What’s your vision!

I recently received an RFI (Request for Information) from a retailer looking for a consultant to manage their POS replacement project. The RFI contained a question I had never seen before and found very interesting. The question is “Can you help us define our vision for the next five years”? I followed up with them to get a better understanding of the question to help me craft my answer. They want to define a plan a “vision” on how they can become more customer centric. The idea is to enhance the in-store experience, have an omni-channel view of customers, and embrace the technologies necessary to connect to the new mobile enabled consumer both in the store and on-line. They chose a five year time span because they feel with the speed that new technologies are introduced five years is a reasonable horizon to plan for.
I haven’t completed my response to the RFI mainly due the “Vision” question. The question requires some thought, but more importantly it forces a business to become very introspective and honest about many of their business practices. My response is going to be a half step. I’m going to respond that I can help them develop their five year vision but not until I meet with all the key people of their organization. This process has to be a collaborative effort of the key players to ensure its well thought out plan that can be executed.

I don’t think there’s a business that couldn’t benefit from taking the time to develop a “Vision” statement. The mobile customer is a reality, either you adapt to deal with them or become a dinosaur. Developing a “Vision” statement just might be an effective way to position you business to meet the mobile customer’s expectations. Think about it.