The Zen Art of Digital Commerce

Soon all commerce will be digital commerce.

A bold statement perhaps but this will indeed be true in the very near future, if not already.

What are the nuances needing our attention, the scales to be balanced, to most effectively operate and grow in our new silicon sales and supply chain garden?

As this new retail reality takes root and begins to flourish all around us, it seems only natural to ask if there’s a new Zen state emerging which needs to be understood and mastered?

Before delving deeper into these questions, see below one of the more relevant definitions of Zen in today’s context:

Zen (n.)

An approach to an activity, skill, or subject
that emphasizes simplicity and intuition
rather than conventional thinking or fixation on goals.

In the simplest of terms, Digital Commerce success is all about connectivity.

And the mastering of digital commerce connectivity begins with first understanding “The Five Touchpoints of Digital Commerce Connectivity” as pictured below:

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By connecting these five touchpoints for any digital channel, automated connectivity can be rapidly achieved allowing you to connect, build, and then manage as a whole, your end to end Digital Commerce Ecosystem as a single network.

To be a most effective master of Digital Commerce requires one to connect ALL sources of SALES demand for your products to ALL potential INVENTORY locations of your product including all needed context. Here’s our take on what this Zen state of a connected Digital Commerce Ecosystem looks like:

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So is the Zen Art of Digital Commerce only about attaining the goal of ubiquitous Connectivity?

No grasshopper, there’s also the need to seek out and create the perfect balance of Sales Demand and Inventory across all of the potential physical locations of your products as these relate to where your customers need these to be delivered.

This perfect balance has a name and is actually something we call Distributed Logistics.

What is Distributed Logistics?

The definition I’m running with currently is below, but this rapidly emerging concept continues to evolve literally as we speak:

‘A fully integrated and optimized network of
two or more fulfillment centers operated in
unison to increase sales and customer delivery
service levels, which minimizes transportation
costs and maximizes inventory optimization’
– Jeff Ashcroft

Interesting you say, but why would anyone want to move to a Distributed Logistics network?

Probably the most compelling reasons are that simply put, positioning the right inventories close to customers saves on costs, improves service delivery lead times AND sustainability.

I hear many grasshoppers now buzzing and asking, just how difficult is this Zen state of Digital Commerce to achieve?

Isn’t the time and cost to design and build such an integrated network ecosystem both long, enormous and beyond my reach?

Simply put the answer to both of these questions is NO, through simplicity and intuitive design it’s already real, ready and just waiting for you to see the vision then connect the dots.

Suspend any disbelief, simply open your mind to see and learn for yourself the Zen Art of Digital Commerce, and then just reach out to make it so.

To view this entire article from Jeff Ashcroft on LinkedIn, click here.

Jeff has over 30 years of large scale, complex, consultative and direct logistics and supply chain systems experience from warehouse floor to boardrooms of major retail, brand, third party logistics, consulting and IT organizations. Solid base of capabilities and practical approach to helping people and organizations develop AND implement solutions that work. Passionate about improving digital commerce and the ability of distributed logistics to drive improved supply chain sustainability with LOWER costs AND better customer experience.