Product Portfolio Management
Focusing on profitable innovation.
B to B sales teams are repeatedly asked by their customers to develop specific items.
If handled and channelled with insufficient care, such demands may induce uncontrolled item proliferation, resulting in:
- unnecessary complexity in the production chain
- and/or multiple stocks of non standard products.
It is any sales person’s natural, generally well-intended tendency to accept those demands.
It is a manager’s responsibility to keep such initiatives under control, with a view to avoid any negative impact on industrial performance.
Be firm yet flexible
In most cases, satisfying the customers’ particular needs can be achieved while protecting the production and commercialisation processes’ fluidity.
It is a matter of acting beforehand, organising and training :
- a list of standard products, shared by the entire sales organisation,
- a clear distinction between « standard » and « specific » item management procedures, from client request handling down to production scheduling,
- simple guidelines that help the sales team to reword / redirect specific enquiries (« be able to say no » while fulfilling the customers’ needs).