Focus on Innovating to Create Superior Value For Chosen Customers
- Joan Magretta, Stop Competing to Be the Best, Harvard Business Review, 30 Nov 2011
You know the phrase “marching to the beat of a different drummer” is a way of saying someone isn’t following the status quo and is standing out from the crowd. It’s generally not a positive statement. We disagree wholeheartedly.
We spent the last 10 years focusing on innovation which consequently has put us a bit out of sync with the rest of the software industry. Frankly, some potential customers have been put off by our marked differentiation – almost uncomfortable when they don’t see a hefty price tag nor hear talk of sending in an army of consultants to “optimize their process.” We are not trying to be APO or Demantra, nor do we want to be.
The innovation we developed has allowed us to better serve our customers. By creating a forecasting engine that repeatedly produced the same results we were able to guarantee that our demand forecasting software would reduce execution level forecast error by 25%.
Turning to who matters most, it is the ability of our system to allow our customers to be unique that we also find separates us from the crowd. Customers are able to model their business in the way that works for them; with the process they determine fits their organization. They know their business far better than we do, thus we created a flexible system that works the way you need it as opposed to having a specific process users must follow.
Countless books/webinars/conferences exist touting industry best practices, all in pursuit of being the best. However, were all these best practices to be successfully executed by all, you would still find yourself lost amongst the crowd. Our customers are people who wanted to do something differently to create more opportunities for excellence by leveraging their uniqueness. They aren’t trying to be like their competitors. Instead, they’re trying to be great at being themselves.