The Route to VRM and Customer Effective Demand Networks

If you are tracking, you will know that I have been talking about Customer Effective Demand Networks for a while. A long while actually. More recently I have been writing about VRM. That is ‘Vendor Relationship Management’, the flip side of CRM.

The CEDN aspect gets shortened to something that a lot of people call ‘Customer Centricity’, which as a result has become a platitude, a set of meaningless words. (¹)

We live in a world (particularly in the USA) of large enterprise, centralized thinking, old world, manufacturing process driven operations. These organizations have discovered that people can think for themselves and so they are reacting in the way that they know. Which is how the diagram below emerged.


Without using transition terms like ‘Vendor Efficient Supply Chains’ and ‘Customer Effective Demand Networks’, we are nevertheless observing the enterprise attempting to make that transition. They are acting. I am a big fan of acting - but also a big believer in ‘thinking’ … Often to do with getting to the other side of the eight ball - or “skating to get where the puck will be” .. To borrow a line from Mr Gretzky … and apologies for yet another use of an over used cliche

Which is where I got the inspiration for the diagram. It seems to me that IF ( it’s a big one ) an organization thinks about it’s transition to operating in the ‘Customer Effective Demand Networks’ … It can jump the 8 ball. And why should they care ? Because there is a second world transition occurring … It is the (re)-humanizing of planet earth. And one of the revolutions in the business side of that humanizing that is today nascent … but catching on … VRM …

Without thought, enterprises will finally transition to their new world of Customer Effective Demand Networks - but likely on their own terms. In the terms of the enterprise still being in charge. They aren’t. And so the next transition will need to occur .. Probably too late for many.

Jeremy Heimans calls this ‘Old Power’ and ’New Power (BTW I highly recommend that you click in <<< that <<< link and spend 15 minutes listening to him talk about that topic.) The fact is that there are so many different terms being thrown around today that seem to describe this transition …. but as we continually learn … it is close to impossible for a large organization to pivot twice in a single move … Because to do so threatens their business. This is why Geoff Moore’s ‘Escape Velocity’ is essential reading. It is therefore likely that that single move from bottom left to top right is going to come from small, unknown companies … But it isn’t too late for a large organization to do it. After all - where there’s a will - there’s a way.

Shall we try it ?


  1. Which reminds me - I need to change my LinkedIN profile … That descriptor has me dated - and part of that camp - that I think it has become a little misdirected.

May 27, 2015