Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the supply side and speed

So, one of the most stressful issues we see today is the need to refresh product offerings usually faster than is possible. When someone like Apple introduces a new paradigm like the iPad there is no good way to get products out to form an ecosystem and sales. This is also true of retail where surges or lags in product categories do not neatly fit into plans, i.e. new developing product and service areas are not so nicely scheduled as to fill in for maturing and declining ones.
What do you do about it? If you are on the product creation end, you need to look at your supply line and decide if you really have the partners in place to get it going. Price is important, but so is skill. Do your vendors have the skill to really make the new widget you need reliably, on time and with the quality and performance? Or are you kidding yourself, and then wondering why your item is late, and not competitive.
How about retail? Sure it is a pain to rearrange the deck chairs, but floor productivity is a real issue that also does not fit comfortably. This is not the weather, we can talk about it AND do something about it.
Both constituencies need to move along. Don't like the wireless space? Don't care for IT? Get over it and put it in your business plan as these are the current horses to ride. Get the expertise in house or outsource it. Face your legacy issues and start reforming your company to deal with what the current and likely reality is.
Yes, it is cruel that old models are dieing. It is hard to cut costs and get rid of old habits, friends, products, etc. but those that do thrive. This business is bigger than ever and driven by change, its the only constant.

Seek out help and advice if you are not sure how to proceed. It is out there for the asking.