The Strategy O.R.A.N.G.E., or “Orange of Options”, contains some important ideas when you’re thinking about Strategy – maybe you could do some, or all, of these?
Optimise quality at 7/10. If you aim for higher it’ll cost you more than you’ll get back in increased sales and prices because it’ll cost so much to achieve – but more importantly if you slip below 7 then you’re not saving much in terms of costs and you’re losing quite a bit in terms of extra sales or higher prices you could charge (or a combination of the two).
Reduce queues – this requires extra resources because you’re working at a lower utilisation, so it adds costs, but the extra cost might be worth it in terms of improved customer satisfaction leading to repeat sales, recommendations, and perhaps customers being prepared to pay more.
Ask customers for good about you / bad about you / their future needs, so that you can constantly improve. Never assume you know what they think. Consider paying a professional mystery shopper as well as running focus groups.
New products – be careful! Ansoff’s matrix would say don’t introduce a new product into a market you haven’t been in before, either sell existing products to new markets or new products into markets that you know. And research your market before you design or launch any new product or service.
Great customer service – this is what most customers see, – it’s much easier to judge than the real underlying quality of what you do – and it’s relatively cheap to make great. Of course your quality needs to be at 7/10 as well, we covered that earlier. But get your customer service to be at 9 or 10 because it’s cheaper and more visible.
Everything measured – in marketing you should know your spend and your return, in sales you should know your conversion rates, when things move from one department to another the quality should be measured, internal and external queues should be measured, utilisation of resources should be measured, motivation of staff in each part of the business should be quantified, customer satisfaction, profitability of everything you deliver, etc etc What gets measured gets improved. If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.
onwards and upwards
PS this is one of many fruit and veg described in my book “Management Vegetables“
available on kindle
and as a full colour paper edition