Sunday, October 18, 2015

Product Line

Ideally companies should have clearly targeted and well positioned products. However over time their product line start to mass up. After some time every body gets used to this situation and things become more and more complicated. Here in this text, I propose that simplifying the product line is beneficial for almost every company. It is independent of the sector and applicable to services sector as well.

An example can be given for consumer electronics. These products become more and more complex every day. Therefore they require serious engineering to be perfected. Today's product development approach however spends less and less time on every product designed.  The end result is buggy products.  The companies try to produce as many different products as possible with minimal effort. Their product line become so fuzzy that even the top managers of the company cannot tell you their product line without looking at a paper and clearly state their targeted audience.  If a company would like to get the highest market share from their targeted customers. They should have pinpoint targeted and well designed products. This requires attention and focus. It is like a sniper shot vs machine gun shooting. If you don't have infinite number of ammunition you should target and shoot like a sniper.

One last recommendation on customer retention.  The products and even services can be made modular.  This allows the company to widen their target audience without complicating their product line.  Additionally it would allow the consumers to update their product continuously. Buying a module is cheaper than buying the whole product. This also satisfies consumers need for shopping and buying something new. Instead of buying a whole new product every couple of years. They buy modules every couple of months.  Update able products have longer life span. Therefore the company producing them improves their customer retention and brand royalty.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Synergy, Audit and Control

The companies need these divisions synergy, audit and control, to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Audit and control division checks employees work against ethics and company policies.  Most companies focus on results and leave employees free on how to achieve them. Some do the opposite and treat employees as robots. These two approaches should be balanced. Becoming too cumbersome is a death certificate for the firm.  The employees should have freedom on the way they do the work. On the other hand corporate processes and procedures should be followed.  It boils down to these policies. If they are not carefully developed (e.g. unrealistic) employees come up with their own versions.  When these policies are developed properly, its audit and control divisions responsibility to monitor and report employees' compliance with the policies.  For the company to march forward, the employees should be harmonized. Additionally, the work done should be irrelevant of the person doing it.  When people start doing the work freely, any replacement within the workforce result considerable drop in efficiency and increases the adaption times of the new employees.  Ideally the work done should be clearly stated on the procedures and not depend on the person doing it.  This becomes more important as the company grows.  Therefore, audit and control division's work is very critical.  They also allow upper management to focus on the future.  In a typical organisation, upper management spend too much time on daily work, leaving very little time for them to think on future work. When audit and control division work properly the upper management can rely on their employees on daily work and can spend more time on future strategies.

Synergy is a division almost mo company have.  It is however crucial for all companies.  The main objective of this division is to increase the collaboration between different departments. Usually every department has their own goals and they rarely overlap with each other. Synergy departments duty is to increase this overlap. Define, monitor and report the interaction level between departments. If necessary update processes and procedures. Develop performance measurement values promoting the synergy between the departments.  Organize educational meetings to clarify the operation of almost every department to one another.  This would widen the employees view point.  Finally, synergy improves the company's efficiency and effectiveness as well as innovation capability.

Corporate Organisation

The global competition and fast changing market conditions force companies to be more competitive and innovative else they go out of business.

The companies are made of employees. Therefore who is currently working for the company is very important for its future.  The firms need adequate number of employees who are criticizers.  If this number is not enough one should not expect ground breaking innovation from the firm. These criticizers should be in all levels including the upper management.

Starting from the lowest corporate hierarchy, there should be employee surplus. At the lower end, the surplus should be low and at the very top it should be the highest. These excessive human resources are necessary for the following reasons:

-  Employees need time to develop innovative ideas, ideas that would improve current processes and procedures. There should be enough time for them to make analysis.

- As you move upper in the corporate hierarchy developing strategies become more important. Every employee can contribute to the strategy. The upper management has advantage because they usually have broader vision as well as more experience.  Therefore they need more time to develop strategies as well as lead process and procedure improvement projects.

- The companies need continuous improvement on their processes and procedures. This requires relevant employees spending time on analysis of current conditions and improving them. Most companies have limited number of employees with good knowledge of the work. This limitation coupled with under employment results poor analysis of internal projects. Experienced people are usually overloaded, which makes the inexperienced people making the analysis for the project. Reducing the project effectiveness. This can be overcome by adequate excessive human resources.

- The problems need root cause analysis which is time and labor intensive. A company with overloaded people can hardly spare time and resources for this. Therefore inappropriate solutions to the problems cause other problems and increase the stress level within the company.

- Most work environment stress is a result of overloaded people. Which effects employee health  and reduce their efficiency.

Excessive human resources approach does not mean the companies should not develop projects to reduce work force. Such projects are important for companies competitiveness. The idea is that even after work force reduction there should be some excessive force left for doing the extra work stated above.

Finally, employees make up the company therefore the companies should pay attention on hiring them as well as firing them. Firing as well as hiring is important for the firm. One rotten tomato can spoil the hole basket.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A New Index for Electronics 2.0

I believe on modular electronics and standardization of connectors, peripherals and batteries. In order to speed up this trend there can be an index created to show the level of standardization of a product.

The index value can be calculated based on the following criteria:
- Easy serviceability of the product (battery, display, charging adapter, ...)
- Number of standardized vs propriety connectors
- Standardized serviceable parts (battery, display, connectors...)

The objective of this index is to motivate manufacturers to use more standardized parts for their products. Standardization of battery for example. It would have been nice if we had standard LiPo battery dimensions like we did for Alkaline batteries. Another example would be standardization of charging adapters. At the moment USB interface is the main charging interface for small electronic devices. However a broader standard would be more beneficial for the electronics industry.

This index should also be valued by the consumer which would force the manufacturers to increase their index value.

Some of the benefits of standardization of product components and peripherals:
- Less money spend on the product. (You don't have to pay again and again for the charging adapter, the battery, connecting cables; you pay for the phone or the camera. You keep using the other peripherals stated above.)
- Another expression of the above statement: More percentage of the money you spend on the product goes to the real value adding part of the product. The product itself not the peripherals.
- Less environmental waste. (Our homes are filled up with cables and charging adapters. With every new product purchase we get new cables and charging adapters and battery)
- Possibility of better build standard equipment (Better build charging adapters and cables. At the moment manufacturers bundle cheaper peripherals with the product in order to reduce the sales price of the product.)
- Easy serviceability and availability. (If you are travelling and need a replacement peripheral, it may be impossible for one to find a propriety peripheral.  However standardized peripherals could be easily found.)