Customers, products and service demands are continuously changing and transforming and the supply chain and businesses must also change and transform in order to meet these demands.  The market disruption we are seeing now is the result of major changes that is transforming the retail marketplace and the way that businesses interact with their customers.  In order to succeed you must change and transform with your customers to meet their changing demands.  This requires a means to sense and respond to the changing demands from your customers and your partners and even your partners customers.  No business can succeed alone and collaborative support of changing services and demands requires a process oriented approach in order to respond in a manner that allows you to maintain the rate and velocity of change.  


The continuous transformation in markets and especially customer demands requires a process of continuous improvement to sense and respond to the changing demands and services.  This continuous improvement process though is more difficult to implement and maintain because is must cross the entire chain of internal and external partners.  This requires a robust and transparent end to end collaborative partnership to maintain the level of collaboration and trust to support and react to the transformation changes that are washing over the marketplace. The results of this enhanced level of collaboration and continuous improvement will provide the capabilities to react to changing demands and also the process to identify the change and determine an appropriate reaction to the changing demands.


One important aspect to the continuous transformation process is information and the ability to collect, understand and then react to this information.  I would say that the troubles experienced in today’s marketplace are directly related to the information availability and utilization of the players.  The difficulty is not due to any one aspect, there are areas of information collection, information analysis and then reaction to the information that cross all partners within the chain.  This issue is caused by a combination of failures along with a lack of collaborative partnerships to allow for reaction to support the demands identified by the information.  Again, this requires a robust network of collaborative partners to analyze and react to the information and demands.


The marketplace is changing quickly and the velocity is increasing as customers across the marketplace react and incorporate new tools and capabilities into their practices and interactions.  This increased velocity has created a very big challenge for retailers that must be resolved by them or it will overcome them.  We are seeing the results of the velocity of transformation on retailers that have not reacted to the demands due to a combination of lack of information, lack of understanding and limited collaborative interaction with partners. I think the key challenge is understanding and accepting the information and demands of the market and customers.  


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?