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The Atlantic has focused on digital transformation for the last decade. To what does it attribute its success? Allocating resources intelligently.
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Companies used to spend years clarifying business requirements before they would even think of launching new software. Today, cheaper cloud-based apps mean that implementation decisions are made on the fly — and there’s no going back.
The days when buying a used car meant “kicking the tires” and wading through a hard sales pitch are gone. With customer expectations evolving in a rapidly changing digital environment, digital dealership CarMax’s product development teams are “all about developing customer-facing and associate-enabling technologies,” says CIO Shamim Mohammad — but the focus is on the teamwork, not the tech.
As sustainability becomes a driving force in the evolving marketplace, many products and technologies are unable to compete within the new parameters. The recent scandal involving Volkswagen’s falsifying of its diesel cars’ emissions is a case in point: If your business model can meet the ever-higher standards of sustainability only when customers reduce consumption of the product, it is by definition unsustainable. What does this mean for managers committed to products with questionable sustainability?
New research looks at the strategies executives use in capturing new growth opportunities. “Resist jumping at the first potential opportunity,” write Christopher B. Bingham (Kenan-Flagler Business School), Nathan R. Furr (Marriott School of Management) and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt (Stanford University). Instead, evaluate whether one opportunity will it set you up for future ones — what the authors call “sequencing opportunities.” They write: “Sustained business success appears to depend not just on capturing one opportunity but also on stringing multiple opportunities together.”
Cars have made the transition from offline to fully networked, which makes them social vehicles, able to communicate about traffic patterns and weather. The next decade will see cars integrate more fully into consumers’ lives, says Audi’s Ricky Hudi, head of electronics at the fast-growing unit of Volkswagen. The goal for the industry: making upgradable cars, so that cars will no longer lag years behind consumer technology trends.
Some companies are better off making incremental improvements to their products. Others that must compete on their ability to innovate focus on breakthrough inventions. Either approach requires the exploration of a specific type of “technology landscape” and the right strategy for searching across the terrain.
How do you compete with opponents that have size, strength and history on their side? The authors use Palm Computing (later Palm Inc.) to illustrate how the core principles of judo strategy — movement, balance and leverage. The offer lessons and specific techniques that other companies can emulate in order to compete successfully with a stronger player.
Trade promotions permit manufacturers to influence retail price, retail sales, and total channel profit by rewarding resellers for lower prices and subsidizing their selling effort.
A three-step process to ensure that companies launch new products that make a profit and please customers.
In the continuous battle for strategic supremacy, leaders and challengers must control the patterns of turbulence and select an appropriate method for creating wealth.
How Toyota’s product design and development process helps find the best solutions and develop successful products.
A platform is a collection of components, processes, knowledge, people, and relationships shared by a set of products, allowing companies to efficiently develop differentiated products and to better meet customer needs. The authors describe the benefits and challenges of platform planning, presenting three underlying ideas, a method for planning a new product platform, and recommendations for managing the process.
The contention that loyal customers are always more profitable is a gross simplification, according to the authors. They posit that such schemes do not fundamentally alter market structure and, instead, increase market expenditures without really creating any extra brand loyalty. Dowling and Uncles suggest ways to design an effective program.
The failure to integrate a product strategy, a well-planned portfolio, and a facilitating organization structure with clearly identified customer needs, a well-defined product concept, and a project plan can severely hamper new product development. An examination of eleven companies aims at improving the effectiveness of the front-end process.
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