This is very well written piece by someone who clearly knows what he is talking about from many years of experience. But there was a reason why I had recommended it for us B2B ecommerce fans as well.
In cyclical businesses we tend to worry about capacity and capacity constraints during peaks and forget about it during troughs. During troughs, contribution ( contribution margin ( i.e., unit revenue minus unit variable cost) times volume) dips and there is less room to invest in capacity both physical and human. The article advocates a strategy that does not ignore the capacity issue during troughs so that more of the contribution can be harvested during peaks - very simply put. But capacity is determined not just by process bottlenecks but also by supply chain bottlenecks both in terms of cost and volume.Investments in addressing process bottlenecks must also be accompanied by investments in addressing supply chain bottlenecks during the trough periods. This would mean provisioning for these investments during peak periods. The digitization involved in B2B eCommerce can help in many cases to facilitate this process.
The smarter in the commodity businesses have employed this type of a strategy from time to time notably in fertilizers and chemicals which have long investment lead times and also in some others we will discuss in a next Q&A session.