The path to Total Commerce is a multi-phase journey that combines data and process improvements with a suite of applications. By intelligently combining direct, partner, and self-service channels, organizations are better able to serve their customers and empower them to learn about products, configure products, and purchase products, add-ons, or services.
In the first part of this series, we defined the Total Commerce Maturity Model and highlighted the first three phases of the model, which focus on data and process preparation, mapping your company’s future state, and starting to implement the applications to support Total Commerce.
The last three phases, discussed below, begin with the first real step of your digital transformation and conclude with a fully-integrated enterprise.
PHASE 4 – Integrated
- End-to-end centralized processes
- Integrated applications
By this phase,the business has experience systematizing processes within each business unit, enabling collaborative processes with other business units to align and learn what has worked and what has not. This experience is critical to ensuring success through the next steps in the maturity model.
A typical company in the integrated phase would have the following:
- Processes centralized across BUs
- Integrated applications
- Channel partners that are fully integrated into the process
- The ability for customers to configure complex products on-line
- Portals that provide customers and channel partners relevant information to better manage their relationships
But even at the integrated phase, your business may still be managing multiple sources of truth and developing sizable IT teams to staff many resources with knowledge of specific vendor software.
The exit criteria of this phase is to implement end-to-end systematized processes with minimal manual intervention, scale siloed systems from individual business units to an enterprise-wide strategy, and develop a COE governance committee to properly align change to the business. A large value of the Total Commerce framework is to have the proper structures needed to absorb change and execute quickly in the market.
PHASE 5 – Managed
- Vendor consolidation and maintenance reduction
- Centralized data management
- Monitored and refined processes
In the managed phase, companies are working to further streamline IT systems and processes, reducing CAPEX and OPEX spend. A focus on vendor consolidation and maintenance reduction is a key element of the managed phase of Total Commerce.
It is during this phase that companies may toggle between the Managed Phase and the Defined Phase, as vendors are re-evaluated and reimplemented as part of an overall system consolidation. Having a strong IT governance set up in earlier phases will reduce the need for multiple iterations of this consolidation effort.
To drive consolidation, many companies in this phase look to centralize data management into MDM solutions and define specific single sources of truth for each data set. Companies will set up proper reporting, analytics, and feedback to ensure systems and processes are continually monitored and refined. This enables companies to more easily provide one face to their customers across any channel with unified products, pricing, order management, and asset management and incrementally address smaller and smaller customer segmentation.
Exit criteria for the managed phase would be a fully integrated, end-to-end systematized process across the enterprise with centralized data management, governance, and IT support. The business should have spent considerable efforts evaluating IT systems and processes to reduce costs without sacrificing customer or partner experiences.
PHASE 6 – Optimized
- Integrated enterprise
- End-to-end data and processes
- AI and ML for Q2C insights
When companies get to the Optimized phase, they have an integrated enterprise set of processes, tools, and data. Data is aggregated into data warehouses for enterprise-wide analysis and reporting. Methods for managing ongoing-business process improvement and data governance have been established.
Companies at this point may look to continually optimize enterprise systems and processes by leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to further automate functions within the business and offer new customer/partner experiences.
This is the last stage of Pierce Washington’s Total Commerce Maturity Model and defines a stage for companies that have unlocked unrealized value through systemization, collaboration, data and process governance. Ultimately, these companies have the optimized frameworks to absorb change, align strategic initiatives and adapt quickly in the market with unrivaled customer and partner experiences.
If you’re ready to go beyond Quote to Cash and provide Total Commerce for your organization, let’s get started with a conversation. Get Started today.