In order to be successful and deliver value for both your consumer community members and also your extended partners you must institutionalize a continuous process of analysis and response to the demands of consumer community members and your extended partners.  These demands will ebb and flow from all involved parties based on reactions, new influences and new capabilities, both external and internal.  This, in fact, is the crux of the challenge; how to send the changing influences and respond in a positive manner that will focus the changes and demands into a positive reaction that brings value to both your consumer community and your extended partners.

This process of analyzing and responding to a series of discontinuous changes and demands that end up influencing all of the involved partners can be overwhelming without a framework and a process that guides the analysis and the response from all parties in the relationship.  In all business and technology functions the process and the framework supporting the process is critical to the success and in this initiative of building a collaborative consumer network and integrating your extended network partners it is even more important.  It is also important that you take the framework and process to heart and do not simply play lip service.  The level of change and the level of integration in this framework is so great that your framework and your process must flexible and robust enough to withstand the continuous impact of the change being pushed from all directions. 

What makes this process continuous?  It is probably a little easier in the current technology environment to implement a continuous data collection.  Rather than determining what data to collect you simply collect it all and this is not an unreasonable request because of the advances in big data and the improvements in storage costs.  This collection also includes the interactions with your external partners as well as interactions in the consumer community and interactions between the consumer community and all partners both internal and external. 

Next comes the sense and respond aspect where you need to regularly analyze and review the analysis of the interactions data.  First your sense aspect of analysis should be performed at a minimum of a weekly basis and this should both validate previous assumptions and then identify variations to the assumptions.  These variations to earlier assumptions must then be reviewed and evaluated on a weekly basis to identify trends and potential impact to the community and partner environments.  These evaluations must include the previous reactions and also previous questions to understand the trend and then identify modifications to take advantage and validate the changes as they unfold.  It is important that this is done on a weekly basis to provide the timely review and timely change decisions to both take advantage and support 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?