across the entire supply chain, from suppliers to the end customer.  These increased capabilities are delivered through investments in technologies and bring immediate increased communication and data flow through the chain. These improvements are only limited by the imagination of the consumers and the supply chain partners throughout the chain.

 

The growth in communication, data and collaboration capabilities across the supply chain corresponds to similar growth patterns in the retail omni market.  The entire marketplace is impacted from the supplier to the end customer by the explosive velocity of demands to utilize these technologies by supply chain partners and consumers to increase visibility to use in all aspects of collaboration across the entire chain.  These changes are directly relatable to the consumer acceptance of the mobile and wireless technologies in combination with the growth of millennials in the marketplace along with the supply chain. These demands and changes are driving the supply chain to develop a social supply chain that incorporates IOT technologies and capabilities to help to support the demands. 

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


Retail shopping has been revolutionized by the growth and capabilities of mobile and wireless network technologies. However I see this as a relatively slow moving revolution that has been coming together as a result of the evolution of shopping technologies and consumer acceptance of the technologies with the final push into a full resolution brought about by the growth and capabilities of mobile and wireless network technologies.  Another factor pushing retail shopping into a revolution has been brought about by consumers taking control of their shopping and purchasing habits as a result of their embrace of mobile and wireless network technologies. The tipping point of this revolution has been the embrace of the technologies that provide consumers a means to create their own shopping practices to support their lifestyles.

 

In hindsight you can see that the trends and capabilities that brought about this revolution have been building for quite some time, starting with the creation of the World Wide Web.  Thinking about the previous twenty years and through the trials and errors of retailers it seems that the evolution started with the combination of World Wide Web and Internet growth that allowed a visionary person like Jeff Bezos put together a company like Amazon that changed the relationship with consumers.  Each time retail shopping and purchasing is revolutionized it starts with a visionary retailer with an vision of the future that is at complete odds with the existing retail industry.

 

The turn of the 20th century Sears introduced the catalog revolution in shopping and purchasing that changed the environment because of its ability to bring together new and existing technologies in a manner that met the consumers lifestyle requirements.  Now we see at the turn of the 21st century Amazon taking advantage of opportunity and encouraging a revolution in shopping and purchasing because of its ability to bring together new and existing technologies in a manner that met the consumer lifestyle requirements. 

 

This has been a significant event that requires change from the large legacy retailers.  In many ways the changes we are experiencing turned from evolution to revolution because of the reaction from the large legacy retailers and the market to the changes being driven by consumers.  The market in general has fought these shopping and purchasing changes because of the loss of control it represents. This has been the pattern of these large legacy retailers specifically and the general retail market place generally fighting change.  This revolution now has been fueled by the growth and capabilities of technologies like mobile and wireless network growth along with healthy doses of imagination along with encouragement from pure play ecommerce retailers and supply chain partners supporting these capabilities.  The large retailers are beginning to recognize this revolution now and seem to accept the fact that the market will never return to the past. The question now is will this be enough and how can they recover?

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 

tbrouill

Retail Shopping Levers

Posted by tbrouill Apr 4, 2018


Retail shopping has gotten more complicated over the recent years as a result of the expanded shopping and purchasing channels, technology, including wireless network technology, and most importantly the social network capabilities.  These new capabilities along with the explosion of mobile shopping apps has dramatically increased the number of shopping levers, this is what I call shopping and purchasing options. These levers have grown and expanded to the point now that has created a omni market retail marketplace that eliminates the lines, or silos, between the different purchasing channels.  Consumers have lead the charge in this direction through their embrace of the technology to explore capabilities and then utilize the new capabilities.

 

This consumer embrace of technology is the lever that is the most critical to the ability of retailers to meet the changing market and consumer demands.  This technology lever is also the most powerful lever for consumers to drive change into the retail market. When looking across the retail landscape you can see many of the key challenges and failures for retailers have been, and continue to be, driven by technology and especially when this technology is also embraced and driven by online retailers such as Amazon and and mobile technologies.  These changes are disruption because of the continuous level of iterative small changes that build on each other. This iterative and continuous change process is the key to success and a key lever of failure for many retailers.

