Collaborative Partners Speed Go-to-Market

May 4, 2015

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I attended the grand opening of Jabil’s new Silicon Valley Blue Sky Center. As CEO Mark Mondello offered,

“The Jabil Blue Sky Center is a hands-on showcase of our broad range of world-class capabilities. We’re working with customers who have innovative new product ideas and our Blue Sky Center is where we turn dreams and ideas into reality.”

Jabil has evolved tremendously from the company I knew in the 1990’s that made printed circuit board and cable assemblies as a sub-contract manufacturer.

Today, Jabil is a $20 billion company with 180,000 employees working in 90 different locations in 24 countries across the globe.

Jabil understands that it is important to engage with large clients during the ideation phase of new product development. Customers validated the critical relationship they enjoy with Jabil. One of their large customers said they do business with Jabil due to the Jabil culture. Jabil is more than a vendor–they are a partner in their customer’s success.

How important is it to have partners? A recent study commissioned by Jabil uncovered that 50% of new product ideas are abandoned due to the inability of a company to execute a new product strategy. This isn’t a noise-level problem. A partner like Jabil can help entrepreneurs and large companies alike develop, ramp and scale.

What are the critical trends that are driving today’s markets?

  • Personalization
  • Customization
  • Differentiation
  • Risk of customer satisfaction is in execution

The Blue Sky Center will enable current and future customers to explore and realize innovation across the full life cycle of new products. Of course, a big part of Jabil’s future is supporting the Internet of Things or IoT. The Blue Sky Center will enable companies to prototype new products and capabilities.

Is your company leaving money on the table by thinking you can’t do it all? Perhaps you can do more for your customers and yourself. You may be one partner away from seizing competitive advantage you heretofore could not imagine.

Thought for the week:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
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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.

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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.


Dell After Privatization–Accelerating Growth Through Change

November 10, 2014

Dell World 2014

I’ve just returned from Dell World 2014. Dell has been a private company for about a year now. While I’ve been bullish about Dell for a number of years, it’s now clear that privatization has been a transformative triggering event for Dell.

“Going private has unleashed us. It’s allowed us to be bold. We’ve redefined and focused on our customer’s success,” said Michael Dell. The excitement was palpable.

The mere fact that Dell doesn’t have to report quarter-to-quarter results, file with the SEC for any material changes in the company, etc., has unburdened Michael Dell and the Dell leadership team.

While many are declaring the PC market “dead,” it’s probably because that market grew only 0.2% if you exclude Dell’s growth. Dell’s growth was over 19%. It takes a solid product line-up to achieve this. This is just one marker. Dell did not discuss details about growth in Dell Software, Dell Services, Dell Security, Dell Enterprise. Based on generalities, growth in these areas is quite impressive.

I reunited with a few executives who sold their companies to Dell. They couldn’t be happier. How often do you hear that several years later?

I’ve long said that public companies tend to be myopic and operate with a short-term focus.

  • Amazon’s investors are beginning to beat up Jeff Bezos for not doing enough to “maximize shareholder value.” They are growing weary of waiting while the stock is getting hammered.
  • Carl Icahn looks at companies for the cash he can extract and return to investors while burdening the company with debt. Michael Dell said “no thank you” to Carl.

Michael Dell accelerated growth through change by privatizing Dell. Michael Dell’s singular focus is satisfying customers by offering end-to-end solutions that excite and delight them. He doesn’t have to be distracted by Wall Street. And he gets to focus on running “the world’s biggest start-up.”

I wonder how many other CEOs in the Fortune 500 are paying close attention and view Dell’s privatization with great envy?

“Oldie But Goodie” Blog Posts You Might Enjoy

If I Sell You My Company, Will You Respect Me In The Morning?

Why Dell Decided To Go Private

Thought for the week:

“Public companies are measured on their stock performance and private companies on the advocacy of their customers. “ – Rob Enderle, President & Principal Analyst, Enderle Group

Read Rob Enderle’s entire post here.
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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

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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