I’m often asked, “How do you make configurable products and services highly profitable?”

Companies with configurable products or services often live with severe operational pain and gridlock. Many see the pain and low margins as a cost of doing business. Here are some questions to ponder:

    • Which of the great companies of the world want to offer more personalized solutions, but can’t? The technology doesn’t yet exist within their firewall to efficiently support personalized solutions. Is your company one of them?
    • How many companies are stuck in the mass production paradigm as technology doesn’t exist to support a mass customization business paradigm? Is your company one of them?
    • Which of the great companies of the world won’t embark upon an effort to better support customized products due to perceived business and technical risks? Is your company one of them?
    • How many CIOs would step up to lead the development of a holistic end-to-end solution? I don’t know of any. Is your company one of them?

What if a company offered a plug and play solution that, with minimal customization, would take the pain and complexity out of offering configurable products from quote to cash collection? How valuable would that be?

You can read about my Dawn Wall Project I wrote about a while ago. It’s about making the complex simple.

Thought for the week:

“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.” -Sir Richard Branson
What do you think? I welcome your comments.
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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.


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