 

Retailers have begun to recognize the importance of this practice on their business capabilities and success drivers and also have been struggling to catch up and maintain the pace of change.   You see this from the level and speed of acquisitions and capabilities supported by retailers. This is a key to the future and success of the retailers and it will be interesting to follow the results of this drive and the endurance of the large legacy retailers to maintain the pace of change. 

 

I believe that in order for retailers to maintain the pace it also requires a change in leadership culture and focus to maintain the pace.  There is a great deal of history examples where the retail market experiences a disruption that results in changes from the retail leaders to incorporate the disruption and move forward.  In this case though the disruption is more the change process and velocity than what the change delivers. This is the most interesting and challenging lever after all is said and done, the disruption in not an event but a process of change and retailers must change their own internal shopping and purchasing levers to increase flexibility and most importantly the ability to sense the changes.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 

tbrouill

Retail Renewal

Posted by tbrouill Apr 2, 2018


The retail market is in a process of renewal as a result of the disruption brought about by the omni market change by consumers to the market place.  This is a good thing and really a necessary thing that drives the market forward to support consumer demands. This time though the renewal is in part driven by consumers through technology and collaboration and part driven by consumer focused Internet retailers like Amazon that are themselves encouraging and experimenting with consumer changing demands.  I believe though that this renewal cycle is different from previous cycles in that the renewal will be a continuous cycle of change and renewal. This is the theme of this cycle of renewal and this is one of the key differences in this change cycle as well. 

 

This cycle is driven by consumers rather than by some retailer, as in the past and this is a very important difference in this disruption.  The last major disruption to the market in my opinion was the explosion of Wal Mart on the market. This disruption, like previous disruptions, was driven by a retailer with a vision that was embraced by consumers.  This disruption, also like previous disruptions, spread through the market quickly with the concept, in this case the drive for the lowest price, accepted and extended by other retailers until it seems to be embedded in the market DNA.  This disruption is also in many ways at the root of the current disruption. 

 

This current disruption started with the concept and the drive for the lowest price from consumers.  In the beginning consumers’ focus on low price was supported and driven by the opportunity of Internet retailers to cut prices.  This was the result though of retailers reacting to consumers and these same retailers attempting to gain market share. This drive from Internet retailers was borne of the drive to succeed and the ability of these new Internet retailers to take advantage of the market and cut costs dramatically because of their reduced overhead.  Now this lowest price concept and drive has become the foundation of the retail market in many ways and this concept has also in many ways now bitten the creator of the concept.

 

Now this concept along, with the combination of technology and the growing ability of the consumer to direct and even change their shopping is also disrupting the market.  Now this new renewal is all about the consumer ability redirect and direct their shopping in ways that support their individual lifestyles along with their desire to spend less and get more in return.  This new disruption also is creating a model for continuous renewal and disruption as technology changes and increases capabilities.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


Retailer change cycles must change to become shorter and focus on incremental change in order to keep up with consumer demands.  This is a dramatic change to the historic view of change in the market and I believe the only way to increase the velocity of change for larger retailers.  Velocity in the retail market is the result of a continuous cycle of incremental changes that confirm assumptions and move the needle forward as it relates to meeting consumer demands.  This is an implementation of a classic continuous improvement program (PDCA cycle). While this may sound like a simple thing to enact, the difficulty lies in the execution and especially in the continuous nature of the execution.  It is easy for the cycle to be broken as a result of diverted attention, this is why the success of the program depends on the embrace and encouragement of leadership.

 

The large legacy retailers have worked in what I would call a monolithic development cycle, the changes are planned and coordinated together into major event releases that require significant development time and significant change management.  A good example of this is the ERP implementations that produced significant benefit to the business at a significant disruption. Granted, after the significant event there follow a period of time where enhancements are performed until the next significant major release of the software.  This approach works well for back office type applications and has served the legacy retailers to support a consistent platform across the many locations in the chain.

 

The Internet changed all of this because of the change in the shopping capabilities and practices.  Shopping and interaction with consumers require continuous change to the ‘store front’ in order to encourage consumers to return and purchase.  The large retailers have always continuously changed their product displays for season or special events or holidays and the eCommerce channel requires the same level of change in order to maintain a fresh view.  This approach and model has then extended into consumer offers and sales and purchasing capabilities as a result of the market opening up to social networks. 

