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The 4 V’s of Business Process

Category : IT Services

Volume, Variety, Variation and Visibility

Operations and process management is the activity of managing the resources and processes that produce products and services (Slack et al., 2006). Slack (2015) argues that what we should really expect from operations is “that it has a positive impact, that it contributes something, if not unique, then difficult for competitors to copy”.

We all agree that processes might be so different depending on the company industry and technologies as well as its organization dimension and structure. Yet the ways these processes are managed have a lot of similarities that directly impact the company performance. According to Slack et al. (2006) The way in which processes are managed is influenced by four Vs: the ‘Volume’ of the products or service demand, the ‘Variety’ of these products and services, the ‘Variation’ in the demand and the degree of ‘Visibility’ of these processes to the customers.

As an example, a company providing consulting services often sees a low demand, very high variety where the variation is high and the visibility is low. This explains that the customer price of such service will be quite high. As consulting project variety is high the cost for a consulting firm will be reflected by the number of senior experts that cover these projects’ required skills.

Thus, Understanding the processes’ 4V’s of each company departments is of utmost importance as this will help understand their cost of delivery and the price of the service or the product they offer.

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Understanding “Big Data” Marketing

We are living today in an era where massive information and data is generated every second in sciences, logistics, consumers and social media thanks to the advancement of computer databases. This is the era of “Big Data” where most of your actions or interactions could be anticipated online thanks to your smart phone and your data from Internet or from the Cloud. Various researches are out there discussing the impact of this “Big Data” phenomenon on our life? What are the business benefits of this abundance of raw information about everyone and everything?  Researchers (such as McAfee et al. (2012); Pearson and Wegener (2013)) argue that “Big Data” impacts strongly businesses, in term of organization, operations and business processes. Processes Information could be used to develop any business competitive advantage in a new data driven market.

Looking back to 1972, when Kotler built the marketing strategy theory around the 4P’s (Product, Price, Promotion and Place), we can immediately note that “Big Data” clearly impact the way these 4P’s are defined. Big Data brings all kind of information about the consumer location and Interest directly from his social media networking application, his facebook status, his tweets, Instagram or any social networking information he shares as all is linked to him. Companies can pitch their customers a very targeted offering promoting the right products at the right time, the right place and with the right price. But the Question that remains is how Big Data can enable marketers to achieve that and if this is possible in the first place?

In this context, researchers define “Big Data” environment around four main elements:

  • The Information itself with its 3Vs (Volume, Variety and Velocity), its informal structure and its privacy.
  • The Technology: the Internet of Things, the storage capabilities, the cloud virtualization and processing distribution technologies
  • The Methods: The programming, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the decision making
  • The Impacted population: Companies, organizations, customers, societies

All these factors, construct together the eco-system in which “Big Data” evolves and in which the main businesses objectives are to “Create Value”. It seems like Marketing is today one of the main beneficial of the Big Data business capabilities as value creation is the main driver of successful market development in all our life domains.

Big Data is revolutionizing the marketing practice as it allows today companies to move from simply monitoring customers and their behavior and from processing their data in the back-office to a phase where they could transparently uncover their “Real-Time” needs and push value based offering to them in the right time and in the right place. Schmarzo introduced two years ago the “Big Data Business Model Maturity Index”, which measures the level of use of the big data potential by a firm to simply transform from “monitoring” its customers to a whole new age of “real-time” value creation using the big data insights and by consequence transform the firm’s business models, organizations and processes.

This is just the beginning… I believe that big data is “Metamorphosing” the marketing practice building up a new platform and eco-system that could be used to provide customers, partners and other third parties’ with more impactful value and help generate substantial business returns.

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Digital Transformation? Start from your Client’s Expectation Cloud

When we reflect on the marketing substantive expertise across all ages, we find that the ultimate objective of any business is to provide superior product and services to a specific target group.

In the illustration below, we re-state the interaction between a business and its audiences: Everyone, its target clients, and acquired clients. Marketing and communication is the practice of delivering a value proposition to clients. At each level, the message is different and the interaction becomes more specific the more you get closer to our clients’ needs and problems. 

Client Expectation Cloud

In order for any business to succeed, your first step is to know your market and potential clients requirements and distinct interests. The more you know about these requirements, the more likely you are going to adapt your offering to meet these requirements and thus acquire or keep your clients. Big Data is the core of this approach as it provides you with insights about your clients hot and cold interests.

Every single information that you collect about your client, will help you sharpen your proposition and increase your client gain. Your client expectations are not necessarily visible or easy to decode. The game is to be the fastest to encrypt these expectations and translate them to your products and services.

Know your customer could be a very challenging matter in today’s expectation’s economy, due to the volume of data, the velocity of information and variety of interests. Thus, using a digital approach makes the whole exercise much more feasible. Whatever your business is in today, whatever industry you work with, there is today a broad list of digital solutions that use data management, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies to shape your client personalized and customized needs.

Studies are showing that if you start a proper digital transformation, your business is more likely to grow by 10% by improving your engagement across all your sales cycle to meet your client expectations.

To learn more about how to successfully design and implement your digital transformation and grow your business, feel free to contact us to show you our strategic studies and client’s cases. 

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