I do volunteer work for the Chicago area food bank which goes under the name of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This organization through its 2004 built warehouse serves Cook County annually shipping 70 million pounds of food per year. Like most organizations of a significant size, the possibility of using digital software promises to enhance and make more efficient its sizable operation. Some the food pantry or food distributors are pretty sophisticated themselves. These organizations want the food bank to upgrade their processes so transactions can be handled more efficiently. But there are also some mom and pop like food pantries which have no electronic skills to speak of, but they deserved to be served also for the good work and the outreach they do. How does the digital world deal with these outliers?
In the for profit world of companies, if you are an operation say like WalMart you can say the organization will not deal with a supplier who cannot handle the digital world. And for that type of operation that is most likely the right and best decision for a cost and process point of view.
Smaller organizations are likely to find that some suppliers and some customers are just not sophisticated in the digital world. Their business may be in large dependent on reaching the suppliers and customers who the big guys just don’t want and can’t handle with their high powered processes. That niche market is the one that is available to them and is the basis of their profitability. Yet these middle to small organizations may be serving or buying from larger supplier or larger organizations where digital skills are required and must to survive go the digital route.
If your organization is in the world where there are some sophisticated customers and suppliers and some not so much, choosing your software and your processes has to allow the possibility of out system events. To be competitive or efficient digital processes are necessary, but for those non-digital outliers, processes must be put in place and the software has to allow this happen.