 

Amazon has perfected a model of incremental change to increase the velocity of market change to disrupt the omni market.  This model allows and encourages experimentation with features in quick cycles of trial and error and Amazon has even extended this model into their product development and offerings.  This change, and the disruption produced, is the velocity of the incremental change and the speed of disruption that this model produces. This is the shift that the large legacy retailers must make, they can do this by changing their culture to focus on incremental storefront improvements and building a flexible integration layer back to the back office systems.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


The velocity of change in the retail market has been increasing for quite some time now and is only showing signs of increasing both volume and the velocity of the change cycle.  This is really related to the opportunities afforded by the connectivity and flexibility of the Internet, mobile technology and increased network capabilities that have all come together to deliver increased speed of delivery and also expansion of the parties involved in the change cycle.  The change cycle is permanently changed by the methods of delivery and also the types of changes delivered. The days of monolithic change are definitely over and have been replaced by a continuous change cycle of incremental changes that allow for adjustment and speed to market to meet the increased velocity of demands that are encouraged by the Internet players such as Amazon.

 

There is an old phase that is particularly fitting in this retail market - ‘Change at the speed of life’.  This reflects the current reality very clearly and explains the velocity of change as well. The velocity of change is increasing because the change cycle is quickening and the changes are actually building on each other.  These factors are then related back to the improvements in consumer technology and network capabilities. Consumers are actually driving the change now as a result of their embrace of technology and the improvements in consumer technology.  Add to this mix Internet retailers and service providers that are encouraging these changes and you can see the reasons for this increase in velocity.

 

This new reality puts many of the larger retailers in a bind to meet the increased velocity because the standard practice for these large retailers has been to bundle changes into larger releases that require more time to deliver.  This practice puts them squarely behind the curve and constantly chasing the changes causing lost customers and lost sales. Even the reaction to the changed model, increase capabilities through acquisition, has caused the retailers to remain behind the curve. 

 

These large retailers must now revise their change cycle to implement smaller, incremental, releases to deliver change in a more frequent and iterative manner.  The large releases provided major enhancements to features and functionality however it also allowed the market to change during the period of development of these large releases, thereby increasing the risk of delivery either too late to take advantage of the market or no longer required by the market.  Large retailers must focus on a flexible and extendable framework that supports quick incremental change in addition to the acquisition of new companies to support the changing demands. I think that the greatest impact of Amazon in the retail market is their focus on the velocity of change through incremental changes that build on each other.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 

tbrouill

Omni Market Evolution

Posted by tbrouill Mar 25, 2018


While it may feel like the omni market has revolutionized the retail marketplace these changes have been incubating and growing for a long time to the recent seeming explosion of change and retail disruption.  In other words, this seems like a revolution only because retailers have been seen as struggling to maintain share in the omni market in an especially visible manner recently through acquisition and reported focus on the eCommerce channel.  Travel through the history of the changes though and it is easy to see that the appearance of revolution is only an appearance and in reality is the culmination of many changes and technology over the last ten years. This is important to the retailers’ plans and strategies for the support of the retail market disruption and provides the roadmap for retailers to build an engaged and collaborative strategy to meet the demands of future evolution.

 

This perspective of evolution allows retailers to build a framework and structure based on broad collaboration and engagement across the market in order to sense and respond to the changing consumer demands and especially to the changing market demands.  The importance of this framework cannot be overstated as a key to the retailers’ ability to act on demands. This framework allows retailers the time to plan and evolve solutions rather than the current practice of waiting for the market leaders to develop the change.  It is important to realize that change in the retail market is evolutionary and requires retailers to accept this and implement the changes in both culture and strategy to allow them to evolve with the market and not be left behind.

 

This change requires a revolution in leadership management strategy to continuously search for the changing demands by both consumers and the retail market and especially market leaders.  The retail market has always been made up of leaders and followers. The make-up and number of followers compared to leaders has always been rather large with the market leaders taking the risk and then the followers reacting after the change has been accepted by the market and consumers.  I do not think that the ratio of leaders to followers has changed, I think that the time to deliver the change has decreased and this has thrown the followers behind the curve. In other words, the velocity of change in the market has increased and the retail followers have not changed their cycle leaving them further and further behind.

