Executing A Configurable Product Strategy

June 22, 2015

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If your company manufacturers capital equipment or systems, I’d like you to pause for a moment and seriously consider how easy it is to:

  • Create a quote
  • Book a clean order
  • Plan the materials for an order
  • Build the order
  • Install the order
  • Support the order
  • Know that the order will be profitable

For most companies, there is a big need for improvement. Is your company in that situation?

Do you need help making the complex simple? I can help you with this.

Photo Credit: Alison Christine, Flickr.com

Thought for the week:

“Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I will learn.” – Confucius
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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.


Enterprise Application Deployments–Making The Complex Simple

June 8, 2015

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As we know, it’s not easy making the complex simple. Consider implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The new system is likely to be at least an order of magnitude or two more complex than the current system making it harder to create efficiencies and have strong adoption.

While the application experts have a strong familiarity with the tool, its definitions and its inner workings, at the end of the day, the people who will rely on the system day in and day out to do their jobs don’t have the benefit of years of experience. They are more like “deer in the headlights.”

And, all too many application project schedules leave little time before go-live to acquaint the users with all that they need to know to do their jobs seamlessly and effortlessly. How long will it take for users to achieve unconscious competence with the new application?

If your focus is making the complex simple, crossing the chasm between the current system and the new system must be a very high priority. Yet, most application implementations leave end users frustrated, dazed and confused creating a bad impression that’s hard to overcome.

At the point of go-live, you want the team energized, not frustrated, dazed and confused. Criteria need to be established not only for application readiness but business team readiness to use the application at the point of go-live. Someone needs to focus on the people who have real jobs to perform.

Thought for the week:

“It’s time to engage more thoughtfully about our planet.” – Heard through Infosys on Twitter
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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.


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!
___

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.


Being Time Efficient Is Valuable

February 2, 2015

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A few years ago, I was doing a configuration management and product lifecycle management (PLM) system project for a division of major international corporation. I needed to have a contact in each of the key organizations across the enterprise—a cross-functional team.

As the executives struggled to assign the team members, there was quite a bit of debate over who would have the bandwidth to work with me.

As they threw different names out and kept mentioning all the work each person was currently involved with, I asked if it would be worthwhile knowing how much time I might need on a weekly basis from each of people. The executives thought that was a great question.

My response: most likely 30 minutes; 60 minutes tops. They were stunned. My client assured them “he works really efficiently.” The relief on the executive’s faces was palpable. They all agreed to go with their first nominee.

What’s the point? A client wants a consultant to work as efficiently as possible, not create a burden on their teams or business. After all, they have a business to run in parallel with the process improvement project.

Being efficient with the client is a key attribute of my consulting work which is helping to make the complex simple.

Photo Courtesy of Supreme-B on Flickr

Thought for the week:

 “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”  – Anais Nin
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

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.


What Is Your Dawn Wall Project?

January 26, 2015

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Earlier this month, many in the world watched in stunned amazement as two climbers free climbed the Dawn Wall at Yosemite’s El Capitan. They used only their finger tips and shoes grasping tiny cracks in the granite face to climb over 3,000 vertical feet over 19 days. Tommy Caldwall and Kevin Jorgeson accomplished a truly remarkable feat they had been planning since 2007.

From the story Climber who completed first free ascent of Dawn Wall encourages others to find their own Dawn Wall comes this:

“…But it wasn’t enough for Jorgeson that people could relate to his struggle. He wanted their accomplishment to do more than wow people.

Why were you inspired by this story?” he said. “Some people connect with the struggle, some connect with the teamwork, and some connect to the dream. You can’t possibly predict how people are going to connect with the story. It forces you to think about what is it that people relate to. What is it in my life that I really want to come true? If nothing else, if we can provide that introspection and that inspiration for people to find their own Dawn Wall, that’s a cool lasting impact to have for being part of last Wednesday’s crazy news cycle.”

I now have my own “Dawn Wall” project. I’d love to hear about yours.

Photo Courtesy of Moni Sertel on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer we often find the answer to our own.” ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

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.


Making The Complex Simple

January 5, 2015

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As you start the new year, you must ask yourself these questions:

  • What business processes are more complex than they ought to be?
  • What frustrations does your company recurringly impose on customers?
  • What challenges do your channel partners experience that are undermining their sales efforts and therefore undermining your revenue growth?
  • What seems harder than it ought to be from quote to cash collection and everything in between?

If you eradicate needless complexity, you create the seamlessness employees, customers and channel partners crave.

2015 is the year of making the complex simple.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dooley on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Imagine a daily practice where start by asking yourself – ‘what actions can I take to make someone’s life better today?’ Then rather than stopping at that, take one or two actions to make a meaningful attempt, things will start happening.” – Rajesh Setty, How to Hack Serendipity
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

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.