In order to succeed in your consumer chain development and growth you must perform an honest and thoughtful analysis of the challenges to the success of the consumer chain.  This analysis should be performed on a regular basis to ensure that your focus remains on current challenges.  This is important because of the rate of change you must absorb and support.  Due to the nature and demands of the consumer chain your opportunities and challenges will also continuously change and grow.  It is important to focus on the current and near term challenges and drop the challenges that are no longer important.  This is a classic risk analysis process that must continuously be reviewed and updated.


I suggest scheduling a recurring session to review your challenges and opportunities to ensure that it happens.  In my experience you must schedule these sessions in advance and define a regular agenda for the review or the reviews just will not happen in the manner necessary to ensure the challenges are monitored and addressed.  Your challenge analysis should focus on the key areas of the consumer chain:

  • The consumer interaction, attraction and retention.  This focus is on the actions of the consumer while interacting with the consumer community site established to determine
    • First what areas attract the most activity
    • Second the types of activities performed by the consumer on the sites
    • Third track and monitor the retention of consumer on the site and their return to the site
  • The external partner interaction and support. This should focus on the growth and value delivered to and by the consumer chain external partners such as suppliers and carriers.  These areas of focus are similar to the consumer focus; interaction, attraction and retention.  Your external partners are an important aspect of the consumer chain and must be nurtured and supported in order to maintain the value added relationship.
  • The technical architecture and framework supporting the consumer chain.  This review is especially important from three aspects;
    • The consumer viewpoint to analyze the nature and volume of the data collected to support the analysis and growth of the consumer interaction requirements. 
    • The external partner viewpoint to support the demands and opportunities from your partrners to build value and grow the partnerships.
    • The technology viewpoint to analyze utilization, including plans for growth, to ensure the technology framework will support the demands of the consumer chain.  This technology review is especially important to support the seasonal demands on the consumer chain.


These challenges can seem to sneak up on you if you do not regularly review for new challenges and opportunities.  Implementation of this regular review cycle will help you to maintain a robust and flexible consumer chain that is prepared to support the changing demand of the consumer chain.


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?