Commerce 2.0 methods must focus primarily on defining, developing and implementing flexibility in controls. Controls, however, in the collaborative marketplace that will be Commerce 2.0 should be defined as principles of operation. In these initial stages of developing the Commerce 2.0 collaborative marketplace, and actually this will probably continue into the foreseeable future, the market is changing quickly, in both demands and capabilities. These discontinuous changes in demand require a flexible framework to guide the methods in which the retailer supports the changes. The principles of operation will support this flexible framework in which the retailers can support the changes in the collaborative marketplace.
I am a big believer in the ‘Process, People and Technology’ business process methodology and there is a great significance on the sequence. I always start with process because we must understand the process in order to determine where people are required and what skills the people will require, and then you are at the point where you can determine the technology required to support the process and people. This is where the principles of operation come into play, this provides the framework and the rules that will support managing change. It is also important to have this framework in place early so you don’t get swept away with the excitement or immediacy of a change. The principles of operation should define your methods of evaluation and adoption of change. Think of it as a type of checklist to review throughout the change evaluation and implementation process.
Adopting and implementing a repeatable process to address change will allow you to speed your change implementation process. The retailer must be careful not to be swept away in a wave of technology change and end up with a cobbled together solution that is not flexible and boxes them into a very expensive resolution to increase flexibility. Discontinuous change is a difficult process to manage and retailers have entered into a storm of discontinuous change that will disrupt their business model to meet the demands of the consumers. A repeatable process of ‘Process, People and Technology’ that is guided by a robust principles of operation will help the retailers navigate these changes in a manner that does not paint them into a corner.
In order to ensure the long term viability to meet new consumer shopping demands of the collaborative marketplace the retailer cannot expect that a single technology will meet the needs. On the other hand, the retailer will collapse from complications if they adopt new technology after new technology simply based on industry trends or technology marketing, unfortunately there are no silver bullets. This is why the retailer must adopt the repeatable process supported by a framework that allows speedy review and adoption of new processes.
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?