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Configurable Products & Services

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21.May, 2017 0

Design Is For People

“You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is made for people.” ― Dieter Rams I suspect this quote was intended to be applicable to product design. However, it also applies to business process design. Let me give you a few examples: A company offers a wide-array of products and services yet does little to help customers converge on a product or service solution based on the customer’s actual need leaving the customer confused and uncertain. A company uses insider language to describe products or services that is foreign to customers confounding a customer’s ability to…

25.Sep, 2016 0

Anticipating Customer Demand For Configured Products

Mass production is predicated on building to a forecast and selling through a retail channel. Autos go to auto dealers who then sell to customers Big box stores sell mass-produced goods to retail customers etc. Under mass production, when things don’t sell, they are offered at a steep discount by the retailer or scrapped. A build-to-forecast/assemble-to-order manufacturer of disk storage systems announced a disk drive that was 300% larger than any disk drive ever offered in the marketplace. Knowing it was contrary to our process and practices, the VP of Operations begged me to give him a single part number…

18.Jun, 2016 0

Product Customization And Personalization

Customization and personalization are drivers of growth for brands. As brands seek to connect with their retailers and their retailers’ customers (what I refer to as B2B2C), brands are going to want more and more customization and personalization and it will be driven by a elements outside the brand. How can a brand most powerfully connect with consumers this week, this month in specific stores? I think of this as a “Country, State/Province, City, Neighborhood” strategy. For example, this past Memorial Day Weekend, I was given a bottle of Deja Blue Purified Drinking Water at a retailer where I was…

9.May, 2016 2

Trend To Customization–Are You Ready For What’s Coming?

Henry Ford said back in 1909, “You can have it in any color as long as it’s black.” What was the driving force behind this remark for the Model T automobile? He wanted to mass produce a car for as many Americans as he could at a very affordable price. He knew that variety such as color variations would drive higher costs and undermine his desire to serve the broadest markets. If he could make everything the same, his cost and therefore his price, could be as low as possible. Ford’s rubric created a tension in the marketplace that follows…

10.Apr, 2016 0

Ineffective Systems and Processes

What happens in companies with configurable products and services that suffer with ineffective systems and processes? Profit margins are very low as the cost of enabling “yes” is significant Inefficiencies mount as complexity and variety increases There is no flow–everything feels like start/stop/start/stop Things that should be easy are hard; things that are hard should be easy Everything is a “special” Is this sustainable? No. It’s time for reinvention. Call me! Thought for the week: “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett __ What do you think?…

7.Mar, 2016 0

Move Away From “Mass Customization”

What’s in a concept? Everything. I recommend you move away from the concept “mass customization?” “Mass customization” is: Not getting traction in board rooms Seldom mentioned in the Wall Street Journal An oxymoronic, confusing concept I favor different language for the expression “mass customization:” To order Configure-price-quote Configure-to-order Engineer-to-order Build-to-order Make-to-order Assemble-to-order Customer-driven Personalized products and services These expressions mean something that “mass customization” can’t. Once the language is out of the way, you can shift your attention to solving the business challenges I discuss in my book: Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy. Thought for the week: El Niño’s…