Evolutionary Tactics

Evolutionary tactics from E-Volve-or-Die.com appear at the end of each chapter and are excerpted in their entirety here. A little bit about E-Volve-or-Die.com: E-Volve-or-Die.com is being published by New Riders Press and will be available either January'01. It is comprised of 14 chapters and three Appendices including case studies on UPS, Office Depot and Cardinal Health.

There are quotes throughout the chapters from over 45 ECM experts from around the world. There are 12 forewords, all available here. You can also read more about the contributors.

Chapter 1 - E-Commerce Thinking

  • E-Commerce encompasses all of the business interactions of a company
  • We are just setting out on the path of the Internet Age
  • The Internet Age will spawn a new, more powerful customer
  • The goal for your company should be to create a holistic, Internet-enabled entity
  • The Internet must be integrated across the entire company and all partners in your value web
  • Failure and experimentation will be a necessary part of strategy
  • Thinking outside the box will be essential for survival, growth and evolution in the Internet Age

Chapter 2 - Business Models for the E-Conomy

  • Classic value chains and supply chains are evolving into value webs, where any entity can play the role of any node in the web: buyer, seller, supplier, customer
  • Partnering has become a necessity for the success of new e-commerce business models
  • Several types of business models and partnerships are emerging, with different purposes including marketing, distribution, supply chain and exchanges, fulfillment, and business infrastructure
  • The customer still needs to be the focal point of any successful business model
  • Value needs to be delivered to all participants in the value web
  • Business models need to be adapted and changed regularly and consistently

Chapter 3 - The Plan is the Thing

  • Planning should be done with the goal of creating and implementing a holistic, Internet-enabled entity
  • Other common plans such as business plans or specific functional plans will not work for this purpose
  • Assume that creation of the holistic Internet-enabled entity will require massive changes in legacy systems, legacy processes and legacy people
  • All planning must begin by considering the big picture of the business objectives and the opportunities that are available
  • From the vision/architecture a set of goals/strategies are created to harness the power of the company to reach its vision
  • From the goals/strategies, metrics are created to track the company's success at achieving its goals/strategies and are used to compensate employees
  • Using the goals/strategies and metrics, a series of projects are created; this is a roadmap
  • Metrics should measure success, be realistic and appropriate for the business goals
  • The customer should remain the focus of all processes and plans that are developed and implemented
  • Assigning goals/metrics into every employee's compensation and empowering employees with the necessary information is essential in the Internet age.
  • Planning done properly leads to an empowered self-running entity, that can be responsive to rapid changes in the external environment
  • The CEO needs to establish the vision, gain commitment of all participants in the value chain/web, and create the proper environment for the holistic, Internet-enabled entity

Chapter 4 - Customer Touch Points

  • Keeping the customer at the center of your business requires attention to customer touch points
  • You must know your customer in detail, and be able to anticipate your customers' needs
  • Even if you outsource, you must still own the customer touch points
  • Customers in the New Economy are more informed and sophisticated and expect personalization &endash; of information, products and services
  • You (or your partners) must deliver personalized value at each and every touch point
  • You must fire the customers you can't afford to service
  • As customers change, you must evolve your systems, processes and people in order to keep the customer at the center of your business

Chapter 5 - Content Will Always Be King

  • Content can't be separated from commerce
  • Content must be developed and organized to fit the business context of the company
  • Customers have a major influence on the type and amount of content on your website
  • Valuable content is a strong differentiator
  • There are many sources of content other than your company
  • It's important to evolve the content as often as possible to keep it fresh and to be consistent with other changes in the company's business model or processes
  • Content needs to be the responsibility of all participants in the organization's value web who deal with customer touch points (described in Chapter 4)

Chapter 6 - Instant Global Presence

  • To be truly global, you must be committed to re-create and re-deploy your company for each geographic area that you target
  • It's important to decide how global you want to be, consistent with your vision
  • You must think globally, but act locally
  • Acting locally requires individualization and personalization to your customers
  • You must decide how you will overcome the four major hurdles in laying out the plan (legal, logistics, currency and language)
  • Legal hurdles include trade boundaries, contractual issues and local laws regarding advertising
  • Logistics hurdles include shipping, customs and distance from your customer
  • Currency affects timing of transactions and exchange rates
  • Language can be a huge hurdle requiring localization, but several technology tools are available that can help
  • Understand that just because a web site is accessible from anywhere in the world doesn't necessarily mean that you are a global business.

Chapter 7 - Outsourcing is Always an Option

  • Any business function in the holistic Internet-enabled entity can be outsourced
  • The company's roadmap and set of plans is the starting point for identifying possible areas for outsourcing
  • You need to decide what levels of control and access are right for your company
  • Customer touch points must still be managed by you, even if some processes are outsourced
  • In deciding what to outsource, you need to evaluate financial, marketing and technical factors
  • Evaluating outsourcing partners is similar to evaluating any type of business partner
  • You should put a service level agreement (SLA) in place with your outsourced partner and establish a frequent communication schedule
  • Be prepared to replace partners that don't live up to their SLAs or don't adequately deal with the customer touch points

