RETAIL AT SPEED: An Expansive Model for Unified Commerce
The retail business has always been tough, but customer expectations and new technologies are changing the relationships between buyers and sellers, forever and at an increasingly rapid rate. In particular, and for example, Amazon has put technology first with easy online access, “one click” buying, a huge inventory plus 3rd party marketplace, same day delivery, and “grab and go” cashierless checkout.
While there is no foreseeable end to this technology disruption, there are a few solutions that provide a framework for continuous change. The ability for a retailer to execute change is the newest, most effective competitive advantage.
To understand change, you need to understand what you already have in place and how it is, or should be, connected. The way to do this, to ensure everyone in every department understands, is to create models of the business, customer interactions, operations, and technology.
Once created, these business models let you design, understand, and test your business strategy and assumptions. What’s more, this business model helps everyone in the company see where they fit and how their operations consume or contribute to a given capability or output such as inventory management, customer service or unified commerce.
At Thematix, we have been certified as Business Architects and believe our “business-first” approach provides the greatest value to both process and technology innovation. Business-first means understanding how value is created and what is required to create it; this goes far beyond an organization chart of duties and responsibilities and helps illuminates the “why” you are in business.
It is easier to understand how the business delivers value, now and in the future, by identifying specific capabilities that the business needs: this is the “what” you do. An example is “unified commerce” which is the capability of giving customers a singular buying experience regardless of the store, mobile, web, or other channel. Unified Commerce has consequences for the business that are both deep and wide. It crosses and integrates virtually every aspect of the company including inventory, logistics, user interactions, payment, and display to name a few otherwise independent capabilities.
The good news is that many of capabilities on which Unified Commerce relies upon have been documented and shared in multiple models, schema, and RFP templates via the Object Management Group Retail Group (OMG.org) and via our proprietary models thanks to our associate Richard Halter.
The chart below shows multiple models, schema, and RFP’s
There are 8 high level components including
- Blueprints – including Mobile, Social and KPIs
- Design Documents – including drawing and models for Privacy and Security
- Technical Reports – Customer Characteristics, Transaction schemas, and Payment integration
- Best Practices – Location, SOA, and microservices and more
- Interface standards – POSlog schema, Video analytics, and 27 more
- Device Interfaces – UnifiedPOS, and more
- Data Models – Operational and Warehouse Data Models
- Request for Proposal templates – many are free as detailed in the article.
Thank you for reading this far. This is the second of 4 articles about Unified Commerce. The first one -- Retail at Speed: Unified Commerce is Here Don’t Get Left Behind – provides foundation concepts and details about the value of Unified Commerce.
In a future post – Part 3 of 4 -- we will examine the role that business architecture plays in providing a comprehensive blueprint for the entire enterprise in its transition to Unified Commerce. It is business architecture that ensures that the entire business acts as a cohesive system, and not just the IT department. In the end, this is because Unified Commerce is not fundamentally about technology; it is about business strategy.
Stay tuned for more information. Contact us by phone, text or email from Thematix.com
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- Rob Kost
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