How Configurable Products/Services Become Profitable

March 9, 2015

 

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Companies with configurable products or services often live with the 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 because 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?

This is my Dawn Wall Project I wrote about a few weeks ago. It’s about making the complex simple.

Is your company in need of this solution? Call me.

Thought for the week:

“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.” -Sir Richard Branson
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Progress Depends On Being Unreasonable

February 23, 2015

 

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I recently watched a video from Robin Sharma that is, as usual, quite inspirational. Here are some notes I took as I listened:

  • Become unreasonable in every aspect of life: what I expect, what I want, etc.
  • Be unreasonable about levels of mastery and avoiding mediocrity.
  • Be unreasonable about levels of health and fitness I’ll develop these next 12 months–you can’t become legendary if you have no energy.
  • Be unreasonable about the goals I will pursue and the dreams I will realize.
  • Be unreasonable about my integrity and the values I will live by.
  • Be unreasonable about the people I will influence and the lives I will uplift.
  • Be unreasonable about the courage you will model and the passion you will share.
  • Be unreasonable in the results I will deliver and the projects I will complete.
  • Be unreasonable in the happiness I will experience.

Who is one of the most unreasonable leaders I know of? Steve Jobs. Look at the results he created.

The ideas above will help you thrive.

Photo Credit: Michael Seely, Flickr

A Recent Blog Post You Might Enjoy

Vishal Sikka Leading Change

Thought for the week:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man” – George Bernard Shaw
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


The Winner’s Mindset

December 22, 2014

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The San Francisco 49ers football team has had a rough year, missing the playoffs for the first time after 3 consecutive years. A reporter asked a 49er player, “What’s it like to have two meaningless games left on the schedule?”

“I’ve been in that situation before,” Joe Staley said. “It sucks. This is not fun. This is my life. This is what I put all my work into. I don’t show up on Sunday and hope it goes well.”

This is the mindset of a winner, the mindset of an entrepreneur. Winning is the raison d’etre. The temporary pain of losing won’t overshadow and the dominate the desire for winning.

Here’s to accelerating your growth through change.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dooley on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” – Bruce Lee
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Getting Configurable Product Orders Right

December 1, 2014

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A reader wrote: “My company has configurable products and we are having problems getting the right parts delivered to support installation of the customers’ orders. What ideas do you have to resolve this?”

The first question I would ask is did the process for shipping custom, configurable orders ever work well? If you answer “yes,” then you need to ask yourself “what changed?” If you answer “no,” then it would be clear you never had a working process and that is your starting point.

If something in the process changed, you need to take action to bring the process back into compliance so it works properly and is repeatable.

If nothing changed, you need to create and follow a process that ensures you are shipping the right parts to complete the order.

If the answer you receive is, “it’s too hard to do it right,” then I encourage you to look at the problem through the eyes of your customers and/or dealers. If your customers and/or dealers are experiencing challenges satisfying the customer the first time, that negatively impacts your brand reputation.

When order execution goes poorly, people talk about it. If you don’t believe that, just look at Yelp, Facebook or Twitter to see how brand reputations become tarnished. Companies delivering a poor customer experience aren’t long for this world.

Finally, you may need to innovate your current process to meet the needs of your business if variety and complexity has gone beyond the capabilities of your current systems and processes. This is how you accelerate growth.

Photo Courtesy of John Hritz on Flickr

Thought for the week:

Heard through @coryedwards
81: The % of US consumers that say that it is important that brands make my life easier.#DigitalDopamine from @razorfish
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Consultants: Alan Weiss Hosting Convention For You!

November 25, 2014

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Alan Weiss is without question the most successful independent consultant on planet earth. I know him well. Alan Weiss has been my personal mentor since the 1990’s.

Alan is always looking for new and engaging ways to share his intellectual property and pragmatism with people like you and me.

You have the opportunity to attend his inaugural Million Dollar Consulting Conference in Atlanta, March 11-13, 2015.

You’ll hear from Alan and other people just like you who have worked with him to grow their businesses beyond their wildest imaginations.

Alan is offering a $200 discount if you sign up and pay before the end of 2014. This discount vanishes as of January 1, 2015–you snooze, you lose. [Note: This event is a tremendous value even without the discount!]

Alan is the real deal. I urge you to take advantage not only of this terrific opportunity but also to capture your discount by booking this before the end of 2014. Tell Alan “Dave Gardner sent you.”

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

Photo Courtesy of Steve Hardy on Flickr


Landing The Rosetta Philae On A Comet

November 17, 2014

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Landing a jet on an aircraft carrier has to be an absolutely phenomenal experience. The aircraft carrier, simultaneously moving both horizontally and vertically in a three-dimensional space, must feel like a postage stamp in the middle of a vast ocean. The vast ocean is a metaphor for outer space.

This week, we learned of an improbable 10-year, 310-million-mile journey for the first ever space vehicle to make a soft landing on a comet about two miles in diameter.

We immediately began receiving data from the space vehicle, Rosetta’s Philae. And, while there’s concern that the Philae probe may have ended its mission prematurely as it landed in a spot where it’s batteries can’t be recharged, let us acknowledge what a remarkable achievement this is.

What are you going to do this week that is spectacular? How can you or your company disrupt an industry in one, two, five or ten years? What can you envision that is this big?

Photo Courtesy of myriam di maio on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

“When the soul of the business leaves the building, it’s only a matter of time before the money walks away was well.” – Lisa Earle McLeod
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


The Dropbox Box Expands

November 5, 2014

Dropbox-Logo

I’m at Dell World 2014 this week in Austin, Texas. As I was walking the exhibition floor, Daniel Bernard from Dropbox asked if I was familiar with Dropbox for Business. Reflexively, I answered “yes.”

In the fog of the all the visual and auditory input of the show, I missed the context. I thought he was asking about me “using Dropbox for business,” not a product named “Dropbox for Business.” I soon realized he meant something different and acknowledged I wasn’t familiar with “Dropbox for Business.”

Why? Dropbox has been known as being more for consumer and small business use due to it’s ease of use. It has not been known for being “enterprise-ready.” Here’s the box I put Box and Dropbox in:

  • Box for enterprise and small business
  • Dropbox for consumer and very small business

I’m sure Box would enjoy the positioning I’ve ascribed to their solutions. Yet, Daniel was really wanting to speak to me about a more robust set of features and functions suitable for small business and the enterprise. He went on to show me features and functions that convinced me they’ve grown, they’ve evolved, and they want to play at a different level than they were able to 2 or 3 years ago. This highlights a point I made previously in a post called  Are You Boxed In? In that blog post, I wrote:

When you or your company becomes known for something, the marketplace draws lines around what you represent to the world effectively boxing you in. Over time, you may grow the size of your box many times as you add new products and services. However, be aware — it is harder for the marketplace to grasp that your box has really grown and evolved, particularly if you have name recognition and are known for being in a particular space or area. Getting the marketplace to understand your company’s new box versus the original box is a pretty steep hill to climb.

Dell has a similar challenge as it moves to be an end-to-end solution provider. Dell World is one of the actions Dell is taking to show CIOs how much its box has grown. I’m happy to report, Dell is doing a terrific job in the transformation.

If you are boxed in, it takes a lot of energy of help those who know you or your company to see you as something different. I’m glad I spent a few minutes learning how Dropbox is evolving.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Dave Gardner