management continuously updated on business metrics.
3. The most important resource to the business of an enterprise, its people, was generally excluded in the design of
systems under the assumption that the information being
processed had to be agnostic to the workers involved.
In addition, companies segregated their B2B (
busi-ness-to-business) from DTC (direct to consumer) commerce
instead of integrating them. Said differently, the supply side of
the house was not aligned with the demand or intake side.
THE EVOLUTION OF COMMERCE
As discussed above, companies are being forced to change
their approach to organizational design evolving to a true
end-to-end supply chain enterprise due to the dynamics of
global commerce. This evolution of the enterprise must consider many diverse factors and newly developed business
drivers in re-casting itself into the information age. Design
criteria must take into account both developed and emerging
global markets, e-commerce and mobile retailing, escalated
demand for customer responsiveness and business continuity, increased and changing (non-traditional) competition, the
growth of consumerism and mobility of its customers.
Strategic partners are more important today than ever
before because virtual operations and outsourcing are more
fluid and focused than a vertically integrated organization.
The new enterprise relies on highly automated control
solutions, intelligent and integrated enterprise software,
validated contract manufacturers, numerous 3PL’s and preferred vendors to deliver quality products and services to
customers, often times without manual inspection by the
originating company. Virtual operations (e.g. Amazon) and
shared capacity have become more common in large-scale
enterprises than self-contained factories and distribution
centers. Yet, the success of the new enterprise lies not in its
re-design of hard assets and capacity. The gap between the
tradition and the fully evolved enterprise lies in information
processing and supporting I.T. architecture.
THE CONNECTED ENTERPRISE
In order for all companies to leverage the changing marketplace, the information-rich customers and the broadening universe of its operations, they must capture, process and curate
information in a way that empowers all resources of the enterprise to out-perform competition. This is what is referred to as
the Connected Enterprise. Let’s take a closer look.
Before we actually define a fully inter-connected organi-
zation, it is useful to understand the new set of capabilities
and competencies associated with a re-modeled enterprise:
• Thorough understanding of the new generation of technol-
ogy-equipped consumers and their service requirements
• Customer engagement processes for data access and or-
• Continuous flow supply chain: sourcing, manufacturing,
logistics all linking the shop floor to the administrative of-
fices and out to suppliers, intermediaries and customers
• Customer service and tech support activities integrated
with other business functions and their systems including
• Social intelligence and insights-driven, thought leadership
Once the organization has mastered these prerequisites,
the company’s evolution into a connected enterprise can
proceed to pursue the following information technology
• Seamless access to end-to-end information linking cus-
tomer preferences/needs to supply management.
• Unencumbered network accessible across the enterprise
and global marketplace.
• Harnessing the “Internet of Everything” into business applications: people, processes, data and things.
• Adoption of serialization technology (see sidebar on serialization): Each resource, internal or external, that links demand to supply; every unit of supply, and every product
and package level is assigned a unique identifier for marshaling those resources and goods expeditiously through
to fulfillment. A link is made possible from raw materials
to packaging, to supply chain to consumer using serial
numbers. Interoperable systems are implemented through-