Collaboration provides the background and the conceptual framework for the community to work together and the members of the community provide the drive to experiment.  This is the starting point for the collaboration community to first come together and then to grow and produce value to the community members.  The community is a key factor to the success and the benefits achieved by the members.  The community also provides the framework for the members to define and then achieve the benefits that bring value to the individual members.  This is one of the key reasons that the collaboration community concepts and practices are growing in acceptance.

The key underlying value of a collaboration community is the harvesting of benefits across the community members.  What I mean by this is that the community and collaboration generates a great number of benefits that bring value to the community and allows a greater consumption of the value.  The results of the efforts from the collaboration bring a great deal of benefits and while some of these benefits may not be valuable to all members, the likelihood of members getting value from these outlying benefits is greater in communities that are larger and more diverse.  These benefits derived from the consumer collaboration community follow the same formula and process as the benefits derived for a supplier collaboration community.

In the case of a consumer collaboration community the retailer invests time and skills to bring together the technology framework for the community with the expectation that it will achieve customer retention and also first hand experience with new concepts to support the demands of the consumer.  The consumers come to the community with the expectation that they will be provided with a place where they can learn and share new methods for product use and also a place where they can socialize with other consumers to increase their efficiencies and cost savings in shopping.  You can see that the desires from one group of members are delivered from the investments of other groups of members.

The key achievement and objectives delivered to the members of the community is a much higher and greater efficiency in resource utilization.  This requires the members to expand their viewpoints and expectations for the collaboration community in order to harvest the full range of benefits that can be achieved.  For many retailers this is a cultural change to identify the potential benefits available from the community and more importantly to accept the concept that the combination of benefits will bring a greater value than any one specific hard benefit that may be achieved on their own.

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?