Again I present a blog article written by my colleague Oliver Jaeger, Vice President, Global Marketing & Communication, e-Spirit Inc. an IBM Business Partner. Oliver draws an interesting parallel between physical supply chain management and the management of the digital user experience in eCommerce. Read on, I think that you will find it as interesting as I did.
When it comes to digital experience management, it’s often useful to look at your website, portal or e-commerce store as the end result of a supply chain. Behind every website (the front end) is a complex set of “suppliers” such as writers, editors, store managers, marketing campaign managers, artists, system integrators, software developers, security experts and system administrators, which, together comprise the backend.
When a visitor clicks within your website, the experience that results depends entirely on your supply chain’s ability to perform. The better and more efficient your supply chain, the better the experience will be for your customers. Unfortunately, what we see far too often is that site managers focus on the customer experience itself without considering ways to improve the efficiency and quality of their supply chain.
Take, for instance, social media. It’s been well proven that interaction with your customers through social channels can dramatically improve the performance of a campaign. But if the processes for integrating the latest and coolest social media tools are difficult, slow and time consuming, chances are you will miss out on what could be important opportunities. The ultimate result of an inefficient supply chain is that the digital experience for your customers is not what it could be.
Just as manufacturers are constantly looking for supply chain improvements, website producers should be constantly looking for ways to optimize the digital experience supply chain. A good place to start is by looking at the experience your Web content management system delivers to key “providers” including content creators, marketing professionals, developers and integrators.
For content creators, your CMS should provide an intuitive and highly efficient editing environment coupled with flexible workflow management. For marketing professionals it should provide integrated campaign support and analytics capabilities. For developers you’ll want to provide the flexibility to use familiar and best-of-breed tools with support for a variety of languages, databases and frameworks. For integrators, the CMS should offer out-of-the-box integration with leading e-commerce and portal systems such as IBM WebSphere Commerce and flexible integration with existing systems as well as cloud and third-party applications.
For us at e-Spirit, this is what we like to call the global user experience. What this means is that we are constantly looking for ways to give all the users of our FirstSpirit CMS a better experience. By removing the glitches and bottlenecks in the supply chain, companies can reap all kinds of benefits – not only is the experience delivered to customers dramatically improved, but costs are reduced as well.