Managing Products and Services in the Economic Recovery
By Philip Casini
Product and service management teams will now have to be laser-accurate with their marketing requests, more efficient and swifter executing product or service development, and be able to produce more predictable and dependable return on investment for the products and services that are released. This all adds up to operating more efficiently. So while companies sort out organizational issues to prepare for the recovery period, here are three things management teams can do to become more efficient:
1. Better understand your development costs. Lots of companies today have cost accounting or similar systems that deliver cost data. However, that is not enough anymore, because tougher decisions must be made about which projects to fund and where to utilize a reduced labor pool and with less capital available. Start with producing labor-capital mix product curves that define your company’s ability to deliver a product or service. These curves will enable teams to conduct what if scenarios and to measure the impact of new technology inputs that can re-define the product and service outputs. The analytics that result from these curves will yield a deeper understanding of the true costs of development and where to invest for the highest impact on the process.
2. Improve your competitive knowledge base – Make investments to create better data collection process and analytics that reveals your market position relative to the competition and the market trends. It is imperative to have a very clear understanding of product or service strengths and weaknesses so that informed resource decisions can correctly prioritize what investments will have the most impact on improving revenue. Use visual analytics so that the often times complex characteristics of many markets today can be simplified for clarity and for better team communications.
3. Improve your revenue predictability. Once you have better a handle on costs and competition, use that information to improve your potential revenue forecast and predict when lunching a new or updated product or service into the market will have the best return. This will demystify a lot of market acceptance myths and also help clarify how to prioritize critical project starts.
By improving the efficiencies of the development team and its process, beyond organizational changes, rapid and significant cost reductions can be realized and with time to market improvements that delivers more revenue at higher margins.
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