The retail omni market is experiencing a series of disruptions that are driven by a series of discontinuous changes across the marketplace and the partners supporting the marketplace. The fallout from these disruptions can be seen in lost market share and a series of legacy retailer failures that seem to be quickening as a result of the quickening series of disruptions. Retailers must first connect with their partners and second must embrace a continuous change model that includes a strong evaluation of the changing market to drive the change model. Without this discontinuous change model in place it really does not matter that the partners in the extended supply chain are connected and collaborative, these partners must add the ability to sense and respond to the change by implementing a robust continuous change model.
This continuous change model must be robust and most importantly supported and encouraged by senior management as a critical tool to support strategic planning. It is critical to the success of the organization and their success in this new retail omni market model to have a process in place that provides a sense and respond capability to guide and direct changes to their capabilities and even partnerships. Having the most flexible and robust infrastructure will not help a retailer if they are not able to recognize change requirements and respond to the changes quickly and efficiently.
Acquisition of companies to support new capabilities will allow the legacy retailers gain traction in the retail omni market now and most importantly these acquisitions should be viewed as a way to quicken the culture change that will allow these retailers to sense and respond more quickly and efficiently to changes in the future. The most important thing to remember is that these new capabilities and practices are not a ‘once and done’ transaction, they are a means to move the needle on the implementation of the continuous change model that is required to support the level of discontinuous change driven by consumers in this omni market model.
These legacy retailers must also understand that the velocity of change will only increase and for this reason these retailers must be focusing now on their processes and technology infrastructure framework to allow them to support the increasing velocity of change. This will not preclude acquisition to address new capabilities, however, the acquisition process to identify and come to agreement must also quicken in order to support the market demands.
One important aspect to take into account with this discussion on omni market discontinuous change is the increasing importance in developing strong partnerships with all members across the the extended supply chain. The point is that retailers themselves should no longer be viewed as the key aspect of the marketplace. They can no longer control the entire relationship with the consumer as a result of the omni market changes and interactions between consumers and other partners in the supply chain. As an example the consumer reaction to the retailer will be poor if their eCommerce purchase was delivered damaged. It is important to realize that the consumer now has so many touch point in the retail omni market and the importance of collaboration across the entire supply chain cannot be overplayed in level of importance.