The Best Choice for the Future

Doing the whole e-thing may work for a while, but it is far from being the proven pick&pack answer.

If the Kiplinger report holds water, some of the old guard will end up in new partnerships. There are probably more than several active e-com courtships in progress. However, it is still early in the game. Pulling off top level business coups is one thing. Bringing off new forms of operations integration requires more discipline and time. And that is what e-commerce in its complete form is all about.

A. Is there a ready market for independent pick&pack?

1. If there is anyone out there on the web with sales in their hands and no plan for fulfillment, they are keeping it a secret. When you explore the “merchant services” pages on Yahoo, Excite, iMall or any shopping portal (small or large), fulfillment is not being addressed or offered as a service. And this is appropriate because the complete e-com model is not yet out or even designed.

B. What the pick&pack opportunity is not!

1. Not The Same Old

If in providing fulfillment services, we did not need to be price competitive; and, if we were sure to get paid in advance or in a reasonable length of time regardless of the merchant’s circumstances, we would certainly have found commercial heaven that might be called a niche. There is nothing in e-commerce that looks heavenly. We will be seriously disappointed, if we are looking to just luck out and feed upon a spontaneous appearance of web blessed products in need of pick&pack.

We cannot think that writing some e-commerce software is the secret. Electronically plugging into e-commerce is a syllogism but not a simple one.

If we think independent e-com fulfillment services will operate in the same fashion as catalog pick&pack, we, again, will be disappointed.. The are many medium to large firms already dominating this area. Experience demonstrates that small business attempts at pick&pack remain small and struggling if they survive at all. TPG has experienced and, now, appropriately avoids trying to sell pick&pack services to the direct mail catalog business.

If we think there is anything about exploiting the web that is not being thought about by someone, somewhere, we are sure to be very disappointed. This is the most public commercial endeavor in history.

If we are looking to avoid the issues of changing who we are and how we operate and if we think that waiting for the big guys who have the money and resources to write the new e-tailing script and give us a part, we will be taking the hindmost.

If we think that our pick&pack service business can survive on its own, even if our client merchants fail or find only marginal success, we are wrong.

C. What are the answers we need?

1. What will e-commerce look like in 3 years?

2. What would be our e-com services profile?

3. What would our margins be?

4. How would we integrate with merchants and other 3rd parties?

5. What would be the ideal merchant profile?

6. What products could be best handled?

7. What would be our investment model?

8. How would our enterprise be marketed?

9. What would make for differentiation?

10. Who would be the competition?

11. How would we find our strategic partners?

12. What would be done with existing resources?

a. Telemarketing?

b. Direct Mail Marketing

c. Customer Service

d. Warehouse Space & Svcs.

e. Etc.

13. How do we make transition from where we are now.?

II. Outlining An E-Commerce Model

A. Special Notes

Several things became very obvious in the course of researching this study. There is a lot of talk and speculation. There is a great deal of moving and shaking. The finer details of e-commerce have not been completely thought out. Many issues are still up in the air and terminology is not consistent.

For purposes of this paper, I have made the following distinctions:

1. E-commerce is used in a broad sense. E-commerce is a new system in which all parties are collaborators and have specific roles in getting the customers what they want. It refers to the larger process of buying, selling and managing the enterprise operations via the web. If we are looking for an e-com prototype, the stock exchanges are a good place to start. The exceptions to the stock exchange model arise upon introduction of the physical nature of e-com products There are 3 manifestations of e-commerce that require some recognition. They are:

a. E-commerce Seeking Definition (Now)

Whatever we see happening now including e-tailing..

b. Proprietary E-commerce

First attempts at owning the whole ball of wax.

c. The E-com System

 

Outline of Future Endeavors

Data Pods

The Q-Pact Directories
The Q-Pact Thesaurus
Monitoring on-going subscriber conformance to program requirements
Quality Tier Commitments
Info Expiration
Changing and enhancing a pact.
The Q-Pact Indexes
The Q-Pact Profiler
Pact Subscription Profiles
Pact Identity Profiles
Pact Information Profiles
Pact Information Control Parameters
The Q-Pact Data Assistant
Facilitates Data Maintenance Of The Subscriber’s Pact & Non Pact Data
Active Data

Future Endeavors
Active Data Pods
Q-Pact Information Manager
Q-Pact Information Manager
Adds Q-Pact Uniform Access Pages to the subscribers web site
Selectively controls visitor access and availability of pact information choices.
Lists and describes all data and multimedia files available to a given site visitor
Controls publication options
Multimedia Download
Email Attachment
Standard Display
Hand Held Computer Display
Also Manage Subscribers non pact information.
An added feature, the Q-Pact Information Manager can be used by the subscriber to present, index and publish other corporate information to pact members, employees and the general public. For example, information regarding:
Public Relations
Marketing
Employee Relations
Shareholder Relations
Etc.

Business Pact for the Future

Preface

Pact-Mail is the product of strategic planning for two proposed companies. We have defined the products, services, operational settings and interwoven functions that we believe necessary to treat, if not avoid, the impacts of the business deconstruction taking place on the road to world trade and the global economy.

The companies are Web Sectors LLC, and The Pact Works Inc,. The objective of these organizations is to anticipate the problems of going from the insular business model of the 70’s & 80’s to the global model of the 21st century.

The Sky is the Limit

The combined efforts of these new companies will bring to market a new web based, business to business infrastructure for reinventing older businesses and building new.

The Companies

DRIVING ISSUES

The Current Transitions

  1. Opening Opportunities
  2. Global Economy
  3. Globalizing Business
  4. Internet/Web Impacts
  5. World Order Impacts
  6. Social Compensation
  7. R.I.S.M.
  8. Business Deconstruction
  9. E-Commerce/E-Tailing
  10. Business Roles: Commercial, Industrial, Financial, Services, Institutional, Personal
  11. Anticipating Problems of Zero % Unemployment
  12. New Work Circuits
  13. Information from the source
  14. Re-engineering That Failed
  15. Rules
  16. Technology Transfer
  17. Expanding Pies
  18. Inside-Out Value Chains
  19. Rebuilding Supply Chains
  20. Reinventing Everything
  21. Dot Coms & IPO’s
  22. Beyond Portals & Clicks
  23. Pact Consensus
  24. Sector Critical Mass
  25. Practical Standards Evolution

Pact-Mail is the first Product/Service program developed by our 3 companies. The following post is a sample of the discussions we have developed as preamble to our business plan.