Once upon a time (let’s say 15 years ago) there was a nice old bookstore on a lovely street in a pretty town. The bookstore was a good shopping place caring about their customers. The business had grown during the years. Neighboring shops have been bought and added to the premises along with the apartments above the original shop.
Also the number of employees had increased. The old business processes didn’t fit into the new reality so the wise old business owner launched a business process reengineering project in order to have the shop ready for a new record selling Christmas season. All the employees were more or less involved from brainstorming ideas to the final implementation. All suggestions were prioritized according to business value in supporting the way of doing business: Handing books over the fine old cash desk in the middle of the bookstore.
Even some new technology adoptions were considered during the process. But not too much. As the wise old business owner said again and again: Technology doesn’t sell books. Ho ho ho.
Unfortunately something terrible happened somewhere else. I don’t remember if it was on the other side of the street, on the other side of the river or on the other side of the ocean. But someone opened an internet bookstore. During the next years the market for selling books changed drastically due to orchestrating a business process based on new technology.
The wise old business owner at the nice old bookstore was choked. He actually had read the best management books on the shelf in the bookstore telling him to improve his business processes based on the way of doing business today; rely on changing the attitude of the good people working for him and then maybe use technology as an enabler in doing that. Ho ho ho.
Now, what about a happy ending? Oh yes. Actually some people like to buy some books on the internet and like to buy some other books in a nice old bookstore. Some other people like to buy most books in a nice old bookstore but may want to buy a few other books on the internet. So the wise old business owner went into multi-channel book selling. In order to keep track on who is buying what and where he used a state of the art data matching tool. Ho ho ho. Besides that he of course relied on the good people still working for him. Ho ho ho.