Management Should Wear Bifocals
28, 2004 - by
Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II
Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent article in
Enquirer (7/16/04) summarized the new P&G History Book,
Tide." The very last paragraph of the article cited P&G's 2000
market slump that resulted in a nearly $40 billion drop in market
blamed the slump on P&G's focus on big product innovations that
were demanding while in the
process neglecting the customer's desire for current market
This seems to be
very much out of
character for P&G. Especially during my career with the company. I
that during those days, P&G focused on both today and tomorrow.
is, they were wearing bifocals of time. Through the lower part of the
they were focusing on the market today. Looking out of the top half of
glasses they looked further down the road of time. They had groups that
focused on the market today or for the current fiscal year while
another group(s) looked five and ten years down the road. Not only were
they looking to the future but the objective was to "create
object was to keep the
brands healthy so that they could finance future research.
By looking at the
of time, you become more aware of Life Cycles. Not only the Consumer
Cycles but also the Life Cycles of the Customers (trade) as well as the
By being aware
the factors affecting a brand's life cycle such as technology,
materials, etc., you position yourself to react to market changes. For
were the features in the Luvs brand going to cause Pampers to disappear
the market (it did not, but could have) or would the entrance of the
Oxydol and/or Duz to disappear, or the emergence of Pantene to cause
disappear from the market? How was the introduction of Dawn going to
Joy's market share? Should the Ultra technology be introduced under the
Ariel name? How was Crest going to affect Gleem? How was the Era brand
affect Tide's image as well as share?
were not only considered
but they were researched well before the new technology was introduced.
called "Keeping the Pipe Line Full."
The effects of
the Life Cycles of the
Trade were evident in a recent article about Wal*Mart, a company with
stores and 100 million customers each week. There was a time when the
relied on the manufacturer for information about their customers. Now,
tables have been turned. In Wal*Mart's case, they have information
customers, such as social security numbers, license numbers, location,
family composition to go along with their sales data. By Wal*Mart's own
they have 460 terabytes of data stored on Tera-data mainframes at their
Bentonville headquarters. To put that in perspective, experts say the
has less than half as much data. With all
forecasting becomes a breeze. No wonder they were able to predict that
sell seven times as much
Strawberry Pop Tarts prior to Hurricane Frances as normally sold. But
ever believe that with all their inventory control data they would some
eventually use their technology to institute what is called scan based
where the manufacturers own each product until it is sold. For a
picture, look at scan based trading as what it really is, consignment
Think of the hugh saving involved with shedding a$50 billion inventory.
Information is Power.
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