I frequently discuss the importance of a sound framework and you will have noticed that I preach this concept across all types of practices and capabilities. In addition to the importance of a sound framework I also even more frequently discuss the importance of collaboration and again I preach this importance across all types of practices and capabilities. The third, and just as important concept I preach is continuous improvement. All of these concepts are even more critically important in the omni channel market due to the frequency of change demanded from consumers. All of these concepts though are also critical factors in business process mapping and business process management; the key factors in this success being, process, people and technology.
I feel it is important to always focus on process, people and technology in that sequence. It is important because that is also the sequence that you must follow to deliver a successful business process management initiative. These concepts now are based upon starting with a solid framework, or foundation, that supports flexibility, reliability and stability. These are the ‘ilities’ that you may have heard in technology development discussions. These are important to support an eCommerce platform that can support the business and consumer requirements in a cycle of constant change. This framework, I believe, must be based on open standards and also must provide the ability to upgrade without wholesale replacement.
The key to success in eCommerce technology is small continuous changes that deliver a quick cycle of improvements. A continuous cycle of small changes provides a basis for quick focused improvements and the beauty of this is that the small changes allow for refinements based on the reactions to the change. Merchants and business in general cannot hope to remain successful with an improvement strategy that delivers large complex changes that take months to deliver. The issue with the eCommerce and social markets is the velocity and volume of change does not play well with large scale changes over a period of months. To be blunt, the entire landscape can change more multiple times over a period of months. This presents the very real danger that any changes that require months of development could be made obsolete due to the velocity of change in the market.
To address this very real challenge you should focus on a framework that supports change without breaking. Your framework is the key to success in the omni channel marketplace and you should not ignore or put off the care and feeding of your framework. This can be a very difficult practice to focus on infrastructure rather than show piece software however, if your framework is not stable the flash may collapse and then you have nothing.
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 consumers’ experience? Improving the consumers 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?