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How to Make Sure What You Sell Is What the Market Needs

How to Make Sure What You Sell Is What the Market Needs

Why is there so much fuss about marketers having to be knowledgeable about value chain analysis? We could easily just go around using strong advertising strategies. That, however, is not all that is required for a sound business strategy.

The more knowledge you have about the interaction of your product or service with potential customers the easier it will be for you to pair up company potential with customer requirement. If you are a winner at that, you are a winner at marketing!

Michael Porter in his book, “Competitive Advantage”, clearly explains how important the value chain is for a company, and how value is created within the organization [1] is better explained here as well. For the most part, companies would consider value chain analysis as an essential part of their business strategy.

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Senior management is responsible for organizing managers in the Operations, Sales and Customer services to identify the different areas connecting Company value chain to Customer value chain. This will help to discover what the consumer requirements really are.

The phrases involved in a value chain analysis

A proper value chain analysis for your company can considerably improve your company’s efficiency and effectiveness in meeting your customer requirements.

The main factors involved are the following:

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Logistics

This refers to the coordination of information flow and goods coming in and going out of your business organization. A sound analysis of inbound logistics enables the identification of options to lower supplier costs as well as strengthen relationships with potential suppliers. Outbound logistics, gives you an insight relating to the flow of goods and required information to your buyers, is considered to be a crucial distribution and service factor.

Operations

This stage in the value chain involves a variety of procedures, equipment, and workers employed in production, purchase and sale of inventory to customers. Manufacturers aim to produce top-quality products at reduced costs by identifying ways to optimize manpower and equipment costs and getting rid of wasteful production steps. An example of this is by using Platform.ly [2], where marketing is made in automation to achieve lossless tracking and also runs your whole back-end business. Resellers’ operations are further analyzed to further determine ways to improve inventory management and the ability to efficiently merchandise it to buyers.

Front-end Activities

Porter stresses on marketing, sales and support being core front-end value chain activities. Businesses have to repeatedly review and improve marketing research, promotional activities as well as customer support. Effective research aids in getting to know more about your present and future customers. Promotions such as advertising and sales serve to gain consumer attention. Prominent companies are in the constant habit of reviewing their on-going promotional strategies in search of improvement opportunities. Customer retention is essential to long-term success.

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Supporting Factors

Porter implies that a value chain has four supporting factors:

  • Infrastructure
  • Technology development
  • Human resources
  • Procurement

Infrastructure and technology development refer to the construction as well as the development of buildings, supplies, equipment and technology needed to assist current business activities. A thorough analysis of your infrastructure and technology contributes to discovering ways to enhance your structure in order to support customers. Human resources concentrate on the attraction, retention, and motivation of top employees. Procurement is how the purchasing departments focus on routinely reviewing opportunities for getting reduced costs from suppliers or favorable transactions.

What can value chain analysis give us?

Value chain analysis does have important advantages to be considered, such as:

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  • a very crucial role in determining important organizational, tactical as well as strategic issues connected to the business.
  • a very valuable tool in that it helps businesses to fully exploit all possible sources of competitive advantage.
  • applicable to all types of businesses no matter what the industry or business size.

How is value chain analysis insufficient?

As is typical of any theoretical framework, the value chain is not completely flawless. These can be considered as follows:

  • assumed that it is feasible to split company operations into two different categories: primary and support activities.[3] If we were to take a realist viewpoint, this may very well prove to be contrary when considering the many complexities of business operations today.
  • time-consuming for practical application. After all, we are talking about a thorough analysis of all business operations involved.
  • may not be possible to attain all the adequate information needed for the proper conducting of a value chain analysis.

When is it suitable to apply value chain analysis?

There are many different ways of adapting value chain analysis in various industries, some examples are:

Delivery Service

In order to enhance market share as well as brand loyalty, FedEx’s value chain clearly identifies the importance of employee development by using proper human resources plans and improvements in infrastructure.

Food and Beverage

Properly choosing and locating top-quality coffee beans, enhancing trustworthiness by providing top-grade consumer service, and successfully marketing their brands were the most important elements in Starbucks value chain. PizzaHut managed to defeat its competitors by efficiently delivering a cheaper product than just concentrating on premium pricing.

Retail

Walmart is known to use value chain analysis in order to maintain low prices for their customers. By constantly identifying suppliers, comparing in-store as well as online shopping, and developing innovations have contributed to Walmart’s commitment to making it easier for people to increase their savings.

Reference

[1] MindTools: Porter’s Value Chain
[2] Platform.ly: Home
[3] Mayday Network: Understanding Value Chain And It’s Importance to Business

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.

I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

Jealous of them? You don’t have to be.

You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business and success books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’re 10 of my favorites:

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.

    Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

    Get the book here!

    2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

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      Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.

      Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.

      Get the book here!

      3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

        Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

        In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

        Get the book here!

        4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

          If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

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          Get the book here!

          5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

            It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work.

            Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.

            Get the book here!

            6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

              Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

              Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

              Get the book here!

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              7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.

                To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.

                If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.

                Get the book here!

                8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

                  If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

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                    Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

                      The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

                      Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.

                      This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.

                      Get the book here!

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