Every country has its own culture and in addition, every country has subcultures based on geography and descent, or heritage. In the past many countries have encouraged homogenization of heritage to build the national culture and this was especially true in the United States. The Internet has opened the door to international communication and collaboration that is bringing dramatic change to both the professional and personal arenas. Way back 50 years ago people maintained relationships mainly through writing and letters, telephone calls or in person. Now there is an instant communication in both written and direct communications (phone and web conference) that adds to the relationship management tools and that add immediacy of contact basically free over the Internet.
These tools and capabilities have both encouraged homogenization of contact and some cultural aspects while supporting the culture of descent and heritage. With the ability to easily and cheaply communicate across geography and time zones the heritage and family support and contact remains strong. These tools and capabilities are also pushing the boundaries of the supply chain from the raw materials to the end consumer. With the acceptance and incorporation of the communication tools and capabilities the expectations of both consumers and business partners has changed. It is no longer acceptable for update communications to simply provide the status when the material is placed on the freight carrier, it is instead now a requirement to provide both the status and the forecast of the manufacture process through the delivery process to the end customer. As an example, parcel shipment status updates for when the parcel leaves the distribution center and each point along the flow of delivery are now standard and customary. When I place an order with any eCommerce merchant I can track the delivery of the parcel through each transfer along the way of the delivery and in addition, I can even redirect the delivery of the parcel to another address if necessary up until the day of delivery.
These tools have dramatically impacted the supply chain, for the better I might add, to provide increased information on the manufacture to the delivery process. These improvements support not only more accurate delivery and flow data updates but also allow for more accurate planning and forecasting to manage inventory and both reduce overstock conditions and also higher than anticipated sales volume. The additional information supports more accurate forecasting and planning along each step of the way. This accuracy in forecasting and planning supports a wide array of options in meeting the consumer 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 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?