Chapter 8 - New Expectations for Customer Service

  • Create a "CCEO" Chief Customer Experience Officer who is part of the executive management staff
  • Your entire company must function as a customer service organization
  • All functions need to be redefined to incorporate customer service into their goals, and you need to increase the salary levels of those closest to your customers
  • In order to evolve the people and processes to fit changing customer expectations, realistic metrics need to be in place and used on a regular basis
  • Customer service incentives should be provided for all employees, tied to compensation
  • Your customer service levels should be consistent with the customer stratification of your market
  • Partners need to provide the same consistent customer service as your company or be replaced with partners that can
  • All appropriate business processes should serve customer service goals
  • A common customer database should be universally accessible across your organization

Chapter 9 - Managing the E-Commerce Organization

  • Organizational changes will be driven by your vision
  • At the highest level, spin-outs, subsidiaries and cross-functional reorganization are some of the changes that may work to accomplish your vision
  • Keeping up with the New E-conomy requires a nimble and flexible organization
  • Self-directed work groups are one of the best ways to manage people
  • Internet-enabled communications should be leveraged to increase and improve collaboration and communication within the company
  • Legacy people can stall the progress of the entire organization
  • New organizational structures are customer-centric, in accordance with your customer stratification scheme
  • Collaborative management is one of the successful ways to manage the new organization
  • Mentoring can help increase the level of collaboration within the organization
  • Motivation results from empowering teams to serve the customer and make decisions
  • If organizational structures aren't working, they need to be changed
  • Training and re-training may be necessary to e-volve the organization, both inside the organization and externally through continuing education

Chapter 10 - Ongoing Internet Marketing

  • Internet marketing is not like a field of dreams &endash; it requires a lot of work to create and maintain effective content for marketing
  • Your web identity needs to be leveraged wherever and whenever possible
  • Viral marketing is today's term for word-of-mouth marketing, and it's a very powerful force
  • Establish a newsletter or some form of opt-in communication with your customer
  • Content needs to be updated constantly, and consistent with the company's brand
  • Your homepage is your company's brand and image to the world
  • Personalized marketing needs to be accomplished through your website
  • Content from third parties and affiliates will enhance your marketing efforts
  • Everyone in your company needs to think and act like a marketer
  • Be prepared to experiment and implement a wide variety of marketing methods

Chapter 11 - The Law Catches Up to E-Business

  • Create the position or assign the responsibility of Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) within your organization
  • Seek out the legal experts who specialize in Internet law
  • There are several legal issues that are evolving that could affect your business, including privacy, security, intellectual property, international trade policies, electronic signatures, copyright and taxation
  • Domestic and foreign governments are deciding how existing laws will be applied and enforced, on a country-by-country basis
  • There may be additional laws developed to cover Internet and e-commerce issues, however, most of existing law can be applied to these issues already
  • It pays to keep up with business publications to remain current with Internet legal issues; there are many specialized online newsletters and resources available

Chapter 12 - Shifting Markets

  • The Internet will not be going away any time soon
  • The gold rush has not even started yet; there are many more opportunities in the future
  • New markets will be developed in response to changing customer demands
  • There will be opportunities to change the mix of products and services that companies offer
  • Expect to fail in order to learn and keep evolving
  • There will be a need for more experimentation and shorter experiments
  • There will be more emphasis on distributing information/content, and less emphasis on selling products and services
  • In general, more collaboration and partnering will be needed among companies to take advantage of opportunities quickly
  • Dot.coms and brick and mortar companies can learn a lot from each other
  • Revenue and profitability will continue to be an important measure of success in shifting markets
  • Focus on the customers need that is being satisfied with the technology, not the technology itself.

Chapter 13 - A View from the Real World

  • A number of the old-fashioned principles that worked in the Industrial age will work in the Internet age. You don't have to start over.
  • Don't relax, we are just at the beginning of the changes brought about by the Internet age. Figure out how you can transition your company to be successful online maintaining the brand you currently have in the physical world or dethroning the brand of the current incumbent.
  • Treat the use of the Internet the same as a standard commodity, like electricity.
  • Deliver intense customer focus and exemplary customer service; share value among all your partners.
  • Run many experiments and continue corporate learning to create better products and services.
  • Reexamine your business models and be prepared for continual evolution and change.
  • Support Government and private sector activities to bring about global standards in security and privacy.
  • Whether you run your internal IT shop or outsource this function, integrate your front and back office systems to deliver improved speed, collaboration and integration of processes.
  • Deliver on mass customized products and services.
  • Be prepared to embrace new paradigms as they become pervasive in society and help deliver increased value to the customer.

Chapter 14 - Change is Constant, Change is Good

  • Change will be with us forever; make it your friend
  • Managing change requires committed leadership from the top
  • Create a Chief Change Agent (CCA) in your company
  • Managing change is also a matter of managing people and incentives in ways that create win-win situations for them and the organization
  • There are many catalysts for change that reside within your company or externally; create opportunities for everyone to lend a hand and voice their opinions
  • The future will be full of opportunity, of surprises, and new ways to transform business
  • Experiment and evolve, adjusting your strategies and activities based on the lessons learned in your every day activity and from your experiments
  • Reorganize all your functions, companies, divisions, etc. to revolve around your customers
  • We are just at the beginning, be prepared, because you ain't seen nothing yet!