 

Amazon and similar online retailers have been able to drive this velocity of change because they can make a change in one place and it pushes to the consumers where the larger retailers have a huge infrastructure that increases the cost and difficulty of change.  We are seeing the large retailers now reimagining and rebuilding their capabilities now to allow them to sense and respond to the market shifts more efficiently. They now seem to realize the importance of evolution over revolution.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


The retail omni market must be cognizant of data security requirements and especially personally identifiable information (PII) that can put consumer identities at risk.  In the fast moving and quickly changing omni market environment coupled with hacker advances in technology to mine and extract consumer data for identity theft purposes it can be very easy to overlook and fall behind in data security requirements.  Any type of breach can cause consumers to lose confidence in the retailer’s site and be extremely damaging to business. Any loss in consumer confidence can be much more damaging to a retailer and also the retailer’s leadership than any failure to maintain pace with consumer demands in the omni market. 

 

Data security in the fast paced world of the retail omni market can be easy to overlook and in addition to this the retailer could go for a long period of time without an incident.  The greatest risk to data security is compliance and loss of focus on the risk. The abilities of hackers is continuously improving and the attacks growing in sophistication and this only increases the requirements for retailers to maintained a heightened awareness and also heightened tools to monitor and rebuff any attacks.  While it may be very cumbersome to maintain this type of awareness and capabilities to monitor and rebuff attacks this is also much more cost efficient in the long run than any recovery activities could ever be.

 

Data security must be a continuous and early focus in order to protect the retailer from the results of a breach.  A breach of any nature could not only seriously damage the confidence of consumers but more importantly could and would damage the viability through loss of business and fines to the retailer up to and including putting the retailer out of business.  Consumers and government agencies are much more aware of the damages that can be caused by data security breaches and this translates into a dramatic increase in requirements for retailers to protect consumer personally identifiable information. 

 

Retailers walk a fine line with data security between protecting the consumers’ data and utilizing consumer shopping and purchasing practices to improve the consumer experience.  This requires a great deal of focus and awareness of the requirements in order to maintain the appropriate level of protection. Retailers must be ever vigilant for potential breaches and this vigilance extends to the retailer employees and leadership.  Retailers must act under the assumption that they are under continuous attack from outside entities and must maintain a very high level of awareness and vigilance to stop any potential attacks to protect the consumer information with which they are entrusted.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?

 


The control tower framework is a great way to react to and meet the retail omni market changes currently disrupting the market place.  This framework provides the means for the large legacy retailers to coordinate their reaction and support of the market changes in a thoughtful and well planned manner.  The control tower framework provides the structure to coordinate the collaboration and engage their partners across the market. This is important in the omni market because the changes impact the entire marketplace and not just one practice, product type or channel.  There are so many different changes and reactions to changes currently disrupting the market place and there is no reason that these changes will level off and the control tower framework provides the method for retailers to coordinate reactions and changes across their entire span of relationships.

 

The control tower framework allows retailers to collaboration and engage their partners across the supply chain and even can provide a means to integration consumers interaction and collaborative engagement.  This is important in the market because the velocity of change has reached a level where the large retailers especially require this framework to support the collection, communication and coordination across their supply chain without continuously disrupting their internal financial and back office systems. This collaboration layer and framework that can be provided by the control tower allows the large retailers to segregate the change to reduce and improve the management of disruption to their business. 

 

In addition, the control tower framework provides an integration layer so the retailer can isolate the change and reduce the impact to the integrating systems.  This framework would allow the retailer to format the integration into operational systems to allow new changes to quickly take advantage of functionality without major impact to the systems.  This is very important from a speed to market along with a stability perspective and will then allow the retailer to focus more on detecting and reacting to the next consumer demand rather than supporting and reacting to issues caused as a result of the changes.

 

Retailers must implement a framework that supports extended collaboration along with simplifications to the integration of new features and functionality in a timeframe that allows them to quickly react and support consumer demands.  There are two sides to this challenge; early detection of the trend and change to meet the trend, and quick turn around of the actual change. I believe that the control tower framework provides the conceptual foundation to support the demands and will help the retailers to gain an equilibrium and balance in detecting and reacting to the disruption in the retail market.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?