Unraveling the Fog of Internet Strategy: What Traditional Businesses Really Lack in the Face of Internet Challenges (2)
After the last article was published, I had to be a "cut-off dog" due to an unfortunate illness. So much so that a good friend teased that you have a leg problem, how come you can't type? But the pain from joint nerve pain is really hard to overcome with will, let alone continue writing. I would like to apologize all together!
In the previous article (1), we focused on the current context (post-Internet era), the transformation of business growth in this context (data-driven) and the future orientation towards artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data in a data-driven way. In this article, we'll land a little bit and talk specifically about what is missing in our business in such an era and in such a context that makes transformation so difficult.
Two background cases
Before I reveal the answer, I would like to use two background examples to introduce how I see companies developing so-called "Internet strategies".
Case I.A company is a leading level large distribution trader in the region (across provinces), with very rich upstream supply chain resources, downstream channels covering all corners of the region, and a certain government background.
The requirement from the company to the project team was to give a complete solution based on the following requirements.
Transformation of the traditional trade model of manual work into an open B2B platform on the Internet.
The platform enables the expansion of business to the whole country, breaking through the original geographical restrictions.
(a) Enterprises are to use this to complete their strategic transformation to Internet+.
Other than these three there is no other material or content to offer on the relationship and positioning of the project team regarding upstream and downstream related roles? Is there a clearer and more accurate description of a company's Internet+ strategy? The answer to the question of how the business strategy and business strategy nodes were determined, etc., was "I didn't think about it that much, but I hope it will be presented in the programme".
Case 2. A company wants to do a rural small town 3C e-commerce project, its own advantage is the supply chain, targeting the rural small town e-commerce business is still in the pioneering stage, and a large proportion of consumers in this area still tend to be in the physical stores for 3C consumption and experience. Therefore, the company hopes to leverage its upstream supply chain and combine its stores in small towns to open up the upstream and downstream distribution nodes and link more traditional consumers through its stores.
The requirements given by the business were as follows.
Requires the entire programme to achieve upstream and downstream connectivity, including the upstream supply chain, the intermediate node role of the business and the end stores.
Procurement scheduling functions should be realized for the upstream supply side, order receiving, merging and sorting functions should be realized for the intermediate flow, and stores should support both online and manual order placement.
The stores are all franchised by different operators into the entire business chain.
Similarly, regarding the project team's question about the positioning of the various roles in such a complex business design? The relationship and association of the subjects of the transactions with each other? And the complete business process from upstream to store and from store to upstream and other related issues also failed to give clearer feedback.
The three elements of business management: strategy, operations and management
In any business, whether it is a traditional business or an Internet innovator, all problems are ultimately reflected in the three elements of business management i.e. strategy, business and management. The two cases above and many more failures I have personally experienced in trying and transforming businesses for the Internet can be found in these three elements.
What do many businesses actually not really understand about strategy? Nor do they really know how strategy, operations and management relate to each other. It's easy to mistake dreams for strategy, and to use extremely sloppy requirements descriptions as business design, and then to practice them with vague, chaotic management in a habit of "head-scratching". How can you not fail like that?