However, if I mastered say, 30% of the techniques discussed here that are, I believe "non-customer care" related, I would not bother to verticaly integrate my business to such an extend, unless I intended to become the medium size organization I was referring to.
I disagree 100%
Most buisnesses fail because of improper accounting/inventory control.
In the mid 1980s before radio shack became radio shit one of the things they pioneered was proper inventory control / accounting with computers.
Using this they could track shoppers habits / preferences etc. That was one reason for the rapid growth of radio shack in the 80s.
Inventory on the shelf costs you money.
Today because of low cost of computing every single aspect of a buisness can be tracked.
So lets say you have something like a mom and pop resturant.
Make a simple interface of some sort.
Have like 3 consoles, 1 in kitchen, 1 in waiter area, 1 in owners office.
Throw in a billing system with it also. That will save owner time.
Have it so that owner does not need to prepare order to suppliers, system does it, owner just verifies.
Every time a cook prepares a dish.
Have him using a touch screen system show how much of each ingredient he used.
Then every time waiter takes order same shit, touch screen.
You would be able to then see the trends of what items are being purchased on what days of the week, month etc.
Most restros go under because much of the food items spoil etc. (also because owners are ussually great cooks but suck at buisness).
Owner of restro could see at a glance on friday i ordered like 20kg of brocolli, but on monday I had to throw out 10kg
or maybe he could see I did not have enuff of this item so could not prepare these dishes. (lost customers)
If the owner decides to open a second restro, he can now see the sales of each restro from a centralized point.
So owner invests like $2K for puters.
He pays you like $120 a month.
Probably your system would be saving him 4x that easily in wastage etc.
Also it could be used to generate orders to suppliers etc.
As a developer, you do not need to worry about the system. Biggest headache is what platform user has.