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Lesson 3 Technology shifts enable consumerism
Objective Understand how technology has impacted the value chain in traditional definitions of products and services.

Technology Shifts enable Consumerism

How has technology impacted the value chain in traditional definitions of products and services as a result of ebusiness?
Technology, and more specifically, the rise of eBusiness, has had a profound impact on traditional definitions of products and services, significantly reshaping the value chain. Below are key areas where the influence of technology has been transformative:
  1. Research and Development (R&D): In the traditional value chain, R&D was often conducted in silos, with limited customer input. With the advent of eBusiness, customer data can be collected and analyzed in real-time, allowing businesses to leverage insights for product development and innovation. Additionally, collaborative tools have made it possible to crowdsource ideas and co-create products with customers, leading to more market-aligned offerings.
  2. Procurement: Technology has revolutionized procurement processes. eProcurement platforms have made sourcing more efficient and transparent, facilitating competitive bidding, and reducing costs. Besides, the implementation of technologies such as IoT, AI, and blockchain has improved supply chain visibility, ensuring ethical and sustainable sourcing.
  3. Production: Digital transformation has ushered in a new era of smart manufacturing. Technologies such as additive manufacturing (3D printing), robotic process automation (RPA), and AI have made production more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. They've allowed for mass customization, enabling businesses to create personalized products at scale.
  4. Marketing and Sales: eBusiness has changed the way products and services are marketed and sold. Digital marketing channels allow businesses to reach a global audience, while personalization algorithms help target consumers with tailor-made offerings. Ecommerce platforms have transformed the sales process, making products and services accessible round-the-clock, from anywhere in the world.
  5. Distribution: Traditional distribution models were often linear and inflexible. eBusiness has disrupted this, with drop-shipping, direct-to-consumer models, and digital products eliminating the need for physical distribution in many cases. Additionally, logistics technologies have improved last-mile delivery, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  6. Customer Service: Traditional customer service methods have been enhanced through eBusiness. Chatbots, AI-powered self-service portals, and social media platforms provide instant, 24/7 customer support. Furthermore, the wealth of customer data available allows businesses to proactively address issues, even before they are raised by customers.
  7. Post-Sales Service and Relationship Management: Technology has transformed after-sales service, with IoT enabling predictive maintenance and remote troubleshooting for physical products. For digital products and services, updates and upgrades can be rolled out instantly and at scale. Furthermore, CRM systems facilitate ongoing customer relationship management, helping businesses to retain customers and increase lifetime value.

In conclusion, technology has thoroughly transformed the traditional value chain, redefining products and services in the era of eBusiness. It has not only made operations more efficient but also enriched the customer experience, making it more personalized and responsive. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more significant changes in the way businesses create and deliver value.
Technology has driven tremendous changes in how to define products that can be purchased, leased, or otherwise transferred from creator to user. While understanding consumer needs in terms of the product is still a major requirement the products available in the marketplace to meet those needs constantly changes. The value chain that's possible when planning a home addition includes calling the bank because you want to add an addition on your home. The bank provides a home equity loan, not the addition. Today, the bank's Web site may automatically refer you to pre-qualified contractors and supply houses where your loan will get you an additional 10 percent discount. Where is the "product" in this chain?

Technological shift

From a technological perspective, we must understand the phenomenon of digitization and the impact it is continuing to have on our economies around the world. Is it faster to deliver a physical product or bits? Everywhere there is a tremendous shift in an attempt to digitize products. It is critical to understand the nature of your value proposition. One key question for the organization considering embarking on an e-Business initiative: What are the aspects of the physical product that can be digitized?

Digital Evolution consisting of Movie, DVD, Cash, Books, Software
Digital Evolution consisting of Movie, DVD, Cash, Books, Software, Bitcoin
Consider the process of digitizing the product.
Is it cost-effective to digitize the product?

Ecommerce and Bitcoin
Ecommerce and Bitcoin

Examples of Digitizing Products

New media: Rather than watching what is shown in NFL football with no choice of camera angles, you receive a broadcast of 78 different camera angles, and you choose which angle you want to view. Instant replay? No problem. Cash access: The cost of biometrix and the ability to manage large databases has dropped so dramatically, that in the next year or two, it may be more beneficial for banks to deploy biometrix, eliminating ATM cards and PIN management.
Bill payment: Eliminate fees, salaries, and associated brick and mortar to support collection of cash and checks.
Old media: Buy and read only from books, newspapers, CDs, magazines, or clipping services. Why not digitize these for web-delivery?
Software: Why walk to the store and buy software? Why not just download it from the Web?
If any of your products can be digitized, then the digitization should be carried out as rapidly as possible.